Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I finally got to grips with the shy Great-spotted Woodpecker that visits the garden when it thinks I'm not looking, but I couldn’t get a full pose away from the peanuts. I will just have to try again.

Great-spotted Woodpecker

As it rained this morning I spent a while reinstalling a slide show for the RH column of the blog after the previous one broke for no apparent reason. I hope readers new and old like the new version; all the pictures at higher resolution can be found somewhere on previous posts.

The rain fell most of the morning and then kept showering as I ate a sandwich while looking hopefully west through the conservatory windows for a hint of brighter stuff. Then after lunch I risked the continuing showers for a walk along Pilling shore where I received a little soaking but at least I got out for a while, but with not much to report I’m afraid.

At Lane Ends the Tufted Duck recently bred successfully and today the female looked after three young while the young Greylags are now as big as their parents.


Tufted Duck

I heard the Blackcap singing again plus two Reed Warblers today, one alongside the road and the other below the car park, and whilst Reed Warblers are able to breed in just small patches of phragmites reed, I’m afraid the unmanaged woodland is about to engulf the few patches of reed left. Little Grebes were around because I heard their trill but there are so many hiding places I rarely see them.

I walked towards Fluke hall to the sound of two singing Skylarks and the displaying, singing Meadow Pit I saw a few days ago, the one that carries a BTO ring.


I sat on the wet stile at Pilling Water and surveyed the shore and inland towards Pilling village. Three Common Sandpipers hugged the outlet ditch together with a couple of Redshank, a still brightly coloured single Black-tailed Godwit and a couple of Oystercatchers. There are still a number of Pied Wagtails on the marsh, today I counted just six, plus the comings and goings of several Linnet, and just below me two Greenfinch.


I watched as an overflying micro light put to flight the waders further out on the marsh, 130 Curlew and 60 Lapwings. As this happened I think an opportunistic Kestrel took advantage of the disturbance and confusion to snatch a small Redshank chick from underneath the noses of the parents, and the falcon flew past me and over the wildfowler’s pools out of sight with its dangling prey. Hirundines and Swift numbers were more normal today with about 60 Swallows, 20+ House Martins and 25 Swift feeding over the marsh, sea wall, and about Pilling Water itself.


My mammal highlight today was a brief sighting of a Stoat closely pursued by a youngster, a “kit”. My views were very brief as the animal stood up momentarily to look at me then ran off, still followed by the youngster and I had no chance of a picture. Trying to watch wildlife can be very frustrating sometimes, trying to photograph it even more so.


dfg said...

Beautiful shots. That Linnet is absolutely gorgeous!

Bobbster said...

Good stuff Phil, bit of patience and I am sure you will capture the woodpecker away from the feeder sooner or later, slide show looks good to me

Chris said...

Wow Phil, this is a great set of pictures but the flying shot of the lark is just perfect, plain awesome!

Stu said...

Nice shots, esp the Linnet.

On the subject of reinstalling I just redesigned my photo site....................and now many of my linked photos going back the last year are broke..............

forestal said...

Wonderful photos.


Unravel said...

That's a nice shot of the woodpecker!
I've only seen this species twice during my trip to Hokkaido earlier this year.

Ari said...

As usual great capture, Phil! Love your slide show, the photos are awesome!

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