Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday’s Selection

I started at Lane Ends this morning where as I arrived a Barn Owl was caught momentarily in the car headlights as it hunted over the sea wall; the owl paused on a fence post before flying off west towards Pilling. In the half-light I counted 42 Little Egrets out of the island roost but didn’t hang around to watch the pink-feet leave. Counting the geese off the marsh can be a couple of hour’s job, especially when there are so many. 

When I returned later after a quick look at Conder Green there were still 7 or 8 thousand geese about, so goodness knows what the total numbers are at the moment, but enough to attract the shooter’s cars to Gulf Lane. 

Pink-footed Geese

Pink-footed Geese - "pinkies"

Conder Green has certainly gone off the boil with just 4 Snipe, 55 Teal and 2 Little Grebe this morning. An overflying Raven seems to be something of a regular sight just here lately. Two Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail and 7 Meadow Pipits added to the meagre haul. 

It was then back to Pilling for a walk to Pilling Water and Fluke Hall. There are good numbers of wildfowl on the wildfowler’s pools, a good spot to wait for the Teal spooking off, to watch their flying abilities and maybe get a picture of them. I didn’t get much of a chance today when all I heard was the rush of wings in hurried flight as hundreds of Teal came over my head, the ducks pursued by an equally rapid and determined Peregrine. 

The Peregrine didn’t catch, at least not in the few seconds I glimpsed it before it shot over the sea wall and out towards the marsh. I saw it again later getting a taste of its own medicine from Carrion Crows. Peregrines are a daily occurrence about here with the views for birders mostly distant and fleeting, the raptor sticking to the distant marsh and tideline where most of its food is found. 

Teal

Carrion Crow and Peregrine

Other wildfowl/waders - 300+ Wigeon, 3 Golden Plover, 400+ Lapwing with other raptors being a Sparrowhawk and a circling Buzzard. Small stuff today came in the shape of a Kingfisher fishing Broadfleet, 40+ Skylarks, 2 Linnet, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Wheatear and a tiny number of Meadow Pipits, less than ten. 

The pipits and the chats are both near the end of their autumnal movement, the Skylarks perhaps continuing for a while yet. The Meadow Pipit picture I took earlier in the week, the Wheatear today, in the spot where both species can consistently be found. 

Meadow Pipit

 Wheatear

Wheatear

Another Bird Blog links today to Camera Critters and Anni's Blog. Check them out for more birds and All Creatures Great and Small. 

20 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Wow, you are seeing big numbers on the geese. Love the flight shots of the geese and teal! The Pipit is a handsome bird. Great shots, Phil! Have a happy weekend!

sandyland said...

That header so compelling

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil Great numbers of geese now adn you saw a lot of other ovely bibrds also. Great shot of the Wheatear.

Carol L McKenna said...

Wonderful nature photography the geese and the macro shots !

Geese must know something more about the weather than we do ~ happy weekend, carol, xo

Chris Rohrer said...

Sounds like a fantastic outing with lots of great shots to boot! Pink-footed Goose.....still learning all my geese beyond the Canadian variety:)

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Beautiful shots of these adorable critters. Those geese are all over now and it large flocks. Great flight shots.

Gunilla Bäck said...

The pipit is very cute.

Wally Jones said...

Your description of the views most of us get of a Peregrine is quite accurate: "distant and fleeting"!

Sounds like the floods of Biblical proportions are holding off long enough for you to get out a bit. Nice numbers of waterfowl.

Hope to spend the morning searching for migrant passerines. We have a tropical storm off to our west which may push us a few unusual birds.

Fingers crossed!

Anni said...

Oh my....7 to 8 thousand?!!! I'd be in heaven if that is what I see.

Falcons are so elusive, yet even if there is no photo opportunity...the pure pleasure of watching one is phenomenal.

Loved your images. And, that Wheatear is such an attractive bird, isn't it?

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Meadow Pipit share is stunning, really a lovely image! The Wheatear is always very beautiful as well.
Taking off in the AM for 18 days, but will try to stay connected to my blogging friends along the way~

retriever said...

Great shots,of a big group fhlight of geese. and teal The Pipit is wonderfull. greeting from Belgium .
have a nice day!

Carole M. said...

Phil your Meadow Pipit and Wheatear photos are fabulous. The mustard-coloured lichen on the rocks compliments them very much. Interesting post, as always. I enjoyed reading about the peregrine/carrion crow events you witnessed also.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Looked like you had a real exciting one this time. Great images and write-up as usual.

Stewart M said...

I used to love watching the geese flying overhead in the NE of England - they used to fly up the Derwent Valley and over towards the Solway. A great thing to see.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

PS: sorry for slow reply, I have been "off the grid" for a week.

EG CameraGirl said...

That's a LOT of geese to see all at one time! The pipit is a cutie!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Superb pictures and beautiful header.. Congrats..

TexWisGirl said...

a great selection!

Lou Mary said...

Lovely images! What a sight to see that many geese! I always think it is impressive when I see up to one hundred!

Stuart Price said...

Geese.........that time of year already eh?

Kay L. Davies said...

I really want to see a pink-footed goose. Canada Geese are so numerous as to be humdrum around here, although I never cease to love them, but I have never seen their pink-footed cousin.
K

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