....Grand Birding....Grand Finale.
The River Conder is still running fast with flood water and of the 10 Little Grebe I found yesterday seven were in the river, the other three on Conder Pool where I noted 22 Wigeon, a Snipe and Little Egret.
Goldfinch Noushka Dufort
From Conder Green I legged it to Glasson Dock, on the way along the coastal path, c.25 Goldfinch flew by, 8 House Sparrow were of note, and 3 Dunnock, one of which was in song, the other two behaving as a pair with one chasing the other. Noted on the Lune Estuary, a smart adult Mediterranean Gull with almost full hood was with several hundred mainly Black-headed Gull, 2 Ruff with uncounted Redshank, c.65 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Grebe, and at least 2,000 Wigeon. A drake Red-breasted Merganser was on the canal basin.
Off Moss Lane, I made an excellent count of 275 Whooper Swan with the Black Swan also still in their company, and off Slack Lane another excellent count of 16 Bewick's Swan of which four were immature.
At Cockersands, on Plover Scar 20 Turnstone were in view, with a solitary Knot and Ringed Plover. On the circuit, 4 Fieldfare were again in the field behind Lower Bank House where I had seen two on 11 January. Also of note, 7 Blackbird, 3 Tree Sparrow, a Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Kestrel, and 5 Little Egret.
Merlin Simon Hawtin
From the headland I picked out a distant Merlin, it was my lucky day, because as I walked along the headland the bird moved perches five times in fifteen minutes whilst I wasn't watching, but I picked it out on every move to its new lookout post before it eventually flew off and out of sight.
As I headed back to the motor the Merlin was set to be my 'Bird Of The Day' until....
Stonechat Cockersands 18 February. Copy Permitted.
....a smart male Stonechat came into view to give me my first and the first known record of the species in the LDBWS recording area for 2014 ....A Grand Finale.
The count in the Conder/Glasson area yesterday amounted to 64 Goldeneye....
45 Lune Estuary
12 Canal Basin
7 Conder Pool
Thanks for the Goldfinch Noushka, the Merlin Simon, and the Stonechat CP, they are much appreciated.