BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

.

.
ALDCLIFFE MARSH HIGH TIDE. PETE WOODRUFF.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Another Whiz Round.

The whiz was around Conder Green yesterday, with a quick look in on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock....and the P R's Turaco. 

Conder Green had the usual pluses and minuses from recent visits with the Spotted Redshank on Conder Pool well into its transformation to winter plumage accompanied by 102 RedshankBlack-tailed Godwit were a brilliant addition to the pool in their stunning summer plumage, 2 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 9 Dunlina Little Grebe, 2 Little Egret, and the summer Goldeneye and 2 drake Wigeon all showed well, whilst others stayed elusive.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, c.250 Dunlin were a sign of things to come with their return here, also a similar number of Lapwing and a Little Egret to note....otherwise a little thin.


Prince Ruspoli's Turaco. John Darbyshire.

It was good to meet John and Kath at Glasson Dock....long time no see. They briefly mentioned a trip they had made to Ethiopia a couple of years ago where they not only saw this brilliant bird the Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, but John had achieved an excellent image of this stunning bird endemic to Ethiopia. John asked if I'd like the image of the bird and I think you know my reply. I promised John I would write up a piece on this bird and its finder, a promise I was keeping until I came across THIS ....talk about memory loss. But then I recalled finding the story of the Turaco on the Birdlife International website which is where John's image was. All quite a coincidence.

Hope you enjoy this John and Kath....I did, and hope to see you both again soon. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Saturday Birding....Who Me?

With an adult and three young Little Ringed Plover seen on Conder Pool on Friday, and a text message on Saturday morning from a Fylde birder to tell me they were showing well....I had to see this for myself.

But the Little Ringed Plover at Conder Green continues to cheat me and I found only one juvenile.  But Conder Pool has been invaded big time with 14 Little Egret having taking a liking to the area and present today. Also noted on the pool, Spotted Redshank, Goldeneye, 2 Wigeon, a female Tufted Duck with five ducklings and the threat of a Grey Heron close by. In the creeks I could only find 7 Common Sandpiper and a female Mallard with 12 ducklings, there was at least 25 House Martin around River Winds.  


Bonaparte's Gull ARKive 


So whilst I'm out and about I may as well have another go at the Bonaparte's Gull at Heysham....to no avail, but a Mediterranean Gull moulting to 2nd winter was seen, though hardly an excellent result as double figures are currently being seen here, with 36 Turnstone and 10 Ringed Plover on the seaward end of the old wooden jetty.

 
Grey Seal. Pete Woodruff.

The biggest surprise had to be the sight of a Grey Seal below the seawall, though according to conversations with the local fishermen it seems this individual has been around a while, it plunged at a Sea Bass as it leaped out of the water, it also hauled itself out and onto the sea wall for just 30 seconds.

Little Egret Ana Minguez  

On Monday an overnight roost at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB in Cheshire held a staggering 380 Little Egret.

And finally....  

Large White. Pete Woodruff. 


I thought you may like to see my latest attempt at photography with this Large White butterfly feeding on the Inula hookeri in our garden recently. 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

LRP at CG.

Thanks to Peter and Susan at Astland Photography for the brilliant new header.

Little Ringed Plover. Peter Guy.

Always a difficult bird to keep in touch with at Conder Green. The Little Ringed Plover (LRP) is annual here on Conder Pool, but as far as I'm concerned records have always been patchy and this year is no exception. I personally saw my first this year on 2 April when I found two birds. Since then - despite 26 visits - I found a LRP here only three times, and with little time before they depart I may not see them again this year. Void of a search through my records, I probably only ever had the evidence of breeding on maybe two occasions on Conder Pool with young/juveniles seen. All that said, it was excellent to see the report of an adult and three young on Conder Pool on Friday 26 July....Thanks for the LRP Peter. 

There's a read about Conder Green/Pool HERE though depending on how long you've had an interest in Birds2blog you may have already seen it. 

Below is an nice short video which I found to be an excellent way of escapism into the natural world for 1.30 minutes....Thanks Ana.  



And finally....Beauty and the Beast.


Long-tailed Tit Martin Jump 

Four beauties actually. Brilliant image of the LTT's Martin....Many Thanks.

Common Vulture Antonio Puigg

And a beast that is the Common Vulture - Hail Brutus - a beauty in its own right....A great image Antonio, Many Thanks.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Plus And Minus.

