Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Post-Christmas Post

The blog’s been in sleep mode for a week or more to take in the holiday period. A good time was had by all but there’s only so much food and drink one person can consume before the urge to go birding takes over.  And it was time to find news for a new post. 

I set off over the moss roads towards Pilling where I watched an early morning Buzzard quarter a field in almost harrier fashion. A couple of times the Buzzard dropped into the long rough grass where it was totally out of sight and perhaps searching the ground for a meal. 

At Gulf Lane Linnets began to arrive as I deposited a bucket of seed into our net ride. After a while I’d counted about 90 Linnets, 11 Stock Doves and a hovering Kestrel. 


At Conder Green - 205 Teal, 95 Mallard, 1 Goosander, 44 Wigeon, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Shelduck, 21 Tufted Duck, 4 Snipe, 8 Redshank , 3 Lapwing and 1 Oystercatcher. Also - 1 Little Grebe 1 Kingfisher, 2 Little Egret and 1 Grey Heron. 


The light was very interesting near the coast. Unfortunately a pair of Stonechats showed in poor light and a heavy shower. Then along came the doggy walkers and goodbye Stonechats. 





Also here - 1 Kestrel, 10 Goldfinch and 15 Greenfinch. That latter count is almost as good as it gets nowadays for the once abundant Greenfinch. 

At Glasson Dock the Linnets proved as flighty as ever and numbered about 300 birds in a couple or more flocks. They alternated between feeding in the wild bird seed mix and flying energetically around and occasionally landing on the roofs of nearby buildings. While the roofs are quite moss covered and might hold insect food it is more likely that the Linnets were taking grit from the roof tiles. Grit is eaten a lot by seed eating birds. But birds have no teeth so grit accumulates in the gizzard and helps to break down the tough seeds by abrasive action thereby making the seeds more easily digested. 


The forecast is better for Thursday with a wind of less than 10mph so there’s a ringing session planned for this somewhat exposed site. 

I drove back over the moss roads where the sound of gunfire was all around as three or more congregations of shooters/farmers planned their route across endless fields. The after Christmas shoot is as much a tradition around here as the birders’ post-Christmas rush for their binoculars. 


On Stalmine Moss I found a party of a dozen Whooper Swans plus a few Mutes, together with 35 Lapwings, 2 Curlew and 2 Snipe. There was yet another Kestrel. As I watched the swans a party of 4 Roe Deer strode across the field but as they met the steep banks of the moss road, hesitated. A car went by, the driver seemingly oblivious to the animals, and up the deer leapt. They crossed the road, walked down the other bank and at a trot disappeared into the next wood. Magic Moments. 

 Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan
Whooper Swans

 Roe Deer 

Log in again on Thursday. There should be news of those Linnets.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blog.


Wally Jones said...

I'm happy to hear good sense prevailed and you were able to eschew additional food and drink and reached for the bins.

Fantastic new header photo of the Lapwing!

Your images of the gorgeous double rainbow present a dilemma: which end to rush toward to find that pot o' gold? Inquiring minds await your choice ...

It's good to read about a "normal" birding outing. Dogwalkers interrupting a perfectly good view of Stonechats, inconvenient weather, deer risking life and limb to cross a roadway. And your ultimate pronouncement: "magical moments"! THAT is why we do this. Thank you, Phil, for so succinctly describing this avocation!

Gini and I hope you and your family had a wondrous holiday and wish you Peace, Joy and Good Birding in the coming New Year!

We're about to depart on an extended road trip to visit our son and his family in Texas. He and I will then travel to the desert mountains of New Mexico for a week and will, hopefully, return with a few images of the adventure.

Take care, My Friend!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas holiday! I wish it would warm up here, it is too cold for birding. Your photos are beautiful, I love all the birds and the rainbow. Have a happy day!

David Gascoigne said...

As you pat your extended paunch gained from too much feasting (or was that me?) let me say that this seemed, all round, to be a pretty decent outing. The shots of the rainbow are quite remarkable and I am looking forward to more news on the Linnet front in 2018.

Lowcarb team member said...

You've provided a wonderful series of photographs here Phil.
From the birds to the deer and those fabulous rainbow shots too.
Thank you.

Enjoy these last December days.
I wish you and yours, a Happy and Healthy 2018.

All the best Jan

Stuart Price said...

Happy New Year Phil...........

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, stopping back to say thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. I Have appreciated all your visits and comments on my blog in 2017. I wish you all the best in 2018, Happy New Year. Have a happy weekend!

sandyland said...

Here in Fla buzzards different as are red shoulder hawks and osprey..Kestrel is in falcon family right??So educating your blog

A Colorful World said...

Glad you had a wonderful Christmas! Beautiful photos of your after-Christmas jaunt! Thanks for setting me straight about the Linnets. Have an awesome new year! I look forward to following your birding adventures in the coming months.

Angie said...

Lovely sampling of birds. I think the kingfisher is my favorite from this group. I am impressed with the numbers that you documented in your post ... clearly you were in a few ideal locations! Happy New Year to you!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Wishing a Happy New Year to you and your family Phil.
A great series of photograghs. What an amazing capture of the kestrel in flight!!
Happy Birding in the coming week :)

NC Sue said...

Marvelous photos - as always!
Thanks so much for joining us at, and I wish you much happiness throughout the new year!

Stewart M said...

Nice. Love the shot of the linnets on the roof. The amount of Christmas cheer it takes to make me want to go birding reduces every year!!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Mary Cromer said...

Happy New Year Phil
That double rainbow is gorgeous, as is the Kingfisher.
The Kingfisher looks like it could fly off the page it is so crisp and sharp. I enjoyed all of the post as well and happy to hear you all enjoyed your holiday.
We are hoping to have a much better year, than the last one was...

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