Birding The Lune Estuary The Forest Of Bowland And Beyond......................................................................MED GULLS - 2 OF 4 - CONDER POOL 23 SEPT PETE WOODRUFF

Friday, 29 April 2016

Turned Out Nice Again!

In terms of the weather Wednesday was a day of two halves, the first half I spent a good time sat in the motor rain/snow watching, by the time I got to Cockersands the second half was an absolute delight .

I took this shot of the snow which took me by surprise when I set eyes on the Bowland Fells from Glasson Dock. I took it through the telescope, it's a resounding failure photographically, but when I got it on the computer I found I'd stopped a raptor in flight at least 4 miles away from Glasson as the crow flies. There's almost nothing to go on, but it's not a Buzzard as I see it, it has flat wings and zoomed in takes on a blurred reddish appearance....kite/harrier?

Spotted Redshank. Pete Woodruff.  

I also took another shot of our friend the Conder Green Spotted Redshank, another of my moderate attempts at photography and a bit repetitive too, not all black yet including it's legs, but with the birds fine white speckling showing now, it becomes clearer why the bird is so called.

Also seen in the creeks, 2 Greenshank, 'the' lone Black-tailed Godwit, and 5 Common Sandpiper, which - if 2015 is anything to go by - I reckon will have departed here by the end of next week, when the last in my book were four seen on 1 May, with the first returning bird seen under seven weeks later on 18 June, 2 House Martin were lingering. 

On the canal basin at Glasson Dock, up to 60 Sand Martin were hawking. The Lune Estuary notes amounted to, 14 Eider, and 5 Red-breasted Merganser which in itself was at least a decent count of the species here.

Cockersands Lighthouse 27 April. Pete Woodruff.

By the time I got to Cockersands it was a complete turn around with the weather, with brilliant sunshine and not a breath of wind, it was a delight to be on Plover Scar with up to 650 waders to scan through with which here could have been anything....but wasn't. I broke them down to estimates of 300 Dunlin, 250 Ringed Plover, 50 Knot, 40 Turnstone, and 4 Whimbrel.

I got no further than Plover Scar at Cockersands today, but from the motor driving away, I saw my first Lapwing pair with two chicks in a field off Slack Lane....I called out Good Luck to them as I drove by!! 


In Sunday's post 'Up And Down Birding Again', you may have noticed I referred to a Mallard female as having 10 goslings stringing along....Mmmmm....Not a senior moment at my young age surely, but they were ducklings....were'nt they!! 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Whingeing, Birding, And A Plover.

Here's the whinge....

Yesterday was more like late February than late April, and the hail shower which turned up around mid-day completely brought down my enthusiasm for Cockersands, so I went to seek shelter for a while at Aldcliffe. If there was any migrants at Conder/Glasson there was no way I was going to find them on song, and I sure found no silent one's either, though at Aldcliffe around mid-afternoon the sun put in an appearance the transformation of which was amazing, with numerous birds bursting into song....End of whinge.

Here's the birding.... 

On Conder Pool, the one day appearance of the Little Ringed Plover on 14 April, the stay on here of the Gadwall pair since 8 April, and the lone Little Grebe, all seem to have departed, leaving just the in residence Oystercatchers, a few Tufted Duck, Redshank, and Shelduck. The two birds of most interest was the return of a Great-crested Grebe at best uncommon on the pool, and a Coot, not sure I ever saw one before on Conder Pool. In the creeks, 5 Common Sandpiper, and a Greenshank.

The Lune Estuary, at least 20 Eider is my best ever count on this section of the estuary, 15 Dunlin were at the Conder mouth, and a Peregrine Falcon on Colloway Marsh was being dived bombed by 4 Carrion Crow until it flew off, my first House Martin was over with Swallows. Now the hail stones have arrived....I'm off.

At Aldcliffe, 4 Little Ringed Plover were on the flood with display seen between a pair which took off and went on to the Wildfowler's Pool where I found them ten minutes later, 2 Gadwall drakes were the only birds noted on here. I had to witness the transformation to believe it when the sun came out, what had been a complete silence now burst out into the song of 5 Robin, 3 Chiffchaff, a Lesser Whitethroat, and a Song Thrush, all within a few metres of hedgerow, 10 minutes later the sun had disappeared again....End of birding.

Here's the plover.... 

