Saturday, December 24, 2011

The C Word

Rain and then shopping for a turkey stopped birding play again this morning, but the sky brightened enough towards lunchtime to allow me a few hours at Pilling.

Just out of the village at Scronkey I came across a Kestrel perched on a telegraph pole, a regular enough spot, but the bird isn’t always so obliging as to stay while I mess with the camera. Pity about the grey light, plus the shot is overexposed 3 stops.

Kestrel

After the early showers Lane Ends was free from people and cars so I carefully made my way to the pool where the Kingfisher and I spotted each other at the same time. Just as a couple of days ago the bird flew to the other side of the pool, but this time sat partly hidden on the branch of a tree where I could just see it, but the next person circuiting the pool would not. I checked today’s single Goldeneye and left the Kingfisher to its fishing. The poor thing has picked one of the busiest dog walking spots for miles around, I can only think that the food rewards must be good for the bird as compensation for finding itself constantly chased back and forth across the pool by passers-by. Here’s that Egyptian Kingfisher again, doing what Kingfishers are meant to do, sit on the edge of a boat and watch the fishy world go by.

Kingfisher

At Pilling Water I was too late for the tide but numbers of Shelduck still loafed on the tidal edge with upwards of 1200 entered in the notebook today and well scattered Pink-footed Goose coming in at roughly 1200, Little Egret at 5.

My walk almost clashed with the Hi-Fly quad team again, allowing about 15 minutes for two counts of the Whooper Swans before the quad turned onto the track, panicking the swans into flight to the salt marsh. I couldn’t repeat my count of 600 of the 21st December however both of today’s tallies came in at 450 birds. Within half an hour the swans began to head back in small parties to Swan Lake, and whether they feed all through the dark hours I don’t know.

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Yes, I know it’s C word time, and here’s my unoriginal contribution towards it, a Robin. Roll on next week and some ringing.

Happy Christmas

5 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Phil, great birds and photos. I love the kingfisher. And the Swans are amazing. Great post. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Whooper Swans, such graceful fliers, really beautiful. I have never seen a swan in full flight like this, and can only imagine one, let alone many. Turkey for your feast...sounds yum. We are having ham, and all of the side dishes and desserts are all from scratch, homemade and very traditionsl in nature. Have a grand day celebrating~

Christian said...

Ha ha! I feel your pain Phil! I've had a week off so far and I've had ZERO camera trips out because of the 'C' word! Just a couple of snaps in the garden until,

"Come on, put that camera down, there's jobs to do!"

Merry 'C' word Phil.

Russell said...

Shopping for a turkey is kind of birding, isn't it? Love the perches for the kes and kingy. Great colours and textures. Nothing wrong with Whoopers either. I have 6 days off next week and planning to do a photo study of them here. Happy Christmas.

Stuart Price said...

Hope you're enjoying the long holiday Phil.......

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