I'd dealt with lifes little problems by lunch time yesterday so allowed the Conder magnet to take over and found myself there about an hour before high tide. As a consequence the birds were assembling on Conder Pool and I sorted out the pluses and minuses from Wednesdays visit.


Spotted Redshank. Phillip Tomkinson. 

Seven Little Egret was one up, 6 Common Sandpiper was minus a lot, 5 Greenshank was minus one, and c.70 Redshank was minus 50, another minus was that I saw no Little Grebe. The Spotted Redshank was present and correct, as was 2 drake Wigeon and the drake Goldeneye, from the coastal path I found 2 Whitethroat and a ChiffchaffOff Jeremy Lane, a grill through in excess of 200 'gulls' in a field produced a Mediterranean Gull moulting into 2nd winter.


All at sea off Cockersands. Pete Woodruff. 

At Cockersands this weather front was on its way when I got out of the car to make a quick check of Plover Scar at high tide before it arrived threatening to drown me, I got back to the car just in time. You can pick out the lighthouse and the 2.15pm ferry out of Heysham to the right of the lighthouse. Clik the pik....its wicked. 


Dunlin. Phillip Tomkinson.   

In the time I allowed myself Plover Scar was a little more lively than of late if only for an estimate of 220 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover. A Whitethroat noted, and a single Red Admiral seen.

Thanks to Phillip Tomkinson at Wildsnaps for the Spotted Redshank and Dunlin.

And finally....Two of those 'can't resist this one' images.


Little Owl. Richard Pegler.

A Little Owl in a big tree, with that 'oh no its that fella with the camera again' look. A brilliant photographic example of a bird in it's natural environment ....Thanks Richard   

Griffon Vulture. Ana Minguez.

Bad, Ugly, yet Beautiful Birds and Brilliant Photography...Thanks Ana  

Probably 'off the road' until Monday....Oh dear!!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Green Turns Red.

My visit to Conder Green on Monday had the area showing some of its true colours, yesterday had the place turning red. The high tide was about an hour and a half away, but already the creeks were well under water and any waders there are now likely to head on to Conder Pool. But wait a minute....what's this distant bird on a little remaining mud in the creeks showing red underparts, without optics to my eyes it's too small for a 'godwit' so if it's a summer plumage Knot this is a good record, but now I've got my bino's on the bird and hey....

Curlew Sandpiper. Howard Stockdale. 

....it's an adult Curlew Sandpiper still retaining the best part of its summer plumage. Thanks for this image and the one below Howard....Excellent.

Cattle Egret Antonio Puigg 

OK, so the image above is of Cattle Egrets, I wonder how long before we see this species spreading north to be found on Conder Pool where 6 Little Egret were yesterday, all in a line as these Cattle Egret are. Also on the pool, at least 12 Common Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank in company with c.120 Redshank, 2 Little Grebe means our first arrival has now been joined by a relative, but I think the drake Goldeneye will have to wait a little longer yet as will the 2 Wigeon. Also to note, 2 Grey Heron, 26 Lapwing, and 3 Snipe made the total number on Conder Pool at least 200 birds including those not recorded here, making for a decent count and species in my book on a relatively small pool.


Golden Plover. Cockersands Wednesday 24 July. Howard Stockdale.

Autumn at Cockersands hasn't taken off yet and Plover Scar held just 9 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, and a single Golden Plover - thanks again Howard - obviously finding itself detached from the flock somewhere along the way. Fifteen Tree Sparrow were noted around Abbey Farm, and the surprise here was a female Goosander on the shingle below the abbey, I've never recorded Goosander at Cockersands ever before.

Butterflies on the day were, at least 100 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Red Admiral, and a Green- veined White.  

Ruddy Shelduck.


Ruddy Shelduck Arkive    

Two Ruddy Shelduck on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock this morning - Thursday - at 7.25am. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

True Colours!

 Common Sandpiper. Howard Stockdale.

Conder Green showed its true colours yesterday and some searching and time spent there produced 17 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank, and 75 Redshank. On Conder Pool, 2 Little Egret and 2 Black-tailed Godwit. A Little GrebeWigeon, and the drake Goldeneye are all waiting for their relations to arrive for the winter. On a saunter round, a Whitethroat, a Swift seen to go under - and stay under - the gutter at Conder Farm, and the already documented House Martins still very busy at River Winds.

Linnet. Howard Stockdale.

