BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Nothing Spektakler....

....but a beautiful calm, frosty, sunny day, and it was good to be taking a look at the birds again yesterday in the Conder, Glasson, and Cockersands area after the Christmas break.

There are 15 Little Grebe still in the area, with eight seen on Conder Pool, one in the creeks, three down the Conder Channel, and another three seen later on the Lune Estuary. On a circuit of Conder Green I noted, 5 Fieldfare, a single Redwing, Little Egret, Snipe, Dunnock, 7 Long-tailed Tit, and c.20 Chaffinch.


Red-breasted Merganser Brian Rafferty 

On the Lune Estuary, a mix of 72 diving duck were pretty hard work to count whilst drifting downstream and constantly diving, I saw them as 32 Goldeneye and 40 Tufted Duck. Also of note, c.120 Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Bar-tailed GodwitAt the Conder mouth, a Spotted Redshank and 2 Red-breasted MerganserThe injured Snow Goose was at the south end of Colloway Marsh again, and c.3,000 Knot were seen at Sunderland Point from Bodie Hill.

Last Wednesdays 2 Bewick's Swan were seen on Jeremy Lane again, and 2 Bewick's Swan were with at least 80 Whooper Swan off Moss Lane. At Cockersands, 108 Black-tailed Godwit counted off Crook Farm, with 16 Dunlin and 3 Knot noted. Off Plover Scar, 600 wildfowl were seen as estimates of 500 Wigeon and 100 Pintail, 4 Red-breasted Merganser were in the Cocker Channel, and I saw 2 Kestrel during the visit here.


Blackbird. Pete Woodruff.

There appears to be a good number of Blackbird around and I counted at least twenty on the day. We had one with a metal ring on it's right leg in our garden recently, the first ringed Blackbird I ever saw.

Snow Bunting.   

Snow Bunting David Cookson 

An excellent count of 36 Snow Bunting were on Pendle Hill yesterday morning. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Birding....Noel, Noel!

Bewick's Swan Marc Heath   

I snatched four hours on Christmas Eve out of the busy holiday build-up and was rewarded by finding 4 Bewick's Swan and at least 80 Whooper Swan off Moss Lane, another 2 Bewick's Swan were with Mute Swan, with c.70 Pink-footed Geese and c.40 Greylag on Jeremy Lane.  

At Cockersands I covered Crook Farm to Bank End in the cold westerly howler which wasn't anything to call enjoyable along the headland, but I noted 2 Rock Pipit off the car park at the lighthouse. Good but insignificant numbers of waders had escaped into fields from the 10.10m tide and howling wind including Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, and Oystercatcher.


Twite Jan Larsson

Between the Caravan Park and Bank End I encountered at least 20 Twite, 3 Reed Bunting, and 3 Snipe came up off the marsh displaced by the tide, and a local Kestrel seen.

On the choppy Conder Pool, following several attempts at accuracy my best count was of 8 Little Grebe, 4 Goldeneye, 10 Tufted Duck, a Red-breasted Merganser, and a Little Egret, a Spotted Redshank was in the creeks.

And finally....The 'Christmas Bird Award' goes to....


Glaucous Gull. Chris Batty.

A juvenile Glaucous Gull found on Preesall Sands at Knott End yesterday.

Thanks to Marc/Jan/Chris for more excellent photography on Birds2blog. Also my thanks for the brilliant new header of the Little Owl. Richard watched this bird take to the roof when it came on to rain, it promptly spread it's wings to take a shower. Another excellent observation of bird behaviour which fascinates me.

Hope everyone is having a good Christmas break.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

GREETINGS.

A HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE.

Frosty Morn. Pete Woodruff

High tide at Conder Green on a frosty December morning....'clik the pik' it'll look bigger and better.

Back soon....hopefully.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Royal Conservationist.

I'd sooner be birding....But haven't been since last Friday, and probably won't be until next Monday, and that's serious in my book. But what about the Royal Conservationist.... 

