Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dim And Distant

It was yet another murky, grey and overcast start today, the third such day on the trot, conditions which are far from ideal for studying the autumn’s visible migration, so today's post definitely has something of a a grey theme about it.

In the past few days I’ve noted a trickle of Meadow Pipits, an obvious influx of Chiffchaffs and for me at least a noticeable movement of Skylarks. Today I gave Conder Green some serious stick without turning very much up and then finished off with a look at Lane Ends, Pilling. Through the gloom of Conder Pool I could see that the numbers of Little Grebe had increased to 11 birds; the site has become something of a winter stronghold for the species in recent years. There are six grebes in the photo below, the camera taking the picture at ISO4000 after I set the ISO speed to “auto” to account for the gloom. 

Little Grebe

Also on the pool, 4 Wigeon, 3 Cormorant, 5 Little Egret and 8+ Teal. I waited for the Kingfisher to appear and although it obliged, that picture was also taken at ISO4000 - not good. The second picture was taken in exactly the same spot on a much brighter morning some months ago. The moral is perhaps to forget photography on such dim and gloomy days. 



The roadside creeks held a single Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 Curlew, 1 Lapwing, 18 Redshank, 1 Ruff, and another 25 Teal. “Bush bashing” along the old railway path turned up a single Chiffchaff, several Robins and a couple of calling Chaffinch, not much evidence of new arrivals. It was good to find a large flock of Goldfinch, at least 140 birds along the edge of the marsh but very flighty between there and the tall trees beyond the car park. 

At Glasson I counted the wildfowl on the yacht basin - 80 Coot and 25 Tufted Duck, plus the obligatory Grey Heron. Two Grey Wagtails here were the only signs of new arrivals. 

Grey Heron

Grey Wagtail

I arrived at Lane Ends in time to see many noisy skeins of Pink-footed Geese heading back out to the marsh - no doubt disturbed from a feeding spot inland by farming activities. At least 1400 birds, without counting those distant on the marsh which didn't set off inland at dawn. 

On the east pool, the only open water now visible, 7 Shoveler and a single Little Grebe. Otherwise, 2 Meadow Pipits and a single Grey Wagtail below the sea wall plus a Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 Jays in the woodland. 


More news and colourful pictures soon from Another Bird Blog. 


Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

The kingfisher is one of my faves. I've only seen it in the wild twice and didn't get any good shots. They are very elusive. Nice photography here!

Margaret Adamson said...

I know what you mean about the Kingfisher but I see them very seldom that not matter what kind of a shot i got I would be pleased even as a record. Your second shot is stunning.

Kay L. Davies said...

I agree, I always love your Kingfisher photos, and this one of the bird with the fish in its mouth is stellar.
I always enjoy your blog, Phil. The only thing wrong with it is that the blog page disappears when the comment page comes up.
Then, instead of checking to see which other birds I liked, I have to say "the little yellow one" instead of the grey wagtail.
I also like the shoveler, at first glance a duck like any other duck, until its shovel-shaped beak makes itself known.
Meanwhile, I enjoy your collective nouns such as "a trickle of..."! Makes for good reading.

Chris Rohrer said...

Kingfishers are tricky to snap shots've taken some great ones here:)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

That Grey Wagtail is certainly smart looking, just beautiful! The Shoveler is giving you quite the eye in that photo Phil ;) I had to smile for your Kingfisher images to me, look great either on a sunny day, or a gloomy day...I mean my goodness how do you get so close to them... I got a few more pics at a totally different location and the images look like I took them a half mile away ;( SIGH

eileeninmd said...

Phil, I think you had some great sightings on your gray and overcast day. The photos are great, I love the Kingfisher and the pretty Grey Wagtail. I assume the Grebe count will continue to go up for the season? Happy Birding!

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