BIRDING IN LANCASHIRE THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND............................GOLDEN PLOVER COCKERSAND IAN MITCHELL

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

This Day 25 Years Ago.

From my records.

At 10.30am on 19 November 1994, I was looking through some waders on the groyne at Teal Bay, when I came across an odd one out amongst 50 Ringed Plover. I instantly noticed it had long black legs, and void of taking more notes of some subtle differences between sexes, I referred to the bird as a female Kentish Plover. But by late summer a male would have attained female-like plumage, so my claim of a female was actually somewhat dubious and shouldn't have been made.

Kentish Plover. Courtesy of Fylde Bird Club.

Bearing in mind these were the days before the mobile phone was common place - and I certainly didn't have one - I remember driving to Heysham to deliver the alert about the discovery, and the drive back to Teal Bay to find the bird had departed, no doubt the result of disturbance by a wind-surfer active in the area. I appreciated the note in the LDBWS Annual Report which read....'Thanks to PW for driving to Heysham to inform me (PJM), pity about the wind-surfer!'

But the record of this Kentish Plover takes on an even more interesting note, when it was thought to have been the very same individual to have arrived back at Rossall Point, Fleetwood a couple of hours after leaving Teal Bay. This Kentish Plover had first appeared at Rossall Point on 8 March 1992 and returned there each winter for 6 years, until it was last seen on 9 March 1997.

Today, the Kentish Plover is an annual migrant to Britain in small numbers, about 40 birds on average are reported, but few of these are on the west coast.  

First for Britain.

The first record goes back to 1787 at Sandwich in Kent, when a keen observer of natural history sent a specimen he had shot, to a Dr Latham who found it to be an unknown species, and subsequently named it a Kentish Plover. 

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Dream On!

I watched this small group of Turnstone at Cockersand, as one of the most appropriately named birdsscurrying across the shingle turning stones in search for food as they went.

 
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Not recorded in this short video, I observed them as they took to flight a couple of times, and heard them call. A first for me, as I've never been so close to Turnstones before to be able to hear the call as clear as this....
If I'm honest the visit to Cockersand was planned to have been a thorough and pleasant  one, a search with the hope of finding a Snow Bunting on Plover Scar, but saw 10 Knot with 250 Oystercatcher. I was also hoping to find a winter Stonechat here, they usually are. Two Rock Pipit were on the marsh edge as the tide receded, a lone Greenfinch seen, with others heard in the Bank Houses area, a female Shoveler was in the large ditch running through the field at the Moss/Slack Lane junction where 12 Meadow Pipit were flighty.

Otherwise the visit to Cockersand soon went downhill for me, it was thwarted not least because of the cold howler in my face and I had to beat a retreat called back to Lancaster. Unfortunate, as the fields were alive with a few thousand waders which would have kept me interested and occupied for some time, including the recently seen at least 3,000 Golden Plover and 650 Curlew, with large numbers of RedshankDunlin, and Lapwing

Who knows, I could have missed an American Golden Plover with the 'Europeans', a White-rumped Sandpiper with the Dunlin, or even a Ruff with the Redshank....Dream on!

Thanks to Ian Mitchell for the header image, a fraction of the 3,000 Golden Plover currently resident at Cockersand.   

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Oh No....Not The Lune Estuary Again!

I got a text yesterday morning to tell me of a Snow Bunting on Plover Scar, by something of a coincidence the very place I was heading for at the time. Thanks for the heads-up Ian, it was much appreciated as always, and the dip took nothing away from the appreciation.

Despite giving three hours to Cockersand, the Snow Bunting was nowhere to be seen, but I noted 325 Oystercatcher and a lone Ringed Plover on Plover Scar at high tide. At my back as I checked the scar, I found the field to the north of Abbey Farm was holding at least 2,500 Golden Plover, an impressive sight here again, also the number was more like 635 Curlew today, an increase of around 100 at my last two counts. There are always a few wildfowl around the ditch south of the abbey, today 32 Teal, and close by 25 Wigeon were grazing. Along the length of the headland, 12 Turnstone, with 6 Grey Plover seen on the wing. 


