Saturday, February 13, 2016

Productive Birding

I was looking to go ringing this morning but a stiff easterly put a stop to that plan. Instead there was some good birding to be had on the local circuit. 

Heading north I stopped off at Cockerham to see the wintering flock of Linnets still very flighty over the weedy set-aside field but holding firm at 70/80 individuals. Half-a-mile away at Braides Farm there’s lots of water in the fields where I found 2 Little Egret and 30 Lapwing seriously outnumbered by a feeding and bathing flock of some 1500 Starlings and several hundred gulls. The gulls were mainly Black-headed Gulls with a couple of dozen Common Gull and one or two Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the mix. There was a Kestrel hovering over the roadside verges. 

Lapwing

I made my way to Conder Green to be greeted by a Barn Owl quartering the marsh. No sooner had I lifted the camera than the owl flew towards its daytime roost and swooped out of sight into the building. It was almost 0900, a time when Barn Owls should be tucked up for the day. 

I turned my attention to the creeks and the pool where I quite quickly found the wintering Spotted Redshank and similarly long staying Common Sandpiper. My now old “Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland”of 1986 shows that both species wintered in the UK at the time of the fieldwork I took part in during 1981 to 1984). As one might expect both were concentrated in the warmer south and west of England (and Ireland for the Common Sandpiper), but the Common Sandpiper was represented here in NW England by a number of dots on the map. 

Common Sandpiper

The pool was pretty crowded with both waders and wildfowl, albeit most of them at long distance and away from the busy, noisy road. A few of the counts and bouts of activity, especially from Oystercatchers, Shelducks and Tufted Ducks, suggested that a number of birds have arrived back with a view to taking up summer residence. Here are the counts – 95 Teal, 65 Curlew, 15 Shelduck, 12 Wigeon, 10 Lapwing, 12 Redshank, 5 Little Grebe, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Canada Goose, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron. 

Tufted Duck

 Shelduck

A single Skylark flew over and there were a few Chaffinch and a singing Greenfinch along the hedgerow. 

A quick look at Glasson found no Goldeneye on the yacht basin so I settled for 21 Tufted Duck, 24 Coot and 16 Cormorant. Of the latter, two were fishing the others lined up along the far jetty drying out from their own earlier fishing expeditions. 

Cormorant

The route back home took me past flooded fields at Pilling where I stopped awhile to count 400+ Lapwing, 350 Redshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff and many more Black-headed Gulls. 

Dunlin

That was a pretty good morning of birding I hope everyone will agree. Look in soon for more birding, ringing or photography.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday and Anni's Birding.



20 comments:

Phyllis Oller said...

A lovely collection of photos,thanks for sharing!phyllis

June Caedmon said...

Wow, a productive morning, I'd say! Great captures, all!

Jo said...

Wonderful images as always. I love the lapwing and the tufted duck. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day. Jo

David Gascoigne said...

This is a great post, Phil, because it illustrates the value of not giving up because one's first plan doesn't work out. Many times, for one reason or another, what I had initially intended to do didn't materialize, so I decided on something else, and it's amazing how well it often turned out. The fact that you know your local patch so well no doubt helps, but this points out the value of covering a local area frequently. We all love the thrill of new adventures, but let us never be deluded into thinking that we have uncovered all the secrets of familiar terrain. You had some great birds and some terrific photographs. Congratulations on both counts.

Marie C said...

Love the lapwing, and the different ducks. Nice day and some great finds!

Anni said...

Always of great interest here when I stop by to visit. That shellduck, I do love its markings!!!

Thanks for sharing this terrific post for the weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin' Phil.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Beautiful pics.. Cheers..

Vandana Sharma said...

Nice to see these chirping creatures back in action!

Lew Newman said...

You do manage to get some great photos, Phil; always enjoy them.

Joyful said...

Very nice photo series.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, great post. I see two of my favorite birds, the Lapwing and the Tufted Duck! I would love to see them all someday! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

carol l mckenna said...

Gorgeous macro shots of beautiful birds ~ so many to enjoy ~ thanks!

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Mary Cromer said...

Oh the Tufted Duck, what a gorgeous bird, along with the other shares in this post. I have been getting Bird KY alerts for the migration visitors down along the Ohio River, but have just not been up to speed to get myself down there to see. It is cold, gray and damp and it takes a good 30 to 45 minutes to get there and then sometimes, there are new birds and other times not. I am always a bit wistful when I learn what others saw, but I just have my reasons for now...making my way, each day, and moving forward!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

If I disagreed at all it would be only to say it was an excellent day of birding ... much better than pretty good. And excellent too are the great pictures. Thanks for them .. Beautiful birds, both the ones I am familiar with and those I only see on blogs.

Frank said...

An excellent morning Phil. The coastal circuit definitely pays dividends at this time of year.

Chris Rohrer said...

I do agree:) For some reason, I always think that Lapwings are very exotic birds.....so is that Shelduck. But the Tufted is fun!

Adam Jones said...

A good days birding there Phil. Like the Sandpiper in the pool.

Lea said...

Very pretty, especially the Ducks!

Lisa Comperry said...

Pretty shots! :-)

Stewart M said...

Nice post - every now and then I get out the Breeding and Winter Atlases just for old times sake!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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