Saturday, February 22, 2014

Unseasonal Sands

It’s been a busy old week of grandparent’s callings, finding time for birding and then in-between updating a tired old kitchen. And if anyone tries to tell you that the British Builder is dead and buried, superseded by its Polish counterpart, don’t believe them; the Union Jack flies high in Knott End and Stalmine. 

So birding and blogging had to take third place for a while but now that weekend’s here I’m up and running with a little news. 

A drive north included a Kestrel at Thurnham, quickly followed by a look over the pools and creeks of Conder Green which gave much the usual stuff: 2 Spotted Redshank, 10 Little Grebe, 150+ Teal, 30 Wigeon, 5 Goldeneye, 15 Lapwing 1 Little Egret, 12 Curlew, 12 Oystercatcher and 1 Common Sandpiper. The wintering sandpiper has eluded me for weeks, hiding away and silent in the tiny creeks rather than the main tidal channel but it finally showed today. 

Common Sandpiper

At Glasson: 15 Goldeneye comprising 13 males and 2 females, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 40 Tufted Duck and 9 Cormorants. 

Goldeneye

Goldeneye

Back at Pilling the sun came out and I set off along the usual route to find 8 Little Egrets, the Brent Goose on the marsh and the wintering Green Sandpiper on the shooter’s pools. 

It looks like the Green Sandpiper isn’t the only wintering sandpiper here as amongst the 60+ Lapwings, 125 Redshanks and 15 Curlew was a Curlew Sandpiper. I last saw a Curlew Sandpiper here on 15th November, the lack of visits during the intervening period of wind, rain and weekly shoots accounting for the lack of sightings of the bird since that date. 

Curlew

Curlew Sandpiper - Photo credit: jvverde / Foter / CC BY-NC

There were small birds around the pools and the maize field with 45+ Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, 15 Skylark and a sudden arrival of 14+ alba wagtails arriving from the west and landing some distance away. On the pool, now less than a dozen Mallard and 2 Pintail survive the winter shoots, the original 2000+ released Red-legged Partridge now hard to come by after so many days of gunfire.

Near Fluke Hall I watched a Stock Dove in display flight and heard several species in song - Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Coal Tit. 

Stock Dove

Spring must be just around the corner. Hooray for that. 


22 comments:

sandyland said...

You've hit upon every one of my favorites here my first Canadian trip loons and I have been fast friends since

TexWisGirl said...

the dove pair are lovely! great water birds, too.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Wonderful array...but, 150+ Teal?!! Oh be still my heart.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil. older full o see so many Teal and I loved the waders. Have a great weekend.

Snap said...

A kitchen redo, grands and birds -- busy busy! I have a soft spot for shore birds ... don't know why ... but I do love just sitting and watching them. Nice group!

Debbie said...

fun fowl...the only ones i see are the doves!!

very nice snaps!!

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful bird photography and such a variety ~ great post ~ thanks, Happy Weekend ~

artmusedog and carol
www.acreativeharbor.com

Jeanne said...

All lovely, but the goldeneye is my favorite. So lucky for you to live in an area that has all of these birds , and that it is not too hard to find them.

Gordon said...

Looks like you had a good outing Phil, and a Curlew Sand, just jealous thats all.
All the best Gordon.

The happy wanderer. said...

I do like the way one can see metallic sheen at times on the wings of Common Sandpipers. They're not very common in Australia!

Good luck with all the activities. At least it sounds as if spring is coming - something to look forward to especially after the winter Britain has had.

Adam Jones said...

Lovely Goldeneye shots, but I'm a fan of the waders so the Curlew Sandpiper is my favourite.

DeniseinVA said...

I'm glad you were finally able to take time out of your busy schedule to go birding. These are wonderful photos, lovely birds!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful birds, very nice variety.

David Gascoigne said...

Great outing, Phil. Whenever I read your posts I almost feel that I am right along there with you. Nice assortment of species.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Here earlier under my Hootin' Anni blog admin...now signed in with my birding blog and wanted to stop by and thank you for linking up today!

As always it's a real pleasure viewing your bird pics and reading your narration of your week.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

What a beautiful variety you have here in this post! :)

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

You did very well getting such nice photos despite your other obligations. Two of our little granddaughters will be visiting us in a couple of weeks and I know my time will be well occupied!

Christian Weiß said...

Beautiful photo and a great variety of bird species.

eileeninmd said...

Kitchen remodeling, oh what fun! Great series of birds, Phil ! I love the Goldeneye and the cute Curlew! The dove shot is just adorable. Thank you for linking up to my Saturday's Critter party. Have a happy weekend!

Carole M. said...

another delightful post Phil, I'm so impressed with the Goldeneye this time, but I love all the birds of course. Glad you could 'get out'.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Awe yes, the grandparenting activities and remodel of kitchen, oh do we know both very well. It is always a delight spending time with the wee ones, and it is also very nice when you have something brand spanking new to enjoy after some good old labor. Glad you are back up and on. As for me, my Google woes continue to change as quickly as the weather changes around here. 67' and severe storms and now it is snowing...
Those Goldeneyes are glorious Phil. What gorgeous feather colouring and markings they have. I have been able to see a few more new waterfowl and will be sharing soon.
Have a great week~

Jen said...

So sad that most of the birds are gone. Maybe they escaped and are hiding somewhere?

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