Friday, July 18, 2014

Swallows, Knots And Crimbles

The early morning weather was poor, far worse than the forecast, with spells of grey cloud, rain, and worse of all a strong wind. There were however a few interesting sightings and a couple of new photographs to share with blog readers. 

Good numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins were on the move soon after 6am. That may have been induced by overnight storms in other parts of the country, the cool, grey, overcast morning or simply by the normal seasonal urges. Mid-July often signals the beginning of Swallow roosts containing locally bred young together with migrants starting their long southerly journeys. 

After seeing just handfuls of hirundines in the area of Conder Green and Glasson for several weeks, this morning’s increase in numbers was very noticeable. At Conder Green hirundines could be watched arriving from the north-west and flying directly over the pool before continuing south. I skipped the obligatory look on the pool and motored on up to Glasson Dock where Swallows and Sand Martins were feeding over the yacht basin, all the time flying steadily east and south-east towards Conder Green. 


It’s hard to put a guesstimate together but perhaps 150 Swallows and 30 Sand Martin. At Glasson it appeared that the Swallows breeding under the road bridge finally have youngsters to show for their efforts with 4 fresh youngsters waiting to be fed while exercising their wings. Those are spots of rain on the youngster’s back, the photo taken at an un-summery ISO800. 




On the yacht basin a Great Crested Grebe and 5 Tufted Duck, while on the towpath, 3 Pied Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail. 

Pied Wagtail

 Grey Wagtail

There are token counts from Conder Green as the strong wind put many waders out of sight in the lee of the island and kept passerines low: 120 Redshank, 26 Lapwing, 6 Curlew, 5 Common Sandpiper, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Egret, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Stock Dove. 


A real surprise was finding an adult Knot on the island. The Knot was some 100 yards from the nearest viewing point and hence the poor photo, but good enough to appreciate where the full title of “Red Knot” originates. The Knot is more strictly a winter-grey shore bird found in huge numbers in Morecambe Bay but rarely on a pool such as the one at Conder Green. So unusual is the record that I captured it for posterity. 

 Knot (and Lapwing)

There are still 2 Common Terns, a male and a female. I made some drawings of Common Terns via FotoSketcher by converting the original digital images to sketches. The photos were taken in poor light and not good enough to use as blog photographs but they work quite well in depicting the “jizz”, the aerodynamics and flight postures of a Common Tern. 

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Blog readers from Wednesday will know I set about researching the local place name of Crimbles, part of the Cockerham area. 


It seems the name may be a derivative of very old (1300-1500) North of England words such as “cruma” or “crymel” meaning a small piece, a scrap, a small section of land. Both words also had plural forms. This particular part of land is split north and south by the River Cocker and historically subject to high tide floods from the marshes to the north and west. A description of how the land appeared on a daily basis all those years ago would appear to be the explanation as to how the name of “Crimbles” came about.  

Like I said, Crimbles is nothing to do with Christmas or food, unless of course the word “crumb” comes into play? 

There will be more crumbs of comfort from Another Bird Blog very soon. Book your place now.

Linking today to Anni's Blog and  Eileen's Saturday Blog.


Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil Once again, you have wonderful birds and photographs. Have a great birding weekend

eileeninmd said...

Phil, awesome series of birds and photos. I love all these, it is too hard to pick a favorite. Happy Birding!

Russell Jenkins said...

Some spectacular pictures, Phil buit my favourite is the second one of the swallow with its arms up. Beautiful pose.

Bob Bushell said...

Fantastic photos Phil.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, stopping back to say thanks for sharing your post with my critter party.. Happy weekend!


Oh of my favorites!! The one photo you shared with its wings upward open fully is amazing!

sandyland said...

I'm loving the jaunty Lapwing !!Thanks

Rajesh said...

Superb shots of the birds, great variety.

Andrew Fulton said...

A wonderful post Phil... beautiful images.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Fabulous shots of all the birds. I love the swallows. Happy birding!

Errol Newman said...

Crumbs! A knot on the pool!

Adam Jones said...

Cracking Swallow pictures. Nice Knot too. The light looks like it was kind to you.

Wally Jones said...

What a wonderful post to enjoy on a lazy Saturday!

Brilliant photos, all, but I am particularly jealous of the Swallows! I seldom find them perching.

Congratulations on the Red Knot! Great find and how nice to see that plumage.

Your etymology research was quite interesting!

Yes, I know I've been absent without notice again.....hopefully, we'll settle down soon and get back into a routine.

Hope your weekend is full of birds!

Choy Wai Mun said...

The Common Tern in flight was a job well done. Great images, Phil. All the best with your work at the new site.

Anni said...

I was here yesterday [glad I returned]... 'cause I failed to notice the long tail on the wagtail [grey I believe]....Phil you always manage to share so much info and such great species.

Thanks for linking up this weekend!!

Lou Mary said...

Love your swallow header and also your swallow photos in the post. My fave summer bird - always has been!! I really like you tern 'sketches' too. They look like they should be on a wildlife greeting card :)

Marie said...

Your photos are incredible, as always! Loved the swallows. Interesting about the name of the area. I love learning things like that. I have been away the last two weeks on vacation. Didn't get many bird photos while gone, but lots of other subjects I can't wait to share. Hope you are doing well!

Mary Cromer said...

Those Terns are awesome, what marvelous photo shares Phil. As for the Swallows, goodness, I am enjoying this post and the one from Sunday...they are the best!

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