BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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ISLAND MERE LEIGHTON MOSS RSPB. PETE WOODRUFF.

Monday, 4 May 2015

The Five Mile Crawl.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed last Friday - along with three other birders I met - in finding the Garganey pair hadn't taken a liking to Freeman's Pools as we would have hoped they would do on arrival there on Thursday, they'd done a disappearing act and moved on. In fact just 4 Little Grebe livened up the otherwise near deserted pool's, 2 Little Ringed Plover were on the flood, and a pair of Gadwall were on the wildfowlers pool.

Over the length of the old railway line to Glasson Dock - now a long time excellent birding coastal path - I noted 48 species, though I failed to make contact with either of the Whitethroat species, and the multitude of Whinchat and Redstart passing through the country including Lancashire have all evaded me to date. 

Of note along the way, 7 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap include one usually less obvious female, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Song Thrush, and 4 Eider were on the river off Nansbuck Cottage. 

At Conder Green, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit were in the creeks, and a Whimbrel was on Conder Pool. At Glasson Dock, 7 Eider were of note as were 2 Ringed Plover. Four Little Egret along the way, and butterflies seen were, at least 6 Orange Tipa 'few' Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood, the butterfly 'Award of the Day' went to a Brimstone at Stodday.

As always some thoroughly enjoyable birding at a crawl, albeit some birds I had hoped to find, but didn't....can't win 'em all.

Another marked Black-tailed Godwit.

I found another marked BTG on the Lune Estuary at Cockersands on Wednesday 22 April. 


Black-tailed Godwit Brian Rafferty


Originally ringed in NE Scotland in 2011, it has always been re-sighted wintering in the North West of England and has a history as long as my arm, but with records from the Montrose Basin in Scotland in 2011/12, and on the Blyth Estuary in Northhumberland, it has been multi-seen at Burton Mere in Cheshire, Thurstaston Shore on the Dee Estuary, and other locations on Merseyside and on the Dee Estuary. The sighting prior to mine at Cockersands was at Marshside RSPB Reserve at Southport on 11 February.

Being a bird not marked in Iceland, I have Raymond Duncan to thank for forwarding me the history of this interesting individual marked without a flag and instantly recognised as something different as such.

Thanks to BR for the image of the elegant Black-tailed Godwit showing excellent detail of the bird in breeding plumage. 

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