Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Drown Your Sorrows

I hoped the blows and rain of the last couple of days might have left behind a few waifs and strays at Knott End and Pilling, but nothing of the sort. In fact at Knott End the weather was still kicking up a bit of storm making it difficult for birds and birders. With the strong north westerly at my back getting up river was fine, it was the coming back into the teeth of the wind and frequent showers which took the time. 

Not much to show for my efforts on a ‘bins only’ morning when ‘scopes become redundant. Turnstones are back in better numbers now, both here and across the river at Fleetwood, but I couldn’t see any of the leg-flagged ones of recent years in my count of 19. Not many Oystercatchers on the beach, less than 200 and obviously many had gone upriver to escape the windswept beach. Similarly small numbers of Redshank, a count of less than 20 being pretty pathetic, a total surpassed today by a count of 70 Lapwings sheltering in the clumps of marram grass on the beach. On the sea/in the mouth of the estuary were 15 Eider and 2 Red-breasted Merganser. 



Amongst the tide wrack below the promenade I found a Rock Pipit, 8 Twite and a single Pied Wagtail. 
Rock Pipit

Fluke proved equally quiet where half way along the sea wall I didn’t escape a drenching from a heavy shower. Just 14 Whooper Swans today, some definitely new arrivals in the shape of two family parties with brownish young, four of the young so coffee coloured that I expect their departure from Iceland was delayed until the whole family could make the long flight safely. Good numbers of 120+ Shelduck out there on marsh and on the wildfowler’s pool, with 12 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Little Egret. 

“Small stuff” fighting into the wind - 3 Meadow Pipit, 11 Skylark, 6 Tree Sparrow and 8+ Chaffinch. 

Tree Sparrow

Finally, there’s a very sad news story from Yahoo Finance 28th of October 2013, totally unrelated to birds but almost certainly of interest to one or two birders I know who enjoy a glass of wine after a windswept day in the field. 

“On Monday global drinks giant Treasury Wine Estates faced a class-action lawsuit from Australian shareholders after oversupply issues forced six million bottles of wine to be poured down the drain. Law firm Maurice Blackburn and class action funder IMF Australia said they were preparing a shareholder lawsuit against Treasury, the wine business spun off from Australian beverages giant Foster's in 2011. The glut-hit wine company, which owns major brands including Penfolds, Rosemount Estate and Wolf Blass, shocked the market in July when it unveiled Aus$160 million (£95 million) in write-downs related to oversupply problems in the United States. "The impairment included a Aus$33 million provision to pour six million bottles of out-of-date wine down the drain," IMF said in a joint statement with their lawyers”. 

A Glass of Wine

I shall leave blog readers to contemplate this wretched and depressing story while I go and drown my sorrows, but there’s cheerier news from Another Bird Blog very soon.

Linking today to Stewart's Bird Gallery in Australia. Hey Stewart, try and rescue some of that wine. 


Christian Perrin said...

Less than 200 Oystercatchers = not many? Wow! I usually see them in flocks of no more than 20 in Australia! I especially like your photo of one - it seems extra long-billed.

PS: sorry about our poor business decisions Down Under! :)

TexWisGirl said...

dang, that's a lot of wine to whine about! :)

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil I think you manged to see quite alot of birds. Great shots of Oystercatcher and Rock Pipit.


I'll drink to that!!! What a way to end a birding trek, right? But, let's not drown our sorrows...let's drink to friendship.

I thought of you when I read online about the storms there. Wow...that is unusual, isn't it?

I've never seen a Rock Pipit before this...I love the dappled chest...it looks so proud [but maybe that's the effect of the wine.]

Carletta said...

You got some wonderful shots during your drenching walk. I do like that little sparrow on the lichen covered stem.
Wine down the drain - goodness what a waste. :)

Karen said...

Oh that oystercatcher is handsome! Wine down the drain makes me sad :(

Carole M. said...

I always enjoy your outings Phil and todays photos all good to see. The wine news is staggering, hard to understand how that could happen.

Amanda said...

Plenty of wine left without those big players!! We had a lovely Tasmanian Pinot Noir from little winery Kelvedon Estate last night. The glut issue is not restricted to wine, unfortunately we see fresh fruit wasted too.

Your little Pipit and Sparrow are very sweet.

eileeninmd said...

Great variety of birds, Phil! The Turnstone is wonderful! Wow, what a waste of good wine. Very sad indeed!

The happy wanderer. said...

We saw some of your wild weather on the TV news so it's a wonder that you saw any birds! I like the Rock Pipit image - much nicer than one I got in Scotland several years ago.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I'm surprised you have any birds left, with the storm. We heard about it across the pond.
We had frost last night. A hard one.
Ice on the water dish outdoors.

Keep dry.
Sad about how business is making us drink! :-Q
Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

That is a lot of wine to be tossed out, how distressing and I am glad that you shall share cheerier news soon;)
Well for your efforts, the images look like your turnout was not too shabby, very nice actually.
Now have a better day today, and no whining allowed ;)

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful birds! Six million bottles? What a waste!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

So many beautiful birds! Love the picture of the oystercatcher especially! What a waste of good wine...how sad.

Russell Jenkins said...

Some lovely bird portraits as usual, Phil. The story about the wine is enough to send us all to drink. I can think of better ways to overcome such an oversupply.

EG CameraGirl said...

In spite of the nasty weather, you got some wonderful photos.

There's too much wine? I heard just yesterday that there may be a shortage this year here in Canada!!

Dave said...

Lovely shot of the Rock Pipit. I have Tree Sparrows on my local patch, a lovely species.

I wish the weather would settle!

Wally Jones said...

Having seen your local weather reports, I was a bit surprised you were able to get out at all.

Considering the adverse conditions, it seems you fared quite well! Sounds like the Shelduck had no problem with the "fowl" weather.

Wine oversupply here in the States?? I'm drinking as fast as I can......

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