BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND..................................LITTLE GULLS KNOTT END BARRY DYSON

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Moonbird B95

Knot. Howard Stockdale. Clik the pik

This Knot was one of Howards birds seen at Hest Bank 2 February. The bird was ringed in the East Dutch area of the Wadden Sea in November 2018, and was the first sighting since then.

Howards amazing encounter with the Knot at Heysham recently, has prompted me to be reminded of Moonbird who has featured on Birds2blog before. If you'd like to be reminded, or maybe never heard of him as the toughest 4 ounces on the planet, please read Here 

Courtesy of Patricia Maria Gonzalez View Full Screen

This is the last known sighting of Moonbird, it was made along the Delaware Bay on 28 May 2014 at Reeds Beach, New Jersey, USA. Unfortunately, I haven't succeeded in getting any more up to date on this.



Recommended reading....MOONBIRD. A YEAR ON THE WIND WITH THE GREAT SURVIVOR B95. Phillip Hoose.

Thanks to Barry for his excellent header image of the Little Gulls seen at Knott End 11 February, displaced by the recent storms Ciara and Dennis....Stand by for Storm Ella, coming to and area near you soon!....And I'm still not back into the birding scene yet.  

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Pik & Mix!

The image sent to me of the Knot at the high tide roost at Heysham was an absolute must for the new header on Birds2blog. Howard told me about 6 hours of pleasure he spent photographing these birds, amongst which he said he found a mix of no less than 18 Icelandic and Merseyside ringed birds, including one Dutch ringed bird at Hest Bank.

It's rare that 6 hours birding can be anything other than a pleasure for me, and I can identify with Howard when he said he spent that amount of time over two visits with these birds at Heysham, suggesting an estimate of 10,000 Knot on the day.

 
View Full Screen

I'm grateful for the excellent array of images Howard sent me, and for the video.
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Whooper Swan 12 February Cockersand. Martin Jump. Clik the pik

Ringed as an adult female at Cearlaverock February 2017, from where it has been sighted just once in December 2019, and recorded six times, all in the Thurnham/Cockersand area. Interesting that this swan came from it's last sighting at Caerlaverock on 19 December, to Cockersand where it was seen 12 days later on Slack Lane on 31 December, then seen again on Slack Lane 12 February.

Thanks to Kane Brides and Steve Heaven at WWT for dealing with the record for me, and forwarding the history of the bird, and to Martin Jump for the image of ZXL.
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In an e-mail, AC reminded me that we had found a male Stonechat at Cockersand 12 months ago on 15 February 2019, the bird turned out to be the vanguard of an exceptionally early spring passage, and in fact over the following 6 days I made notes of 18 Stonechat at 9 locations into our area by 21 February.
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I stitched two short videos together of the Mediterranean Gulls on Conder Pool on 24 June 2019. I decided to leave the sound on because we hear the sadly missed Ian (The Common Terns Champion) Pinkerton making a couple of comments to me in the 57 sec film.  

 
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There was a bonus in this already excellent record of two Mediterranean Gulls on Conder Pool, in that the 2nd summer bird was ringed as a chick in Senov, Volensky Fish Pond, in the Ostrava District of the Czech Rebublic, on 8 June 2017. It was first reported at Kilkieran Harbour, Galaway, Ireland, on 9 January 2019, and subsequently seen on three dates in June 2019 at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve, Lancashire, before my sighting on Conder Pool on the Lune Estuary 2019. 

I'm out of the birding scene at the moment, hence filling  the gap with 'Pik & Mix'.

Friday, 14 February 2020

After Ciara....

And....Great birds in great places.

Clik the piks

Storm Ciara combined with a high tide was responsible for some serious damage to a couple of sections of the sea wall at Cockersand. It's my understanding that Natural England takes no responsibility of maintaining this sea defence any longer....So what's new about Natural England then! 

It was a great pleasure to watch 28 Whooper Swan dropping in to grace Conder Pool yesterday morning, 21 Mute Swan were already present, with 52 Greylag, 64 Teal, 8 Wigeon, 4 Tufted Duck, and 3 Snipe also noted.

On the Lune Estuary, with higher numbers than last Friday, at least 3,500 godwit were making life hard again, mingling above and below the Conder Estuary, 2,500 Black-tailed Godwit, and 1,000 Bar-tailed Godwit were my final estimates. Also noted, 3 Goldeneye, 5 Goosander, and 550 Wigeon. On the canal basin, 14 Goldeneye and Black-headed Gull 6CY seen here again for my fourth sighting since the first on 26 September 2014, all on the Lune Estuary.