Elephants Gary Jones

Prince William has been in America recently talking about Elephants and Rhinos, it's estimated that 35,000 Elephants are poached every year for their ivory and 1,000 Rhinos for their horns and he advocated a zero-tolerance policy on this.

But the thing about conservation is that it's global, that means it's a domestic issue too. You can't go abroad and tell people not to destroy the rainforests if you support the destruction of ancient woodland for a high speed railway in Britain, and you can't go abroad to tell people not to kill Elephants and Rhinos in Africa and Asia if you support shooting wildlife in Britain.

There's a consistency which has eluded Prince William as it has other generations of royals, but whose work for wildlife has been compromised by their taste for killing it. I've personally always considered the RSPB banner to be a ludicrous one until the R for royal has been removed from it.

So, if Prince William wants to be taken seriously in America - or anywhere else in the world - as an advocate for conservation, he has to speak out against some of the issues in his own country....like the shooting industry in Britain and the associated slaughter of birds of prey in the country of his birth....better still he's gotta stop doing it and hang up is gun's. He's got to stop going around pretending to be a wildlife friendly guy who's really only out to promote a pretty picture of himself, and isn't a wildlife conservationist at all. 

And I hope Harry is keeping away from Sandringham too. William's brother Harry was questioned by police in 2007 after two Hen Harriers were shot on the Sandringham Estate, an act witnessed from a nature reserve within sight of the estate. The bodies of the two birds were never found and no case was ever brought.

Royal conservationists HYPOCRITES.

Thanks for the Elephants Gary....brilliant photography as ever. No tusks on these two youngsters, but they stand a good chance of ending up dead one day because they do have ivory tusks.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Massacre Of The Innocents....

Not remotely connected to anything Birds2blog is about, but too tragic to ignore, and necessary to share.

Pakistan has almost 5.5 million children that are out of school, the second highest number in the world only after Nigeria. 

On Tuesday 17 December 2014 a band of men walked into a school in Pakistan and massacred in excess of 130 children. These were Taliban extremists who see education as a threat. The best way to respond to their heinous crime is to meet their attack with a global call to get every child in school.




If you haven't already done so, please join the global call and consider signing the petition to Honour Pakistan's Children 

And the passing of a friendly Fylde birder.

On Friday I was sorry to hear some late news about the death of Tony Rhodes about a fortnight ago after a long illness. I only met Tony two or three times, when I did meet him he was always in the company of Maurice Jones and usually Barry and Roy, he was a nice man whose conversations would always include a friendly quip....Rest In Peace Tony. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Short Cut!

I had to cut short yesterdays birding, but the decision was made all the easier with some nasty showers and a bloody strong and cold westerly wind in the face. But I was able to check out The Green and The Dock before the cut off.


Fieldfare. Martin Lofgren @ Wild Bird Gallery  

From the coastal path at Conder Green I noted a 'few' uncounted Fieldfare and Redwing12 Chaffinch, and 3 Blackbird.

Conder Pool resembled a choppy lake making the count all the more difficult, in the end I settled for 10 Little Grebe with the company of 3 Goldeneye, 22 Wigeon, 7 Tufted Duck, a 'few' Mallard, a Red-breasted Merganser, and a Little Egret. In the creeks, the Spotted Redshank obliged with excellent views, the Common Sandpiper - as is often the case - was down by the old railway bridge.


Lapwing. Bob Bushell @ Birdsfod

I don't ever recall being able to say....I saw not a solitary Lapwing on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock today....that was bizarre. This, and just c.250 Redshank, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, and 3 Dunlin, close in by the bowling green, had the place looking almost wader deserted. Other notes, c.90 Wigeon, a solitary drake Goldeneye and Great-crested Grebe. On Colloway Marsh, the Snow Goose seen again, but beware, at times there are white farmyard geese on here, a mix of 150 Pink-footed Geese and Greylag predominantly the former, and a Peregrine Falcon biding it's time again.

