Saturday, July 14, 2018

Three Of A Kind

We had a drop of rain on Friday; the first here for several weeks, just a few showers that barely wet our parched, straw coloured lawn and briefly dampened the roof tiles. By Saturday morning we were back to sun and blue skies but I rather hoped that the scattered showers had produced a different bird or two as the birding of late has been rather predictable.

So I hit Micawber Road at the usual unearthly hour in the hope that something might turn up.  Naturally I headed for Conder Green, one of the most productive of local birding sites and where a couple of extra places are but a stone’s throw away to make for an often satisfying circuit.

It was good to see up to 20 Swifts hawking insects over the surrounding hedgerows this morning. That’s probably as good a count as anyone has had this year.

July sees the first Kingfishers returning to the pool. They breed close by along the canal or the associated River Conder. “River” is something of a misnomer since the waterway resembles the final throes of a babbling brook rather than a mighty river. I was more than pleased to see three Kingfishers today, a family group that stuck close together but stayed distant from the camera. Sorry for the poor images. Today wasn't the most productive in the picture stakes but you get the idea.



Kingfisher and Common Tern


Like many other species, Kingfisher families stay together for a week or two after the youngsters fledge so that the inexperienced birds learn from the parents about growing up and how, where & when to feed. It’s rather like a human family except that kids and teenagers are very slow to learn, always think they know best, and if they ever leave home will likely be back.

The single pair of Avocets still have three good sized chicks ably looked after by their aggressive parents. In turn I watched both adults chase off a Grey Heron, a Little Egret and any number of Redshanks and Oystercatchers.


Grey Heron 

Other waders noted as 120 Redshank, 18 Oystercatcher, 15 Lapwing, 4 Common Sandpiper, 4 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 2 Greenshank. Smaller stuff – 6 Pied Wagtail, 2 Blackcap, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Reed Warbler.


Pied Wagtail 

Six Common Terns still around as they vied with the Kingfishers for the prime launch pad into the water below. Three Little Grebes on the water and now just 8 Tufted Duck and another mostly unproductive year for the persistent tufties.

Common Tern

There's still a pair of Common Terns hanging around Glasson Dock and here’s where I found a flock of 18/20 Goldfinches and a healthy number of House Martin nests right in the village centre. The martins fly down towards the dock gates for their building materials and where the tidal flow leaves exposed mud in this driest of summers.

Common Tern

House Martin

I called into Gulf Lane where a small party of 6/8 Linnets plus 2 Whitethroats suggested it will soon be time to cut that ride for project Linnet.

That’s for another, cooler day.

Linking today to World Bird Wednesday and Anni's Birding Blog.


David M. Gascoigne, said...

A three Kingfisher day seems like a pretty good haul to me!

Rhodesia said...

I love kingfishers but I so seldom ever see them :-( That is a great shot of the house martin as well. Lovely post. Have a good Sunday Diane

Bob Bushell said...

The Kingfisher is brilliant, and the Tern, beautiful Phil.

Stuart Price said...

I miss terns.............

Anni said...

I see your avocets are so much prettier tha ours here in the states! Hope your parched land will get rain soon.
Also, I thank you for joining us birding enthusiasts at I'd Rather B Birdin' this week!

Betty Crow said...

The Kingfishers are awesome. I think I've only seen two in my lifetime. A wonderful collection of birds, as always!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi!! Beautiful series of birds and images.. Regards

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I always enjoy visiting you and learning about birds.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Avocets are huge favorites of mine -- and not only because their teenagers leave home on time and permanently!

NCSue said...

It's rare for me to see a kingfisher, so I especially enjoyed this week's post. Thank you for joining the linkup at

Angie said...

Heading your way tomorrow, my friend - we'll be in County Durham for a couple of weeks, and then in Norway for a week. You've inspired me to bring my binocs to see what birds might be round about. And I had a good belly laugh over the following: "It’s rather like a human family except that kids and teenagers are very slow to learn, always think they know best, and if they ever leave home will likely be back." HA!

italiafinlandia said...

Splendid Avocet!

Lea said...

Beautiful photos of all the birds!
Kingfishers are such fascinating birds to watch
Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Lowcarb team member said...

Wonderful Kingfisher …

Our UK hot weather is getting beyond a joke!
Hosepipe bans in some areas.
We had a sprinkling of rain the other day and that's about it.
I'm giving serious thought of doing a rain dance! Lol!

All the best Jan

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