At Cockersand, the male Stonechat showed briefly in the rough field behind Lower Bank House, 5 Rock Pipit were pushed off the marsh by the tide, with 3 Reed Bunting seen. In the field behind Lighthouse Cottage, up to 40 Twite were flighty, with at least 15 Pied Wagtail. From Slack Lane I saw a flight of c.900 Golden Plover undecided where to make landfall. Off Plover Scar, 10 Eider follows 8 seen here on 3 September 2019, and was only my second record off the scar at Cockersand since 3 on 18 May 2019.



Two Kestrel seen, one at Bank Houses, and one at Slack Lane, where I think this one had just reduced the Twite number to 39, a few minutes earlier it had been surveying the landscape from the telephone wires above the field.

The Lune Estuary Whooper Swans.

There are currently in excess of 400 birds in the Thurnham/Cockersand area. In addition to the 28 on Conder Pool. On Jeremy Lane, 45 Whooper Swan were accompanied by 8 Bewick's Swan and 132 Mute Swan, and Whooper Swans were strung out in fields between Thursland Hill and through towards Bank End. 

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Excellent Day At The Office!

I was quite surprised to find in my records, it is over 7 months since I last visited Harrisend on 27 June last year when I found 5 Stonechat, and that it was over 3 months since I checked out Hawthornthwaite, and found 3 possibly 4 Stonechat there on 24 October.

1st Winter Male Stonechat. Steve Gantlett. Clik the pik

Having missed out Thursday on a good calm and sunny day for some winter Stonechat'ing in Bowland, I was determined to get out on Friday on another good day, and succeeded in finding 4 Stonechat on Harrisend, they were seen as a pair, an adult male, and a 1st winter male. Also noted, 4 Meadow Pipit, a Wren, and a Red Grouse.

On Hawthornthwaite I found a pair of Stonechat, with a possible third bird briefly in flight but not relocated, also 10 Red Grouse, and a Grey Heron seen in flight skirting the lower slope of the fell.

Of interest, I have noted January records of 18 Stonechat wintering on the Fylde, including 8 seen at one sighting as an excellent record at Lytham Moss on 18 January. Also the report of a Stonechat at Roeburndale 4 January, and a pair reported at Kent Estuary 12 January. 

And finally, AC was in touch to say he'd seen the Cockersand male Stonechat yesterday. Iv'e not seen this bird since 21 January, despite two visits here.  

I was in touch with Steve Gantlett, and was grateful for the use of his Stonechat at Cley in Norfolk, and for his Caspian Gull at Sheringham in Norfolk. I'm not known as a gull birder, but thought I'd break the mould with this one as the new header. Steve currently has some brilliant images of a species many a birder would give his right arm to see....The stunning Goshawk Here 

Friday, 7 February 2020

After The Break.

After a break from the Lune Estuary - 10 days actually - I was back on parade there yesterday. But since 15 January, Heysham has been the location for me, being I saw 6 Brent Geese, after which I got hooked on the unprecedented numbers of the birds there which culminated with a peak count of 88 Brent Geese on 28 January. Still there, with MD seeing 65 yesterday.

The 50 sec video is another one of the Brent Geese with Wigeon and Oystercatcher at Red Nab 30 January. The wind is annoying, I'd suggest turning off the sound. 


  

View Full Screen

It's a pity these videos on Blogger aren't viewed as clear as elsewhere on the computer.

On Conder Pool yesterday, 32 Wigeon, 20 Curlew, and a drake Goosander. In the creeks, 7 Little Grebe was a count equal to 26 December.


On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, I just wish the c.2,500 godwits would stay apart and didn't mingle like today, they were either side of the Conder mouth making life difficult, but the estimates I came away with were, at least 1,600 Black-tailed Godwit and 900 Bar-tailed Godwit. Other waders of note, 350 Dunlin, 325 Golden Plover, and 120 Curlew. Up to 450 Common Gull noted, also 8 Goosander, 4 Goldeneye, 35 Greylag, and a Merlin which was distant on Colloway Marsh. 

