Thursday, January 2, 2014

Opening The Account

The new page-a-day had waited patiently on the dining room table all day yesterday just aching for somebody to pick it up. It just had to be, so this morning I slipped the little book in the right hand pocket of my old birding jacket and then set off for Knott End and Pilling, the first birding session of 2014. 

Another Bird Blog Diary 2014

With still three hours to high tide at Knott End there wasn’t much doing, the usual tight pack of Oystercatchers forming on the flat shore with just a smattering of Sanderling sticking to the tide line, and 15 Turnstones already on the tiny but unkempt part of foreshore they favour. 

A walk along the esplanade found 40+ Twite, 2 Rock Pipits and 2 Pied Wagtail, and down near the village, the noisy and flighty gangs of Lapwing and Redshanks. Driving through the village I could see the Rooks about the trees above the Library, an old established but now small Rookery as the tall trees eventually succumb to old age. 

I checked the flood at Fluke Hall where the usual Lapwings were absent but 24 Redshanks and a single Black-tailed Godwit were still about. I’m wondering if the Black-tail isn’t too well, as a usually gregarious species turns into a rather lonesome individual. I was still in the car when along the road and above Fluke Hall I spotted a Peregrine, gliding and circling in the direction of the marsh. By the time I reached the trees the falcon had disappeared but I saw it later as I walked the sea wall, beating up the waders, distant and into the light for the inevitable “record shot”.

Black-tailed Godwit

Peregrine

Also on the stubble, spent maize fields and wildfowler’s pools, 26 Linnet, 12 Skylark, 300+ Jackdaw, 25 Woodpigeon, 70 Shelduck, 2 Little Egret, 22 Pintail and 15 Whooper Swans. 

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Along the shore were good numbers of Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Knot, the fast rising tide moving the birds quickly and constantly. On the incoming water I noted 2 Red-breasted Merganser and a Goldeneye, plus many hundreds of Shelduck. 

 
Curlew

Redshanks

Someone asked me just a day or two ago why many birds fly in formation, so today I took a shot of some pinkies (Pink-footed Geese) in formation flight. 

Pink-footed Geese

The V shape of the flock conserves a bird’s energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest. 

Another benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Flying in formation may assist with the communication and coordination within the group. Fighter pilots often use this formation for the same reason. 

There’s more news, views and pictures on Another Bird Blog during the rest of 2014. Stay tuned.

Linking today to Eileens Saturday BlogAnni's Blog and Camera Critters.

20 comments:

DeniseinVA said...

A great start to 2014 with all these lovely bird sightings. A very enjoyable post! Happy New Year!

David Gascoigne said...

Sounds like a great day's birding to start the New Year. Here it is bitterly cold and most of the birds are hunkered down and hard to find...even for the few intrepid birders who venture this forth. This morning when I was out the air temperature was minus 23°C with a wind chill of minus 31. I didn't stay outside for long!

Stuart Price said...

A great start to the year Phil.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, what a wonderful start to 2014. Beautiful birds, a lovely outing and great photos. Have a great weekend, happy birding!

KK said...

Happy New Year, Phil. Nice to see you are putting that diary to good use already.

I tried taking a picture of a crow once. Needless to say, it was not good at all. Looking at your pictures of birds in flight puts me to shame. How are you able to click so well?

The happy wanderer. said...

I agree with Stuart - it's a great start in less than perfect weather. I really like the Curlew.

Carole M. said...

well done Phil, you made for a good diary entry and blog post too with lovely photos. Today I was filling in parts of the bigger 'at home' diary, then had to co-ordinate with the smaller 'take-with-me' diary. I thought about the 'birthday book' and started adding those entries then to both diaries, and my phone-reminder entries, just to be sure! Oooops, a long way from birding we were talking about weren't we? I especially like your Black-tailed Godwit photograph.

Andrew Fulton said...

Happy New Year Phil

Mary Howell Cromer said...

A senior for a while now and I had never know why Geese fly that way, or possibly other birds...very interesting...
I love to learn.
Looking forward to seeing that little journal after a year of great care,wear and note taking ;)
Happy weekend Phil~

eileeninmd said...

Phil, thanks for linking up to Saturday's Critters. Happy Birding and have a great weekend!

Rajesh said...

Great shots of the birds in the new year.

EG CameraGirl said...

How wonderful that you are off to a great year of birding!

Carol L McKenna said...

Lots of wonderful action shots of nature's 'critters' ~ beautiful ~ Happy 2014 ~ carol, xxx

Anni said...

Your book is now filled with the awe of a new year in bird sightings!!! Y'know? I don't think I've ever seen a curlew in flight around here...so that was a special treat for me this weekend.

Christian Weiß said...

Beautiful photos, it looks like a good start in the new year.

Gunilla Bäck said...

You had a great outing. Happy birding 2014!

HansHB said...

Great photos!

Karen said...

Looks like a good start for 2014!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The flight shots are so beautiful. Love those pink-footed geese.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice to see you using your book rather than all the electronic alternatives-- but you certainly are good at the latter as well!

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