Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday’s Plan

They do say the British weather is unpredictable. Well not this year because there’s a definite pattern emerging in this the worst one for many a year. There’s a day of dry, then the next day of rain, and then a mixed up day when there’s sun for half of the daylight hours and rain during the remainder. Mostly it has been breezy or windy come rain or shine. 

So in a strange way, it is possible to plan birding, ringing and a spot of photography by looking out for the good days, ignoring the rest and planning accordingly. Luckily Sunday’s forecast of wall-to-wall sunshine looked to be one of the better days so I set off early with camera and bins at the ready. 

The regular as clockwork Kingfisher opened the account at Conder Green. The bird wasn’t for hanging around though and after it quickly flew off I soon saw it again going in the opposite direction. This time it carried a small item of prey. Kingfishers can have more than one brood of chicks. 

I turned my attention to the water where 10 Little Grebe ducked and dived for the same thing the Kingfisher wanted. Four Cormorant were after bigger stuff to eat but they quickly come and go from the estuary 100 yards away where they find the bigger prey. The grebe count should double before the year is out on this a very regular winter gathering place. Meanwhile a Tufted Duck still chaperones 4 growing youngsters - quite an improvement on recent years of zero success. 


 Little Grebe
I saw my first Snipe of the autumn with 2 in the creeks and a single on the island. Redshank numbers are on the increase with 65 today, a single Greenshank, a couple of Curlews and 4 Common Sandpiper. Most of the Curlews and Lapwings are on the estuary and inland fields, exampled by a later count of 270 Lapwings in a single field on Pilling moss. 

Apart from the above the pool and margins are very quiet with 4 Little Egret, 6 Pied Wagtail and 3 Stock Dove to add to the above. I found a good flock of circa 50 Goldfinch along the hedgerow where a couple of Whitethroat can still be heard churring. I did a circuit of Jeremy Lane to get a male Sparrowhawk, a few Swallows, a good flock of juv Starlings, a very tatty Kestrel and a very obliging Wheatear.  Don't forget to "click the pic".

Don’t you just love ‘em when they perform so well? 







Juvenile Starlings are comical this time of year in their mix of adult and baby feathers. They behave in a rather strange way as if they are partly lost, looking around for where to go and what to do without a guiding adult. Then all of a sudden they spook for no reason and off they go in a blur of noise. 


I stopped off at the moss where for the third time this week I saw a Marsh Harrier; a little distant as usual. Also, the aforementioned 270 Lapwings, 2 Buzzard and 12 Pied Wagtail. 

So what's in store next week on Another Bird Blog?  Well Monday is baby sitting. After that it's anyones guess but I dare say there will be birding or ringing soon, so stay tuned.


Linda said...

Beautiful photos, Phil, and I love the reflections, too!

David Gascoigne said...

Good morning Phil: Your weather over there does seem to have been exceptionally dismal this year. I heard from a fellow I met several years ago and he described the weather as "bad, worse, worser, worstest and horrible!" I am glad you were able to hit on a good day to get some productive birding in. I find that bad weather in human terms often leads to good birding, but for avid photographers it is certainly not the best. Ah well, you'll probably be toddling off to Spain and/or Greece any time soon to escape the drear and embrace all that's dear! Enjoy
what's left of Sunday.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Very nice series of images of birds .. Happy Sunday

eileeninmd said...

Hello, lovely collection of birds and photos. I love the swallows and the cute Little Grebe. But, they are all wonderful birds and sightings. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and week ahead!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Your images of the wheatear are stunning as is the kestrel, a great capture.
I remember when there used to be so many starlings in the garden. You don't see so many nowadays.
Wishing you a week of better weather!

KK said...

I loved the picture of the Kestrel. Royal bird in a great picture!

Also, I was not aware about Kingfishers having more than one brood. How does that work? One Kingfisher has multiple broods at the same time? Or is it some other way?

Patrycja P. said...

Weather is usually not okay when we need it most. Fantastic photos of Wheatear!

Stuart Price said...

Your August weather is better than ours this year.............

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love your birds, your weather sounds like February in Oregon (as I remember it) ...and I guess that's why you said "first snipe of Autumn"....I really want it to still be Summer! Good that the Marsh Harriers are there ... the wheatears are sweet....and ALL your birds pose beautifully for you, at least so it always seems.

NC Sue said...

Great shots as always.
Thank you so much for joining us at

Fun60 said...

I like Tom, Dick and Harry, the starlings.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

The weather here in Halifax is much as you describe only without the breeze / wind.
I'm not sure I've ever seen a Kingfisher properly but in photographs I always find it disconcerting that they are almost without a tail. It looks as if someone has snipped it away.
The last time I saw a cormorant was in Weymouth Harbour thwacking a whacking great eel around that it was trying to drown.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Great shots

Stewart M said...

Hard to believe, but I failed to see Little Grebe on my recent trip to the UK - maybe they dont like mountains!!

Nice set of pictures.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Lady Fi said...

Great shots.

Lowcarb team member said...

Such wonderful photo's again, I do like the ones of the wheatear.

Hope the baby sitting went well yesterday ...

All the best Jan

Mary Cromer said...

The Cormorant, Grebe, Swallows... of all you shared are some of my favorites. I adore Grebes and Cormorants and LOVE Swallows. I just wish that I could see more of them around here, maybe coming soon. Take care Phil~

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