Wednesday 28 February 2024

The Godwits And The Owl....Déjà vu.

The Conder Pool Godwits.

A few years back I had the amazing experience of seeing the huge number of 2,500 godwits on Conder Pool. I was not expecting to see a repeat again on Monday, but did have an even more amazing one, when I found a number there which equaled those I have been seeing lately, the last time being 9 February on the Lune Estuary at Glasson, when up to 3,500 Black-tailed Godwit graced Conder Pool once again.

Black-tailed Godwits Airborne Over Conder Pool. Pete Woodruff.

The godwits were accompanied by at least 50 Dunlin and a few Knot....Another magical first for me, with 10 Tufted Duck and 3 Little Grebe to note. 

On Jeremy and Moss Lane, a combined count of 475 Whooper Swan, also 4 Cattle Egret were in fields at Clarkson's Farm, which have now entered their 5 month stay in the Cockersand area. Five Reed Bunting and a Wren were on the marsh, c.550 Golden Plover were in the field by Abbey Farm, and a decent count of 25 Grey Plover were on Plover Scar as the tide ebbed. I found just one female Stonechat along the bulrush ditch off Slack Lane.

The Cockersand Barn Owl.


As I started the circuit, I came across the Barn Owl in the field by Bank House Cottage. By something of a coincidence, the owl took off and behaved pretty much the same as it had done on 7 February, it was in my sights for an hour and a half, crisscrossing the fields, hunting the hedgerows and ditches, before flying past me enroute back to Bank House Farm, having once again flown at least 3 miles in it's pursuit of prey.

If you have 3 minutes to spare this is an interesting and informative video ....

The Bowerham Bullfinch.

Bullfinch. Mike Atkinson.

I am grateful to Mike Atkinson for sending me the image of the male Bullfinch in his garden recently, whilst telling him we wait in anticipation of the first visit to our own garden just around the corner from him.

A female Siskin obliged the Woodruff's with a visit to the garden feeders this morning, but appeared alert and not feeding during the recording.


  1. That is a large number of Godwits on Conder Pool, bet that was quite a sight.
    Glad to hear that the Barn Owl is still about it must be finding something, you were lucky to get a good video of it.
    That was a very informative video you linked to - thanks.
    Nice picture of the Bullfinch from Mike, wish it would visit my garden.
    Thanks as always for the update.

    1. Yes, I was also pleased to see the Barn Owl again. In the video we also learn that they do fly good distances in search of food, which I wasn't aware of until I saw the map.

      Thanks for your contribution Ian. Regards....Pete.

  2. Hello Pete,
    Such a large number of snipe is unbelievable, it's good that you show the pictures, the barn owl in flight is always an experience and I also had three minutes for the video, what I understood was very interesting. Great post.
    Greetings Frank

  3. Thank you for the comments. I too found the Barn Owl video interesting. I think you meant to say 'godwits' didn't you Frank.


    1. yes, sorry Pete, I'm writing with Google translator, I made a mistake...

    2. For my own interest, I checked out Google and found Black-tailed Godwit to be translated to Uferschnepfe. No apology needed Frank.

  4. Absolutely amazing numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Pete! Your photos and video capture the atmosphere beautifully.

    I also enjoyed the Barn Owl video. How wonderful to have it in sight for such a long time. I was aware of the Barn Owl feeding strategy - The Barn Owl Trust's book 'Barn Owl Conservation Handbook' is full of very detailed information about the species - but still enjoyed the reminder from that exellent video. I had my first encounter for with a Barn Owl in many months on Monday, but for a much more brief time - it will feature in my next blog post.

    My best wishes to you both - - - Richard

  5. An all time highest count of the BTG's on the Lune Estuary Richard, and certainly that on Conder Pool. I too enjoyed the informative video on the Barn Owl, and I look forward to reading about your own recent encounter.