No 'true colours' on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, 2 Greenshank were quite honestly all there was of note. Cockersands was hardly ablaze with colour either with Plover Scar at high tide hosting 9 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, and a Whimbrel, 7 Eider were off here. A juvenile Yellow WagtailWhitethroat and small numbers - not reaching double figures - of LinnetGoldfinch and Tree Sparrow were noted. Thanks for the images Howard....excellent.


Painted Lady Warren Baker

But the visit to Cockersands was made all the worth while by the sighting of a Painted Lady, seen as if to kick in the teeth the prediction in my last post....'not convinced we're going to see one this year'. I'm waiting for the Clouded Yellow now which I also predicted we might not see. Also 3 Red Admiral and c.60 Small Tortoiseshell seen. Thanks for the Painted Lady Warren....excellent.


Moth. Pete Woodruff.

And the moth, seen at Cockersands....I'm hopeless with moths....anyone!

Post edited....A self search on UK Moths has revealed the moth above to be a variation of the Shaded Broad-bar


Crossbill Antonio Puigg 

I'm reliably informed of 30+ Crossbill on Sunday in the Tower Lodge area in Bowland....'Clik the piks'....it's a must!    

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Lost In Cumbria!

Well I wasn't lost in Cumbria....but the day was.

BT and I had set off on Friday with the usual good intent, but the day never really took off. We headed out towards the now silent Dunald Mill Quarry at Over Kellet to check if a Sand Martin population - which we discovered a 'year or two' ago - was still active, to find the place as deserted by them as the quarry has been by humans since its closure. I've no idea whether or not this population was ever checked by anyone else, but enquiries were made at the time of discovery with the quarry management to establish if the birds were known to them, and also were the Sand Martins protected as breeding birds, a positive response was received in this regard.

Some info passed to me about Foulshaw Moss by someone closely connected with the area, was confirmed when up to four Osprey were seen through the heat haze, though six birds together briefly turned out to certainly include two 'corvids'. It was good to meet Harry and Arnold here and we put the birding world to right on one or two matters by which time half the day had already been lost. See you again soon H and A....hopefully.

Sand Leek. Pete Woodruff. 

Passing through Witherslack I noticed the Sand Leek by the roadside and quickly stepped out of the car to get a shot of it, I counted at least 30 spikes. John Leedal had shown me the Sand Leek here many years ago. Through Witherslack Woods the butterflies were certainly not playing ball during the two hours there, and several highly mobile individuals went unidentified, though we did manage the ID of one High Brown Fritillary, two Silver-washed Fritillary, and a single Ringlet....and the day had run away with us.

And finally, more butterflies we may not see in our area this summer....


 Cardinal Ana Minguez  

I'm pretty certain we won't be seeing the Cardinal, also known as the Mediterranean Fritillary, common in southern Europe, also N.Africa, eastern and central Asia. A very rare immigrant with only two records, the first in Cornwall August 1911, the second in Dorset  - also in August - 1969. Some suggestions are that this species is under-recorded, being mistaken for Silver-washed Fritillary. 


Clouded Yellow Ana Minguez 

The way things are heading, I'm not convinced we're going to see the Clouded Yellow....

Painted Lady Marc Heath  


....or the Painted Lady either this year up here in the north of England, though I hope I'm proved wrong on both counts.

Brilliant images from Ana and Marc....with my thanks.

Friday, 19 July 2013

A Whiz Round....

....and a local twitch.


I'm not sure an hour at Conder Green on Wednesday qualifies as 'a whiz round' but I had a little time to spare so shot off there and collected some records which will make the post sound like an old record needle stuck on an old record player, but that's birding, 'seek and ye shall find'....but not always something new.


Little Grebe Noushka Dufort 

The Spotted Redshank was again on Conder Pool, nestled in and roosting with around 60 Redshank, some of the juveniles of which do a remarkable impersonation of the Wood Sandpiper....beware. The smart Little Grebe in it's summer dress was also seen on the pool again, along with the 2 Wigeon drake and Goldeneye. Two Greenshank were in the creeks, and my count of at least 10 Common Sandpiper here is still in tact, but if past records are anything to go by the number will increase in time with 21 seen last year on 23 July.

It may have lasted an hour, but if that's not 'a whiz round' I don't know what is!

And the local twitch....

Bonaparte's Gull Wild Bird Gallery 



An  adult summer plumage  Bonaparte's Gull  was found  at Heysham  on Saturday  13 July, the latest I have on the bird as I write is that it was still present last night - Thursday - at 8.30pm.