Rock Pipit Cockersand 12 November. Pete Woodruff. Clik the pik

At Cockerham Sands, 5 Rock Pipit seen on the marsh and the shingle to the north of the Caravan Park. Off Moss Lane, 65 Whooper Swan were at Clarkson's Farm, and uncounted Fieldfare seen from a moving car included c.20 in a tree.

To note on the Lune Estuary, c.320 Black-tailed Godwit, also 82 Wigeon were all hauled out and on the mud. On the canal basin, 28 Tufted Duck and 5 Goosander. Ten Little Grebe at Conder Green were seen as the same pattern as last Friday, with five on Conder Pool, and five in the creeks including two downstream towards the Conder mouth.

Common Sandpiper at Conder Green.

A Common Sandpiper has wintered at Conder Green for 11 years now, but despite the traditional circuit search yesterday, there was no sign of the bird again for the fourth week. But this absence for long periods has happened before, in fact in its second year of wintering here, it wasn't seen after 22 November 2009, until it reappeared on 28 December, so I'm not prepared to give up on the Common Sandpiper at Conder Green just yet. 

Sunday 10 November.

On a beautiful sunny and calm day, a pleasant wander over Heysham Barrows with KT saw a Song Thrush and up to 12 Long Tailed Tit in the woods, and a Rock Pipit on the shore at Half Moon Bay. 

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Notes From The Lune Estuary.

The peak count of 22 Little Grebe on Conder Pool this year was on Sunday 6 October (Ian Hartley). Since then the number on the pool begins to fall each year by mid-October, and the grebes are to be found in the creeks and have even been seen at times on the Lune Estuary. 

On Friday I found 10 Little Grebe, five of which were in the creeks, and included two downstream towards the Conder mouth, the other five were seen on Conder Pool with 2 Goosander noted.

At and around Christ Church, at least 12 Long-tailed Tit seen, with a Grey Wagtail seeming out of context amongst the topmost branches of a tall Sycamore. A Great-crested Grebe was amongst a good number of Coot on the canal opposite the church. Noted on the Lune Estuary, with the exception of Lapwing, wader numbers were very low and unremarkable, a conservative estimate of 350 Common Gull, with an equal number of Black-headed Gull, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, c.120 Wigeon and 2 Goosander

At Cockersand, Tuesdays 550 Curlew were seen as at least that number again today, but c.450 Golden Plover were less than half the number seen that day. Walking along the road, a Snipe came up out of a ditch, 180 Redshank were on/around the flood at the Moss/Slack Lane junction, and a Merlin allowed me to stalk quite close, perched on a fence post.


Common Darter Cockersand 8 November. Pete Woodruff.

Although their flight period goes into November - rarely in December - it's always going to be a bit of a surprise to see a Common Darter on a cold day at Cockersand in that month.

Thanks once again to Howard for his excellent Little Grebe header image.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Golden Moments.

Another short - but I was raking about for 5 hours - and sweet job!

I was tempted to say Tuesdays birding was a little quiet, but then if I was to report seeing in excess of 1,000 Golden Plover at Cockersand, that would make the comment a bit of a nonsense. There was at least 750 in a field to the south of Abbey Farm, 175 to the north, and 125 in a field off Slack Lane.

When the sun eventually came out, and the wind dropped too in the late afternoon, it shone some brilliant light on to the plovers in the field south of Abbey Farm to give a stunning golden carpet effect to the birds which twice left the field to fly low over my head to create a 'whoosh' of 1,500 beating wings as they went out over the shore to turn and return to the field....Golden Moments to savour.


Curlew. Howard Stockdale. 

