Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Seeing Double!

At Glasson Dock this afternoon looking over the Lune Estuary, I witnessed a regular winter event here when every bird in sight took to flight in the panic caused by any raptor which appears on the scene. The frustration is, that on most occasions you can never find the culprit, you can never tell whether the bird is on its way, or overhead going through. But today I was lucky and was looking in the right place and in the right direction when I picked out a distant bird which certainly wasn't a wader. Quickly picking out a landmark in relation to the area the bird was in I got straight on to a Peregrine Falcon which was heading towards Colloway Marsh where it soon made a landing, but surprise, surprise, what's this behind it and also coming in to land....another Peregrine Falcon.

Peregrine Falcon. Martin Jump.

I watched these two falcons for several minutes enjoying the spectacle of seeing them together, they had both made a kill at the same time and were now jumping up and down on the marsh as their victims were obviously still alive and trying desperately to get free from the talons.

Peregrine Falcon. Martin Jump.

Although the sighting was a distant one the size difference was obvious, one was a juvenile the other an adult.

I lost some birding time as a result of this and the light was fading, but I had gained some more first hand evidence that the Peregrine Falcon putting in an appearance on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock can show you the number of 'what's really about' in an instant.  

The Wheatear.

Wheatear. David Cookson. 

Last Saturday morning - 14 December - a female/1st winter Wheatear was reported at Burton Point on the Wirral Peninsula, Cheshire. You can't help but wonder why a migrant bird like the Wheatear should get the plot so badly wrong as to possibly result in its demise.

An amazing record I don't ever recall seeing before of a Wheatear recorded in the winter month of December, the latest record I know is of a bird at Rossall Point, Fleetwood on 27 November 1985. 

Thanks to Martin Jump and David Cookson for the excellent images.

More to be said about my efforts for today when time allows me.


Noushka said...

Hi Pete!
I bet you were excited to spot peregrine falcons!
You picked amazing photos to illustrate your observations, I am in awe of Martin's pics!
Cheers, keep well

Warren Baker said...

I often watch the Rook and Jackdaw flock here get flushed up in a panic, but as you saw Pete its sometimes hard to find the culprit!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Pete!!!.. very nice pictures and Merry Christmas .. A hug..

Pete Woodruff said...

Noushka....Peregrine Falcon seen as many times as not seen in this coastal area in winter, lucky and exciting.

Warren....Yes, makes a change to find the culprit.

Ana....Merry Christmas to you too, and to all, and thank you for looking in.