Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wading Through It.

It was early doors, 0530 or thereabouts, an unearthly hour when normal folk slumber away as crazy birders prowl the countryside. It was a morning without a plan but one which developed into something of a wader morning and then finished with an unlikely Yellow Wagtail. 

I stopped along Head Dyke Lane at Pilling, waiting for a Roe Deer to cross the road so as to reach a fellow deer which had found a route into a field to the left. It’s best for a car not to pick a fight with a panicking deer, and I hoped no cars would suddenly accelerate past at 60mph as they often do along here. One deer ran off in the direction of Pilling village while the other turned tail, slipped through the hawthorns and ran in the opposite direction. A good enough start but I was after birds not Bambi. 

Things improved near Fluke Hall when an Oystercatcher gave the game away; “kleep-kleep, kleep, kleep”, came the frantic warning. Down below were 2 good sized youngsters already legging it across the field for all they were worth. Too late - 2/2 ringed and the first ones for the year. 



After complaining a day or two ago of the lack of Lapwings locally I walked the sea wall and found two pairs with youngsters this morning, a brood of three plus a single and quite small chick tended by both parents. Lapwings generally start with 4 eggs so while the brood of three might be considered OK, to have one chick does not provide enough new blood for Lapwings to go forth and multiply. I thought back to the Red Fox of fifteen minutes before which I’d disturbed from the remains of a freshly killed Red-legged Partridge. The fox melted into the undergrowth but was soon replaced by an opportunist crow. 

Both the Fox and the Carrion Crow take their share of our few remaining Lapwings and their eggs and chicks. Local crows begin to have the air of the unchallenged while farmers find better things to do than chase the legions of corvids which throng the countryside. 

Spot the Lapwing



Carrion Crow

There was no success with finding Redshank chicks. When it comes to spotting predators from afar adult Redshanks are simply the best. From a good 75 yards away it was clear the Redshanks had young when the male took up guard on the gate and warned the female. The female took to the air and joined in the distractions with warning cries while circling overhead as the young slipped further away and out of sight. Not to worry, my old legs can’t chase sprinting Redshank chicks which run like the clappers and never stop for breath, unlike me. 

Bits and Pieces today - 1 Buzzard, 4 Whitethroat in song, 2 Reed Bunting in song, 1 displaying/singing Sedge Warbler, 1 singing Blackcap. 3 Grey Heron, 2 Little Egret. 

There was an unexpected sighting of a bright male Yellow Wagtail which flew in from the marsh and landed but briefly on top of the fresh midden pile. After a few moments the wagtail flew off south east towards Pilling; most strange as Yellow Wagtails are now simply birds of spring and autumn in these parts, the sighting perhaps best explained as a failed or completed early breeder bird from not too far away. 

Yellow Wagtail- Photo by Nicholls of the Yard / Foter / CC BY-NC

Unplanned mornings often turn out OK don’t they? Join in soon for more accidental birding from Another Bird Blog.

In the meantime linking to Theresa's Ranch.


Linda said...

Phil, what darling captures! You always make my day with your lovely bird photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jo said...

Phil, what a treat to see the young as well. Great captures. Jo

Vandana Sharma said...

Perfect photographs and what beauty these feathery creatures are!!

TexWisGirl said...

love all your fence sitters today, especially that handsome crow.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thank you for the follow up on the nidifugous lapwing chicks (I studied!). Why is it that carrion crows and starlings and grackles, all such I'll-mannered birds, do so well at the expense of the ones we love? There is probably some kind of horrible life lesson in there that I don't want to think about.

Margaret Adamson said...

Gorgeous to see the 'young ones' Phil.

Mary Cromer said...

Oh those sweet and beautiful baby Lapwings and more. I know that it has to be painful, knowing that so many are taken by predators. I always feel a mix of emotion with the raptors that I enjoy. They have to take life every day to have life and it is not something that I enjoy seeing, or realizing at times. Thank you always for your kindness Phil~

eileeninmd said...

It is sad to read about the Lapwing eggs. Great shots of all the birds, the Lapwings are my favorite! Enjoy your day!

TexWisGirl said...

thanks, phil! :)

Ida said...

I love seeing your birds on the fences and off. Such a variety. Too bad you didn't get shots of the deer and the fox as well.

Karen said...

Oh, I love that wagtail!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hello!!!.. variety of birds .. Good work

Felicia said...

the lapwing chick is so pretty. Its sad that some chicks lose their life to predators but that is the way of nature.

Janice Adcock said...

Nicely photographed series.

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