I thought I was in for a good one today when the sun shone brightly at first light and on the way up through Pilling I spotted a roadside Barn Owl. The bird didn’t hang about long; just enough for brief views and one or two photographs before it disappeared without trace, as did the sun, again.
Near Wrampool the fields some of them now cut seemed full of Lapwings and Curlew with at least 250 of the former and maybe 300+ Curlew, but who wants to count every last Curlew? Throughout the morning and as roadside traffic increases and farm workers take to the fields the shy Curlews fly out to the marsh where they can continue to feed undisturbed and safe from man.
Conder Green next and if I had a dollar instead of each day I have been in the last 30 years I would definitely be wealthy as I am wiser with all the pleasure given and the knowledge gained at this little spot. My count was normal as was the list of species, but I may have gripped one PW with my count of 5 Little Egrets; is it acceptable to still use the word “gripped” or does that reveal my age and past misdemeanours on certain isles in South West England? Anyway, 3 egrets rose from the back of the pool out of sight, flew over towards the Lune whilst two others continued feeding in the island shallows as I took a bad shot against the now grey sky.
My Lapwing count was 130 + as birds came and went out to the estuary whilst some stayed around the pool and creeks, with 3 Common Sandpipers, 24 Redshank and several Curlews. The shy Curlew again, but I got some half decent pictures today of that wild, unwilling, photographic subject with the fantastically specialised bill; and when was the last time anyone actually looked at a Curlew?
Parked up near the hedgerow I watched Goldfinch coming and going to the thistle heads, feeding silently, but when they spooked up to the hedge I was surprised to count 25 of them, so quiet and discreetly were they buried in the thistles. From near the roadside waste bin a Stoat made as if to cross the road towards the creek, looking left and right, but when it saw my car thought better of it and retreated back into the vegetation.There aren't many wildfowl on the pool at the moment but I logged 3 Wigeon plus the ever present lonely Little Grebe.
There was no sign of the Ruff this morning, or the Spotted Redshank but I dare say I will be at CG again soon. And what is a trip north without at least a cursory glance at Lane Ends?
Below the car park the resident Reed Warblers vocalised and two of them showed briefly at the reed edge, with a bit further along the fence line a party of 7 or 8 Long-tailed Tits. With rain clouds threatening and increasing wind it just about kept fine enough for a foray to Pilling Water where I counted 3 Common Sandpipers again, 2 Little Egret and 2 Grey Herons, 2 Kestrel and 4 Pied Wagtails but by now it wasn’t the best ever morning so I promised myself another visit up this way soon and returned home for Brownie points.With luck the wind should ease overnight and allow a ringing session for Sunday.