Sunday, June 8, 2014

Good Game, Good Game

On Sunday I set off for Cockersands and Conder Green where an early tide might do the trick in bringing a few birds closer. 

Like lots of birding sites in June the area of Conder Green is proving remarkably consistent in species and counts. Regular readers or those looking for something to catch up on might notice a few “goodies” in amongst the regular “dross” of 15+ Swift, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 5 Reed Bunting, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Tree Sparrow, 2 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 8 Lapwing, 1 Greenshank, 1 Grey Partridge, 2 Curlew and 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker. 

Yes, the Curlew are possibly fresh-in with the Greenshank definitely new and either “late going” or “early coming back”, depending upon someone’s understanding of the breeding cycle of northern waders. I favour the early returning scenario, especially since a number of Lapwings appeared hereabouts today. 

Whether the Grey Partridge is “real” rather than a from £13.80" sub-species is anyone’s guess.  And yes, in case anyone is wondering, even an expensive and reintroduced Grey Partridge is literally "fair game" to a shoot.

Grey Partridge

There seemed to be lots of Lapwings in the Cockersands area too, with a total count of 80+ and a single count of 35 in one field. The Lapwings easily outnumbered the 15+ Brown Hares, several Oystercatchers and 2 Red-legged Partridge with which they shared the fields. On the circuit also, 4 Sedge Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Reed Bunting and 5 Tree Sparrow. 



Eiders have bred close to Cockersands again. From the path I could see a single pair with 5 young on the edge of the tide with other adults in attendance and ten birds in total; more youngsters could well emerge in the next days and weeks.

Breeding hereabouts is a regular occurrence now as an offshoot of the colony of 700+ pairs just across Morecambe Bay at Walney Island, until recent years the most southerly breeding colony in England. Quite where the females nest around here is anyone’s guess as not only do they possess incredibly cryptic plumage, they are renowned for sitting amazingly tight, not vacating their nest until stood upon. I recall gull ringing expeditions to the Walney Island dunes, grabbing hold of reluctant Lesser Black-back and Herring Gulls while at the same time treading carefully to avoid standing on invisible Eider ducks.


Along the shore some newly arrived Black-headed Gulls, 2 Little Egret and a small number of Ringed Plover and Dunlin mixing freely on the shore and pebble beach. These latter species have been around for a week or two, part of their strong passage north, and unlike species like Greenshank and Spotted Redshank which return early, if these loiterers don’t get a move on soon they will meet themselves coming back. 
Ringed Plover and Dunlin

It was 10am, the Sunny Sunday crowd out and about, so time to head home after a good morning’s birding. 

Join Another Bird Blog soon for more of the same game.  


eileeninmd said...

Great outing, Phil! I love the Partridge and the pretty Lapwing.. The plovers are adorable.. Great birds and photos.. Happy Birding!

Carole M. said...

a nice roundup here Phil; it would be nice heading back home knowing you had accomplished well for the morning

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Great shots, Phil!
Greetings from Poland :-)

David Gascoigne said...

Good afternoon Phil: It's good to hear of the decent number of Lapwings. It seems that in recent years its decline has been almost precipitous. I have seen this species frequently, but never in the huge flocks I recall from around forty years ago. It remains for me one of the most stunning of plovers; truly a beautiful bird.

Kay L. Davies said...

The lapwings are so beautiful, Phil, and the partridge quite unlike any I've ever seen.
Of course, I should visit England, shouldn't I? And I'm sure we'll get there one day. Right now I'm not keen on overseas trips since the last one took a lot out of me, and I'm having health concerns as well.
Sorry I haven't visited your blog in a while. Just haven't felt up to much, but thought I'd better put in an appearance.
See you at the chippy some day.
Cheers, K

Russell Jenkins said...

Nice to see a wild partridge. I hope it lives for a while. I also like the eider. Looks like a hard worker.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful birds Phil, the one I love is the Partridge, fantastic photo.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Lovely header!!!..You've captured such interesting and beautiful shots of these birds.. Cheers

Stewart M said...

Great pictures - and nice to hear that the buzzards got a good outcome.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

PS: if you fancy a trip to Leighton Moss in July drop me an email and I will give you the details. SM

grammie g said...

Hey Phil you old buzzard : ), glad to see that you and other buzzards will be safe, for now!!
Those 35 Lapwings in one place must be a beauty of a sight!!

Glad your still keeping up your counting practice!!

I see you been seeing warblers and, been warbling out and about visiting others, so why don't you warble over and I will show you my warbling!!
Your special friend
Born in the USA

mick said...

Great photos and a very interesting mix of birds. I especially like the photo of the Plover and Dunlin close together.
When the "Sunny Sunday" crowd comes out do the birds find somewhere quieter of simply get too flighty for good views?

carol l mckenna said...

You 'hang out' with beautiful feathered friends ~ great shots for OWT ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Rajlakshmi said...

Lapwings are so beautiful. Lovely captures. Bird photography is so tough. They fly away everytime I try to click one.

Fun60 said...

The lapwings are such beautiful birds. I saw a couple when I was in the Lake district recently but couldn't produce a photo like yours!

lotusleaf said...

great shots!

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