I probably stand to be accused of being easily pleased when I'm finding my birds, but yesterday I braved the icy easterly howler again at Cockersands and - having walked the headland to at least get my mug frozen stiff - I found a nice male Wheatear in the Bank Houses horse paddock again, the bird made my day and the trundle to find it all worth the effort.
Reed Bunting Antonio Puigg
Because of the high tide I decided first to go to Cockersands to find things a little quiet on Plover Scar noting not even sixty birds present, with 55 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover, and a solitary Grey Plover.
A Chiffchaff was seen briefly in a tree behind Bank Houses before flying off, also noted, a Reed Bunting, and a Snipe which which came out of a ditch as I approached. When I got back to Crook Cottage up to 350 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding on the mud flats on the ebbing tide with some stunning red showing on some of these birds now....an amazing sight.
Chiffchaff Geoff Gradwell
Stock Dove. Copy Permitted.
I also saw 5 Stock Dove in a field at Cockersands, not an easy bird to find in our area and scarce in winter, though its status in our recording area is that of a 'fairly common resident breeder'. Until the late nineteenth century Stock Doves were often confused with Feral Pigeons which played its part in little being known of their status in Lancashire until the last quarter of the century. Before this time the Stock Dove seems to have been a coastal bird with some outposts in Lancashire where rabbit burrows were used as an important nesting site. Today in the 21st century the Stock Dove is an Amber species in the list of conservation importance.
The Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock failed to impress and was very quiet, c.80 Back-tailed Godwit were a massive 'clear out' since the c.850 seen here on 19 March, also another 'clear out' here resulted in just 8 Goldeneye seen.
At Conder Green, a Common Sandpiper and single Little Grebe were on Conder Pool, with 2 Spotted Redshank in the creeks.
Meadow Pipit Astland Photography
Lots of Meadow Pipit passing through everywhere I went yesterday, with in excess of 3,000 at Rossall Point in a watch on Sunday by the Fylde birders. But for me an all round quiet day yesterday, with lots of winter birds gone and few summer birds arriving....but when the weather changes for the better the flood gates will open.