There was also the good number of 550 Curlew in a field at Cockersand today. An excellent count in one field for a species in the Red on the UK Conservation Status list. One of the most rapidly declining birds at a near 50% fall in number, even exceeding this in Wales and Scotland. If like me you've been lucky enough to have heard the evocative bubbling call of the Curlew when on the moors in Bowland, it stays with you forever. 

Only c.50 Whooper Swan were in view at Cockersand today. On Conder Pool, 6 Little Grebe, 6 Goosander, 4 Snipe, 18 Curlew, and 4 Wigeon. Up to 80 Teal were in the creeks. A bit of a howler in the face made the Lune Estuary hard work, but only 350 Golden Plover of any note, with 32 Tufted Duck and 2 Goosander on the canal basin.

In Greaves Park this Thursday morning, 4 Jay together were closely accompanied by 6 Magpie.

In the header, a large number of gulls follow the small fishing boat in Morecambe Bay. Also I was grateful for the excellent set of images Howard sent me yesterday, of which the most appropriate for this post was the Curlew. Clik the pik, the light reflecting on the bird is quite something.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

The Bullfinch Has It.

Whilst some decent weather lasted, on Thursday I decided on the walk from Aldcliffe to Glasson Dock to note 33 species including, walking by Freeman's Wood I found 5 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, and a Jay. At Freeman's Pools, 6 Goldeneye were my first this winter with a few Gadwall seen. In the Frog Pond field, a mix of up to 900 Greylag and Canada Geese were at around 60/40%. The only bird of note on the Wildfolwer's Pools was a drake Shoveler.

In the Stodday area, a pair of Bullfinch in the cutting was excellent, also a Song Thrush, and 7 Little Egret together on the marsh. Along the way, 12 Blackbird, 6 Long-tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Coal Tit, and Wren. On the canal basin, 11 Tufted Duck were all female, and at least 50 House Sparrow were around the bowling green bushes.


The Bullfinch.


Male Bullfinch. Richard Pegler.

Thursdays Bullfinch sighting was the best of the walk. Having only occasionally visited traditional sights in south-east Cumbria, Arnside and Silverdale, I've only ever made 15 records over 10 years, none of which were in Bowland. I think the surprise of these was 5 seen in Lancaster Cemetery on 30 October 2014, but 10 years earlier was the best of my records, when I found 4 Bullfinch at Birk Bank on 1 November 2004, this was followed by 4 here again on 22 November, then almost a month later I found 8 Bullfinch here on 18 December.

These are the only records of Bullfinch in
 Bowland in our recording area that I am aware of, but it is interesting to note that 2004 was the year of an invasion of continental Bullfinch into northern Britain around mid-October, when exceptional numbers were reported mainly in Scotland and along the east coast of England. No coincidence then, that these records of Bullfinch in Bowland occurred around this date in 2004, and that the distinctive 'toy horn' call of the Northern Bullfinch was noted in my records.

Thanks for the much appreciated Bullfinch Richard. 

Friday, 1 November 2019

Swans Return.

On Wednesday I counted 245 Whooper Swan, back in a field opposite the entrance to Clarkson's Farm....A wonderful sight, and good for the soul. 


On a brief visit to Cockersand, on what was left of Plover Scar under a 10m+tide, just 6 Turnstone seen. In the field south side of Abbey Farm, 550 Golden Plover and 60 Curlew, a Kestrel hovered overhead, with another seen later over Jeremy Lane. A Small Tortoiseshell was probably my last butterfly of the year.


Greenshank. Richard O'Meara. Clik the pik

On Conder Pool, 3 Greenshank, 14 Redshank, a Snipe, 3 Goosander, and 5 Tufted Duck female, 6 Little Grebe included two in the creeks. A Kingfisher seen on Conder Pool, it/another was seen later in the creeks.

Thanks to Richard for the trio of images he sent me recently, including the Greenshank.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

A Place For Plovers.


There wasn't much left of Plover Scar above the surface when I arrived yesterday at high tide, so no evidence of what the scar is, and what it really means to the birds when the tide is out.

