Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Wheatear....What Wheatear!

Black-tailed Godwit Martin Lofgren 

The Black-tailed Godwit in breeding plumage must rank amongst the most attractive of all our waders. The male with its mantle and scapulars blotched pale red, black and grey, wing-coverts a dull grey-brown, and its throat and upper belly a superb chestnut....a wonderful sight, and to see them in their hundreds as they have been lately on the Lune Estuary is even more wonderful. 

I had another decent count again yesterday and estimated 412 Black-tailed Godwit on the Lune Estuary....

300   Glasson Dock
  85   Cockersands
  27   Conder Pool

On Conder Pool and in the area, the trusted 2 Spotted Redshank, and Common Sandpiper obliged yet again, 5 Goldeneye still hanging on here, 2 Little Grebe included the smart one in summer coat, a Little Egret, a 'few' Meadow Pipit on the far grass bank, 2 Snipe, a female Goosander, and 3 Dunnock.

Of note on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, c.240 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 9 Goldeneye seen, with 4 Eider hauled out at the Conder mouth.

Reed Bunting. Bob Bushell.

Most of my time at Cockersands was spent around a 10m plus tide, but later as it dropped 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Knot were noted off Crook Farm. Up to 60 Linnet counted in flight but mainly hidden in stubble was the best count of the species for some time here or anywhere else, 4 Skylark, a Wren, Dunnock, a one handed count of Tree Sparrow, a pair of Reed Bunting, a Snipe, and 2 Stock Dove. A Little Egret in the ditch north of Bank Houses Cottage again was followed by one seen on Plover Scar an hour later, possibly the 'ditch' bird. 

The Whooper Swans in the Cockersands area since the beginning of January were spread out distant, far and wide, and over several fields, impossible to assess with any accuracy, but the number remaining is probably down by more than a half with maybe 100 birds still here.  

I must admit the bird I was 'after' yesterday was my first 2014 Wheatear and I wandered around Cockersands - I was birding actually - for 4 hours like someone possessed....Wheatear....what bloody Wheatear....are these people making it up they've seen 'em....a conspiracy to deceive, mass stringers I reckon!  


Martin Jump said...

I`ve still not seen one Pete,even though I`ve visited Fairhaven,Warton Marsh.Newton Marsh.Rossall Point,Fluke Hall,Pilling Lane Ends and various other so called hot spots.

Adam said...

I like the godwit

Warren Baker said...

Pete, Ive got one for you on my blog header :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Martin....I've been talking to a good birding friend today who has seen a 'few' in the area's I cover. It's being there at te right moment that counts isn't it, but my luck is right out at the moment.

Adam....Yes a pretty smart bird.

Warren....I've got one for you at the end of my arm....Ouch!!

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful Godwit, you never can wrong with the Black-tailed.

Sharon Whitley said...

we've not seen any yet either but then we've not been able to get out much!

Pete Woodruff said...

Bob....Thanks for looking in again.

Hope you like the header which I think is brilliant.

Sharon....Good to see you here again.

You should see the Wheatear once you get into the hills with Gary.