Sunday, 24 February 2013

Out for The Count.

I'm not know as a dedicated bird counter but I've had four excellent - if not extraordinary - counts of four species recently, and I think all of them deserve some notes....this is one of them. 

Black-tailed Godwit. Pete Woodruff.

There are also some Knot in the photograph above which you can tell is one of mine by the lack of quality, it's essential to 'clik the pik' to see this one at least a little better than it looks above.

On Wednesday 13 February on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock I estimated up to 620 Black-tailed Godwit (BTG) a figure which I doubt has ever been exceeded here before. Clifford Oakes gives a good account of the species and begins by referring to the bird as a regular visitor, recorded in every month of the year. But the records he notes never get above the low double figures going back to dates in 1922 when two flocks of 12 and 20 were seen on Formby Moss, but 26 years later he quotes the best count for the county of Lancashire in Lytham 1948 as being a flock of 145 birds. Eleven years after Oakes record in 1948, the BTG in the LDBWS recording area was being described in 1959 as an uncommon passage migrant in spring and autumn, with just one bird reported to be wintering in the area.

In fact from Oakes first mention of the species in 1922 right up until 78 years later in 2000 the BTG remained little more than an uncommon passage migrant. But then a dramatic change was about to take place and an increase in the numbers of BTG in the LDBWS recording area continued into 2011 when counts were of a little in excess of 2,500 in spring, and in excess of 2,000 in autumn, both records on the Eric Morecambe Pools at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve which is where the BTG flocks were mainly to be found.

So my recent count of 620 Black-tailed Godwit at Glasson Dock on the Lune Estuary appears to be an indication that the increase in numbers of the BTG in our area shows no sign of levelling off just yet, and may well still be on the increase. 

Common Gull. Copy Permitted.

I also estimated a count of up to 1,500 Common Gull which was also made on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock on the same date as the 620 Black-tailed Godwit on 13 February, unprecedented as far as I can see. 

And finally a nice little one minute video of a singing Thekla Lark sent to me by the very kind and talented - excellent with words, and with photography - Ana Minguez.

I'D SOONER BE BIRDING....Hopefully tomorrow. 


Warren Baker said...

Whats changed for the BTG to make it so numerous now Pete ?

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hello Peter! I'm glad you enjoyed it .. greetings