Sunday 3 December 2023

Winners And Losers.

After the first hand report about Snow Bunting and Little Owl at Cockersand on Tuesday, I ended the week having made two follow up visits there to draw a blank on the bunting and the owl. On all three visits the weather was excellent, but Tuesday was exceptional though cold, and with a flat calm sea I reckon it was the best day ever at Cockersand, to be there with the wind speed at nil verges on unique. 

Though I was hoping the fly-past of swans where going to have yellow bills, but the Mute Swans skimming inches over the flat calm sea was brilliant.

I only clocked 2 Stonechat at Cockersand, being the busy pair foraging along the marsh edge. Also of note, 15 Blackbird seen on the circuit and 2 Song Thrush.

Up to 100 Golden Plover were scattered through four fields with 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Snipe took flight out of a ditch along Moss Lane. Passerines seen, 11 Greenfinch, 7 Goldfinch, 5 Reed Bunting, and 4 Wren, 11 Eider were off Plover Scar. The count of swans at Cockersand in two fields now stands at in excess of 300 Whooper Swan

Up to 345 geese dominated Conder Pool on Friday, with up to 235 Greylag and 110 Canada Geese, also 85 Wigeon and 9 Little Grebe seen. The Stonechat pair also put on a show for me. On the Lune Estuary following a tip off, I made haste there to count an impressive at least 2,000 Black-tailed Godwit.

Some you win, some you loose!


Simon Hawtin sent me two excellent upland records of 10 Stonechat, seen as 7 on a circuit of Tarnbrook 28 November, and 3 below Ward Stone 2 December. 

Stonechat 2 December. Simon Hawtin

Lowland Stonechat records to also qualify as excellent, are those of 9 Stonechat at four locations 30 November AC, and 10 Stonechat at two locations 1 December FB....Fylde Bird Club 

Stonechat. Helen Hawtin.
Simon Hawtin sent me an image of a male Stonechat at Grisedale Bridge earlier in the year, it was taken by his daughter with a phone camera. I particularly like the picture as it has the quality of a painting as opposed to a photograph.

Thanks to Ian Mitchell for the header image of the female Kestrel at Cockersand. Ian says....'not a very good picture because looking into the sun'....I don't readily agree with Ian's criticism.


  1. That was a lot of geese on Conder Pool!
    Like the video of the swans taking advantage of the calm sea to provide extra lift.
    That's a very detailed report from Simon - interesting.
    As I was returning from Cockersands Friday a Snipe flew right over my bonnet on Moss Lane.
    I am using my computer to post this comment and selected my Google profile. The comment post screen seems to have changed - hope this posts OK

    Cheers - Ian

    1. Your comments appear on the screen as they should do now as explained to you on Friday....If I was articulate enough that is!

      Regards and Thanks Ian.


  2. That's a wonderful video of the swans flying over an unbelievably flat-calm sea, Pete.

    I had to check that I had read the "at least 2,000 Black-tailed Godwit" correctly. I can't even begin to visualise what that must have looked like!

    Best wishes - - - Richard

    1. An unbelievably flat-calm sea it was Richard. I was serious when I claimed, weather-wise my best experience ever at Cockersand last Tuesday. You certainly read correct, 2,000 Black-tailed Godwit, they were formed in two groups either side of the River Lune at Glasson, so not as impressive as they would have been in one .

      Regards and Thanks Richard.