Thursday, May 7, 2020

Early Closing Wednesday News

On Wednesday morning the windscreen wipers dragged across the screen and the dash warned of 3°C and a chance of ice. I set off regardless for my morning walk because that frosty start would mean sun and lots of it. 

Flushed with Monday’s success in finding the Grey Partridge, I went back and hoped for better pictures by waiting until the sun lifted and gave bright sunshine. With good reason the Grey Partridge is a wary bird, its population at rock bottom and falling into the abyss. 

Grey Partridge 

Grey Partridge

 Check out the table below. As a nation we should be thoroughly ashamed. 

Grey Partridge - courtesy of BTO

Alongside the field were single males of both Reed Bunting and Blackbird and also 2 Stock Doves. The suspicious doves flew off, the wary partridge remained for now. 

There was a Kestrel taking the morning air near Conder Green so I stopped to look at the hawk and then took a peek on the pool and the creeks. 


The godwits had changed their ratios from Monday with the majority now Bar-tailed Godwits at 24 but Black-tailed Godwits at 18.  We had gained a Spotted Redshank and 6 Dunlin however it appeared that some of Monday's excitable Avocets had departed with their number down to six. 

There’s an elusive Little-ringed Plover, first you see it, then you don’t, but almost certainly there’s a female too, sat on eggs out of sight of prying eyes and cameras. 


Shelduck numbered 10-15, the difficulty of a count augmented by some flying to and from the marsh in territorial disputes. Just 4 Tufted Duck plus the now established pair of Canada Geese. Common Tern two pairs again, one pair on the pontoon and one pair on the near island. Four Little Egret. 

There was a single Meadow Pipit in display on the marsh, the first there for a few years; and there was a smattering of Swallows but no House Martins over the marsh and the dwellings opposite. 

Around Jeremy Lane were upwards of 15 Sedge Warblers in song with an increase to 7 or 8 Common Whitethroat and the usual Tree Sparrows and Blackcaps at the nest boxes there. 

Sedge Warbler

Common Whitethroat

A couple of days ago I took pics of a tiny Lapwing chick, one of two identical fluff balls. There were other chicks in nearby fields and from their size hatched at similar times. Now I found just one chick of those original ones, the remainder having walked across fields with parents, lost to predators or the weather. It’s not unexpected but still something of a mystery why and how few survive to adulthood. 

Lapwing chick 

A female proved very watchful and kept the chick at a safe distance from my car but presented fine opportunities for a picture. The shorter than male crest and the maternal behaviour told me that this was the female parent of the now lone chick. 




Now I’m no expert on mammals but this Jill appears to be pregnant; and Jack was nowhere to be seen. 

Brown Hare 

Wiki - Brown Hare “The female nests in a depression on the surface of the ground rather than in a burrow and the young are active as soon as they are born. Litters may consist of three or four young and a female can bear three litters a year, with hares living for up to twelve years. The breeding season lasts from January to August. A male hare is called a jack, a female is a jill.”  


And now, courtesy of Not The BBC. 

Boris with his team of Londoncentric Professor Pantsdowns say some easing of the lockdown might come as early as next Monday. Well Boris, I have news for you. The people, slowly but surely, are already in the process of easing out of house arrest. 

It’s the usual method. Leak snippets of information to gauge the reaction and then pull back if there’s a backlash from mainstream media. 

“Government's roadmap to ease Covid-19 restrictions will be set out in 5 phases. These phases will be on 3 week review process, the current phases would commence on the following dates:" 
  • Phase 1 - 18th May 
  • Phase 2 - 8th June 
  • Phase 3 - 29th June 
  • Phase 4 - 20th July 
  • Phase 5 - 10th August 
"If coronavirus cases begin to increase, we will revert to the restrictions set out in the previous stage." 

🔮 PHASE 1 🔮 Phase 1 of the roadmap will lift the following restrictions: 
🔸 Construction workers, landscape gardeners and other outdoor workers may return to work 
🔸 Garden centres, repair shops and hardware stores may reopen 
🔸 Fitness & sport activities (non-contact) in small groups (max of 4 people) may resume (golf included) 
🔸 People may meet up with friends and family in small groups outdoors (size of a "small group" is defined as up to 4 people) 
🔸 The majority of regular health services will resume 
🔸 Outdoor public amenities and tourism sites may reopen (beaches & mountain walks) *NOTE - social distancing guidelines will remain in operation for all 

🔮 PHASE 2 🔮 Etc, etc. Phase 2 of the roadmap will lift the following restrictions: Etc, etc.

No mention of birders there, but please remember folks. You read it here first on Another Bird Blog.



Rhodesia said...

Lovely set of photos and I think the whole world should be ashamed of what they have to our wildlife!!!
Macron is talking to us tonight re the lifting of some lockdown on Monday but we plan to stay put for some time to come yet!! The best part is the lifting of the 1 km radius walk that we are allowed and not having to carry permits. Where I walk I never see anyone anyway!! Stay safe, Diane

eileeninmd said...