As far as I'm concerned, any birding is better than no birding, but I'm afraid this didn't fall into the 'exciting' category, and it was a bit too short lived for my liking.

If I can remind you to 'clik the pik' to get the full benefit of excellent photography from Martin and Bob.    

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Hardly Riveting.

I gave Cockersands a good three hour rake around on Tuesday and came up with nothing to be called riveting. I walked the length from the Caravan Park to Crook Farm and return with one or two diversions to little avail.


Wren Ana Minguez  

That said, the 600 Pintail I saw off Plover Scar on 1 December were not far short of that number again today off here with up to 1,000 Wigeon. On the Cocker channel another 3,000 Wigeon were an impressive sight mostly hauled out on to the mud, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 3 Little Egret were also of note. In and around the Bank Houses horse paddock, 4 Meadow Pipit and 3 Wren seen.


Whooper Swan Brian Rafferty 

Off Moss Lane I noted at least 55 Whooper Swan still in the fields, and I was able to up the recent counts with c.100 Fieldfare and a few Redwing seen todayOn my way back to Lancaster and unable to drive past the place even in semi-darkness, Conder Pool held 12 Little Grebe.

Wigeon on Conder Pool.


 Wigeon Bob Bushell 

The Wigeon breed across the northern Palearctic from Iceland to the Bering Straits. There is a small breeding population in Scotland where they commence egg laying in mid-April, in Iceland the dates are from mid to late May.  

On Monday I watched a pair of Wigeon on Conder Pool, the drake of which was in the act of mating with the female which was completely submerged for several seconds on occasions, when she surfaced the drake showed aggression by stabbing at her head and pulling on her crown feathers before she was submerged again. Odd behaviour in mid-December, though in wintering areas drakes are known to compete for mates in display behaviour....but this was a first for me, and was the first entry in my book of 'Notes On Bird Behaviour' since March 2013 when I observed Mallards and Shelducks diving on the River Lune at Glasson Dock.

Thanks to Ana/Brian/Bob for the photographs in this post.  

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Monday's Little Black Book.

By the time I left Cook Cottage yesterday - having paid a visit to the very nice people there - the light was beginning to fade, and by the time I reached the Cocker channel it had faded even more. I had left my telescope in the motor, this to add to the lack of light by 3.45pm was all pretty frustrating as there was collectively a few thousand waders, wildfowl, and gulls to look through had I got my act together here earlier in the day with the proper optics. Some you win....some you loose. 

Conder Pool had 12 Little Grebe on view, with 21 Wigeon and 7 Tufted Duck also noted. In the creeks, a Snipe, and the Common Sandpiper seen downstream from the iron bridge. 


Redwing. Martin Lofgren.

Along the coastal path to Glasson Dock I saw 10 Redwing, counted 13 Blackbirds, a Song Thrush never fails to please, 5 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Wren, 2 Robin, a Goldfinch and a Chaffinch.


Cormorant. Ana Minguez.

On the Lune Estuary, I noted 29 Cormorant in a group on the mud. I was on a 'no counting' day, but did note estimates of 5,000 Lapwing, 500 Golden Plover, 150 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, and could only find 8 Goldeneye. The injured Snow Goose was again on the mud opposite the bowling green, with uncounted Pink-footed Geese, Greylag, and Canada Geese on Colloway Marsh. A Peregrine Falcon was also on Colloway Marsh surveying the terrain for it's next attack, and on Jeremy Lane, 8 Whooper Swan were with Mute Swans.

Every bird has it's own beauty as the excellent portrait of the Cormorant above clearly illustrates, with thanks to Ana at Naturanafotos and to Martin at Wild Bird Gallery for the excellent Redwing.  

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Historical Day....

....in the battle against the raptor killers.


Goshawk. Jan Larsson. 


