BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND.........................................................................................MIGRANT HAWKER PETE WOODRUFF

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Excellent Hawker Haul.

Any days birding is a good day, but not for the first time, this one developed into excellent.

I was in the good company of Steve again, and a visit to the Lune Estuary started with a look in on Conder Pool where I counted 18 Little Grebe. I know of nowhere in or out of our area, where the species can be found in such number. I note 25 Little Grebe reported 8 September (LDBWS), a number seen as an all time peak count on Conder Pool.

Also seen on Conder Pool, one of 2 Kingfisher - the second seen upstream of the A588 road bridge - and a Goosander hauled out on the far bank. In the creeks, half dozen Redshank flew in accompanied by a Ruff, also a Greenshank and Snipe. Later, a Sparrowhawk was seen attacking a passerine over the marsh. 

Noting the last one reported on 7 October 2019, at least 2 House Martin, one of which appeared to approach a nest at River Winds....Presumably a practice run for 2022, though the breeding season is often prolonged through autumn, and I recorded a movement of up to 150 House Martin with Swallows at Conder Green on 25 September 2019.

On the Lune Estuary at Glasson, an Avocet in a low tide pool by the Conder mouth, 4 Greenshank, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, and 12 Wigeon were seen as an early sign of the approaching winter.

Videos best viewed Full Screen. 

Along the canal from Glasson Dock - Conder Green, this was the first of 43 Migrant Hawker seen in 1.5 mile along the towpath. The record is eleven less than my count of 54 Migrant Hawker along the same canal towpath 19 September 2019.

Migrant Hawker. Pete Woodruff. 

Also seen, 10 Brown Hawker, 5 Common Darter, and 2 Common Blue Damselflies.

Butterflies seen around the Lune Estuary, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White, 2 Comma, 2 Red Admiral, and a Common Blue.

Enroute back to Caton to drop off Steve, we called in at Birk Bank, to find the bog near deserted, save 3 Black Darter, and 2 Common Darter.

Garden Happenings.

Entirely black, with its light red tail, a smart Red-tailed Bumblebee was on the Verbena in our garden yesterday. The queens and workers are marked identically, but there is a large size difference. The queens are amongst the largest of British species, they are also unique in any British species, overwintering in north-facing banks, often in woodlands or woodland edge. The bee is said to have a fondness for yellow flowers, but not today in the garden.

These two young sibling Woodpigeons also put in an appearance as a first for our garden.

I'm grateful to Steve for the header image of the increasingly rare High Brown Fritillary taken near Hutton Roof.


Richard Pegler said...

That was a truly magnificent day, Pete! I've seen some good concentrations of Migrant Hawker in my time, but nothing approaching those numbers. I very much enjoyed this post, but the highlight for me was the video of the bee. I was amused to see that you cunningly twisted the flower stem to get a side-on view! Nice to see the Small Tortoiseshell in the background too.

Best wishes - stay safe - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

'Cunningly twisted'....I suppose the slight clockwise twist was obvious, although I did trim my hand out, but well spotted all the same Richard. Pleased you enjoyed the post and those magnificent Migrant Hawkers.

Take Care. Pete.