The Conder Avocets.

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It's against the norm that the Conder Pool Avocet pair have turned up here again this year in that they usually nest colonially....but not these two. When I arrived yesterday morning, they were at the front left hand of Tern Island, one bird was sitting on a shallow hollow nest with a little dead vegetation noticeable around the rim, the other was roosting close by, they had been observed mating (AC) on Sunday. When I returned later in the day at 2.05pm the pair were still on the island, but 30 minutes later one was seen in the creeks, at which time the other bird on the island also flew off and was almost certainly the one I saw at the Conder mouth on the Lune Estuary 20 minutes later at 2.55pm. These birds - reasonable to assume the same pair seen by birders every time - have bee...
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Millennium Park.

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Apparently the path from Aldcliffe to Glasson Dock has the nameplate Millennium Park at the bottom of Aldcliffe Hall Lane, something I've not noticed before....learning something new every day!  As I went under Carlisle Bridge, I was taken by surprise when a Raven - on an away day I presume - came on the scene, into the air from behind the only building left standing after the rest were demolished, put the Feral Pigeons on the rooftop to flight, and was mobbed by a Carrion Crow.Freeman's and the Wildfowlers Pools were virtually deserted save 4 Gadwall and 2 Little Grebe on the former. A walk along the embankment was well rewarded by 3 Wheatear, and I finally caught up with 2 Little Ringed Plover on the flood. To Conder Green from Aldcliffe, thinly scattered warblers were, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, and a lo...
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Trickling Migrants.

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An obvious northerly Swallow movement yesterday albeit a trickle where I was  - c.60 birds in 6 hours - including interest being shown by single birds lingering around Gardners Farm and Conder Green Farm.With the exception of 6 Sand Martin over Conder Pool, interest at Conder Green yesterday was with 3 Greenshank in the creeks, and 2 Common Sandpiper, both of which were in the Conder channel downstream from the iron bridge where a Kestrel came to hover.Along the coastal path to Glasson Dock, I found 2 Chiffchaff, and on the low tide Lune Estuary, 11 Black-tailed Godwit, a pair of Eider, and 12 Wigeon were to note. Gulls here didn't amount to a three figure count and were in the main Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull. Whimbrel Cockersand Pete WoodruffAt Cockersand, 2 Whimbrel were off Crook Far...
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A Little Spring At CG.

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There was a little - just a little - spring in the air at Conder Green on Thursday, particularly on the second visit I made five hours after my first, the two combined produced the now resident pair of Avocet on Conder Pool, and the surprise lone Little Grebe again, a couple of Sand Martin and Swallow were briefly through. With some raking around the creeks I found, 3 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, and 2 Common Sandpiper, one of which was just upstream from the iron bridge, the other downstream in the channel. Gulls were at a premium on the Lune Estuary, and waders were represented by c.150 Redshank in view and feeding strung out to the Conder mouth, 10 Eider, and 2 Red-breasted Merganser were both drakes, the surprise was a single Ringed Plover, at best irregular here.Golden Plover Brian RaffertyFor most of the time in...

Wrong Day, Wrong Time.

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My last post ended....'The best is yet to come'....but after Tuesday's experience seems a long way off. I'm pretty good at making mistakes, and it was a big one when I decided to walk the coastal path Lancaster - Glasson Dock, it was cloudy with a stiff cold westerly wind.Along St Georges Quay in Lancaster and on to the coastal path past Keyline where I was lucky to see a Dunnock, Blue Tit, and heard Chaffinch in song. Looking over Freeman's Pools, it did'nt get any better than Shelduck and Coot on the island which appears to look much smaller now than it's original size. But by the time I reached the crossroad to Marsh Point things briefly sprung to life when I heard the first of 5 Blackcap, three of which were heard later within a few metres of each other south of Stodday.The best on offer at the Wildfowlers Pools was two pair o...

Coming & Going.

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Avocet Brian Rafferty Following a text last Thursday, I received another one yesterday with the same message, that a pair of Avocet had arrived on Conder Pool, but by the time I got to Conder Green on Thursday, the birds had done a runner and were never seen again, but yesterday was different, the Avocet were still on Tern Island when I got there, but guess what, the birds had disappeared when I returned to Conder Green five hours later....Now you see us, now you don't. Spotted Redshank. Pete Woodruff.On the marsh at high tide, a Greenshank and the now considerably darker Spotted Redshank, this photograph was taken at Conder Green last year on 21 April, almost certainly the very same bird. Also on Conder Pool, 2 Common Sandpiper seen, with a Goosander also noted. The Lune Estuary at Gla...
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A Nice Surprise.

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Stonechat. Cockersand 7 April. Pete Woodruff.I didn't really expect a migrant Stonechat on Friday, but was pleasantly surprised to find a female on the fence posts by the cover crop on Slack Lane at Cockersand, the bird was still there on my return two hours later when I managed this nearly decent shot. Also around the cover crop was 18 Linnet, at least 8 White Wagtail were in the flooded field again, few in number of Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit with a pair of Shoveler seen, close by 4 Whooper Swan were lingering with Mondays c.135 Mute Swan. Otherwise Cockersand offered little reward for the effort along the headland, but a male Wheatear never fails to be good, and 5 Twite had probably separated themselves from the flock in fields around the Lighthouse Cottage area recently.Being I suspec...
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A Hike Up The Pike.

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On Tuesday Mike and I started out on our 'Brilliant But Disastrous' day on Clougha Pike 413m (1355ft) above sea level.Willow Warbler. Jan Larsson @ Vingspann  In the car park on Rigg Lane 4 Willow Warbler were in song, one of which was seen off by the resident Robin, also noted, 2 Long-tailed Tit and a Blue Tit.As we approached Ottergear Bridge we could here the song of a Mistle Thrush, but it took some searching to find the tree it was atop. The acoustics of the area this bird was in were such that the birds song was more resounding than I've ever heard a Mistle Thrush in full song before and carried on for up to ten minutes before it flew off....pure magic. Also magic once on the moorland, was the sight and song of the Curlew, with it's shivering wings and rippling trill on it's descending glide, co...
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Brilliant But Disastrous.

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Seven miles and five hours on Tuesday with good friend Mike who was looking forward to a brilliant day, with a walk up the east side of Clougha, across the summit and back down the west side. Of course primarily for me the object of the day was the Stonechat, which brought about a brilliant yet disastrous day in that not a single bird was found.Stonechat. Ana Minguez @ Naturanafotos  At the risk of repeating myself....This was a worrying discovery, that despite six years since the Stonechat population in the former stronghold of our area in the NW of England was reduced by the harsh winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 which may have caused considerable mortality. The Stonechat has never returned to Clougha in anything beyond the odd birds found on occasional visits on here since 2011.I have drawn this conc...

Spring Is In The Air….

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....not for me it ain't, and not that many 'spring' birds in the air on Monday either, or on the ground for that matter, though I've managed to squeeze three Wheatear into the book, but I've yet to find my first, Sand Martin, House Martin, or Swallow. OK, it's early days yet, but you see migrant birds reported here and there, which creates the impression it's all happening and time to get out and get a bit of the action for yourself, only to find there isn't too much of it about. But now I'm about to contradict at least a little of that....Greenshank/Redshank. Conder Green 3 April. Pete Woodruff....Well I did try.It was good to find a Greenshank at Conder Green yesterday, the first of it's kind here since I found four in the creeks on 17 October, at one point it was alongside the wintering(?)Common Sandpiper. On Conder P...