Last week a gamekeeper was found guilty of killing a rare bird and setting traps illegally to capture two others on an Aberdeenshire Estate, he was accused of recklessly killing or injuring a Goshawk and illegally taking away another Goshawk and a Buzzard in 2012 and was found guilty of four charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.


Buzzard. Jan Larsson. 

It is one of the first times in Scotland that hidden camera footage had been used in a case of this kind and was allowed as admissible evidence. 

I should be crying here....But this guys defence was to say the least funny when he claimed he walked up to the cage and noticed that the Goshawk's beak was a funny shape and discovered the lower part of it was broken. He went on to say he didn't think it would be able to feed because raptors tear their prey, and he thought the bird wouldn't survive, so he decided to dispatch the bird by striking it on the head with a stick after which he saw the bird was still twitching, so hit it several more times to finish the job. He then said he buried the bird in woodland because he was scared he would end up in trouble.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, which has now banned the gamekeeper, said they would not condone anyone taking the law into their own hands. But then they fall flat on their faces when they say....'we believe it was wrong for individuals 'from one particular profession' to be under surveillance in their place of work without their knowledge' they added....'It is not right for Scottish government to deny people whose livelihoods come under pressure, due to the activity of certain species or animals, recourse to a legal solution to solve that conflict'....I think they really mean being granted the licence to kill birds of prey which get in the way of the shooting industry. 

The bottom line here is....if the leisure industry of killing millions of gamebirds is reliant on the illegal killing of protected species then that industry is finished.

Sentencing is to follow at a later date....Apparently a custodial sentence is being considered, but I aint putting any of my money on that one.

Thanks to Jan Larsson for the excellent and much appreciated images.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Well At Least I Tried!

Goldeneye Arkive  

I managed my best so far this winter when I counted 48 Goldeneye on the River Lune at Glasson Dock yesterday.



Also of note, up to 200 Dunlin seen close from the bowling green on the incoming tide, not a particularly impressive number but again one of the best counts I've had here this winter so far. Nothing else to enthuse but I noted 2 Red-breasted Merganser. The unfortunate broken right wing Snow Goose gave excellent views walking across the mud on the north side of the river opposite the bowling green, and distant uncounted Pink-footed Geese and Greylag on Colloway Marsh probably didn't amount to more than 200 birds.

Conder Pool didn't have 50 birds in view, with 10 Little Grebe counted, the Common Sandpiper seen, 3 Tufted Duckand 35 Mallard at rest on the near island. Off Moss Lane I saw a small flock of Fieldfare again as last Thursday with probably no more than 30 birds, also at least 55 Whooper Swan in a distant field from here. 

The visit to Cockersands was a disaster, the icy howler in my face from the west was a bit like the CIA had got hold of me for interrogation. I got from Crook Farm to Cockersands Abbey before it got the better of me to retreat back to the motor, barely noting a pretty even mix of 400 Golden Plover and Lapwing in total in an Abbey Farm field, and a Kestrel overhead.

Well at least I tried!

The 'mutt problem' rages on. 

The English Dictionary definition of mutt is....

1) A dog, especially a mongrel. 2) A stupid or foolish person.


Cool Dude. Pete Woodruff. 

The Shore Lark at Fleetwood is still pleasing birders at Rossall Point. This despite being reported as being repeatedly disturbed by human traffic with mutts on the beach. I also find regular reports of the same kind at locations in our recording area....All unacceptable when any disturbance of birds is involved and needs to be outlawed. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Apparently A Good Afternoon!

If you happen to like wet and windy weather, then you've probably been a very happy chappie this week. I hate wet and windy weather, and have been a very unhappy chappie this week, unable to pursue my birding. But it's looking good at the moment this morning and given half a chance....I'm off.

