Saturday, April 5, 2014

More Of The Same

I was back home by 1030 this morning, rained off. Prior to the rain a couple of cool but cloudy hours at Pilling allowed a return walk along the sea wall before I retreated back home to blog. 

A Barn Swallow greeted me at Lane Ends, my second of the year but the only one I saw on this overcast and quite breezy morning. There was a Chiffchaff in song, a Reed Bunting too plus a Long-tailed Tit working its way through the trees. Four Little Egrets decorated the pool margins again as a Little Grebe trilled unseen from the mostly hidden pool. 

Chiffchaff

Towards Pilling Water I disturbed a Sparrowhawk from the base of the sea wall, a big female which glided out to the marsh where it disappeared into a ditch and out of sight. If the hawk was hanging about in a wait for passerines there weren’t many; 4 Skylark, 1 White Wagtail, a couple of overflying Linnet and a single Wheatear melting into the rocks. The Wheatear looked fairly bright but I wasn’t sure if it was a “Greenland” type like those of Thursday

After a while the Wheatear succumbed to a mealworm even though the tiny things barely wriggled in the cold morning wind. This second year male Wheatear turned out to be a typical Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, and at 95mm wing and 23.1 grams, not approaching anything like the weight or measurements of Thursday’s “Greenland” beast. There is an overlap at this time of the year when different races of Wheatears pass through North West England but heading to a variety of destinations. 

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear- Oeananthe oenanthe

The Green Sandpiper was still at the wildfowler’s pools, flying off to hide in the ditches at my approach. Still 15/20 Teal and several partly obscured Shovelers. There was a Stock Dove on the marsh briefly, and overhead a local Buzzard. 

Spots of rain began and in the absence of much doing I made my way back to Lane Ends and thence to Braides Farm where lazy birders can bird from a car. Here were lots of Golden Plovers, 350 and more, distant on the muddy field. 

There are no Lapwing flocks now, just patrolling males and every so often a partial and motionless head, a female Lapwing sat tight on a probable full clutch of eggs. I noted several Oystercatchers feeding but didn’t spot any sat tight just yet; normally their nests are a week or two later than Lapwings. There were several Skylarks in song despite the gloomy morning. 

Lapwing
 
Oystercatcher

It was a slightly disappointing morning with frustrating weather resulting in little visible migration but nice to connect with another Wheatear. 

More soon from Another Bird Blog, linking today to Camera Critters and Anni's Birding Blog.

24 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil It has been raining here also but you managed a good number of lovely shots especially the colours in that Lapwing. Have a great weekend.

carol l mckenna said...

Always great shots of unique birds ~ for CC ~ Happy Weekend you ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol

Kay L. Davies said...

Hi Phil
We're just back from Iceland, and didn't see a great many birds. No puffins to be found. But we did see some pink-footed geese and my husband was impressed that I could identify them.
We saw a little cutie that he looked up and said is a redbird, and another one that flew in front of us as we walked up a path. I tried to look it up and it may have been a white wagtail.
Will send you shots of the latter two when my husband gets his photos off his cameras and onto my computer. LOL
K

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

That wheatear is beautiful. We were lucky to see one here in south Florida a few years ago, but never got such a stunning view as your photo!

Gunilla Bäck said...

I love the lapwing and the oystercatcher. I hope you'll get better weather soon.

Anni said...

Love the colors on the lapwing Phil!!
As always, your photo shares and your narrative are interesting and educational.

I must say I liked your colorful reference to: the four little egrets decorating the pool margins!!!

Christian Weiß said...

Beautiful series of photos and obeservations. Great to see a wheatear.

Janet Shaw said...

Great Photos! Thanks for sharing!

eileeninmd said...

Phil, beautiful birds and lovely photos. I do love the Lapwing, it is always a favorite of mine.. Happy Birding!

Carole M. said...

the beautiful Chiffchaff again ..you write about the weather and it sounds like it is here this morning. Oh, Northern Wehatear/striking, and your Lapwing are quite quirky with their ornate head-dress. Of course Oystercatcher is impressive too. Nice photos considering the weather wasn't in your favour Phil, cheers!

Stewart M said...

Great shot of the Lapwing - that's one of common UK birds I'm hoping to catch up with again later in the year.

Magpies as well!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

HansHB said...

A beautiful serie!

David Gascoigne said...

In a long association with birds the one thing I have never done is banding. I have been present at many banding stations but I have never done it myself. I envy you the knowledge it gives you about the various species you trap.

Roan said...

Nice selection. Love the Lapwing! Beautiful colors and those feathers atop his head make him look regal.

Mary Cromer said...

It may have seemed frustrating for you Phil, but I always enjoy very much your summary writings that you do for the blog entries, very informative and interesting. The Chiffchaff singing image sure is a cracker, splendid and the Wheatear so beautiful. Have a happy and safe week~

Chris said...

Hi Phil, the birds are beautiful. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I wish I could have one of your disappointing birding days. That's more birds than I'd see on my best one. Good for you and thanks for sharing.

Sylvia K said...

Such beautiful birds and your captures are terrific, Phil!! Thanks so much for sharing the beauty of your world!! Have a great week!

Fun60 said...

I just don't see enough lapwings theses days.

mick said...

Very interesting to read again about your northern season birds - almost a mirror image of here for the shorebirds. I especially liked the Pied Oystercatcher with the dirt caught on its bill - I don't think I have ever seen a Pied Oystercatcher around here anywhere but on the sand with sand on its bill!

orchid Miyako said...

Hello; Wpw; what beautiful photos of varieties of birds!!! I've never known and seen Lapwing; so cute♡♡♡

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Stuart Price said...

'A disappointing morning with frustrating weather'................I think you describe about 90% of all birding days anywhere..........!

You still got some nice pics though esp the Chiffchaff.

Karen said...

A pretty good variety even in the rain! Love the lapwing.

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Hi Phil! Very beautiful photos :-) We love Haematopus ostralegus :-)
Greetings

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