Friday, July 17, 2015

Solely Birding

Thursday.The early birding at Cockerham, Conder and Glasson had more than a little of a déjà vu feel. 

There was no Barn Owl but the early morning Kestrel sat alongside Head Dyke Lane where regular as clockwork it can be found atop one of just a few roadside poles. Birds are such creatures of habit - much like birders really. Needless to say there was a Buzzard at Braides Farm, custodian as usual of the regular fence line which crosses the farm. The Buzzard often faces directly into the early morning sunrise taking the chill off those overnight feathers. That's the sea wall directly behind the Buzzard.

Buzzard

Maybe I was later than usual but there were wagons parked at Conder Green with drivers out of cabs generating noise and disturbance therefore no birds around. I made a quick exit for Glasson Dock where the early light and reflections can often be more spectacular than the birding. 

Glasson Dock

There are few Swallows around Glasson Marina this year. Last year many thousands roosted amongst the boats and yachts moored in the marina, this year so far just handfuls of Swallows feeding along with similar numbers of Sand Martins. If anything there appeared to be less Swallows than Swifts with a dozen or more of the latter. 

Swallow

One of the adult Common Terns from Conder Green was on its regular fishing circuit; around the yacht basin favouring the south end, up and over the lock gates and then around the dock a couple of times. Then it’s back over the lock followed by a circuit of the basin again, by which time it has usually caught a fish of suitable proportions for the youngsters back home. Later, all three recently fledged but not yet independent youngsters were lined up on the island at Conder Pool waiting for their meal. I can’t say that I have seen either of the adults fishing Conder Pool itself even though there may be suitable prey items as testified by the regular appearance of both Kingfisher and on Thursday the return of a single Little Grebe. 

Common Tern

Back at Conder Green and suitably quieter after the wagons and bodies moved on - 5 Little Egret, 7 Common Sandpiper, 4 Meadow Pipit, 5 Pied Wagtail, 3 Greenfinch. 

There wasn’t much else doing so I paid a visit to our Sand Martin colony at Cockerham where I’m free to wander around the dairy farm while birding courtesy of Chris the farmer. Roughly 90+ Sand Martins were in evidence with a number of youngsters visible at nest holes as adults returned with food. The next visit for ringing purposes is due in early August, a visit scheduled to fit BTO recommendations for ringing at Sand Martin colonies. 

Sand Martin

On Friday Jamie at Knott End promised me a Dover Sole fresh from the Wyre Estuary so I left him skinning the fish and went for a walk up river where the tide was surging up the channel. 

Wyre Estuary - Fleetwood (left) Knott End (right) 

The Wyre Rose - Fleetwood to Knott End Ferry

There was a Grey Heron along the tideline with many Oystercatchers flying to their roost upriver. In the car park a pair of Pied Wagtails collected food and then flew with beaks crammed full before dropping to the rocks below and out of sight. So that’s where they nest. 

Pied Wagtail

As I walked up river I’d counted 300+ Oystercatchers when a couple of them broke ranks to see off a Peregrine which floated above me. But too late, my camera was bagged and an elementary mistake. 

Upriver and then alongside the golf course I noted a Kestrel, a couple each of Goldfinch and Linnet plus a wheezing Greenfinch. 

All this fresh air sure gives a birder a healthy appetite. Grilled Sole for supper - count me in. 

 Dover Sole

There's more fishy tales soon from Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Anni's Blog and Eileen's Saturday Blog

31 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, pretty views of the water. The ferry looks tiny compared to the ferries I have been on in the US. Great captures of Buzzard, cute Swallow and Tern. The Sand martin and Wagtail are adorable. I can not imagine seeing 300 oystercatchers, that is cool. Happy Birding, have a great weekend!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Beautiful photos, I love the boats and reflections.

Linda said...

Beautiful birds, views and reflections, Phil!

David Gascoigne said...

Please convey my thanks to Chris the farmer. It's wonderful when these stewards of the land cooperate with birders. Kudos to Chris.

Nicol Carm said...

Beautiful reflection with Glasson Dock!

Margaret Adamson said...

