BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE. UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Taking a closer look.


On my birding days I often come across birds which I need to take a closer look at in that I wonder and question at the time of the sighting, how come this bird is here, where has it been, and where is it going. On Tuesday I found three such birds the most interesting of which had to be the adult Whooper Swan on the Lune Estuary as viewed from Glasson Dock. Taking into account the date in August I did some research about the Whooper Swan and had to consider the following....

The Whooper Swan breeds on lakes in the boreal forests from N. Scandinavia to far-eastern Siberia, with an isolated population in Iceland. So, what's a Whooper Swan doing on a river in North Lancashire on 21 August you have to ask yourself. There are not many options here, perhaps its a sick or injured bird, or a summering bird from Martin Mere where the species has in the past, in fact during the late 1970's early 1980's a free-flying flock of 15 birds were present. The only other explanation is that this bird has entered the books as the earliest Whooper Swan to arrive in this country to its wintering quarters....We may never know.

Whilst viewing the Lune Estuary I also found a juvenile Ruff with around 500 Redshank which posed more questions. This bird was probably from Fennoscandia or Russia, a ringing recovery in that regard was of a Ruff ringed in Cheshire in August 1978, was found the following year in February 1979 in N.W.Russia probably on its breeding grounds. My Ruff a Glasson Dock could well be on its way to Africa where most winter, a recovery reflecting this is of a bird at Marshside in N.Merseyside in April 1985 which had been marked in Senegal two months earlier in February. Last year I saw 14 Ruff off Hillam Lane in a field at Norbreck Farm, a record which may take me some time to equal.  

The third bird to cause me to ponder was the Sanderling which I found on Plover Scar at Cockersands. There's a lot to yet be discovered about the movements of the Sanderling, but some thin evidence suggests that many of our passage birds winter in Africa, though some do winter here. One thing for sure, I was both delighted and surprised to find this solitary creature on Tuesday, in our recording area the Sanderling is regarded as an annual spring passage migrant and a 'scarce' autumn passage migrant. 

Also on the same days birding it was interesting to find the second wave of Common Sandpiper to arrive at Conder Green, with a fall in numbers down  to low single figures since 21 birds seen on 23 July, 14 were seen today Tuesday 21 August.

And some unrelated pics to add a little colour to Birds2blog....all from España this time.


Black-winged Stilt Antonio Puigg

A brilliant image with a difference, of the Black-winged Stilt. I reckon this photograph would have puzzled lots of us as to what it was, how about you?....Thanks Antonio. 

 Green Woodpecker Ana Minguez 

Not many opportunities to photograph a Green Woodpecker in areas were I live, this is an excellent one of the juvenile....Thanks Ana.

Woodchat Shrike Isidro Ortiz

And even more definitely not many opportunities at all to see - let alone photograph - the Woodchat Shrike in this country never mind the areas where I live....Thanks Isidro.

4 comments:

Warren Baker said...

If there's a second wave of Common Sandpipers going through Pete, maybe I can pick one up here, only ever had one in 11 years!

Pete Woodruff said...

If there's going to be a Common Sandpiper in your area I reckon you're the one to find it Warren.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Peter!!!..How are you? .. thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures and show .. a hug from Madrid

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for looking in again Ana....always good to 'see' you.