BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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ALDCLIFFE MARSH HIGH TIDE. PETE WOODRUFF.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Blast From The Past.

Copy of a post on Birds2blog 5 years ago, with photographs by yours truly.

Down By The Riverside. 12 July 2011. 

River Lune



The River Lune snakes its way through the beautiful Lune Valley. In the picture above the river is actually flowing north east which is towards the direction it came from. Ingleborough is in the distance the very tip of its summit in the clouds, but as the river goes out of sight on the left in the picture it turns to head south west again towards Lancaster and on to the estuary about 12 miles downstream at Cockersands. So here I was doing what I love to do the best, to the neglect of everyone and everything else.


Little Ringed Plover

Five hours plus on the River Lune upstream from Bull Beck yesterday produced some excellent results and I refused to award the Gold to any given species as I was torn between 5 Little Ringed Plovers including two unfledged but growing young, and the 4 Green Sandpipers I saw together an hour later further upstream on the best flood I've seen in ages and in perfect condition, a Kingfisher seen was also excellent. With the risk of duplicate counting taken into account I recorded at least 22 Common Sandpipers, also of note a lone Ringed Plover, 8 Grey Wagtail, a juvenile Robin, a Kestrel, 3 Red Admiral and a 'few' Small Tortoiseshell noted. 

Oystercatcher

Oystercatchers were dotted about here and there on the shingle and I saw one young chick on the visit. I have no idea of the status of the Sand Martin on the River Lune in 2011, if there is info somewhere out there about this I've had no time to look for it, what I do know is that I'd rate the numbers I saw here yesterday as at least 'quite large' and it was a joy to watch young in the bank opposite peering out of the many nest holes, quite a few of them with three little bodies vying for pole position at the entrance.

Living on the edge.

During the visit here I couldn't help but think, the natural world these birds are part of is also their enemy particularly during the breeding season. The Little Ringed Plover adults were watching their two young every move whilst threats like the Grey Heron, 'gulls' and 'corvids' were all on the prowl. Also the fact these birds are breeding on the shingle banks are at some risk of being washed away following any prolonged heavy rain causing the river to flood and wash away everything in its path including the many hundreds of Sand Martins trapped in their nest holes until fledged.

Back to the present 18 July 2016, and I'm off to give the Lune Estuary a good going over.

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