BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Housebound....With A Gull!

Off the birding road since last Friday, I was looking through some old posts on Birds2blog and copied this one which I posted on 5 April 2009 and thought it would help the blog overcome the gap with a little interest until my birding takes off again tomorrow....hopefully.

Ross's Gull.

The recent report of a Ross's Gull at Lytham St Annes on Sunday 22 March prompted me to recall the bird in 2008 which first presented itself at Marton Mere on 31 March and was found at Lytham St Annes on 18 April and continued to make many a birder happy until it was found dead on Friday 16 May. I have recently made enquiries about this birds demise, it had been noted by one expert to be regarded as unwell mainly because it had failed to show any sign of advancing summer plumage and also that a close approach was allowed by the bird. 

I myself enjoyed excellent views of this beautiful and enigmatic creature including some good photo opportunities which my second rate photographic equipment failed to deal with very well resulting in the images shown above having a 'bleached' effect resulting in the lack of plumage detail and falsely showing the bird to be a 'wholly white' individual.

In the 70's when my photographic interests were at their peak and my birding was in its early days I joined a group called Postal Portfolios and the chance of a lifetime presented itself to me in the form of a direct descendant of James Clark Ross (JCR) - Dr Shelagh Ross - who I eventually met and had a meal with at a rally in Kent the date of which escapes me. Sadly I lost contact with this person along with the winding up of my photo interests but am currently trying to re-establish the friendship.

The Ross's Gull was one of the great ornithological mysteries until 1905 when the Russian explorer Alexandrovitch Buterlin discovered the main breeding area only just within the Arctic Circle on the Kolyma River delta of Eastern Siberia. If JCR had still been alive it is unlikely that anyone would have been more surprised than he who undoubtedly associated the bird only with ice and snow.

Another intriguing piece of history related to James Clark Ross, was when he claimed to have found a new species of diver....

Around 1830 during his 4 year Arctic voyage he obtained three specimens of the then unknown White-billed Diver. Unfortunately Edward Sabine - of Sabine's Gull fame - who was with him on the voyage, persuaded JCR that these birds were very old males of the Great Northern Diver. The species wasn't rediscovered until 20 years later when Edward Adams found it in Alaska, the bird was first described by English Zoologist George Robert Gray who commemorated it to his friend Adams, hence its Latin name Gavia adamsii. The bird really should have been the Ross's Diver....never mind there is a Ross's Seal, the range of which is confined entirely to the pack ice of Antarctica.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Little Stint....Yes Please!

Sparrowhawk Gary Jones

Three 'good things' stand out about this post, one of them is above, a brilliant 'pic with a difference' of the sparring Sparrowhawks. I wasn't prepared to wait any longer to put this one up....Thanks for allowing me to Gary.

But the best 'good thing' to stand out was the Little Stint....Yes Please! which put in it's fifth appearance - three for me - on Friday. First found in the Cocker channel 18 Jan (PW), and seen the following day on the far bank of the River Lune from the bowling green at Glasson Dock 19 Jan (PW), then found off Conder Green car park 28 Feb (IH), and again off the bowling green at Glasson Dock 13 March (IH), and once again off the bowling green 25 March (PW). I had good views of the bird today, but driven off the mud by the well advanced incoming tide, it flew off downstream and out of sight.

Otherwise, if I'd have been birding on a productivity bonus today I wouldn't have been paid out very much....On Conder Pool, a Spotted Redshank - now showing signs of breeding plumage - was in the company of 26 Redshank, also 2 Goosander, 5 Tufted Duck, and a solitary 'left behind' Wigeon. Two Black-tailed Godwit were in the creeks, and a smart little male Reed Bunting seen. 


Black-tailed Godwit. Howard Stockdale.

On the Lune Estuary, I noted at least 160 Golden Plover and 350 Black-tailed Godwit, which brings us to another 'good thing' to stand out about this post which is the excellent in flight shot of the BTG's....Thanks for this Howard. 

Desperation set in at Cockersands, I found Wednesdays 450 Golden Plover in an Abbey Farm field, and saw 6 Tree Sparrow at Bank Houses, if you want to see Tree Sparrow go to Bank Houses, 9 Brown Hare was today's count on the round.

The End.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Wheatear....Yes Please!