Clik the pik to read the importance of this message 

But since I was last here on Monday, I was pleased to find the erection of this excellent sculpture and notice at the parking area by Lighthouse Cottage.

Great work by everyone involved in getting this much needed important message and excellent art work put in place....Well done, and a personal Thank You.  

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

High As A Kite!

Hard to believe I didn't get up Hawthornthwaite Fell this summer, the last and only time I was there was 22 April when I found none, but I derived great pleasure in finding 3 Stonechat at Hawthornthwaite yesterday, also a decent count of 22 Red Grouse and a Wren to note.


Red Kite Noushka @ 1000-Pattes Clik the pik

As I reached to top of the hill at Cam Brow, turning a bend I was confronted by a large raptor on a carcass in the road, the bird took off the minute it saw the car and flew north toward Abbeystead. I pulled off the road to walk back to see if I could find the bird, but it had disappeared, but soon came into view again flying south towards Hawthornthwaite Fell, it was a Red Kite. I'm grateful to Noushka for the excellent image of this stunning bird. 

At least 100 Chaffinch seen today. Walking up the track toward White Moor from Tower Lodge, c.40 were up and down out of the trees and onto the track, I found just 2 Brambling with them. Later another flock of at least 60 seen in the road east of Tower Lodge, this time up and down between the traffic with just one Brambling seen with them.

Good numbers in excess of 200 Fieldfare seen on the day, with estimates of at least 40 at Isle of Skye Farm, probably 100 at Fellside Farm seen from a moving car, and 70 in the Tower Lodge area. A Dipper was the only bird seen on the Marshaw Wyre. 


Marshaw Wyre Bowland. Pete Woodruff. Clik the pik 

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The Great Escape.

Well a good escape if not great, my birding never drops below good, and it was good to get out again yesterday, Today would have been a week since my last birding day, and a week since B2B ran out of material, and I reckon that's an 11 year record down the pan. I was tasked to do some decorating, something I couldn't escape from....I signed the contract!!

At Conder Green a count of 13 Little Grebewith eight in the creeks and five on Conder Pool, also 3 Greenshank, 7 Goosander, and 2 Kingfisher seen within five minutes of each other, a Greenshank was down the Conder channel. Notably the 'winter' Common Sandpiper not seen again, last seen 11 October. 

Not before time, I saw my first Whooper Swan of the winter, albeit a lone bird drifting upstream. Also noted, a Greenshank close by which called in it's powerful whistling 'tyew-tyew-tyew' constantly for up to thirty minutes before falling silent, no more than 50 Golden Plover here today, 65 Wigeon, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Goosander.


Turnstone Cockersand. Pete Woodruff. Clik the pik

At Cockersand, at least 220 Golden Plover and 50 Turnstone, including ten roosting on a little terra firma over a 10.23m tide, with 140 Curlew in a field by Abbey Farm, 3 Wren seen on the circuit, and 3 Blackbird around Bank Houses were my only other notes here.

Thanks to Richard for the excellent nine Snipe in flight at Knott End yesterday.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The Parish Of Aldcliffe And Beyond.

On Monday I went for another two pennyworth of the Snow Bunting on Plover Scar, saw a Sparrowhawk disappearing into a bush at Bank Houses, a Buzzard soaring over Abbey Farm, and a little evidence of Skylark and Meadow Pipit movement. Notes from the Lune Estuary included 128 Curlew, 11 Snipe, and 5 GoosanderOn Conder Pool, 9 Little Grebe, 3 Greenshank, drake Goosander, and 5 Tufted Duck. 

Yesterday I did a circuit of the parish of Aldcliffe and was asked by a regular birder here if I had a permit for the area, but I seemed to get let off the hook even when I said I hadn't!....Good to see you again Barrie.