Kentish Plover Jan Larsson 

Yesterday a male Kentish Plover was found ESE of Manchester on Audenshaw Reservoir, the bird showed well all day and remains there again today. Fond memories came flooding back to me when I saw this news, of the bird I found on Plover Scar at Cockersands, 5 years ago next Tuesday on 3 May 2011....BE THERE!!

Thanks to Jan for the much appreciated KP at Ottenby Bird Observatory  

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Up And Down Birding Again.

Whinchat Brian Rafferty

Having met SP at the lighthouse cottage on Thursday and set off towards Plover Scar around high tide, we had gone through the kissing gate when to the left in bushes there was a Whinchat with Linnets....I didn't see my first Whinchat in 2015 until 3 May. Thanks to BR for the excellent image. 

Plover Scar was pretty quiet and with waders hunkered down amongst the stones, some were difficult to find, but barely a double figure of Dunlin and Ringed Plover present, with a single Grey Plover standing out well. Also at Cockersands, 8 Wheatear, five of which were on the Cockersand Abbey ruins. The rest of the circuit was rather grim, with lots of Lapwing sitting quietly in some of the fields, a single Skylark, and the 2 Whooper Swan still hanging on here.

As I drove along Jeremy Lane en route to Glasson Dock, in excess of 450 Lesser Black-backed Gull were of note in a freshly slurried field. On the Lune Estuary, a Common Sandpiper was on the mud feeding with Redshank, and the only other note made was of 3 Eider hauled out by the Conder mouth.

Three moderate quality images below courtesy of yours truly!!  

Spotted Redshank. Conder Green 21 April.

High tide at Conder Green, the Spotted Redshank was showing it's transformation to black breeding plumage to good effect....

Greenshank/Common Sandpiper. Conder Green 21 April.

....and a Greenshank was with one of the 2 Common Sandpiper seen here today.  

Lesser Black-backed Gull. Conder Pool 21 April. 

This brute of a resident currently on Conder Pool with it's mate, was eyeing up a female Mallard which had it's ten goslings stringing along....dangerous neighbours, dangerous times! 

Bryan Yorke is first past the post with his Cuckoo seen on Dalton Crags yesterday morning Here  

Thanks to SP for the excellent header image of the Temminck's Stint found on Conder Pool 28 May 2013. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Shirt Sleeves In Bowland!

Nice wall to wall sunshine on Wednesday, I was off to Bowland and in shirt sleeves by noon.

But I was on my way to another disappointment on the west side of Hawthornthwaite Fell, though a slight improvement on the east side was to follow. I decided to do a count on the six hours spent here and arrived at 38 species which I'd say wasn't too bad for me on and around the Bowland uplands.

Ring Ouzel. Ana Minguez @ Naturanafotos 

The prize of the day managed to downgrade the chat for me this time, when I saw a silent black bird flying away from me on Hawthornthwaite's west side, to land a distance off and turn front on to reveal a blazing white crescent, a belting male Ring Ouzel, an excellent unexpected bird for me on this fell....entered in capital letters in the little black book. 

Also seen, a male Stonechat, almost certainly the same lone bird I found here on 31 March, 8 Sand Martin were on circuits of the banks at the bottom end of Catshaw Greave, I saw 3 Red Grouse, at least 11 Meadow Pipit, and a hovering Kestrel was one of only two raptors seen today, a Peacock butterfly was recorded.

Driving from here to Marshaw, 3 Wheatear were close together on a roadside wall, and from Marshaw I had a couple of hours on the east side of Hawthornthwaite to find 3 Stonechat which were seen as a pair and a lone male, 14 Meadow Pipit counted, 6 Red Grouse, a Snipe flushed out of a ditch, 2 singing Wren, 2 Curlew, and 2 Willow Warbler were in the trees by the shooting lodge, a Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacock seen. When I got back to the road at Marshaw 2 Mistle Thrush were seen. 

A couple of hours in the Tower Lodge area had a Grey Wagtail on the Marshaw Wyre, anything else seen was up the track from Tower Lodge, 7 Chaffinch, 2 Blackbird, a Goldcrest, Jay, a Treecreeper, Dunnock, and a Mistle Thrush, a Buzzard was seen distant soaring over Winfold Fell, and another Small Tortoiseshell seen.      

Many thanks to Ana for the excellent image of the brilliant 'Spanish' Ring Ouzel.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Pleasant Sunny Day....

....for pleasant sunny birding.

