Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Did You See The Fog?

The forecast of fog and more fog didn’t inspire me last night so it was quite a surprise to get up and see a sort of bright morning, greyish cloud, but definitely no fog. Good old BBC, nothing quite like keeping the licence payers guessing. So I set off for a quick tour of the spots I hadn’t visited for several days, Conder Green, Glasson Dock, Jeremy Lane and Bank End, all well-worn but often fruitful avenues for finding birds and a sure fire way of assessing the effect of the last few weeks.

At the just about thawed Conder Pool the birds had yet to return, with the wildfowl concentrated in the tidal channels: 45 Teal and 220 Wigeon, with 5 Little Grebe that are usually on the pool. There was a substantial movement of Pink-footed Geese going north to south this morning, and I counted over 200 overflying here then several hundred more in the course of the morning heading in the general direction of their favoured feeding areas around Pilling.

At Glasson Dock canal basin many Coot were not only literally skating on very thin ice, they were obviously very hungry, as 70 or 80 birds showed when they rushed towards breadless me as I got out of the car. In all I counted 135 Coot, 120 Tufted Duck and 4 Pochard here with 140+ Goldeneye and 2 Eider on the estuary as seen from the bowling green.


Tufted Duck

After four weeks of snow and ice covered fields any feeding waders this morning were hard to come by anywhere, and whereas a normal mild winter would produce many hundreds of Lapwing, Redshank, Golden Plover and Curlew, today the combined numbers of all four species on my entire circuit barely reached one hundred individuals.


There were plenty of both Redwings and Fieldfares along Jeremy Lane and up to Cockersands, where a couple of shore feeding Redwing flew into the more usual field situation on my approach and 20+ Linnets hung around the set-aside allotment. Along the roadside and even after their near starvation diet of the last few weeks the thrushes were their usual shy selves, fit and alert enough so as not to allow a close approach - unlike the Fieldfare in my garden last week.


Well-fed Fieldfare

Hungry Fieldfare

I saw more thrushes down Bank Lane, perhaps 30 Fieldfares and similar Redwing, some flitting between the hawthorns and the shore with Starlings, Chaffinches and a single Pied Wagtail. I found a handful of Curlew, Lapwing and Redshank down here and most unusually, a Treecreeper moving along the hawthorns. A crappy shot I know, maybe the BBC fog spoiled the picture.


At Lane Ends Whooper Swans were in all directions, out on the distant marsh, overflying and in the near fields of Backsands and Fluke, in all 80+, all in the clear light of a pleasant morning and still no fog.

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