Thursday, June 4, 2015

Birding Rerun

The Common Terns at Conder Green had me well and truly fooled on Wednesday when all seemed silent and deserted on their nesting island and around about. There was no sign or sound of the pair for the thirty or so minutes I was there and neither was the male at Glasson Dock, one of his regular fishing spots last year. 

The female must have been hunkered down against the cold wind and out of sight of prying eyes because when I looked again on Thursday morning there she was as large as life, stood just a metre or so from where clutch of eggs lie. Two minutes later the male flew in and joined his mate. I guess things are OK after all, especially if the weather improves as promised. 

Common Tern

On the pool things were much the same with most of the noise and action coming from the several pairs of Oystercatchers and Redshanks. By contrast the few pairs of Tufted Ducks here are less obvious in their low-key courtship and breeding rituals. The males are in fine condition at the moment with splendid pony-tails of feathers falling from their crowns of glossy purple. I watched as one called quietly to a nearby female which had floated off from the shore; I swear he was trying to coax her back to a nest.
Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

There was a Grey Heron along one bank, a displaying Meadow Pipit and a single Stock Dove, a dove which seems to be a summer visitor only here but a species which breeds in tree holes and woodland close-by. In contrast to the day before there was just a handful of Swifts and House Martins. 

A walk along the canal proved fruitful for warblers by way of 3 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff and not quite a warbler but a “brown job” in the shape of male and female Reed Buntings.

Mute Swans breed here every year, this year at least two pairs along the canal. 

Mute Swan

Swallows are nesting under the road bridge again this year, a dark and dismal place with a steady flow of traffic trundling a few feet above the hidden nests. The Swallows are still at the construction stage, collecting nesting material from the nearby car park where there are muddy edged puddles-a-plenty. A few House Martins joined in harvesting the mud, the martins flying back to houses in Glasson village 50 yards away. 

House Martin

Barn Swallow

The Swallow in the picture below is an adult male singing and not a juvenile begging for food. There will be no fledglings for about 3 weeks if all goes to the Swallows’ normal timetable. 

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

On the way home through Pilling and Cockerham were a Buzzard and 2 Kestrels plus a male and a female Sparrowhawk flying close together and on the same heading. The male carried food but from the road it was impossible to see where they were bound.

I was headed home, my limited time up, but there’s more news and views soon from Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Anni's Birding Blog and Eileen's Saturday Blog.


David Gascoigne said...

Great news on the Common Terns. They are wonderful, graceful birds and any record of nesting success is a cause for celebration. I hope they raise healthy chicks and that the weather is kind to them and predators stay far, far away.

TexWisGirl said...

such cute shots. :)

eileeninmd said...

I am glad the Terns are still there! Love the Swallows, they are all so darn cute. And the Mute Swan and young is a pretty shot. My favorite is the Tufted Duck with the pony-tail. Great captures! I hope the weather is better for birding on Friday. Happy weekend!

Linda said...

So beautiful, Phil! :)

Margaret Adamson said...

Good news on the Tern front. Love the shots of the Martins and Swallows and those cygnets are so cute.

Mary Cromer said...

Well it sounds like it was quite the wonderful day out birding and such. I love Spring and early Summer, when all are busy producing new life and also trying to get them to a place where they are safely on their own. It is beast against feather and feather against beast around here. Those young Mute Swans are lovely and oh I do love the Barn Swallows. Have a great weekend~

Wally Jones said...

I can't believe it's already June! Just as in our area, it seems you have a lot of nesting, courting, mating and chick rearing going on. Happy you confirmed the Terns are still there. I'm fascinated by how the swallows can make their nests by using such a small beak full of mud per trip. They must be exhausted! The tufted duck is a handsome chap with his spring hair style.

Things around here have been quite chaotic lately so once again I find myself apologizing for not visiting each day as well as being very intermittent with my own blogging effort. Life can be so messy sometimes.

It's another weekend already! Get out there and find those birds. We'll wait right here for your report.

All the best, my friend!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your critter post. Have a happy weekend!

Christian Perrin said...

Glad you could relocate the terns, Phil, they have such a vulnerable nesting method around us (mostly) uncaring apes! Nice to see the swallows and martins on the ground, that's an unusual perspective of these aerial beauties.

Very handsome Tufted Duck also!

Marie C said...

Love the swan and the swallows! Beautiful birds!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful choice of birds.

Anni said...

...she was hunkered down from the cold wind? Boy, right about now I'd ENJOY a cold wind. Miserably hot and humid here.

Another perfect post. Interesting birds, and your narration is always so pleasant to read. Your house martin is gorgeous....beautiful white breast and in your photo, the eyes look so 'trusting'.

And the baby swan...adorable. Of course, the tern photo is stunning with wings wide spread...and the tufted duck...pretty plumage in the sunlight.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Great report and lovely pictures, Phil.

Grantham Lynn said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing. I want to share this with my grandson. What a great resource for his homeschool. Thanks for introducing me to these lovely birds. My post isn't so informative.
But's fun. Come by and see me.

Marie C said...

I meant to tell you, I am so glad you were finally able to see the terns! You got a great shot.

Adam Jones said...

Great shots of the House Martin and Swallow. I've not seen many House Martin's this year.

Gunilla Bäck said...

The swallows and the cygnets are so cute. :-)

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