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

Sunday, 7 January 2018

After The Rewind....Fast Forward.

Fast forward into 2018, but not that fast, with my first day's birding on Friday.

Stock taking on Conder Pool was a little mundane, yet again more like Conder Lake since the current high tides. I noted 105 Mallard, 6 Teal, 2 Shelduck, a drake Goosander, 25 Black-headed Gull, and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Little Grebe were seen in the creeks.

On the canal basin at Glasson, a scarce if not rare drake Pochard took the prize by a mile, but the basin did contribute to 15 Goldeneye being my best count this winter, with nine on here, and six on the Lune Estuary where everything had already been driven off by the incoming 10.07 tide, but I noted a lone Whooper Swan and a 'pale' Pink-footed Goose on the south end of Colloway Marsh.

Ducktacular.


Wigeon. Martin Jump.

On a mainly sunny day with calm conditions and clear visibility, on the sea from the Lighthouse at Cockersand, along the headland, into the Cocker Estuary, and out toward Lane Ends as far as the eye could see until it wasn't possible to tell what the dots on the sea were, I saw an impressive conservative estimate of at least 9,000 wildfowl, with up to 4,000 Wigeon off the length of the headland in dense rafts, with 20 Eider off Plover Scar.

A bit of interesting if odd movement, with c.350 Pink-footed Geese over south, soon followed by 75 south, then 55 north, with presumably the same returning 10 minutes later going south. Waders in the fields here were in lower numbers than of late, but noted were 175 Curlew, 65 Turnstone and 120 Dunlin. Two separate finch flocks 10/40 in bouncing flight appeared to be all Linnet, also a small group of 10 Pied Wagtail, 6 Skylark, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Greenfinch, and a Song Thrush

The Whooper Swan herd are again settled down towards Bank End, and from the distance appear to be still in the same number, and on Moss Lane at Clarkson's Farm, 6 Bewick's Swan remain since first reported 27 December.

The Barn Owl. 
  
As I drove along Moss Lane at dusk, a Barn Owl was hunting a ditch a half mile away from my last sighting of one over the lane on 30 November. My two sightings, three other reports, and recent conversations I've had with farmers and residents, lead me to know there are currently up to five Barn Owl locations in the Thurnham/Cockersand area. 

Thanks to Martin for the Wigeon, and to Brian for the Pink-footed Geese header.

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