There was a little more life on Conder Pool than my last visit here when I called in this week, and I finally caught up with a pair of Stonechat on the eastern perimeter of the pool taking top spot for me. Next best bird was a Ruff seen along the back edge, it was accompanied by 2 Greenshank and 9 Redshank. Also noted, 45 Wigeon, 4 Tufted Duck, 5 Goosander, and a Little Grebe.
It is worth noting that a Ruff is heading towards a year long stay on the Lune Estuary in the Glasson/Conder Green area, with at least one having been recorded every month - including my dozen sightings - since 9 April 2022, this is seen as a first record for the species in this area.
As I arrived at the bowling green at Glasson to look over the Lune Estuary, at least 1,500 Lapwing were on the wing in a dread, together with large numbers of waders which were also in the air a couple of times during my stay here, the culprit of which remained undetected throughout my stay. Estimates noted along the south bank, 425 Black-tailed Godwit, 320 Redshank, 240 Curlew, 350 Wigeon, and a Goosander.
On a brief visit to Cockersand, 3 Stonechat was another top spot for me. A Snipe exploded out of a ditch as I walked along Moss Lane, and 28 Twite came off Plover Scar and flew the distance towards Crook Farm, almost certainly the same flock seen on Plover Scar previously on 20 December. At least 1,200 Curlew were along the shore by the Cocker Channel. I've recorded a similar number of Curlew at this location perhaps 5 years ago, when Brian Rafferty experienced the same.
Another interesting record was of a drake Shoveler in the ditch running parallel with Moss Lane at the junction with Slack Lane. This Shoveler record follows one seen in this ditch several times from 22 March - 18 May 2018, and includes a pair of Gadwall seen here 21 May the same year, a first for the area in my book, and not seen since. As far as the Shoveler record is concerned this is a scarce bird for the estuary around Cockersand, and is seen as a scarce resident breeder at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve, irregular elsewhere.
I didn't fire up the little digi camera today, and I'm out of appropriate bird piks for the blog, but hope my header image portrays the beauty of Morecambe Bay with the Cumbrian mountains in the background.
I remain in awe at the high numbers of so many species that you record, Pete - species that I have probably never seen as many as a tenth of those sort of figures. For example, I think that the biggest count of Curlew I've had at one location is maybe 5.
Best wishes - - - Richard
Most of those birds you saw would be 'bonus' birds on my patch Pete. An excellent variety seen. Take care.
Thanks for the update.
The last Shoveler record you mention would have been here during the 'beast from the East' wouldn't it, hope the present one is not a sign of things to come.
I too have seen Gadwall in the field behind the abbey but it is a year or two ago now.
Good the Ruff is still about.
Interesting read even without the pictures Pete.
Richard....Regarding your comment on numbers, you give me the opportunity to tell you, the Curlew is an abundant winter visitor to our area, with internationally important numbers using Morecambe Bay.
Marc....Lots of your birds are bonus birds for me too up here int'north!
Ian....Together with Richard and Marc, thanks for your comments and interest in B2B, it is much appreciated.
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