Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Not much to show....

....for my efforts today, but....

Skylark. David Cookson

I heard 3 Skylarks at Cockersands today including one singing its heart out off the headland in a bloody cold stiff westerly, also noted here on a circuit - much reduced in enthusiasm due to the aforementioned westerly and not producing very much - 10 Eider, a Wheatear, male Reed Bunting, a drake Pintail was the 'surprise of the day' in the ditch running between fields seen from the road past Bank Houses, what this bird was doing there is beyond me, 12 Brown Hares included four out on Plover Scar, and 2 Whooper Swans still with Mute Swans from Moss Lane.

On the almost deserted Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, c.350 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 3 Eider of note. On Conder Pool just one Little Ringed Plover on view whilst I was there, 2 Spotted Redshank will soon have completed their transformation to black, a Common Sandpiper, and 2 Sand Martin over. 

On a circuit of Aldcliffe, a Little Ringed Plover was on the flood whilst Freeman's Pools was virtually void of birds and no LRP's found. A Roe Deer was out on the marsh but soon realised inland provided better cover when it saw someone with a dog approaching, 2 Swallow over, and I noted an Orange Tip and 6 Small Tortoiseshell. I observed a Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff in the space of a few minutes and was able to take note of one significant behavioural trait of the Chiffchaff which is the habit of downward tail-dipping while feeding, the Willow Warbler doesn't do any tail-dipping when feeding but usually with one dip after alighting. The Chiffchaff also bore a metal benefit to me or anyone else unless/until the bird is netted or found dead by somebody who realises that birds have rings on their legs for a reason!     

And finally....

Cormorant. Cliff Raby

I think we've all seen the Cormorant tussling with something it caught, often with something you feel it can't possibly swallow but always seems to eventually. I watched one recently for up to ten minutes with a flat fish measuring at least 15cm at it's widest point, I thought it would never succeeded in disposing of this catch....but did.

Thanks for the photographs DC/CR, much appreciated.


IOW Birder said...

Superb pictures Pete, have added your blog, will def look back again!

Warren Baker said...

Interesting about the Willow Warbler and chiffchaff Pete, I always look for this behaviour in these two species, but they seem to be identical tail dippers to me!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for this and for looking in on Birds2blog I'll speak to you again soon Dave.

Meanwhile, you need to note very few photographs on the blog are mine and I'm grateful to know some excellent photographers who all permit me to use their work on here and you're right Dave....Superb pictures.

If you can get good views of these birds the tail-dipping is one of the best ID characteristics. Interesting you find this trait identical in both Warren.