Thursday, 27 February 2020

Windy Wanderings.

Conder Pool holds more water now than it ever has in it's history, the marker showed above 9.0 with the tip of the post almost dipping below the surface. A Kingfisher added a little colour as it zipped across the pool, also noted, 38 Wigeon, 37 Teal, and 27 Greylag, 3 Little Grebe were in the creeks.

On the Lune Estuary, my best estimates of the distant godwits upstream from the Conder Estuary, stands at a mix of c.3,000 Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit, with a 75/25 ratio. Also noted c.350 Wigeon were mostly hauled out on the mud, and a lone Goosander. On the canal basin, 14 Goldeneye, 8 Goosander, and a Great-crested Grebe.

At Cockersand, the bitter westerly howler took away the possibility of any pleasure in birding, particularly along the headland. A few thousand waders were in and over the fields taking refuge from the high tide and gale force wind, including a combine of up to 2,000 Golden Plover and Dunlinwith uncounted Lapwing in the field east of Abbey Farm. A pair of Shoveler on a flood were of note, 5 Skylark, raptors seen were a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. The estimate of 400 Whooper Swan remain spread over fields in the area down towards Bank End, and included a few Whoopers accompanied by 5 Bewick's Swan off Slack Lane.

The Cormorant.

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I made this video on the canal basin at Glasson Dock, quality and low light doesn't help with  finer detail, but I concluded that this is a continental sinensis Cormorant.

But how's this for something of a coincidence....

A day short of 9 years ago on 28 February 2011, I found a Continental Cormorant sinensis on the canal basin at Glasson Dock, the very same location as yesterdays bird was seen. The best single character to ID these Cormorants is the angle of the gular patch which is well illustrated in the images here. The top being the race sinensis, the carbo the bottom.

It's worth noting, older British Cormorants may be very white-headed, and are not separable from continental birds on this feature alone.

Many thanks to Stuart Piner for the images.

1 comment:

Richard Pegler said...

Impressive counts there, in windy weather, Pete! I'm rather fond of Cormorants in their 'punk' plumage, but will now be looking out for sinensis birds - thank you for the ID tip. Best regards - - - Richard