Friday, November 23, 2012


Yes, That Was The Wet Week That Was, a dismal 5 days of rain which left Another Bird Blog with zero news and even less in the way of photographs. The weather relented a little on Friday morning to allow a trip out. 

Yards from home on Smithy Lane the rowan tree with rapidly depleting berries has looked good for a Waxwing or two. This morning I discovered the culprit to be a Mistle Thrush, too wary to hang around, even as I repositioned the camera from the car window. 

Mistle Thrush

The Common Birds Census Index for Mistle Thrush in the UK shows that this is another species losing out to the demands of the human race, probably by more than 33% over 30 years, with over half of that decline attributed to losses on farmland plots. This decline is certainly true locally where although never as common as the related Blackbird and Song Thrush, Mistle Thrushes are pretty hard to come by. 

Next stop Fluke Hall Lane for 12 Tree Sparrow, 4 Reed Bunting, 1 Kestrel, 6 Skylark, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 12 Blackbirds and a single Redwing. On the wet fields, just a dozen or so Redshanks sharing the flood with 8 Whooper Swans; I was to see all of the Whoopers soon enough. 


The remainder of the Whooper Swans were further north at Cockerham, entrenched on a very wet stubble field, with as I watched, a number of laggards still flying in for a feed up. After a couple of tries I settled on a figure of 470 birds, the highest number I have seen locally. I agree the distant flock doesn’t look like 470 Whoopers, but in places the birds are ten and twenty deep into the field. 

Whooper Swans - Cockerham Moss

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan
Nearby - 40 Chaffinch, 15 Tree Sparrow, 14 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 1100 Starling, 40 Curlew, 1 Kestrel, 1 Little Owl. 



On the way up to Conder Green I took in a view of Braides with not much doing except for 20 Lapwing and a Buzzard perched lookout on the sea wall. 

Conder Green next where most of the birds were on the pool: 130 Teal, 14 Wigeon, 1 Greenshank, 5 Little Grebe, 1 Snipe. Along the railway path I found singles of Fieldfare and Redwing outnumbered by 6 Blackbird, and then up at Glasson Dock, 2 Grey Heron, 48 Tufted Duck and a Kingfisher. 

Grey Heron 

Wow, that feels much better, a morning’s birding and a post at last. Long may it continue on Another Bird Blog - tune in soon for more news and views. 


Gail Dixon said...

Despite having to wait for these because of the weather, they are so worth it! Don't you think? Awesome shots!

BagginsTim said...

Cracking pic of the Whooper Swan taking off Phil and great blog all round ... you have a new folllower!

Tim@Timbobaggins Abroad

PS. Plenty of Waxwings over here in Yorkshire!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Nice and varied pictures.. Congrat and regards..

Stuart Price said...

I saw a load of Whoopers in a field yesterday too..............but no waxwings anywhere yet........

BagginsTim said...

Keep looking, they've just about stripped the trees in York and tend favour suburban areas so they can't be far off you ... aren't there some in Blackpool?

Timbobaggins Abroad

Phil Slade said...

Tim, I'm 7 miles from Blackpool - not far enough. There's been Waxwings in Preston but i'm in no hurry.

Monica S Engell said...

Wow, fantastic series! Beautiful shots!

Misty DawnS said...

Wow! You've got some amazing photos here!

Unknown said...

Another beautiful series Phil. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Snap said...

The kestrel is gorgeous. The whooper swan is very impressive. Great series.

Bek said...

Wow! What beautiful captures!

DeniseinVA said...

Hi Bill I'm Dennis, lol. Only joking Phil, I just read your comment again after my faux pas on my last visit and it made me laugh. My brainbox seems to be working on all cylinders today. Keeping my fingers crossed here. Loved the photos, amazing birds. I hope I can get over there again one day to see them for myself. My interest in birds only took root a few years back. It will be fun to get back to England with a whole new outlook. Have a great weekend :)

Anonymous said...

Love the Mistle Thrush. It reminds me of the old Jethro Tull song, Jack-in-the-Green.

Huldra said...

Loved it, and want more. Same time and place next week? :D

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh My, I have been slipping, your posts did not show up in my blog reading list...I was beginning to think that you and Sue were traveling, and here you were... These images are all really spectacular! I am sorry to be so late, this seems to be happening more and more...but I really did miss this one!

Black Jack's Carol said...

Some wonderful shots in spite of recent rain. I especially enjoyed the Grey Heron and the Whooper Swans as we don't have them here in Vancouver. We sure do have rain, though :)

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