Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nothing Special?

I came across a few “special” creatures today. Kingfishers, Peregrines and Red Foxes aren’t particularly rare but there’s always that little extra thrill when spotting them, more so when you are not looking for them and they turn up without warning. 

Such creatures have the potential to turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one, but more often than not they tantalise with brief and fleeting views, as all three did today. 

The first encounter was with a fox just setting off to the cross the A588 at Cockerham. When it saw my car approaching the animal spun around in the road and shot back into the hedgerow from whence it came. On a bendy and busy main road it was impossible to stop with little point in doing so when an animal is so wary. That’s three Red Foxes I’ve seen in as many weeks in just casual journeying to birding spots. Maybe foxes are having a good summer too? 

Glasson was my first stop where another try for Otters yielded lots of birds but no Otters. A Kingfisher was perched on the metal footbridge which crosses the working lock, a heavily used and busy spot for boats and pedestrians but not at 6am. Swallows were flying under the same bridge to where they nest but there’s still no young, just 8/10 adults. Similar numbers of Swifts overhead and between 6 and 8 House Martins. 

Kingfisher

I set off for the canal towpath and logged 2 Pied Wagtails and 1 Grey Heron, 12 Tufted Duck and 15 Coot on the water. Alongside the canal were many brown jobs “tacking” and “ticking” their way through the now substantial waterside vegetation which is dominated by stretches of dense and tall Phragmites, the common reed. 

I logged 11 Reed Warbler, 8 Whitethroat, 6 Reed Bunting, 4 Sedge Warbler, 2 Song Thrush and “several” each of Linnet, Goldfinch, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Blackbird and House Sparrow, even one or two of the erstwhile common Greenfinch. Yes, they still exist.

Linnet

Greenfinch

Early July is not the optimum time for seeing a coastal Peregrine, more like August right through to March/April when inland Peregrines find rich pickings on the expanse of Morecambe Bay before they head back to the hills or city buildings to breed. 

All was quiet at Conder Green viewing point until the small flock of c30 feeding Starlings erupted into sound and flight. “Whoosh”, a Peregrine hurtled down from nowhere and almost connected with the by now tightly packed Starlings. In the blink of an eye the Peregrine was gone, without breakfast. 

It had been quiet. Suddenly there was noise from panicking and nervous Starlings, Redshanks, Oystercatchers and gulls, a clamour which lasted a minute or more before peace returned. A passing Peregrine had left its usual legacy of fear. 

How do you follow a Peregrine? With the usual counts I’m afraid: 6 Common Sandpiper, 120 Redshank, 15 Oystercatcher, 30 Lapwing, 4 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Stock Dove. 

On the way home a Kestrel on a fence post. As I said, nothing special but a reason today to link with  Theresa's Fences Day.

Kestrel

Join Another Bird Blog soon for another ordinary day.

18 comments:

Carole M. said...

wow Phil, you got such a good photo of the Kingfisher. Ho-hum, it was just another birding sojourn; PRETTY SPECIAL it was too. Cudos to you for being up and out there with them early.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant, you caught the Kingfisher, one that I can't get good enough. And lots and lots of all sorts as well.

David Gascoigne said...

Any day spent in the company of a Peregrine Falcon is a very special day. I have only ever witnessed two successful stops and it is something to behold. I'm sure it was a great day, Phil.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, these are great shots and lovely birds. My favorite is the Kingfisher.. Happy Birding!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil. Great birds found and photographed. Love the kestrel on the fence post.

TexWisGirl said...

all very special sights to me! love the kestrel on the post! thanks for linking, phil!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Love the kingfisher...they're so much prettier that ours. Great Kestrel on the fence post...excellent photo composition.

Now...where is the fox?

Have a happy, happy weekend of birding if you can.

Debbie said...

i love the kestrel on the post, pretty special for me!!

all these bird images are very special for me to view!!

Felicia said...

beautiful bird photos again. the kestrel is magnificent. too bad you couldn't get an image of the fox.

Carola Bartz said...

I envy you for all your beautiful bird sightings - how wonderful!

Rose said...

Beautiful birds...wonderful to see that many. I always find it thrilling to see a fox...they are never around long enough to capture them in a pic though.

Marie said...

How wonderful to get to see the foxes so often and also that peregrine! Love your photos also!

Wally Jones said...

It would have been a great day for me even without the Fox, Peregrine and Kingfisher! Very nice counts, even though "ordinary" for you.

I completely understand how special a glimpse of a Fox or Peregrine can be! Adrenaline pumps a bit more and it's always the first thing mentioned about a trip.

Have a wonderful weekend, Phil! Your outstanding post and photographs made my day better.

Rajesh said...

Each one of these birds are special in their own way.

Unknown said...

i learn so much from you pictures outstanding and different form seabirds here

Jane said...

Lovely images, thanks for sharing :)

Adam Jones said...

Totally agree with your opening paragraph Phil. Amazing pictures too. Kingfisher wins it for me, but the Linnet is superb as I know how difficult they are to nail down and keep still.

s.c said...

Great birdshots and thank you for showing them.

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