Thursday, December 22, 2016

At the End of The Rainbow

It’s been a busy week with pre-Christmas tasks and events literally taking centre stage by way of preparation for the holiday and three grandkids’ seasonal plays to attend. Add to that mix the ever-present rain or the promise of, and I’ve struggled to find birding time. 

But I managed an hour or two this morning even though I still dodged the frequent showers. Along Burned House Lane my passing car disturbed a Buzzard from the roadside hedgerow leaving the raptor to drift off over the fields and quickly out of sight. 

I stopped at Lane Ends where with the tide well out in the distant channel there wasn’t too much at lurking at the end of the Pilling rainbow except huge banks of dark cloud following on. Ten or twelve Little Egrets can be seen here come rain or shine and everything else was a long way off although vocal by way of good numbers of Whooper Swans and Pink-footed Geese. 

Pilling and Cockerham Marsh

There was a steady procession of Pink-footed Geese heading off the roost towards both Knott End and Cockerham. I found lots on the deck later at the back of Braides Farm but so distant as to make detailed examination almost impossible. I counted more than 50 Whooper Swans flying from the marsh roost and then inland towards their daytime feeding spots. 

Whooper Swans

Whooper Swans

Pink-footed Geese

I stopped at Gulf Lane to feed today’s 130+ Linnets with a millet/niger mix. Andy and I have been putting food out even though there’s not any evidence of the Linnets taking it in preference to the natural food on offer. We think most of the food is being taken by mammals but hope the Linnets find our food if and when cold days and nights arrive. At the moment it is just wet and windy with the prediction suggestive of no ringing opportunities for a week or more. 


At Braides Farm it’s 500 yards to the sea wall where there might be birds on the marsh but nowhere for a birder to stay out of sight on the flat lands of South Morecambe Bay. Better instead to look left from the gateway where at a distance of 400/550 yards a large flood holds a constantly changing spectacle of several thousand waders and wildfowl. 

Braides Farm

What a sight - approximates mostly: 600 Pink-footed Geese, 1500 Lapwing, 155 Redshank, 450 Golden Plover, 34 Black-tailed Godwit, 48 Teal, 70 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 190 Curlew, 350 Starling and 300 Black-headed Gull 

Lapwing and Redshank

A quick look at Conder Green produced 230 Teal, 18 Redshank, 4 Little Grebe, 2 Goosander, 2 Shelduck and 1 Grey Heron. Herons have been pretty scarce of late and if present always outnumbered by Little Egrets and now in recent times, almost outstripped by sightings of Great White Egrets. How the fortunes of species change! 

Back soon. Hopefully before Christmas.

Linking today Eileen's Saturday


Linda said...

Beautiful series, Phil, and I love the rainbow! Merry Christmas to you. :)

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil! Gorgeous rainbow capture! I love all the birds in flight. Great variety of birds. Happy Thursday! I wish you and your family a blessed and Merry Christmas!

David Gascoigne said...

The Whooper Swans alone would make my morning! As for the rainbow, if you find a pot of gold at the end of it, it belongs to me!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, stopping back to say thank you for linking up this post. The birds are all wonderful. I love the Whooper Swans and the Lapwings. Great flight shots. Happy weekend. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Rajesh said...

Fantastic shots of birds in flight.

sandyland said...


Judy Biggerstaff said...

Great shots of so many in flight. Merry Christmas.

Lowcarb team member said...

Fabulous rainbow
Fabulous birds

Our grand-kids have been angels and shepherds in school Christmas activities, so adorable ...

All the best Jan

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Great rainbow shot and nice bird series. Merry Christmas.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Merry Christmas, Phil!

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