Thursday, December 10, 2020

Sittin’ On The Dock

Between rain showers I’ve regularly checked out the Linnets at Gulf Lane in the hope of a ringing session. The visits gave a series of unpredictable and disappointing counts between zero and 50. These are numbers that inspire little confidence in a catch of Linnets, a species that is in any case nervous, jittery, flighty and difficult to catch. 

At least one Stonechat, the male, has hung around at Gulf Lane; visible most days at the top of the bramble that lines the ditch, but I now see the female less frequently. A couple of days ago the male caught an enormous caterpillar as below. Into the afternoon light I could not get the photo I wanted but the green caterpillar was quite interesting in being so long and meaty. 

Perhaps a Winter Moth Operophtera brumata? Are there any lepidopterists out there? 


On Thursday and because of the lack of birds at Cockerham Andy and I decided to have a go at the Linnet flock that’s been building close to the River Lune marshes at Glasson Dock, about 7 miles from Gulf Lane. In recent days the flock at Glasson has numbered around 200 birds so I squared it with Stewart the land owner for a visit and met Andy on site at 0800. 

River Lune marshes, Lancashire

The wind was a little fresh and from the “wrong” direction but we caught 8 first winter Linnets, 5 males and 3 females. Following our couple of hours on site rather than the more usual spot counts we now estimated the number of Linnets at 400+. 

So now we await a morning of wind from the north and sheltered nets or that real rarity, a frosty morning of zero wind. 

Stay tuned for more news soon from Glasson Dock of Morecambe Bay.

Linking today to Eileen's Blogspot and Anni in Texas



Lowcarb team member said...

Happy Thursday Wishes Phil.
That is a lovely photograph of the Stonechat and a nice view of the River Lune marshes.

Stay safe and well.

All the best Jan

Angie said...

Hey Phil - all of us amateur photographers would have been thrilled with that picture of the stonechat with the caterpillar! Interesting the caterpillar is still in that form at this time of year!

Rhodesia said...

We seem to have a lot of stonechats around this year but I have not been lucky enough to catch one with food hanging out of its mouth.
Have a good weekend and stay safe, Diane

italiafinlandia said...

The Stonechat is not on a diet... Lol!

eileeninmd said...


The Stonechat is a beautiful bird. I am glad you were able to find some Linnets. The landscape shot is pretty. I hope you have a frosty morning with no wind soon. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post! Take care, have a happy weekend!

Rain said...

Wow Phil, the Stonechat is a gorgeous bird, love the photo! Just to answer your question on my blog, the website is not happening yet...we are so overwhelmed by everything in our "new" (to us) fixer upper home, there's still so much to do. I wanted to thank you again for all of your kind words and support for my art endeavors!!! :) And btw, I'm going to be answering questions on my blog comments from now on, just to let you know! :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The Stonechat is very eye catching and even neater with the catch of the day! Hope your weather improves and you can get out and do what you do best! We got out in a light drizzle today but it stopped during our hike! YAY! Happy weekend!

Hootin' Anni said...

Let's hope for better weather for you & Andy! And, like all others, that Stonechat photo is a work of art. Thank you very much for stopping by IRBB to share your link to this post!

Wally Jones said...

It seems the Linnet flock is building. Now if we can just get your weather forecasters to produce a bit of decent weather!

We took a trip to a German grocery yesterday where they have a terrific butcher shop. In a little while I'll burn some pieces of wood and toss some bratwurst over the coals. The sausages look quite similar to your Stonechat's snack.

Busy this week preparing for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Scouting out several areas and so far have found good numbers of birds everywhere. Just like you, we are now at the mercy of the weather gods.

Have a great new week!

Jean said...

The photo of the stonechat with the caterpillar is spectacular! Hope you get that rare weather day soon. Have a great new week!

NCSue said...

Nice captures! Love the stonechat displaying its catch!
Thanks for sharing at

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Beautiful photos. Amazing photo of the stonechat with the catepillar. Have a grand week!

Fun60 said...

Fascinated by that caterpillar. What a feast.

The Padre said...

The Stonechat Photo Is A Keeper - Well Done


Veronica Lee said...

Love the incredible capture of the stonechat with the caterpillar!

Happy Tuesday, Phil!

Lady Fi said...

Amazing shots!

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