Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday 22nd July

What a rotten week it’s been. Rain most days, often windy and nothing like summer. Saturday promised slightly better so I set off on the usual trail over the moss and in the general direction of Conder Green. 

I hit upon a young Kestrel and then a singing Yellowhammer, the latter not quite as rare as hen’s teeth but certainly getting that way. It took me a while to locate from where the male proclaimed his “little bit of bread and no cheese” until I spotted him 30ft up a roadside post. 


Seems there was a Cattle Egret at Conder Green during the week, a one-day wonder on Thursday that a good number of people saw but perhaps not enough to ensure the species figures on everyone’s British List. 

Just as well I saw one there on April 2nd, part of  a small invasion of the species to the UK. But the Cattle Egret is still an elusive species to many a birder. Not so in many countries I’ve visited including Egypt where Cattle Egrets are as tame as church mice. 

There was no Cattle Egret today so I made do with 4 Little Egret and 2 Grey Heron as part of the 40 species I saw. A Kingfisher put in two brief appearances in between flying across the water to try its luck on the other side of the pool – afraid the light was poor again at ISO1000.


I guess the Kingfisher is after the same tiddler prey as the five Little Grebes. It was most unusual that one of the grebes came in fairly close today, a juvenile bird but one that arrived from elsewhere in the last two or three weeks. On the raft today were two Common Terns, birds seemingly uninterested in the tiddlers in Conder Pool, but heading off to the estuary where they might find something more substantial. 

Little Grebe

Waders are back in some numbers now, mostly Lapwings with a count of 180+ and many more on the fields beyond the canal. In the week and during a rain aborted look, I counted 900 Lapwings and 400 Curlews in two fields not far away. 

Back to today and in addition to the Lapwings, 48 Redshank, 10 Oystercatcher, 7 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 1 Greenshank and 1 Whimbrel "over". The Oystercatchers on the island still have one chick, now growing nicely thanks to two attentive parents. 


"Odds and ends" amounted to 2 Stock Dove, 8 Greylag and 2 Cormorant, but not forgetting the Tufted Ducks, mother proudly in charge of four tiny ducklings and father nowhere to be seen. 

Along, around, and over the roadside hedgerow proved pretty good with 10+ Swift, 40 Sand Martin and several Swallows. There was a Sparrowhawk carrying small prey but I lost it as it flew over and behind the trees at the rear of the Stork Hotel. 

Passerines along the hedgerow: 6 Goldfinch, 3 Linnet, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Bunting and 1 Meadow Pipit. 


Reed Bunting

The weather is looking better for next week. Let’s hope the experts are right for once?

Linking today to Anni's Birding.


Bill Nicholls said...

Amazes me how you manage to take the photos, the birds look like they just sit and wait for you to take their photo

David Gascoigne said...

Nice report, Phil. It seems that egrets are expanding the world over. I predict that it will not be long before Great Egret is as common in the UK as Little Egret presently is, with Cattle Egret not far behind. The latter species is readily found in southern Ontario in recent years, but it has to move south when winter arrives. Miriam and I had the satisfaction of finding the first ever of this species in Waterloo Region last year. After a spell of really good weather it is raining here today, so a good day to stay indoors and get caught up with a whole bunch of computer stuff. Enjoy the weekend.

Gordon said...

It looks like you didn't have too bad an outing, glad the weather stayed fine for you, pritty bad at times here in Cumbria with torrential showers.
All the best phil, Gordon.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, glad you had a break in the rain for some birding. Great shots, I like the pretty Yellowhammer. The Little Grebe is cute. Your Kingfisher is so colorful, beautiful bird. Great post and photos. Happy Birding.

Lea said...

Pretty Yellowhammer, and the Oystercatcher is a handsome bird!
Hope you are having a great week-end!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The Kingfisher is such a beautiful color and I love the first little bird. We have Cattle Egrets in all the fields of cows and horses here in Florida. I still enjoy seeing them though. Enjoy your weekend!

Linda said...

Beautiful series, Phil! I don't recall ever having seen a Yellowhammer before!

Patrycja P. said...

Amazing photo of Kingfisher. Great trip.

♥ Anni ♥ said...

Now you have me curious to hear the yellowhammer. I will go out to Google and search for its song file to listen to it when I finish writing you a note...

Beautiful birds. Cattle egrets here are so plentiful I tend to ignore them while I am in search for a 'new' bird. Of course, I LOVE the color of your kingfishers!!! You saw a lot of birds on your outing despite the weather you had for the week...Oh my goodness, a Whimbrel. I haven't seen one Whimbrel in years. Well, at least dozens of months...seems they've disappeared here.

Thanks so much for joining us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

Stuart Price said...

I don't think I've seen a Yellowhammer in the last 30 years.............

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) Well, I have never seen a Yellowhammer! A pretty bird, and a lovely shot, and I'm glad you saw him sitting in the sun. I'm so sorry you are having miserable weather on the whole, but you still
managed to see so many birds. Lovely shot of the kingfisher, and the Reed Bunting. When in the Algarve I took some shots of a bird which looks very like your image of a Reed Bunting. I thought it might be, and now I'm sure. Thank you!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

It has been pretty awful weather the past few days but you still managed to spot and capture some beautiful birds. Have a great week ahead :)

Mary Cromer said...

Ahh Kingfisher and Little Grebe, two that I always enjoy seeing. Grebes are really such wonderful looking birds and you can't ever grow wrong with the looks of the Kingfisher and all of your shares are wonderful. I hope that you are doing well Phil. As always I find myself catching up rather than staying on time. I apologize, but I have just not been feeling altogether how my public sees is just a few things that I need to have checked out and then I will feel back and ready again. Take care~

Lowcarb team member said...

Love that yellow hammer ...

All the best Jan

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