Saturday, 14 August 2010

14 August 2003.

If I can be excused the pun, how time flies away....Its seven years to the day since I found a White-winged Black Tern over the marsh on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock/Conder Green, the bird eventually adorned the cover of the Fylde Report which had an excellent illustration credited to Tony Disley. This bird stayed in the area for ten days until 24 August, during its stay it was noticeably observed taking butterflies, in particular the Small Tortoiseshell by one observer who contacted me to ask if I had noted this fact.

Some brief notes about the WWBT about which the first record in Britain was at Horsey Mere in Norfolk in May 1853 and the species is now regarded as an annual migrant. It breeds in Eastern Europe and east to China, wintering inland in Africa and in the Far East, from Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia through Indonesia to Northern Australia.

With regard to our area of Lancashire and North Merseyside the first record was of a bird at Crossens Marsh in August 1968 with another one almost to the day a year later at Leighton Moss in August 1969. In total there are nineteen records of the WWBT since the first on in 1968 until the last one five years ago at Seaforth/Crosby Marine Park in September 2005. As far as Conder Green is concerned the 2003 bird had been preceded by one there in July 1973.


I never did expect to find a Swallow the victim of a road kill so finding one yesterday was a first record I never wanted to collect. The bird was spotted in the roadside at Pilling, I got out of the car to find it was a juvenile - perhaps the explanation for the accident - I noted the bird was still warm and, other than the obvious recent collision the bird was otherwise unmarked/injured. By now my feelings for the birds I have a passion for kicked in and I thought the bird - which had come through the trials of egg to fledging - had been relieved of the hazzards of flying off to South Africa and one of the first major undertakings of its young life, but being killed by a car was too large a price to pay for that.   


Dave Bickerton said...

I remember that WWBT - lovely sight. A run of North Easterlies must bring something our way soon!


Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for this Dave. I remember it too as you will imagine, its what this birding thing is all about, never knowing 'whats around the corner'.

Good to hear from you on Birds2blog, though I check your blog regularly Dave.