Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Down by the riverside.

River Lune. Pete Woodruff.

The River Lune snakes its way through the beautiful Lune Valley, in the pic above  - note the foreground tools of the trade - the river is actually flowing north east which is more towards the direction it came from. Ingleborough is in the distance the very tip of its summit in cloud, but as the river goes out of sight on the left in the pic it turns to head south west again towards Lancaster and on to the estuary about 12 miles downstream at Cockersands. So here I was doing what I love to do the best, to the neglect of everyone and everything.

Little Ringed Plover. Pete Woodruff.

Five hours plus on the River Lune upstream from Bull Beck yesterday produced some excellent results and I refused to award the Gold  to a species as I was torn between 5 Little Ringed Plovers - note above my latest attempt at international level photography - including two unfledged but growing young, and the 4 Green Sandpipers I saw together an hour later further upstream on the best flood I've seen in ages and in perfect condition, a Kingfisher seen was also excellent. With the risk of duplicate counting taken into account I recorded at least 22 Common Sandpipers, also of note a lone Ringed Plover, 8 Grey Wagtail, a juvenile Robin, a Kestrel, 3 Red Admiral and a 'few' Small Tortoiseshell noted. 

Oystercatcher. Pete Woodruff.  

Oystercatchers were dotted about here and there on the shingle and I saw one young chick on the visit. I have no idea of the status of the Sand Martin on the River Lune in 2011, if there is info somewhere out there about this I've had no time to look for it, what I do know is that I'd rate the numbers I saw here yesterday as at least 'quite large' and it was a joy to watch young in the bank opposite peering out of the many nest holes, quite a few of them with three little bodies vying for pole position at the entrance.

Living on the edge.

During the visit here I couldn't help but think, the natural world these birds are part of is also their enemy particularly during the breeding season. The Little Ringed Plover adults were watching their two young every move whilst threats like the Grey Heron, 'gulls' and 'corvids' were all on the prowl. Also the fact these birds are breeding on the shingle banks are at some risk of being washed away following any prolonged heavy rain causing the river to flood and wash away everything in its path including the many hundreds of Sand Martins trapped in their nest holes until fledged.


A Greater Yellowlegs has been found at Daventry Reservoir in N'hants. The first record in Britain of this N.American wader which winters in the USA south to southern America, was shot by an obvious 'rhymes with tanker' on the Isles of Scilly in 1906.


Warren Baker said...

Good to see some 'woodruff' photography Pete :-)

Also to see some of the areas you talk about, being shown :-)

Pete Marsh said...

North Lancs Ringing Group site, Pete for 2011 SM info - more postings to come

Pete Woodruff said...

Ahhhh yes, the 'Woodruff' photography Warren....Mmmmm.

Yes, I'd forgotten I read the SM info on the NLRG website a couple of days ago's my age!