I called in twice at Conder Green on Tuesday, and got no further than the viewing platform on both occasions, the first visit was at high tide when a Greenshank was with 24 Redshank roosting on the marsh, and on the second visit six hours later, I found 5 Common Sandpiper, three in the creeks and two on Conder Pool which was quiet and held 6 Tufted Duck, a pair of Canada Geese and a few summer resident Oystercatcher

I watched a Lesser Black-backed Gull make a Gannet style dive on Conder Pool to completely submerge itself and surface with a large crab in it's bill, take it to land, and with the help of it's equally handsome and brutish mate, thrash the unfortunate creature to pieces and eat the lot - claws and all - in under 10 seconds. 

Black-tailed Godwit. Pete Woodruff.

It's a pity my pic of the c.350 Black-tailed Godwit on the Lune Estuary is a botched job as the birds were stunning to see in their breeding plumage ready for the off to Iceland anytime soon. Little else to note here other than 4 Eider drake, and 2 Red-breasted Merganser.

At Cockersands, 3 Wheatear, 2 Skylark, a Reed Bunting, and a Sparrowhawk. I saw 4 Linnet, but had noted a decent flock of around 50 small birds come up out of a field with c.250 Golden Plover which were almost certainly Linnet. At least 400 waders were feeding between Plover Scar and Long Tongue as the tide dropped, noted as c.350 Dunlin and 50 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel were my first of the year, and 8 Eider were off the scar.

A Barn Owl was seen from the headland around the Bank Houses area, which I've not seen here since 9 March, c.40 Swallow in ones and twos, with a single Sand Martin were over and all north, and 2 Whooper Swan are the left overs from a peak count of at least 400 in the area on Thursday 3 March. I saw up to 10 Small Tortoiseshell on the day.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Thursday Part 2.

Ridiculously belated news, but here goes....

I think the Aldcliffe bug has bitten me as I made my second visit there this month last Thursday when I went following three hours on the Lune Estuary. I had an hour there, going along the top path from Aldcliffe Hall Lane to the Wildfowlers Pool, to return via the bottom path.

Willow Warbler Richard Pegler 

I found my first Willow Warbler here, with 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Bunting, and 4 Goldfinch noted. On the flood I found 6 Little Ringed Plover, with the Greenshank seen on the marsh again. On the Wildfowlers Pool 5 Gadwall included some in flight chasing between two drake and a female. Thanks for the Willow Warbler Richard, albeit a little out of context on a Scillies beach.

Snipe. Pete Woodruff.

Four Snipe out in the open seemed unconcerned about the busy cycle way and footpath which runs parallel the full length now that some serious hedge-laying has been completed. 

The Garden Siskin.

At least one pair of Siskin - two males together one day - are visiting our garden at the moment several times per day, with five birds being the peak count on Sunday 13 March. I've also had phone calls to tell me of numbers of Siskin in gardens at Bailrigg, Brookhouse, Halton, and seen many reports on websites, all indicating an influx of these attractive finches. Phil Woollen had ringed 51 Siskin in his garden on the Wirral by mid-January. At locations in Lancashire many of the reports of Siskin at garden feeders are in excess in number of many of the counts of birds on passage made during this period in the county in 2015.

Siskin. Mike Atkinson.

Mike Atkinson got in touch to tell me of at least 30 Siskin over the past two days in his Lancaster garden just around the corner from us. Thanks to Mike for his excellent image of one of the males in his garden.

Most commonly know as a late winter early spring visitor to gardens, many of the Siskin are of native origin, though birds from continental Europe also visit and pass through Britain in large but varying numbers. It's interesting to note, during the winters of 1994/95 and 19978/98, a survey showed that almost 40% of participating gardens recorded Siskin. High numbers of garden Siskin feeding on supplement foods are influenced by poor cone crops, especially in the early morning, or on wet and overcast days, as the Siskin is unable to feed on unopened cones.

Of interest is the fastest recorded movement of a Siskin which went from Shropshire to the Highland Region of Scotland in three days at an average of 118 miles per day.

Siskin. Pete Woodruff. 

I made an attempt to photograph this female Siskin in our garden, but it stuck it's head into the feeder as the shutter fired....Still, I suppose it would have made a 'name the bird' shot in a quiz.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Birding By Halves.

Better late than never....I'm putting last Thursdays birds on Birdsblog in two halves as I'm struggling with time at the moment. So here are the results of a Lune Estuary sortie which started in fine style, even though it proved me wrong....again!

