Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Fix

With a cold easterly breeze and full grey cloud the morning held spits of rain, as well as the promise of more to come, so kicking my heels I waited until the sky brightened a touch then headed out Pilling Way hoping to finish Friday with a flourish. 

I gave the Fluke Hall and Ridge Farm area a decent going over without finding anything spectacular, least of all an early Wheatear in such unpromising conditions. A number of Pied Wagtails were searching the recently ploughed fields and the roadside midden where more than one local family dump their horse manure, the resulting gunk as good a place as any to look for feeding birds. Mixed in with the mainly wagtail flock were a couple of Meadow Pipits, 6 or 7 Skylarks, and towering above the passerines 40+ Oystercatcher, several Lapwing, 4 Redshank and 3 Curlew, all burying their bills a little deeper than the small birds could manage. 


Pied Wagtail

Further back in the same field were 400+ Pink-footed Geese, a small sample of the several thousand out beyond the sea wall towards Lane Ends. All the geese took flight a little later when a light aeroplane flew over sending the birds in the air for a few minutes before they settled back to feeding on the marsh again. 

Pink-footed Goose

Other bits and bobs here and from the sea wall: 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Reed Bunting, 5 Little Egret, and a couple of singing Chaffinches with calling females close by. 

Backsands Lane has dried out more than a little, birds there today restricted to 30 Redshank, 15 Lapwing, 10 Greylag and the resident Kestrel. From Lane Ends car park Pilling Marsh was a mass of distant grey geese, too far out to make anything of in the murky light. 

Cockerham proved better with a distant, albeit good selection of birds, mostly waders on the managed flood - 80+ Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 120 Golden Plover, 300 Starling, 15 Curlew, 1 Little Egret and 160+ Lapwing. 

Golden Plover

A number of male Lapwings were in full display mode, tumbling crazily over the field, showing off their flying skills to females below. I could see one of the females a distance away had a ring on its left leg, the bird too far away and the light too poor to read the inscription. 

Lapwings are not only long-lived but also extremely site faithful through generations and I wondered if this female was one of the hundreds of Lapwing chicks I’d ringed along this stretch of coast over many years - perhaps no, but possibly yes. More visits required in a week or two when the female will be there and perhaps much closer, looking after a clutch of youngsters and still displaying the evidence of an earlier day in my company when I gave her a shiny new ring.


More visits required to Another Bird Blog too - log in soon for more birds and birding.

Today's post is linking to Madge's Top Shot  and to Anni's Birding Blog


Isidro Ortiz said...

Hello Phil,bonitas capturas,me gusta mucho la del Ostrero.Un abrazo

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...Now has that Oyster catcher got horse manure on its beak?? Yuck..I guess you could say he stuck his beak in some horses business ; )
That is quite the skein of Pink Footed Geese I would imagine there is enough there to knit yourself a sweater, well maybe you wouldn't want pink!!
I have a little math problem for you!! There are 400 geese on the ground: how many gaggles do you have...and the same with a flock how many flocks do you have!! Something for your spare time : )
Well enough harassment for this time my friend...I'm sure I'll pay for that one ; )
Great mix for Friday fix Phil..oh almost forgot..Does your wife know about that shiny ring you gave to Mrs. Lapwing!
Have a great weekend!!
your buddy old pal : )

Wally Jones said...

Well, Phil, thank you for a very nice Friday Fix!
Hope a future trip nets a Lapwing you previously ringed!
Are the larger-sized flocks migrants?

Enjoy your weekend - hope the wind subsides for you!


eileeninmd said...

Great shots, Phil! The geese in flight shot is awesome. It is a nice big flock! The wagtail and oystercatcher are some of my favorites. Happy birding and have a great weekend!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Awe those glorious in flight images, just gorgeous and the Lapwing...absolutely wonderful, I always enjoy seeing them when you post...they would be a must if we ever came over the Big Pond. happy weekend Phil~

Carole M. said...

amazing sight to see so many p.f. geese like you did Phil. Great photos once again

Snap said...

Wonderful shots -- especially all the geese in flight! What a sight! Happy Critter Day!

DeniseinVA said...

You saw some great birds that day. Wonderful photos!

TexWisGirl said...

cute little lapwing. love the oyster catcher and the wagtail! so handsome.

TexWisGirl said...

(the llamas are like donkeys - they do not like coyotes or dogs. they will chase them off to protect calves.) :)

tiarastantrums said...

the last bird shot is cool with the wind whisp-ing at his feathers

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Considering the day didn't start out too promising it certainly ended well! What a collection! It'll be interesting to see if that bird is one you had previously banded. How exciting!

squirrel said...

nice photos

HansHB said...

Great serie of beutiful birdphotos!
Lovely to see!

SoriN said...

Interesting article with great images,
Have a good day

Gary said...

That Wagtail is a beauty. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Awesome shots!

Nikki-ann said...

Wonderful photos, as always. I bet some time and patience is needed for them!

Anni said...

that lapwing chick is so darned adorable!!! And the oystercatcher sure as heck didn't come up with an oyster?!!! LOL

The wagtail is really pretty too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you came by to share on Weekly Top Shot #73!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Sometimes I just stop at things like the number "400...." and can't go on for a few seconds!
The sheer number of birds you see just makes me joyful. And then your beautiful pictures! Just wonderful.

Gary Jones said...

Some great shots Phil, and a great report of your Friday Fix!

Ken Schneider said...

Great photos-- especially the kingfisher with fish scales on its bill!

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