I timed a visit to Heysham to coincide with the tide and set the challenge to find the Bonaparte's Gull for myself and avoided the approach to a lone birder already there to ask of its whereabouts. I failed miserably and after about 30 minutes asked the guidance of another birder now on site, the bird was now resting with head tucked in. Its all very well referring to this gull as small, dainty, and a 'miniature Back-headed Gull, but I found this bird resting, at best 'tricky' and at worst a 'nightmare' to identify. The ID of Bonaparte's Gull alive and alert is a different story, in flight it differs from Black-headed Gull at all ages, its pale underwing stands out well and has a white leading edge to the outer wing making my life a much easier one. 

The Bonaparte's Gull is smaller than all other North American hooded gulls, and is unusual with it's tree-nesting habit. Departure from breeding grounds has loose flocks moving along river systems but can often form large concentrations with - for example - peak figures of up to 60,000 at Niagara Falls in October. 

My thanks to Noushka Dufort and Martin Lofgren for the excellent images, they are much appreciated.  

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Forster's Tern.

First I must thank Tim Kuhn for his excellent header image currently on Birds2blog which has prompted me to do a post on this interesting bird and which is where I thank Martin Lofgren for his equally excellent images of the Forster's Tern which breeds in North America and winters in the USA and Mexico.

Forsters Tern. Martin Lofgren. 


There's some interesting history attached to the Forster's Tern (FT). Even Britain's first record of a FT is interesting in that it was only found in Cornwall 23 years ago. But the story behind its finding is equally interesting and somewhat amazing in that, any 'tern' found in Britain in winter is surely worthy of a second look, but - with luck on his side - the finder of this one had more than a second look. The first sighting was in January 1980, but the bird on this occasion was too far off the observer to positively ID the bird other than he was watching a 'tern' in British waters in winter. But he saw this bird again three weeks later in February and this time noticed a dark eye patch, but the bird did another disappearing act. Amazingly this bird was seen once again almost another three weeks later in early March by the same observer....third time lucky. This time the bird landed on rocks and it was confirmed to have been a first-winter FT.


First-Winter Forster's Tern. Martin Lofgren.


More locally the first record of FT was of a bird found at Seaforth, North Merseyside 26 years ago in March 1987, the bird was an adult in winter plumage. The second record - also an adult - was seen on a sea-watch off Formby Point nearly five and a half years later in August 1992. 

They named it after me.


Johann Reinhold Forster. Copy Permitted.

Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798) was a naturalist who accompanied James Cook on his second voyage around the world, a voyage which went further into Antarctic waters than anyone had previously reached. But Forster's career was destroyed because of his constant complaints and troublemaking directed towards Cook. He was a troublesome and unpleasant man to the end having refused to relinquish his notes of the voyage with Cook, they were not found and published until almost 50 years after his death. Nevertheless, he has a beautiful bird named after him in the Forster's Tern. 

Please take a look at Tim at Tim Kuhn Photography and Martin at Wild Bird Gallery 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Well I Just Keep Trying!

The Lune Estuary At Glasson Dock. Pete Woodruff.

Not the best of conditions for birding yesterday by the time I reached the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock at 1.00pm. What could be seen of the estuary held little of interest but I could make out 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Eider before it all disappeared into the gloom....'Clik the pik' it looks even gloomier. 

But I had been at Conder Green first to find at least 10 Common Sandpiper here still, pretty hard to get an accurate picture if you do the circuit and birds move around during the process, but these figures take duplication into account and the 'at least' record stands. The Spotted Redshank obliged again with a Greenshank, and 6 Black-tailed Godwit included three in their stunning summer finery as did a Little Grebe having made its return to Conder Pool. Also the drake Goldeneye and 2 drake Wigeon, only a matter of a couple of months or so now before the relations arrive to join them for the winter. A Sedge Warbler was singing away yet, and a Little Egret on the marsh seen from the old railway bridge.

Meadow Brown. Pete Woodruff.

When I arrived at Fluke Hall, whilst waiting in mist and light rain to see which way the weather would turn I would never have expected to see butterflies. But it started to clear up and I decided to give Cockers Dyke a look over but drew a blank save c.300 'gulls' of which 90% were Black-headed Gull and a disappointment not to have found at least one Mediterranean Gull with them. Legging it to Cockers Dyke from Fluke Hall and with the sun in a clear blue sky now, I was rewarded by c.80 butterflies along the way of which were mainly Meadow Brown, with c.20 Gatekeeper, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, and a Small Skipper to note. At Fluke Hall 3 Whitethroat and 12 Linnet seen.