At Cockersand, the herd of c.300 Whooper Swan and 2 Black Swan were seen over four fields including some on Jeremy Lane, and 5 Bewick's Swan were with 2 Mute Swan off Slack Lane. The low tides don't push the waders into the fields, but c.250 Curlew were by Abbey Farm, and at least 10 Pied Wagtail were around a flood at the junction of Moss/Slack Lane.

Garden Birds.

A pair of Greenfinch, the male showing resplendent yellow-green underparts, seen as a species nudging at mega status in our garden this morning.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

The Heysham Brents.

Keen as mustard, I was off to Heysham on Thursday to keep myself up to date on the phenomenon that is 'The Heysham Brents'.

I was at Heysham a good three hours before high tide, to find 60 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose feeding on the exposed skears as viewed from the promenade by the children's play area. Watching the geese as the tide flowed in, their food source eventually became submerged and the geese drifted on the tide towards Heysham Head before lifting off the sea at 12.50pm to fly south.


Dark-bellied Brent Goose Heysham 30 Jan Pete Woodruff 

Underexposed and looks darker than it really is. A record shot of the DBBG....Clik the pik  

Sending MD a text to tell him they were on their way, I got a reply a little later to say he was at Red Nab watching the geese in the hope two birds ringed in Canada would reveal their marks, and to tell me the earlier 61 birds had been joined by two more. We enjoyed excellent close views of the geese at Red Nab until they all took off at 1.40pm and flew further south, presumably to Potts Corner were they had gone on Tuesday.

The video is of the Brent Geese at Red Nab. One of the Canadian ringed birds can be seen coming into view near the end of the video, it's the second of two birds seen standing on a rock before going left into the sea.


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There's a more up to date website for the Heysham Brents Here 

We are only at the start of a new year, but I reckon the three visits to see the Heysham Brents are going to be hard to beat as the most interesting and inspiring birding experiences for me in 2020.
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Hardly a huge leap towards eradicating wildlife crime, but it's a starter in the right direction, and calls for a loud ALLELUIA from everyone.

The Leadhills Estate in Lanarkshire has lost its appeal against a General Licence restriction, imposed on the estate last November, after 'clear evidence of wildlife crimes' was found on the grouse moor here. The alleged offences of shot or trapped included, 3 Hen Harrier, 2 Buzzard, and a Short-eared Owl. 



Photo Ruth Tingay

This male Hen Harrier was found with its leg almost severed in a trap set at the nest, and despite valiant attempts by a top wildlife surgeon the bird died. 

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Brent Adventure.

It was a bit of an adventure with the geese on Tuesday, not least because I had to turn my back on the birds for while, to avoid being hit in the face with hailstones during a heavy shower with a howler behind them coming in off the sea.

I was determined to keep up to date with the invasion, and paid a follow-up to Mondays visit to Heysham to see if I could add to the 72 and arrived at a count of 88 Brent Geese including at least one Dark-bellied Brent Goose, MD had recorded two earlier in the day.


Clik the pik....there's more to see if you do.

The path from the promenade climbs up towards Knowley's Road, from where I waited then watched the geese fly off south at 11.30am. I sent MD a text to tell him about the movement, to get a reply later to say he had seen 10 Brent Geese at Red Nab, but they soon flew off heading down the coast towards Potts Corner.

A brief look in on the shore at Half Moon Bay saw 2 Rock Pipit

The Brent Goose.


Brent Geese Heysham 27 January. Pete Woodruff. Clik the pik

Two distinct populations of Pale-bellied Brent Geese winter in Britain and Ireland, those from Svalbard on Lindisfarne, and those from high Arctic Canada around Strangford Lough.

Enquiries about the unprecedented numbers of Pale-bellied Brent Geese currently at Heysham - including two Canadian ringed birds - lead me to understand, that these birds are from Walney Island in Cumbria - 170 there on Tuesday. On the other hand, British wintering Dark-bellied Brent Geese all originate from the central Siberian Arctic, mostly around the Taimyr Peninsula.

I must say I really enjoyed the exercise on Tuesday despite the less than poor - pretty awful - weather conditions. It was surreal to see this number of Brent Geese at Heysham. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Chasing The Brents.

The birds made a return to Heysham 14 days ago, when 26 Brent Geese made an appearance there on 13 January, since then numbers have fluctuated slightly. But yesterday saw an all time peak number at Heysham.

