Sunday, January 12, 2014

Staying Warm

I sprayed defroster on the windscreen and then started the old girl up to see the temperature indicator flashing a “1°” warning. Definitely a morning for the heated seat and not hanging around on street corners, so stand by for a mixed bunch of stuff from this morning’s rapid transit whereby I managed five different birding spots in four hours. 

In the half-light there seemed to be good numbers of Little Egrets in the Pilling Roost so I stopped to examine the ghostly shapes in more detail. After two counts the best I could get was 36 and by then the early risers were already on their way out of the trees, others stirring as if to go. Early Whooper Swans, 30+, were flying over from their roost way out on the marsh and then heading south towards the fields of Eagland Hill where counts of 300+ Whoopers are now an everyday occurrence. 

Soon I headed back to Knott End and a check of the 0830 tide. The biting south-easterly wind made for a brief but bitterly cold look, with 1300 Oystercatcher, 6 Turnstone, 85 Dunlin, 60+ Redshank, 70+ Shelduck, 15 Curlew, 140 Lapwing, 12 Twite and 2 Pied Wagtails. 

Shelduck

On passing Lane Ends again I could see a flock of mainly Lapwing which upon closer inspection revealed 6 Redshank, 80+ Starlings and 320 Lapwings. There were more Lapwings and also 120+ Golden Plovers on the Cockerham flash floods and then as I scoped the sea wall, 2 Buzzards again, the birds on foot prospecting both along and up & down the embankment.

I’m not having much luck finding the unseasonal Common Sandpiper at Conder Green, but the 2 wintering Spotted Redshank are ultra-reliable in the creeks below the road, as they were again. 

Spotted Redshank

Also there today and as combined pool and creek counts, 280+ Teal, 30 Wigeon, 6 Curlew, 5 Little Grebe, 15 Lapwing, 4 Goldeneye, 3 Goosander, 1 Tufted Duck. Below is not a very good and also rushed Goosander shot with the equally wary Teal somewhat distant. 

Goosander

Teal

It was here that a walk around the block produced most of the Teal count, also 18 House Sparrow, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Reed Bunting, and on the outer marsh 20+ Linnets. 

A wildfowl count at Glasson Dock gave 55 Tufted Duck, 20 Goldeneye, 4 Cormorant, 1 Pochard, 1 Grey Heron and 4 Mute Swan. 

Tufted Duck

I know for sure that next week’s birding will heat up considerably, so stick around Another Bird Blog to see why. 

Linking today to Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday.

28 comments:

The happy wanderer. said...

Some very nice ducks and photos there, Phil. It would be nice if there could be "cold" seats in cars as well as heated as we're in for a week of more than 35 and one 41 it seems!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Good pictures as always .. Best regards.

eileeninmd said...

Great collection of ducks and photos. The lighting is beautiful. The Shelduck is one of my favorites. Have a great week!

Stuart Price said...

I haven't seen a Spotted Red for years (and they do occur here).

Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas de estas Anatidas.Un abrazo

Chris said...

Nice shots Phil.. I've seen the shelduck in France during my holidays and they look bigger than the few we have in Iceland... Happy new year mate!

Kay L. Davies said...

The red shanks of the Redshank look almost transparent in the sunrise. Beautiful photo, Phil.
Enjoyed being warm and cozy at my computer while accompanying you on your cold trek around the birding sites!
K

Carol L McKenna said...

Always wonderful bird photography here ~ Wow! ~ looks a bit cold ~ carol, xxx (A Creative Harbor)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Gorgeous bird photos. Your counts always amaze me, but this number seems amazing for your cold weather, not to mention by a birder who is recovering from a cold (or its cure)).

Christian Weiß said...

Great photos, the Goosander and the Shelduck are great.

mick said...

Again- great photos. The Spotted Redshank is especially beautiful. It amazes me that anyone would go out in cold weather - as you do! But maybe you get used to the cold as we get used to the heat!

Rebecca said...

Great series. I've enjoyed indoor bird watching this past week with temps below zero. :) Gotta love those heated seats!

Stewart M said...

Cracking set of pictures - really like the spotted R/S.

The shearwaters are really abundant - so a wreck of a few 1000's is just one of those things that happen - although you don't want it to keep happening!

Cold? Try this - 44 degrees! Way too hot - although an evening snorkel off the beach made up for it some what!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh that Tufted Duck, what a great one, as are all of your shares. 4 hours even in a warm car, seems cold to me, as I find as I get older, it takes longer to warm up and that is with multiple layers on. We are having such gray days, it is difficult to get out and about.

Findlay Wilde said...

That Spotted Redshank picture is absolutely amazing. I really like it. From Findlay

Peter Jones said...

Really super photos Phil, almost makes me home sick! Nice read and thanks for sharing. Peter (Bird Guide)

TexWisGirl said...

the redshank just glows. :)

HansHB said...

Great serie for WBW!
So much to see!

Wally Jones said...

Well, with the "coolish" air, I see why you visited several spots. If you remained still too long you risk becoming frozen solid!

Great numbers, Phil! I'm trying to envision that many Oystercatchers at one time. Superb image of the Spotted Redshank.

Sorry to have been so lazy commenting lately. Trying to get back into the "blogging rhythm" with the new year.

Hope you have a bit of local "global warming" this week!

Cheers.

Chris Rohrer said...

I am so fascinated by that Redshank! What a great assortment of water birds here. I think the Redshank steals the show:) Happy New Year!!!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Love the tufted duck!! And Phil, by the way, thanks for correcting me on the dunlin vs. dowitcher on "I'd Rather B Birdin'"

Karen said...

Another terrific series! Love the legs on the Redshank, and the Teal are lovely looking ducks. Are they small?

Steve Borichevsky said...

I gotta tell you. The Redshank really grabbed my attention.

Christian Perrin said...

I think when it's too cold for a car to work, it's too cold to leave bed, so you did well to get out there! The Goosander seems like a strange waterfowl.

Dave said...

the good thing about bitterly cold is that its generally clear skies and best of all some descent light, you captured that in these images Phil, great effort. Love the Spotshank.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice assortment of water-loving birds. The backlighting on the redshank is superb.

Suresh Kumar said...

Great Pictures. good photography. Keep it up.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

Wonderful photos so full of color on your birds there...nice to see this time of year. cheers.

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