Sunday, May 23, 2010

Good News, Bad News

A quiet Sunday morning walk is what I wanted and that’s exactly what I got when I did my standard visit to Lane Ends and Pilling Water this morning. It’s just that time of year when spring migration has all but ended, resident birds are engrossed in their breeding cycles and bird watchers accustomed to seeing new things each day settle for less daily changes, but if they are ringers maybe take the opportunity to test their nest finding skills or concentrate on nest box schemes.

At the Lane Ends car park a couple of Woodpigeons were finishing off the remains of the plants in the giant plant pots after most of the others were nicked. Now that’s not a surprise and quite predictable given the history of the site in the last twenty five years I have been involved there. More precisely the years between 1986 and c2002 when I gave up trying to get anywhere with Wyre Borough Council or The Environment Agency as my telephone calls and letters remained unanswered, and whilst optimum habitat for breeding and roosting Linnets was ripped out, as well as an overgrown patch of bushes where Lesser Whitethroats sang in May and areas that had breeding Sedge and Willow Warblers were left to develop into thick woodland.

At least the wood still holds a few singing Willow Warblers and a Blackcap, with a single Sedge Warbler clinging to the margins of the pool this year, but I haven’t heard Reed Warbler more than once this year. The plantation also has a healthy population of Woodpigeon that compete with the abandoned chickens for ground food put out by the animal lovers, but how different it might all have been with expert and enlightened management.

Woodpigeon

The other bird pushed to the edge here quite literally has been Reed Bunting, with 2 birds singing at the extremes of the poolside, which represents two breeding pairs I think; and they are inconspicuous enough to be safe from interference, unlike the Sparrowhawks of previous years. The fenced off pool still holds Little Grebes, I heard them trilling from the water behind the impenetrable woodland, whilst over in the east pool 4 Tufted Duck floated around in the ever encroaching green algae on the surface.

At Pilling Water there were still 2 female Wheatears “chacking” along the fence posts and one allowed me a reasonable approach for a photograph. I had a pleasant surprise when I checked the Redshank nest and found the female had laid another egg, but with a fine sunny day today and many passing walkers, I am afraid she will probably spend a lot of time off the nest.

There was another Reed Bunting singing here, a couple of Linnets along the shore, a Grey Heron in the ditch and sundry Lapwings and Oystercatchers moving about the dusty fields with none of them acting in a parental manner at my approach.

Wheatear


Redshank Nest

Grey Heron

Ok, so I have had a bit of a moan again, but that’s probably because I care about what happens, it’s not just a job, it’s a passion.

On the heron theme I’ll finish with a picture of Purple Heron from Menorca, not because it has anything to do with today but there is an interesting post about them at http://woodruff4.blogspot.com/

Purple Heron

6 comments:

Fleetwood Birder said...

I quite agree with your comments on Lane Ends Phil. A lack of management, or the wrong type of management at best, has all but destroyed the site for biodiversity. It would seem that the overriding driver for the authorities involved has been public access and only 'lip service' has been paid to conservation issues. It's very sad.

Cheers,

Seumus

mick said...

It's very frustrating when good bird habitat is either destroyed or not looked after. I had a local birder tell me it took 30 years before her local council listened!

Idaho Birder said...

I'd never heard of a Purple Heron before. Looks like a cross between a Bittern and a Heron. Thanks for sharing the photos!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Ooooh that Woodpigeon is a beauty~

T and S said...

Lovely images and that closeup of the pigeon is very nice...Thomas

Unravel said...

Nice to see that the redshank had laid another egg.
I've just found a Little Ringed Plover's nest last week but the weather had been too bad to take photos...maybe I'll check again tomorrow.

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