Friday, February 3, 2017

Choices, choices

The sunny start left me with a dilemma. Paint the walls of the spare bedroom or go birding? 

Do It Yourself
 
After their overnight roost on Pilling Marsh geese were dropping in some numbers when I arrived at Backsands Lane. Several thousand pinkies led the charge with many heading to inland fields across to Bradshaw Lane and Eagland Hill a mile or two away; but the several hundred keen for an early breakfast settled into the immediate pastures. I counted 24 White-fronted Geese more or less together across the same pasture, plus their hanger-on again, the feral/escape Red-breasted Goose. 

Pink-footed Geese 

White-fronted Goose

Note the picture below. While hordes of geese feed there will always be lookouts assigned to watch for danger. One wrong move from a birder, a slammed car door, or a passer-by with a barking dog and the geese are off into the air to find a safer place. 

 Pink-footed Geese

Pink-footed Goose, White-fronted Goose, Red-breasted Goose

There’s a really dark pinkie that doesn’t look too well, perhaps suffering from a recent dose of steel shot from the now almost finished shooting season. 

Pink-footed Goose

I motored on up to Gulf Lane where although we can’t ring birds at the moment because of the outbreak of avian flu 3 kms away, we can still feed the Linnets. The Linnets were around in their usual numbers with 300+ feeding in our drop-spot of millet and rapeseed. Walking through the set-aside I flushed a Snipe from underfoot, a Grey Wagtail from the ditch and a Skylark from the next field. 

As an aside, the latest figure from the avian flu outbreak is that 65,000 birds used for breeding in the shooting industry are to be “humanely slaughtered” in several locations. Suffice to say that the whole episode is a shocking indictment of the business of breeding birds for pleasure shooting. 

Rawcliffe Moss held a good variety of birds by way of at least 8 Buzzards circling in the morning air plus a couple of Kestrels on roadside lookout posts. Many thousands of Lapwings and Gulls crowded the still partly flooded fields but unfortunately I’d no inclination to count the masses involved. 

I stopped in the spot where earlier in the week were thrushes, buntings and a Stonechat. Lesser numbers today but still 40 Fieldfare, 22 Corn Bunting, 12 Stock Dove, 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Yellowhammer, a Stonechat and a couple of Skylarks. I noticed today that Skylarks are suddenly becoming more vocal, not necessarily singing but certainly chirruping as they go about their business and a probable prelude to their season starting soon. 

Corn Buntings
 
Skylark

I was pushed for time and with the cloud increasing I headed slowly home. 

Now where’s that paint brush?

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday, Anni's Birding and Viewing Nature with Eileen.




20 comments:

Linda said...

A lovely series, Phil! A nice selection of geese, too!

Bill Nicholls said...

That is what I'd do as well, been putting off the kitchen for ages

Stuart Price said...

I wouldn't have done the painting either..........

Patrycja P. said...

You have a very nice weather in UK, Phil! In our country it's still snowing... Fantastic observations! Greetings!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, painting is no fun. We recently painted this Florida place, glad it is done now. Neat capture of the three geese breeds together. Love all the geese and the pretty Skylark. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

KK said...

Great pictures Phil. It is surprising that so many birds are breaded just for shooting.

I hope you get to the painting job soon.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. I am sure you had a great time.

sandyland said...

look forward to this every Sat

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh -- I was going to say that you made the right choice, but having read to the end I see that you did both. I approve of DIY, but I'm glad you had the birds to blog about instead. I wish we had skylarks.

I read (again) the other day about the person here in the States who years ago imported every bird mentioned in Shakespeare's works.... this article was in reference to the dreaded starlings we have all over. I am kind of mad that William didn't instead write about skylarks and fieldfares etc etc.....

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You can always paint at night! hahaha! I love the skylark too...just the name of it is beautiful!

Anni said...

Sad to read about the needed slaughter. Wishing they'd =the scientists, could find a 'cure'. But how to administer the needed dosage? What a dilemma. Yet, life goes on. If only a perfect world.

Great numbers of geese. Love the watchful eyes of the sentinel birds too. Sweet.

Oh, and paint? I love to paint too....it would be a very difficult choice for me...Birding? Painting? I'd go birding in the daylight hours, then paint at night. lol

Thanks so much for adding your post link at I'd Rather B Birdin' this week. Your participation is always appreciated.

GreenComotion said...

Much better activity than painting a room, eh? :)
The Skylark gets the prize this time.
Great snaps as usual :)
Have a Happy Weekend, Phil!
Peace :)

Magnus said...

Wonderful series!

http://blog.photobymanka.se/

Lowcarb team member said...

LOL! Painting can wait for dull, grey days ...

Great collection of photographs for us all to enjoy, many thanks Phil

All the best Jan

Fun60 said...

That first picture had me fooled. Good choice. I liked seeing the geese, makes a change from all the Canadian geese that I see.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Great series of photos - I love watching the birds migrate.

Jenn Jilks said...

You're so funny! That's not a choice!

Findlay Wilde said...

Bet you're glad you didn't stay painting. Absolutely brilliant birds.

Les Fous du Cap said...

Tu as fait le bon choix ! ;-)
Céline & Philippe

Chris Rohrer said...

Good choice. Birds first:) Paint can wait:) Nice photos and thanks for the up close on the pink-footed geese. I always wondered what the difference was between that bird and some of our similar looking geese here. NOW I can see the vast difference. Don't know if one will ever come to Arizona but I think if I saw one now, I could ID it:)

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