Wheatear Marc Heath 

It had to have been a good day at Cockersands on Wednesday, following a gaze into the crystal ball which told me I was going to, I found my first Wheatear, it was on the kissing gate post near the abbey. My first Wheatear in 2015 was found nine days earlier on 14 March at Cockersands. Thanks for the image Marc....nice one.

Off Crook Farm, 52 Black-tailed Godwit seen, and on Plover Scar at high tide, at least 300 waders included c.220 Turnstone, with 65 Oystercatcher, 15 Dunlin, and 3 Ringed Plover. In and around Bank Houses horse paddock, 10 Tree Sparrow, a Dunnock, Great Tit, and Robin. I put a Snipe up from a field, and saw a Buzzard being mobbed by 2 Carrion Crow. At least 24 Pied Wagtail and 20 Linnet were in a stubble field, and in an adjacent field c.450 Golden Plover with a Skylark in song overhead. I estimated the wintering herd seen from Moss Lane now stands at 120 Whooper Swan.  


Brown Hare Martin Jump 

I saw 8 Brown Hare on my rounds at Cockersands including five 'boxers' together. Thanks for the image Martin....Brilliant.

If I hadn't have found 82 Black-tailed Godwit on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, and the Spotted Redshank at Conder Green, I'd have recorded nothing of note at both. I went off to Aldcliffe on my way back to Lancaster in the hope I could see my first Little Ringed Plover (JC Friday 18 March) but failed miserably. Freeman's Pools was quiet and produced just 2 Goldeneye, and 4 Gadwall, with 3 Snipe on the island but certainly no LRP on there or the flood which was deserted.


The Wildfowlers Pool held a nice little group of 18 Black-tailed Godwit, a good number of uncounted Redshank, and 2 Gadwall. But this was a disappointment as my last visit here on 11 March had the Wildfowlers Pool a brilliant wetlands holding at least 11 species of wildfowl and waders, but the area drying out has considerably changed all that, and an extensive hedge laying programme certainly has. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Birding, It's My Passion....

....but the Lune Estuary and surrounds appear to be closed down....waiting for fresh stock.

Conder Green. 

Mr Farmer has decided to replace the two cows been on Conder Pool land many months, by putting at least 60 sheep grazing on here....nice one.

I counted little more than 20 birds yesterday, 7 Oystercatcher, 4 Tufted Duck, 4 Mute Swan, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Goosander, and a Cormorant at best unusual on the pool. The Common Sandpiper was the only bird of note in the creeks, it flew upstream from the old railway bridge.

The Lune Estuary.


Black-tailed Godwit. Pete Woodruff.

It was good to have up to 100 Black-tailed Godwit close in from the bowling green, though the photograph of the seven isn't good quality, the birds certainly are and the pic is worth a 'clik the pik' 4 Goldeneye seen, and a pair of Eider again, with a drake Red-breasted Merganser flying downstream. It was noticeable that at least 80 Lesser Black-backed Gull were squat in a group on the far side, with a similar number of Common Gull present.

Cockersands. 

Cockersands was certainly closed down, and despite my customary 3 hours raking around I noted just a few grounded Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail. There are now probably 150 Whooper Swan still lingering, with 100 seen close by from Moss Lane, and maybe up to 50 in the distance of Bank End.

Land Management.



The upland Land Management Team - how polite of me is that - have been out in force in recent weeks, I've seen them with their matches setting the Bowland uplands ablaze. This 'clik the pik' is of a burn on the slopes of Clougha, the LDBWS past stronghold for the Stonechat, but I've noted from the panoramic view from Cockersands, this management lark has been rampant over recent weeks at Harrisend, Hawthornthwaite, Ward Stone and beyond ....nuff said.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Ringed PFG & Other Bit's.

I've had no close encounters with Pink-footed Geese (PFG) this winter, and so have had no opportunities to check for collar marked birds. But on Thursday 10 March I found a PFG on Pilling Marsh with a metal ring on it's left leg. This was a double reward for me, not only was it my first marked PFG this winter, but it was my first ever ringed one, thinking all PFG were collar marked, I had no idea one could be seen with a ring on it's leg.

I was grateful to Kane Brides at WWT for forwarding the history of this bird to me, adding he was pleased to find this individual had been seen as it has only been reported eight times previous to mine and not for 5 years since 2011. This bird was first ringed as a juvenile male 16 years ago, White metal with Black letters TIF on 29 July 2000 at Oddkelsalda, Thjorsarver, Arness. C Iceland.

