Friday, 20 November 2009

The Best of Bodie.

Bar-tailed Godwits thanks to Brian Rafferty.

The birds on display today on Glasson Marsh from Bodie Hill were by far the best I ever witnessed at this location and my wish was that John Bateman could have been with BT and I to see the spectacle for himself. When we arrived here at about 11.45 we were confronted by what was eventually estimated to be up to 20,000 birds mainly - of course - waders which included reasonably accurate circa numbers of 7,500 Knot, 6,200 Lapwing, 3,100 Golden Plover, 2,000 Bar-tailed Godwit, 160 Redshank, 120 Curlew, with 135 Shelduck, 125 Wigeon, 4 Goldeneye, and 3 Red-breasted Merganser, the other c.660 were represented by swans, gulls, and any small waders I may have 'missed'.  This spectacle was made all the more spectacular by the arrival of a female Merlin which drove the amazing mass into a thoroughly mind boggling synchronised eruption into the air followed very soon after by the approach of a Peregrine Falcon which brought about a repeat performance of 20,000 birds activated into mass panic, later both these raptors were observed 'stood' on the marsh just 20 mtrs apart for several minutes, truly really don't need the BBC and Autumn Watch.

Knot thanks to Brian Rafferty. 

But before all this BT had gone to Aldcliffe though I'm as ever not sure why, we stood at the gate at the bottom of Aldcliffe Hall Lane for a few minutes and saw 2 Little Egret, walked the top path North for a few mtrs, went back to the car and off we went, not to be seen as a complaint or criticism you understand......Mmmmmm!

At Conder Green 8 Little Grebe were on the pool - I reckon the other two were in hiding - 2 Goldeneye were seen before we had to make a hasty retreat to the car to escape a shower which looked like it may last for ages but actually blew over in several minutes by which time we were now at Bodie Hill and the above observations.

At Cockersands I walked the headland to the caravan park to achieve a resounding zero but 18 Greenfinch around the CP area has to be regarded as a major find these days. At Pilling Lane Ends a Little Egret was in one of the fields, and on Fluke Hall Lane two adult and five juvenile Whooper Swans were in a stubble field.

So, although after leaving Bodie Hill just after high tide the day became something of a dull event, seeing today's spectacle will remain one of the many aspects of birding I could'nt do without.


Ray said...

You are absolutely right, aldcliffe can be a lot of work for little reward... especially at the South end. over the last few years, with the coming of the Wildfowlers pools and then Freeman's pools, things have improved and there can be more of an all-year interest there. you have to admire Jon for putting in the hours over all those years, and occasionally hitting the jackpot. I certainly need to vary my birding diet considerably as you know. This message from Ray, in currently starry Aldcliffre.

Mistlethrush said...

Bodie Hill sounds fantastic - definitely a case of being in the right place at the right tide.

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Very pleased that you enjoyed the wader spectacle from Bodie Hil. These events are very special and you have to see them for yourself to really appreciate what is happening on our own doorstep !!

Thanks for showing my efforts to capture these wonderful moments.

Pete Woodruff said...


I have to be careful how I chose my words here, don't want to sound critical about someone who doesn't have access to a computer so doesn't know what I'm saying, but the visit with BT was/is usually far to brief, you can't cover an area like Aldcliffe and call yourself a 'birder with a purpose' in less than 2 hours in my opinion......well I certainly can't and that's why I don't visit as often as I'd like to as I always seem have to be elsewhere and can't be everywhere.


Bodie Hill certainly was yesterday, right place right tide as you say.


No problem 'showing your efforts' and certainly look forward to doing so again soon. I suppose you realise you can't go out with your camera without my getting to know soon after you post on your blog, so I'm keeping an eye out for some 'new stuff'.

Thanks to all for looking in and comments, much appreciated.

Warren Baker said...

sounds like a fantastic spectacle Pete. Your right - you dont need TV programmes, just get out there!