BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE. UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Nowt Spectakler!

Nothing spectacular yesterday, but it was good to be out and about birding for a couple of hours, with the thought of never knowing what's next to keep you buzzing.


Spotted Redshank Phillip Tomkinson

Its quite amazing how rapid is the transformation from winter to summer plumage for these birds, and by this weekend the two Spotted Redshank - which obliged again at Conder Green - will be in advanced plumage like the one in the image above. 

The Conder was pretty deserted, all the birds of note were on Conder Pool and included, Common Sandpiper, at least 35 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Redshank, and 15 Tufted Duck

On the Lune Estuary, the estimate of 300 Black-tailed Godwit still holds, though I saw just a 'few' Bar-tailed Godwit today, c.350 Redshank were accompanied by 2 Knot, 4 Goldeneye appear to be the last of the species, and 2 Eider seen as if to kick in the head my recent suggestion they're scarce in this section of the Lune Estuary. I heard a Chiffchaff by Christ Church.

On Jeremy Lane a Little Egret came out of a ditch as I drove by. I had to retreat from Cockersands but had time to see c.250 Golden Plover in an Abbey Farm field, and had little opportunity to note other than a 'few' Whooper Swans still in distant inland fields.

Spotted Redshank and Common Sandpiper at Conder Green.    

It will be interesting to see what the Spotted Redshank/s at Conder Green will do this year, it is only absent from here for little more than 8 weeks in the year, and if my records from 2013 are anything to go by, the last sighting was of three birds on 1 May, then a return two months later on 3 July when I saw one bird. Small numbers of Spotted Redshank have wintered on the Lancashire coast since the late 1950's, and a count of seven birds was made on the Ribble Estuary in December 2001.


Common Sandpiper David Cookson 

Records from 2013 for the Common Sandpiper show that the species was only absent from Conder Green for only a little over 4 weeks from the end of May, then ten seen on 3 July. A few birds have wintered in Lancashire since the 1960's and one has wintered again at Conder Green for its fourth year, a species that winters as far south as W. Africa, but for whatever reason has chosen to stay here. Between November 2004 - March 2005 saw reports of up to 154 Common Sandpipers overwintering in Great Britain, and there is evidence that birds may show fidelity to their wintering sites.

Thanks to PT and DC for the excellent SR and CS for the much appreciated photographs, 'clik the pik'....they really are excellent.

1 comment:

Noushka said...

Hi Pete!
Sorry I was not blogging again for a while!
Although I missed temporarily your latest posts, I had look at them... You've been quite busy!
So much to observe where you are make me feel I live in the "desert"! LOL!
Keep well and enjoy your WE!