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.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Foot Patrol.


Drake American Wigeon courtesy of Mike Watson.

An excellent image of the drake American Wigeon currently present at Caerlaverock WWT Dumfries and Galloway to get today's post up and running.

Though it clouded over in the early afternoon it was great day to get on my feet and check out the bird life between Skerton Bridge and Glasson Dock and although its still a little too soon for anything other than 'an early' I did end up disappointed at not seeing some more Stonechats 'up from the south'....I'd seen twelve by this date last year.

Until I got to Freeman's Pools it had been a quiet but enjoyable walk checking the usual good number of gulls to find them all/mainly Black-headed and noting a drake Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser. At the pools the redhead Smew soon showed itself as did a Green Sandpiper and a calling Little Grebe, the 72 Black-headed Gull number showing interest in the island and the area has risen from my count of 60 last week, 8 Tufted Duck, a drake Wigeon, and 10 Lapwing made up the numbers on and around here today.

On Aldcliffe Marsh, c.3,500 Pink-footed Geese and 3 Little Egret. On the wildfowlers pool another Green Sandpiper seen and a Snipe noted on the flood. Between Aldcliffe and Conder Green I noted 18 Blackbirds, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 6 Goldfinch, a Dunnock, and a Reed Bunting, a male Merlin on a fence post out on the marsh added some excitement to the day....hope you're still looking in on Birds2blog Tim (Crossley) to read about this bird you're 'after'....c.250 Curlew were in a field as I approached Conder Green picnic area, and a Brown Hare was seen en route. Two Little Egret were seen distant on Colloway Marsh from Stodday. At Conder Green I just had the time to find two of the areas 'star birds' in the form of Spotted Redshank and Greenshank.

I note with interest of a probable Mew Gull of the form brachyrhynchus at a location in Leicestershire up to 5.00pm then flew west.

4 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Had a little look for an 'early' myself today, nothing yet of course :-)

Tim Crossley said...

Hi Pete, yes still enjoying your blog. Just before I spotted my name on this post I said to the wife "bloody hell, Petes seen another merlin at Conder Green!"
Was up on Saddleworth moor (yes that one)on Tuesday, beautiful..... but birdless, apart from a dipper. And, its crossbill territory.... not a one! will keep trying. Cheers, Tim

Pete Woodruff said...

Any time soon Warren but not for me again today, mind you we were further away from spring than ever with the wind having got up again....a pretty unfriendly one too.

Thanks for this Tim. The instant I saw the Merlin I thought of you....promise, its my favourite raptor. Let me know if/when you next visit the Conder area we'll do a 'tour' if possible.

Tim said...

Cheers Pete, that would be great!