Tuesday, July 22, 2014

There’s A Reason

Bird watchers are never entirely happy with their lot. If they don’t see birds there are several likely explanations as to why that should be. It’s mostly weather related, easily defined by constructing a phrase beginning with either “too much” or “not enough” and adding the element which caused the birding disaster - wind, sun, cloud, rain, clear, snow or ice. 

Most readers will recognise the sentiment and have almost certainly used such a saying quite recently. So I’m very philosophical about the less exciting days like today and apologies for the tortuous introduction to nothing much in the way of a post, but I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s birding when I hope to continue the good run of late. 

I made a beeline for Glasson today in the hope of nailing more Swallows. There were lots about and now it’s for certain there’s a roost nearby, perhaps in the reeds and trees which surround the yacht basin. An estimate of this morning’s numbers would be in the order of 300 Swallows and 4 Sand Martins feeding over the water until an hour or more after dawn. At times the Swallows took breaks from their feeding and perched along the handrails and ropes of a number of the many boats moored alongside the jetties. Swallows seem popular with blog readers, so here’s another. 


There is also a House Sparrow roost at Glasson with 70+ birds leaving the bowling green bushes soon after dawn. And there was me thinking that House Sparrows are now so decimated in numbers that it’s hardly worth the effort to meet up and exchange gossip. By all accounts this glorious summer is going to be an outstanding breeding season too, maybe even for the humble Spodger.

House Sparrow

One Grey Wagtail in the area of the lock gates, 2 Pied Wagtail, 5 Tufted Duck on the water and a Common Tern fishing the dock water before flying off with the trophy. 

Common Tern

 There was no variation at Conder Green except for 3 Snipe. Otherwise as you were with 5 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 15 Tufted Duck and the other Common Tern. Things were so subdued that I decided to try my luck at Knott End and the incoming tide. 

Best I could do here was 380 Oystercatchers, 1 Ringed Plover and 1 Lapwing on the beach. Up river I found 3 Pied Wagtails and 1 Grey Heron. 


Back home there were a few chores to complete with time to reflect the fact that in the grand scheme of birds and bird watching, the busy days far outnumber the quiet ones. 

Tomorrow will be a good one, I just know it.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.


Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil

No when go out birding I always enjoy what turns up. For me, I love to surprise of no knowing what's round the corner and and also I just love being outside. I think you did very well today and I love the flight shot of the Tern, not always easy to get. Love all the oystercatchers in the last shot


Right about now, this ol' birder is blaming the heat index of 109 outside. And I'm sure not only the birds trying to find a cool spot, so am I! IN front of the A/C. lol

You know I love swallows...but the image of the oystercatchers blew me away!!!

Germán Ibarra Zorrilla said...

Bonita entrada, amigo Phil. Un saludo desde Cantabria, Spain.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Sounds like a great day to me! I love the oystercatchers in the last shot.

Karen said...

Well Phil, I haven't seen as many birds in a whole year that you saw in one day! Look at all those oystercatchers! Great tern shot too!

mick said...

Great photos as usual - especially the in-flight tern. The Oystercatchers are the most spectacular! Amazing to see that many together!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

What an impressive gathering of oystercatchers etc! Ironic how the House Sparrow is having a difficult time surviving in a world with few horses and garbage cans with lids!

Frank said...

To much expectation can be a killer ... I just enjoy whatever is on offer.

eileeninmd said...

Great outing, Phil! I would be excited just seeing all the Oystercatchers.. The Swallows and Terns are great captures. Great post, happy birding!

Christian Weiß said...

Great observations and birds.

Stuart Price said...

Oystercatchers and Common Terns are both scarce birds in Hokkaido that I rarely get to see let alone photograph..............

Mary Cromer said...

Yea another Swallow and what a beauty. That scene captured of the Oystercatchers is wonderful. Hope the weather gives you what you hoped for~

Christian Perrin said...

Fantastic shot of those Oystercatcher there, Phil!

I would be fairly happy with that haul I think! I'm developing an obsession with trees and plants of late, so when the birds go quiet I just start to ponder leaf veins and eucalypt species and other things I would've found terribly dull just five years ago.

It's interesting to be old enough now to have witnessed changes in bird abundance - if you'd told me as a little kid that House Sparrows would almost disappear out of Brisbane, I'd never have believed you! That's why your counts are great too, as you'll be the first to notice when something is different.

Adam Jones said...

Lovely Swallow and a smashing Common Tern. I have many days where the weather conspires against me finding a stack load of good birds.

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