Meanwhile At Cockersand.

I managed an enjoyable session yesterday at Conder/Glasson/Cockersand. Meanwhile....At Cockersand, on a circuit I saw 7 Blackbird, 8 Meadow Pipit came up out of a field as did at least 13 Snipe here and there, 7 Reed Bunting were seen together as a small flock, there was an altercation between 2 Wren on Slack Lane where I saw 4 Linnet in the cover crop, a Sparrowhawk and 3 Brown Hare seen.It was quiet along the headland, c.70 Wigeon were off Plover Scar and a small group of Turnstone and Golden Plover were in the field by the abbey. A Buzzard was on a fence post unseen by me until I got within a few metres of the bird. I'd seen the swans in the fields by Thursland Hill as I drove along Moss Lane and again from the headland at Cockersand, the herd looks to be up to 400 strong and obvious at least 340 W...

Then There Was Nine!

Stonechat. Ana Minguez @  Naturanafotos  It might have taken me a couple of hours, but it was good to eventually find 4 Stonechat on Harrisend, the result being nine pairs of Stonechat now on record wintering at four locations I've visited recently in Bowland. Hardly numbers to get ecstatic about, but thankful for small mercies on a species which has yet to return to anything like pre 2009 status.Harrisend is a giant sponge in the boggy areas where the water drains off the fell, as I got out of the car, the drainage into one roadside ditch could be heard gushing, quite amazing the amount of water considering the dry spell of late. At least 11 Red Grouse seen, and my second recent upland Jack Snipe went into the air ahead of me, with a Common Snipe seen, a Buzzard was the only ...
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Thrush And Goose

Lots of Fieldfares were on the move today. And later there was a bonus bird in the shape of a Greenland White-fronted Goose. I’d started off as usual with a drive north towards Pilling and Cockerham. The flood at Braides Farm was partly frozen where my distance-impaired counts still realised approximately 250 Lapwing, 140 Golden Plover, 180 Curlew, 40 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Redshank and 40 Teal. There was a very tightly packed flock of about 400 gulls, mainly Black-headed, but also some Common. A black mass of birds was immediately recognisable as a post-roost huge flock of Starlings, and as they slowly dispersed left, right and centre in smaller feeding parties I counted 600+ and still some left on the ground. Starling, Golden Plover, Lapwing There was very little doing at Conder Green where the recurrent high water level ma...
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Surely not another morning on the nature reserve

The Safari spotted a midge/gnatty thing on the outside of the kitchen window late yesterday afternoon and went to get the super-macro. What fantastically feathery head-gear! Shame the pic had to be taken through two panes of dirty glass with near darkness outside.This morning we were able to have a couple of hours at the nature reserve in some bright almost warm sunshine, warm enough for a visiting birder to be wandering around in shorts. Like the other day there were a decent number of Blackbirds about although maybe not quite so many. One of the far far too many dog walkers with unleashed dogs told us an owl had been seen earlier. The amount of doggy disturbance this morning was seriously shocking - if only the main path wasn't a Public Footpath and the gate could be locked...wouldn't stop them one would be down with bolt croppers within ...

Wot No Wagtails

Ian and I headed to the reedbed this afternoon in an attempt to ring some more Pied Wagtails, but they weren't playing ball! The two nets were duly erected in perfect mist netting conditions of full cloud cover with a light easterly breeze.We waited, and waited and waited until it got dark and only five Pied Wagtails flew over! There is a second roost site in the opposite direction that they use, so it is likely that for whatever reason they decided to roost there this evening. We just ringed four birds as follows:Blackbird - 1Greenfinch - 1Goldcrest - 1Pied Wagtail - 1Camped out deep in the reeds and willow scrub it is difficult to bird as any views are highly restricted and all we had was four Long-tailed Tits, a Song Thrush and five Greenfinches! ...
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Salmo The Leaper

The Atlantic Salmon was named by the Romans I think, as Salmo the Leaper (Salmo salar}.This is owing to the salmon's ability to leap up and over waterfalls that would otherwise impede it's progress up the rivers.The Atlantic Salmon returns to it's native rivers in the Autumn to swim upstream to the spawning grounds in the upper reaches of the rivers where they would have originally been born. They usually await heavy rain when the rivers are in spate enabling them to make progress upstream much easier.I eagerly await their arrival in the Autumn when I can try to catch leaping salmon with the camera.This year the Autumn was very dry with little or no rain.Eventually at the beginning of November the rains did arrive and the salmon began to make their way to the spawning grounds.One of the favourite places to see this annual spectacle is Stain...
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Waders And Wildfowl – Two Different Sites

Earlier in the week Andy, Graham, Kim and I met at Rob and Diana's farm to attempt to catch and ring some waders and wildfowl on their farm wetland. We met an hour before dusk to get the three wader nets up in preparation for when, hopefully, some wildfowl (Teal) and waders (Jack Snipe and Snipe) would fly in after dark.It was forecast to be calm with cloud cover rolling in to keep the temperature above freezing. However, the cloud cover didn't materialise and consequently the wetland started to freeze. As you can imagine this is not conducive to feeding Snipe in particular and we didn't end up ringing anything! We weren't disheartened as the site has huge potential and at least we know where to put the nets up, and everything is in place ready for our next visit. Mist nets over the marshWe did record a few bits and pieces when we were...

Another Of Those Short And Sweet Jobs.

I just had to grab what birding time I could on Thursday, covering as best and as much as I could.Spotted Redshank & Co. Pete Woodruff.The Spotted Redshank was roosting on the marsh when I arrived at Conder Green, a female Teal was snoozing next to it, with a Snipe crouched in the background. On Conder Pool, 8 Tufted Duck were probably here having been displaced from the mainly frozen canal basin at Glasson Dock, 9 Little Grebe and 3 Snipe were noted.As I drove along Moss Lane a good number of Fieldfare were seen, a Jay flying off with them showing it's distinctive white rump. At Cockersand, a single Grey Plover was on Plover Scar along with a few uncounted Turnstone and c.250 Oystercatcher, c.175 Black-tailed Godwit were on the shore between Plover Scar and Long Tongue. Good numbers of Snipe were again in the fields...

Friday on Saturday

I’m a little late with yesterday’s blog post. That’s because Friday evening was the annual Fylde Ringing Group Christmas dinner, a chance for members to get together and discuss birds for a change! A good time was enjoyed by all at The Farmer’s Arms, Great Eccleston. Farmer's Arms Meanwhile the Linnets don’t get any easier to catch even though there are up to 300 birds present at any one time. Another session at the set-aside on Friday saw us add another eight birds to the project total. LinnetMale Linnet We recorded our first recapture - a first year male originally caught on the very first visit of 3rd October 2016, now re-trapped 2 months later, despite eight other visits in the intervening period. This is the first real indication we have that some of the Linnets probably visit the field on a regular basis. Our ove...
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