Saturday, November 8, 2014

Friday and Saturday Birding

Friday dawned grey and breezy with the threat of rain. So I took a leisurely tea and toast as an hour or more elapsed before the sky brightened and motivation kicked in. I set out for a walk at Pilling - Fluke Hall to Pilling Water along the sea wall and shore, then back via the woodland. 

Two Ravens croaked across the marsh and headed in the general direction of Lane Ends, and as I scanned east I noted 14+ Little Egrets and a single Grey Heron scattered at suitable intervals both on the marsh and just inland. Although the species roosts communally, a single Little Egret will vigorously defend a quite small feeding territory. I was late as most of the Whooper Swans had set off inland where up to 200 have been feeding on flooded fields near Eagland Hill, the inland hamlet all of 33ft above sea level. I was left with just 8 Whoopers to consider. 

Whooper Swans

The 11am tide was running in and producing some good flights of birds. Many were too distant to bother with in the grey light and stiff breeze but I had good counts of 29 Snipe, 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 60+ Shelduck, many hundreds of Wigeon and dozens of Pintail. 

Black-tailed Godwits

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a bird fly low along a flooded ditch, thought it might be a Green Sandpiper but as it turned and flew along the main channel and lost to view I could see it was the local Kingfisher. 

The tide was moving passerines, mostly Skylarks but also 50+ Linnets and several Reed Buntings, the Reed Buntings flying into the cover given by wildfowlers’ maize. Adding the Skylarks shifted by the tide to those already feeding on the wet stubble field I reached a total of 60+ individuals. 

Reed Bunting

The wind increased, the grey persisted so I headed for the relative calm of Fluke Hall, pausing to watch Redshanks, Snipe and Lapwings rise from the flooded field. 

At Fluke was the resident Kestrel pair, a single Buzzard, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Jays, and several newly arrived Blackbirds, the thrushes feeding quietly in the hawthorn hedgerow alongside a few Tree Sparrows 

Saturday, and after a rather dismal week apart from Wednesday morning which provided a ringing session in the hills at Oakenclough I went back there this morning. It was time to top-up the feeders and weigh up what’s about in readiness for mid-week ringing if the weather improves. 

Driving across the moss roads of Stalmine, Pilling and Winmarleigh I clocked up an early Barn Owl, 4 Whooper Swans, 3 Buzzards and 2 Kestrels, and then beyond Garstang another Buzzard feeding in a stubble field. 

The feeding station seemed a little quiet with seemingly not as many birds around as in the week but a good mix of titmice, a few Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Bullfinches plus a Mistle Thrush. Otherwise - 90 Lapwings, Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel. 

 Feeding station
Mistle Thrush

Looking to the south-west I could see Saturday’s rain arriving so headed home to greet the deluge.  

Stay tuned. There’s more soon from Another Bird Blog. 

In the meantime I'm linking to Anni's blog and Eileen's Saturday Blog.


eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, sounds like you had some awesome bird sightings.. At least to me they are.. I love the Whooper Swans and the flights shots of the Godwits and Lapwings.. And the Reed Bunting and Mistle Thrush are sweet birds. I am still looking for a Barn owl, maybe someday..Great post! Thanks for linking up, have a happy weekend!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil 29 Snipe WOW that was wonderful. Love seeing the Whoopers, not seen any here yet. Like the Lapwing shots but that Mistle Thrush shots is stunning. I decided to garden today, bad move as I got soaked and gave up at 11am for coffee and a change of clothes but I was pleased at what I got done. Have a great weekend.

TexWisGirl said...

i like the whoopers and the sweet reed bunting, but WOW that thrush!!!

Errol Newman said...

Agree with Eileen - Reed Bunt and Storm Cock for me. Thought for a minute you were off to 'Lands End' LOL. Stopped raining here - net open!

Linda said...

The mistle thrush is striking! Lovely series.

Adam Jones said...

Always good to see the Whooper Swans Phil but there's something about the Godwits that puts a smile on my face. Great flight shots. As usual though all your pictures are top class.

Gunilla Bäck said...

I love the swans and the thrush is a beauty.

Jen said...

You always find so many birds! My favorite photo is the thrush. Very nice looking bird.

I thought there would be birds by the picnic tables, too, but not that day. I also sat quietly on a few park benches along the trail. Guess it was just one of those days.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Great report and wonderful pics, Phil.

Marie said...

The black tailed godwits are very interesting. But I love the reed bunting! Pretty bird in the reeds! Lovely photo...well, all your photos are great!

Anni said...

Oh my goodness....I do so love the color and markings on the Mistle Thrush! Wow.

And those lapwings are such pretty birds...both on land, and this...this that you captured of them in flight...awesome Phil.

As always, extraordinary commentary and wonderful photos. Now...'bout that toast and tea...I'm all for it right now before my day begins.

Thanks for sharing the link with us bird enthusiasts this weekend! Much appreciated.

Terri said...

The thrush is awesome! It does sound like a wonderful morning of bird watching before the rain blew in. Have a great Sunday!

Mary Cromer said...

Those Lapwings in flight, the Thrush, and everything else, just great shares Phil. It has been a sour few days, but things are turning around. I also spent 5 1/2 hours with Norton Security working out kinks remotely and that was interesting, but now hopefully all is well. My blog all of a sudden had double underscores and was turning those particular words blue and well, it was not a pleasant feeling. Oh and those aggravating pop-ups, now they are gone too. Happy week. Now I shall fix some lavender tea with a spot of honey and oven toast ;)

David Gascoigne said...

Now this is a great account, Phil and the images all stunning, but the Mistle Thrush surely takes the prize. I last saw them in Spain in July and remember them well. Great songster too.

Christian Perrin said...

All very beautiful photos here, Phil. I especially like the Bunting framed by its reedy habitat, and the Lapwings in flight. Your Thrush photo also shows up the delicate and intricate patterns on its plumage.

Local birders are going crazy over a Wood Sandpiper that has turned up on a drought-stricken lagoon. Is that a UK bird which you are familiar with?

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