Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Ice

With any plans for ringing literally "on ice" there were two places on my keep moving itinerary this morning, a look at Lane Ends followed by a walk along Knott End promenade for the incoming midday tide.

I didn’t hang around at Lane Ends, where standing around for more than few minutes invited hypothermia, but walked the sea wall to Pilling Water then back to the car park on the lookout for just about anything that still survives the extreme weather. Whooper Swans this morning, about 140, then quick, rough counts of 550 Shelduck, 400 Teal, 180 Wigeon, 40 Lapwing, 25 Curlew and 15 or so Redshank. Of the small birds I still found 40 or more Skylarks and 5 Meadow Pipits braving the elements but nothing else save the Blackbirds, Robins and Dunnocks that survive around the car park.

It was a good bright morning and I thought I might have better luck with the tide and waders at Knott End where the ice and snow covered the beach, foreshore, the walkways and the jetty. It didn’t take long to find a good but not especially numerous selection of waders either roosting or feeding, but I was careful not to disturb them nor venture too far onto the treacherous icy surfaces.

Ringed Plover

Knot, Turnstone

Grey Plover, Redshank, Dunlin, Turnstone, Knot





For the record my counts were 30 Turnstone, 1 Grey Plover, 48 Redshank, 22 Knot, 14 Ringed Plover and 3 Oystercatcher.

A few Shelduck in amongst the ice floes sailed past the end of the jetty, as they looked for food at the tide edges.


Also along the foreshore were approximately 45 Twite and a single Rock Pipit.


I’d spent an hour or more taking pictures and I was pretty much frozen to the core so headed home for a hot drink and a sit down in the warmth, unlike the birds I’d just seen.

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