Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mostly Kingfishers

It’s always a good morning’s birding when there’s a Barn Owl in view and even better when there are two. Better still to follow this up with three or four Kingfishers! 

The first surprise this morning was Pink-footed Geese, a party of 23 birds flying strongly south soon after dawn. At just the 3rd of September I’m pretty certain these are the earliest returning Icelandic “pinkies” I have ever seen. The earliest ones of the autumn often arrive in South West Lancashire a week or so before the ones seen here in West Lancashire. 

I’d driven over the quieter part of the moss to look for some recently ringed Barn Owls which should be on the wing by now. I found two youngsters along the same stretch of road and one of them let me get fairly close via the open car window. An adult bird would be most unlikely to allow such close scrutiny. 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

I was on a roll because when I arrived at Conder Green there was a Kingfisher sat waiting at the usual spot on the sluice wall. Unfortunately the Kingfisher didn’t stay around for more than a few seconds so I turned my attention to other things, and although I didn't know it, more Kingfishers were to come at Glasson. 

Kingfisher

After recent high tides the water level on the pool is somewhat high. Little wonder then that apart from the Kingfisher there was just the usual 4 Little Grebe, 1 Wigeon, 1 Grey Heron and 6 Pied Wagtail. 

Grey Heron
 
The creeks proved better with good numbers of Redshanks to study, 28 Teal, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Egret, 1 Snipe and then 1 Green Sandpiper. 

A walk along the old railway track towards Glasson Dock found a flock of Goldfinch numbering 40+ and about 35 House Martins over the bridge and near the café. Along the pathway - 2 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, a number of Robins in autumn song and an overflying Kestrel. 

Robin

River Lune at Glasson

The dock at Glasson was still and quiet but I wasn’t expecting two Kingfishers to be sat there. After a while they flew off, one after the other, towards the far reeds and out of sight. 

Kingfishers

Glasson Dock

I walked up the towpath to watch and count the Swallows sat amongst the tops of a few boats. About 250 was the estimate. 

Swallows at Glasson

As I walked back to the car yet another Kingfisher flew across the water, veered off as it saw me but then landed on a nearby boat. I’m pretty sure this was a different one from the two I’d seen five minutes earlier, but can’t be certain. 

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

September is a peak month to see Kingfishers, a time when the species tends to gravitate towards coastal waters. In a disastrous season for most breeding birds let’s hope that Kingfishers at least have had a good one. 

What an exciting and productive morning of birding. And with the weather set fair and perhaps less windy for a few days there’s a good chance of a ringing session or two at weekend.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blog and Theresa's Run A Round Ranch.

25 comments:

David Gascoigne said...

I would think that two Barn Owls and so many kingfishers is hard to beat. You must have had a smile on your face all the way home.

Linda said...

Phil, if this didn't put a smile on your face it certainly has put one on mine! I love when you share your bird photos and adventures!

Oh, and I have put up a new poll on my blog, asking what peoples' favorite animal is/are, and I am allowing people to choose more than one, if they wish. If you haven't voted yet I would so appreciate your vote and if you have, a heartfelt thanks. :)

Margaret Adamson said...

WOW! Phi, what a fantasstic way to sstart a day's birding. I only ever have seen 2 Kingfishers together so 4 is brilliant and also seeing 2 Barn Owls is awesome. All your photos are VERY good, particulary the Kingfisher with the fish in its beak.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, awesome shots of the Owl and the Kingfishers. What a great day and wonderful birds, great sightings. Happy Birding!

Debbie said...

omgoodness, those kingfishers are so colorful and beautiful!! such a nice selection of birds!!!!

TexWisGirl said...

those kingfishers are so cute! love the double photo. :) and always love your fence perchers. :)

Beth said...

Haunting barn owls and stunning kingfishers.

Ida said...

That owl looked just wonderful perched there on that fence post.
The Kingfishers are such pretty birds, they have lots of color in their plummage. Nice shots of the harbor too.

Felicia said...

As always I love your kingfishers. the image of the boats at Glasson Dock is gorgeous. the water is sooooo calm.

Mary Cromer said...

Awesomeness, those Kingfisher images, wow, so wonderful, they are such beauties and you got them in some nice poses too. I always enjoy your dock scenes and the Robin, delightful. I so love the Barn owls and we had an alert here in KY for anyone finding a carcass of a Barn Owl, whether a road kill, or otherwise to turn it in to Kentucky Wildlife Management. They are trying to learn as much as possible as to why their numbers are so low. I have not seen one in the wild for approximately 34 years. Happy weekend Phil~

Errol Newman said...

I'd say a good/enjoyable morning's birding, Phil. Beats mine!

James said...

I love the reflections and the kingfishers are wonderful.

Silver Parrot said...

I see that at least one Kingfisher lived up to its name and got a nice snack! Also love the barn owl and the cute little robin!

Hannah said...

I hear owls here sometimes in my woods but never get to see them, except something white flying at night. So I like seeing your wonderful barn owls. The kingfishers are such colorful and decorative birds, and I enjoy seeing their expressions. They are great fun to see unless they are eating the fish out of your pond, as happens to my sister in law. I love the aqua and salmon color scheme in birds, quite a few seem to have that combination.

Fun60 said...

Wow! Those kingfisher photos are stunning.

marsha said...

fabulous photos of the kingfishers!!!

Stuart Price said...

You're getting some pretty good Kingfisher pics these days Phil...............

Lea said...

Wonderful bird photos, especially the Kingfishers!
Love the boat reflections photo, too!
Have a great week-end!

eileeninmd said...

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

EG CameraGirl said...

Your kingfisher is so colourful,a really great looking bird! And I love the barn owl!

NC Sue said...

Great kingfisher shots!!!
Hope you'll come link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/strange-visitors-in-garden.html, which is this week's Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linky party!

sandyland said...

love them all our kingfishers are royal blue only

Viera said...

Great start of the day... The photos are so amazing...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What a great day! Someday I'll get a nice shot of an owl. Someday!
~

Marie C said...

Fabulous barn owl! And I love all the kingfisher shots...wonderful!

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