A quote from Wednesday's post....'I have a distinct feeling it's not going to happen in 2016'....I was talking about the likelyhood of a Little Ringed Plover on Conder Pool this late spring, but my prediction was about to be proved wrong. 

I was hanging on to the hope of finding a LRP again this year, and looking excactly in the area where the birds had always been found in previous years there it was, Little Ringed Plover Conder Pool had delivered again

I'd noted the pool was quiet, but it was good to see the Gadwall pair still on here, though never seen out in the open yet, always lurking somewhere behind the islands, also 'the' lone Black-tailed Godwit here. I don't understand this bird, always alone and surely the same individual seen here numerous times throughout this year and last.

In the creeks, Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, and 2 Common Sandpiper, with a few Redshank one of which was displaying. Legging it to Glasson Dock from Conder Green, 2 Great Tit, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, and House Sparrow....Not a migrant in sight and still waiting for my first Willow Warbler.

Black-tailed Godwit. Pete Woodruff.

On the Lune Estuary, c.350 Back-tailed Godwit, the photograph clearly illustrating the difficulty of counting birds on these stoney islands at low tide, there are at least fifty in the picture above. A 'few' Bar-tailed Godwit seen, 16 Eider is by far my best ever count on this section of the estuary where at best they are irregular, 4 Red-breasted Merganser seen recently were here still. During my 3 hour visit to the Lune Estuary maybe 8 Swallow went over heading north.

Black-tailed Godwit. Pete Woodruff.

Some of the Black-tailed Godwit were feeding close in, I did my best to capture the stunning breeding plumage most of these birds are acquiring. Hopefully the second half of Thursdays birding to follow when I can get to the computer.   

I'm grateful for some images Mike Atkinson sent me, including the excellent female Siskin header. 

Friday, 15 April 2016

Keep On Running!

Common Sandpiper. Pete Woodruff.

This was the limit of my photographic skills with two of the 3 Common Sandpiper which had turned up at Conder Green on Wednesday with more to come yet, but I imagine they'll all have moved on by the end of the April. Conder Pool was quiet, but the pair of Gadwall were still there, with 2 Snipe, 12 Tufted Duck, 28 Mute Swan, and at least 150 sheep with lambs on here now....say n'more. A Greenshank was in the creeks, and on the circuit 2 Dunnock, a Wren, Great Tit, and Robinbut no migrants seen.

A couple of hours at Cockersands yielded 10 Wheatear with only my second Swallow over the fields heading north, these were the only migrants seen. About 6 Tree Sparrow were around Bank Houses with Dunnock, Robin, and a couple of Skylark in the air. 

To do my birding full justice I should have checked out Plover Scar, but the 'doggie brigade' beat me there and put paid to any such chance....truck! Off the scar I counted 8 Eider, the same 8 Wigeon winter left overs, and 2 Great-crested Grebe.

As far as I could see, amongst c.30 Mute Swan distant from Moss Lane, I saw just 2 Whooper Swan remaining here, and on the day I saw 5 Small Tortoiseshell.

Garden Birds. 

Siskin Warren Baker

A pair of Siskin have visited our garden feeders again twice recently. Thanks for the image Warren, appreciated.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

....And A Congregation Of Plovers.

Spotted Redshank/Redshank. Unknown.

In the creeks at Conder Green, the rapidly transforming Spotted RedshankIt was good to see last Friday's pair of Gadwall still on the pool again, with probably no more than 30 other birds, notable of which were a Snipe, 4 Tufted Duck, a Little Egret, and a fishing Cormorant not being a regular sight on here.

Raven. Martin Lofgren @ Wild Bird Gallery

Two Raven went over Conder Pool and put on a brief ariel display before continuing on their way, a check in the picnic area produced 6 Goldfinch and 2 Chaffinch.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, c.350 Knot took to the wing immediately I spotted them and flew off downstream and out of sight, whilst 7 Eider flew upstream, up to 50 Black-tailed Godwit and similar Bar-tailed Godwit, with a Red-breasted Merganser seen. 

Greenshank. Antonio Puigg @ Pasión por las aves 

I decided to give Aldcliffe the shortened version of a visit and found a Greenshank on the marsh in company with a few Redshank. It took barely 10 minutes to scan the flood - now in brilliant condition - to find a congregation of 8 Little Ringed Plover there, also 4 White Wagtail, 8 Meadow Pipit, and a Little Egret.

