Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Such Luck

This morning saw my first autumn Redwings and Bramblings along the coast but no luck with a hoped for Yellow-browed Warbler, the autumn speciality which instead turned up in mist nets at both Heysham Observatory and Walney Island. When out birding I can see both sites from Pilling or Cockerham, this morning a very breezy and probably bouncy flap and glide for a tiny warbler crossing Morecambe Bay north to south. 

I stopped at Braides Farm to scan across the farmland where more often than not there is little to see until winter rains create a flood which becomes attractive to waders. Just where the field will soon flood I counted 55 Curlew, 5 Golden Plover and 300/400 Starlings, many birds partly hidden, so the area must be soft for probing and still concave enough to hold water. 

There was a distant Buzzard on a fence post waiting for the rising sun and warmer flying conditions. A circling and hovering Kestrel scattered the Starlings more than once before heading off over the sea wall towards the marsh. 

Kestrel

Doh! I’d forgotten the resurfacing along the road at Conder Green where wagons and workmen now filled the lay-by, the yellow jackets, noise and activity emptying the creek and pool of many birds. So a less than perfect look and minus a few regulars but 100 Teal, 80 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 7 Curlew, 6 Lapwing, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Pied Wagtail. 

Lapwing

The water at Glasson was both choppy and windswept although the Tufted Duck count of 52 proved the best of the autumn. 

Tufted Duck

I set about looking in a couple of sheltered spots for warblers and thrushes. A number of hawthorn bushes are rather loaded with berries this year, the one below in a very open and windy position next to the estuary, so no birds there for now. 

Hawthorn

Along the canal in the churchyard and a well-wooded spot I found 30+ fidgety Redwings which flew off almost immediately; still on the move from their overnight excursion. Also 10+ Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrush plus a mixed flock of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, no Yellow-browed Warbler but a Robin in dispute with a brown headed Blackcap. 

Blackbird

Redwing

The shelter of Fluke Hall wood seemed a good bet so I headed there and at 1030 into the easterly wind flew a dozen Chaffinches and then 5 Greenfinch - worth a closer look. Two Bramblings were in the treetops with Chaffinches, the nasal calls of the Bramblings singling them out for extra attention. Glimpses only as the finches moved through the trees and then lost to sight and the calls of resident Buzzards. 

Brambling

The noise of Land Rovers and time to go - It’s Wednesday and Hi-Fly shoot day when the Red-legged Partridge earn their keep and the Buzzards make themselves scarce. 

Me too, but I’ll be back.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blog and Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.

23 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

a beautiful set of birds, again. love the lapwing and the tufted with their hair-dos. and the hawthorne along the fence line!

Margaret Adamson said...

Great that you have seen a Brambling and Redwong already. None here yet, all great shots

eileeninmd said...

Phil, awesome variety of birds. I love the Lapwing and the cute Tufted Duck.. A great kestrel in flight shot.. Great post, happy birding!

Christian Perrin said...

Some handsome birds here, particularly the Brambling and Redwing. Tufted Duck is always a favourite of mine too - it seemed the most exotic and rare of ducks on the London ponds!

Enjoyed your travels, Phil!

Germán Ibarra Zorrilla said...

Excelente amigo Phil, buen trabajo. Ahora que los niños vuelven al colegio, empiezo otra vez con el birdwatching. Saludos desde Cantabria, España.

Mary Cromer said...

Your Lapwing image, STUNNING, oh I want to see one some day. You take the best shares of them. The Tufted Duck looks like that breeze you mentioned was doing a number on his do and then the Kestrel in flight a beauty. We have Crab Apple trees heavily loaded around here like the Hawthorne tree you shared. Supposed to be another very long, harsh and cold Winter here...I do not like COLD~

bettyl-NZ said...

I'd be quite happy to find so many lovely birds! Your shots are really great.

Andrew Fulton said...

And here's me stuck in an office all day with one tiny little window. Wonderful images.

Marie said...

Your kestrel and lapwing are both outstanding! Loved the redwing too. And that hawthorn bush! Love Love Love! You are absolutely right, by the way, about us seeing the mountain lion. The people in the other car that sped by, honking, was a real jerk! (And missed out on one of life's great treasures in their haste) You and I definitely are all about stopping to see better, and trying to get pictures!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, stopping back to say thank you for sharing your post with my critter party.. Happy birding and have a happy weekend!

Frank said...

I'm still waiting for the Redwing to turn up on my patch. Great shot of the colourful Brambling.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

So fantastic!! I always love the birds you see and share in photos with us. I know I sound like a broken record.

That hawthorn tree is stunning against the pale sky and all by itself.

Terri said...

An enjoyable group of birds you've presented today. Great shots.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Lovely birds all of them. I've never seen lapwings very close.

Jen said...

Love the Tufted Duck and Lapwing.

Janet Shaw said...

beautfiul photos! The Kestrel photo is stunning :)

EG CameraGirl said...

Amazing shot of the flying kestrel!

Adam Jones said...

Brilliant Lapwing shot and super Redwing. The Tufted Duck looks like its slept badly.

Margaret Adamson said...

Stunning Lapwing shot however all your birds are really good shots.

Christian Weiß said...

Excellent photos and observations.

Mary Cromer said...

LOVE your new banner. header photo!

Susan (ABON) said...

Too many great shots to pick a favorite. The Redwing and Lapwing are at the top, however.

BumbleVee said...

a couple of cute hair-dos today...hahahhah.....but, a busy day all in all!

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