BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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ALDCLIFFE MARSH HIGH TIDE. PETE WOODRUFF.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Into 2017....

....and one or two of yesterday's sightings had added interest.


Pochard Female. Jan Larsson @ Vingspann 


To be honest the big surprise of the day for me was the Pochard on the canal basin at Glasson Dock, a rare breeder in the Leighton Moss area, a declining winter visitor, and at best irregular everywhere. An even bigger surprise was that this one was a female, any Pochard I've seen in the past on the canal basin have been almost entirely male. Also, of the new peak count of 17 Goldeneye, thirteen on here were all drake save two female, with another four drake Goldeneye on the Lune Estuary where I noted the only waders to be seen were below the edge of Colloway Marsh where a Peregrine Falcon was sat, c.120 Lapwing, 20 Dunlin, and a solitary Bar-tailed Godwit. I don't remember when the estuary here was so void of birds tide or no tide....and where are all the Bar-tailed Godwit?

Along the coastal path, 8 Blackbird, 6 Fieldfare, a Dunnock, Robin, and Great Tit. In the creeks at Conder Green, Spotted Redshank and 4 Little Grebe. Conder Pool was void of Little Grebe and little else, but 35 Wigeon and a similar number of Mallard noted.

Along Moss Lane, the Cockersand - it's actually Thurnham on the map - swan numbers were down by 50% compared to my visit here last Thursday, I estimate 300 Whooper Swan in the area west of Thursland Hill now, with 20 Pink-footed Geese seen. Seven Bewick's Swan were still in the field by Clarkson's Farm, with another 5 Whooper Swan by Slack Lane, these were seen as three adult and two juvenile.

Around the Bank Houses area, a flock of at least 90 Twite was higher than the one last Thursday when they were more like fifty, c.300 Golden Plover were in an Abbey Farm field, a Song Thrush and 5 Brown Hare were in the same field.

Pied Wagtail at Cockersand.


Pied Wagtail. Warren Baker @ Pittswood Birds  

I counted 24 Pied Wagtail in a flooded field at the junction of Moss/Slack Lane, these were seen as an exceptional number, and being I had to step to one side to loose my count three times for cars to pass me on the narrow lane, I reckon I would have found more. I made a quick comparison with records, when 121 were recorded in the 2015 January survey in our recording area compared to the previous 5 year mean of 96....These 24 Pied Wagtail in this one field yesterday equated to almost 25% of these five January counts.

A most enjoyable and rewarding first days birding for 2017....With thanks to Jan and Warren for their continued contribution to Birds2blog.

4 comments:

Richard Pegler said...

My very best wishes to you for 2017, Pete. Thank you for your kindnesses in 2016 - - - - Richard

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Pete.. Beautiful Redwing.. Love this bird..
Best wishes for 2017.. Cheers..

Warren Baker said...

I also had 120+ Lawping today Pete, only flyovers, but it's the biggest flock I've seen here for years :-)

Bob Bushell said...

Happy new year to you Pete.