Monday, February 16, 2015

Birding Monday p.m.

Andy’s off to Spain so there’s the feeding station to top up tomorrow and maybe a ringing session soon. In the meantime an afternoon birding Pilling sea wall was all I could manage today, a four hour walk which resulted in a good number of birds despite my February gloom. 

The notebook kicked off with 3 Whooper Swans feeding on the spuds leftover from the wildfowlers' Pink-footed Geese bait. The geese are feeding on fresh green shoots in the fields and the salt marshes now so the geese don’t need the potatoes, and in any case the shooting season is over for another year. Thank goodness for such mercies. 

Whooper Swan

There were 6 Little Egret, 2 Pied Wagtail and a couple of Skylarks between Fluke Hall and the wildfowlers' pools and when I got to the pools I took a rest on the stile hoping to find more birds. On the pools, still 27 Pintail, 2 Shoveler, 2 Teal and a good number of Mallards plus a Green Sandpiper, the latter a near certainty here every winter. Along Pilling Water a Kestrel and a then a Buzzard which came flying in via Pilling village pursued by the usual crows. Pintail look in especially fine shape at the moment. 

Pintail

The wet fields were simply buzzing with a great selection of feeding waders plus wildfowl. The combined counts of this initial walk and then afterwards the fields at Damside produced 195 Lapwing, 170 Redshank, 38 Oystercatcher, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 95 Curlew, 4 Dunlin, 1 Snipe and 42 Shelduck. The fields are so wet at this time of year that the waders have no difficulty in probing the soil to find their food.

Oystercatcher

Black-tailed Godwits

At Fluke Hall itself - a Great-spotted Woodpecker doing Ginger Baker, a calling Nuthatch again, 2 Kestrel, 2 Pied Wagtail and 40+ Woodpigeon. The Woodpigeons exploded noisily from the trees when a Kestrel play acting as a Sparrowhawk flew quickly through the pigeon’s rest area. Woodpigeon’s don’t normally respond to the presence of a Kestrel but on this occasion the speed and agility of the Kestrel’s arrival sent all of the pigeons into panic mode. A female Sparrowhawk is more than capable of taking a Woodpigeon whereas a Kestrel would be unlikely to attack such large prey. 

Woodpigeon

Log in soon to Another Bird Blog for more birding news. But not tomorrow, a half-term day with Olivia and Isabella for Nana and Granddad. Rather be birding? No way.

Linking this post to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.

14 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, looks like some good birding to me. I love the Godwits in flight and the Oystercatcher! Great photos! Happy Birding!

TexWisGirl said...

the pintail in flight is awesome! like the swan, too.

Linda said...

Hi Phil, you got some amazing captures....and the ones in flight are fantastic.

Breathtaking said...

Your bird count is amazing, so many sightings. It's good news!
Really great photos of all the birds in flight, and I especially like the Woodpidgeon, and the Oyster Catcher.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Wonderful!!!

David Gascoigne said...

It's time to have the best of both worlds and take Olivia and Isabella birding with you. You can't start them too young. I have a friend who loaded his little girl onto his back almost from the day she was born and before the age of three she could recognize so many bird songs it was quite remarkable. Gotta tell you a little anecdote about the name Isabella. My wife and I had to go to a wedding in Virginia a few years ago, the day after Hurricane Isabella left a whole lot of devastation in the state. I had a Colombian fellow working for me at the time, and he said that Señor David was in for a happy weekend with three beautiful women, my wife Miriam, Virginia and best of all Isabella who can get pretty wild!

Stuart Price said...

The weather looks nice for February............better than here recently anyway............

Russell Jenkins said...

Some nice flight shots, Phil. I especially like the godwits. Never underestimate kestrels. I watched an Australian Kestrel grab an Indian Mynah some years ago. I think all raptors will try more than what their handbook will suggest.

Frank said...

I'm sure the Swans and Geese are relieved that the artillery fire has now ceased.

Great to see the elegant male Pintail in its full finery.

mick said...

Great bird counts. The photo of the in-flight Pintail is perfect - and I especially like the Oystercatcher.

June Caedmon said...

Wonderful captures, all. Especially like the in flight shots - nicely done!

Margaret Adamson said...

Wonderful capture of Pintail.

Adam Jones said...

Very smart Pintail and Oystercatcher.

Marie said...

Great post! Loved your photos, as always!

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