Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Wigeon Spectacular....And More.

Seen at Cockersand a month ago on 8 January, there was another spectacular sight of at least 4,500 Wigeon again at Cockersand on Monday, on a flat calm sea, a huge raft stretching from the lighthouse, drifting in on the tide towards the Cocker Estuary. As a bonus, 19 Eider, 15 Teal - surely more given time to search - and 4 Shoveler. On Plover Scar, 72 Turnstone, 8 Knot, and 2 Grey Plover. A lone Pink-footed Goose was off Plover Scar, the bird looked healthy, but drifting on the water I wondered if it could fly. 

I watched at least 100 Black-tailed Godwit drop into the field by the abbey including one individual in near breeding plumage, with c.200 Curlew in surrounding fields, 15 Twite went over my head and SW out to sea towards Pilling, also a skein of c.150 Pink-footed Geese flew south 2 hours after I had seen the same number flying north over Glasson. Star of the show was the female Stonechat seen again on the tide wrack opposite the caravan park.

Goldeneye Brian Rafferty

Of 14 Goldeneye seen, eight were on the canal basin and six on the Lune Estuary, interesting that the species here this winter have been predominantly drake. Also on the basin, 2 Pochard drake and a Great-crested Grebe of note, and on the estuary, at least 200 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, and a Goosander drake.

When I arrived at Conder Green, a nice welcoming party of 75 Black-tailed Godwit were in the creeks with 2 Little Grebe and a Goosander drake, the Common Sandpiper was down by the iron bridge, and 16 Goldfinch were on the marsh below the coastal path. On Conder Pool, 12 Curlew and a Little Grebe, with a pair of Oystercatcher appearing to be intent on their breeding programme here. 

Thanks to Brian Rafferty for the excellent image of Goldeneye on the canal basin at Glasson Dock, including two males displaying.

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