I heard 2 Chiffchaff and saw 2 Reed Bunting during the time here, a pair of Gadwall, a pair of Shoveler, and a Snipe were on the now drying up 'wetland' otherwise more officially named the Wildfowlers Pool. Freeman's Pools were quiet, but 3 Goldeneye were still on here, and a few butterflies were at the east end but too fast and too far away for me though one gave itself up to be a Peacock

Little Ringed Plover.

Little Ringed Plover. Jan Larsson @ Vingspann 

My first Little Ringed Plover in 2015 were two birds on Conder Pool 7 April. I have a distinct feeling it's not going to happen in 2016, the pool is more likened to a lake again following the recent high tides which flood the pool, and I watched a Lesser Black-backed Gull on here thrashing a large crab about with it's bill.

Thanks to ML/AP/JL for their excellent photographs, they are much appreciated, and were much needed to give Birds2blog a bit of lift. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

The Appliance Of Science.

Black-tailed Godwit Martin Jump

Martin Jump was it touch recently to tell me about the image of a Black-tailed Godwit the likes of which he'd never seen before, and that he found the image whilst looking through some of his stock files. After Martins explanation of the circumstances and the image he sent me, I told him this was new to me too, and that he had been photographing this bird just at the precise moment in time to catch this amazing shot as evidence of the behaviour of this individual. 

So I did some research and found that Distal Rhynchokinesis is a little known phenomenon related to the ability of shorebirds to open up the tip of the bill to be able to feed in mud, silt, or soil.

Snipe. Howard Stockdale. 

Some further searching lead me to Howard Stockdale who has excellent photo documentation of a Snipe showing side on the gradual change in the upper mandible shape.

This is all fascinating stuff, and thanks to Martin for getting in touch and drawing my attention to it, and to Howard for allowing me the use of his sequence of the Snipe.


'The use of Distal Rhynchokinesis (DR), which consists of the movement of the distal part of the upper jaw with respect to the cranium, is well documented in long-billed shorebirds (Scolopacidae), commonly being associated with the deep probing feeding method. However, the functional and evolutionary significance of DR and other cranial kinesis is unclear. We report for the first time the use and occurrence of DR in wild long-billed shorebirds feeding on small prey items suspended in water. We tested whether prey size in captive Dunlins Calidris alpina influences the occurrence of DR during feeding and also whether its use affects foraging efficiency. We found that wild Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea, Sanderling Calidris alba and Little Stint Calidris minuta commonly use DR to strike, capture and transport small prey items. Prey size influenced the occurrence of DR during the transport phase, with this type of cranial kinesis being more frequently used with larger prey. The rhynchokinesis protraction angle (a measure of bill tip elevation) during prey strike and transport was affected by prey size, and bill gape was modulated through the use of DR in relation to prey size. Finally, the use of DR throughout intra-oral prey transport was related to shorter transport times, which improved foraging efficiency. We conclude that DR is a mechanism that could contribute to the flexible feeding behaviour of long-distance migratory shorebirds, enhancing small prey profitability and so improving foraging efficiency, and may have played a role in the evolutionary radiation of Scolopacidae (Charadrii)'....This summary is taken from a lengthy and scientific page on Distal Rhynchokinesis Here 

I'd sooner be birding!....And that's what I'm about to go and do right now, but to be honest too windy on the coast for my liking.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Little New....

....on the migrant front yesterday, but a nice bit of enjoyable variety around. 

Gadwall. Bob Bushell @  Birdsfod 

A pair of Gadwall on Conder Pool were at least unusual, with 14 Redshank and 8 Tufted Duck to note, everything in sight put to flight at the sight of a Sparrowhawk flap flap gliding through. The Spotted Redshank was again the first bird I saw at Conder Green when it was in the creeks and almost half way to becoming black as the devil's waistcoat. A Song Thrush was a nice bonus here today alongside 2 Robin.

On the Lune Estuary, not every day you see 12 Eider on the River Lune at Glasson Dock, they were all hauled out as was a drake Red-breasted Merganser. A single Goldeneye took me by surprise as it rocketed downstream, I had thought they had all gone, and just 12 Black-tailed Godwit here. At least 50 Shelduck were on Colloway Marsh, and c.20 Sand Martin were over the canal basin, soon moved off north, and I saw 2 Long-tailed Tit here.

