Sunday, December 2, 2012

What To Do?

What with the legacy of rain puddles, showers, and then overnight frost and ice the roads didn’t look very enticing this morning. Anyway at the weekend there are far too many birders about. It’s getting very popular this bird watching lark, so I pondered where to go, where to look and what I might see.

The onset of frosty nights has brought better numbers of birds to the garden, increased Blackbirds, Goldfinches and even a Mistle Thrush, the latter attracted by the apples straight from the freezer, microwaved and then chucked on the grass. So up went a mist net for a while resulting in a reasonable catch of 19 birds but not including any of the thrush family: 9 Goldfinch, 2 House Sparrow, 3 Coal Tit, 3 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit and 1 Robin.

Goldfinch

Robin

House Sparrow

The day wasn’t over. Sue and I took to Shanks’s Pony for a walk through Staynall via Height O'Th Hill and then down towards the River Wyre, a few bits n’ pieces of birds on the way there and on the way back.

Most of the action was between Corcas Lane’s brine fields and the river at The Heads, namely a Buzzard, 10+ Fieldfare, 6 Redwing, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 6 Goldfinch, 15 Chaffinch, 2 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting and 200+ Woodpigeon. Down at the river embankment we disturbed a Little Egret and 4 Snipe from the ditches, and then watched a Short-eared Owl hunt but briefly before it settled down again in the marsh grass.

On the stubble fields towards "Hillbilly" Farm we counted 40+ Curlew, a flighty group of 30 or so Golden Plover and one of the local Kestrel pair.

Curlew 

The landscape is pretty flat in this part of The Fylde, Lancashire, and just occasionally do the contours reach the dizzy heights. The word “Fylde” is of Scandinavian origin and descriptive of this flat, coastal part of western Lancashire, a roughly 13-mile square-shaped peninsula, bounded by Morecambe Bay to the north, the Ribble estuary to the south, the Irish Sea to the west, and the Bowland hills to the east.

Fylde - looking east to Bowland

 Height O'Th Hill Farm

The BBC reckons there’s a chance of snow and sleet tomorrow. We’ll see, but come rain, snow, or sun you can bet Another Bird Blog will find ways to bring a few birds your way.

This week Another Bird Blog is linking to I'd Rather Be Birding, Stewart's Photo Gallery, and Weekly Top Shot, so be sure to check them out. 

17 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

So beautiful there, Phil. I've been to Morecambe and have seen the bay, but no closer than that to you.
I just love your goldfinches, so different from ours.
K

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, I am surprised to hear that the birding is so popular there that your birding spots are crowded. It would also be nice to have the younger people and children enjoy birding too. I enjoyed seeing some of your scenic shots of the fields with the sheep? Love the Curlew in flight, great capture. Wonderful photos! Have a great week ahead and happy birding!

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...You came by to early today ...I put up a new post full of birds just for you, and you missed it!
That was nice of you,to take a stroll with the wife..get birdie points for that you know! : }
No I didn't win the lottery if I had I would have been right over to see you and the wife, and then jetted of to an unknown destination!! ; }
Like seeing the scenery, and the description of the land!!
I think I would like to know more about "Hillbilly Farm" haha!! : }
Your rich friend in my ways
Grace

Gary Jones said...

it must be great to handle these beautiful little birds, Goldfinches are adorable, you do a great job Phil.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

You always find a way Phil and we are thankful that you do. Hey, I heard that a new Royal is going to be born next year...yeah...I love those Windsors, but then I am far away from the fun. The Curlew is a striking looking bird, great flight image. Your scenes are so gorgeous, as are the other birds in this lovely collection. Happy week your way~

Stuart Price said...

Nice winter stuff, the pictures feel wintry despite the lack of snow. I can remember how cold the Ribble marshes were at this time of year......

HansHB said...

Great photos! Perfect post for WBW!

Carletta said...

As Kay mentioned our goldfinches are different but all the colors on yours make it a lovely bird!
Nice closeup of the house sparrow!

Findlay Wilde said...

I really like the Curlew in flight picture; have you ever managed to ring one? From Findlay

mick said...

It's always great to see the close-ups of the bird you catch - but of course the Curlew was the best for me!

Larry said...

Love those "bird in the hand" shots Phil! The in-flight photo of the Curlew is super!

Wally Jones said...

I agree with all the others on your quality images! You had a good day before you even left your yard!

Eugenia Robinson said...

What a thrill it must be to hold these beautiful little birds. They do not seem to be the least bit perturbed. The shot of the Curlew is awesome. I have never heard of them. Wonderful and varied post. genie

Dave said...

The HouseSparrow looks cute as they come.... how did you do that???? Seriously I love them as we have them nesting in the spring in our eaves, you can here them scurry around from one of the bedrooms. We havent had the snow yet here in East Cheshire but I am sure it will be here soon....

Stewart M said...

Hi there - sounds like you are having another "real" winter! Stay dry and warm.

I really like the close ups of the garden birds - I think it shows how even the common place birds really are rather remarkable!

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Melbourne

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love "our" goldfinch, but yours is even more beautiful. I knew birding was big in the UK, it's kind of mixed feelings I imagine for a pro like yourself and all those amateurs out there. On the other hand...I suppose... the more people who love and respect birds....

Ken Schneider said...

Nice birds, but you caught that curlew with your camera-- didn't need a mist net for such a fine shot!

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