Thursday, February 6, 2014

More And Less

A week after getting back from holiday I finally plucked up the courage to go birding for an hour or two and it was to the “old faithful” Conder Green and Glasson that I headed. After almost 30 years or so of visits I’m sure if I still had my old Mark 1 Escort Estate of all those years gone by it would pretty much find its own way there. 

The wind hasn’t let up much, making it difficult to count the waders and wildfowl but a little perseverance gave 190+ Teal, 35 Wigeon, 5 Goldeneye, 2 Little Grebe, 4 Lapwing, 6 Oystercatcher, 10 Redshank, 2 Curlew, 1 Little Egret and 1 Spotted Redshank. So nothing much changed in my 3 week absence, numbers and species much the same as winter birds linger on. 

The car park and railway path indicated that a few birds thought spring to be in the air, even though my hat, gloves and scarf said otherwise. In song were 2 Dunnock, 3 Great Tit and a couple of Linnets, although the male singers were amongst a flock of 18/20 in the tallest trees. A couple of Blackbirds here and also 6/8 Chaffinch but neither of those species in song,  plus a croaking Raven overhead.

I spent some time at Glasson watching the 12 Goldeneyes, the majority of them males which broke off their feeding spells to display to the few females on offer. The water was a bit choppy for pictures but I managed a couple in between the birds heading for the centre of the basin if any passer by showed even the least sign of walking the path. 




There was a single Great Crested Grebe back on the water, the bird sticking to the far reeds where the present water level can surely rise no more and leave ample nesting choices. The picture was taken here last summer on a much sunnier and calmer day. 

 Great Crested Grebe

Also here, 35+ Tufted Duck 3 Cormorants and 1 Grey Heron. 


During my absence fun was had with a Glossy Ibis that turned up in a field at Thurnham Hall, so on the off chance I drove up the familiar road and parked at the church.

It’s many years since my ringing birds at Thurnham where Marsh Tits, Garden Warblers, Spotted Flycatchers, Blackcaps and Nuthatches regularly turned up in the nets and where the fabled Lesser Spotted Woodpecker put in a final appearance before going locally extinct. There were no digital cameras then.

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker

No Marsh Tits or lesser spots today, just Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, 2 Treecreeper, 15 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 2 Nuthatch and Coal Tits, lots of them. 

I didn’t see the Glossy Ibis but I sure found a good few memories. More news and maybe memories from Another Bird Blog soon.


Findlay Wilde said...

Seems like it was a good walk even though it rained a lot. Even if it's pouring down, it only takes a couple of busy House Sparrows or a tail wagging Moorhen to make it worth it. I really like you Golden eye pictures. Why did your Lesser Spotted Woodies disappear, did the habitat get changed? From Findlay

Gordon said...

I like the Goldeneye shots, but the Grebe takes the prizefor me. Sad about the Lesser-spotted.
All the best Gordon.

Chris Rohrer said...

What an unfortunate story about the did this happen? What changed? You've got some great pictures of the Goldeneyes. They tend to be too far away for a decent camera shot.

David Gascoigne said...

Very nice account with a delightful touch of whimsy. Great pictures too.

eileeninmd said...

Phil it is sad to hear any bird has disappeared. The woodie was a beauty too. I enjoyed this post and the beautiful photos. The Goldeneye is pretty and I love the Grebe! Have a happy weekend!

Russell Jenkins said...

Lovely pics of the goldeneye and grebe. Sad about the little woodpecker but a priceless picture and important record.

Stuart Price said...

I've seen a total of 2 Lesser Spots in my life, one on Norfolk in 1984 and one in Essex in 1991. That's it..........

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I like how you "plucked up the courage"...never heard that before, I like it...and I am glad you had a nice opportunity for the Goldeneyes and that single image of the Crested Grebe, wow just gorgeous Phil! That is really a stunning photograph, love it's full reflection, wonderful as always. Happy weekend~

Lou Mary said...

The goldeneye really is a stunning bird - and equally brilliant photos of it.

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