So I picked out at random one of my little black record books to discover quite a decent good afternoons birding I had 15 years ago to the day on 12 December 1999. Apparently it was a day I had decided to check out the birdlife along the promenade at Morecambe including a wander down the Stone Jetty to see a Velvet Scoter. The bird was first picked up flying south towards the jetty soon landing on the sea to give good views to facilitate identification of the bird being a juvenile. Also from here I saw a female Long-tailed Duck, a Red-throated Diver, and 2 Grey Seal making the visit along the jetty a well rewarded one.

Coming off the jetty to what was then called Bubbles Groyne - don't know what it's name is these days if it has one - to find a Purple Sandpiper, and Spotted Redshank there. Further along the promenade from the Town Hall slipway I saw a female Common Scoter to round of the visit nicely....That's what I call 'Apparently A Good Afternoon' at Morecambe.

Continental Crusaders.  

Swallowtail. Marc Heath.

There's an interesting article on the Birdguides website about an influx of exotic continental species into the UK this summer, in which my man from Kent has his excellent image of the Swallowtail butterfly well deservedly published to accompany the article Continental Crusaders  


Common Blue Damselfly. Marc heath. 

Another perfect example of Marc's excellent work is that of the Common Blue Damselfly at sunrise. Thanks for all this Marc, much appreciated.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Shore Lark.

The Shore Lark found last Wednesday is still entertaining visitors to the shore at Rossall Point a week later. If it happens to stay until Sunday I'll maybe pull a fast one on KT and ask if she would like to visit the Freeport shopping complex at Fleetwood to top up her Christmas present list.

My one and only sighting of the Shore Lark (SL) was a memorable one 20 years ago on New Years Eve in 1994, when my old friend and mentor John Leedal and I visited Lytham St Annes where the birds were present. I remember the day well, the weather was a mix of wind, rain, and sunny spells, and it was during one of the latter sunny spells we had excellent views of three SL together....you never forget birding moments like that, and for me fond memories of J. Leedal too.

Shore Lark. Martin Lofgren Wild Bird Gallery 

All British records of SL are believed to be of the subspecies flava which breeds in Fennoscandia and western Russia, they migrate SW to winter along the coast of W Europe, the majority of which winter around the Dutch and German Wadden Sea, with a small number regularly in Britain, especially on the east coast....

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting. Copy Permitted.

....often with Snow Bunting and Twite. The SL is rare in Ireland, and uncommon away from the mouth of the River Dee and Anglesey. 

Summering SL occasionally occur in the mountains of north and western Scotland where they were found breeding in two summers during the 1970's, but a fledged juvenile found in 2003 was the first confirmed breeding of SL in Scotland since 1977.

I'd sooner be birding....but the 'weather bomb' has arrived and little if any chance at the moment, the whole thing has gone pear shaped.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

That Was The Week!

I managed three birding days last week. Monday started the week in decent style with some good birding and good birds seen. Wednesday was a little more down to earth, and Friday was even more down to earth and ended with an early abortion.

Looking To Crook Farm. Pete Woodruff.


Yes, you may have guessed it....I went to Cockersands again on Friday. The 'winter shower' on it's way in the 'clik the pik' above was the second one to head my way, the first had caught me out on Plover Scar - deja vu - and gave me a drenching before I got back to the motor. So now I'm waiting to see if things would improve....An hours wait said things didn't look like they would and I gave in and headed back to Lancaster. 

The only birds to report at Cockersands were about 30 Turnstone seeking some terra firma at high tide, with 20 Black-tailed Godwit seeking the same, 12 Little Grebe were on Conder Pool.

In birding terms I call that a week which started pretty well, and ended pretty awful....But I'll hopefully be back for more this week.

The Lark and the Bluetail.


Shorelark Marc Heath 

There's been a few human invasions to Rossall Point on the Fylde Coast since a Shorelark was found there last Wednesday and still there yesterday, two birds were present at this location almost 45 years ago in February 1970. On it's arrival at a given location, the Shorelark often settles in for the winter. Influx years are not unknown, and in 1998 an amazing 800 were found in Norfolk.


Immature/Female Red-flanked Bluetail. Martin Lofgren.