Song Thrush. Howard Stockdale.   

I'm always pleased if I find a Song Thrush on my birding days, not all that often unfortunately. A familiar and popular songbird whose numbers are declining seriously, especially on farmland making it a species in the Red. Thanks for this Howard, hopefully the bird in your image is adding to the population of the Song Thrush with its bill full of food for young somewhere.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

B is for Bowland....

....as T is for Townson and Friday has become BT day again, we were off into Bowland once again, part of the objective being to look for/check out some House Martin sites.

Looking in on Bea Tarn reservoir a Common Sandpiper gave itself away in flight over the far side, also 2 Great-crested Grebe one of which may well have been on a nest. A walk up the west side of the plantation strip below Catshaw Fell was worth the effort if only to find a Spotted Flycatcher, also a single Redpoll, Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, 3 Coal Tit, and a Buzzard.

At Cam Brow, a small colony has established itself here once again with up to 8 Sand Martin and four nests observed, also of interest were at least 20 Meadow Pipit on telephone wires. At Well Brook Farm a single active House Martin nest seen, this is a former good location for the species, but it seems no longer, further down the Trough Road 4 House Martin nests in the Marshaw Farm complex. Noted in a short period of time in the Marshaw - Tower Lodge - Trough Bridge area, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Curlew with a fledged young, a Mistle Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtail, and a Coal Tit.


Meadow Brown Marc Heath

Only five butterflies were seen on the day, 3 Small Heath on the fringe of Catshaw Fell, and 2 Meadow Brown on Wyresdale Road east of Lancaster where....


Common Spotted Orchid. Pete Woodruff. 

....900 spikes of Common Spotted Orchid were estimated. I have no knowledge of the history of this orchid at the site, but this must surely be a good year for it. 

And finally....


 Photo Pete Woodruff.

I often visit Bowland and leave having seen something I'd rather I hadn't and Friday was no exception....This is the work of a warped mind having a sick joke.

 Photo Pete Woodruff.    

This was on a post close by to the one above by the same warped mind. The vandalised notices were in place by the access gate to the track on to Catshaw Fell.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Another Coastal Sally.

First a little breeding news from Conder Green....

Cafe d' Lune. Pete Woodruff.


The House Martin is an Amber listed species, a bird in decline. I spoke with Jan at Cafe d' Lune on Wednesday, keen to establish if she had any problems about the House Martins which I had discovered had three nests at the house attached to the cafe, one of which is in view above the cafe. Lets be realistic about this, birds and droppings can't be good news for a cafe, especially one with outside accommodation as illustrated in the pic above, but it was good to hear Jan had no problems about the birds and I was convinced they would succeed with their breeding at the Cafe d' Lune ....strongly recommended by the way. 


House Martin At The Nest. Photo Doug Welch.

On the breeding subject, I watched 4 Swift around Conder Green Farm, one of which made two approaches to under the gutter but didn't convince me that it actually 'landed' even for a split second on the building, but as with surveying the cafe, here at the farm its not good staring towards a bedroom window through a pair of binoculars, perhaps next visit I'll make enquiries at the farm about the possibility of breeding Swift there.


Wigeon Martin Jump

On Wednesday another good search proved there was at least 10 Common Sandpiper still in the creeks, pool, and downstream from the old railway bridge. The Spotted Redshank was tucked in amongst 54 Redshank on the far side of Conder Pool, not all that obvious as most were resting horizontal fashion. Six Oystercatcher were quite entertaining with their dispute behaviour, all piping away at full throttle. I have a feeling four young Oystercatcher are showing on the pool now though three was my most convincing count in one view. The drake Goldeneye is obviously set to stay put which is what the 2 drake Wigeon have done all summer. Upstream from the A588 road bridge I heard a Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting in song.  

On the Lune Estuary I counted 75 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Curlew count possibly just reaching three figures. At Cockersands, a Buzzard seen off Moss Lane on a distant fence post, and a 'good number' of Swift and Swallow were notable feeding over the fields, with a number of the latter loafing on the telephone wires....seems like autumn is here. Two Whitethroat were at the Lighthouse Cottage, and a visit to Plover Scar found it to be a little more livelier than Mondays 4 Oystercatcher, with up to 40 Golden Plover, a single Grey Plover, 32 Dunlin, and 6 Ringed Plover, 7 Eider were seen off here.


Swift Simon Hawtin

Up to 50 Swift high over Bowerham, Lancaster at 9.30pm last night. 

