Friday, September 20, 2013

Back To Basics

Some things never change - as in yet another accident on the A588 at Burned House Lane where Police cars blocked the road, necessitating a detour to get to Pilling. A biker and a Mini Cooper this morning, two or more people who didn’t arrive at work on time. 

After the high temperatures of Skiathos and its Mediterranean birds the sought after hot spots today were local birding haunts to reacquaint myself with mundane but nevertheless good-to-see UK regulars. After almost three weeks of absence a number of things struck me. Not least was the presence of good numbers of recently arrived Pink-footed Geese here for the winter, and the fact that there are still Barn Swallows lingering from the summer. Swallows were immediately obvious, at least a hundred over the wheat fields and on roadside wires at Fluke Hall Lane and then good numbers flying noticeably south and west throughout the morning at Conder Green and later at Lane Ends/Pilling Water. I must have counted several hundred Swallows in total, with just 2 House Martins noted at Pilling Water. 

Barn Swallows

Was there was plenty of rain while I was away? That was clear from flash pools here and there and the water levels at Conder Green where nothing much came my way save for a latish Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 1 Little Egret, 1 Cormorant, 6 Little Grebe and a Kingfisher. A quick look at Glasson gave 2 Grey Heron, 250+ Lapwing and 300 or more Redshank along the river, some wading as waders should, others picking over the muddy shore. 

Redshanks

Lane Ends beckoned. A single Jay and probably more called from the trees as a small group of Goldfinches dropped into the tree tops, but I didn’t linger and instead set off for Pilling Water. Grounded along the tideline were a single Wheatear, 4 Skylark and a small number of Meadow Pipits, all flying off on my approach, with the remainder wildfowl or waders at high tide time. 

What a difference three September weeks make to duck numbers, with today upwards of 400 Wigeon, 1100 Teal, 15 Pintail and 900+ Pink-footed Geese. Wader numbers were equally impressive if imprecise on a less than ideal tide height leaving many roosting on the higher marsh at Fluke Hall: 5 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 6 Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 400+ Lapwing, 700+ Curlew, 40 Redshank and 4 Ringed Plover. No count of gulls, but a dozen Sandwich Terns were good to see so far into the bay. 

Wigeon

Sandwich Terns

That Greek holiday seems like a distant dream in a far off sunny spot but sometimes isn't it good to get back to basics on a local patch?

Heading Home - Skiathos

Log in soon for more uncomplicated birding from Another Bird Blog.

6 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil Yes 3weeks away adn it is all changed, bbird wise. Glad to hear the Pink footed are in as are our Brent. great numbers of Wigeon adn Teal you are getting. Great post and wonerful flight shots.

Chris Rohrer said...

Nice!!! I have to admit. People do make everything so complicated. We had police blocking a trail the other day because of a suicide. Rare bird was in that mess and birders were not happy.

Christian Perrin said...

All these photographs are so well composed - really pleasing to the eye! I especially like the Redshanks next to the boat, but the birds in flight are also great.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Those birds in flight...terrific and when you spoke the words ;) "Swallows were immediately obvious", my heart smiled...oh to see so many...nice! Happy weekend~

eileeninmd said...

Love the cute swallows and the wigeons in flight is a cool capture. Great birds and photos. Sorry about the accident, I hope no one was seriously hurt. Happy birding and have a great week!

Lou Mary said...

Great images! The sandwich tern shot is super!

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