Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday's Waders

There was a Barn Owl hunting the fields next to Head Dyke Lane this morning - almost inevitable for an early morning in July. Just as predictable was the way it veered across the landscape and out of sight as the car drew level. Never mind, I was to enjoy a good few hours birding and a bit of photography quite soon. 

When I arrived at Conder Green there was the usual gaggle of Redshank and Greenshank in the creek and a smaller bird amongst them. When I studied the bird more closely it turned put to be a Curlew Sandpiper, an adult in partial summer plumage, the species an annual visitor in small numbers to these parts. 

Curlew Sandpiper - Photo credit: Mick Sway / Foter / CC BY-ND

The Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) is a small wader that breeds on the tundra of Arctic Siberia. It is strongly migratory, wintering mainly in Africa, but also in south and southeast Asia and in Australasia. It is a vagrant to North America. These birds are slightly larger than the closely related Dunlin, but differ from Dunlin in having a longer down-curved bill, longer neck and legs and a white rump. The breeding adult has patterned dark grey upperparts and brick-red underparts, the reds in the plumage giving rise to the Latin ferruginea. In winter, this bird is pale grey above and white below, and shows an obvious white supercilium. Juveniles have a greyer and brown back, a white belly and a peach-coloured breast. 

There were other waders sandpipers about too, the presumed same Green Sandpiper of recent days plus the more reliable and numerous Common Sandpipers, nine or ten today. Redshank totalled 40, Greenshanks 4, Lapwing 15, Curlew 6, Oystercatcher 8, Spotted Redshank 1, and Snipe 1. 

 Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Looks like Little Egrets have now arrived in autumnal numbers as I counted 8 on the pool this morning and 2 more in the creek, but only 1 Grey Heron. One or two of the Egrets were quite obliging if I kept out of sight and provided the large vehicles leaving Glasson Dock didn't noisily park up overlooking the pool. Glasson is two minutes down the road so why do these wagons stop so soon again after leaving the docks? Beats me. 

Little Egret

Wildfowl numbers remain the same – 2 Little Grebe, 2 Wigeon, 2 Tufted Duck,4 Canada Goose. A Kingfisher put in a brief appearance at the sluice gate, sitting there long enough for me to rattle off a few distant shots before it streaked off towards the canal. 


Up at Glasson I counted 15 Swifts screaming overhead, 2 Common Terns paying a quick visit, 10 Tufted Duck on the yacht basin and a single Grey Heron in the accustomed spot. 

Grey Heron

Narrow Boats at Glasson

After neglecting Pilling Lane Ends for few weeks I decided to pay a visit on the way home today. There wasn't much doing apart from a Marsh Harrier half way to Heysham and had I stayed for the midday tide the bird would almost certainly have showed closer in. 

Otherwise 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Stock Dove, 3 Grey Heron and 1 Buzzard. 

More news from Another Bird Blog very soon.


Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Great captures.. Congrats..

DeniseinVA said...

Wonderful photos! Always interesting to see the birds you have taken photos of.

Stuart Price said...

Very nice Curlew Sand. The waders won't be passing through here for another 3 or so weeks yet.......

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, I love sandpipers, and the curlew sandpiper is lovely.
Thanks for posting the narrowboats. I really must get over there some day, but planes and ships are such fuel-guzzlers, I've begun feeling guilty about travel. We packed up, dog and all, and went from southeastern Alberta to southwestern BC by car this month, and it was wonderful.
Maybe I can find a freighter that will take us to England from the east coast of Canada, dog and all. Too bad they specify healthy passengers who can climb stairs, which the dog and I have trouble doing.


That kingfisher has marvelous colors!!! would be great to have the royal baby named Phillip!

eileeninmd said...

Another great outing, Phil! The Curlew Sandpiper is pretty. And one of my other favorites is the Kingfisher. Wonderful photos, happy birding!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

How marvelous that you got to see the rarer visitor of the Curlew Sandpiper, and what lovely birds they are. Your waders for the day are all quite striking and that boat is certainly unusual and also would make a nice float along to snag some other images along the way...saying this after a recent canoe experience. I do not swim, and it was pretty scarey for me, but I did get a few images to share soon~

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil Wonderful to see the birds that you come across on your outings. I love the Kingfisher, always quite tricky to capture.

Wally Jones said...

Brilliant image of the Curlew Sandpiper!
The photo of the Kingfisher reminds me we should start seeing our migratory Belted Kingfishers within the next few weeks.
Hard to believe fall migration is about to begin already!

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