Wigeon. Brian Rafferty
Numbers of Wigeon appear to be falling now at all the places I visit, and the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock doesn't hold a three figure number now according to my last few visits here.
With BT today - no not British Telecom, Brian Townson - we first made our traditional brief Friday visit to Aldcliffe where I noted c.600 Pink-footed Geese and a Little Egret. At Conder Green a Spotted Redshank and Greenshank duly obliged in the creeks along with at least 70 Teal. On Conder Pool a single Goldeneye and 8 Meadow Pipit over. On the canal basin at Glasson Dock I noted another single Goldeneye, 25 Tufted Duck, and a Great-crested Grebe. A cursory glance at the Lune Estuary had it looking like it was the middle of summer regarding bird numbers, and a scan didn't make things much different, though 84 Black-tailed Godwit 'lit up' the place with a solitary Knot tagging along with them, also to note c.45 Redshank, 22 Cormorant, a drake Goosander, and 2 Goldeneye.
From Bodie Hill another 10 Goldeneye and a Little Egret. On Jeremy Lane the 3 Whooper Swan still, being an adult and two immatures. A detour round Gulf Lane gave a Little Owl having had its 'box' on the tree secured - it had appeared very insecure of late - by whoever tends to the needs of this/these creatures, also 2 Stock Dove. From Backsands Lane 3 Black-tailed Godwit and c.220 Golden Plover. And from Fluke Hall Lane, another Little Egret and Stock Dove.
By now the weather could only best - and as polite as I can be - described as 'crap' it was raining, it was an early finish and I was home again by 2.10pm
Notes and a an illustration.
1. A Goldeneye on the Lune estuary at Glasson Dock this morning which - at a distance - initially had me fooled until I realised it was the first 1st summer drake Goldeneye I have ever seen. The bird is in bottom left of the illustration above showing the most striking feature about it, being it's black head along with streaked flanks.
2. A Little Ringed Plover has arrived today at Ham Wall RSPB in Somerset.
3. Until I do some reading this is all too confusing for a little birder like me but....the formerly named White-winged Scoter has now become a Stejneger's Scoter and is still present today at Rossbeigh in Co Kerry, Ireland. What I do know is....Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1851-1943) was a Norwegian born American ornithologist who also had a Stonechat named after him....perhaps more on that later.