When I pulled up on Knowleys Road at Heysham yesterday morning, the birds I was looking for were immediately seen from the car. I shot off down to the promenade for excellent views from the children's play area on a fine clear morning, to find an all time peak count of 72 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, including two Canadian ringed birds.

VIEW FULL SCREEN 

At 10.50 the geese took off and flew south. Taking a guess they would follow a pattern and go to Red Nab, I followed them, but no sign when I arrived there. The next guess was the bay at Ocean Edge, and that turned out to be correct, it had been the pattern for them previously, they were still there when I left at 12.00pm.

Stonechat Ocean Edge 27 January. Malcolm Downham. 

There was a bonus bird present at Ocean Edge, with a 1st winter male Stonechat seen. Thanks for the image Malcolm, I never refuse a Stonechat on Birds2blog.

I decided to take a look at Cockersand, and calling in at Conder Green on the way, I noted 3 Goosander on the pool, and a lone Little Grebe holding the fort at high tide over the creeks. There are currently in excess of 300 Whooper Swan at Cockersand, 2 Black Swan were with the bulk of the herd in the field behind the Caravan Park, with two smaller groups in fields by Slack Lane and Moss Lane.

Lower numbers of waders than of late seen in fields were, 250 Golden Plover165 Black-tailed Godwit, and 155 Curlew, 15 Meadow Pipit dropped and disappeared into the grass, and c.450 Pink-footed Geese seen in the air from here were over Glasson Dock.  

Sunday, 26 January 2020

The Stalker.

I note the Purple Heron is still at Eagland Hill this Sunday morning, though to be honest I was fearing the worst for this bird. Having seen some literature indicating some unrest about it's presence there by the natives, and the 'twitchers' becoming an increasing nuisance for this quiet but very busy and extensive farming community. This culminating in a report of the bird having an injured and bleeding leg on 20 January....Mmmmm!  

Birding is a serious business, but it doesn't always have to be that way, so here's something of a lighter look at it....

Two videos I made of the Purple Heron at Eagland Hill, stitched together with sound added. This is a way around the limit of 100mb for uploading films on to Birds2blog. Link to The Stalker 

Edit.

Perhaps the link above doesn't work without the inconvenience of applying for permission. This 50 second video is shorter and is within the 100mb limit for uploading.

WATCH FULL FRAME


I was pleased - delighted even - to hear from Howard to tell me of two pairs of Stonechat he had seen on Abbeystead Lane on Thursday, when he chose to return home from a trip into Lancashire via the scenic route through Bowland....a good choice with an excellent result. 

Stonechat Abbeystead Lane 23 January. Howard Stockdale.

I'm hoping normal service birding will be resumed tomorrow Monday....But who knows!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Another Day Around The River.

I was rewarded by excellent views of the wintering male Stonechat at Cockersand yesterday, it was on the marsh edge opposite the CP, first time since 8 January. Other interest here was 8 Bewick's Swan with 180 Whooper Swan in fields off Slack Lane, the rest of the Cockersand herd were in fields south of Moss Lane, up to 100 there in total.

The video is a pretty hopeless attempt by me. I only had bino's round my neck, but with a little effort and the pause button, you should pick out four of the eight Bewick's Swans if you view Full Screen....it's good fun anyway.


  

Of c.650 Black-tailed Godwit seen, 500 were in the field south of the abbey, and 150 were feeding on Cockerham Sands off the CP. Other waders in fields, c.450 Golden Plover and 140 Curlew. There are still up to 95 Fieldfare still around at Cockersand, surprising since we're heading to the end of January now, 2 Kestrel seen at Bank Houses and Slack Lane, and the wintering Merlin was on a roadside fence post as I drove away from Cockersand, it was on virtually the same post as seen 8 November.   

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, there was at least 1,300 godwit in one tight flock and loose groups making life difficult in the murky conditions, they were seen as c.850 Bar-tailed Godwit and 450 Black-tailed Godwit, also 625 Golden Plover and 320 Dunlin. Up to 350 Wigeon were all hauled out, 2 Goosander and a lone Goldeneye noted, also of note c.300 Common Gull. On Colloway Marsh, c.300 Pink-footed Geese through the murk and distant.

On Conder Pool, 9 Goosander, 28 Wigeon, 25 Tufted Duck, and 32 Curlew. In the creeks, 3 Little Grebe. 

Monday, 20 January 2020

Long Time No See!

