Saturday, 31 January 2015

Wot....No Gems Or Flukes!

The first bird seen when I arrived at Conder Green yesterday was the resident Spotted Redshank, though if anyone else had made that claim I would have been tempted to do you know it was the resident bird. One bird I didn't see was the Common Sandpiper, not seen since 20 January despite four visits here.

Five Little Grebe was the best count on Conder Pool, also 5 Snipeand 16 Wigeon noted. Little to inspire on the Lune Estuary, with c.400 Golden Plover, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, and a drake Goosander my only notes today. On Jeremy Lane I found 4 Whooper Swan in company with 45 Mute Swan and the Black Swan again. At Cockersands I decided to concentrate on any swans I could find which resulted in c.185 Whooper Swan still too distant for comfort in an inland field.

 Waders on the Dee Brian Rafferty  

Also in the fields here today, what I eventually estimated to be an absolute minimum of 8,000 waders comprising of my suggesting up to 3,000 Golden Plover and similar Lapwing, with Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew, and Oystercatcher easily making up the other 2,000, I also noted a Mistle Thrush whilst observing this mass. 

The Lune Estuary Goldeneye. 

Numbers were down on the Lune Estuary in the Glasson/Conder area, and the count was 32 Goldeneye yesterday....

25 Canal Basin
  5 Lune Estuary
  2 Conder Green

Thanks to Brian for his wader mass on the Dee Estuary. Also thanks to Howard Stockdale for his photograph of the Audouin's Gull in the new header.

An extremely rare vagrant, a potentially first record of Audouin's Gull in Britain was of a bird found by two birders in Cornwall on New Years Eve December 1997. They watched this bird for several minutes until it landed on the sea 200ft below them, at which point they went off to fetch another birder to the location. As darkness fell they watched it fly off presumably to a known gull roost, but the bird was never seen again.

This claim of an Audouin's Gull in Cornwall 1997 was subsequently not proven and rejected by the BBRC and the first record in Britain was of a bird at Dungeness in Kent May 2003. 

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