17 Dec 2000 Wards, Roseisle, Forres Moray, Dick Hewitt

18 Dec 2000 Wards, Roseisle, Forres Moray, Dick Hewitt

28 Dec 2003 Earlsmill, Brodie Nairn, Dick Hewitt

25 Jan 2004 Findatie area, Loch Leven Perth and Kinross, Iain Munro

22 Feb 2004 Turfhills area, Loch Leven Perth and Kinross, Iain Munro

27 March 2004 Gallow Hill area, Loch Leven Perth and Kinross, Iain Munro

09 Feb 2007 Cavelstone area, Loch Leven Perth and Kinross, Iain Munro

28 Feb 2011 Cocker's Dyke Lanc's, Chris Batty

10 March 2016 Pilling Marsh, Fylde Lanc's, Pete Woodruff


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Black-tailed Godwit.

It was interesting to see the 20 year old BTG LR-Y//W found at Cockersands on 26 February, was seen at Newton Marsh 11 March, a clear indication of how these birds move around, and in this case a bird going further south from the Lune Estuary when it's likely to migrate north to Iceland in a matter of weeks.

Stonechat.

It was good to have the first Stonechat back on territory in Bowland at Bloe Greet 13 March, thanks to JW for sending me this one. 

Migrant Dates.

Some of my migrant dates noted for the Lune Estuary in 2015 - all of which were late one's for me - for comparison arrival in 2016....

Wheatear C'sands 14 March
Sand Martin over Conder Pool 7 April
LRP (2) Conder Pool 7 April
House Martin C'sands 10 April
Swallow Glasson Dock 13 April
Chiffchaff Conder Green 13 April
Willow Warbler Conder Green 13 April
Whitethroat Conder Green 20 April
Curlew Sandpiper C'sands 20 April
Whinchat C'sands 8 May

Wot No Pic's!....But thanks to BD for the header of his Black-tailed Godwit at Salwick recently.

Friday, 18 March 2016

The Black Hole.

With the majority of winter birds having left for their breeding grounds, and the summer birds not yet arrived, birding has plunged into a black hole, though a couple of my notes for yesterday contradict this, Conder Green, Conder Pool, and the Lune Estuary were pretty desolate.

The island of boxes on Conder Pool is being domineered by the Lesser Black-backed Gull pair, whilst 32 Wigeon and 9 Tufted Duck virtually had the pool to themselves, with no sign of any Little Grebe. A Spotted Redshank and a pair of Goosander likewise to themselves in the creeks save a 'few' Teal and no sign of the Common Sandpiper. The circuit produced a Reed Bunting, Great Tit and Blue Tit, with 4 Small Tortoiseshell seen. The Lune Estuary was at low tide, and my notes consisted of up to 100 Black-tailed Godwit from the bowling green, with no sign of any Goldeneye.


Buzzard. Cockersands. Stuart Piner. 

At Cockersands, the local Buzzard was yet again on it's branch in it's tree as it habitually has been for several weeks now, though it does fly as SP's image of this very bird clearly shows. The estimate yesterday was of 200 Whooper Swan towards Bank End as seen from Moss Lane, 3 Linnet and 6 Tree Sparrow were around Bank Houses. The whole place eventually lit up for me when I found 272 Black-tailed Godwit with 18 Knot off Crook Farm.

It's godda get better than this!!

Quote from Bryan Yorke post yesterday 17 March....'The bird migration was non-existent with no Larks crossing, Mipits or for that matter nothing else'....you can say that again Bryan.


Cockersands Corpse.   



Another corpse on the shingle at Cockersands yesterday, this one headless but I'm going for Guillemot.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Run-around.

I had a bit of a run-around yesterday which started at Fluke Hall to leg it to Cockers Dyke. I saw 3 Small Tortoiseshell and 4 Wren on the way there. Usually an excellent venue for gulls including Mediterranean, few gulls here today though, but there was at least 650 Golden Plover, 300 Dunlin and a Little Egret. In the hedge behind the car parking area at Fluke Hall, 6 Tree Sparrow, with singles of Goldfinch, DunnockMeadow Pipit, and Linnet.

