Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday's Best

Sunday proved a quiet morning with not a great deal of new stuff following a couple of hours trawl around local spots. 

When I arrived at Knott End the tide was in but hadn’t brought much in the way of variety: 700 Oystercatchers, 190 Redshank, 6 Turnstone and 4 Knot the sum of the waders, unless you count a Grey Heron wading through the water. When all the birds panicked, the Oystercatchers running back towards the safety of the water’s edge and the Redshanks flying off upriver, I knew a Peregrine was about. The Peregrine appeared from the Preesall direction then made a single pass and turn above the beach before thinking better of it and heading north. Best photo I could get into the sun and in the ten seconds the bird gave me.


Passerines were even harder to find, the Pied Wagtail with a gammy leg first noted here last winter, and 2 Goldfinches on the Niger seed I’d left recently in the hope of keeping the Twite happy, but no sign of them. 

I decided to give the Fluke Hall environs a try and it proved quite productive in terms of species if not numbers. Towards Ridge Farm the Greenfinch flock has expanded to 100+, the Skylarks and Meadow Pipits to 15+ and about 10 respectively, with 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail, 10+ Tree Sparrow and a Little Egret. 


In the wood I heard the call of a Brambling from the tree tops, couldn’t locate the bird in the autumn leaves, but did manage to see a single Mistle Thrush, 2 Fieldfare, 12 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Nuthatch, a Song Thrush, 200 Jackdaws and 50+ Wood Pigeon. For anyone unsure of a Brambling’s autumn contact call, click on the Xeno Canto button to hear one. For those who wonder why birders seek out Bramblings, there’s a photograph below from a year or two back. 

Fluke Hall


On the extremely wet fields between Fluke and Lane Ends I counted 40+ Redshank, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 800 Lapwing and 18 Whooper Swans. There’d been a lot of Whooper Swans flying either inland towards the mosses or back out to the marsh. As I arrived at Lane Ends, JR told me of 300+ whoopers from a dawn start, together with a count of 10,000+ Pink-footed Geese. Good work Jean. 

That was the end of my morning apart from heading back via Pilling Moss where I noted 3 Kestrelwhich included a pair together, 900 Woodpigeon, 2 Yellowhammer and some of the Whooper Swans out on a distant flood. 

Whooper Swan


Back home and picking up apples from the garden for freezer storage and hopefully garden thrushes, I noticed a hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus snuffling through the fallen leaves. I’m not sure when hedgehogs are meant to hibernate but soon I guess. Me I’ll just hibernate to somewhere warm for a few weeks in January, better than spending two or three months under a pile of old logs. 

European Hedgehog - Erinaceus europeus

Back soon on Another Bird Blog with more spikey tales.

This week Another Bird Blog is linking with Anni and Stewart again, plus Weekly Top Shot


Findlay Wilde said...

What a brilliant post. I have only ever seen 3 redshank together at once. From Findlay

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Awww, the little hedgehog is so cute! You really got some good bird shots, as usual. Hope you are having a great day!

DeniseinVA said...

Fantastic post, I enjoy seeing all those birds and the little hedgehog. We used to have a family who would visit every day when I lived in Devon.

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Phil! I love the birds, Especially the pretty Greenfinch and the Brambling is gorgeous. The Hedgehog is a cool looking critter. Wonderful photos, have a great week ahead.

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I know some people who are a bit prickly like your little buddy,that really should hibernate
to : ) Oh well they probably think the same of me!!
Looks like you needed wellies today..hope you had them along!!
All I can say is your wife is either very tolerant,or just accepted the fact that there is going to be apples in the freezer,and mealy worm in the frig, for the birds : ))) !!
You know that somehow Pink Footed Geese conjure up nursery rhymes to kind!!
Way to go Phil..a good day!!
Nice pic's to!1
From this side of the pond,

Russell said...

Wow! what a super post with a variety of pictures. Dramatic peregrine capture and the hedgehog is a mighty cute beast isn't he? Love the scenery too. Makes me want a stroll.

Marie said...

So many great bird sightings! Looks like the perfect place to go. And that hedgehog is about the cutest thing I've ever seen!

Ken Schneider said...

Phil, your photo ignites my Peregrine envy-- I still have never gotten a decent shot of one. That Brambling is beautiful too, and I enjoyed all your other photos and narrative.

Chris said...

Your last picture and the kestrel are wonderful. Here you would count waxwing ca 150 ;-)

Carletta said...

I wish my quiet mornings were anything like this Phil!
The Peregrine was kind enough to let you capture the wonderful pattern on the underside of that wing.
Sharp photo of the Brambling and the little hedgehog almost, almost, steals the show. :)

Carole M. said...

I can't get over the numbers of birds you quote .... 700 oystercatchers for starters. Amazing!! I go to a little spot and see two and think GREAT. Enjoyed each of your beautiful photos but somehow the humble greenfinch takes my eye

TexWisGirl said...

all of your birds are beautiful, but you knew that hedgehog was going to steal the squeals. :)

mick said...

Great photo of the in-flight Peregrine and the hedgehog is so cute!

Anni said...

Wow....all the birds here are stupendous, but especially the P. Falcon. And that hedgehog is adorable.

Hope you can find a bit of time today to stop by and visit to view my collection of feathered friends this week!!

Wally Jones said...

A very nice report. As Ken said earlier, Peregrine envy here as the only shots I have are a blur. Good work! I also love your Kestrel images, another challenging bird to photgraph well.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wonderful series Phil! Wow a wild Hedgehog, how splendid that is. My oldest daughter had two pet Hedgehogs...not the same as what you captured~

Barrie Tyrer said...

Is that a photo of the hedgehog if so it looks too small to survive hibernation and the winter. They need to be at least 600g to have a chance. If you find a hog under this weight, if you can take it into protective custody and feed it up with cat food. That it was out in the day also suggests it is in trouble.

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