At Cockersands, little more than 20 Whooper Swan remain here now. The tide was at it's height and along the headland I saw the one Wheatear. At Bank Houses horse paddock, 5 Tree Sparrow, a single House Sparrow, 3 Blackbird, and a Great Tit, 2 Skylark on the circuit, with 11 Curlew at rest in a field, and off Slack Lane, c.450 Golden Plover have taken a liking to the flooded field now considerably drier, along with c.50 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin. In an Abbey Farm field I counted an excellent 18 Brown Hare.

The Plume Moth.

20-plume Moth. Pete Woodruff.

This 20-Plume Moth was found trapped in our bathroom where I photographed it in the window, then released it back into the garden where it belonged.

The English name of this unusual little moth is inappropriate as each wing is separated into 6 plumes, the scientific name - Alucita hexadactyla - is more accurate and means six-fingered. It is the only British member of its family and is fairly common, it can be found at almost any time of year.

Thanks to BB for his drake Gadwall, and thanks to DC for his 'Stoney' header, both excellent and much appreciated images. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

What A Difference A Day Makes.

Following some action by one or two migrants for me on Monday, the following day was much more subdued, so much so that I saw little action at all, such is the unpredictability if birds.

The Common Sandpiper put in an appearance and was on Conder Pool, with the lone Little Grebe left behind on here by it's wintering brethren, 2 Snipe were on 'Tern Island', 16 Redshank were roosting, and a few Sand Martin and Swallow went over. On the Lune Estuary, estimates of 350 Redshank feeding close in from the bowling green, whilst 50 Dunlin were on the far side of the Conder mouth, with 20 Black-tailed Godwit noted, 4 Red-breasted Merganser seen here again.

Golden Plover Jan Larrson 

At Cockersands, I saw up to 350 Golden Plover high in the air and changing directions until I lost them to view, two hours later I counted 105 Golden Plover quietly crouched in an Abbey Farm field. At Bank Houses horse paddock, 6 Tree Sparrow, and 4 Blackbird. On the circuit I heard a Skylark in it's never ending flight song, and saw just one Meadow Pipit.

Lapwing Brian Rafferty 

It's on days like this you realise the status of some of the UK's birds, in particular today's farmland birds and the breeding Lapwings at Cockersands, where those in at least one field here have already lost their first breeding attempts to agricultural 'activities'....
Ahhhh well, I suppose we'll be expecting our Corn Flakes and dozens of other consumer options for the choosing on the mile long shelves at the supermarket next time we go there!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Curtain Up!

Chiffchaff Warren Baker

The curtain went up on Monday for my small share of some of the summer migrants when the first one seen was a Chiffchaff in song from the coastal path at Glasson Dock, it was soon followed by at least 40 Sand Martin over the canal basin at Glasson Dock. My first Chiffchaff in 2015 was at Conder Green on 13 April, and the first Sand Martin were six birds over Conder Pool on 7 April.

On the Lune Estuary, c.150 Redshank and 50 Dunlin were feeding close in as the tide dropped, and 4 Red-breasted Merganser included some display by the two males throwing their heads back.

I found 2 Spotted Redshank in the creeks today along with the Common Sandpiper, this bird will no doubt soon be joined by it's relations on their way to breeding grounds. In 2015 the last Common Sandpipers at Conder Green were 4 seen on 1 May, with the first returning bird back here about six weeks later on 18 June. Fourteen Redshank were roosting on Conder Pool. 

White Wagtail Noushka Dufort 

At Cockersands, 2 White Wagtail were in stubble behind the Lighthouse Cottage, off Crook Farm, c.450 Black-tailed Godwit, and off Plover Scar 7 Eider noted. In the area of Cockersands Abbey, 5 Wheatear were seen. 

I reckon the count was down to little more than 20 Whooper Swan on Monday, they were in the same fields they've been in since mid-January where they have been difficult to assess this winter, always spread out from Moss Lane as far down the fields to Bank End, but according to my records they peaked at c.400 on 3 March, I reckon possibly the all time highest count of Whooper Swan in our recording area. 

Garden Birds.

Siskin. Peter Rhind.

A male Siskin again and 2 Greenfinch were on our feeders yesterday, with thanks to PR for the Siskin which was in his garden the same day.

Thanks also to Warren and Noushka for today's other images, excellent and much appreciated.