Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Morning Birding

I arrived early at Conder Green where the birding seemed rather slow despite a good, bright start. My expectations were quite low today as the long staying Avocets looked to have departed, the breeding Common Terns left weeks ago, nesting Oystercatchers are reduced to a single bird, and the tiny family of Tufted Ducks vanished without trace soon after hatching. 

As summer turns to autumn the resident birds of recent weeks and months are now gone and there’s a gap until northern migrants arrive in numbers. But as usual a little perseverance and patience rewarded a more than a cursory look. Don't forget, "click the pics" for a closer look.

Predictably the Little Grebes added another one overnight and they now number twelve with more to come soon. It’s quite usual to see seven or eight closely grouped in the centre of the pool and then singletons scattered around the rest of the water where their constant diving and resurfacing coupled with their identical appearance makes for conflicting counts. Our wintering Little Grebes are impossible to approach with the slightest movement sending them into a dive under water or a swim in the opposite direction. There was no problem counting the remaining wildfowl as these were just 2 Wigeon, 3 Teal and the ever present Mute Swans which numbered 21+. The Mute Swan, our most conspicuous and year-round swan gets hardly a mention on this and other webs sites, remedied today with a photograph below. 

Little Grebe

 Mute Swan

Once again a Kingfisher put in a brief appearance by resting momentarily on the edge of the sluice gate before flying off to the nearest island and a perfect but distant pose of several minutes until it headed off towards the canal. 


The Lapwing count was 200+, birds roosting around the island joined by others from the estuary as the tide rose to push them off the river. Perhaps their numbers alone made them very unsettled as on several occasions the Lapwings spooked off in unison as if a raptor was close by or approaching. After a few circuits the Lapwings settled down again and returned to either feeding or roosting. I looked in vain for something that could put so many Lapwings into panic mode but a single Kestrel overflying at speed and chased off by a gang of twittering Swallows failed to meet the requirements. 


Other waders on the pool and in the immediate creeks - 4 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 40+ Redshank and 3 Little Egret. 

While walking the old railway path 2 Avocets flew from the direction of the estuary, calling in unison as they flew above me. They headed straight across to the pool and their stomping ground of summer. When I returned to the pool about 30 minutes later to look for the Avocets they were nowhere to be seen but probably out of sight on the far side of the and out of view behind an island. 

From the railway path I could see 2 Common Sandpiper, several Redshanks and a couple of Curlews in the long creek which heads directly into the estuary. Small birds noted along here - 2 Whitethroat, 12+ Linnet, 8 Goldfinch and 1 Willow Warbler in quiet sub-song. 

At Glasson Dock about 600 post-roosting Swallows fed and rested around the moored boats. One Grey Heron and still 4 Tufted Duck around the yacht basin.

Linking today to  Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.


Prunella Pepperpot said...

Wonderful images of so many beautiful birds. I would love to be able to photograph a Kingfisher, it's colouring is gorgeous.
My favourite has to be the Mute Swan in flight, truly stunning!
Have a wonderful Wednesday :)

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phi!:) Firstly I must say how I greatly admire your photography, and your new header of the Eurasian Wigeon is stunning.
All your images are so beautiful, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the Mute Swan in flight, and the Wigeon.:)

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!!

Linda said...

Fantastic series here, Phil. And not only a swan, but a swan in flight!

Stuart Price said...

You know what, I don'T recall ever seeing a Mute Swan in flight.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

marvellous shots Phil

eileeninmd said...

Hello, great report and photos. A wonderful variety of birds and photos. Enjoy your day!

Lea said...

Lovely birds!
I am amazed at how much more colorful European kingfishers are than the ones here in the USA. Beautiful!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Although we rejoice at every bird we see, there are certain encounters which bring a special delight. For me, one such event is a flock of Lapwings - especially a large flock. They are such stunningly beautiful birds and seem to face ever more obstacles from modern farming methods. Whenever I visit Europe this is one of the birds I most fervently hope I will meet up with and so far I have never failed. It will be a sad day indeed if I visit Britain and fail to find a Lapwing, fail to hear that plaintive peewit call.

Adam Jones said...

Yes, hurry up those winter migrants. Things looking a bit bare at the moment. Lovely Kingfisher shot. Never easy to capture.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely shots here Phil, especially the mute swan in flight.

All the best Jan

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