Monday, November 4, 2013

First Frost

Our first local frost of autumn gave a wonderful sunny start to the day. It was a welcome change from the rain and wind of late and I set off for a look around Pilling way. I didn’t get too far because there was plenty of action with lots of birds to see. But it’s a short post only as I had three hours only before baby minding and school collection duties. 

The stubble fields at Fluke Hall Lane are both well rutted and now very flooded, the land a seemingly irresistible location for a good variety of waders, wildfowl, crows and larks. It’s mainly Lapwings, over 340+ this morning and then a mix of c40 Black-tailed Godwits, 65 Redshank, 40+ Dunlin, 35+ Snipe, 18 Golden Plover, 45+ Skylarks and 180+ Jackdaws. The Snipe are impossible to see until something disturbs the Lapwings, the species which starts every panicked eruption of almost everything on the fields. The Snipe join in, circle around and then split off into small groups or singles which fly to the outer marsh or drop into the furrows again with little chance of seeing one on the deck. 

Snipe

 Lapwing

Dunlin

A Peregrine instigated one of the dreads this morning as it flew at a good height parallel to the sea wall heading towards Pilling Water. Other alarms to scatter the birds came simply from people walking along the road but a good 100 yards from where the birds feed in the centre of the stubble. 

There seemed to be Meadow Pipits around this morning, a count of 25 being the highest for weeks, likewise the flock on the marsh of 30+ Linnets and at least 2 Greenfinch. Here come those Whooper Swans again and always good for a photo or two, 32 of them this morning, coming and going between the marsh and the bird magnet buried in the stubble. 

Whooper Swans

Whooper Swan

That’s all for now but don’t forget to look in later, especially on Thursday for a chance to win a signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland.

Linking today with Stewart's World Bird Wednesday .

33 comments:

Lew Newman said...

We had a fine day, too, after 25mm of rain! Can't compete with you, Phil, but Mistle Thrush was first of the winter (came to look at our large Holly) and 2 Gt. Crested Grebes over were a garden tick. Still very slow this far south. Keep up the good work!

Lew Newman said...

We had a fine day, too, Phil - after 25mm of rain last night! Afraid we can't compete with you - just a first of the winter Mistle Thrush checking out our big Holly and 2 Gt. Crested Grebes over were a garden tick. Keep up the good work!

Amanda said...

Lovely seeing your shorebirds, especially the speccy lapwing and snipe.

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful captures of such lovely birds!! I love the first one!! Thanks for sharing!! Have a great week!!

Carole M. said...

the winds have been wide-spread, even reaching east-coast Australia Phil. The Snipe is a great shot! Lapwing very different to what I see (Masked), love that head-dress and seeming some fleurescence on the shoulders?

genie said...

Oh, my goodness...this is going to make you giggle. I did not believe that was such a thing as a Snipe. I remember as a teenager the kids getting me to go with them on a Snipe Hunt...hahahaha...no such thing. Those of us that bit were really teased. Now, I learn that the Snipe does exist and it is a beautiful little bird with an impressive beak. If only I had know it back years ago...then I would have had the last laugh. Thanks for sharing such lovely pictures.

Carol L McKenna said...

Beautiful photography of very fascinating birds to me ~ always enjoy your blog ~ thanks, carol

Laura said...

Beautiful birds… I love the patterning on the first…oh and the expanse of the wings of the whooper swans, wow!

Kay L. Davies said...

The snipe is amazing, the lapwing is gorgeous, and the dunlin are just as cute as anything!
If I've missed out on commenting lately, or if I do so in the immediate future, please blame my wretched health. I'm going to have to yell at my doctor again.
K

grammie g said...

Hey Phil
Grandpa duties huh, that's real nice of ya !!
I had a couple of inches of ice in the bird bath this morning so I'd say we are past the first frost!! : )
I love Snipes... something about them makes me smile, them and the Woodcock have that look, I think it's the eyes and the long bill's!!
That's a great shot of one!!

I suppose Phil did no instigating, blame it on the others!! : )

I see by the clock on your wall you should be rolling out soon, and you can get out stocking those bird again!!

I'm beat so I'm of to bed!!

Your old Pal the Maineiac !!
Grace


Wally Jones said...

That's a great number of birds and species, Phil!
Sounds like the first frost has been a good omen. Hope so!
Ahh, a buried bird magnet - that's how it's done!

I almost stepped on a Wilson's Snipe yesterday and if I could have "flushed", I would have! More on that trip later-it was a good one.

Hope your week is fantastic!

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas.Un abrazo

The happy wanderer. said...

That's a lovely Snipe photo. I love the sound the males make as they dive down, and was amazed to find out it's all done with feathers! I guess a frost means winter is getting closer.

eileeninmd said...

What a great day, sounds really birdie. Love the Snipe and the cute Lapwings. The swans are beautiful. Great shots, happy birding!

Ercotravels said...

Hi Phil! Indeed, you find beautiful birds, to take the photos!
Nice post.

EG CameraGirl said...

I do love the look of the Snipe's long bill. I have never seen a lapwing - how cool!

Stuart Price said...

First frost here a couple of weeks ago. Winter is coming................as they say on 'Game of Thrones'. Luckily we get geese or eagles instead of zombies and evil spirits.

Our photos said...

Beautiful bird photos!
Greetings, RW & SK

Dave said...

Great post Phil.

First frost yesterday morning and the few hours of blue cloudless sky was quickly enveloped by the pm by dark stormy clouds. My patch isn't too dissimilar to your with the Snipe, Lapwings, plenty of Corvids and Woodpigeon. A nice sighting this afternoon with a flock of Stock Dove. Dave

TexWisGirl said...

i LOVE snipes! i get them stopping here at the pond once in a blue moon. :)

Carletta said...

The snipe and lapwing shots are wonderfully captured!!
A little bit of baby minding helps us stay young. :)

mick said...

A really interesting mixture of birds again, and the Snipe photo is fantastic!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Whoosh Phil, you do not need to many hours, or birds to do much more of a splendid job than you already have with this day's selection. They are all absolutely stunning...Very Nice~

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Dave the shots of the snipe and Lapwing are stunning.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil I got your name wrong. Typo mistake!!Sorry.

Gunilla Bäck said...

The snipe is gorgeous. The colours and patterns are very pretty.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I so want to find a snipe!! Seriously, I've even dreamed of spotting one. Maybe someday. {{{sigh}}}

That lapwing is so colorful. Very pretty.

But the 'first frost'...well, me being the wuss that I am, you can have it. I'll take the subtropical weather here, any ol' day.

Andrea said...

We have had our first frost and the birds have all disappeared ... flying south for warmer climates. When it starts getting cold here (in the 30's at night) I often think I would like to follow them, but alas, I am here to stay. Your broad selection of birds is wonderful and I agree with Hootin' Anni ... love the Snipe. What an interesting character. I appreciate your knowledge of your birds and your kind sharing of them. Great Post ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Karen said...

Oh I love the Snipe! That beak looks to be longer than it's body.
Lovely in-flight captures of the swans too Phil!

Chris Rohrer said...

More epic finds! A Whooper Swan? Another new one for me and as for Snipes....they're just plain awesome! You got a great shot of this tricky bird. They always blend in with the reeds or mud!

Russell Jenkins said...

That's a super picture of the snipe. I've only seen them appear from nothing in front of me and fly away. Good, healthy numbers for everything else too as usual.

Liz said...

Beautiful series Phil! I love that Snipe.

Lou Mary said...

Another super post! Stunning snipe and lapwing photos!

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