Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Nice Work If You Can Get It!

I paid two visits to Conder Green yesterday, the first was at high tide, but the waders were absent from the pool this time, though there was at least 50 Redshank foraging on what was above water on the marsh, they were accompanied by a Spotted Redshank. Conder Pool was playing host to 5 Goosander, a pair of which were mating with the drake 'ducking the duck' as they do, almost to the point of drowning in the process. Also noted, 8 Shelduck7 Tufted Duck5 Wigeon5 Snipe, and 4 Little Grebe. I found the Common Sandpiper in the creeks on my second visit five hours after the firstwith a Kestrel seen.

Redshank. Pete Woodruff.

The Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock was unimpressive and wader numbers were unusually low, though c.400 Redshank were close in from the bowling green, and up to 350 Curlew and 95 Black-tailed Godwit were of note. A Merlin and 2 Peregrine Falcon were in quite close proximity to each other on Colloway Marsh, interesting in that the Peregrine will take out the Merlin given the opportunity, c.125 Pink-footed Geese were distant on the marsh. 

In fields off Jeremy and Moss Lane, at least 500 Common Gull, and the herd of c.350 Whooper Swan are still scattered from Moss Lane to Bank End. 

Cockersands was on a 'hard work little pay' day and the cold NW wind was still howling on the exposed headland, but an excellent count on the Cocker Estuary again was of at least 2,500 Curlew on the mud, and 3,500 Wigeon in the channel, with a solitary Bar-tailed Godwit feeding below 15 Cormorant in a line on the bank. I saw 4 Stock Dove, a Kestrel, and the Barn Owl showed once again hunting the rough ground behind Bank Houses.

Black-tailed Godwit.

Black-tailed Godwit. Howard Stockdale.

I found my first marked Black-tailed Godwit this winter at Cockersands last Thursday, they were in a field feeding but unfortunately flew off before I could get much detail. However, I managed to note enough on one leg to tell me the bird had been ringed in Iceland and the team involved, but not enough colour combination on the other leg to identify the individual....better luck next time! 

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