Back at Conder Green, the flow of the river is back to normal following the 'rainy season' and a Spotted Redshank, 18 Redshank, and the lone Black-tailed Godwit were taking advantage in the creeks, a single Little Grebe was the only bird of note on Conder Pool. On the Lune Estuary from Glasson Dock, 15 Goldeneye and a pair of Eider hauled out were my only notes.

Now I was off to Aldcliffe....On the now excellent wetlands that was the Wildfowler's Pool, I picked up another 11 species on here again with up to 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Dunlin, a Snipe, and uncounted Redshank and Lapwing on the wader score. Wildfowl seen were, 7 Shoveler, 6 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, Goldeneye, Mallard, and TealOn Freeman's Pools, 8 Goldeneye, 2 Little Grebe, and a Snipe bedded down on the island. 

When I got back to the car at Fluke Hall a note was under the windscreen wiper....'Hi Pete, quiet so far for me!....Later I met two more Fylde birders at Conder Green who told me their birding....'wasn't producing much today'....join the club!!


'If today's meagre list of sightings are anything to go by, the quality of the birding's going to take a dip'....A quote from Mondays Portland Bird Observatory website, though looking slightly better yesterday Here with 1,500 Meadow Pipits through as opposed to my one at Fluke Hall.

LUSH.


Ethical Buying....It's In The Bag.

Lush claims to have sold 30,000 bath bombs raising an amazing in excess of £100,000, the profits of which will go to a project to save the Hen Harrier

Lush is in my sidebar as a caring commerce company which sends out powerful conservation messages and fights animal testing....I like to support them when I can.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Stone Me!

Although I actually clocked up 48 species yesterday - and as most of it was spent on the coast I suppose that's not too bad a result - the day came to verge on tedious, but the never knowing what's next in birding overcame the tedium. 


Stonechat. Chris Batty.

I hadn't got out of the motor when, having turned off the A588 at Conder Green and on to the minor Galgate road, there was a male and female Stonechat on the fence posts. An excellent start to what I was hoping might be the 'big day' for some Stonechat action in the area, but it didn't turn out that way and these two were the only ones I saw in the six hours I spent on the Lune Estuary and it's surrounds.

The Conder Green Common Sandpiper showed again, the first time in a fortnight for me since 29 February, the lone Black-tailed Godwit was in the creeks, and a Buzzard was over. A Snipe was the only bird of note on Conder Pool where I saw not a single Little Grebe today.

The Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock was equally quiet, with c.420 Black-tailed Godwit and 14 Goldeneye noted. I had a good rake around Jeremy Lane where I had seen five out of eleven Stonechats in the Glasson/Cockersands area on 10 March last year....blank today.

At Cockersands, on Plover Scar at high tide, c.200 waders included c.80 Turnstone, with similar Oystercatcher, and a few Knot and Dunlin, c.150 Golden Plover were in an Abbey Farm field, and another good count of 14 Blackbird were in the horse paddock at Bank Houses. Up to 30 'alba' wagtail included at least one White Wagtail seen as a classic individual. An estimate of 200 Whooper Swans where distant towards Bank End, and non-birds were represented by 8 Brown Hare and 4 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.

Garden Birds. 


Siskin. Jan Larsson @ Vingspann

A record count on Sunday morning was of 5 Siskin....The stuff of megas for us in our small urban garden.

Thanks to Chris and Jan for their images of a couple of little gems, much appreciated as always.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Marked BTG's.

Black-tailed Godwit. Bob Bushell @ BNFOD 


I've been finding excellent numbers of Black-tailed Godwit on the Lune Estuary recently, amongst which I found two marked birds at Cockersands and was more than a little pleased to learn I had seen one of them on two previous occasions. Come July this Black-tailed Godwit will be four years old and will have returned to Iceland probably three times since it was ringed there in 2012, but certainly has twice as the history below shows.

Ringed as a chick 6 July 2012 at Ytri Lambadalur, Dyrafjordur, NW Iceland

Orange ring over Red ring left leg Green ring over Yellow flag right leg

OR-GYflag 07.07.12 Ytri Lambadalur, Dyrafjordur, NW Iceland
OR-GYflag 28.02.13 Sunderland Point, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, NW England
OR-GYflag 17.04.14 Conder Green, Lancashire, NW England. P Woodruff
OR-GYflag 25.04.14 Holt, Önundarfjörður, NW Iceland
OR-GYflag 27.04.14 Holt, Önundarfjörður, NW Iceland
OR-GYflag 09.08.14 Leighton Moss, Lancashire, NW England 
OR-GYflag 09.09.14 Allen Pools, Leighton Moss, Lancashire, NW England
OR-GYflag 22.10.14 Leighton Moss, Lancashire, NW England 
OR-GYflag 10.04.15 Lune Estuary, Cockersands, Lancashire, NW England. P Woodruff
OR-GYflag 27.04.15 Grafarvogur, Reykjavík, SW Iceland
OR-GYflag 25.02.16 Cockersand, Lune Estuary, Lancashire, NW England. P Woodruff