With little birding of late for me, comes little blogging, and with little blogging eventually comes a hole in which Birds2blog finds itself in. But n'er mind....here's a little tale to entertain and help dig it out of the hole. 

It's about a bird I found at Heysham last Wednesday after I had seen 6 Brent Geese off Knowleys Road, and a Mediterranean Gull in the field by the children's play area, where I also found a ringed Black-headed Gull.

Copyright laws and all that, mean I'm not at liberty to post details about this sighting, but something of a mystery developed, in that when I received the lifelist of this bird there were no previous records shown on the list until it was sighted at Heysham, Lancashire, observer Pete Woodruff.

Well there's no real mystery at all about all this, but it did make me scratch my head when I considered, a Black-headed Gull had been ringed in Europe in 2017, and had avoided detection for 3 years until it was first seen in the UK in January 2020....Possible Guinness Book of Records material in the 'long time no see' category I'd suggest. 
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Video with sound of the Little Ringed Plover on Conder Pool 2 July last summer, showing in part the birds feeding behaviour of foot patting to bring insects to the surface. 

VIEW FULL SCREEN WITH SPEAKERS

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Brent Return.

The Brent Geese made a return to Heysham on 7 January when the first sighting was of 17 seen off Knowleys Road, they were feeding in an area they have returned to for a third winter. By Monday the number had risen to 26 Brent Geese at Heysham....Clik the piks.

Brent Geese Red Nab Heysham 13 Jan Malcolm Downham


I was keen to see if the birds were still present yesterday, and as I was in the area I decided to go to Knowleys Road to find 6 Brent Geese on the incoming tide off the children's play area.

Mediterranean Gull 15 January. Pete Woodruff. 

A Mediterranean Gull was also seen from this viewpoint, initially on the shore, then went on a nearby inland field.

Thanks to Malcolm for the use of his image of the Brent Geese, much appreciated. 

Sunday, 12 January 2020

A Twitching Double.

A text to AC on Friday morning to ask if there was any news on an Iceland Gull seen on Thursday at Knott End was negative, but resulted in a good day for both of us when he suggested I met him at Eagland Hill.


 VIEW FULL FRAME

The weather was perfect with calm sunny conditions, and a Purple Heron was out in the open in a field opposite Birk's Farm and giving excellent views with the bonus of a Barn Owl flying over the herons head, to return complete with a vole in it's talons. Also, up to 30 Corn Bunting close by, they were up and down on to the telephone wires in varying numbers.

On to the sewage plant on Backsands Lane at Pilling, and more excellent views, this time of a Siberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis, with the advantage of the bird being accompanied by a 'yellow' collybita, as opposed to our bird being overall much paler. Also seen, a Grey Wagtail and Pied Wagtail on the beds. In the field opposite the works, c.350 Pink-footed Geese and 230 CurlewAt Fluke Hall, up to 900 Pink-footed Geese, also noted 7 Blackbird in 50m of hedgerow, and a lone Tree Sparrow

Over our house on Friday, at least 450 Jackdaw at 4.05pm flew NW towards Aldcliffe. This is a daily occurrence, but I'm struggling to work out where exactly they go to roost. When we lived elsewhere in Lancaster 8 years ago, we saw the Jackdaws gather nightly towards dusk on the  top of the tower block at the then called St Martins Collage - now the University of Cumbria - when they would fly off towards Ashton Hall, where 900 Jackdaws were recorded going to roost on 15 December.

The Purple Heron.

The Purple Heron has the reputation of an over-shooting spring visitor with some even through to October. It breeds as close as France and Spain, but many records are linked to breeding colonies in the Netherlands. I reckon this bird should really be wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, and certainly not in a field at Eagland Hill on the Fylde in January.

The first record of a Purple Heron in Britain was at Middlesex in 1722, but although today it is regarded as an annual vagrant to Britain, the next record didn't come until 88 years later in 1810. Since 1983 the species ceased to be considered by the BBRC, by which time over 700 records had been accepted.    

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Yesterday....

....all my troubles seemed so far away. Not sure about that, but I got some birding in and noted the notables around the Lune Estuary.

