Friday, 25 September 2009

A twitch and an incursion + an edit

Edit - managed to retrieve one of the pics from Conder Green - this is where the first Greenshank we saw at this site landed...see below for details.
The safari managed to get out and about at last and a good trip it was too.

First up was a twitch for the Green Woodpecker that has been lurking around a local cemetery for a while now. A check on the Fylde Bird Club's website revealed it hadn't been seen since the weekend. Had it gone, had no-one been to check? still was worth a try. Turned up and the place was alive (sorry - couldn't resist that one) with birds. Blackbirds, Goldfinches, House Sparrows and a couple of Pied Wagtails. No sign of the 'pecker though. A Starling poking around on the uncut part of the lawn was in fine winter plumage but not what we wanted. The a Sparrowhawk belted through and shook everything up - lo-and-behold a very dippy flight an upward sweep and best of all a vivid yellow rump. Fylde tick in the bag! But then it disappeared into the other side of the cemetery. Try as we might we couldn't find it. We did come across a Great Spotted Woodpecker whilst looking for its larger cousin. Then it reappeared, dived into a bush and straight out the other side, flew over the road across the horse fields to a wood in the distance - so no chance of a photo opportunity, a little disappointing but hey tick in the bag! On to another site...We couldn't decide where to go, chose somewhere but ended up somewhere else. The local boatyard on the river is frequented by a good selection of waders, worth a try for a Curlew Sandpiper or two. The tide was out and the birds spread across the whole estuary. without a scope we were always going to struggle to pick out a goody. But Redshank, Knot, Dunlin, Lapwing and Curlew were all present in good numbers.A handful of Black Tailed Godwits gracefully probed the mud, a Greenshank was a rewarding find. Shelducks, Mallard and Teal represented the waterfowl.

We admired the beautiful boats!

Did you catch the name of this one? - Have a closer look...
More like no hope than good hope.
A skein of Pink Footed Geese went over...winter is definitely on its way.At brew time Frank didn't get any.

His face says it all.

Time to move on again...but where to. I had an idea lets invade someone-elses patch and see what all the fuss is about. So we pointed the Land Rover across the river and headed for Conder Green, Birds2blog territory.

An interesting site indeed. Wide river banks, fringing saltmarsh, creeks, a well wooded old railway line with pasture on the inland side. I'm describing this for you cos the pictures I took didn't come out for some reason or other.

Birds were similar to Skipool. But we did get a Raven, possibly two, croaking away at the top of a huge Sycamore tree. A sheep pasture was smothered with low-flying Swallows feeding up like mad for their long journey south. The small number of Wigeon were the first of the year for us, as was a flock of around 50 Golden Plovers.Another pasture field was full of Lapwings, always nice to see good numbers of this bird, one of the birds of my youth. A Greenshank flew across the river and landed smack in front of us...nice, don't get to see these very often at all these days so two in a day is special. Grilling the few gulls didn't give us any Mediterranean's unfortunately. Walking along the old railway line towards Glasson Dock we had another Greenshank...that could have been a different one to earlier. They're getting like buses now...don't see one for ages then three come along together! But they weren't finished...we went a bit further and then retraced our steps to find two Greenshanks together...and a little further on we got the full house...Redshank, Greenshank and Spotted Redshank in the bins together. Doesn't get much better than that. A huge flotilla of Mute Swans was an impressive sight. A well worthwhile invasion of another's patch, may well do a longer more thorough repeat visit someday soon!
Back at Base Camp the kitchen window Garden Cross Spider was tucking in to an unlucky Red Admiral.
Where to next? Back at work tomorrow so a quick scan off the prom is likely but on Sunday there could be a short safari of sorts.

In the meantime let us know what's living on your river banks.


Monika said...

Those lapwings are beautiful birds. Curlews, on the other hand, always strike me as comical with those probing bills of theirs!

Warren Baker said...

Hints of winter indeed up there Dave.