Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Gone with the wind!

And some showers to dodge....

River Conder. Pete Woodruff.

When I rounded the corner by the Stork Hotel at 11 o'clock this morning I was more than a little surprised to find I thought I'd read the tide table wrong but no, this was the River Conder in spate the likes of which I've personally never quite seen before. The shot above of the river going under the A588 road bridge shows how it would look at the height of a c.8m tide, yet that had been nearly five hours earlier at just after 6.00am.

I never expected to find any birds in the creeks with this volume of water racing down, but my second surprise of the morning came just a few minutes after the first when  I found 5 Greenshank and 2 Spotted Redshank all feeding on the edge of this torrent of water. Also noted was a single Bar-tailed Godwit, on Conder Pool the number has increased to 5 Little Grebe on here, a Common Sandpiper had me wondering when to start thinking this may be this years wintering individual, and 3 Wigeon, c.40 Goldfinch were over by the old railway bridge.

Spot the Spotted. Pete Woodruff.

The Lune Estuary also gave the impression of high tide and amazed me at the volume of water racing down past Glasson Dock to the sea around the corner. Here the birds were very thin and no sign of the previously reported Curlew Sandpipers, but I noted on what little mud was above water c.350 Redshank, c.20 Dunlin, and 2 Goosander were distant dots. A return here two hours later gave me 2 Spotted Redshank one of which is in the pic above - it's the one in the centre behind the Lapwing - but I couldn't help thinking these could be the two earlier birds seen at Conder Green.

Juvenile Knot. Brian Rafferty  

At Cockersands where one or two gusts of wind were almost of blow you over force, through a very shaky telescope I eventually found 2 Curlew Sandpiper in company with c.65 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, 6 Turnstone, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, and a juvenile Knot.

Mega News. Courtesy of RBA. 

Yelkouan Shearwater. Copyright  Dave Appleton 

Some recent 'Mega Birds' in the UK have been, a Yelkouan Shearwater past Cley, Norfolk 29 Aug, a Fea's Petrel past Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire 31 August, a Black-browed Albatross past Kilnsea, East Yorkshire, 1 September, and a Madeiran Petrel past Pendeen Watch, Cornwall 6 September....wonder where all these four birds are now.

Thanks to Dave Appleton for the brilliant photograph of the Yelkouan Shearwater.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Well done for braving the elements today. Nice to see you were rewarded with 2 Curlew Sands...etc..etc. An excellent day for you and very well deserved.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for this 'quick off the mark' comment just 8 minutes after I posted....always appreciated Brian.

Warren Baker said...

Yea, well done for getting out Pete. It was hopeless here!!

Re your message on my blog, no today wasn't the first time ive not gone birding, but it was one of the very few days that I dont :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

In the short time I've known you I can well appreciate you're the most dedicated 'patch-worker' I none, and you are to be credited with that Warren.