Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pilling And A Pinkie

The morning began bright and breezy with gusts teetering on the edge of being “windy”, a subtle difference that birders will recognise whereby choosing a place to go birding requires a little forethought. Pilling was the decision and where after a three hour slog around the patch the old notebook had a good few entries. 

The flooded maize received a watery top-up last night although the soggy fields didn’t need it by virtue of the regular stuff there: 160 Redshank, 45 Lapwing, 28 Dunlin, 15 Skylark and 2 Little Egret. More than a few of the Lapwings and the Skylarks were in display mode. 

Two Buzzards came from over the Fluke Hall woods, circled around for a while and then headed off in the direction of Pilling village and the mosses beyond. The wood was a bit windswept for birdsong but I did see a pair of Stock Dove in the trees, 25+ Woodpigeon feeding on the ground and a handful of Goldfinch. 



Beyond the wood I checked out the fields to find 18 Pied Wagtail, 6 Oystercatcher, 15 Curlew, 4 Greenfinch, 4 Meadow Pipits, 1 Reed Bunting and a couple of dozen Pink-footed Geese. 

When the Meadow Pipits flew across to the beach I noticed their arrival and calling had pushed other birds into the air, and on checking I found the pipits chasing off 3 Snow Buntings. In the ensuing melee a flock of 40+ Twite lifted off the marsh then circled around to find a new spot on which to feed. The buntings seemed to head west along the sea wall and although I spent some time trying to relocate then I couldn’t, so I imagine they carried on towards Preesall, Knott End or Fleetwood. In the strong breeze blowing along the shore everything seemed very flighty and reluctant to stay in one spot for long. 

 Snow Bunting

Heading east I found more wagtails behind the sea wall, 5 Whooper Swans, 7 Little Egret, 5 Teal, 3 Red-legged Partridge and a couple of hundred scattered Pink-footed Geese. There don’t appear to be many pinkies around at the moment so maybe many have flown north towards Iceland already. 

Whooper Swans

It was last December 2013 near Pilling Water that I spotted a Pink-footed Goose wearing a neck-collar, the collar inscribed with the letters “TAB”. I reported the sighting online and yesterday received back the following information from The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust about when and where the pinkie was ringed and all the subsequent sightings. My own sighting at the bottom of the list is the most recent. 

There’s a clear pattern to the bird’s seasonal movements. After spending the summer months in Iceland the goose migrates south, probably stopping off in Scotland. It then spends part of the early winter in Lancashire or Norfolk, but seems to spends each New Year in Norfolk. By February, March and into April it is back in Scotland feeding up for its Spring flight to Iceland. There are an awful lot of flights to Iceland and back not included in the list below. Aren’t birds amazing? 

20/10/2006 Loch of Lintrathen ANGUS, Scotland - adult female Pink-footed Goose first caught then marked with “TAB”.
15/02/2007 Wester Dalziel, Dalcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
01/03/2007 Balnaglack, Dallcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
03/04/2007 Morayhill, Dalcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
18/11/2007 Breydon Water area, Great Yarmouth NORFOLK, England 
24/11/2007 Pollard Street, Bacton NORFOLK, England 
01/12/2007 N of Sharrington NORFOLK, England 
19/12/2007 Runham NORFOLK , England 
05/01/2008 Repps Mill NORFOLK, England 
16/01/2008 Repps Mill NORFOLK, England 
23/01/2008 Thrigby NORFOLK, England 
28/02/2008 Gellybanks area, Loch Leven PERTH & KINROSS, Scotland 
09/04/2008 Lower Cullernie, Balloch INVERNESS, Scotland 
02/11/2008 Fluke Hall Lane, Pilling LANCASHIRE, England 
08/11/2008 Bone Hill Fram, Pilling LANCASHIRE, England 
08/01/2009 Preesall Park, Preesall LANCASHIRE, England 
08/01/2009 Cockers Dyke, Pilling LANCASHIRE, England 
03/02/2009 Head Dyke Lane, Pilling LANCASHIRE, England 
02/03/2009 Wester Dalziel, Dalcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
07/03/2009 Cullernie INVERNESS, Scotland 
25/03/2009 Easter Dalziel, Dallcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
30/03/2009 Easter Dalziel, Dallcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
03/04/2009 Wester Dalziel, Dalcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
19/03/2010 Wester Dalziel, Dalcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
01/04/2010 Wester Dalziel, Dalcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
05/04/2010 Wester Dalziel, Dalcross INVERNESS, Scotland 
05/11/2010 Hall Farm, Rollesby NORFOLK, England 
01/12/2013 Dam Side, Pilling LANCASHIRE, England 

The bird below isn’t “TAB”, on 1st December 2013 she was far away, the inscription read via a telescope at 200 yards or more.  I’m sure however that the bird below is an equally amazing pinkie. 

Pink-footed Goose

More soon from Another Bird Blog. And remember, you read it here first.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blog.


Wally Jones said...

That's a pretty good number of birds you found despite the windy conditions! Birding can be frustrating on breezy days when the birds are more nervous than usual and flush for no apparent reason.

TAB is a well-traveled Goose! You're right, birds are truly amazing, especially the more we discover about them.

Phil, hope you have a terrific weekend with good Spring weather producing good Spring birds!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Cool pictures.. Congrats..

The happy wanderer. said...

It sounds like a good outing. The details of Pink-footed Goose's life are really interesting to read. We saw a family in the high country of Iceland a couple of years ago, but they were quick to move away, so no chance of seeing if they were ringed.

eileeninmd said...

Great day of birding and wonderful birds. Love the buzzard shot. And the Snow Bunting is a favorite of mine! Happy birding and have a great weekend!

Carole M. said...

good timing with your intro' Buzzard photo Phil; always enjoy reading of your birding excursions... they generally seem to be very productive

David Gascoigne said...

Really terrific. Great picture of the Snow Bunting.

Russell Jenkins said...

A very handsome buzzard, Phil; very cute bunting, and yes, birds are amazing, They really deserve our respect and admiration. Glad you're showing us the way.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas Phil.Un abrazo

Gordon said...

Great shots as always Phil, and very interesting text. Actually saw a Buzzard up here this morning !!, sat on the top of an electric plylon.
All thebest Gordon.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Beautiful shots, every one. It's fun to view the variety that you find! : )

TexWisGirl said...

gorgeous feather patterns on that raptor! beautiful bunting, too! wonderful shots!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful birds. I like the shots of the bird in the flight.

carol l mckenna said...

Always beautiful photos of birds here ~ especially like the ones in flight ~ Happy Weekend to you ~ xxx

Gunilla Bäck said...

The buzzard is a very handsome bird. Interesting info about seasonal movements of the goose.

Jane said...

Nice selection, thanks for sharing :)

Karen said...

I always enjoy your in-flight shots Phil! Lovely Snow Bunting, and Goose, and that pigeon is so darn goofy looking it made me giggle!

Kay L. Davies said...

Catching up with you via Camera Critters, Phil. I must have missed you on my list of blogs I follow. I really enjoyed reading the record of the places 'TAB' has been seen.
The wood pigeon and snow bunting are sweet, and I've never seen a swan. I was really hoping to see one or more in the Netherlands or Germany, but no luck.
I hope your weather is warming up and drying up. We still have snow here, with a snow warning for tonight and tomorrow as well.
Take care.

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