Sunday, April 20, 2014

Plan B

Plan A was to be a coastal walk soon after dawn to seek out more Wheatears and anything else lurking unfound by Spring birders. A bitingly cold north easterly wind soon put paid to that idea whereby I found myself in the car heading north with the heater and heated seat at “max”, but as usual the window turned down. It is somewhat mystifying but occasionally I see people apparently bird watching, sitting in their car with the windows up and the radio booming away; I wonder how they ever locate birds? 

Plan B found me at Conder Green for a look on the pool and the roadside creeks, with hopefully a few Spring migrants. The 2 Spotted Redshanks have wintered here. Now they are in the process of acquiring their summery black plumage it will be interesting to see when exactly they head off to Scandinavia/Asia to breed. 

Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank

There was a lot of long range birding today with over 200 Black-tailed Godwits feeding on the distant side of the pool for a while before flying off to the estuary. Not long after a similar number came back to the pool only to then do exactly the same by returning to the area of the River Lune. Mostly the godwits were in brick-red plumage with a small number of obvious second year birds and yet other intermediates. One fed in the creek for a while, distant as ever. One Grey Heron in the creeks also, with c15 Redshank and 1 Curlew. 

Black-tailed Godwit

The pool is pretty sparse for birds now, still suffering from excessive water levels caused by the wet, windy and tide-filled winter. As a diving species Tufted Ducks appear to like it, with 26 counted today as opposed to dabbling Wigeon with just a singleton noted. 

Tufted Duck

8 Oystercatchers are in residence seemingly paired up and waiting for good sized stretches of stones, pebbles and suchlike where their eggs can remain undetected. Not much chance of that on a favoured Oystercatcher island which is normally several times bigger than at present and so rather restricts their choice of a nest site. 


A “few” Swallows and Sand Martins headed north with other visible migration restricted to one or two Lesser Redpoll overhead. Singing Reed Bunting and Greenfinch along the hedgerow. 

A pit stop at Braides Farm gave 26 Golden Plover, 8 Linnet and 4 Swallows heading east. 

Finally it was Fluke Hall where the wind had not abated so I concentrated effort on the woodland. The male Kestrel was in the same location as normal and then I found out why. He dropped from the fence post to all of two yards away and then came back up with a good sized mammal. After taking a portion of the food for himself he flew off to the nearby nest box to present the animal to the female, the latter presumably now on eggs. It’s a big prey item for a smallish Kestrel and another long distance picture - 400mm x 1.4 converter. 


The woodland and hedgerow produced 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 20+ Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, 1Chiffchaff, and the arrival of one singing Whitethroat fresh from Africa. 


In the field nearest the sea wall there’s a build-up of spring Linnets and a few Meadow pipits, about 100+ Linnets and 4/5 pipits today, flushed in all directions by a marauding Sparrowhawk. 

So Plan B didn’t turn out too bad after all. Tune in soon to see what’s scheduled next for Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.


David Gascoigne said...

I hope all that my Plan Bs work out as well. I really like the kestrel picture, Phil. They are such gorgeous little falcons, whether on my side of the Atlantic or yours.

Findlay Wilde said...

What a great set of pictures. Really like those Spotted Redshank. From Findlay

eileeninmd said...

Phil, you Plan B looks wonderful to me. Great birds and wonderful sightings.. Neat capture of the Kestrel.. happy birding and enjoy your week ahead!

Christian Weiß said...

Great to live on the coast and beautiful views.

Carole M. said... make me feel cold when you write about birding in the bitter weather Phil, it makes me know that when I finish this message I'll be stepping out the back door into the lovely sunshine to hang some washing...and warm up! That was quite a pick-up seeing the Kestrel, but also to get the proof with photo! I'm assuming you might've taken it from your car window? Cheers from sunny east coast, Australia

Englepappa said...

Nice set of bird photos!

Cynthia said...

Plan B looks pretty good to me. Great shot of the kestrel with prey. I'm thrilled to see the bluebirds have returned here this week.

Black Jack's Carol said...

I had to google Conder Green to have an idea where you are located :) So many birds here that I've never seen, and all beautifully photographed. it was a delight to visit. As many said, all plan B's should only work out that well!

Russell Jenkins said...

You had many nice finds for plan B, Phil. That is a hefty looking animal the kestrel caught and shows the kestrel is doing well. I feel if I avoided birdwatchers in Japan I'd have to stay home as there are more of them than the birds where I go. Maybe I should just stay home and enjoy such blogs as this one.


Love the Kestrel with its breakfast!! The sunlight on its beauty truly enhances its dapper look!!!

Oh, and must say I really LIKE the name Conder Green.

Karen said...

I'd say plan b worked out great! Lovely reflection of the Godwit, I always enjoy seeing a Oystercatcher, and the Whitethroat is a sweet little bird.

Janet Shaw said...

Lovely Photos! The Kestrel colors are beautiful!

HansHB said...

A beautiful serie!

mick said...

Great photo of the Kestrel with the catch. Of course the shorebirds are beautiful! Wish I could see them as them gain their breeding colors.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil Plan B certainly worked for you. Great selection of bird shots and the one with the Kestrel and fence would be a great entry for Tex's 'Good Fences' meme tomorrow.

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Interesting observations and well-documented. Greetings

Arija said...

Sounds like an exciting day indeed with great documentation. I particularly like the little whitethroat.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Looks like a great plan to me. I love the kestrel.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I do enjoy seeing birds from other places. They differ so much!

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