BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND................................................................................DIPPER BOWLAND 21 MAY PETE WOODRUFF

Sunday 21 April 2024

Short List Short On Inspiration.

A tour around the estuary on Friday produce a short list lacking in inspiration, not least of which was obvious on my visit to Conder Pool. But there's never anything at all lacking about the sight of 2 Little Ringed Plover on a near island. Also present on the pool, 4 Avocet, a Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot were roosting with 45 Redshank, and 34 Oystercatcher which was a good count here for the little black book.

Little Ringed Plover.

Not know as a gregarious bird, outside the breeding season they are mostly found in singles or in small flocks rarely exceeding ten. But Ian Mitchell observed and filmed some territorial behavior between four birds on Conder Pool, which ended with a serious altercation between two of them....Excellent stuff Ian, thank you.

At Cockersand, a Barn Owl showed hunting a field on the north side of Bank Houses, but it was soon lost to view. Three Shoveler were seen as two drake and a female in the large ditches at the junction of Moss and Sack Lane, they all soon took off. In the stubble field off Slack Lane, I noted 16 Shelduck, and during my circuit 3 Swallow in singles flew north, and a Wheatear was on the shore opposite the abbey.

Wheatear Cockersand. Pete Woodruff.

The power of storms combined with high tides, has caused this large section of the headland at Cockersand to collapse. There are another three sections to the south which have also collapsed onto the shore. The sea must have been within inches of breaching here this time.


  1. Nice panoramic view of the bay and lighthouse as header picture.
    That sea wall definitely takes a battering and is a constant battle to keep it intact, makes you wonder if it will ever be abandoned.
    Saw my first Swallows of the year at Conder Pool whilst filming the Little Ringed Plover.
    Also first male Orange Tip butterfly through my garden yesterday.
    Thanks as always for the update.

    1. David who farms with his brother John at Cockersand Abbey Farm, walked the length of the headland last week whilst I was there, with the Environment Agency people to inspect the storm damage. My photograph shows the worst of at least three recently collapsed sections.

      Thanks again for the LRP video Ian.


  2. That was quite a spat between those two LRPs, Pete, nicely captured in Ian's video.

    One should never underestimate the power of the sea, and I guess that the way things are going with climate change, we are going to see a lot more of that sort of damage to sea defences.

    Best wishes - - - Richard

    1. Richard what you didn't see in the video is that the pair kept chasing each other round and round Conder Pool, in fact after knocking lumps out of each other they then set off again flying round and round the pool for 3 or 4 minutes at which point I left them to it and headed home.

    2. Richard, have to be honest here. I never saw the word spat to describe an argument before, and this is me claiming to have English as my best subject at school in medieval times! But you are right in saying Ian's video was a great capture.

      Thanks for your contribution Richard....Pete.

  3. Hello Pete
    It's a shame you couldn't see the owl longer, they are fascinating birds and you can see the power of nature on the edges.
    Greetings Frank

    1. I have had excellent and prolonged views of the Barn Owl in the past Frank, so not too much of a disappointment this time. The power of nature is there for all to see at Cockersand, the sea will reclaim the land again in time to come.

      Thank you for looking in again Frank....Pete.

  4. Cracking Little Ringed Plover video and record with a good supporting cast of birds. Take care.

  5. Ian will be pleased with the compliments about the LRP video. Thanks Marc...Pete.

    By the way....I'm still waiting for my first dragon of 2024, this is Lancashire in the North of England, not Kent in the Garden of England....Just saying!