Saturday, September 5, 2015

Avian Dilemma

It was 0600 and still fairly dark. The sky was overcast, there had been a recent shower and a cold northerly rippled through the garden trees. 

Birding or ringing was the predicament. Birding takes no effort and starts as soon as the car hits the road and ends when the car is back on the driveway. A ringing session entails a 30 minute car journey followed by setting nets, checking equipment, and then slogging around the nets every 20/25 minutes to process the birds. And then at the end of the session it's time do everything again but this time in reverse order. Although rewarding the many physical tasks involved in ringing make for hard graft when compared to a spot of leisurely birding. So I postponed the ringing until a day or two when the isobars are due to open out, the sun is promised to shine and I may be more motivated. 

By the time I reached Glasson Dock the clouds had thinned and the sun was out. But the temperature felt more like November than September, even with three layers up top and a woolly hat. I parked up and waited for a Kingfisher to appear. One duly arrived from nowhere, landed on a nearby boat but didn’t hang around for more than a couple of clicks of the shutter button. 


The Swallows have increased and I counted upwards of 450 of them milling around the boats, sitting along the rails and rigging and feeding over the yacht basin. Take a close look at the picture below, where believe it or not, there are about 200 Swallows scattered across various parts of the assembled boats. 

Swallows at Glasson

Fish were literally jumping out of the water, hence the Kingfisher, Grey Heron and several Cormorants, all looking for a meal. Tufted Ducks now number nine as we await more autumn arrivals, likewise the Coots, steady at less than twenty. Along the towpath and around the bowling green I counted 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail and upwards of 60 House Sparrows. 


Pied Wagtail

It was time for a look at Conder Green where, yes you’ve guessed it, a Kingfisher sat in waiting. This one was not so accommodating and before I could request a “cheese” the bird was off across the pool like a rocket. Lest anyone should think our local Kingfishers are easy to photograph, they are not, it is simply that there are lots of Kingfishers about at the moment; it’s an infrequent situation which increases the chances of getting pictures of what is by common consent, a shy species. 

Conder Green

Although not numerous this morning’s waders and wildfowl revealed a good selection consisting of 32 Teal, 6 Curlew, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 1 Ruff, 1 Snipe, 1 Oystercatcher and the first of the autumn here, 2 Spotted Redshank. 

Spotted Redshank

On the pool were 7 Little Grebe, 1 Little Egret and 4 Pied Wagtails.

Dilemma over and a good morning of birding was had by all. Now where’s that alarm clock?

Linking this post to Anni's Birding Blog.


Viera said...

How it is possible to taken such a beautiful photos of birds.... Really amazing...

Vandana Sharma said...

ad equally amazing to count so many swallows!!! and the camera always catches a kingfisher!!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, I agree with Viera above. Your bird images are always excellent.

David Gascoigne said...

Looks like you made a good decision. Given the state of the weather it might not have been the best for banding anyway. I think that your kingfishers are tame birds that you keep in your pocket and let them out for a quick picture or two!

David Gascoigne said...

.....cold northerly rippled through the garden trees........nice lyrical phrase you wordsmith you!

Linda said...

I always love your bird photos, Phil!!! :)

Margaret Adamson said...

I think you made the right decision Phil and were rewarded by seeing the Kingfishers again. Saw the Swallows on the rigging. Good to see the spotted Redshank.

Anni said...

I enjoyed the opening lines of this post. To ring or not to ring, that is the question. Reminiscent of Shakespeare. ;-)

As much as I love reading about your trappings/ringing, this was a nice day out birding with you. You found some fantastic species, fantastic scenery, and regaled us with fantastic narration.

Two things come to mind...first, throw the alarm clock away!! And secondly, wishing it felt like November HERE!!! We're still nearing the century mark [Fahrenheit] by midday.

Thanks for sharing your link to this post at I'd Rather B Birdin' this week.

Marie C said...

Conder Green is such a beautiful place to get to bird! Love your photos.

Marie C said...

Conder Green is such a beautiful place to get to bird! Love your photos.

carol l mckenna said...

All wonderful bird photography ~ my favorite is the kingfisher and the swallows!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Fun60 said...

That must have been quite a sight to see so many swallows.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I'm so envious of your Kingfisher ... Both of how pretty he is, more colorful than "ours") and of the fact that you got a good picture! Ours are not exactly shy ... I've had one scold me while he sat on a wire above -- but they are camera-shy ...the minute I focus the camera off they go!

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