Saturday, December 19, 2009

Better Knott End Than Never

There were two apt birds this morning. Firstly chicken because when I looked out at the frost covered car that’s what I became, and then secondly a duck by dipping out of any immediate birding to postpone it until later in the day when I hoped the weather might become a bit more finger friendly.

Later we did some gentle shopping at Knott End then checked out the usual spots. Knott End can get a bit busy with people but the cold had certainly kept plenty indoors with virtually no one pounding the Esplanade, but while it was still cold at least the thick frost had cleared.

The tide was on the ebb and although it was only 1pm, the best of the sun had gone, replaced with indifferent light, 50% cloud and our familiar friend Spotty Rain. Oh well, we get used to making the most of what there is.

Ebb Tide - Knott End

I found 25 flighty Twite along the shore next to the jetty feeding in the tide wrack, but at each person that came along the top of the walkway, the Twite took off to the back of the Bourne Arms, only to return and do the same again ten minutes later. About 30 Turnstone feeding in the same detritus were more obliging, but mixing in with Redshank causes even the most confiding of waders to be skittish, so at the behest of the Redshank they all went for a fly round on more than a few occasions. The first picture is from today, the second from the Rossall location that lends itself better to Turnstone photos.

Turnstone - Knott End

Turnstone - Rossall

From the jetty on the flat but ebbing tide I counted 23 Shelduck with 33 Eider further out where they were easily countable today without their usual bobbing up and down in and out of the troughs that even slightly more windy days bring.


Of waders I counted a minimum of 80 Redshank today, with some searching out food in the frosted green marsh while others fed on the edge of it, with more than 60 Lapwing, 30 Sanderling, 22 Ringed Plover, 1400 Oystercatchers and 24 Bar-tailed Godwit, with the inevitable Little Egret scratching round the frosted ditches. I even found a couple of Sanderling feeding on the concrete apron below the walkway, also a Rock Pipit and a Pied Wagtail! That’s how few grockles were about today.




Rock Pipit

Pied Wagtail

A very satisfactory couple of hours after a lazy, unpromising start. Must do better!


Unravel said...

So many birds there!
Can't wait for the vacation to start...finally I'll have some time to make a trip somewhere far away with more birds than this little city I'm staying in. I think I'll be watching waders too.

Shelduck is one of my favourite ducks. I've just got it as my life bird early this year in January. Their wintering grounds mainly restricted to the south of Japan.

Phil said...

Hi again,
I look forward to seeing some pics from your new location. Very interesting observation about Shelduck in Japan because they are so common in the UK. That's what makes these blogs from all over the world so fascinating. Thanks again for dropping in. Good luck in the new place. Phil

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