Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Meagre Return?

They do say some birders hang up their bins then park their pagers on standby in the months of June and July, when all the birds are busy “at it” and there aren’t many rarities, a lack of targets to pursue. Me I just bash on with the hard slog of the local patch, tying up the loose ends of expected territories and hopeful nests.

Before today this year’s total of Lapwings ringed was a pathetic one. Today I tripled that score by finding two more, quite a feat in these Lapwing starved days. I looked through the ringing group’s totals of Lapwings ringed in previous years, curious to remind myself when the decline started. All right as a way of measuring Lapwing success it’s a fairly rough and ready guide because input varied in some years, but there’s no doubt that in the 1980s we made an effort to ring Lapwings, a task that became harder to justify in the 1990s when the Lapwing began to disappear from the Fylde. In 1988 we ringed 133 Lapwing chicks, in 1991 we managed 83 chicks, and in 1992 we got 59 youngsters; from then it was pretty much downhill until in the new millennium we rarely get into double figures. My two today came from two different broods, a single bird and then a chick with a sibling which I couldn’t find when crouched some distance away from the other.

Lapwing chick

Lapwing chick

At least both Lapwing chicks were almost flyers which lessens the likelihood of them becoming victims of the voracious Pilling crows: come winter time I wish Hi-fly would show as much enthusiasm for lowering the numbers of Carrion Crows on their land as they do to blasting the winter geese from the sky.

There was singing Blackcap and Reed Bunting at Lane Ends again, with a hidden brood of Little Grebes, but I spent my time along the sea wall counting Skylarks. I’m afraid they are still a bit of a mystery to me, at least 8 birds singing, some close together when there appears to be vacant territories, with both single birds and pairs moving about together. I reckon there are females sat on eggs somewhere, probably in inaccessible spots over the farmer’s fence, and more torn trousers. But there’s something very satisfying about finding a Skylark nest and I’ll leave it a day or two then try again when the adults may be carrying food.




After problems in recent days it seems that most blog followers bar one are now able to post comments. So come on GG, no excuses now, especially after Google sorted out those Chinese hackers. It almost all makes sense now, it explains all those mystery hits, those guys weren’t really trying to hack US politicians, they were after Another Bird Blog’s secret recipe for bird nest soup.

Recipe – Bird Nest Soup

Well it looks like the weather may relent tonight and allow a little mist netting tomorrow. It will make a change for sure.


Mary Howell Cromer said...

That Lapwing chick is such a cutie, and quite large chick and birds...right...Nice presentation Phil. Have a great day/evening;)

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...well what do you changed your commenting format,and my google account has my identity filled with my blogger name...impressive!!
This is the only type where it leaves the actually blog post I can comment on!! The one that pops up in the corners on top of the post is the other one. So I,m not out the woods yet!!

It's get I think that you are out there slogging around the country side ripping your pants chasing down and keeping track of birds and there count or lack of!!
Cute babies bad there is a decline!!
Will be waiting for your post on ripped pants after the nest fills up with peeping Skylarks!!
This better work!!!!!!!

Kay L. Davies said...

The skylarks are lovely, but the lapwing chick in the mud brought tears to my eyes, probably at the thought of the murderous crows (pun intended, to cheer myownself up).
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Paco Sales said...

Que buena temporada para captar los polluelos, un trabajo precioso Phil, un abrazo para ti amigo

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