Sunday, March 7, 2021

Comings And Goings

It's usual for me to spend a short time only at Braides Farm where the parking gateway allows views over a wide expanse of open fields devoted to growing grass. And more grass.  And not many birds.

After the autumn and winter of 2020/2021 there are still large areas of floods that have held a few Whooper Swans for weeks now. Imagine my surprise this morning to see those few swans suddenly transformed into an enormous herd of Whoopers that counted in the region of 450-470 individuals. The herd extended from the roadside, north to the River Cocker and then all the way across to the sea wall some 300 yards away. The count may prove to be bigger as when I later drove up to Conder Green, more Whoopers were in the roadside fields there but mostly hidden from view by hedgerows. 

Click the pics. Here's a not very good video shot with a Sony and 135mm lens. 

And then a couple of closer pictures with a 600mm. All of a sudden the herd erupted into a clamour of frantic calling and whooping, I suspect they will be heading off back to Iceland very soon. 

Whooper Swans

Whooper Swans

At Hillam, and where 2 Sand Martins flew across the lake, I checked the water level to see if Avocets might return. Last year's nesting island is now buried by autumn and winter downpours. A word with farmer Chris and he said he would look into making the island visible again for the spring and summer. 

I drove up to Conder Green where I soon picked out a single Avocet amongst the 10 Shelduck and 40 Black-headed Gulls. 

Conder Green

The Avocet won't be alone for long - soon joined by several more I expect.  


The Oystercatchers here are becoming flighty. I saw a group of four in the throes of their springtime “piping” display. The piping displays in this the early breeding season allows the birds to establish a territory. They bow their heads and point their beaks at the ground, then pipe loudly while walking and flying around the area. The display often attracts other Oystercatchers so that half a dozen birds may eventually run along side by side in a line or fly around in a tight flock while calling loudly - "kleep kleep, kleep kleep." 

"Piping" Oystercatchers

Other sightings. 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebe, 1 Little Egret, 4 Pied Wagtail, 36 Wigeon, 65 Teal, 8 Redshank, 2 Curlew. 

I was out in the new car this morning, giving it a run because due to lockdown it has been hardly anywhere for weeks. 


“What is it?” you say, just as many others have done. It's a Ssangyong Tivoli 1.2 Ventura, of much the same size and with similar performance to my old 1.6 Suzuki Vitara. The difference is an equivalent Vitara today is about four grand more than this Ssangyong. This comes with half leather heated seats and heated steering wheel for the winter days together with a few more bells & whistles like keyless entry and cruise control.  A 7 years warranty! - well recommended. 

And here's a heads up for the suppliers, Barker's of Preston . Thanks guys. 

Another heads up for my pals Wally and Gini over in Florida. They sent me a virtual coffee. Take a look at Wally's blog – blue sky, birds, bugs and alligators at Our Natural Places Florida   

Cheers guys. Enjoy all that sunshine but look out for those harmless alligators and friendly snakes. No such problems here in occasionally sunny Lancashire.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blogspot and Anni in Texas.

The weather for this weekend looks very poor. Unless something should change it seems like it will be next Tuesday or Wednesday before I can post more news on Another Bird Blog.  



jp@A Green Ridge said...

WOW...a beautiful new "ride" for you Phil, although there is no way I could (or would) attempt to pronounce it!! Your photos are amazing and that Avocet is simply breathtaking!!!

Mike Attwood said...

Plenty to see and do up your way Phil and the car sounds almost as good as my ford fiesta. Drive safely.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

WOW! Never seen so many Whoopers in one place phil. That photo of the Avocet is superb. Have a great week ahead

NCSue said...

I've fallen in love with the avocet - what a gorgeous bird!
Thanks for sharing at

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

so many pretty birds to day Phil

Rhodesia said...

Wow new car, enjoy. We bought a new set of tyres for our car at the beginning of 2020 on special. They went in the barn ready to be put on our car when we returned from our month in Italy in June. COVID appeared and the tyres are still in the barn the car has done almost no mileage at all in the last 13 months sigh.
I don't think I have ever seen a Whooper swan they are lovely birds and I love the Avocet. Re 'our' robin - so many fields around us with thick hedges, and with a good supply of food in summer why should it visit us for seed as second best!
Keep safe Diane

Fun60 said...

The photo of the avocet is a gem.

Wally Jones said...

That is a whoop of Whoopers! It must have appeared as if a snowstorm blew through the area.

I like the looks of your new vehicle. Ssangyong vehicles are not yet being sold in the U.S. to my knowledge but may "in the near future".

We're happy you enjoyed the virtual coffee! :)

Thanks for mentioning us in your intergalactically acclaimed blog! We appreciate it.

Angie said...

Phil - fabulous that you got to see all these whoopers! And congrats on the new car! Heated seats will change your life!

Arun Goyal said...

Beautiful clicks of swan and other birds, It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to Gardening, Nature and birds here at

Elkes Lebensglück said...

The Whooper Swans are very beautiful, i love she!
Video is very good!
From the other bird are beautiful photos.

Laurie said...

Beautiful photos! A wonderful representation of space as well!

DVArtist said...

Nice car. The photos are exceptional. Have a great day.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I totally LOVE your amazing bird photos. You take great shots. I'm also in awe of your take on space. It's different from mine and that's what makes it so special.

Christine said...

Beautiful photos!

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely photographs, so nice to see the whoopers and avocets.

Enjoy your new car, it looks good :)

All the best Jan

Angie said...

Yes, Phil, to answer your question on my blog, Americans certainly do call potatoes "spuds". Sometimes you might also hear the term "tater". Enjoy your weekend!

Gillena Cox said...

Luv the birds in their space


Andrea @ From The Sol said...

Beautiful and appropriate car for hunting down the birds ... love the Whooper Swans and the Avocet is gorgeous. Harmless alligators and friendly snakes ... hmmmmm, haven't had the pleasure :) Great pictures as usual Phil. I used to be on the "bird" circuit, but since we had to move, I don't get much opportunity to go birding, so it is nice to come visit those of you who do :)

Andrea @ From the Sol

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil

I love the view of the Whooper Swans, here we are seeing the Tundra Swans. I love all the Swans. The Avocet is a beauty, I hope it won't be alone for long. Your new vehicle looks nice, it feels good to get out for a ride and to go birding in a new spot. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post.! Take care, have a happy weekend!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a beautiful new vehicle! It sure is fun to get some new with all the latest technology! Love seeing the Swans up close, they are so amazing! Enjoy your weekend! You'll be looking for places to DRIVE!

Anni said...

Well, I must admit, as a girl child growing up with three older brothers & their fascination with rubbed off on me, and I love everything cars. Great new ride Phil!!!
Enjoyed going out with you today. Some awesome birds & scenery. That avocet is a stunner!! Have a glorious week ahead & thanks so much for linking up at IRBB this week!

Lea said...

I had never heard of Whooper Swans, so I looked them (Wikipedia). Learning something new every day helps keep the old brain alive - Thanks!

Yvonne said...

Love your bird sightings. Swans are such large birds. Must be awesome to watch them.

The Padre said...

Coming And Going, So True - Excellent Depth In The Avocet Shot There - Stay Strong


Rain said...

Hi Phil! :) Those Whoopers are beautiful, I liked seeing one of them flapping its wings! And wow...the Avocet, what a BEAUTIFUL bird! It looks like it's covered in velvet! Nice car! Seat warmers sound like a nice thing on a cold winter day! :)

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