Friday, September 11, 2015


There was another strong easterly this morning. Several days of east and south easterly winds have blown a few continental waifs, namely Barred Warbler and Wryneck, to this the west coast, but almost 20 miles to the south of here.

Barred Warbler - Photo credit: Radovan Václav / Foter / CC BY-NC

Wryneck - Phil Slade

If there’s one there’s almost certainly another of the same species lurking yet unfound is my philosophy. So I set off in the opposite direction for a spot of “bush bashing” at Glasson and Conder Green, as likely place as any to try for an unusual bird or two.

On the way north I pulled in at Braides Farm where a Buzzard hovered above the sea wall until crows came along to send the Buzzard to ground level. A tight flock of 70/80 Golden Plover tore around the fields at low level before eventually settling down somewhere in the distant grass.

The path between Conder and Glasson was pretty cool and windswept. At the car park a single Siskin flew over calling but remained invisible. My lonely walk gave little of note except for sightings of a single Chiffchaff, 9 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Linnet, a good sized but very flighty team of 80/90 Goldfinch, and a group of 8 Little Egrets flying down river.

I checked a couple of quiet spots at Glasson including my regular look in Christ Church graveyard. It resembles the textbook spot in which to find a rare bird like a Hoopoe, a Wryneck or a shrike but has yet to deliver.

I was almost there as a small warbler flit through the tree tops but then called the familiar slurred “hweet” of another Chiffchaff. Nearby was the resident Robin in autumn song and just Blackbirds rather than rare warblers tucking into the autumn berries.

Glasson Church




The church is alongside the canal towpath from where I could see lots of Swallows over the yacht basin just ahead. There’s still something like 500+ feeding and resting Swallows around and mixed in with them today 20+ House Martins.

On the water - 9 Tufted Duck, 18 Coot and the return today of a Great Crested Grebe. The grebes nest here in years when water levels are ideal and the spring and summer oblige. Not in 2015.

Great Crested Grebe

Glasson Dock

This was getting nowhere. It was too windy for finding warblers or much else so I drove to Conder Green to see the regular and always obliging waders and wildfowl. The counts today - 40 Teal, 7 Little Grebe, 6 Curlew, 4 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Snipe, 1 Ruff, 1 Kingfisher.

Another Bird Blog will be trying again quite soon. Please look in a day or two.

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


Linda said...

I am always thrilled to see your bird photos, Phil, and I am equally thrilled to see some extras here today! :)

Fun60 said...

The grebe makes a perfect reflection.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Love the narrow boat. And loved all the bird pictures and loved that you just knew that if one bird of a species is found, there's bound to be another. But was made green with envy when you reported " nothing much of note ..." Except for what I counted as over 100 birds! Several of which would be amazing lifers for me! Count your blessings as well as your birds ;))))!!

marsha said...

that Wryneck sure has good camouflage!
Lovely bird photos...the English Robin is so cute compared to our much larger North American version.
Great reflection of the Grebe

David Gascoigne said...

Trying....I thought your wife had decided to blog about you!

Taken For Granted said...

Always wanted to tour England by canal boat. Looks like such a slow, easy way to travel through the countryside. Love that last photo.

Margaret Adamson said...

You may have been disappointed at not fining a rariety but you did see a lot of birds Phil. Love th Grebe shot. Have a lovely weekend

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, nice variety of birds and great photos. I love the Grebe shot and the Wryneck really blends in with it's surrounding. I would love to see 70-80 Golden Plovers. Great post. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Jo said...

Great to see your warbler, Phil. And the wryneck. I was unable to get a clear photo of the one in our South African garden last month. And as always, the Grebe image and reflection is awesome. Have a great birding weekend. Greetings, Jo

TexWisGirl said...

the wryneck is neat! always love your blackbirds. so handsome.

sandyland said...

crested grebe I'm doing research on - magnificent

Wally Jones said...

As others have pointed out, even though you didn't spot anything to make you (even more) famous, you certainly made a good day of it! That Grebe is brilliant. Hopefully, conditions will be good next year for it to breed locally. My wife fell in love with the European Robin when we lived in Germany and it remains one of her all-time favorite birds. (She does have good taste ...)

I loved the views of your beautiful countryside and all of the birds are spectacular.

We hope you're really enjoying the weekend and maybe next week a rare bird will spot a rare bird.

June Caedmon said...

Wonderful captures!

Anni said...

Fabulous feathered finds "Fil". I love that church too.

My goodness, that Wryneck is incredibly camouflaged - you have a good eye. I probably would have walked right past it. Amazing bird.

Thanks for stopping by this weekend and linking up at I'd Rather B Birdin'!!!

Mama Zen said...

Lovely shots! I love your robins.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Beautiful scenery and birds!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Great pics! My fav is the blackbird.

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