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

Friday, 18 March 2011

....and another first!


A good day with JB/BT and another first - well in my book anyway - and it's in the report below, but first....

Brown Booby. Paul Foster

A photograph of the Brown Booby, obviously not remotely connected with my birding today - or any other day - but taken by PF on a recent trip to the Caribbean, thanks for the pic Paul much appreciated. Now to come a little nearer home....well a lot nearer home.

The almost traditional Friday visit to Aldcliffe Marsh paid off handsomely, the 'geese' are moving slowly northwards and with the c.5,000 Pink-footed Geese on the marsh I found 2 White-fronted Geese, the only disappointment about the sighting was that the unfavourable conditions didn't facilitate an assignment to race so we'll have to wait and see if someone gets better views to confirm this, also a Little Egret seen. On Freeman's Pools, 6 Goldeneye noted, with a couple of dozen 'gulls' including a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls which won't be the kind of reception party the Little Ringed Plover/s had hoped for should they turn up here eventually. 

At Conder Green it was good to see the wintering Common Sandpiper once again as it has eluded me on recent visits here, also 2 Spotted Redshank, and a Greenshank. On Conder Pool, 2 Goldeneye and a Little Grebe. On the canal basin at Glasson Dock a pair of Great-crested Grebes were engaged in their amazing courtship display, also 2 Little Grebe seen. On the - almost deserted - Lune Estuary, 12 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Goldeneye were of note, and on Colloway Marsh c.2,000 Pink-footed Geese still there. On Jeremy Lane, 8 Linnet, 6 Skylark, and a Reed Bunting were all in the beet fodder field, as were 3 Stock Doves, a personal first record at this location in my 120 years birding the area....yes 120 years!    

At Cockersands, 10 Linnet today in the winter seed field, yesterdays c.650 Golden Plover on the shingle were in a field here today, the 10 Whooper Swans at Bank End Farm seen again from here, and a Small Tortoiseshell seen. From the Moss Lane/Jeremy Lane junction, 3 Whooper Swans were the adult and two immatures. A tour along Gulf Lane was the beginning of the end for today's birding which produced the Little Owl, and at Fluke Hall a fragmented 8 Twite seen....and that really was the end.

And finally....

Oystercatcher. David Cookson

Another of those 'as good as they come' photographs this of the Oystercatcher by Mr DC with many thanks.

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