On Freeman's Pools, 15 Gadwall, up to 60 Teal, 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Wigeon, and a Little Grebe noted. Off Marsh Point, 122 Herring Gull with a lesser number of Black-headed Gull. In the harvested maize field, c.250 Greylag and 62 Canada Geese, and on the Wildfowlers' Pool, the female Scaup had the place almost itself, this pool would be more appropriately called Aldcliffe Wetlands, and the birdless flood called a lake.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, c.650 Black-tailed Godwit and 250 Golden Plover, with 8 Wigeon and 3 Goosander drake noted. A Merlin was squat quietly on the south end of Colloway Marsh. At Conder Green, 8 Little Grebe were seen as four in the creeks, and four on Conder Pool with a Greenshank to note, a Kingfisher flew the length of the pool, and 4 Tufted Duck seen numbered five on Monday, today the drake was missing.


Common Sandpiper Conder Green. Howard Stockdale. Clik the pik 

Despite five visits, I've not seen the Common Sandpiper at Conder Green since 13 October. Many thanks to Howard for the image. 

Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Triple Whammy.

It was one thing to get a phone call in the evening last Wednesday, but everything got a lot more interesting as it went along and blew me a little off balance.

Snow Bunting Plover Scar 16 October Clik the pik

I got news of a Snow Bunting found on Plover Scar that afternoon which I went to see the following day, and was rewarded with excellent views.

Cattle Egret Cockersand 16 October Clik the pik 

I then received a set of photographs of the Snow Bunting, but hey up, there's also included with the set, an excellent image of 2 Cattle Egret in a field...well blow me over! 

Then, as if that wasn't enough to be going on with at Cockersand. On my return from seeing the Snow Bunting on Thursday, Bob who was sat in his car at the car park by Lighthouse Cottage, tells me that recently he had seen a large seabird in the field between Crook Farm and Crook Cottage which he had identified as an immature Gannet.

Many thanks for call from Martin, the images from Ian, and the heads up from Bob about the Gannet....What next!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Plover Scar Delivers.

There was a spectacular mix of corvids on the Lune Estuary on Thursday as viewed from the bowling green, they were all over the place and impossible to count, they numbered at least 500, with a maximum of probably up to 700. In order of numbers, the highest being up to 50% Rook, with Carrion Crow, and Jackdaw, they were on the mud, and scattered widely on the south end of Colloway Marsh, many distant with little if any chance of separation.

Otherwise, the estuary was on a quiet day, though up to 350 Golden Plover were present, and 3 Goosander were noted, also the crippled Curlew Sandpiper made it's third appearance for me in 14 days, still hoping on its left leg, the right one tucked under its belly.

Snow Bunting Plover Scar 17 October Pete Woodruff Clik the pik

The rest of the afternoon was spent at Cockersand with a Snow Bunting which showed well though often quite mobile and well camouflaged when it went way out on Plover Scar amongst the shingle. Seen as an early record for Snow Bunting, most of which are singles found on the coast from around mid-October, these tend to pass through quickly, this one hasn't been seen since Thursday seeming to confirm this, most turn up during November to January. 

A male Kestrel, was the only other bird I noted at Cockersand, and a Painted Lady in mid-October may well be my last of the year, in which case my tally for this brilliant butterfly in 2019 would be 417.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

A Change Of Scenery.

Curlew Conder Pool. Pete Woodruff. Clik the pik

I was desperate to get a pik for the post, so took this one of the Curlew on Conder Pool.

I wandered off down the A588 on Tuesday, but on the way, called in briefly to Conder Pool, I find it difficult to ignore Conder Pool....nay impossible to drive by and ignore. Today's count was 13 Little Grebe, 28 Curlew, with the ever faithful 5 Greenshankin the creeks c.82 Teal.


Common Darter Lane Ends. Pete Woodruff. Clik the pik

It was about high tide when I got to Pilling Lane Ends, but it was way out, only the highest of tides cover the marsh here. There was a minimum of 3,000 Pink-footed Geese present, and although there was large numbers of wildfowl, Pintail and Teal seemed predominant, with 6 Great-crested Grebe to note. Thirty minutes around the woodlands here produced 2 Robin, and a Common Darter, seen as one of the last dragonflies to be encountered in autumn, flying into November.