Thanks to Doug Welch/Martin Jump/Simon Hawtin for the photography. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

What a way to earn a living....

....Title taken from the 9 to 5 Dolly Parton hit song. Don't like her or the song, can't stand wailing Country and Western stuff, but that's another matter!

Well you can't take a look at this guy 'cos I aint got a pic of him and if I had I wouldn't be publishing it on Birds2blog, nor have I any intention of putting his name on here either, but....I do have a picture of a beautiful Buzzard which I have great delight in posting on Birds2blog.


Buzzard. Copy Permitted. 

As for this fella....well he's from Cumbria, his occupation is that of a gamekeeper - what a way to earn a living - who is involved on land managed by a private shooting syndicate also in Cumbria. OK, are you sitting comfortable....then we'll begin.

He actually pleaded guilty to charges of the killing of Buzzards. A cage trap containing five live Buzzards was found by members of the public. I've found these traps many is the time in the Forest of Bowland and elsewhere, for the record I object to them. The traps were on land managed by the shoot, but unfortunately I have to say, these traps are lawful and are used to control certain 'corvid species'. However the rules are, if any non-target species get caught in these traps they must be released as soon as possible unharmed.

A covert camera was set up at the trap site the day following this discovery and....bingo, the footage showed this very gamekeeper in Cumbria engaged in what he's truly paid to do when he was seen to enter the trap and - be warned this is when it becomes nasty - commenced beating two Buzzards to death with a wooden stick which he did calmly as if it was a routine operation to him.

A subsequent search of the trap site revealed the remains of other Buzzards clearly indicating that the killing of these birds at this site had become a regular practice. What sounds like another tasteless pun - but really isn't - here's the sting in the tail....This guy got off with a 70-day jail sentence, concurrent on each charge, but wait for it....suspended for 12 months.


Little wonder people bring themselves to make comments like, 'he should have had a suspended sentence alright....from a gallows'. My personal opinion is that I think these sentences in cases like this one actually go to encourage these people to continue to practice their evil acts, they certainly don't discourage them, and I think you'd be hard pushed to deny me that one.

OK....lets brighten up and lighten up the blog with a brilliant image of an equally brilliant bird....

Red Kite Brian Rafferty     

Thank you for this BR, like I said....BRILLIANT.

I'D SOONER BE BIRDING!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Tour de Conder/Glasson/Cockersands.

I started my birding day yesterday at Conder Green....well there's a surprise. I was a late starter - the story of my life - and when I arrived it was almost high tide, but this contributed to an excellent first record for me because the tide had pushed a Redshank and four chicks out of any cover they may have otherwise had and gave me brilliant views of something not recorded by me here before. The count of c.60 Redshank today was well down on the 165 seen on Conder Pool five days ago on 3 July. 


Common Sandpiper Phillip Tomkinson 

There was at least 10 Common Sandpiper here again, also the Spotted Redshankimmature Goldeneye and 2 drake Wigeon. A Sedge Warbler was singing still, and the House Martin figures at River Winds as I see it are, 14 nest of which 7 appear to be active. Thanks to PT for the Common Sandpiper.


Shelduck. Howard Stockdale.

Other birds noted with young at Conder Green are these Shelduck which I've been watching the past few visits here. When this picture was taken one of the chicks was out of shot as they  numbered five as they have every time I saw them, but today the number had fallen to four - one probably predated - making the picture an accurate one now. Also the two Oystercatcher young on Conder Pool, one of which is quite grown and feeding quietly on its own, whilst the other caused me to think it didn't look all that bright, squat on the ground with head tucked in and is much smaller than its sibling....maybe just resting, time will tell. Thanks for the Shelducks Howard. 

On the Lune Estuary a Glasson Dock, 2 Greenshank, and only c.30 Bar-tailed Godwit counted today including two brick-red birds. Activity at Cockersands hasn't kicked in yet, but I saw at least 45 Tree Sparrow at Abbey Farm and can't remember the last time that happened there, 6 Sand Martin flew past me off the headland following the coastline in a north-easterly direction. Difficult to believe but the only waders I saw at Cockersands today were just 4 Oystercatcher on Plover Scar. 

And finally, interesting to note....


Osprey in flight with fish

An Osprey seen at Arnside yesterday is almost certainly THIS BIRD or even THIS ONE  

Thanks to Peter and Susan for another of their excellent Osprey images. 'Clik the pik'....they're all a WOW!