Thursday, August 8, 2013

Three Hours To Kill?

Following 180 minutes at Pilling this morning my notebook was pretty full but the camera devoid of new pictures. That’s the way it goes sometimes, the birds just don’t cooperate. So sorry folks, it’s my archive pics today to illustrate the morning’s effort. 

Jays are so noisy that one can’t but help knowing they are around although getting a clear view of this shy species can be a lot harder. From the series of raucous calls I could tell that more than one was somewhere in the Lane Ends plantation, a glimpse of a white rump the best I could manage on this occasion. 

Eurasian Jay

After complaining recently about the shortage of both Kestrels and Sparrowhawks, today I saw both species, a male Sparrowhawk cruising the marsh before circling above the trees, then within minutes, a juvenile Kestrel hunting from the fence posts. There was also a Buzzard hiding somewhere in the trees and calling to be fed by nowhere-to-be-seen parents. 

Common Kestrel

The plantation and pools are now very overgrown, desperate for sympathetic management to improve the area for visitors who might want to watch birds, study insects or botanise rather than walk a dog or join in the after-hours activities. Trying to speak to or make contact with anyone in the Environment Agency is like Waiting for Godot, and I’m not expecting a reply to emails of several months ago or for anyone to actually lift a ringing telephone. 

I walked to Fluke and back via Pilling Water. There was a Corn Bunting in song from the roadside wires next to HiFly wheat fields, the second time in a week at the same spot so I guess there’s some sort of late breeding taking place. It’s a pretty good record for the species, especially in the light of my numerous sightings from the same area during May and June.  The Corn Bunting's bright pink legs are a noteworthy characteristic, trailing as they do like the wires of a parachute before the bird lands on fluttering wings at its singing perch or feeding site.

Corn Bunting

There were also 3 Skylark here, a single and a pair busily flying to and from the thick maize crop and carrying small items of food, another late breeding success. A seven-whistling Whimbrel flew over, disturbed off the sands beyond by a biker touring the incoming tide. Two Grey Herons came off the marsh and flew inland as I settled down at Pilling Water to watch the tide approach. 

Masses of Curlew formed the bulk of the distant birds with over 650 birds my count. Also, 380 Oystercatcher, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 6 Snipe, 11 Ringed Plover, 14 Dunlin, 4 Little Egret, 11 Shelduck and 19 Teal. 

A number of the Dunlin and Ringed Plover flew straight over my head, high and heading south, not for hanging about here at Pilling. 

Ringed Plover and Dunlin

There are lots of thistles along the sea wall but a dire shortage of Goldfinches and Linnets to take advantage, my count of three hours being 2 Linnet and 6 Goldfinch, a pitiful number for August when there should be swarms of both. Maybe they are all taking advantage of the continued warm weather to raise another family - let’s hope so. 

Log in soon for more birding adventures with Another Bird Blog.


Unknown said...

Nature doesn't always co-operate. It's still lovely being outdoors even if there aren't many photos.

Rohrerbot said...

Yesterday was one of those bad photography days for me as well:) They don't always cooperate nor does the weather!!! However the experiences and writings aren't affected too much:) That Eurasion Jay is a new one for me.....there are so many kinds of Jays out there. It's a very interesting group of birds.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Hi Yes we all have days like that but for me its all about being outside and seeing what turns up. If it is not a bird, it might be a butterfly, insect, flower or whatever as you would have seen from my post of yesterday!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

When I don't find birds, I think ( know) that it is my fault. When you don't, I worry that something is wrong. But your archive photos are fine illustrations along with the descriptive text. That's a different looking Jay from what we see, but obviously he sounds the same!

eileeninmd said...

But Phil, your Jay is beautiful. And I love the Kestrel shot! Wonderful sightings! Happy Birding!

Carole M. said...

great you had your own stock-pile to nab from Phil; I'm loving that Jay especially

grammie g said...

Hey Phil... It must be that jay's everywhere are loud and annoying!!
Nice shot of the noisy bugger though!
I see by your clock you should be stretching to roll out of bed!!
I am going to bed I am pooped!!
So good morning to you, and

grammie g said...

Hey Phil... It must be that jay's everywhere are loud and annoying!!
Nice shot of the noisy bugger though!
I see by your clock you should be stretching to roll out of bed!!
I am going to bed I am pooped!!
So good morning to you, and

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Siempre es un privilegio contemplar tan hermosas aves que nos traes.
Un abrazo

Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas.Un abrazo

Wally Jones said...

Sounds like good numbers of shore birds at least.
You may be right about the Goldfinches and Linnets. Around here, I've seen several species with a second brood. I also think it's associated with the weather pattern.

Found some early migrant warblers yesterday, so hopeful it will be a good season!

Have a great weekend, Phil!

MastHoliday said...

Wow, such the beautiful shots! the birds looking cute...

Liz said...

You have some wonderful shots, Phil!
I recently went on a birding day trip to an area with a huge list of birds. I came home with very little usable shots even though I captured many lifers. I guess it's the way it goes sometimes!

Russell Jenkins said...

Your archive is pretty healthy with some wonderful pictures. I'd love to see a jay and your kes is a beauty as is your perceptions of the birds about you. Makes me want to be more aware of what's about.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh My the Eurasain Jay is magnificent Phil. I love the colouration of the feathers, as well as the whole look...really grand. Of course the Kestrel and other shares, are not bad either ;) I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend~

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