Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fun In The Sun

Best not to waste this run of fine mornings and get out birding because sure as hell we’ll pay for it sooner or later with a spell of rain, we always do. 

So I was up at misty dawn heading north along the A588, slowly but surely so as to give any Barn Owls chance to show. No owls so I made do with a Mistle Thrush, a couple of fence-hopping Skylarks, 3 Pied Wagtails and a singing Corn Bunting. The Corn Bunting was near Gulf Lane again, where it has been singing for a week or ten days from the tops of the tallest roadside bushes and following the pattern of rather mysterious June arrivals by setting up territory near silage crops. There’s another one singing a couple of hundred yards away on the moss and at least two more between Lane Ends and Fluke Hall. 

Cockerham Dawn

Corn Bunting


At last at Conder Green, and it’s been a long time coming, a Tufted Duck with youngsters. I watched the female lead 10 ducklings off the near island, the balls of fluff no more than a day old. At Glasson later there was another female with 5 much bigger young. 

Tufted Duck

Otherwise there was little different from recent days, low water levels on the pool and high tide in the creeks making for low counts of 6 Common Sandpiper, 24 Lapwing, 48 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 5 Little Egret and 1 Grey Heron. 

At Glasson Dock a Kingfisher was down in the depths of the moorings today, flying to the stones which are sometimes visible when water levels are low. Against the light and the background of water this picture required some “manipulation”. Digital cameras, long lenses and water surfaces don’t make for good images. 


Noise levels increased as people arrived for work at the busy little working port. Early risers chatted and waited to take their boats from the yacht basin, through the lock gates and out to the River Lune via the working dock. It’s a well-practiced operation as boat owners and Canal & River Trust workers join forces to crank the road bridge closed and then manoeuvre the boats through the lock gates to let the water levels rise and fall as necessary. 

Meanwhile a Blackbird and nesting Swallows looked on, their precarious nests on the underside of the road bridge now inaccessible for an hour or more until normality was resumed. The Kingfisher flew off towards the estuary and I went for a walk along the canal. When I came back the road bridge was restored with the Swallows going about their business as usual, although they have yet to produce any youngsters and have clearly lost a nest or two already. 
Glasson Dock



There were 2 Common Terns patrolling the yacht basin, their screeching calls drawing attention to their presence. After a while they flew over heading out to the River Lune. Five Pied Wagtails on the car park with 1 Grey Wagtail, 8 Reed Warbler, 3 Reed Bunting, 8 Goldfinch and 6 Linnet along the sunny tow path. 

Common Tern

There's more fun in the sun with more birds to see on Another Bird Blog very soon.

Linking today to Skywatch Friday  and Run A Round Ranch in Texas.


Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful array of birds, but, I love the Skylark, superb.

Chris Rohrer said...

Really great shots of all the interesting little brown birds. I try to study them so that if I ever see them, I'll know who they are:) Love the Kingfisher and Blackbird. Very interesting. And that first morning view is a beauty.

Helma said...

Beautifully those misty sunrise.
You will have seen no barn owls but you corn bunting and skylark are also wonderful to see. Crested Ducklings, swallows and the common tern is nicely displayed.

eileeninmd said...

Lovely collection of birds, Phil. Sorry you missed the Barn owl, next time! I love the first shot, the scene is beautiful. Happy Birding!

David Gascoigne said...

Great stuff, Phil. Just goes to prove that an hour spent birding is worth ten doing anything else!

TexWisGirl said...

gosh, these are great! love the tufted duckling! and the opening view! whew! that sweet kingfisher is adorable! thanks, phil!

Ileana said...

Great pictures. First picture is my favorite. Have a nice day!

bj said...

Awesome photos of some beautiful subjects. Great post for Good Fences.

Brian King said...

The Kingfisher and swallow are my favorites! Excellent work all!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a beautiful morning that was. I love the flight shot of the tern and the swallow sitting still! That doesn't happen often. Wonderful birds. I didn't know there really WAS a bird called a 'skylark' and somehow knowing that there is delights me beyond reason!

carol l mckenna said...

sky shot is amazing ~ wow and of course your avian friends photos are beautifully done ~ for SWF ~ thanks, ^_^

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil Your opening shots is marvelous and you have a great selection of birds in this post. Love the Kingfisher shot

Gattina said...

The first picture is a very beautiful sky ! I have 4 cats, so I better close your post right now :)!

Barb said...

A fabulous dawn shot, and I love the Kingfisher.

Felicia said...

those kingfisher's sure are pretty.

Jane said...

Beautiful shots! I especially love the kingfisher as it is one of my favorite birds-I love how they fly in front of the boat as if to warn everything along the way that we are approaching. They are a bigger variety here in Florida

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