Looks like a great outing Phil! I love the Partridge and the Lapwing and the lapwing chick is adorable. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend ahead.

italiafinlandia said...

Lapwings are very active also in Italy in this moment.
Love the grey partridges: they look plump.

Mike Attwood said...

Excellent pictures of creatures that I only dream about. Stay safe Phil.

Lowcarb team member said...

Looks a very successful outing, really enjoyed your photographs.

Have a good weekend, and lets see what next week may bring!

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,

I would have enjoyed seeing all these birds and the Brown Hare. My favorite are the Partridge, Lapwing and the Hare. Awesome photos and outing. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend.

R's Rue said...


Mae Travels said...

Your birds are just wonderful. We too can bird during the lock-down, but of course the birds are completely different. We can’t go to marshes because the boardwalks are too narrow for social distancing — so we are mostly seeing woodland birds.

be well... mae at

Adam Jones said...

Great to see the Grey Partridge Phil. I fee lucky to see them most years, but more by luck than judgement. I'd love to get a Sedge Warbler this year. I'm missing them, but it will be after lockdown I think before I can get to any suitable habitat.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I noticed that magnificent Partridge on your banner! What a beautiful bird! Love seeing the birds you photograph there and I'm glad you've been able to get out for walks. Most of our trails have been closed but they opened this week! YAY! We've been out as much as possible. Not many people at all so no problem with social distancing. Take care! Happy weekend!

sandyland said...

Anni said...

Texas is almist all open...well, MOST. Gyms & high traffic areas (germ ridden areas I never frequent anyway) are still closed...common sense tells me to stay away from them (even without a virus lockdown). Today, your photos are awesome. Lovin the chick! And truly, I enjoyed the drive. It's good to get back to Conder Green! Your sharing today is much appreciated. Thank you for linking in! (received my book on's a huge source)

Ornery Owl said...

Fantastic photos!
Here in the U.S., all of the states that were quick to re-open have experienced an upswing in cases of COVID. I think that following the advice of our "leader," Donny Dumbanddumber, would get us all killed.

Stevenson Q said...

I have learned new things again on your post brother Phil! Thank you for introducing me to the Grey Partridge and I feel sad about its rapidly decreasing numbers :( They kinda look like quails to me, I have never seen partridges before, I only heard it on the 12 days of Christmas.

I really admire your government's plans for the COVID phases, because here in our country, it is being said that the lockdown will be lifted at the end of the week despite the ever growing number of cases and deaths, to give way to the businesses who are receiving minimal profit. I feel so sorry for the people who will simply go out believing it is safe already when it is obviously not because there is no mitigation plan whatsoever given by the government.

I just hope my company will continue to allow us to work from home.

Sending you hugs my friend and greetings of a new Week Phil!

The Padre said...

Dynamic For Sure - Way Cool


A Bit of the Blarney said...

What lovely photos! I'm keeping busy around the house since the lock down and so when it's over, if and when, I think might be time to visit my kids out of state. . .hope!


Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I always enjoy walks with you - birds and hare

Billy Blue Eyes said...

My wife would be very jealous y=of your seeing that hare

Karen said...

Great photos. That warbler is so cute, and that lapwing chick is precious.

Fun60 said...

Bit of a drop in temperature there Phil. Great photos especially the grey partridge.

Powell River Books said...

I've never heard of an Avocet and today I've seen two on blogs. Isn't that the way, you hear something new and there it is everywhere. The last thing I remember we the word traunch. I had to look it up. Then I starting hearing it all the time on the news. - Margy

Veronica Lee said...

Fabulous captures of birds I don't see in my corner of the world.

Happy Tuesday, Phil!

Himawan Sant said...

Cute and beautiful all kinds of birds in this photo. They are all adorable.

Great work, Phill.
Greetings from Indonesia.

Wally Jones said...

Well, I believe my memory is succumbing to years of abuse, age, viruses, lock-downs or a combination of all of the above. I distinctly remember commenting on this post. Perhaps I neglected to press "Post".

At any rate, I loved all of the photographs immensely! I am still jealous and somewhat miffed that many European birds refuse to visit our back yard here in Florida. We have shade, seed, water - what could possibly restrain them?

Of course, your recent post about the House Sparrow reminded me what happened when some folks thought it a good idea to introduce Old World species to the New World. So - never mind.

All here at Rebel Alliance HQ is good and improving. We are once again allowed access to the parks our tax dollars support even when closed. The birds appear to still be there. We shall begin again to watch them.

Gini and I are well and we hope you and your family escape soon and often!

Angie said...

Phil - around the world, we have much to be ashamed of!!

I am a new warbler fan having spotted a western Audubon's Warbler around our house several times in the last week. So gorgeous!

Assuming it is medically prudent for people to start mixing with others in the UK, I am happy that you will be able to get out and about (officially!)

Lady Fi said...

Lovely shots!

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