BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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ISLAND MERE LEIGHTON MOSS RSPB. PETE WOODRUFF.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Ruff To Start With.

As I turned the corner at Conder Green yesterday, I saw everything up in the air over Conder Pool, soon followed by the sight of a Peregrine Falcon as the answer to the question....why. By the time I got myself onto the viewing platform everything had settled back down save the large number of Lapwing which had taken fright to the falcon to take refuge elsewhere.

Ruff with Redshank. Conder Pool 8 August. Pete Woodruff.

A Ruff appeared from the back side of the island before soon disappearing again. The Avocet adult and juvenile were seen, as where Saturdays 7 Little Grebe, 2 Dunlin were amongst up to 200 Redshank seen including c.50 in the creeks where I found 5 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, and 3 Little Egret with a Grey Heron noted for size comparison, a single Swift was over the creeks as was a female Sparrowhawk later. 

The Lune Estuary at low tide was virtually void of waders, with barely a hundred gulls to be seen, but an adult Common Tern was perched on a buoy, and at least 40 House Sparrow fed in the car park at the Vic Hotel.

I shot off down the A588 to walk Fluke Hall to Cockers Dyke and find a Wheatear along the way. Nothing exotic amongst the mainly c.90 Black-headed Gull at the dyke, but at least 1,500 Dunlin were feeding with 6 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, and a solitary Knot.

With more suitable weather this walk can be good for butterflies, but today didn't go totally unrewarded, with 2 Painted Lady, 3 Common Blue, a Gatekeeper, and Red Admiral seen.

The Conder Pool Avocet.   

On the face of it, a mystery surrounds the juvenile Avocet on Conder Pool. I've not seen, nor seen any reports of this bird in flight, yet although my dates can't be accurate as we don't know when this bird hatched, give or take a couple of days, photographs and dates indicate the bird is now well beyond it's fledge date.

I had a conversation with a visiting birder yesterday, who offered me the only explanation I've had to date about this late fledging bird, he stood firm in his view that the bird has a poor diet on Conder Pool which has resulted in stunted growth, but when I first saw this juvenile alongside the adult bird yesterday, I initially thought - in relation to size - I was looking at two adult birds until I realised the markings were a dull brown - not black - on the young bird.

Whilst I respect this birders theory about the poor diet, I'm not convinced. I had this bird down to fledge at the earliest on 25 July, or 1 August at the latest which is a week ago, the bird is now at least 50 days old. I think what we have here isn't a mystery at all, it's simply a question of nobody having seen this bird on the wing yet.   

1 comment:

Noushka said...

I wish I could come and take photos in your area, it seems soooo rich with bird life!!
The sight of the peregrine must have been something!
Thanks for your kind words, Pete, about my dragonflies!
Keep well and enjoy your sightings :)