Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Great Escape....

....with two Mexican and a couple of other birds!

I managed my second days birding in three and a half months last Wednesday having broken free from the shackles of a heavy work load which - in relation to my life as a birder - to be really truthful is becoming quite painful for me but is set to continue I'm afraid, very afraid....but enough of this.

White-fronted Geese. Phil Slade  

My day did have its disappointments and one was that despite a multitude of White-fronted and Bean Geese having made the move to our shores this winter I found not a single bird on Wednesday. But having been up with the lark I first headed off to Conder Green - well where else - to note 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Little Grebe, a drake Goosander, 8 Wigeon, c.30 Shelduck, and a similar number of Common Gull all on Conder Pool. The circuit was - as is usual - worth the effort if only to find 3 Spotted Redshank feeding quietly under the old railway bridge, and up to 80 Teal in the creeks. On the canal basin at Glasson Dock a drake Red-breasted Merganser was unusual on here, a Little Grebe and 5 Pochard were also of note. On the Lune Estuary I noted c.120 Black-tailed Godwit and a drake Goosander. But my ploy of return visits on the same day to the same location paid off once again with a staggering 172 Goldeneye counted at high tide and in fading light compared to the 'few' seen six hours earlier in the day. On Colloway Marsh c.2,000 Pink-footed Geese were too distant to turn into anything otherwise. 

Golden-cheeked Woodpecker.

American Avocet.

I've slipped in a couple of smart Mexican beauties here to brighten up the post. You can always find more than a few exotic birds with a much traveled birder/tour leader who has recently been to Mexico on Ribble to Amazon.....recommended.

At Cockersands I decided to do it light void of lugging the telescope - proper birders don't do this kind of thing - and wandered along the headland as far as Bank End where I found up to 60 'swans' rather distant in an inland field. Not all of these were obvious Mute Swans so I went off back to the car at the lighthouse and drove back to get a better look at them through the optics to find 4 Bewick's Swan two of which were juvenile, and at least 18 Whooper Swans, so a worthwhile effort was well rewarded. On Moss Lane what I initially took all to be Curlew turned out to be something like 350 Black-tailed Godwit and 100 Curlew

In a field opposite Sand Villa I saw an estimated 2,500 Pink-footed Geese and uncounted Whooper Swans but on a fast road and a convoy behind me I drove on....proper birders don't do this kind of thing! 

I wanted to get to Cockers Dyke with the return to Glasson Dock planned, but the dyke proved to be another of the days disappointments in that the ever present Iceland Gull of late didn't appear to be there despite about an hour and around seven full scans of the area. But an adult Mediterranean Gull compensated with a Little Egret, and a mixed flock of c.50 Twite/Linnet which I failed to ratio before they departed. 

Raven. Copy Permitted. 

I think this silhouette of the Raven is excellent....photographs with a difference. 

Bringing a smile into birding  life.

Some claim that sound travels faster than the speed of light. I know some people who appear to be both fast and bright....until they speak!


Rohrerbot said...

I understand your issue with life, workload, and birding. It's hard to balance it all. This weekend was a balancing act of work, fun in the field, and landscaping. By the end of the day, I was exhausted. Great post. Pics make a huge difference!

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks again for looking in 'Rohrerbot'....all the way from Tucson Arizona.

Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Glad you managed to escape for a well deserved break from your duties. I am sure you enjoyed your circuit round Conder and Cockersands. Staggering no of goldeneye !!! Hope you manage to escape again very soon. ...Take care.