Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stick In The Mud

This is a short post, mainly because there's not much to include by way of news from my quick visits to the Knott End and then Pilling patches before babysitting duties took precedence. 

I started off at Knott End where although the tide was well out and three hours to go, there were birds to see at the far-off but approaching tideline: 2000+ Oystercatchers, 55 Bar-tailed Godwits, 18 Sanderling, 22 Turnstone, 45 Redshank, 190 Lapwing, 4000 Knot and 5 Eider. 

Redshank

Judging the height and bore of tide here on the Wyre Estuary is a bit tricky, even for experienced sailors. From today’s local Blackpool Gazette: 

“Seventeen people were stranded on the Fleetwood to Knott End vessel for more than three hours on Saturday when it hit a sandbank. The Wyre Rose got into difficulty at 1.45pm during a journey to Knott End and was unable to move until the tide came in at 5pm. 

Knott End coastguard was called out to the scene to ensure the people on board, including three crew, were safe and well – and to determine any damage to the ferry. The skipper of the Wyre Rose, said high pressure weather patterns had affected the tide. He said: “The tide would normally have been over three metres but it was less than two metres. I even left Fleetwood early before it got any lower but we still got stuck.” 

However, the skipper said he kept up the spirits of the passengers by serving them tea and coffee, Quality Street chocolates and having a sing-a-long to songs on Smooth FM radio. He said: “The passengers understood and some of them said it would give them something to tell their friends and relatives about.” 

Wyre Estuary, Knott End

Despite outward appearances life is never dull at Knott End or Pilling 

Stopping at Wheel Lane/Fluke Hall junction I checked over the flooded stubble hoping to see a Curlew Sandpiper for my December list but none showed. There were the usual Black-tailed Godwits only 30 today, a solitary Whooper Swan, 1 Snipe, 22 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher and 4 Stock Dove. From a distance and in certain landscapes a Stock Dove can look surprisingly blue always standing out from any accompanying grey Woodpigeons, although the two species don’t always mix company. Thirty plus Woodpigeons was a slight increase on recent counts. 

Stock Dove

The pools and maize crop produced 18 Wigeon, 14 Teal and 18 Shelduck, all suitably wild and keen to flee from my approach. I have discounted the 150+ reluctant-to-fly, obese and overfed Mallards whose date with destiny will arrive soon via the local sportsmen. Also 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Meadow Pipit, 40+ Linnets and 14 Skylark. 

Along the shore I counted a minimum of 12 Little Egrets, keeping an eye out for any stray Great White Egrets, a species I missed by minutes at Conder Green on Sunday. 

That Kingfisher looks like it was watching the Great White Egret sailing effortlessly above as I stuck to the task in hand, eye glued to the viewfinder hoping the sun might come out. That Kingfisher is a little like me, never trying anywhere different, hitting the same old spots, hoping something might turn up but it rarely does.

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Well you never know, maybe one day?

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday GalleryAnni's Blog and Eileen's Saturday Critters .

36 comments:

HansHB said...

Awesome kingfisher, well done!

Gunilla Bäck said...

I love the kingfisher.

Andrea said...

Your pictures are wonderful and that is one gorgeous Kingfisher ... Much more colorful than the ones we have here in the midwest. Very nice post.

Andrea @ FRonm The Sol

mick said...

The Kingfisher is beautiful! Very interesting story about the lower than expected tide. Tides can be tricky - I went kayaking yesterday and came back to find the water much closer to my car than I had expected - I shall be parking further up the hill today!

ALULA said...

Kingfisher is my favority Bird.
Congratulations from Spain.
G. ALULA

ALULA said...

Congratulations from Spain.
Kingfisher is my favorite Bird.
G.ALULA

Andrew Fulton said...

Fantastic images...

Christian Weiß said...

Beautiful photos and a great kingfisher.

eileeninmd said...

What a story about the boat getting stuck on the sandbar! Pretty collection of birds, the Kingfisher is my favorite. Happy Birding and have a great week!

David Gascoigne said...

Sure sounds like a great day's birding to me.

Karen said...

That Kingfisher is marvellous!

Wally Jones said...

Sounds like the passengers on the Wyre Rose got a bonus! Hope there was a birder aboard listing gulls.

Nice list of birds you have, there! The Kingfisher and you keep showing up at familiar spots because of a pleasant memory somewhere in the brain cells.

I know the feeling....

Have a good week, Phil!

Carole M. said...

you always make me smile reading certain phrases and reports within your posts Phil. I liked the Redshank and the Kingfisher; the dove too of course can't be left out. Maybe next year you try some new mapping ideas to explore, offering some new challenges to you? Sounds like you do some really amazing and worthwhile things when you get out ringing and exploring like you do so early in the morning as it is.

The happy wanderer. said...

If you looked like the Kingfisher, you mightn't have to try other spots either! Good luck with the babysitting.

Liz Needle said...

A very interesting post. It sounds like it was an eventful ferry ride. Love the kingfisher.

Dave said...

Still a lovely post Phil, Well done with he kingfisher images though.

Stuart Price said...

Yup, I'm like that kingfisher too.......

Nora at Island Rambles said...

I do love the little bird photos especially the redshank. So peaceful and cute. I guess nature is the one thing we can count on. cheers Nora.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, thank you for linking up to my Critter party. Have a happy weekend!

Beth Edwards said...

a fan of the kingfisher ... hopped over thanks to the new link up "Saturday's Critters".

nice to meet you. have a happy weekend. ( :

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I'm visiting from Eileen's meme and find the kingfisher much more colourful than the ones I've seen here.

Debbie said...

love, love, love the kingfisher!!

i have never really seen one, except in flight, and it was so far away i didn't really see it. the peeps i was with pointed it out!!

all your captures are wonderful!!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great photos!

Carol L McKenna said...

Great nature shots of lovely birds ~ even if one is a 'stick in the mud' ~ thanks, carol, xxx

sandyland said...

can't recall my last kingfisher

sandyland said...

loving it all

Kenneth C Schneider said...

That kingfisher is beautiful!

Kay L. Davies said...

I agree, the kingfisher shot is super, Phil.
The impromptu sandbar party on the ferry sounds like it might have been fun, but might also have interfered with a few schedules.
Sorry if I haven't been commenting much lately, have been suffering from brain freeze, I guess, but I saw this post on my list, made a mental note to get back to you, and forgot until I saw you on Eileen's new meme. Small world.
Hope all is well otherwise at Knott End.
K

bettyl-NZ said...

Great shots! I think we're all a little like that kingfisher, but sometimes, you have to take a chance. (I did when I moved to New Zealand!)

Brian King said...

Beautiful shots, Phil! Love the Kingfisher!

Rajesh said...

Great shots of the birds.

Stewart M said...

Splendid pictures - good to hear that all on the boat were ok.

Great kingfisher.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Anni said...

What a beautiful kingfisher. The colors are outstanding. And the scenery is gorgeous. I could sit where you were looking out to the water for hours. But what threw me off balance here, reading, was the fact that there were 2000+ oystercatchers?!!! Be still my heart.

Russell Jenkins said...

Incredible counts of Oystercatchers and knot. Love the kingy pics too. You are lucky he is so reliable in the same place.

John Gordon said...

Great blog. Can't wait to visit in the spring.
Here the Short-eared Owls on Boundary Bay are back, a few Mountain Bluebirds and others. Snow Buntings, black-necked Stilt at White Rock.
Good birding
John Gordon Surrey B.C.

Lou Mary said...

Amazing images! I really need to find myself a kingfisher who returns to the same spot so I can attempt to take some photos!

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