The Red-flanked Bluetail (RFB) is a much sought after rarity which breeds across the Siberian taiga from western Russia to Japan. Potentially a first for Lancashire, last Wednesday a bird photographed from the path to the Allen Hide at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve is thought to have been a possible female/immature RFB....enquiries are ongoing.

Bringing a smile into birding....A RFB discovered in Dorset in 1993 stayed at the location for 10 days and drew in a couple of thousand people to see the bird. On one ocassion the crush was so great that one observer feared for his life as he was swept off his feet during a surge in the crowd!!  

Thanks to Marc for the Shorelark, and to Martin at Wild Bird Gallery for the Red-flanked Bluetail. Two excellent images of two excellent birds.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

What A Difference!

Monday....an excellent five hours with good rewards. 

Wednesday....Empty spaces for five hours and lots of the birds I saw Monday nowhere in sight....What a difference a day - or two - makes.

So no 'Gold Awards' to hand out yesterday and my best count was of 14 Little Grebe on Conder Pool, with a Spotted Redshank in the creeks again. On the circuit, a Song Thrush never fails to please me, a Grey Wagtail was also nice, and the local female Kestrel was hunting the marsh.

On the Lune Estuary as viewed from the bowling green, an adult Mediterranean Gull again, 5 Little Grebe on the estuary is a clear indication of movement away from Conder Pool and the creeks, interesting that they appear to do this annually. Wader numbers were moderate to say the least, with 65 Golden Plover, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, and 16 Bar-tailed Godwit to note. Also 30 Goldeneye, and a female Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Wren were noted behind the Victoria Hotel.


Fieldfare Bob Bushell  

A 'small flock' of Fieldfare were seen from a moving car on Moss Lane but unable to check/count them with a vehicle tailgating on this narrow lane. A single adult Whooper Swan was with Mute Swans on Jeremy Lane.

At Cockersands, although c.350 Golden Plover with Lapwing at Abbey Farm was good, it doesn't come much more desperate than otherwise seeing 4 Greenfinch at Bank Houses, and a Brown Hare on my way back to the motor.

And finally, ending with a smile....


Heads Or Tails Richard Pegler  


Thanks Richard....Hope you don't mind the title for your excellent and humorous photograph of the Jackdaw and the sheepThanks for the Fieldfare Bob....Excellent.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Yesterday....

....all my troubles seemed so far away. Well I'm not too sure about that, but some good rewards for the five hour trawl I undertook.

It was good to see 4 Bewick's Swan had returned to the River Lune at Glasson Dock, though they are late this year, in 2013 four were found at Cockersands on 4 November, with twelve seen on the Lune Estuary eight days later on 12 November. Also noted here, 42 Goldeneye, 2 Mediterranean Gull were both adult, c.400 Common Gull, 60 Black-tailed Godwit, an estimated 600 Golden Plover, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, and 2 Goosander. On the canal basin I counted 70 Tufted Duck.


Whooper Swan. Pete Woodruff.

On Jeremy Lane, the Whooper Swan above was with 22 Mute Swan, its head and neck stained by iron-rich water. I was taken by surprise to find c.1,500 Pink-footed Geese accompanied by a Barnacle Gooseand in an adjacent field 85 Greylag were accompanied by a Bar-headed Goose.

At Cockersands, stars of the show were up to 600 Pintail off Plover Scar, in my records by far the greatest number ever seen here, they were seen with small numbers of Wigeon, Teal, and Mallard, an adult Mediterranean Gull was in the Cocker channel. Waders off Crook Farm were, c.350 Curlew, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c.50 Knot and similar Dunlin, 22 Greenfinch were on telephone wires overlooking the cover crop field, and the local male Kestrel seen.

At Conder Green, 18 Little Grebe were seen as 15 on Conder Pool and 3 in the creeks where a Spotted Redshank and Common Sandpiper were also seen. Two Rock Pipit17 Twite, and a good count of up to 50 Chaffinch were on/around the marsh....


