Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bank Holiday Blues

There’s a little part time birding and a few pictures from Saturday morning, it’s all I could manage, and if I’m honest Bank Holiday Weekend birding fills me with dread. 

It rained overnight and into the morning, so much so that my trip to Knott End for a spot of soft-core birding was delayed until 0815. The sun was breaking through, rain clouds headed south up The River Wyre and ahead of a hint of northerly, a recipe which often leaves a glorious morning light to fill the estuary. 

Not for the first time I paused to survey the scene, clicked the shutter button and thanked my lucky stars that I live in such a beautiful part of the UK. I walked in the direction of the dark clouds safe in the knowledge that the morning would remain fine and that I would see a good selection of commonplace birds.

Double click your LH mouse for a slide show of Wyre, Lancashire and just a few of the county's common birds. 

The River Wyre looking North West

The River Wyre looking South East

From the car park I’d noted masses of Oystercatchers on the mussel beds at the mouth of estuary, the rocky islands just beginning to flood and the Oystercatchers to leave. It’s quite a spectacle to see and hear hundreds of oyks “kleep-kleeping” to their up-river roost, not en-masse just a steady stream of tens and twenties until an hour later you’ve counted 450+ and there’s still some left on the shore. Redshanks and Curlews were on the move too, flying up river in their small exclusive groups which never mix with the numerous and noisy gangs of Oystercatchers. 90+ Redshank and 42 Curlew went in the notebook. 


I didn’t find many birds up here but the antics of the weekend golfers make for alternative entertainment. And to be fair they often send a fairway feeding wagtail in my direction as they did today, plus an autumn Meadow Pipit. Half a dozen Goldfinch, a few Dunnocks and Robins in the willow/hawthorn stretch and then it was time to head back down river where the incoming tide would fill the shore. 

At the ferry jetty I noted 2 Pied Wagtail, on the tideline 2 Grey Heron and a Little Egret, a good number of small and scattered waders which the tide should concentrate, and the screeches of Sandwich Terns. 

Sandwich Tern

There was a good selection of waders with a few more northerly species making a “welcome” comeback. A question - why do birders wish the seasons and their lives away to see birds that they are only too familiar with? 

I mustered 6 Turnstone, 68 Dunlin, 27 Ringed Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 7 Sanderling and 17 Sandwich Tern 



There was horse rider on the beach who decided to drive her mount fast along the tideline. She stopped to scan her mobile phone before charging off again and so scattering the birds to the far horizons and sending me back home. Yes, this part of Lancashire is rather special, mostly. 

The River Wyre, Lancashire

There’s more birding soon on Another Bird Blog if you decide to return, Bank Holiday or not.

Linking today to Our World Tuesday and Stewart's World Bird Wedesday .


David Gascoigne said...

I had not previously heard of the River Wyre, but thanks for introducing me to it. Very beautiful!

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Phil! You do live in a beautiful part of the country.. I love the birds and the beautiful skies.. Lovely captures. Nice slide show.. Happy Birding!

retriever said...

Wonderfull birds, and river nice place for walking
Greeting from Belgium

Noushka said...

Impressive skies over River Wryre!
What an interesting place it seems!
Great photos, Phil!
Enjoy your sunday!

Christian Weiß said...

A great area and interesting birds.

Birgitta said...

Great photos!

Karen said...

I'll say that's a beautiful part of the UK! Beautiful scenery, and your bird shots are always terrific!

mick said...

The big sky photos are especially beautiful. I always like seeing your waders with more color than they have left by the time similar ones get down here.

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful bird photography and gorgeous sky shots for OWT ~ Glad the weather held off for you ~

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Wally Jones said...

Phil, what a spectacular area you have in which to play! Simply beautiful!

That muddy shore of the River Wyre made my fingers itch to hoist the spotting scope.

Brilliant photos of your subjects! Since I don't see Redshanks here, they must be my favorites in this grouping.

As to your question, I think we humans, as much as we espouse the opposite view, long for change. "Perhaps tomorrow will be better" is the mantra of our species. Even now, I'm wishing the fall migration would hurry up and arrive - as if that would make our hot, steamy days disappear.

No matter what the birding season - life remains good!


J Bonafilla said...

Lovely big-sky photos. It certainly looks pretty up your way with an abundance of wonderful birds. Great shot of the sandwich tern in flight. All the best, Bonny


Too bad the horserider spoiled your chances of viewing more.

Such a beautiful part of the UK indeed. It's gorgeous. A piece of heaven on earth.

Loved the bird photos as always Phil...but I must ask this as I've done all summer long..."Why is everyone ELSE getting rain and not sharing any with the South Texas Coast?" lol

Gunilla Bäck said...

I'm sorry the horse rider scared the birds away. It's always lovely to see the shore birds.

Janet Shaw said...


TexWisGirl said...

such pretty shorebirds!

Susan (ABON) said...

Awesome river and sky images! Great captures, Phil!

Marie said...

Fantastic photos of the river! So gorgeous! Lovely shots of the birds as well. That Sanderling is so cute!

Janice Adcock said...

Love the shorebirds plumage.

Mary Cromer said...

Those brilliant skies, turned out so blue and beautiful and the bird shares all very wonderful, and so it appears your day turned out mighty well in the end ;)

Pete Shanley said...

Love your shorebirds!

Chris Rohrer said...

Great shorebirds....and that Turnstone...Ruddy? We have one over here I haven't seen yet called a Black Turnstone.

Adam Jones said...

Super Turnstone and Sanderlings Phil.

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