Saturday, June 1, 2013

Flaming June

Following the coldest spring for 50 years today is June 1st, the start of the “flaming” month - we’ll see. June is traditionally the time when many birders hang up their bins for a while, get out the paint brushes and garden tools to catch up on the jobs they promised to do months ago but for which they never quite found the time. I got another stay of execution when Sue went off to Manchester shopping, so with it being a bit too windy for painting or mowing the lawn I headed off birding, hoping for a few bits and bobs. 

The morning started fairly well at Lane Ends with a pulli Lapwing, one of two I saw a couple of days ago but then too far into the field alongside a busy road. This morning the now single chick was yards away from the previous spot but now just the other side of a handily situated and easily vaulted gate. The chick was a good deal bigger and more mature than ones I ringed earlier in the week, so with luck should survive to flying stage. Between here and Fluke Hall there have probably been 15 breeding pairs, with I’m told by a fellow birder, about 15 pairs up at Braides. There’s nothing much in between except for many hundreds of sheep munching the fields to bowling green height or more grass to feed even more animals through the winter. 

Lapwing chick

Things look fairly grim again for the iconic Lapwing, the adopted symbol of many local organisations keen to promote their green credentials. A peek online at the BTO ringing totals for Lancashire showed that only 49 Lapwings were ringed in the county in 2012, a pretty miserable total given how common and widespread the species was not too many years ago when it was easy to find many, many Lapwings. 

There’s a pair of Chaffinch nesting in the roadside hawthorns at Lane Ends, the male not wanting to give the game away but sitting stubbornly on the fence as the bright morning light frustrated any chance of a good exposure. 

Chaffinch

At Lane Ends several Wood Pigeons were feeding alongside the plantation and two Stock Doves on the marsh, all clattering off at my approach. In the clumps of phragmites 2 Reed Warblers could be heard above the rush of the wind through the trees, while along the sea wall the Corn Bunting’s song resonated from the barbed-wire fence. There doesn’t seem to be a female, the male feeding amongst the grasses on the sea wall until disturbed when it flies to the fence and begins to sing. 

Woodpigeon

There weren’t too many birds towards Fluke Hall but apart from the same nagging westerly it was an outstanding morning for a walk in the sun. A small number of Linnets and Goldfinches flew over while the Skylarks continue their mysterious comings and goings. Turning back towards Lane Ends I could see the Kestrel again flying over the marsh and sending the Lapwings and Redshanks into a frenzy of anxiety for their youngsters below. 

Redshank

The Kestrel got nothing again but rather like a birder, a ringer or someone with a camera he’ll be back later hoping for better luck. 

Visit Another Bird Blog soon to see photographs of a newly painted shed and a freshly cut lawn. You’d better believe it.

I'm linking tis post to http://id-rather-b-birdin.blogspot.co.uk/.

18 comments:

Dave said...

Good luck with the chores...I figure by November I'll get around to them here...

Errol Newman said...

Lapwings? You're lucky! S'set last year = nil, year before = nil, year before that = 1. I used to love seeking out these beauties.

Kay L. Davies said...

The wood pigeon is lovely, Phil, but I am sorry the lapwing chick doesn't have many relatives nearby. Are they going somewhere else, or is there a health problem? Eggs not hatching, adults not surviving? So many species of birds and animals becoming more and more rare, the older I get. Very sad.
K

Gary said...

Another great series!! That header shot is really something. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Lovely birds, it's sad to see a species decrease in numbers so dramatically.

The Hairy Birder said...

It wasn't all that flaming at Rossall at 0530 today Phil, I had to wear woolly hat and gloves!

Frank said...

Phil, I also thought about those outstanding jobs .. just for a moment and decided they can wait!

This is the first year I haven't recorded Lapwing on the farm fields so definitely a worrying situation.

eileeninmd said...

The Lapwing chick is adorable and the Chaffinch is a beauty! It is always sad to hear a bird is decreasing in numbers. I hope something can be done! Great post and photos. Happy Birding!

Carole M. said...

revel in the glory of that extra birding opportunity, it offers you the impetus to pick up the paint brush next (?) The redshank is my favourite this post Phil

Russell Jenkins said...

Don't get out the gardening tools too early, Phil, it still looks like theres much to monitor. I hope the lapwing chick has a happy life.

HansHB said...

Great photowork, Nice bird-post!
Well done!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Wonderful photos!

Wally Jones said...

Ahhh, how sweet it is that my mate's favorite phrase is: "The work can wait, let's go birding!".

True love.

That looks like a healthy Lapwing chick. Just wish there were many more like him.

Superb shot of that Redshank giving a warning.

Stuart Price said...

Shame about the Lapwings, they were abundant on the Ribble when I started birding there in the early 80's.

Ramón Suárez said...

Muy buenas fotos Phil.
Enhorabuena!!!
Un abrazo!!

Millie said...

All great captures, but I love the Redshank in flight.

Anni said...

That redshank is awesome!!! Never heard of it so it was a special treat. Oh, and who WOULDN'T want to go birding instead of mowing or painting?!!! I'm right there with you on that account.

But I'm still trying to figure out what "Flaming Month" is in meaning.

Sorry I didn't get around to visiting yesterday...no power due to storms!!

Ken Schneider said...

That Lapwing chick is really a handful!

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