Friday, July 16, 2010

What's Next

There wasn’t a lot of point birding this morning with rain lashing down and a 30mph westerly so I did some IPMR work and saved the birding until lunch time when the at least the rain stopped, even though it remained windy. There was a likely looking tide due at about 3.15pm so I went to check it out at Pilling.

After an interval of a couple of months Little Egrets put in an appearance with 2 autumn birds out on the marsh so it will be interesting to see how their numbers build up here. In recent years the autumn Little Egrets outnumber the Grey Herons, as they did today with only one of the grey variety counted. The waders came in with the tide as they always do, but now as July moves on a bit more variety ensues. The Common Sandpipers have been back since 27th June but in small numbers, 6 today. Along the outflow I spotted a bird in unfamiliar summer plumage, a Turnstone, a bird we are more accustomed to seeing in winter plumage. Unfortunately I can’t claim to have taken the picture on the Arctic tundra where they breed but from where some leave about now. There were a number of Dunlin again today and I estimated 90 birds, with a single Golden Plover and coming in from across the north of the bay, 4 Grey Plover. Curlew numbers continue rising with 600 today plus 40 Redshanks and a single Greenshank.

Turnstone

Turnstone

Common Sandpiper

Dunlin

Grey Plover

Little Egret

On the incoming tide I counted 6 Great-crested Grebe, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Mallard and 9 Eider, all brown females or juveniles. Eiders are much more common here than formerly so I guess the Walney colony has finally expanded to take in south Morecambe Bay.

Eider

Three very vocal Kestrels patrolled the sea wall and the marsh today; it was probably the two juveniles making all the noise as they looked to have very fresh plumage.

Wind-blown or sheltering passerines were hard to find but 4 very green Greenfinch, several Linnets and the still displaying Meadow Pipit were duly noted.

Of course if we get even more rain, the tide comes in too far or the birding gets a bit quiet there’s always the option of trying some extreme motoring in my Suzuki.



3 comments:

Pete Woodruff said...

Three things here....1) The Redshank header pic is brilliant and has been/is on Birds2blog thanks to you, 2) Dunlin are back at Conder Green in a small'ish number with c.135 there yesterday, 3) The video is amazing and the 'Brumie' asks 'what you got your lights on for' as he drives out the river. I'll be watching for you having a go at this at CG at high tide Phil!

Unravel said...

That's a very nice photo of the turnstone sitting on its nest!
Can't believe how fast these waders migrate.

T and S said...

Neat series on this shore birds...Thomas

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