Friday, 1 April 2011

Never a dull moment!

Ringed Plover. Geoff Gradwell

With no related pics of today's birding - other than they are birds - I decided to showcase a couple of GG's photographs.

My birding never sinks to 'dull' but now and again has a tendency to lean in that direction, but this is not with regard to the company I keep but with the birds I/we sometimes encounter, or more to the point don't encounter. Today was the Friday outing with JB/BT and....yes you guessed it we went directly to Aldcliffe where 4 White Wagtails stood out from the 2 Pied Wagtails on the flood, with 2 Meadow Pipits and 2 Reed Bunting also to note. Down at Freeman's Pools I could only find one Little Ringed Plover perfectly camouflaged on the shingle island, with a drake Gadwall and 2 Goldeneye to note, 2 Roe Deer also put in an appearance along the perimeter of the pool, and 2 Long-tailed Tits seen.

Viewing the marsh at high tide from the picnic area at Conder Green, c.200 Bar-tailed Godwit, at least 400 Redshank, a single Goldeneye on the River Lune, with 4 Red-breasted Merganser, a single Goosander, and I could see no more than 8 Wigeon here today. On Conder Pool, in truth I found nothing more than a Greenshank of note.

From Bodie Hill, 15 Eider seen. On Jeremy Lane 2 Whooper Swans - an adult and two immature - are still hanging on here. On the somewhat brief visit to Cockersands I recorded c.40 Golden Plover on the shingle at the Caravan Park end. Turning in to Crimbles Lane 2 Buzzard were together, and on Pilling Marsh a Little Egret, c.300 Pink-footed Geese was something of a pointless count as I saw several movements of birds already counted which came down to disappear below the seaward end of the marsh no doubt to join countless others already there out of view....And a good time was had by all!

And finally, well almost....

Great-spotted Woodpecker. Geoff Gradwell    

The thing I like about photographs like this one of the Great-spotted Woodpecker, is that the bird is seen in its natural environment and not like it was taken in a museum in a glass case....Thanks for these GG.

And finally....

Quite amazing that I 'stumbled upon' the following note which appears to confirm my claim in yesterdays post about the association between the Dartford Warbler and the Stonechat. Quote....On two occasions in November 1976 a Dartford Warbler (DW) was observed in company with a male Stonechat in a field of Red Clover overgrown with Sow-Thistles. The DW spent much time foraging amongst the thistles, if the Stonechat moved off while it was feeding the DW would perch on a thistle head, call and look around, apparently trying to locate the Stonechat. Once it had succeeded to do so the DW would fly directly to it and the two would perch conspicuously side by side on adjacent thistle heads, the DW would then resume feeding close to the Stonechat....unquote.

I personally think there is more to this account than meets the eye and reckon this skulking Dartford Warbler was using the vigilant Stonechat - which always has good views from its feeding perches, which is a wary bird and noisy when alarmed - as a look-out.

Birds fascinate me in a thousand ways!


Geoff Gradwell said...

Glad to be of assistance and thank you for deeming any of my efforts useful. I'm stuck in Grey Wagtail mode at the moment... as they are on my doorstep and I'm looking forward to a few more insects being on the wing for some interesting opportunties. I might even learn something. I must get out again soon. Best W

Pete Woodruff said...

I suppose this should/would be better on the front page of the blog but....Keep a look out for Grey Wagtails with rings Geoff, I know some people who would be interested in hearing about any you see plus a note of the markings.