Monday, 9 May 2011

Routine stuff with a WOW!

Whinchat. Brian Rafferty

Well there was two WOWS actually but one didn't develop into anything and the other probably wouldn't have been a WOW to many other birders but certainly was for me when I found a Whinchat this morning on Jeremy Lane one day earlier than last years 10 May bird and close to the same fence post again this year. I'm pretty certain this little gem above has been on Birds2blog before but thanks BR anyway....great stuff as ever. 

With just the Monday time limits for birding I thought the best bet was some routine Conder/Cockersands stuff, and at Conder Green the pool was uninspiring save 5 Wigeon drakes obviously intent on summering here, also 4 Greylag appear to have taken a liking to the place too. On the circuit a Greenshank was in the creeks and small birds of note were a Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting, and 6 House Martin counted today at River Winds, I'll get to grips with some accuracy sooner or later with these birds.

Cockersands was void of waders but as I set off on the circuit with a peer into some nooks and crannies I noted 12 Eider on the estuary and 5 Whimbrel of note. I counted 4 Whitethroat and 4 Sedge Warbler, and noted 2 Skylark, no more than 6 Tree Sparrow, and 2 Linnet. I was lucky to get back to the motor at the lighthouse cottage before one of the forecast downpours arrived. A few minutes after it had cleared the second WOW arrived in the form of c.200 small waders at which point I began to hope the KP was still with them but a full hours grilling - they were very mobile but kept returning - proved them to be around 130 Dunlin and 70 Ringed Plover.

Willow Warbler. David Cookson 

I watched a solitary Swift for several minutes from our kitchen window this evening and as always felt familiar at the sight of this mysterious creature which has lived close to man for centuries, nesting under the roofs of our houses, whilst so little is know of them other than that they hide away in their dark nests otherwise spending their entire lives on the wing, flying millions of miles in a lifetime. So difficult to grasp in human thinking that once out of the nest the fledged birds so supremely adapted for their aerial life that they fly between here and South Africa for three whole years perhaps without ever stopping, before returning here to build a nest and raise chicks of their own.

If ever a bird brought me to claim....'birds fascinate me in a thousand ways'....the Swift does.




Pete Marsh said...

Ouch - we left Bowness to go back to some work nearby at 6.15pm!

Warren Baker said...

Whinchats are always a 'wow' bird Pete. I hope to find one this Autumn :-)