Thursday, February 23, 2012

Going Green

After initial drizzle and greyness this morning the skies brightened allowing me a couple of hours birding at Pilling, where the colour green featured in the form of two wintering waders plus the appearance of more Siskins.

Waders were plentiful along Backsands Lane and Fluke Hall Lane with combined totals of 450 Lapwing, 110 Dunlin, 70 Oystercatcher, 22 Golden Plover, 45 Redshank and 250 Curlew.

At Lane Ends I surveyed the pools and the car park with the resulting 3 Goldeneye, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, 18 Chaffinch and 2 Siskin. The Siskin were feeding in the alders, a sighting which continues the run of Siskins making an appearance in many places in the past week or so, and must relate to the early spring movement of the species, so very noticeable this time last year.


There’s not much to report from my walk west to Pilling Water - 5 Little Egret, 4 Skylark, 1 Merlin and 40 Teal, but the pools turned up another 25 Redshank, a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper. It’s some weeks since I walked this stretch but the Green Sandpiper was about then and I think today’s bird is one of the two birds present in late 2011.



Walking the tideline I found evidence of a raptor meal, a neatly stripped breastbone plus the wings of a Redshank, probably the work of the aforesaid Merlin or a Peregrine, while a little further along were the remains of a long dead Whooper Swan. Otherwise nothing to report from a quietish walk.


Whooper Swan

No proper birding tomorrow, just counting Buzzards when I take the Suzuki up the M6 for its annual service to Kendal in the South Lakes, a route that is a hot spot for Buzzards. The Lake District is the probable origin of the healthy Buzzard population that now inhabit the Fylde.



cindyzlogic said...

Beautiful Siskin! We haven't gotten any yet. We had scads of them last year!

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I saw that title and thought your skin was turning green "whew" other thought was that you was becoming a tree hugger..if you don't know what that is use google search lol!!
Well it looks like today you got some practice in on your counting..that's good, but those poor dead birds I could have at least giving them a decent burial!!
Lovely Siskin shot by the way!!
I left you a note on yesterdays post ..hey I have done three post in a row on trail walking..I didn't see one stinking bird either except for one Crow!!
Well I can could that high at least! ; }
"Little Red Riding Hood"
AKA Grace

Paco Sales said...

Un par de horas que te dierón para sacar un buen reportaje incluida la triste imagen del cisne muerto. Esta vez el día empezo lluvioso pero te salio el sol para que pudieras salir para tus capturas. Un abrazo Phil

Chris said...

Simply superb Phil. I got an hint for European siskin over here. Apparently there is a garden in REykjavík where we can see 100s in psring, so I'll try it!!!
Nice pictures of the day!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Seeing those dead is a rough life for the birds, but thankfully there are plenty of what is being taken. The Redshank is sure a pretty bird, I like the white ring around it's eye and the Greenshank is also a lovely bird. Is the grass beginning to show greener over there? I am beginning to see trees slightly turning too...had a bee gathering nectar yesterday and snow coming this evening..crazy. Take care~

Chris said...

Hi Phil,
I can ask for th figures of recent years although I'm not sure this is in as we need to make a report on it and I don't if these guys did it, but I will check it myself this spring and will let you know.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

I still haven't seen any Siskin this winter. Last year was a great year for Siskin around here. Interesting photos of the raptors' meals. I wonder what kind of raptor killed that Whooper Swan. I can't imagine of any. Northern Goshawk would still be a little too small to be able to knock down a swan.

eileeninmd said...

I would like to see some of those 450 Lapwings. Could you send some over the pond? Please? Great shot of the Siskin, it is a beautiful bird. Wonderful photos, have a great weekend!

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