Kestrel. Pete Woodruff.

and a female Kestrel seen....inferior photography as usual by yours truly!

A better than average birding day for me.    

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Whizz.

Computer down at the moment so using KT's laptop to do a write up about a few birds I saw on Thursday during a quick whizz around.


Little Grebe Brian Rafferty  

I was treated to seeing 22 Little Grebe again at Conder Green equalling the record count made here on 4 November, 16 were on Conder Pool, and 6 were in the creeks where I noted c.80 Teal and a Little Egret. Otherwise the pool was pretty deserted with just seven other birds seen, 3 Teal, a drake Goosander, a Cormorant, and 2 Black-headed Gull seen. On the canal basin at Glasson Dock I noted up to 75 Tufted Duck


Greenfinch Ana Minguez

At Cockersands I counted 24 Greenfinch around the cover crops field. The tide was high and although as always it was good to be there, there was little of note to see. That said, estimates of 75 Turnstone and 250 Oystercatcher were seen on Plover Scar, with 3 Grey Plover of note. A lone drake Eider was off the scar, and I saw a Black-headed Gull in near full summer plumage complete with full hood. Four Whooper Swan were seen with Mute Swan in a distant inland field north of Bank End Farm. 

In relation to usual timescales....a quick whizz round!

Goldeneye.


Goldeneye Martin Jump

On Thursday I found not a single Goldeneye on the Lune Estuary, and with the exception of thirteen seen here on 14 November but not since, up to four on Conder Pool, and the occasional bird/s on the canal basin, I have found nothing significant this winter so far at a location noted as a 'hotspot' for the Goldeneye, with 122 the peak count in 2013.

Thanks to Brian for the brilliant shot of the Little Grebes at war, for the Greenfinch from Ana, and the Goldeneye from Martin, all much appreciated, even more so with a 'clik the pik'.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Med Up Again....

....and the Jay is a winner in the end.

Mediterranean Gull. Copy Permitted.

Tuesday started well with an adult Mediterranean Gull on Conder Pool in company with up to 280 Black-headed Gull and 3 Common Gull. I decided to give myself a break from an accurate count but made a note of 9 Little Grebe including one in the creeks. Also on the pool, 4 Goldeneye, a Red-breasted Merganser, and a Little Egret.


  
Spotted Redshank. Pete Woodruff.

I saw a Spotted Redshank again in the creeks, the bird posed for me whilst I made one of my attempts to prove I can take a mean pic....but again failed miserably.

Pintail. Noushka Dufort. 

I decided on a trip down the A588 to look over the marsh at high tide from Pilling Lane Ends where conditions were excellent, my 'notes without numbers' were of several hundred Pintail, with a good number of Teal. Also of note, a small group of Grey Plover, and a few Black-tailed Godwit. Small birds included 2 Rock Pipit, with Skylark seen, and in excess of 80 Linnet with Twite in the mix. A Peregrine Falcon was on a distant post waiting to take to the wing and change the scenery, a few hundred Pink-footed Geese were in a field behind the embankment.
  
At Fluke Hall a family group of two adult and two juvenile Whooper Swan, on my way here I had seen 9 Whooper Swan with Mute Swan in a field opposite Sand Villa. Legging it to Cockers Dyke I saw at least 100 Twite and 9 Greenfinch noted.

Thanks to Noushka at 1000-Pattes for the excellent Pintail image. 

And Finally....


Jay Martin Jump  

The photograph above is one which Martin Jump regarded as his 'Photograph Of 2012'....Brilliant.

But congratulations go to Martin for the current winner of Birdguides 'Photo Of The Week'. I'm only too sorry I was unable to gain access to the original photograph of the Jay with a half swallowed acorn which can be seen HERE....Great stuff Martin, a well deserved award, and thank you once again for allowing me to use your images on Birds2blog.