Monday, 7 September 2009


Whether you're new to birding or not - but especially if you
are - you really do have to get used to the idea that the birds will often desert you as they did me at Conder Pool today. When I arrived there this morning at 9.45 I counted nineteen birds in total on here fifteen of which were Mallard with 2 Oystercatcher and 2 Little Grebe......exciting stuff! Four Common Sandpiper were in the creeks and when I checked the channel below the old railway bridge I found a Greenshank with no more than about six birds in here too. In the hour it took me to do the circular walk here I doubt if I saw many more than 'a couple of dozen' birds.
On the canal basin at Glasson Dock I noted another pair of Great - crested Grebe have a single young with them, also Kingfisher seen. On the Lune Estuary I make no apologies for doing no counts today but noted an adult Mediterranean Gull which retained a quite strong moulting hood, a Ruff, 4 Black - tailed Godwit, and c.25 Snipe were in flight looking for somewhere to land in cover on the marsh, and a Sparrowhawk was over.
At Cockersands which is a place I find sometimes 'has' but often hasn't much going for it. Today noted 2 Turnstone a species seen as something of a 'mega' in most locations in the LDBWS recording area, also on Plover Scar, estimates of 550 Oystercatcher, 75 Dunlin, and 50 Ringed Plover, 3 Eider and 3 Red - breasted Merganser were on the estuary, and 3 Wheatear in Kellets field.
At Fluke Hall I did a 'wander' east along the marsh minus my telescope - something I often do and usually end up regretting - and found a 'good' number of Grey Plover roosting at high tide but I reckon lots were out of view, I'd estimate up to 100 birds. A walk west to Cockers Dyke produced 7 Wheatear and a Little Egret on the way, at the dyke waders counted were, 525 Dunlin, 50 Knot, 75 Grey Plover, 15 Golden Plover, 12 Black - tailed Godwit, 2 Bar - tailed Godwit, and I had noted 3 Sandwich Tern's before a Peregrine Falcon entered the arena and put the usual panic into c,1,500 waders, always my best excuse for claiming this is where I abandoned any further attempt at counting birds. On the day I saw just 5 Small Tortoiseshell, a Peacock, and a Silver Y moth.
Two notes I made today were 1)......I've never been able to understand the hunting strategy of the Peregrine Falcon, today's bird at Cockers Dyke behaved just as I've seen them do many times before in that it came on the scene at 150 mph with the choice of any one of 1,500 waders as lunch, attacked two loose Dunlin, failing on both occasions, and promptly did a u-turn and headed off towards Knott End......2) The Wheatear pic is of the same bird - different poses - and must be the easiest of all our summer visitors to connect with in both spring and autumn and on its breeding grounds. It is a bird I love to see the first of in spring, and the last in autumn with its strong, powerful, and direct flight with a purpose.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Plenty of variety as usual for you on your local patch. Love the pics of the wheatear, such lovely colours, a beautiful bird.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes one of my favourites the Wheatear and thanks for comments once again Brian.