Friday, November 20, 2020

Power Down

It's raining - again. An hour of typing then I have to down tools. At 0930 the electricity will be switched off for fifty homes until 1430 for “essential maintenance”.  Get accustomed to it folks. When Princess Nut Nuts gets her way with Boris wind farms will stretch 200 miles along the west coast and beyond until they encircle us. 

Then along comes one of those prolonged winter high pressure systems that sits over Britain with zero wind for a week or more and there will be no electricity for us plebs. Unless of  course we build ten Hinckley Point reactors in the next ten years, starting next week. Meanwhile, be warned, “Smart Meters” are a smart way for providers to switch off your lights too. 

The week has seen no opportunity for ringing as rain and wind again hold sway over the coming weekend. But we did receive another Lesser Redpoll recovery involving our site at Oakenclough. Ring number ALJ4399 a fresh juvenile Lesser Redpoll ringed at Oakenclough on 12 August 2020 was recaptured by other ringers at Whixall & Fenn's Mosses, Shropshire on 29 September 2020. 

This is another quite typical autumn movement of Lesser Redpolls which shows a migratory pattern but yet again does not tell us the place of birth nor the bird’s final destination. 

Lesser Redpoll
Lesser Redpoll - Oakenclough to Shropshire

On Thursday morning I finally caught up with the elusive Long-tailed Duck at Conder Green. For a week or two the self-same bird had played hide and seek with WhatsApp twitchers by not always being on the anticipated plate. 

No need to panic. Although Long-tailed Ducks are pretty scarce, partly due to their status as an ocean-going duck with a diet of mussels, cockles, clams, crabs, and small fish, when one does appear on inland water it will often stay around for weeks. Here on Conder Pool this one may not find much shellfish hence it has probably been flying between the pool and the Lune Estuary 100 yards away. 

It had been years since I’d even seen a long-tail but the sleek lines and tiny round head were pretty unmistakable, easy to locate at the far end of Conder Pool where it ducked and dived many times. 

Long-tailed Duck
Other wildfowl and waders consisted of the regular 6 Little Grebe, 2 Little Egret, 90 Teal, 32 Wigeon 18 Tufted Duck, 12 Redshank and 8 Curlew. Passerines were few and far between with a single Meadow Pipit on the outflow looking slightly out of place. 

Both Moss Lane and Jeremy Lane held a few birds on the now established flash floods. Mixed, flighty and distant for the most part were hundreds of Dunlin, Golden Plover, Redshank, Lapwing and Curlew. 

There are still very few Fieldfares around with a dozen or so very flighty ones hiding in what's left of the hawthorn berries. A couple of Grey Wagtails flitted around the edge of one especially muddy patch. 

Grey Wagtail

At one point there was a Curlew in the road ahead that simply carried on walking rather than flying off as Curlews always do. I climbed from the car and found the Curlew quite easy to pick up from the roadside. Although it seemed lively enough and sported a muddy bill that showed it had been probing for food, it felt bony, thin and light in weight. I put the Curlew over a nearby fence and wished it well as it trotted off through the grassy field.


At 4 pm and just as it began to go dark the lights returned. The leccy is back on so I hit the PC for the pictures. 

Not having the electricity on tap for a while is a little like birding - great when it’s around but you don’t half miss it when it’s unavailable. 

Linking this post to Eileens's Saturday Blog and Anni in Texas.



Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

No electricity. That's a bummer. Lovely shot of the Teal with its reflections Phil and great to see a Grey Wagtail. I went birding this week to an area that reportedly had a Great White Egret which is very rare in these parts and managed to see it well as it flew across a stretch of water. Also manganged to see a female Goosander which again is very rare her. There was a LOng tailed duck reported in the same area however I did not find it. 2 of of 3 is not back I thought. Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

eileeninmd said...


We are seeing more people put solar panels on their roofs now or they have gas generators for when their power goes out. I love all the birds and closeups photos. The Redpoll and Curlew are favorites. The Grey Wagtail is a pretty bird and the ducks are cute. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post! Take care,enjoy your day! Have a happy weekend!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I hope it comes on and STAYS ON! Love seeing your beautiful birds and it's dark enough at this time of year without power failures! Take care!

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Good luck with the power least they notify you ahead of time. I am not good a water fowl at all and tell myself that I need to learn to identify more water birds, Phil. Then again, I live in the woods, yet I think I should at least try...:)jp

Rhodesia said...

Thank your lucky stars you do not live in Southern Africa, They have daily, and frequent rolling power cuts, known here as load shedding!! How they ever get anything done amazes me. You cannot even cook a meal in peace.

Love the photos, especially the curlew.

Take care Diane

Anni said...

Try living in the middle of a heat wave and no power for weeks!! It's happened here before during hurricane season.

Love all your birds! That duck is a new one for me. Very dapper!

I enjoyed my visit here, and give thanks to you for sharing this week at IRBB.

Lea said...

Have a blessed day!

Wally Jones said...

Despite foul weather (which may not always be conducive to spotting fowl), at least you got out a bit during the week.

I recently read a book about an early pioneering family in Florida and Curlew were described as "tasty". Happy to hear you were not tempted to confirm that opinion and helped the skinny thing on its way.

Long-tailed Duck. I knew it. A twitcher at heart.

Must run. Have to collect sticks and stock up on charcoal for our potential new administration's "New Green Deal". I wonder if these masks will burn efficiently?

Peace, Out from Rebel Alliance HQ where we hope for a miracle in re-counting votes and court battles involving wise judges.

Jean said...

Glad you got your power back on and hope the weather's improved for you a bit as well. The long-tailed duck is a pretty bird. Hope you've had a great weekend!

The Padre said...

Gotta Like That Curlew - The Lesser Redpoll Is Simply Beautiful


NCSue said...

I'm always fascinated to see your avian friends - they are perhaps common to you, but I love seeing birds that aren't found here!
Thank you for sharing at

Fun60 said...

The electricity maintenance is a real pain. . We've had blue skies here for a few days. Hope they reach you soon.

Lowcarb team member said...

No electricity! Not good! Hope all is back to normal now, mind you is anything normal these days!!!?

We went out today for a short drive and walk, timing it so on our way back home the Christmas lights were on in town, it was a cheerful sight.

Stay safe and well.

All the best Jan

Veronica Lee said...

Glad your power was restored. Power outages suck!

Always a joy to see your feathered friends, Phil!

Happy Tuesday!

Lady Fi said...

Lovely bird shots!

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