Thursday, October 24, 2013

Date With A Needle

For 1300 I had an appointment for a dose of ‘flu vaccine to look forward to, but at last a bright, wind and rain free morning in which to enjoy a few hours birding. 

From Fluke Hall I set out towards the sea wall across the maize and wheat fields where there’s a reasonable path which avoids slushing through the soggy stubble. There are always birds to see about the shooter’s fields, ditches and pools, as long as you take care to miss the actual shoot days when there are no birds about and steel shot will fall on your head. 

Pilling, Fluke Hall fields

On the edge of the wood I could see 4 Jays moving through the trees calling as they went. There were a number of Chaffinches about but too far to count, although I found 5 or 6 Tree Sparrows and a couple of Reed Buntings near the gate again. Skylarks weren’t as obvious today with none passing overhead just 4 or 5 resident ones on the sea wall and stubble, plus another 2 Reed Buntings along the ditch. 

The Red-legged Partridge still number in the hundreds, so I’m thinking there haven’t been too many shoots just yet. From the stile I even managed to get close to one of the white ones which are as wild and wary as the normal brown ones. Close to they are actuallly quite smart looking. Pity they end up in a cooking pot.

Red-legged Partridge

From the fresh 4x4 tracks on the mud I knew the guys who feed the pool had beat me to it, so no Teal or Black-tailed Godwits to enjoy today, just the usual single call and then brief views of the back end of a Kingfisher whizzing along the dyke and over the sea wall. So I thought to check where the blue flash had gone and also count the Whoopers as well - no sign of the majestic fisher from the wall but 74 Whooper Swans, 2 Greylag and 8 Mute Swan to count. So more pictures of Whooper Swan to follow, and a Mute Swan for size comparison. 

Whooper Swan and Mute Swan

Whooper Swan

With not much else doing I realised I’d missed out on Conder Green for a week or two so motored towards there. 

Interestingly a Spotted Redshank is still there in the main creek, as is a Common Sandpiper and it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that both might winter on site, the latter species the favourite to do so. Just 12 common Redshank and a single Curlew in the near creek with circa 60 Teal and a Grey Heron. 

Spotted Redshank

Common Sandpiper

Two Tufted Duck on the pool together with yet more Teal to make a total of more than 80 of the tiny duck. Looking for a fishy meal were a Little Egret, 7 Little Grebe and 2 Cormorant. 

A walk along the railway track produced odds and ends like 5 Long-tailed Tit, 15 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch, 4 Meadow Pipits, 2 Skylark and 2 Pied Wagtail. 

But I was running out of time and my appointment with a large, unfriendly needle beckoned. Log in soon to see how Another Bird Blog survived the ordeal and whether pain killers were required.

Linking today to Camera Critters and Anni's Birding Blog.


Carole M. said...

Good idea to get the flu' shot Phil and to also get out while the weather was good for it. I've never seen the Red-legged Partridge; excellent photo. Enjoyed the swans especially since I only get to see Black Swan here. I enjoyed the last two waders too of course. Now that didn't hurt did it?!

Wally Jones said...

Great report with some good numbers, despite the hunting and weather.
That Redshank is a beauty!

My spouse and I got the needle last week with no ill effects. Hope you have the same results!

Cheers, Phil!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Steve. Pain killers!! You shouldn't need pain killers!! Be a man! Anyway, hope you survived. Good selection of birds. I loved seeing the Spotted REdshank as we rarely have them here. Also the Red legged Partridge and Whooper.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil now I am not sure but I think I might have called you Steve in my last comment. Sorry! Must be my flu' injection doing funny things to me!!!!

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm sure taking photos helped calm you down a bit. I admit that I'm not fond of needles either. ;)

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

So lovely. You have great skills!
Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Lou Mary said...

From your great report it seems you saw a good number of birds. I like your image of the redshank and its reflection. I hope your flu jab was bearable!

Russell Jenkins said...

The Partridge is a stunner, Phil, and nice to see the two swans next to each other. Really like the landscape to kick things off too. Quiet in Niigata and a wet weekend and stop things altogether for me so nice to browse your blog.

Stewart M said...

I think that bird has got the wrong camouflage gear on!!

Nice pictures.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Snap said...

I got my flu shot several weeks ago -- glad that's over! I am really fond of shorebirds ... must be the 13 years I lived on Galveston Island. Loved your shot of the Redshank. I also admit, that I enjoy your swan shots -- i see swans so seldom. I'm with you, shame the partridge will end up in the pot.

Carol L McKenna said...

Fantastic photography of beautiful birds always on your blog ~ Wonderful post ~ be well, carol, xx

sandyland said...

never saw partridge before is it rare??

Rajesh said...

Nice place to such lovely birds.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful shorebirds - and that partridge! :)

Gunilla Bäck said...

The partridge is a gorgeous bird. I hope you survived your shot.

Anni said...

Ewwww, needles? Well at first I thought a bit differently on that title...needles? Shootin'? Forgive me. I read too much news and drug king pin stuff these days.

Okay now that I got that out of the way, and it was an innocent date with the needle [flu vaccine], I am at rest.

Don't you just hate it when those loud vehicles/people go ahead of you and scare all the birds away?!! I do.

But, all in all you got some great photos. And, can't resist what does partridge taste like? Chicken?

Love the Whooper Swan photo of them in flight Phil.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Loved all the photos, but the redshank and the red legged partridge particularly fascinated me because I have never seen anything like them before.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Awe, the Partridge really is quite lovely! Many a bird are being hunted over here for now as well. The Whooper Swans are gorgeous.
I hope that you get no reaction to your flu shot. I always have the shots and have never been ill from them yet. Need to get mine this week... I am late for it~

retriever said...

Great report, nice place.

Stuart Price said...

I've never seen a white Partridge before. Never eaten one either, white or otherwise.

Kenneth C Schneider said...

Beautiful swans! Those Mute Swans are big bullies that can really take over a habitat here in the US.

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