Thursday, March 9, 2017

First The Fish

Thursday morning – a fish day. So I called at Jamie’s shop at Knott End for supplies of brain food - haddock and salmon then spent a while birding around the shore and the jetty. 

Knott End and Fleetwood

Oystercatcher numbers are in decline as many move north and inland to breed, but still 220+ on the incoming tide with a single Curlew and a few Redshank for company. Nine Turnstone fed below the jetty with 32 Shelduck and 15/20 Black-headed Gull on the shore. The wintering Black Redstart was in the usual spot, darting around the area of the residential flats where it seems to find plenty of food and not too much competition from aggressive Robins. 

Black Redstart


At Fluke Hall the local Tree Sparrows are getting a little noisy and very active around the nest boxes in the trees. I clocked the Grey Wagtail that has wintered in the paddock amongst the horses and their churned up ground and where there’s always two or three Blackbirds; a least a couple of Goldfinch singing, plus 2 Song Thrushes also in good voice. 

Along the roadside was a single Stonechat and in the still flooded field, 24 Pied Wagtail, 8 Meadow Pipit, more Blackbirds, a couple of dozen Curlews and displaying Lapwing. 


Near the wood I disturbed a Buzzard from the trees where a Grey Heron played doggo until the Buzzard flew at it. The heron flew off complaining loudly and left me with half a picture. 

Grey Heron

The Linnet/Avian Flu saga continues with still no ringing allowed despite two ringers desperate to mark a few Linnets that will soon go elsewhere. I put out more seed in the hope of a ringing session soon and where with luck we may just catch one or two of the Skylarks that are sticking around. 


I stopped at Braides Farm where wader numbers are down but where 34 Teal, 2 Shoveler and a single Grey Heron linger. Skylarks were in good voice and very visible here with upwards of 10 around. It has been a very mild winter where the inconspicuous Skylark can pick a living and hopefully come back strong in the coming weeks. 

At Conder Green the incoming tide filled a good half of the creeks and where the wintering Spotted Redshank is always to be found in exactly the same spot. The “spothank” begins to acquire a little colour, mostly in its primary feathers. Soon it will be off north towards Northern Russia and Scandinavia where it will breed. 

Spotted Redshank

The Spotted Redshank was first described in 1764 by Peter Simon Pallas, a German zoologist and botanist who worked in Russia between about 1767 and 1810. A number of animals and birds were described by Pallas, and his surname is included in their common names e.g. Pallas' Glass Lizard, Pallas' Viper, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Pallas’ Reed Bunting, Pallas’ Leaf Warbler. 

The current high water level makes the pool hard going for birds and birders alike. But still to be found – 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 95 Teal, 24 Shelduck, 18 Oystercatcher, 22 Redshank, 18 Wigeon, 3 Snipe and 2 Little Grebe.

Linking today to Wild Bird Wednesday , Anni's birding and Eileen's Blog.


Denise inVA said...

Loved this post of pretty birds Phil. Thank you so much for sharing them.

David Gascoigne said...

Too bad that your banding operation is still on hold, Phil. And to think you have all that brain food to help you sort through all those subspecies and age categories.

Linda said...

Beautiful series, Phil, and the Skylark is so attentive! I love the markings, too. :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It's nice when an errand takes you close to a birding spot. I would so love to see some of these birds -- especially the skylark. I wish that guy whose name I can never remember had imported these birds to 'the New World'.

Bill said I was wrong when I said no birds were raised for release to hunting here. He said they are. (He came into the room just as I sent the comment on your previous post.) What a terrible practice.

Stuart Price said...

Should be called 'Pallas's Redshank'. Much better name!

Maybe I should start a Pallas list. I've seen Pallas's that's a start.

Margaret Adamson said...

A lovely selection of birds seen and photographed

Felicia said...

such pretty birds in your series today. of course all birds are pretty aren't they.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil. The fresh fish sounds delicious. Wonderful variety of birds. I love the pretty Curlew and Skylark. Great sightings and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Jenn Jilks said...

You are so good at this! Thank you for the photography tip link!

A Colorful World said...

Great variety of birds! I particularly love the redstart!

Rajesh said...

You always amaze me with variety of birds.

♥Anni @ I'd Rather B Birdin'♥ said...

The 'spothank'....I like that.

Wow, the numbers of birds you saw as you purchase your 'catch of the day' fish was enormous. I'd probably still be there. In comparison, your curlew on your island has a shorter beak that those here in South Texas...but still very attractive.

Thanks for adding this linked post to I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend. As always I enjoy your bird sightings and I'm sure others from the meme do the same!

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely scene of Knott End and Fleetwood, a lot of colours within!
... and yes, a great selection of birds again! They are lovely.

Wishing you a good weekend

All the best Jan

Patrycja P. said...

Wonderful photos, especially this Skylark!

Photo Cache said...

What pretty little birds.

Worth a Thousand Words

carol l mckenna said...

You always have wonderful photography of our 'feathered friends' ~ my favorite is the skylark ~ thanks,

Wishing you a peaceful week ~ ^_^

krishna said...

The skylark bird is so beautiful..

Please visit:

Les Fous du Cap said...

Très belle série et plus particulièrement le Tournepierre à collier ;-)
Céline & Philippe

Mary Cromer said...

What a lovely Turnstone and then that sweet Skylark is truly a wonderful bird to those head feathers going a bit wild. When my daughters were little and they had hair like that I called them Wild feather~

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Great pics of your series of birds. I'm not familiar with the Turnstone so I really enjoyed seeing it. Thanks.

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