Monday, 19 March 2018

No Surprises There Then.

Friday was one of those 'couple of free hours in the afternoon' days, so I managed to squeeze a circuit of Aldcliffe into it, though it threw up no surprises.

Freeman's Pools was quiet, with little more than a dozen birds present, but of note were 4 Gadwall, 3 Goldeneye, and 3 Little Grebe. From the path to Marsh Point, a Goldcrest and Kestrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit were on the river with a handful of Black-headed Gull.

The walk along the embankment was anything but pleasant in a strong cold wind, and was the road to nowhere. On the flood, as opposed to my last visit here 6 March when I saw it crawling with in excess of 800 birds, today 65 noted, 28 Redshank, 24 Teal, 11 Pied Wagtail, a lone Dunlin, and a Little Egret.

The Wildfowlers Pool was also much quieter, but a pair of Pintail were nice, with 5 Shoveler, four of which were drakes, 4 Little Grebe, and a pretty smart looking male Sparrowhawk over the pool, but surprisingly few of the wildfowl budged.

The Aldcliffe Snipe.

Snipe was hunkered down in a small shallow hollow out in the open on the Wildfowlers Pool, but left the hollow when a Moorhen approached it. The Snipe scuttled a few paces away from the Moorhen, whilst fanning it's tail and cocking it upright, similar to but not as exaggerated as in the excellent image captured by Antonio Puigg.

I found no reference (BWP) to this behaviour by the Snipe, which was taken to be one of aggression towards the Moorhen, though the Snipe made no move towards it, but rather moved away from it. When the Moorhen had moved off, the Snipe soon returned to the hollow from where it had been disturbed....Amazing and interesting.   

1 comment:

Noushka said...

I recognise the photo done by my good friend Antonio!
These snipes can have funny attitudes!
In just over a week, I'll be back with him and other spanish friends to take photos!