Friday, April 10, 2015

Back Again Birding

Another fine morning saw me hit the trail for Pilling in search of migrant birds again. 

Less than a quarter of a mile from home my first Swallow of the year was flying near farm buildings, a returnee claiming home territory. I saw another Swallow through Cockerham village and again this one was back on familiar ground near farm buildings. 

Barn Swallow

There didn’t appear to be visible Swallow migration during the morning, the two being the only hirundines noted. I’ve yet to see Sand Martin or House Martin this year but there’s no panic to do so. 

After some weeks without paying a visit I motored on up to Conder Green to see what I’d missed. The answer came back as “not a lot” and with a pretty high water level there wasn’t a great deal happening apart from a number of Meadow Pipits passing overhead, a theme to be repeated throughout the morning. The wintering Common Sandpiper was on the far bank where in a day or two it should be joined by others which spent the winter in warmer regions. 

Common Sandpiper

Otherwise - a single Grey Heron, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, 10 Oystercatcher and 12 Shelduck. 

It was at Fluke Hall where the apparent movement of Meadow Pipits became more obvious. Groups were grounded, perhaps by the hazy and less than perfect visibility, while others made their way overhead in mostly south east and easterly directions and using the slight breeze coming from the south-east to give lift. This was happening throughout a walk to Pilling Water and back with a total of 150+ “mipits” seen and heard. The pipits are on their way north to the inland hills of England, the whole of Scotland and the Scottish Isles, Iceland and maybe even Scandinavia. 

Meadow Pipit

The woodland was quite busy with the sound of birdsong. I found 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Mistle Thrush, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Treecreeper, 2 Pied Wagtail and 2 Greenfinch, plus lots of Blackbirds, Robins and Tree Sparrows. 

Willow Warbler

The sea wall to Pilling Water and back found the movement of Meadow Pipits plus 2 Snipe on the wet fields, 1 Whimbrel flying off the marsh, 2 Reed Buntings in the phragmites bed and 3 separate Little Egrets. Small numbers of non-breeding egrets spend the summer along the marsh here. Two Kestrels were at Fluke Hall and a single one at Pilling Water. 


Fluke Hall - Pilling

Just 2 Wheatear today and they were separated by 800 yards. Thursday proved to be a big push day for the species with good numbers reported up and down our coastline north to south, numbers which included small parties of between a few and 15 individuals. 

Yes, there’s more birding to come soon from Another Bird Blog. Don’t miss it.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday.


eileeninmd said...

Great outing, Phil! Awesome photos, I love the swallow shot and the Kestrel. Happy birding and have a great weekend!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil I am so glad you saw the I am just off to the Copeland Island now and perhaps I will be fortunate there to see some migrants. Have a great weekend yourself.

TexWisGirl said...

sweet little warbler!

Linda said...

Beautiful and sweet captures, Phil, and I love the reflections in your second photo. :)

Jo said...

Great post as always, Phil. Amazing to think we saw a part of the migration in early March from Central South Africa and now you're seeing them! Have a great weekend. Jo

Jen Masssey said...

I especially like your Willow Warbler photo :)

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, just stopping back to say thank you for linking up, have a happy weekend!

Adam Jones said...

It's great to have our migrants back. Saw my first Swallow, Willow Warbler and Wheatears yesterday. Love that Swallow picture.

David Gascoigne said...

Hirundines are arriving here too. I saw my first Tree Swallow of the year yesterday, but they have been here for about a week. I know people who have also seen Barn Swallow and Sand Martin but I have yet to have them cross my path. My middle name is Martin. Perhaps I should have some suitable descriptive added to my name. Superb Martin comes to mind, or perhaps Elegant Martin. My darling wife says she would put me in a different family altogether and call me Bald-pated Babbler. Oh my, the cruelty of it all!

Mary Cromer said...

It looks like such a lovely area for a walk and to check out birds and all other things going on there. Your shots are always close and sharp and lovely. This visit I especially liked the Barn Swallow and I am so looking forward to seeing them near here soon. I will be photographing and talking with a man at month ending who has very successful Purple Martin housing on his property. Heard part of his story last weekend, amazing~

marga said...

La golondrina es preciosa.
Y el vuelo del cernícalo me fascinó la belleza de las alas, sus plumas.

Irma said...

Beautiful area to photograph birds.
Great to see the Barn Swallow again.
This week I also saw one.
Kestrel and Fitis I love.
Have a good weekend.

Linda M. Carmean said...

The barn swallow is gorgeous! Love that willow warbler too. Great photos!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

WOW!!! These photographs look like they're right out of a bird book! Great shots!

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