Saturday, April 24, 2010

Less Work, More Play

After Friday’s ringing, I decided this morning would be less like a job of work so decided to go birding with the aim of getting a few photographs, of anything.

First stop was deserted Conder Green, where the absence of large wagons overlooking the pool allowed me to be probably the first person there. I looked in vain for the Spotted Redshank now almost completely black that is always there but I drew a blank on the species for the first time in many, many months. I settled for a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 7 Redshank, a Curlew and an overhead Whimbrel that flew out over the railway bridge to the marsh. The owning Oystercatcher chivvied a single Black-tailed Godwit to the furthest side of the island before I could get a decent look at it in what seemed to be almost full summer plumage. The Oystercatchers and Redshank still spend a lot of time displaying and squabbling, but not so the Lapwing as there seems to be one pair only. Likewise the Little Ringed Plover with a displaying bird over the back of the pool today.

Greenshank

Little Ringed Plover

The morning duck count was 3 Goldeneye, 2 Tufted Duck and 4 Shelduck.

It was fairly early in the morning and with a tide due I thought that Cockersands Abbey might be worth a visit. The first obvious birds were 8 “Greenland” Wheatears flitting around the shore, and as in the last week elsewhere they proved immediately mobile, reluctant to pose for photographs, and I judged, too urgently dynamic a group to try and catch any of them. In fact it took a while to take pictures just from my car without even trying to approach them they were so energetic. In addition to the Wheatears, a party of 12 Meadow Pipits looked new in, a theme to be repeated later at Pilling. Two Sandwich Terns flew up and down the river calling constantly.

”Greenland” Wheatear

”Greenland” Wheatear

Waders were thin on the ground with the normal suspects Oystercatcher, Redshank, Ringed Plover and Dunlin but I took time out to photograph 2 Grey Plover that stood obligingly on a rock.

Grey Plover

Grey Plover

Grey Plover

At Lane Ends a Sparrowhawk left towards the village as I arrived but a Blackbird carrying food dived into the plantation despite the Jays that have been seen again doing their evil best. Singing birds included a loud Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Reed Bunting.

As ever I walked up to Pilling Water where I found yet more Wheatears. Another 8 here that like all the others this week continued with rapid migration, this time east towards Lane Ends, but not before a female tripped my spring trap closed without getting caught but I watched it go back for a look at the meal worm inside. Along the tide line was another party of Meadow Pipits that this time numbered about twenty.

Meadow Pipit

”Greenland” Wheatear

”Greenland” Wheatear

The wildfowlers pools held less Redshank today with perhaps only 40, but the ever present Little Egret was in the ditch out towards the shore, and over the ex-stubble at Fluke Hall where the Lapwings recently laid their eggs, a Buzzard circled over the newly ploughed earth.

14 comments:

Pete Woodruff said...

Nice account, nice pics Phil.

Good to hear the LRP's at Conder Green were showing signs of raising a family, lets wish them success. Sorry you didn't connect with the Spotted Redshank but I did tell it to keep its head down to visitors!

Crafty Gardener said...

lovely photos, what type of camera do you use?

Phil said...

Hi Crafty. Thanks for digging into my blog. I use a Canon 500D - brilliant camera

Denise said...

Enjoyed your post and your great photos.

i beati said...

your header so wonderful sandy

Hootin' Anni said...

Amazing....I was just watching the plovers at our beach this morning. They're so fun to watch. Now, I must ask...just what kind of bird is in your header? So so pretty.

Here are my entries for the day.

kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely pics of the obliging pair of Grey Plover and the Meadow Pipit, Linda

Mark Young said...

G'day Phil,
Good to see some photos of the Grey Plover. We occasionaly get one here, and it can create some confusion as they look very similar to the Pacific Golden Plovers that we get in greater numbers. I'm always on the lookout for them, but they've eluded me so far.
Regards,
Mark

siromade08 said...

Bird watching is beautiful. Seeing your photos makes me feel great they are all lovely. Wonderful shots.

Phil said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. Anni, The lovely bird is a Northern Lapwing, one of my favourite birds which has unfortunately suffered large declines over here in the UK.

eileeninmd said...

Great birding outing and post. Loved the photos!

Stu said...

Some great shots there Phil.

We see the same waders here as in your post but Wheatear is a semi-mega rare vagrant..............

nonizamboni said...

Thoroughly enjoyable diary of your wanderings--and very nice photos. The Plovers and Wheatears are great posers.

Kristin said...

Nice bird watching. Thanks for the informative and interesting post. :-)

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