I've been seeing good numbers of Goosander recently, and found 12 on the River Lune at Glasson Dock on 18 November, I don't recall seeing a double figure of the species on the estuary before, and on Conder Pool yesterday, a good count of 9 Goosander was a personal best here, 21 Wigeon and 15 Curlew also seen, and a lone Redwing was in the hedgerow. In the creeks, 3 Little Grebe and 82 Teal was a low count. I saw 14 Blackbird at Conder Green including 10 along a 100m length of the coastal path. On the Lune Estuary at Glasson, 10 Goldeneye, and on the canal basin 2 Goosander.

It was good to find the male Stonechat at Cockersand, it was in the rough field behind Lower Bank House again. Up to 160 Fieldfare are still around, with 140 Curlew in fields, and 120 Black-tailed Godwit were off Lighthouse Cottage, also 12 Greenfinch seen.


Black-headed Gull 6CY Lune Estuary 26 Sept 2014. Pete Woodruff.  

I found the ringed Black-headed Gull on the canal basin at Glasson Dock yesterday, and is my third sighting of this bird. Seen each sighting on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock 26 September 2014, 17 November 2017, and 8 January 2020.

Ringed 6CY at Gentofte in Denmark on 21 March 2013 as a 3 year old male. It has had 10 recoveries, 6 of which have all been on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, and has returned to Gentofte in Denmark 3 times on 28 March 2015, 4 April 2015, and 14 March 2016.  

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Thursday Rewind!

The new header is appropriate enough to remind us that the summer days are on their way. 

It didn't take long to check out Conder Green, still a little on the quiet side, until the geese went over later, 15 Curlew were on Conder Pool until a Grey Heron flew in and sent them packing, also a Little Egret, and a female Goosander which thought it was one of the 38 Wigeon it was in company with. In the creeks, c.150 Teal seems to be an average count lately, 18 Redshank and 2 Little Grebe one of which was down the channel towards the Conder mouth. 

As I was about to leave Conder Green, I could hear geese calling, eventually up to 2,500 Pink-footed Geese appeared from the east and arced over Conder Pool south toward Jeremy Lane. On the canal basin, the male Pochard seen again but no sign of Mondays female.

On the Lune Estuary at low tide, there was large numbers of waders, wildfowl and gulls. Most notable was a similar number of at least Mondays 2,000 godwit, probably looking more like 1,875 Black-tailed Godwit, and 625 Bar-tailed Godwit today, also up to 2,000 Golden Plover, with a large proportion on the south side of the river, unusual as they invariably stick to the north shore here, c.50 Knotwith Dunlin and Redshank, 3 Goldeneye and 4 Goosander also noted. 

No Stonechat found at the Lighthouse Cottage or Caravan Park at Cockersand, but c.95 Fieldfare seen in the field to the south of the abbey. 

In our garden this Sunday morning, a Goldcrest, the last one here was 18 November 2017.  

With a Blogger limit of 100mb for downloading videos, here is a trimmed 50 sec taste of a fraction of the c.2,000 Golden Plover & Co on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock.

VIEW FULL SCREEN

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

The Stonechat At Last!

Conder Pool has been pretty hard work on recent visits, not helped by the departure of the Little Grebe, they have generally left Conder Pool by early December, though an exceptional count for the date at Conder Green was of 15 on 3 December, not one of which was on the pool. Yesterday 62 Curlew were accompanied by a lone Black-tailed Godwit, a Snipe was on the small island, and a drake Goosander brought up the rear.


Black-tailed Godwit Brian Rafferty Clik the pik

On the Lune Estuary, an impressive mix of up to 2,000 Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit were estimated at 75/25 respectfully, 26 Goldeneye was this winters peak count here to date. 

On the canal basin, it was good to find a pair of Pochard, seen as a declining winter visitor to Leighton Moss RSPB and Pine Lake, and at best irregular elsewhere, the last one on the canal basin at Glasson Dock was a drake on 26 November. Also seen, 2 Goosander and 27 Tufted Duck.

At Cockersand, the male Stonechat seen opposite the Caravan Park, and was virtually my last bird of 2019. AC tells me the bird has found an ample food source of caterpillars on the marsh edge. Up to 95 Fieldfare were accompanied by a Mistle Thrush in a field adjacent to c.350 Curlew, also a Reed Bunting and Kestrel noted.

On a wander through Williamson Park yesterday with KT, a Little Grebe was on the old reservoir at Fenham Carr, good to see at least one remaining after they bred there this year with five found 18 August. Also noted, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Jay, NuthatchSong Thrush, and Long-tailed Tits.