Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Post

Not quite the last post but it is the final one for this year, the 95th in fact. That’s an awful lot of birding, ringing and photography in five months with the equivalent amount of nonsense bashed out on a PC a couple of times a week to get to this, the end result. I can promise that this year’s blog will not finish in a big firework display of red hot bird news and superb photos; more like the usual run of the mill report of this morning’s birding of Over Wyre places with a few average pictures of common birds thrown in. Rarities always were and often are yesterday’s news. So here goes for today 31st December 2009.

The initial route - Burned House Lane, Lambs Lane, Wheel Lane, Fluke Hall Lane, and then Backsands Lane, names that tell stories of ancient farms, flounders and the flat sands of Morecambe Bay. As I drove along six overhead Whooper Swan called in unison as if to emphasise that over here in rural Fylde there are still pockets of the wild and wonderful.

Whooper Swan


In the last few days the alien frozen fields have gradually given way to the more familiar damp, soggy Pilling landscape of old so that where the frost relented, the waders returned to probe through or pick over the soil. Between Fluke and Lane Ends I totted up 210 Lapwing, 80 Golden Plover, 18 Curlew and 90 Redshank with just the occasional Oystercatcher turning carrot bill to brown stick. So if yesterday was a duck day, today so soon was turning out to be a wader day.

Curlew


Lapwing


Oystercatcher


Even more Lapwing, Redshank but especially Golden Plover at Braides Farm where I estimated 300 Tewits, 1100 Goldies and 90 Rowdyshanks. Most of them congregated a few fields back near the sea wall, from where the inevitable Little Egret appeared via the ditch and flew out to the marsh.

I wasn’t out to break any records this morning, no hurtling around to count everything at each point I reached, just a gentle stroll or drive, then stopping, staring and searching. And how eerily quiet it was for a Thursday morning, hardly any folk or cars around. Having a lie in no doubt on another cold, wind chilled morning with nothing to do until the shops open again or the telly resumes its repeated dross.

I anticipated a frozen Conder Green but because I hadn’t been for several days I still relished the thought of that initial peek over the fence, the unexpected sighting, the flurry of avian activity when I showed near the screen hide. I must take a picture of the “hide” for all to see; it was obviously the visionary design of someone who spends too much time in an office overflowing with paper. Nevertheless on here and in the creek I counted 4 Wigeon, 16 Shelduck, 75 Teal, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Snipe, 24 Lapwing, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Curlew and 8 Redshank before the tide rolled gently in to cover the creek bottom.

Lapwing


Redshank


From the lay by I looked across to the cycle bridge where beyond and above the incoming water a Merlin dived from on high to play havoc with the Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and even more Lapwing.

A quick tour of Jeremy Lane found the 120 or so Mute Swan spread across two large fields then 2 ground feeding Fieldfare, a pitiful pair looking so out of place for such a gregarious species.

At Glasson Dock I thought that the numbers of Tufted Duck had reduced to 18, didn’t see any Pochard at all, but did pick up on the male Goosander and a Little Grebe. A Kingfisher flew across my view towards the lock gates then soon back again before I could locate its exact whereabouts.

Kingfisher


I don’t mind Bank End, not everyone’s cup of tea but somehow I always see a few bits ‘n pieces by sitting and watching or walking a while along the shore. Not a lot today except that a Greenshank and a single Meadow Pipit gave small picture opportunities, but as ever without any helpful sun. Oh, and 2 Little Egrets, probably my bird of the year if frequency of sightings was the criteria.

Greenshank


Meadow Pipit


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for looking into my blog in 2009; I hope I entertained you with my views, observations, photographs and recounting of my birding activities. Thanks also for all your comments which has not only encouraged me to continue with the blog but also to try and improve and enhance it for the coming year.

6 comments:

Birdringal-andalus said...

Congratulations on the blog Phil, Happy New Year.
Fernando.

S.C.E. said...

Nice photos, happy new year too.

Redshanks and Lapwings are scarce here in Hokkaido, want to swap some for a Dusky Thrush or two?

Phil said...

Hola Fernando. Feliz año nuevo. Phil

Phil said...

Hi SCE, Yes Please. Happy New Year. Phil

Hyper-Minor said...

Nice blog, nice photo...

Unravel said...

The Lapwing looks so pretty, especially in that light condition.
I've been enjoying your blog a lot for the late 2009.
Wish all the best to your 2010!

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