Friday, July 8, 2011

Double Report

There’s not an awful lot to mention from this morning’s birding except returning waders stealing the limelight, as they often do in July, when they are usually more obvious and easier to seek out than skulking, moulting warblers hiding in thick, summery vegetation.

The morning started with a Barn Owl again at 0730, one of the Burned House Lane birds patrolling the fields next to the Z bends with the double white lines; so I daren’t stop, but instead glanced left then motored on to Pilling for my morning walk.

At Pilling Water I approached the wildfowler’s pools with care as birds are often tucked below the bank, unseen until a body is too close, and then as if to prove it, 11 bright-plumaged, fresh in from Iceland Black-tailed Godwits flew noisily off before I could drop any lower onto the open ground that surrounds the pools. The godwits caused 5 Oystercatchers and 3 Redshanks to fly off, but a single Little-ringed Plover stayed on the pool, together with a Common Sandpiper and a couple of Lapwings. We associate Little-ringed Plovers with the stony margins of water courses but on migration they aren’t that fussy.

Black-tailed Godwit

Little-ringed Plover

On the outer part of Broadfleet and the surrounding marsh I counted another 4 Common Sandpiper, 70+ Lapwing, 22 Redshank, 40+ Curlew and 2 Grey Heron. My passerine count was almost identical to recent days with 8 Goldfinch, 6 Greenfinch, 8 Pied Wagtail and 2 Meadow Pipit, with still the Linnet flock but their numbers now increased to a healthy looking 60+ birds.


Meadow Pipit

I’ve been looking for a Wheatear for a week now without any success but finally found one today on the stones below the sea wall but it didn’t hang around the spot to take my meal worm, and instead carried on in the direction of Fluke Hall.

I just sat quietly on the stile minding my own business when three Carrion Crows pointed me in the direction of a Stoat, running towards me on the landward side of the sea wall. The crows harried the Stoat from above, calling and drawing attention to the little predator, but when it spotted me it turned tail then ran back to where it had come from, before eventually disappearing into the long grass. Stoats are fairly frequent along here, making a living from bunnies and other small animals, carrion and probably ground nesting birds. I’ve missed a few photo opportunities lately when the creatures have spotted me on their route ahead, and I hope one day soon to meet face to face again with the engaging little creature.


In contrast to my lack of numbers birding, the latest totals from our Fylde Ringing Group is that we ringed another 265 birds in June, more in fact than in both January and February, but a lesser total than the migration months of March, April or May. More than half of June’s 265 birds were accounted for by 110 Tree Sparrow youngsters from nest boxes and 36 Swallow chicks. Pied Flycatchers came in third place with a total of 27 birds, a small number of adults but mainly nestlings. Now we are all looking forward to the birds of autumn time!


JWBateman said...

Hi Phil: Nice shot of the LRP one of my favourite birds.JWB.

Kay L. Davies said...

I've never seen a stoat. This one is a cute little fellow, isn't he?
I'd never heard of Godwits before, either, despite their reputation for tastiness. At first I thought they might be related to Gannets but I looked them up and see they are more like curlews or rails. Very interesting.
Thanks, Phil.
— K

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

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Phil, I do believe that I just fell in love. The little Stoat has such a sweet and kind of whimsical face and the colours is luxurious~

Russell said...

Love the lighting in the Meadow Pipit pic and the stoat is very cool. Would love to see one.

Stu said...

Nice SP Godwits..............

grammie g said...

Hey Phil..I have been right out straight the last couple of days ..mowing that golf course of a lawn and had to trim the cedar hedge.... and of course running around the yard with a camera when I hear a different bird or see a butterfly I'm off... sound familiar!! haha!!
So glad you changed that header every time your blog opened that birds mouth dang near scared me to where is the hummingbird!!
I did see and read yesterdays post and that cute little Stoat.. and nice photo of the Godwits
Now I am going to bed!!

Mom Daughter Style said...

I found your blog from camera critters, I love the pictures here.
Btw, im your new follower. If you have time, I hope you check out my blog too.

eileeninmd said...

I just love that cute stoat. And my favorite bird is the plover, very cute. Great series of photos, Phil

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

your photography is really marvellous!

amazing series of photos!
great colours and focus.

visiting via camera critters.

Jedediah said...

That stoat is adorable and so is the plover. I recently saw one in the wild for the first time (different species, though) and I couldn't believe how cute is was with the round body and huge eyes.

La sonrisa de Hiperión said...

Estupendas las fotos que nos ha dejado. Como siempre un placer.

Saludos y buena tarde de sábado.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Phil, I forgot to mention that I really like the new Linnet banner, stunning!

missing moments said...

Never seen or knew of a stoat. Nice picks and enjoyed the views!

Carme Garvilles said...

What a lovely pictures. I'm your new follower. Ill be glad if you'll follow me back. Thanks. :)

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