BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT. PETE WOODRUFF.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Dull Day......

......but some bright bird's considering the crippling weather we've been having recently and may well continue to do so if the forecaster's are still on course.


          

Thanks to Brian Rafferty for getting this post off to the best possible start with an excellent image of the smartest of all our smart passerines the male Stonechat......what else can I say BR!

A pretty miserable day weather-wise which never came daylight on the downside but on the upside - for the sake of the bird's - a thaw has set in, let's hope it continues. Well, nobody need waste their time checking Conder Pool as it's going to remain an ice rink for a few day's yet, but in the Conder creek's there was what appeared to be some quite lively bird's all things considered, feeding or bathing were, 2 Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Goosander, 2 Snipe, 3 Little Grebe, male/female Wigeon, and at least 80 Teal. I also achieved a first in the creeks today with a Pink-footed Goose looking very out of context and which flew off healthily with the rest when disturbed. Also noted, singles of Song Thrush and Meadow Pipit.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock 4 Twite came down to feed on the edge of the marsh with 5 Goldfinch, the area was otherwise uncomfortably deserted but I did record c.130 Dunlin, just 12 Goldeneye, and 2 Goosander, what 'gull's' present were over by Waterloo Cottage and inconveniently distant in the poor light. On Jeremy Lane 6 Whooper Swans were with uncounted but at least 150 Mute Swans.

I don't particularly recommend the drive to Cockersands until this thaw takes hold but am extremely glad I took the risk if only to see the male Stonechat was looking quite perky despite presumably being close to frozen if not hungered to death, it was accompanied by 4 Song Thrush, 3 Blackbird, and 2 Wren, in the case of the latter two tiny creature's you really do wonder how they managed to survive this period of sub-zero temperature's, I'm convinced a lot won't have. On visits to Cockersands during this 'freeze' I have noted the tidal wrack to the NW of the Caravan Park has been a feeding ground for several species not least of which the Stonechat which has remained to feed in this area throughout. A walk along the headland - not recommended unless you lack common sense at my level - in places like standing on glass, was fruitless but at the lighthouse end 52 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, and c.40 Dunlin were noted. A Little Owl was in a tree by Bank Houses horse paddock, the first sighting since 7 May 2009, and c.350 Pink-footed Geese were in a field off Moss Lane by which time the light was fading and I pointed the car towards Lancaster.



And the best possible end to the post with an image of the female Stonechat......thanks again BR.

3 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Just reading all the blogs Pete, it's the same everywhere - grey and dull. very dull. :-)

Brian Rafferty said...

As usual Pete you made the best of a miserable day and you found a good selection of birds to keep you occupied. It's going to be a slow thaw with very cool conditions for another week or so.

I am sure that will not deter you from your birdwatching and you never know what might turn up on the Lancashire coastline in these harsh conditions.

Thanks for showing stonechats... more to come soon. Take care.far

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for contributions once again guys.

Dull indeed Warren, but the birds encountered brightened things up considerably bearing in mind this serious weather in terms of our wildlife and in particular our birds. As I said the two minuscule Wrens just made me to wonder just how they managed to survive.

Waiting in anticipation of what your Stonechats were feeding on Brian......intrigued.