Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sea Wall Sortie

Skylark Sign

June 16th, so a Pilling embankment walk is well out of the "no-go" lambing period the sign advises, not that all folk respect the well-reasoned rule and polite request. After the token early morning showers the clouds parted to let the sun shine out as I hit the trail, east to west then back again for the incoming midday high tide.

The Skylark wasn’t going to sit on the sign long and certainly not let me approach any closer, but when they’re not warbling from on high Skylarks often serenade from a lookout post or even from the ground where they merge into the background of the summer marsh.

Skylark

I counted at least 13 Skylarks this morning, and then checking the nest from where I ringed 4 young last week, the lining was well trodden but otherwise undisturbed, the standard test for a successful outcome. Other passerine quantities were in the low digits expected in June; 3 Greenfinch, 4 Goldfinch, 4 Linnet, 2 Pied Wagtail, 3 House Sparrow, 2 Meadow Pipit and 2 Reed Bunting. I took a few pictures of an obvious 3J Reed Bunting close to Pilling Water where there have been singing males all spring. The Meadow Pipits were my first of the “autumn”, as for the first year in many, I have not seen or heard singing Meadow Pipits along this stretch of coast in the spring and summer of 2011.

Reed Bunting

The warmth of the morning brought out the hirundines and swifts, with 12+ House Martins and 20+ Swallows and my best count this year of Common Swift with more than 30 hawking insects over the marsh and sea wall.

I hoped the incoming tide might reveal a few Redshank and Oystercatcher chicks previously hidden in the ditches, but as I have suspected in recent walks here, there are no youngsters of either species. I confirmed a single Oystercatcher nest on the inland side of the wall and let the male bird escort me a distance along the wall until he thought me less of a danger to the nest.

Oystercatcher

Other counts here: 45 Shelduck, 28 Curlew, 37 Lapwing, 15 Redshank and 4 Grey Heron.

Grey Heron

Back towards Lane Ends I came across a single hovering Kestrel that took off inland in the direction of the nest box near Damside. Lane Ends held the usual Blackcap, Reed Warbler and a dozen or so Blackbirds, some of the latter newly fledged youngsters, and on the pools 4 Tufted Duck, 2 adult Little Grebe with 5 chicks - well done you grebes!

Regular readers of Another Bird Blog will know I’m not a major weed and creepy crawly enthusiast, but even I couldn’t help but notice several flowers that from my pitiful knowledge I identified as Early Marsh Orchids, some of them in absolutely stunning purple colours and shapely order.

Marsh Orchid

4 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

That marsh orchid would have been irresistible to anyone's camera, Phil. What a glorious colour!
I always admire your bird photos, and I'd love to hear a skylark.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Phil what a gloriously brilliant capture of the splendid Gray Heron, sweet awesomeness,and the Marsh Orchid is quite lovely. Wonder why no young in those nests...

Seasons said...

I really like the picture of the Reed Bunting. Any picture of short, round, puffy birds gives me a laugh. Then I wonder: How do these things fly? Thanks, Phil!

Paco Sales said...

Que bella imagen la de la Garza Real, es preciosa, buen trabajo Phil, recibe una barzo amigo

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