Monday, November 18, 2013

Pilling And A Pipit

Domestics meant that a couple of hours after lunch were the best I could do today. No point in being too ambitious either when most birds start thinking about bedtime, and head for their beds long before I do. But there was time for a walk out Pilling way where birds would be guaranteed for a couple of hours. 

The shooters were out on the marsh leaving food in readiness for the next big shoot on Wednesday. There will be guaranteed birds for the paying guests as long as they don’t mind getting their boots dirty when kicking overfed and tame Mallards from beneath their feet. There’s little else on the pools apart from Mallards now, just 8 Pintail and a couple of Teal, the autumn passage of wildfowl over. 

Although 10 Whooper Swans and 45 Shelducks went at the arrival of Hi-Fly it was just minutes after the food appeared that 200 Jackdaws and several Carrion Crows homed in and join a bemused Mute Swan. Not without reason is the Jackdaw known as “the clever crow”, and there are no tame Jackdaws out Pilling way. 

 Jackdaw

There was a gang of 35/40 Black-tailed Godwits circling around looking for a safe spot, the birds eventually deciding on their usual flooded patch of stubble where a couple of Redshank and Curlew fed. Also on the stubble - 70+ Skylarks, 2 Snipe, 24 Linnet and a single Pied Wagtail. It was while watching the stubble that I noted a Buzzard drifting somewhere over Pilling village, and then along the sea wall brief views of a Merlin heading towards Lane Ends and the obligatory 10 little Egrets. 

I followed the Merlin’s example and took a trip to Lane Ends where in the field opposite were c450 Pink-footed Geese and 4 Greylag. 

Pink-footed Geese

And now for news of a pipit. Fylde Ringing Group has ringed almost 2500 Meadow Pipits over many years but to get news of a Meadow Pipit recovery is quite unusual as the species both lives and breeds in rather remote places. 

Y279058, an autumn juvenile I ringed at Out Rawcliffe on 20 September 2011 was recaptured by another ringer at Hasfield Ham, Gloucestershire almost 2 years to the day on 5 October 2013. By this date it could be safely aged as an adult and with a wing length of 86mm it was a definite male. Where the bird had bred in 2011, 2012 and 2013 is anyone’s guess, probably well north of Lancashire, maybe even Scotland or Iceland. 

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit recovery - 2011 to 2013 

Meadow Pipit

Log in to Another Bird Blog soon for trips to Pilling and elsewhere.

Linking today to Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday. 

17 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

I hate the idea of "shooters" putting food out to tempt the birds in to be shot. If this is considered somehow sporting, I don't understand it a bit. Paying to shoot birds who are being fed to induce them to stay there and be shot...brrrr. Ugh.
I love your photos, though, and can well imagine the Mute Swan bemused (and confused) by the sudden arrival 200 Jackdaws.
K

Carol L McKenna said...

Wonderful birds ~ so fascinating ~ nature provides such delights and you photograph them so well ~ Still thinking about becoming a birder cept artmusedog comes first ~ happy week to you ~ carol, xxx

Carole M. said...

so is it the Mallards taking over, is that the reason for the shoot or are they free to shoot 'anything'? Great news for you on the ringed Pipit - I admire how you ring the birds seeming so effortlessly though I'm sure it's not. Looks like a good 'short-day' out Phil.

eileeninmd said...

I think it is sad to see the hunters leave out food for the birds. What kind of hunting is that, no challenge.

Your pipit is pretty! And I love the geese shot! Happy birding and have a great week!

Christian Perrin said...

I agree with you Kay on how infuriating Shooters are. I suddenly have a newfound love for Jackdaws and their sneaky bait-eating ways.

What's your feelings on shooting, Phil? Is it such a standard practise in your area that it seems normal and perfectly sustainable? In Australia, Victoria allows a duck-hunting season that angers a lot of people and I'm so grateful that Queensland doesn't allow it. Those Pink-footed Geese are just beautiful - it'd be a real shame for them to be shot to bits!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

It sounds encouraging a bit for the Meadow Pipit. If only these birds could tell their story and we would understand and take heed to their callings, and longings...wonder how it all might turn out for many of them...
As soon as I arrive home after going on errands, I grab my camera and out the door I go. The husby will say..."but you just got home" and I will say, "but the birds are here and awake now"...and then like today, there was silence, yesterday was truly hundreds and hundreds...oh well~

The happy wanderer. said...

A lot of people in Victoria are anti-shooting. It's sad to think that people still just want to kill something for sport.

I enjoyed seeing the Meadow Pipit images as we saw a lot in Iceland a couple of years ago, and I think they're beautiful with those soft colours.

Dave said...

The shooting winds me right up, I make sure that when I walk the moors in the peak district I spend a penny in the shooting booths. I chuffing hate them.

Now then with that off my chest, what a great story regarding the mipit. I have a few new birds on my local patch particularly with the Pied Wagtails in the horse paddocks.

Kenneth C Schneider said...

That "hunt" sounds nothing like a sport. Might as well go shoot chickens at a farm.

Karen said...

I have never understood hunting for sport. I often wonder about people who get pleasure from killing birds and animals. That Jackdaw is fabulous!

Amanda said...

Interesting post. Like the others, I don't get the shooting thing, especially with food left out! The pipit is cute.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful birds. I don't get the hunting for sport at all. The only thing I shoot with is my camera.

mick said...

It sounds like a good total of birds seen for just a few hours. Great to get a recapture of the Pipit. I am always amazed at how far the tiny birds migrate. Oh yes! I am another one that doesn't like hunting!!

HansHB said...

Nice serie, interesting!

Russell Jenkins said...

Jackdaw is a fascinating name, Phil. It does look like a typical corvid to me. I don't know what century shooters are living in but it doesn't feel like the present. Nice to know the pipit has been doing alright and some lovely pictures as usual.

you-wee because said...

Oh, another bird blog...
...but an informative one! ;-)

Great photos, good job!

Regards from Germanyy, Uwe.

Gail Dixon said...

Such a sweet little bird. The markings on the chest remind me of the brown thrasher. The jackdaw is an interesting bird as well. Nice job on these!

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