A Buzzard drifted east over Fluke Hall, and 2 Raven were quite vocal around the pens west of here. At Cockers Dyke, 260 Golden Plover included some en-route on Pilling Sands, c.550 Dunlin, 110 Redshank, and a lone Knot.

Rossall Shorelark.

In a telephone conversation last night, I had reliable  - very reliable - info of a Shorelark at Rossall yesterday afternoon. I appropriately reported the bird to FBC.

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Since July 2018 until June 2019, Lush have donated £11,927,720 to grassroots charities, movements, and campaigns world-wide, including the fight against Hen Harrier persecution.

I recently did a clean up of my sidebar and deleted them from it. I now regret doing that, and am going to reinstate the link to Lush on there again.  

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

By Recent Standards....A Nice Day.

Weather-wise a nice day, if there's not even a hint of a breeze at Cockersand it's certainly a nice day, but a couple of bod's out on Plover Scar meant the end of any chance of a roost, but n'er mind, there's more to Cockersand than a high tide roost. And anyway....why wasn't I out looking for Yellow-browed Warblers!

On Cockerham Sands/Cocker Estuary, a conservative estimate was of 3,500 Wigeon, with an excellent count of up to 1,250 Curlew, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 275 Shelduckand 3 Great-crested Grebe, there was no significant numbers of uncounted Redshank and DunlinI was impressed by 25 Greenfinch flighty around the Bank Houses area, a sample of 18 Skylark which I could hear during my time at Cockersand, they were heading SW towards Pilling, also 15 Meadow Pipit, a Wren was around the abbey ruins and 2 Grey Plover were on the shore below the headland, c.250 Pink-footed Geese went over SW, and 8 Little Egret were in fields with 82 Curlew around Abbey Farm. 

Although c.750 Golden Plover were on the mud below Colloway Marsh, the Lune Estuary was otherwise pretty quiet, but 155 Dunlin noted, with 24 Curlew, 12 Wigeon, and the Black Swan emerging from the Conder Estuary. Conder Pool was equally quiet, with a roost of 6 Greenshank and just 10 Little Grebe seen today. In the creeks, 120 Teal, 4 Little Grebe, 2 Goosander, and 15 Goldfinch flighty as ever over the marsh.


Giant House Spider Tegenaria duellica Pete Woodruff Clik the pik


No appropriate piks for the post again, but thought you would like to see this beauty in our house recently, the coin for scale is a two pence piece. KT wasn't too keen on it staying here, so we decided to eject it from the living room and into the garden....Hope this wasn't a fatal decision for the spider, after all it is a House Spider.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Wot No Piks!

It's now even more difficult to access the still rising number of grebe on Conder Pool, with channels to go down, and islands to get behind now the pool has flooded again, but after the customary multi-attempts, at least 18 Little Grebe counted, also 4 Greenshank, 5 Little Egret, 2 Snipe, and a Kingfisher in flight across the pool. Another 4 Little Grebe were in the creeks, with up to 55 Teal and 5 Goosander, a Sparrowhawk was over the marsh, with c.40 Goldfinch flighty over. Down the channel, the now wintering Common Sandpiper seen, and 4 Greenshank down here were probably the four seen earlier on Conder Pool.

Checking the Lune Estuary at Glasson it was good to meet four Fylde birders, all high ranking in my book and much respected. Curlew Sandpiper which I saw briefly, was possibly another bird to the one I've seen here 3/8 October, based on SP - one of the four  - claiming this bird was mobile on both legs before it flew off prematurely, my bird had been seen as severely handicapped with one leg. 

count here was of at least 300 Greylag, but almost certainly many more were upstream and out of sight on the mud below Colloway Marsh, 2 Greenshank, and 82 Curlew, the Redshank and Dunlin went uncounted, but not exceeding 250 in total after a number of both left and flew off downstream, leaving behind at least 1,000 Lapwing

I found 5 Migrant Hawker, one seen at the west end of Conder Pool, and four on the canal at Glasson Dock east along the tow-path beyond Christ Church. I wondered at the time, if I've seen four in one small area, perhaps if I'd have walked a mile along the tow-path to The Mill at Conder Green, I would have found another good count of Migrant Hawker as on 19 September.

