Saturday, June 12, 2010

Green Theme

The BBC changed the weather forecast for Sunday morning to rain which meant the original plan for a ringing session on Sunday might now involve a bit of Saturday birding as compensation followed by a Sunday lie in. So the “green” in question was my old favourite of Conder Green where on a bright sunny morning I promised myself an hour or two of birding in those magic hours before most people are up and about, when everywhere is quiet and birds are undisturbed by the comings and goings of us humans.

I looked from the inadequate screen, still without I note the necessary improvement to qualify as a “hide”, and counted the usual 7 Tufted Duck scattered across the water with the single drake Wigeon still unaccompanied by a pal or a mate. The female Oystercatcher sat on eggs on the island whilst around her, several more birds persisted in their chasing and display flights and a lone bird walked through the shallows in front of me, as did an obliging but slightly wary Lapwing that saw me but kept a safe distance away. In some field guides Lapwings are described as “black and white” and are often put in a category with black and white birds, but I always think of them as being various shades of iridescent green that can look black in flight or at a distance. There’s even a hint of purple at times. Regular readers of this blog will know of my enthusiasm for the Lapwing in all its glory, green, black, white or whatever colour.





The Grey Heron was around as usual, appearing from the direction of the canal, as did the Kestrel that hovered distant over the marsh for a while causing more Lapwings to gang up on it, when I counted 14 of them in the air together. In the creek I counted more than 30 Redshank, an increase on recent times which must be due to a post breeding influx, but 4 Curlew and 7 Shelduck was more consistent with recent numbers. Also feeding in the creek and squabbling with a Shelduck briefly was a single Little Egret, a bird I haven’t seen for a while but this bird is I guess from the ones breeding locally.

Grey Heron


Little Egret

I saw several groups of Goldfinch that added up to at least 20 individuals, adults plus I noted, recently fledged browner birds that lacked the colourful heads. Some of these young birds were still begging food, a sure sign of recent nestlings. Singing along the immediate hedgerow, on the marsh and towards the junction were Whitethroat, Reed Bunting and 2 Meadow Pipit, one of which posed on the roadside barrier for me.

Meadow Pipit

I should add the unfamiliar species, 4 Swift hawking insects over the hawthorns, and to emphasise the green topic, 4 Greenfinch along the roadside hedge but still as a whole this species is not visible in any numbers anywhere as far as I can see.

Now please excuse me while I check the latest forecast with finger crossed.


Unravel said...

I always think that the lapwing has a very beautiful plumage!
Especially when I first saw it in Thailand many years ago, where it's a super duper rare bird!!!

Stu said...

Lapwings are rare in northern Japan too (I've only ever seen 2 here and both in winter plumage only).

They were so common when I was growing up in the UK I forget how beautiful they look especially in summer. And their wonderful summer display flight and calls, god I wish I was in England this summer......

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