There was a fair amount of bush-bashing from me today without too much success in the way of rarities, just the common warblers. Oh well, shouldn’t complain, it was a lovely morning and I saw loads of birds.
For readers unfamiliar with the term “bush-bashing” it refers to migration time when bird watchers look in suitable areas of habitat in the hopes of finding fresh-in migrant birds, the rarer the bird the better. Despite the frightening terminology there is no actual demolition of trees and hedgerows it’s more like a slow, thorough and meticulous search with ears pricked in the hope of seeing or hearing something out of the ordinary.
That’s not to say the occasional over enthusiastic birder keen to impress or make their mark won’t occasionally tap a bush with a stick or chuck the odd rock into a hawthorn hedge to encourage an as yet unseen bird to show. Thank goodness for Birder’s Law Number One, “The welfare of the bird is paramount”.
Glasson first stop and stopped in my tracks to watch a Grey Heron grabbing the early morning rays with help from a built in solar panel. I don’t think it was drying off as Cormorants do, just enjoying the morning sun like me.
Sunrise - The River Lune- Skywatch Friday
From the entrance to the car park I spotted the outline of a Kingfisher sat on the ropes of the sunken boat but as the car scrunched over the gravel towards the towpath the bird flew off. Not to worry, there would probably be a Kingfisher at Conder Green. And there was.
Once again a good number of Swallows around the boats and something like 500/600 but no sign of the Hobby of wishful thinking, just a Common Tern hunting for fish. Along the towpath - 40+ Alba wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail and further along 2 Chiffchaff.
The warblers were mostly at Conder Green, skulking along the old railway line or flitting through the trees of the long neglected orchard, with a Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Blackcap. There was evidence of Chaffinches on the move by way of their autumnal “pink-pink” calls and extra birds around than of late.
Meanwhile, and over at the pool a Kingfisher turned its back on me and the 7 Little Grebes left their usual safety margin of many yards. Here at Conder Green it’s easier to get pictures of a Kingfisher than it is to snap a Little Grebe.
Waders today - 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Greenshank, 3 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 60+ Lapwing, 30 Redshank and a couple of Curlew.
Odds and Sods - 20 Teal, 4 Cormorant, 4 Common Tern, 2 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Wigeon.
The next picture of a juvenile Starling is for students of moult and those who like to age and sex birds in the field. During the summer and autumn young Starlings have a complete moult of all their juvenile feathers, gradually replacing them with adult type ones. Their moult can last from May/June right through to late September but can vary geographically or according to the individual bird. It’s certainly a weird looking specimen. The poor thing looks like it was dragged through a bush backwards.
Linking today to Anni's Blog and Eileeen's Saturday Blog.