Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cold Calling

When I opened the back door this morning a Fieldfare greeted me from next door’s garden, chuckling from the top of the highest sycamore before flying off east. When I made it to the shore at Knott End I knew why the thrush chortled - it was bitterly cold from a blast of Arctic air, and in comparison to recent days this morning’s biting, northerly wind brought out the woolly hat and gloves in double quick time. After the excitement of Friday’s thrush-rush it looked like today might be something of an anti-climax. 

Fieldfare

Not much doing near the jetty, a couple of Meadow Pipits and a Pied Wagtail the sum of my efforts, with the walk up river yielding little except for about 70 Redshanks 

Redshank

Cutting my losses I decided to try a few sheltered spots and so ended up at Pilling. At Damside/Backsands Lane the partially wet fields held 180 Lapwing, 65 Golden Plover, 1 Snipe, 15 Curlew, 3 Redshank, 2 Skylark and 15 Meadow Pipit, the pipits swapping between feeding in damp patches and sitting up on the roadside fence, especially when one of the local Kestrel pair appeared. 

Meadow Pipit

At Lane Ends, a number of Fieldfare were on the move, flying over the plantation and heading north east into the wind just as those of yesterday, but just 70 birds today. Not many wildfowl on the pools, 2 Tufted Duck with the Mallards, 9 Little Egret and 2 Grey Heron scattered across the marsh, and 15 Whooper Swans making their way from Cockerham and west to the usual spot off Fluke Hall. 

I spent a while trying to locate a very vocal and active “phyllosc” with a shrill and persistent contact note, a call totally unlike UK chiffs and more like those of eastern races of Chiffchaff. When the bird finally showed for a moment or two it proved to be a quite brown and plain Chiffchaff. I found a call on Xeno Canto which sounds very similar. 

Chiffchaff

Other birds in the trees here, 4 Robin, 12 Chaffinch, 6 Blackbird, 2 Jay. The forecast doesn’t look too good for Sunday, rain and then more rain so more suitable for a lie-in and a rest after the week’s exertions. But if there’s news be sure to read about it soon on Another Bird Blog.

This week Another Bird Blog is linking with Anni who'd rather be birding and Stewart an ex-pat who lives in Australia -  Stewart.

8 comments:

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I can always count on a unique variety of birds on your blog. Have a great weekend!

NewMexiKen said...

Very nice images. Our American Pipits have arrived here in Illinois but I have not yet gotten out to see them.

Carole M. said...

I don't envy you getting out in the COLD but I do love that pippit; what a fabulous well-lit shot

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I not rubbing this in our anything ; ), but it was 72 degrees, and sun as far as you could see here today! sleeveless shirt weather all week!! Looks like that might be coming to and end by Monday ..you know if we get that Monster Storm of the Century here you might not hear from me again..drives me crazy these people in there suits point there wands at the weather map...but I have my candles, flashlight, and plenty of water just in case..the cry wolf story comes to mind!!
So today your role was that of a Detective , hunting down clues..to bad you didn't get the bird you wanted!!
I had a gang of Pine Siskins invade my deck where I had put down seed ...I could count them all they just don't sit still , but I managed to get 24 identifiable for my eBird
count!! I would guess there was double that with the ones in the trees !!
Well I have to get moving along and you have a good nights sleep..your probably already have sawed a cord
ZZZZZZ!
Grace "Born in the USA" : )

Isidro Ortiz said...

Estupendas capturas Phil.Un abrazo

Anni said...

Wow...I think I'd like living where you live if you saw all those different birds in one outing!!! And here this morning, I thought "no sense going out birding today, it's too cold"?---maybe I should change my mind and go out instead. My favorite of your photos today is the chiffchaff ---the tail markings are super.

Marie said...

Several birds I am not familiar with...lovely shots.

Stuart Price said...

Nice BIF of the Redshank.........lots of warblers flitting around here too but most remain unidentified......

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