Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Silent Killer....

....and a few other coastal birds.

Kestrel David Cookson   

Yesterday I had two Kestrel sightings at Cockersands about an hour apart, one at the lighthouse end, the other at the caravan park end, so not necessarily two birds, the second bird was a female. In silence it was hovering only a few metres above the ground ahead of me, its entire body rigid save the wing-beat and I pondered how does the Kestrel do this. Suddenly it dived to the ground, moments later it came up with a vole in its talons and just a few more moments later the vole had become a meal. I was taken by surprise when I saw this bird only minutes later hovering and on the hunt again over the very same area as before, obviously one small vole didn't satisfy the needs of this Kestrel....Learning something new almost daily.

Recent visits to Cockersands seem unintentionally to have coincided with the high tide and Plover Scar was void of birds. A saunter round the area produced 22 Greenfinch, 3 Meadow Pipit, a Reed Bunting and Wren, with c.10 Teal and a Little Egret in the wide ditch adjacent to Bank Houses Cottage, 3 Black-tailed Godwit went over. 

Fieldfare Warren Baker

On the way to Cockersands on Moss Lane, c.50 Fieldfare had flown across the road ahead of me, but I was unable to stop with a vehicle behind stuck to my rear bumper it seemed. A birder I saw later claimed the Moss Lane Fieldfare to have numbered a 'couple of hundred'.

Noted on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, a good count of c.1,500 Golden Plover, with another good count of at least 75 Goldeneye being the best so far this winter, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, c.150 Dunlin, 5 Little Egret, and 2 Little Grebe. On the canal basin, an immature drake Scaup, a Goldeneye, 3 Pochard, and c.125 Tufted Duck.

Difficult to believe I'm writing this down but, it was dark now and I was unable to visit Conder Green....this has to be a mortal sin!

Thanks to DC/WB for more excellent images on Birds2blog. 


Noushka said...

Always an exciting observations, these kestrels!
Do some individuals winter in England?
I don't see them in the south of France in winter.
Great choice of pics!
Cheers, Pete!

Warren Baker said...

22 Greenfinch pete, a good count. I remember getting that many in my garden not so long ago.

Pete Woodruff said...

Interesting question re Kestrel. I will pass on some info via e-mail on the Kestrel in the UK Noushka.

I'll also e-mail you with some stuff re Greenfinch in our area Warren.

Adam said...

great birds