----------------------------------------------------------


This bird is an amazing 20 years old, but a 25 year old Black-tailed Godwit holds the longevity record soon to become 26 years.

The history for this bird is a lengthy one, so I have omitted multi sightings made in any one month at the same location to make reading easier. The bird has been most seen on the Dee Estuary in Cheshire, but has also been located at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve in Lancashire four times in four years. The bird wasn't re-sighted for 4 years 2001-2005, it went the longest distance twice in 2000 and 2001 to Cley in Norfolk where it's marks were read by an amazing coincidence on the very same date of 22 February in both years.

Ringed 7 September 1998, Holbeach, Wash Estuary, Lincolnshire.

Lime ring over Red ring left leg Yellow ring over White ring right leg. 

24 April 1999 Dee Estuary, Cheshire
14 Aug  1999 Humber Est, Linc's
22 Feb  2000 Cley, Norfolk
04 April 2000 Dee Est
08 July  2000 Breydon Water, Norfolk
02 Dec  2000 Marshside, Ribble Estuary
22 Feb  2001 Cley, Norfolk
01 May  2001 Alftafjorour, E Iceland
16 Aug  2001 Humber Est, Linc's
07 April 2005 Marshside, Ribble Est
22 Dec  2007 Dee Est
24 Jan  2008  Marshside, Ribble Est
18 Feb 2008  Dee Est
19 Apr  2008  Leighton Moss RSPB, Lanc's
03 Dec 2008  Dee Est
02 Jan  2009  Dee Est
06 Feb 2009  Dee Est
06 Mar 2009  Dee Est
13 Nov 2009  Dee Est
02 Dec 2009  Dee Est
12 Jan 2010   Dee Est
01 Feb 2010  Dee Est
14 July 2010  Frampton Marsh, Wash Estuary, Linc's
17 Nov 2011  Dee Est
21 Dec 2011  Gilroy Nature Park, Merseyside
22 Dec 2011  Dee Est
15 Jan  2012  Dee Est
03 Feb 2012  Dee Est
23 Dec 2012  Dee Est
02 Jan  2013  Dee Est
26 Apr  2013  Leighton Moss RSPB, Lanc's
21 Nov 2013  Dee Est
02 Jan 2014  Dee Est
13 Apr 2014  Leighton Moss RSPB, Lanc's
20 Jul  2014  Frampton Marsh, Wash Est, Linc's
13 Au  2014  Frampton Marsh, Wash Est, Linc's
05 Nov 2014 Dee Est
04 Dec 2014 Dee Est
16 Dec 2014 Newton Marsh, Preston, Lanc's
27 Dec 2014 Gilroy Nature Reserve, Merseyside
28 Dec 2014 Dee Est
17 Apr 2015  Leighton Moss RSPB, Lanc's
20 Sep 2015 Freiston Shore, Wash Est, Linc's
22 Nov 2015 Dee Est
01 Jan 2016  Burton Mere, Cheshire
26 Feb 2016 Cockersands, Lanc's P Woodruff   

The people who attended to these two records of colour marked BTG's for me are aware of my appreciation and thanks for the histories they sent me.

Thanks also to Bob for his excellent image of the BTG, every bit as stunning as some of my of birds at Cockersands. 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Parish Of Aldcliffe.

On the best spring day we've had so far, I spent a pleasant couple of hours in the Aldcliffe area on Friday and was pleased to find the former Wildfowler's Pool has been transformed by the floods into a brilliant wetlands. The area held an impressive 11 species of waders and wildfowl, top of the pops being at least 50 Black-tailed Godwit, with 32 Dunlin, and a few scattered Redshank. Wildfowl were topped by 4 Shoveler seen as two pair, a pair of Pintail which I'd say were exceptional here, with Goldeneye, Wigeon, Tealand Mallard present too, and not forgetting the trusted Coot and Moorhen, 3 Long-tailed Tit were filing through the bushes. Four Goldeneye had taken to the flood which now resembles a small lake at the bottom of the field, and c.40 Black-headed Gull were for some reason patrolling the flood backwards and forwards like it was the power station outflow.  

