BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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COVER CROP COCKERSAND. PETE WOODRUFF

Sunday, 14 August 2016

12 August 2016.

No different than any other day in August, with nothing particularly glorious about it, and definitely not if you're a Red Grouse, or more tragically if you're a Hen Harrier, and as a birding day for me it was definitely nothing glorious as it was something of a repeat of Tuesday's birding though my list ended even shorter than it did that day. 

It was good to see the juvenile Avocet at rest on Conder Pool, though no sign of the adult. We're heading towards a double figure count with 9 Little Grebe on the pool, otherwise all was quiet, and I note the female Tufted Duck with four chicks on 29 July has never been seen since....Deja vu. 

I found 11 Common Sandpiper in the creeks and down the channel, and noted up to 8 House Martin around Cafe d' Lune with two nests still active. Despite the windy conditions I saw a Painted Lady, a Peacock, and a Speckled Wood along the coastal path.

As Tuesday the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock was a virtual desert again, but I returned here a couple of hours later as the tide raced in and began to push a few waders into view to see up to 50 Redshank and similar Lapwing, 4 Dunlin and 2 Knot, one in winter plumage, the other retaining some fading summer red. Across the river I found an adult Mediterranean Gull, and was treated to a display by 2 Common Tern fishing over a pool which had obviously trapped small fry from the previous tide, these two birds were dipping into the pool, up and down like they were dangling from elastic bands....brilliant stuff.


Photo. Pete Woodruff.

I found this caterpillar along the coastal path at Glasson Dock....


Photo. Ian Kimber. 

....it's the larvae of the Cinnabar, a fairly common moth resembling no other British species excluding perhaps the Burnets. The Cinnabar has been introduced into New Zealand, Australia and North America to control poisonous ragwort, on which its larvae feed.

Thanks to Ian Kimber UK Moths for the image of the Cinnabar.

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