Thursday, 7 July 2011

The butterfly has it!

This photograph taken at Cockersands looking east to the fells of Bowland clearly illustrates why I didn't go up Harrisend which is blotted out by the cloud and rain this afternoon. So Plan A out the window and Plan B put into place once again and away I went to the coast and kept reasonably close to the car in case a dash from the showers was necessary.

At Conder Green the Spotted Redshank was in the company of at least 200 Redshank on Conder Pool, also on here, 6 Greenshank, 8 Common Sandpiper, and a pair of Oystercatcher have one young on here. In the creeks another c.100 Redshank, and a single Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit gave an excellent opportunity to compare these two species - similar in certain conditions and distance - at close range.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, c.250 Bar-tailed Godwit included ten males in their stunning summer dark rufous underparts, also noted a Greenshank, 2 Eider, and 2 Wigeon. On the canal basin a pair of Tufted Duck had three chicks. 

Marsh Harrier. Phillip Tomkinson 

At Cockersands I decided to do the circuit until the tide came in to give me some time to loiter off Plover Scar to see if the Wyre Estuary AGP had decided to pay us a visit....or maybe a Broad-billed Sandpiper with the Dunlin perhaps!

To be honest at one point I went into one of my 'shouldn't I be doing something more useful in life than this' modes but I soon came out of it when I clapped eyes on a Marsh Harrier quartering the Abbey Farm fields. Also noted on the round, probably no more than 15 Tree Sparrow seen today, up to 8 Goldfinch, and a Sedge Warbler still in song. 

Painted Lady. Phillip Tomkinson

I had given the Marsh Harrier today's Gold Award but this only lasted a couple of hours until I found the Painted Lady fluttering by, at which point I decided the award should go to the insect and not the bird. Last year I had found two Painted Lady butterflies here at Cockersands four weeks earlier on 7 June, but I think the records will show a poor year in 2010, but just in case I'll put my parachute on ready for being shot down on that suggestion.

Golden Plover 3
Golden Plover. Brian Rafferty 

To watch the tide gaining height I put myself opposite the lighthouse and sifted through c.250 Golden Plover and c.35 Dunlin to no avail, the young 'fluffy' Oystercatcher was seen to be still surviving, and 7 Eider were off the scar.

A conversation with farmer Brian from Gardners Farm on Moss Lane revealed on questioning only about three pairs of Swallows this year, on asking how this compared with recent years he told me they could have as many as twelve pairs at times....interesting.

Thanks as always to PT/BR for the excellent images of Marsh Harrier, Painted Lady, and Golden Plover.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

I see you are dodging showers as well pete!

As for ''doing something more useful'' - well you are doing what you enjoy - so do it while you can !!!