BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Simply the best......

....Tina Turner....not an avid fan but this one was quite good.


But I'm talking about Brian Rafferty's image above and I'm tempted to claim this is simply the best Barn Owl photograph you're ever likely to see....thanks Brian.


And beat this for an excellent image of the White-tailed Ptarmigan. I recommend you visit Mike Watson's Diary - which can be linked from my sidebar - to see the story behind this bird. Recommended reading about exactly where this bird was found, not to mention some other exciting events on this trip to Colorado in 2007.

Here is a run down on some of my birds in February.

Conder Green continued to support the wintering Common Sandpiper though it goes unnoticed for days on end, also Spotted Redshank and Greenshank were seen regularly and its always a good idea to be here on a high 10m+ tide as it pushes out into the open birds like the Jack Snipe and Rock Pipits which are much more difficult to find otherwise, I watched 23 Snipe come up off the marsh here on 1 February and six Rock Pipits were found on the tide wrack at Cockersands as was the wintering male Stonechat on just about every visit here throughout the month. I did the Skerton Bridge to Glasson Dock walk one day and was interested in finding at least 300 Black-tailed Godwit off Marsh Point, the redhead Smew was seen on Freeman's Pools on more than one occasion as was Green Sandpiper. Brief visits to Morecambe rewarded me with an adult Mediterranean Gull, Scaup female off Broadway and a reasonable count of 130 Eider, up to 500 Black-tailed Godwit were also here on another visit, and on 17 February another adult Mediterranean Gull was at Teal Bay. Bewick's Swans and Whooper Swans were seen in varying numbers on every visit during February at Glasson Dock/Jeremy Lane/Moss Lane and a Merlin was seen on some of the visits to the marshes around Conder/ Glasson and also at Cockersands. Little Egret sightings are commonplace these days and one is often seen now on Jeremy Lane and another in the Cockersands area. The Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock continued to support up to 2,500 Bar-tailed Godwits as it did the Goldeneye with the best count being 140 on 15 February and remains by far the best area for this species in the recording area and beyond. Two Ruff were seen from Fluke Hall Lane on 5 February and a tundra Bean Goose was with around 4,000 Pink-footed Geese on 15 February.

The down side of this month was the conclusive evidence that for the first time in more than 10 years no Stonechats were found at any of the upland locations I visit and I have reliable information that the Bowland birds are also absent with one observer having seen not a single bird this year. 

Looking forward to the progression of March and seeing my first returning Stonechat/Wheatear and Sand Martin....and others perhaps before the month is out.        

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