Friday, September 10, 2010

To Blog Or Not To Blog?

That was the question when I got back home after a couple of overcast, grey, showery, windswept hours at Pilling Water at lunchtime with a pretty full set of notes but a blank card in my camera and not much time on my hands.

There’s been big tides this week but I’ve been busy elsewhere so didn’t even get to Lane Ends and take advantage of the tides to get in a spot of wader watching. Not that the waders here are particularly watchable at close quarters, it’s just the spectacle of thousands of waders and wildfowl that is compelling, not to mention the almost guaranteed raptors. When tides are high they also run in very fast, as today. So speedy does the water advance and birds fly in all directions that a thorough count of all species becomes a two or three person job with counters assigned to particular species or groups of birds. If that sounds like an excuse I guess it’s an explanation that I know my count was not comprehensive but a snapshot of what was about with approximates of birds.

Wildfowl numbers are building quickly with my first token 28 Wigeon of the autumn out on the tide, vastly outnumbered by enormous numbers of Teal, upwards of 750. There were more Pintail today with c80 birds, and just fantastic to see them back in numbers as they fly across the marsh their elongated, elegant shape and silvery sheen so easy to pick out. Shelduck numbers have increased now with at least 230 birds on the roosts of the marsh or the ebbing tide. 3 Eider and 5 Great-crested Grebe made up the numbers of the wildfowl, but I didn’t count the Mallard.




The easy waders counted were the oddities, conspicuous by their calls, 3 Greenshank, 4 Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Spotted Redshank that called very loudly as it flew past and on towards Lane Ends. Plovers came in at 22 Grey Plover, 35 Golden Plover, 180 Lapwing and 40 Ringed Plover. There were large numbers of Oystercatcher pushed off lower roosts with many headed towards Cockerham where they roosted on the sea wall with yet others flying beyond the wall to the immediate fields. I reckoned at least 2500 birds today. My approximate counts of Redshank, Dunlin and Knot were 40, 60 and 30 respectively but tremendous numbers of Curlew at c700.




It wasn’t surprising in the windy and rainy conditions that I could find only small numbers of passerines with 1 Wheatear, 10 Goldfinch, 2 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit and 5 Linnet. Little Egrets today numbered 13.


The forecast for tomorrow gives only marginal conditions for a ringing session but fingers are crossed that the wind subsides.


Mary Howell Cromer said...

WOW, what a beautiful image you got Phil of the Dunlin. The colouration of the pebbles and stones beneath it, adds a great texture to the image, really a nice one. The Wheatear is an awesome colour, and I love it's stance posed for you~

Paco Sales said...

Vaya pico tiene el zarapito, es precioso al igual que el resto de fotos, animo que habra días que haras más capturas, un abrazo amigo

Ashley Howe said...

Cracking set of images you have here!! That redshank has funny coloured legs...

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