Saturday, 14 December 2013

A Ropey Afternoon.

I didn't get off birding until late morning yesterday, and if it had come on to rain thirty minutes sooner than it did I wouldn't have set off in the first place.

I was at Conder Green at 11.30am and after doing my best for thirty minutes to get to grips  with 11 species on Conder Pool amounting to in excess of 200 birds, the rains arrived and I spent more than an hour in the motor waiting to see if it would clear up which it eventually did and I moved on to check out the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock.

On Conder Pool I estimated, 110 Teal, 55 Mallard, 22 Wigeon, 6 Tufted Duck, 5 Little Grebe, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Goldeneye, 4 Goosander, 4 Shelduck, 3 Cormorant, and 2 Little Egret. Not moving off the viewing platform - something of a record for me - I saw a Spotted Redshank, and c.40 Teal in the creeks.

It was a dull dark day, and by the time I got set up at Glasson Dock the light was fading, noted were, up to 5,000 Lapwing, c.400 Golden Plover, and 80 Black-tailed GodwitI counted at least 50 Goldeneye, the best count so far this winter being 75 on 3 December, and the estuary here is again the prime location for the species, I saw only one Little Grebe today.

The Lapwing.

Lapwing Noushka Dufort

Bird Atlas 2007 - 2011 reveals the Lapwing has endured a 41% population decline since 1995, that their range has contracted by 18% over the last 40 years, with the greatest losses in Western Britain and Northern Ireland.

These figures aren't reflected by the number that can be seen in our area of the Lune Estuary. From one viewpoint at Glasson Dock 5,000 plus Lapwing can be seen on many visits here in the winter months and this number was present here yesterday, and if the Peregrine Falcon arrives on the scene in hunting mode and flies off upstream in the direction of Aldcliffe this figure is at least doubled as I've witnessed on many occasions. On occasional walks I've made from Aldcliffe to Glasson Dock I've been amazed at the numbers of Lapwing on this stretch of the River Lune.

Thanks to Noushka Dufort for the excellent Lapwing images.


Noushka said...

Hi Pete!
I took that that picture last year in february when the temperatures had fallen below 10°C for 3 weeks.
So many lapwings and many other species didn't make it through winter... It was so sad.
Anyway, I am always impressed by the number of species and specimens you see in your outings!
Nothing like that where I live but I am far from the sea shores...
Cheers my friend and enjoy your WE!

Adam said...

cool lapwing

Warren Baker said...

Had one of those ''dark days'' here today pete :-(

Just one Lapwing here will do me, preferably near enough to photograph :-)