Tuesday, October 25, 2011

News And Twos

A quick run around the patch at Pilling this morning produced a few notables for a mini-posting of news.

Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus are back from Iceland in some numbers with the now regular congregation building up on the Fluke Hall stubble fields to 115+ today, so densely packed, mobile and quite distant that it is difficult to obtain a precise count. The picture below shows one part of this morning’s flock.

Whooper Swan

The swans can be heard whooping it up from hundreds of yards away, even down in Pilling village half a mile from Fluke Hall, but there’s nothing quite like their calls to set you up with anticipation for a morning’s birding.

The North American counterpart of Whooper Swan is Cygnus buccinator, which goes by the very descriptive name of Trumpeter Swan, with a call quite different from the Whooper. Trumpeter Swans also have an all-black bill.

Trumpeter Swan

I managed a walk from Lane Ends to Pilling Water and bumped into a couple of twos, 2 Wheatear, 2 Buzzard and 2 Green Sandpipers, the latter disappearing as noisily as ever into the wildfowler’s pools. Now well into October Wheatears are getting a little late now, although I have seen them in November some years.


Other small stuff around: 26 Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting, 13 Meadow Pipit, 15 Snipe.

Meadow Pipit

The forecast for tomorrow looks slightly better, with more spaced-out isobars and chance of a ringing session – amazing!


Christian said...

Hi Phil

I was at Union Lane this afternoon and a male Hen Harrier flew past me. Compliments your female from yesterday. To fast to get any shots though.

Stu said...

I saw my first swans of the winter at the weekend too...........

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Wow it's the first time for me to hear the call of the Trumpeter Swan. These birds really got an appropriate name!

Kay L. Davies said...

That was fun, listening to the difference between the calls of the two kinds of swans.

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

Seasons said...

That sound clip of the Trumpeter Swan is really something hillarious! I like it when you include sound clips. Thanks Phil!

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