Thursday, February 4, 2010

Broccoli Soup

I scooted round a few of the regular birding spots this morning without breaking speed limits or obtaining any record counts. Once again the waders returned to the Pilling fields after snow and rain yesterday and overnight made for good feeding. Between Backsands Lane to just east of Lane Ends I counted 90 Curlew, 600 Lapwing, 125 Redshank and 65 Golden Plover with 2 Ruff amongst the Lapwing providing an agreeable, unexpected extra. A few Oystercatchers also took advantage of the newly softened fields.



With limited time I didn’t stop at Braides, just a passing leftwards stare as I drove past but certainly there was not a lot in the immediate fields. At Conder pool a Dunnock in the “hide” window greeted me, demanding that I take a photograph, so I duly obliged not sure if I would see much afterwards from the said window.


The previous day’s weather had perhaps had an effect on the numbers of Tufted Duck because I counted 50+, a substantial improvement on recent numbers. Other wildfowl came in at 7 Wigeon, 2 Coot, 84 Teal and 2 Shelduck. I watched the Teal down in the creek where they sifted through the mud for something duckily delicious.




A couple of Grey Heron flew the around creeks and the pool without getting near enough to photograph, as did a hovering Kestrel, a couple of Skylark, 6 Goldfinch and a few of that scarcity, Greenfinch. I didn’t see the usual Spotted Redshank or Greenshank today, even when I walked the railway bridge, but I saw the normal small numbers of Redshank and Curlew.

Near The Stork I bumped into PW religiously doing his birding thing again, but taking time out to lean into my car and exchange pleasantries and information, despite the traffic hurtling past desperate to reach their places of work. As we agreed, “Even some birders don’t bother to get out of their cars here, least of all Joe Public on the way to Ashton Garden Centre or Leighton Moss.” Oh well, not everyone desires to be a birder, thank goodness. PW gripped me with his count of 56 tufties; I never was much good with figures. But I got my own back by relating the 3 Rock Pipits I’d just seen towards the car park, picking through the debris from the recent high tides. I had also seen 4 or more Meadow Pipits in the same area, less reluctant to leave their search for grub than their rock living cousins. Also here, Pied Wagtails.

Meadow Pipit

Pied Wagtail

I headed off to Cockersands but abandoned my plan to look for the Stonechat and other tideline dwellers when I saw two removal vans and two other vehicles parked up in my spot, guessing that any comings and goings would mean there was little about other than new residents exploring new surroundings.

I then circuited Jeremy Lane without a lot of success but I did find a semi-obliging Little Egret that I took pictures of when it jumped out of a roadside ditch and sat in a field. And the sun was out, for now.

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

I couldn’t believe it, I looked at my watch.1140, time to get back and watch little Theo demolish the broccoli soup. What an unusual lad! It must be his bringing up.


Pete Woodruff said...

I must be careful here Phil as I'll sound terribly patronising enjoyable and interesting read not least because I got a mention. I'll make no comment on my day 'cos I know you love little more than a good read on Birds2blog to find out what I saw and didn't see.

The removers were still at C'sands when I got there and I too had no sighting of the Stonechat but had seen the Little Egret on Jeremy Lane which you caught well on film.

Nice to have seen you this morning Phil.

Forest the Bear said...

Love the Teal feeding, and the Dunnock speaks for itself.

Birdringal-andalus said...

Some people may see little common a Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) sing in the month of February but perhaps for others it is very unusual to see fields to a Dunnock (Anthus pratensis) looking through a window ...
Congratulations Phil.

Stuart Price said...

Hey broccoli is an underrated vegetable...........

Phil Slade said...

Thanks guys. Both birding and broccoli are very healthy for us.

Wai Yien said...

i love the lapwing very much, the two long crest is an amazing ornamental piece for this bird

Phil Slade said...

You are correct Yen, much underrated, even in our country.

Tabib said...

Yes, love that Lapwing hair style. ;)

Peggy said...

Wow, that Lapwing is an amazing guy to look at! Fantastic! Great site here!

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