Sunday, June 9, 2013

Trying Hard

I wasn't too hopeful about birding this morning as early and mid-June can be hard going. It's when  when migration stops, breeding adults stay glued to nests and generally keep a low profile until their nestlings emerge. In the end the morning proved quite productive by way of a few new pics and another Lapwing chick to add to the tally of recent weeks. 

Conder Green was first stop and where a good selection wildfowl awaited in the shapes of 2 Pochard, 2 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 16 Tufted Duck and a single Great-crested Grebe. Waders were the expected ones of Oystercatchers and Redshanks, with no sign of Little Ringed Plovers, an omission which doesn't mean they are not around but simply out of sight and keeping quiet, the latter if true an unusual occurrence for LRPs. 

Pochard

Passerines were sparse here with a singing Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Buntings and a Song Thrush also in song with flyover Linnet and Goldfinch in ones and twos. There seemed to be good numbers of House Martins zipping around River Winds, with a fly-through of a Sand Martin perhaps from the tiny colony at Cockerham. More worrying is the lack of Swallows I count at the moment; following a couple of poor breeding seasons, their normal losses in wintering quarters and then on migration I fear their population is on the low side for now. Such are the risks of their strategy of summering in the Northern Hemisphere.

It was Pilling next for the compulsory walk to Fluke and back, accompanied by the cries of Lapwings, Redshanks and Oystercatchers. Yes, the Oystercatchers definitely have young now, but hidden away in a sileage field, the adults providing a running commentary and all the time trying to lead me in the opposite direction to their chicks. 

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

There was yet another single Lapwing chick with a pair of adults, and from the size of it I thought it could be one and the same bird from Friday. But no, when I went to where the chick crouched it turned out to be a new one with the flight feathers half-grown. 

Lapwing

Lapwing chick
 
Five Grey Herons today as breeding birds and new young leave their inland haunts for the coast. Two Little Egrets was more difficult to explain unless they too have completed their breeding season. A single Greenshank again today out towards the tideline. 

Carrion Crows have hatched and fledged young on Hi-Fly's set-aside area - now there is a surprise. The young crow won't remain so approachable for long and will surely learn to flee the sound of gunfire.

 Carrion Crow

Otherwise things were quiet although a dashing Peregrine gave a brief but brilliant flying display while attempting but failing to catch a feral pigeon. A good try - hard luck Peg, but thanks for ending my morning in such spectacular fashion.

Linking today to  Stewart's Photo Gallery.

22 comments:

Andrew Fulton said...

A wonderful post Phil... lovely images.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful post, Phil! I love the Oystercatcher and the pretty Lapwing. Wonderful shots of all the birds. Happy birding and have a great week!

Stuart Price said...

Quiet here too but I'd love to hear the sound of Oystercatchers.............only ever seen 2 in my local area and they didn't even open their beaks.

Russell Jenkins said...

Some great pictures and conditions look very good. I wonder how lively things will become as more leave the nests?

Mama Zen said...

I love that shot of the crow!

Carole M. said...

interesting the pochard, and to see the oystercatcher perched on the post like that too. The lapwing soo different to any I see Phil; nice post/again.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas Phil,las del Ostrero me gustan mucho.Un abrazo

Ramón Suárez said...

Excelentes fotos Phil!!
Me gusta en especial la foto en vuelo.
Saludos!!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

That is a cool chap, the Carrion Crow. I wonder what has happened with those Swallows...love those guys and hate that many are missing in action, yet hopeful, they are enjoying their life some place and shall turn up later. Got to so like those wonderful looking Lapwings! They look like large birds too. Take care and thank you always for your informative commentary...I always enjoy reading about your day~

Findlay Wilde said...

I've never seen an Oyster catcher sitting up on a post like that before. From Findlay

Gordon said...

Nice set of pics, I like the Oystercatcher on the post.
Gordon.

HansHB said...

Beautiful photos!

Gary said...

Another great sequence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

mick said...

A very interesting series. I especially like the way you have captured the light in the eye of the Pochard and the in-flight Oystercatcher.

Carletta said...

It was still a good birding morning. :)
Nice shot of the Oystercatcher on the post and super in-flight shot of the wing detail.
Lovely detailed post!

Karen said...

Oh gosh, I just love the colours of that Lapwing, and the feather atop it's head!

Stewart M said...

I do like that Oyk on the fence post!

Thanks for the comments about the wordy blog.

Cheers - and thanks for linking to WBW - Stewart M

Gunilla Bäck said...

Excellent shots!

Digi-Irma said...

Beautiful pictures, the crow I love.
Regards, Irma

Dave said...

Some really good images Phil, Its when we see images of species like these that you remember how lucky we are ..... Lapwings to die for, yet are often over looked for something rarer. Oystercatchers breed on my local farmers fields (nowhere near the coast.... over an hour away), yet people walk the lanes around them and don't bat an eye.... great post.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful birds.. Pictured and not...that peregrine must have also been amazing to watch!

Neil said...

Great series.

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