Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Good Morning All

This getting rained off p.m. is becoming tiresome. After a fairly sunny morning when mostly all was well with the world, those dreaded spots appeared before the eyes again soon after lunch time. 

The fields near Fluke Hall Lane held a good selection of waders as usual. Lapwings numbered some 320, most in a fairly tight congregation on the flooded part of the maize field. Fifty or more of these Lapwings were spread in ones and twos across a wider area and were probably prospecting for potential laying sites. Little do they know that very soon the farmer will ensure the fields resemble a grassy prairie where there aren’t too many places to scrape a nest together. If more than half a dozen pairs of Lapwings nest successfully on this land in 2015 it will count as a modern day miracle. Of 40 or more Oystercatchers at least one pair were marking out a territory but none of the 30+ Redshanks seemed so inclined. 

Lapwing

There was a small flock of 28 Black-tailed Godwits keeping their standard 100 metres distance from the road. I gave it a while hoping the godwits might walk into camera range but they are not that daft so I made do with watching them and an archive picture. In this part of North West England Black-tailed Godwits are Spring and Autumn migrants, a contingent of wintering birds and then a tiny number of breeding pairs. 

Black-tailed Godwit

The maize stubble held just 3 Linnets but a dozen or more Skylarks. There was much chasing about between the Skylarks and some half-hearted singing from a few. Several pairs of Skylarks will eventually settle down to breed here but working out their territories and finding their nests is a real labour of love. 

Skylark

A walk along the sea wall produced 5 Little Egrets and then just 2 Teal and 2 Shoveler on the wildfowlers’ pools; not a good reward for a walk there and back of half-a-mile or more. Things improved on the way back with the appearance of a flock of 20+ busily feeding and excitable Meadow Pipits, almost certainly, and at the end of February, the frontline troops of the huge push north that occurs in March. By mid-April the Meadow Pipits will be mainly well north of Pilling with nowadays a token presence of breeding pairs. 

Meadow Pipit

By now the sun was out, the air had a touch of warmth and there was plenty of birdsong and bird activity around the trees of Fluke Hall. Song came from Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Song Thrush (2), Blackbird, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Robin and Wren with extra-curricular activity from a pair of Kestrels and several Tree Sparrows around nest boxes. 

 Wren on a fence - Troglodytes troglodytes

The tiny, brown, stumpy-tailed Wren is possibly the most ignored bird of the UK, undocumented and snubbed by bird watchers and bird ringers alike. It is found everywhere from the tops of the highest moors to the sandy shore, often in the most unexpected and unpredictable places. What the Wren lacks in likeability is compensated for in its boisterous and enormous singing voice, ten times louder weight for weight, than a cockerel. I do try to love the Wren but as a bird ringer who likes to work with open sleeved shirts it’s problematic. 

I managed to get to Oakenclough and just top up the feeders before the rain arrived. Andy is back from Spain now so if the wind and rain don’t conspire against us there will be a ringing session quite soon. 

Join Another Bird Blog soon for even more mornings - good or bad.

Linking this post to Eileen's Saturday Blog and Run A Round Ranch.

21 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Sorry about the rain, Phil! I just love the Lapwings, I am a little envious. I wish they were more common to see here. Your birds and photos are wonderful. Happy Birding!

TexWisGirl said...

ADORE the wrens! ADORE them! :) loud and plucky things! sweet lapwing, too.

Germán Ibarra Zorrilla said...

Good morning Phil, jeje. Nice post, good job. Best regards from Spain.

Mary Cromer said...

Oh I do enjoy those Lapwings and that sweet little Wren among the other beauties, very nice! Well, I do not know if you saw my status update, but Amtrak cancelled my train. I could not believe it when I got text and e-mail. SO, it may be difficult for my sensitive ears, but I am flying instead and hoping and praying, nothing else messes this journey up. Take care~

David Gascoigne said...

Hey Mr. Phil: I agree with you 100% that constant rain is a pain in the butt and can tend to get you down, but you are, nevertheless, living proof that time spent birding is rewarding under any conditions. It's an impressive list and I am sure that most of us would have been happy to have done so well. Be stoic, be persistent, keep observing....and most importantly of all keep reporting back to us.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I am officially adding "see a lapwing" to my bucket list. I wish. .... ! Sorry bout the rain. Being from oregon originally, I know how it can ruin things.

Linda said...

You get lots of rain there. Your photos are gorgeous, as always. :)

Margaret Adamson said...

Pity about the rain but the Lapwing shots is great. another impressive list

Breathtaking said...

Lovely captures of all the birds. I have only ever seen a Lapwing once in the south of Portugal, but I remember how exciting it was. I hope the rain clears up for you soon.:)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

That wren is adorable. And your photo of the Lapwing....showing its iridescence is really beautiful. I did not know that the coloration was like this. I learned something today, thanks to you Phil.

EG CameraGirl said...

The lapwing is such an interesting looking bird! And of course I love the rest as well, especially the wren.

Knipsa Passtscho said...

Found the fence right under the
bird's feet :))
Have a fine day
【ツ】Knipsa

TexWisGirl said...

(thank you! got to see the adorable wren again!) :)

Penelope Postcards said...

I like the swooping long feather on the head of the lapwing and think I have seen something similar on a woman wearing an elegant hat.

Nancy said...

Adorable wren! Great shots as always.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, just stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful birds all of them. The wren is so cute.

Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...

It is sad to hear that these beautiful, singing Wrens are ignored. I am happy to hear that they are plentiful.

They are one of my favorite birds.

Gorgeous shots!

Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...

It is sad to hear that these beautiful, singing Wrens are ignored. I am happy to hear that they are plentiful.

They are one of my favorite birds.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I love the little wrens that come around the house in West Virginia. And they're the very same ones!
~

Marie said...

Great variety of birds! Loved the wren on the fence! Looks very cheeky! :-)

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