Monday, February 6, 2023

It’s All Going To Pot

Yes, It’s been over a week since a post from me with nothing of note to share since the last outing produced over fifty birds ringed but very little since. It seems that just lately our ringing has "gone to pot”. 

Visits to the ringing site/supplementary feeding spot between bouts of rain and wind produced small numbers and tiny catches of the usual suspects of Chaffinch, Reed Bunting and Blackbirds. 

Reed Bunting


Regular sightings of both Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and once or twice a ring-tail Hen Harrier suggested that they at least were having some luck in catching birds. Nonetheless I stuck to the feeding regime and hoped as ever that bird numbers would improve. 

Sue and I motored up Glasson Way on a couple of occasions where after the secret bacon butty shop brunch (2 barms and 2 teas for £9.50), I took a peek at Conder Green. 

Bacon Barm
For a week or two and depending upon the state of the tide in or out of the creeks, there’s been a wintering Ruff, one or two wintering Greenshank, the ever present but always numerous Redshank and tidal Little Grebes. 



Distant across the far side of the pool were two Stonechats a species that is not common here but one that will now appear with more regularity as an early spring migrant. 

Again ,and depending upon the tides were anything from 50 to 200 Teal plus the expected build up of noisy assertive Greylags looking to start their breeding season. Last Wednesday morning I counted upwards of 100 Greylags but where only three or four pairs are likely to eventually breed here. 



It’s at this time of year that numbers of Canada Geese appear and I was not pleased to see more than 50 of this species, a bird more problematical than Greylag. 

Canada Goose

The main issue that many people experience with Canada Geese is the sheer amount of noise that a group of them will make  This problem has grown increasingly serious as time goes on since there are few natural predators of the Canada Goose in the UK. This has allowed their population to grow unchecked, and develop from as little as 2200 in 1953 to more than 100,000 by the millennium. Not only are the geese noisy, but they can also be highly territorial, especially when guarding their goslings. It is far from rare for members of the public to be attacked by Canada Geese in parks and along riverbanks. 

Just today I was chatting to a wildfowler who told me that while a Greylag for the pot makes a pretty good meal, a within range Canada Goose is not worth wasting a pot-shot as the meat is not nearly so good as a Greylag. We had an interesting conversation about his gun, an old 1878 model that he likes to use  sometimes together with his hand made powder and bismuth cartridges.

Lets finish with music from Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Two old dudes laying down a track better than any modern day 20 something’s can via a song title that sums up the world of today. This folks, is what talent looks like.  They don't make them like this anymore. RIP Merle.


Enjoy the song. Back soon with Another Bird Blog.

Linking at the weekend to Eileen's Blogspot and Anni in Texas.


eileeninmd said...

Sorry the birding is so slow, it would be nice of the weather cooperated.
I like the pretty Teals, the Reed Bunting, the Greenshank and the Ruff.
Take care, have a happy week!

NCSue said...

Weather poses quite a challenge for you I'm sure!
Thank you for sharing at

Wally Jones said...

Just keep saying to yourself that it is getting outside that's important, not what you find once you get there.

Yeah. Pretty lame. But I never claimed to be a philosopher. Here I sit on a beautiful warm day filled with blue sky and sunshine complaining about how windy it is.

At least you proved America has produced some fine classical music!

Gini and I will head to the swamp tomorrow where the big trees will shelter us from the wind, snowbirds and petty politicians (a redundant phrase if ever there was one).

Keep calm and eat more Bacon Barms.

Veronica Lee said...

Sorry to hear that the weather is not cooperating.

That shot of the greylags in flight is incredible!

Happy Wednesday, Phil!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,
I hope your weather is improving. You did capture some beautiful birds, I always love your bird closeups. The Teals are beautiful, love the geese in flight. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment

Shiju Sugunan said...

Amazing bird photos in this post, wow! Sorry about the weather.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love the old country music but I don't listen to it much any more. I need to make time to play some of these old favorites. I'm sorry you've had dreary weather too but love the photos and info you've shared! Happy weekend!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil, I'm still buzzing after listening to the upbeat country music of the great Willie Nelson. Your photography is certainly not going to pot. Lovely close up shots, and I loved the geese in flight image. Mouth watering photo of that bacon barm also, it looks soooo good!
Enjoy your weekend
All the best.

Anni said...

Hello! Thanks for linking in at IRBB this week Phil. I'd say your birding/banding produced a goodly number! I just don't see much around here lately. As for Canada geese...we had hundreds of thousands of them in Colorado. I never minded them (but I was a youngster).

I would like to have seen his guns.

Adam Jones said...

Sorry to hear it's been quiet for you Phil. Hopefully things will pick up in the next few days and weeks. Lovely shot of the Greenshank, and interesting to hear about the Canadas and their lack of tasty meat. They must be up there with the feral pigeon with its poor meat and huge numbers, which is a real shame. Surely someone/something would like to nibble a few to reduce the numbers.

Lowcarb team member said...

Our weather has been a little up and down recently ... and as usual in February storms are being talked about!

Always nice to see your bird photographs, I especially liked the one of the greylags in flight ... wonderful.

Wishing you a good weekend.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

PS Thanks for the music video :)

All the best Jan

Rostrose said...

Good song and great atmosphere in the studio. Yes, the old warhorses of music still knew where to go.
Dear Phil, you sound so down, I'm sorry. Your bird photos are so good.
I don't know what could cheer you up. Maybe a Canada Geese stew that TASTES GOOD? No, just kidding. Maybe my Costa Rica photos will make you feel better. I am not sure if you have already seen my 5th chapter, I would have needed your help as a bird expert there:
We're now at Chapter No. 6, so I could probably identify most of it. But when Chapter 7 starts, I'll need a lot of Bird expert input again. Maybe you would like to do that?
I wish you a good new week, all the best, Traude

Wally Jones said...

We hope all is well in Lancashire today.

Rhodesia said...

We organised a day out birding yesterday with an expert. Not the best day, far too hot and far too windy so the weather can be one extreme to the other!!
Take care Diane

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