Great set of birds for Saturday Critters with some lovely reflections as well. Have a lovely weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, just stopping back to say Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

EG CameraGirl said...

I've never seen a sand martin before! I'm intrigued as I had never heard of them.

EG CameraGirl said...

Hey Phil! Thanks for telling me that a sand martin is the same as a bank swallow. (I hope I remember that for future reference.) I have seen bank swallows here!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Lovin' this....are we invited to the fish fry? I'm all for it.

Great martin and wagtail images today Phil.

TexWisGirl said...

lovely birds perching so nicely. :)

sandyland said...

our buzzards here are only black.. wagtail I choose as my favorite

June Caedmon said...

That's a hefty bird count for one morning, no wonder you were hungry! Wonderful images!

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful series of photos ~ favorite is the Sandmartin!

Happy Weekend to you,
artmusedog and carol

Rajesh said...

Beautiful birds.

Adam Jones said...

Great looking Swallow and Sand Martin Phil, and the Tern in flight is superb.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Looks like a great day and many fine pics, Phil. A fresh flatfish filet is a great finish!
~

Stuart Price said...

Hope you enjoyed the fish Phil...............

Hannah said...

I hadn't seen a Sand Martin before, grey and fuzzy looking. I'm trying to imagine seeing 300 Oystercatchers, that sounds like a real treat. The fish looks fresh, it should be delicious.

Stewart M said...

Nice post - both birds and birders are creatures of habit! (or habitat!)

I just Googled Glasson Dock, and realised how close I must have been to this areas every day when I used to drive to work! Will certainly put it on my site list for my next UK trip - although who knows when that will be!

Glasson Dock

Anni said...

Thanks for sharing your link this week...I'm having internet connection issues today...so not much phone conversation.

Roan said...

I am extremely jealous of your Swallow shot. I have been chasing some down at my brothers but they never stop for me. Thoroughly enjoyed your post.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wheezing greenfinch? Description of behaviour or a type? Could google, but would rather ask you)). So many birds, so envious. That little guy with his mouth full makes me smile.

Mary Cromer said...

That Buzzard is one smart bird to be facing the sun, I would be too ;) Glasson Dock is so beautiful, love the cloud formation that you captured as well. You already know my thoughts of the Swallow and Sand Martin, BEAUTIFUL ;) and that little Pied Wagtail with a large mouthful of food for young is great, for many reasons. Now then, grilled sole...that sounds so yummy. We try to have seafood a couple of times a week, tastes good and so good for you. Happy week your way~

Finlay Duncan said...

Hi Phil, interesting post and some lovely photos!
Just a quick message to ask if you (and your followers) can help support our campaign to protect birds and their habitats in Europe? The EU's reviewing the laws which help safeguard bird, animal and plant species (the Birds and Habitats Directives), but we think they're working really well and should be saved, not undermined! We've got until Friday to get as many people as possible to respond to a public consultation on the issue - more information here: http://tiny.cc/naturealert - and any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Every signature counts!

Marie C said...

Delightful post! A sand swallow is new to me. Love that you discovered where the pied wagtail nests!

Fun60 said...

Beautiful photos and Dover sole for tea. How lucky are you!

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful birds, terrific captures and a wonderful post for the day!! Thank you for sharing!! Hope you have a great week!!

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful red ferry photo! for OWT!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

mick said...

Yes, the early morning light and reflections at Glasson Dock are really spectacular. I especially like the little Wagtail with its bill stuffed with insects for the young ones. All great photos - thanks for sharing.

Wally Jones said...

Hello. I am new to your blog and just wanted to say --- oh, wait -- I've been here before.

Sorry to have been absent for so long, my Friend!

Wonderful post! You're right, that morning light at Glasson Dock and your skill in capturing it is something special.

Great report on your morning's effort. You must be looking forward to ringing those martins. Love the shot of the Wagtail with his beak full. Looks like me at dinner. Speaking of which, hope your sole filet was as good as it looks!

I shall try to get back into the blogging habit and hopefully life will allow me to do so. In the meantime, keep birding and take care.

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