Friday, February 8, 2013

Roundabout

Faced with where to go this morning, I realised I’d neglected Knott End of late, what with Christmas, then the poor weather followed by two weeks in Spain, so off I went for a look around the village hot spots. 

The tide was on the way in, pushing a small selection of waders to the shore: 250 Curlew, 145 Oystercatcher, 60+ Redshank, 8 Turnstone, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Dunlin. Shelduck were scattered across the sands and I counted 40+, although not a single Eider duck again. When I walked along the esplanade I found 15 Twite, 2 Pied Wagtail and 1 Rock Pipit below the sea wall, and on the shore near the village a good count of 40+ Common Gull (Mew Gull - Larus canus) all in one spot. Common Gulls are rather handsome beasts which us bird watchers tend to forget about or ignore. 

It wasn’t snowing today although it is forecast for Sunday and the picture below was taken at Knott End a year or two ago with a layer of snow on the sea wall. 

Common Gull

Twite 

A visit to Fluke Hall and a perusal of the usual stubble field close to the road gave counts of 18 Pied Wagtails, 18 Blackbirds, 8 Goldfinch, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Redwing, 40 Oystercatcher, 40 Lapwing, 22 Redshank and 15 Curlew. The fields at Damside held 85 Golden Plover, 300 Lapwing, 40+ Redshank, 60 Curlew and a single Dunlin. 

The Rawcliffe feeding station beckoned where it’s not just the top up which is important, it’s also weighing up whether a ringing session might be worthwhile soon if there are a decent number of birds about. I travelled over the Pilling Moss road where at my usual viewpoint there was a glimpse of a Hen Harrier, a frustrating view of a fast flying bird which even as I raised the camera was hundreds of yards away. I also had the camera set to over expose from a previous shot. It’s an excuse for a record shot, the bird looking away too. 

Hen Harrier

The jury is still out on a ringing session for tomorrow, with 50+ Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 15 Goldfinch and 10 Reed Buntings there or thereabouts the site but none of the birds exactly piling into the mixed seed left for them. There’s been a few returning north Fieldfares about this week, with another 20 or so today, mixed in with a small flock of Starlings in the hawthorn tops. 

Reed Bunting

A look around the wider area found 4 pairs of Buzzards circling in the afternoon sun, 14 Stock Dove and 300+ Woodpigeon on the stubble, and a remarkable and noisy flock of about 1500 Jackdaws exploiting the last of a nearby maize field. 

With rain and even snow forecast for the next three days there could be a lull in activities for Another Bird Blog, but please log in soon to find out. In the meantime log into Nature Footsteps http://nfmemes.blogspot.co.uk/  and  Anni's blog for more winged creatures.

21 comments:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Gorgeous birds and pictures. Congrats and greetings from Madrid..

The Retired One said...

we haven't had as many birds at our feeders this winter, don't know why..but now some redpolls are showing up...so hoping that means an earlier than usual spring on its way!

Stuart Price said...

Twite and Hen Harrier........not bad a at all........

eileeninmd said...

Great post and birds, Phil! Isn't it awful when the weather gets in the way of birding. Not fair! I have to look up Twite, not sure what they are? Have a great weekend and happy birding!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Very nice images. The Twite is a new one for me. Always enjoy seeing the Reed Bunting.

Martha Kasper said...

Wonderful photos!

Hanne Bente said...

Lovely pictures:) Hanne Bente

HOOTIN ANNI said...

...at first glance I read "red" bunting, and I said to myself I've never heard of this species, then I saw my error and realized it was a reed bunting. Well, guess what? I've never heard of that species either.

I wouldn't be able to count as far as you did on all the different ones you saw. Wow.

Lovely bird photos, as always.

[Anni @ I'd Rather B Birdin' AND Hootin' Anni's]

Hanne Bente said...

Nice pictures you show. Kingfisher on your header, we see occasionally at Lake Hald. 've Only got a few pictures of it. Wish you a good weekend :) Hanne Bente

TexWisGirl said...

gorgeous birds.

Wally Jones said...

It seems the Twite and female Linnet are quite similar?

ANY picture of a Harrier is a challenge (for me)!

That many Jackdaws surely must violate some local noise ordinance!

Hope your weekend is going well.

Jackie said...

Ahhhh....great shots of wonderful birds!

HansHB said...

Awesome serie of photos!
Well done!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Common gulls are handsome and look stunning in flight - especially with a sunrise or sunset! Loved your stories with these delightful photos!

Gary said...

Great shots again Phil!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful shots!

Russell Jenkins said...

True what you say about Common Gulls, Phil. Applies to most gull species really. Some terrific portraits but love the Reed Bunting. Looks like it was posing for hours for that spectacular portrait.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Golly Phil, I guess that I never even thought about Gulls and snow in the same breath. That is a lovely image of your Gull in snow and the other images are wonderful too. Have a very Happy week~

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

What amazing pictures you take, WOW!

Choy Wai Mun said...

The Gull image is certainly a keeper. Well done, Phil.

Linda said...

Wonderful photos! Thank you so much for sharing. Greetings from Montreal, Canada.

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