A skein of at least 200 Pink-footed Geese over Bowerham again yesterday morning. 


WOT NO PICS!


No piks in the post, but the header is another Golden Oldie of the Kentish Plover found on Plover Scar at Cockersand 3 May 2011. Thanks to Mick McGough for the brilliant image of this excellent rare vagrant. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Out For A Duck!....

....and one or two other birds.

There was no more than 40 Teal at Conder Green yesterday, but despite sifting through every last one of 'em, I failed to see the juvenile male Garganey....another first for the green, been here since 28 September.

Conder Pool is more appropriately called Conder Lake once again, and the best of four attempts resulted in 13 Little Grebe, with a few no doubt finding plenty of hiding places in the channels and out of view behind the islands. Otherwise quiet with 3 Greenshank and 21 Curlew making up the numbers. Two Goosander were in the creeks, and a Red Admiral can't have been the happiest butterfly on the wing today, windy, and lashing it down 15 minutes earlier.


Redshank. Howard Stockdale. Clik the pik

The left legged Curlew Sandpiper with injury to it's right leg, seen again on the Lune Estuary as last Thursday, it was accompanied by a Ruffwith Redshank and Dunlin amounting to little more than 200 birds. Of c.380 Greylag seen, I reckon those to make up last Thursdays count of at least 620 were out of sight upriver below Colloway Marsh where I counted 16 Canada Geese. A Great-crested Grebe and 17 Wigeon were noted, the Golden Plover were noticeably absent.

Home Sightings.

Four skeins of up to 300 Pink-footed Geese SW over Bowerham this morning, also a Red Admiral in the garden.

Thanks to Howard for the in flight Redshank and lone Dunlin, and to Martin for putting the record straight, that we've not had a Stonechat image on B2B for ages.

P.S....This is amazing, and a First for Ireland 

Saturday, 5 October 2019

A Little Healthier, A Little Longer.

A bit more action on Thursday resulted in a healthier looking list than Mondays shortie, and I was at Glasson Dock 3 hours before to see the rising tide moving birds around.

There was something of a spectacle with at least 620 Greylag on the Lune Estuary, a personal highest concentration to date seen in one sighting. Also of note, a Curlew Sandpiper which had an injury to it's right leg leaving the bird severely crippled, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 25 Curlew, 12 Snipe, 4 Greenshank, and 3 GoosanderOn Conder Pool, 10 Greenshank in the high tide roost, 15 Little Grebe, and a Common Sandpiper, c.120 Goldfinch were seen again as Monday, flighty over the marsh.

On only my fourth visit to Cockersand since the episode of last September, and my first circuit completed here since late August 2018. Plover Scar held up to 90 Turnstone, and a Sparrowhawk which I flushed from out of sight below the headland. A Rock Pipit was on the shingle, and I found 340 Curlew in fields by Abbey Farm, 220 in one, and 120 in another where there was at least 750 Golden Plover, 125 Lapwing and 5 Little Egret.

I saw 3 Kestrel on the day, two as I left Cockersand on Slack Lane and Moss Lane, and another as I drove by Ashton Golf Club.

Greenshank high tide roost on Conder Pool.


View Full Screen


I'm always singing the praises of Conder Pool, the header image continues the praises, albeit a Golden Oldie of the Temminck's Stint on 28 May 2011. 
  
Worthy of a mention on Birds2blog....On Wednesday, 500 Red Throated Divers at the rate of 100 per hour north past Maryport on a rising tide.