Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It’s A Fluke

There was a change of scene on Wednesday with a short visit to bird the area around Fluke Hall and Pilling Water so a couple of hours birding to recount. 

Historically Fluke Hall would have been a desirable residence, a grand estate of lawned garden and woodland, the large ornamental pool with captive wildfowl a plaything for the wealthy Lord of the Manor. In recent years the fine old buildings have been split into various dwellings, the pool has become overgrown and neglected but the areas of shore, woodland and farmland remain a pleasant and often fruitful place to bird. “Fluke” is an old English word for flatfish, flounder or plaice, fish commonly found in local tidal waters in the summer months, especially where the sandy shores are flat as they are here. 

There were Buzzards in the trees, at least two, possibly three or four and young birds calling to be fed and it looks like the Buzzards bred close by. 


Fluke Hall

I walked east towards Broadfleet (Pilling Water to locals) a major drainage dyke that feeds into Morecambe Bay. Along the hedgerow a Whitethroat scolded me but carried on collecting food for youngsters, almost certainly out of the nest and a second brood by now. The path to the sea wall produced 5 Skylarks, several Linnets and 10 Goldfinch. 

After the rain of recent days there’s water in the wildfowler’s pools at last, with a couple of Redshanks and from the ditch beyond 3 Grey Herons, a Little Egret and a single Teal. At Pilling Water there was a Kestrel feeding along the edge of the ditch, the bird intermittently hovering, circling and then hovering again in a new place. Over the fields and in amongst the sheep at least 300 Swallows fed and good numbers of House Martins but feeding higher. 


There was a Common Sandpiper and 3 Redshanks on the seaward side of Pilling Water, with a couple more Little Egrets and a Grey Heron. A Redshank and a smaller wader flew towards me heading inland and towards the pools. I reckoned the smaller bird would be a Green Sandpiper, the pools here one of the most regular and reliable spots for finding a “green sand”. As soon as the wader called I recognised it as a Wood Sandpiper, a species that is rather scarcer than a Green Sandpiper. My first and possibly only Wood Sandpiper of the autumn and the first of the year if I discount the thirty or more seen in Menorca in early May. 

Wood Sandpiper
A nice but not without precedent find for early August and when I looked online there's loads in the country. 

But now the rain started to give me a good soaking before I could reach Fluke Hall. 

There are more birding flukes from Another Bird Blog soon.

Linking this post to   Anni's Birding Blog.


Grandma C said...

Beautiful Kestrel shot. They are one of my husbands favorite birds.

Germán Ibarra Zorrilla said...

Muy bueno, Phil. Un abrazo desde España.

Carole M. said...

sounding like a very nice place to go birding Phil. I'd never have thought to use an establishment/grounds like that for a birding opportunity. Will have to start thinking outside of the square. Such great in-flight photos, not forgetting the charming Wood Sandpiper too in it's environs there. Shame the rain got to you though... Carole, at

eileeninmd said...

A nice outing at a pretty spot.. The Buzzard, kestrel and the Sandpiper are wonderful shots.. Happy Birding!

David Gascoigne said...

You know, Phil, the really remarkable thing about your blog, is that we all start to feel as though we know some of your haunts as well as you do. I always look forward to reading about your latest ramblings - the wordy ones about the physical ones, that is!

Marie said...

What wonderful hawk and kestrel shots! You just have an amazing area to bird!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful shots of the buzzard and the kestrel. They're handsome birds.

Adam Jones said...

Cracking kestrel by really jealous of that Wood Sandpiper. Superb!!

Anni said...

A wood sandpiper. New to me!! And it's beautiful. As are your kestrel and buzzard [by the way, your buzzard looks like a hawk...guess it's different than 'our' buzzards which are really many Americans call the vulture a buzzard]

Love the scenic view once again Phil. And your description of the recent rainfall and wildflowers...a piece of heaven you have there in your part of the world!!

Thanks for sharing and linking up at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend.

Christian Weiß said...

Great observations, like the sandpiper.

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