Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Off The Road.

I have an unavoidable and enforced 'off the road' period which started last Friday and will last for at least a week, its unlikely I'll get in any birding until Monday 29 April at the earliest, as for blogging, perhaps a couple of 'gap fillers' who knows....woe is me!! 

Golden Plovers. 

The last two visits to Cockersands have presented me with excellent views of Golden Plover in the Abbey Farm fields with around 275 seen on Tuesday 16 April, and a better count of 355 the following day.

Northern Race Golden Plover Joe Pender  

Some of the birds I have seen on these two occasions have been of the northern race and are particularly stunning birds to see. Intermediates of the southern and northern race Golden Plover in breeding plumage are not identifiable in the field, and are not separable in winter plumage. But having acquired breeding plumage some birds can be found in increasing number showing characteristics of northern Europe and Icelandic breeders, with face to belly completely black, they have a broad white supercilium with the white broadening on the sides of the breast, down the flanks to the vent. Southern birds are more mottled on the face and throat, the black only extending in the centre of the belly, resulting with the white on the sides of neck and breast being more extensive, a marked difference between the two races.

I've not looked for any up to date ringing data, but Oakes noted two northern Golden Plover - both ringed in Iceland - one was ringed in July 1929 and was controlled in Hornby, Lancashire 6 months later in January 1930. The other was ringed in July 1931, and was controlled in Formby, Merseyside a year and 7 months later in February 1933.

The Whinchats are here....

Whinchat. Copy Permitted.

And this little beauty was in the Glasson area on Saturday. I've not seen my first one this year yet, but hopefully I soon will and can't wait until I do. I've actually noted a good number of Whinchat reports both nationally and locally, these numbers appear to be healthy this spring and are encouraging for a species in trouble.  


Warren Baker said...

Just what I need Pete.........a patch spring Whinchat :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

I'm encouraged by the wealth of Whinchat reports I've already seen in the UK this spring Warren....there's one heading your way right now.