Scaup with Wigeon. Jon Carter @ Birding Aldcliffe

The drake Scaup was showing well on Freeman's Pools, along with 6 Goldeneye, a few Wigeon and Tufted Duck, and a Little Grebe quietly in the corner. In the area it was good to see a Song Thrush and 2 Mistle Thrush, with 2 Grey Partridge below the hedge in one of the huge stubble fields,  the last time I saw Grey Partridge was heading towards two years ago on 13 May 2014 when I had two birds at Cockersands.

I made a call to JC to ask - based on past sightings - precisely where I might see the long staying Siberian Chiffchaff if it was to be my lucky day, to no avail as I failed to locate the little eastern beauty, the bird was first reported at Aldcliffe on 28 February. 

Thanks to Jon for the Scaup image, and to Howard for the Dunlin/Ringed Plover header, much appreciated on both counts.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

I'd Sooner Be Birding!

A little sun, a nice calm day, and a high tide on Thursday, sounded like a good idea was to go to Pilling Lane Ends where all the 'Pilling Lane Ends at high tide' birders go to see the wader spectacle. But today seemed to prove to me that the spectacle isn't guaranteed and today turned out to be one day it wasn't happening.

But I picked up a little compensation when I found 2 Mediterranean Gull, both adult drifting on the sea with a good number of Black-headed Gull. A Peregrine Falcon flew by in a purposeful and direct flight, and when I called back two hours later c.1,700 Pink-footed Geese had settled down here. 

Skylark. Pete Woodruff. 


At Fluke Hall I enjoyed playing with my improvised photographic equipment - I always vowed never to combine my birding with taking pics - pointing it at this lone Skylark which stayed motionless for several minutes. Also noted, c.60 Twite flighty as ever, with 4 Tree Sparrow, 10 Goldfinch, a Reed Bunting, Blackbird, Chaffinch, and Robin all in the hedgerow behind the car park. Hordes of waders were feeding after the tide dropped off, Knot, Dunlin, and Redshank, with a pair of Pintail on the tideline. I walked below the sea defences behind Fluke Hall wood to find a Grey Wagtail, with up to 1,500 Curlew resting quietly on the marsh. 

On the way back to Lancaster I called at Wrampool to see 3 Snipe come up out of the set-aside, and unable to ignore the Lune Estuary I paid a brief visit to Glasson Dock to find 115 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Goldeneye. A quick look in at Conder Green had me see 3 Little Grebe on Conder Pool and Spotted Redshank and a lone Black-tailed Godwit in the creeks.

And a good time was had by all....again.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Out For Lunch!

It was mid-day by the time my birding took off yesterday, and when I got to Cockersands the high tide had been an hour ago, but none of this mattered, things were a little quiet, though c.450 Golden Plover were in the field off Slack Lane as were 8 Pied Wagtail, and the Barn Owl was hunting again over the rough field behind Lower Bank House.

I was beginning to feel a little despondent when I glimpsed a bird diving off the hedge towards the ditch - a Robin I muttered to myself - binos to my eyes, the bird has gone to perch on a fence post, heyup....it's a stonking male Stonechat.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, at least 900 Black-tailed Godwit were upstream from the Conder mouth, with c.170 Curlew9 Goldeneyeup to 200 Wigeon, and a Great-crested Grebe to note. Over Colloway Marsh, the c.8,000 Pink-footed Geese I saw on Monday were disturbed and in the air to come down again north towards Heaton Marsh. I noted 2 Great-crested Grebe and 14 Tufted Duck on the canal basin.


Little Grebe Conder Pool. Pete Woodruff.

Conder Pool was quiet, with 3 Little Grebe and a Snipe on 'Tern Island' but things livened up when 11 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in. A Grey Wagtail was on the Conder below the road bridge, and 3 Goosander were seen in the creeks.

Footnote.


Stonechat Martin Jump 

A year ago today 10 March, I saw 11 migrant Stonechat on Jeremy Lane/Moss Lane, AC saw thirteen same day, same area.

Thanks to Martin for his little gem....Brilliant.