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.  


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Watched a rather fruity drake wigeon following a female around the pool last weekend Pete but Mrs Wigeon was having none of it! She's obviously succumbed to his advances



Richard Pegler said...

Strange behaviour indeed, Pete.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and all the best for 2015!

Bob Bushell said...

A naughty behaviour for the Wigeon in winter, um, it is a bit warm out.