Wednesday, 12 September 2012

F is for....

American Golden Plover. Copy Permitted.

At Cockersands yesterday afternoon at least 250 Golden Plover were on the weed covered shingle below and to the south of Cockersands Abbey. An ideal opportunity was in place to see if last weeks American Golden Plover - in the image above - was still in the company of its European relations....but bugger me theres a 30 mph wind blowing off the sea making my telescope behave as if it was stood on a giant jelly, the sun is not far from shining into my eyes, and the birds are as far away from me as they could possibly be before the shingle turned to sand and sea. 

I've always refrained from foul language on Birds2blog so I'll stick with it and keep to the refrain, grilling and assessing these birds was close to impossible....F is for Frustration.

On what was a pleasant if not very rewarding circuit at Cockersands, 4 Wheatear were seen, with 20 Greenfinch always worth recording, also 4 Goldfinch, and 15 Teal were on the ditch in the field opposite Bank Houses. 

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, today was the perfect example on how the scene can change dramatically in terms of numbers of birds and clearly illustrated how unpredictable they really are. Today saw the area as viewed from the bowling green holding no more than c.400 gulls/waders in total, but I noted 51 Golden Plover and 5 Little Egret upstream from the Conder mouth, with 3 Pink-footed Geese early on the south end of Colloway Marsh.

At Conder Green, a Black Swan accompanied 22 Mute Swan on Conder Pool, with 5 Little Grebe continuing to increase in number. In the creeks, three of the Conder regulars seen in singles, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, and Common Sandpiper, also 21 Teal noted.

Black Swan. Unknown.

The Black Swan breeds mainly in the south-east and south-west regions of Australia, it was hunted to extinction in New Zealand - nothing new there then - but later reintroduced. Within Australia the Black Swan is nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependant on climatic conditions.

In Lancashire the Black Swan has been recorded for at least 30 years in all seasons, but there has never been any definite evidence of breeding although juveniles have been seen on occasions. The bird I saw yesterday on the Lune Estuary will have escaped from some zoological garden or bird collection and I reckon this same individual has been in this and surrounding areas for a 'few years' now, I myself have seen it several times in recent years.

And finally....

Knot. David Cookson. 

Stunning bird....stunning photograph....stunning DC


Warren Baker said...

Trying conditions then Pete ;-)

Still much more to see there than here though :-) a couple of Wheatear on the paddocks cheered me greatly :-)

Noushka said...

Nice post!
I have seen the Black Swan in Australia indeed, it is quite a stunning bird!

Pete Woodruff said...

I appreciate your enthusiasm to comment on Birds2blog Warren and Noushka.

Many Thanks.