Wading In!

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Waders were back in the fields at Cockersand in their thousands again on Friday. On the day I saw up to 4,500 Golden Plover, c.3,000 here and 1,500 at Glasson. An estimated 2,500 Dunlin were with the Golden Plover, and the uncounted Lapwing, Curlew, and Redshank created an impressive total of c.7,000 waders in the Cockersand fields today. There was also an exceptional count of at least 90 Meadow Pipit in one field today, with an absolute minimum of 8,000 Starling, and to add to the wader spectacle, the 5,000 Wigeon count of 5 February were again strung out along the tide between the lighthouse at Cockersand and Bank End. On Plover Scar, 550 Oystercatcher, 82 Turnstone and 3 Redshank, with 11 Eider seen off here, 3 Red-breasted Merganser drake were seen as one so...
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Up With The Lark.

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Following a damp start, by mid-day on Monday the day came good with wall to wall sun, though the wind took the edge off it and was strong and very cold along the headland at Cockersand. Seen as at least a decent count, up to 65 Skylark were in the field to the north of Bank Houses........Skylark Eagland Hill. Barry Dyson.....But an even more exceptional count was made on 7 February, when BD achieved an amazing 470 Skylark at two locations in the Eagland Hill area, making my count at Cockersand look paltry by comparison, but a grand total of at least 470 Skylark is an inspiring sight, even seeing 65 in my case at Cockersand, and the perfect example of 'right place right time' to see a gathering of large scale cold weather movement of a bird like the Skylark. The female Stonechat&nbs...
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The Wildfowl Have It….Again.

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I decided to give Cockersand and the howling cold wind a miss on Friday, instead I cut the estuary visit short and got my nose in on the parish of Aldcliffe for a couple of hours where wildfowl was the main feature.With 3 Goldeneye and a Red-breasted Merganser all there was to note on Conder Pool, up to 450 Black-headed Gull dropped in, presumably a fragment of the couple of thousand seen off Jeremy Lane in the large recently sprayed field, on their way back to the Lune Estuary.I legged it along the coastal path from Conder Green to Glasson Dock to find the low tide estuary pretty much the same as Wednesday, with just 75 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Goldeneye of any significant note. On the canal basin, 9 Goldeneye, 2 Goosander drake, and a Great-crested Grebe, with the...

Ducktacular!

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Following Mondays spectacle, there was another on Wednesday, when I walked the length of coastline from Crook Farm to Bank End by which time I'd estimated at least 5,500 Wigeon stretching the entire length in some impressive rafts drifting in on the tide and including 13 Pintail and 12 Shoveler.Stonechat Cockerham Sands 7 February. Pete Woodruff.On the way to Bank End I saw the Cockerham Sands female Stonechat again. In the field NW of Bank End Farm, 245 Whooper Swan were accompanied by 2 Bewick's Swan. Returning from here, 7 Greenfinch seen, and 35 Twite were in the rough field behind Bank House Cottage.At Conder Green I found 8 Little Grebe, my best count here in up to 3 months, probably dispersed from some frozen pool somewhere, six of these were in the creeks and two on Co...
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Wigeon Spectacular….And More.

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Seen at Cockersand a month ago on 8 January, there was another spectacular sight of at least 4,500 Wigeon again at Cockersand on Monday, on a flat calm sea, a huge raft stretching from the lighthouse, drifting in on the tide towards the Cocker Estuary. As a bonus, 19 Eider, 15 Teal - surely more given time to search - and 4 Shoveler. On Plover Scar, 72 Turnstone, 8 Knot, and 2 Grey Plover. A lone Pink-footed Goose was off Plover Scar, the bird looked healthy, but drifting on the water I wondered if it could fly. I watched at least 100 Black-tailed Godwit drop into the field by the abbey including one individual in near breeding plumage, with c.200 Curlew in surrounding fields, 15 Twite went over my head and SW out to sea towards Pilling, also a skein of c.150 Pink-footed Geese flew south 2 hours after I had seen the same number flying ...

In The Picture.

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You may have seen in the comments section of my last post - 'Third Time Lucky' - on Birds2blog, take a look at it HereIn fact I did indeed take this shot of an Iceland Gull through the fence at Heysham Power Station. Rather remiss of me I must say, though at the time I was unconscious to the security breach I was committing.I think as a responsible birder, it's a duty that I come clean on this mistake and use it as an opportunity to draw attention to the fact that it's pretty irresponsible to point a camera to take photographs at a highly secured Nuclear Power Station, as a warning to other birder/photographers, some of which are no more than self centred pricks, intent on getting a better pik than anyone else, which they always fail to do anyhow.There's some sound advice and a warning about the consequences of photography at this loca...
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Third Time Lucky.

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I managed to talk KT into a walk along the seawall at Heysham this Sunday afternoon with the sole intention of seeing if we could find any of the celebrities available here over the past days. Iceland Gull Heysham Harbour 4 February. Pete Woodruff.The Iceland Gull was picked up in flight across the harbour, and was quite mobile over the waterfall area before eventually disappearing into the south corner of the power station, it then flew over the Fisher rooftops and went down out of view behind a crane on the south quay, it made a brief appearance out in the open here from where I got a shot, acceptable by my standards....Third time lucky.Chough Half Moon Bay 4 February. Pete Woodruff.An earlier visit to Half Moon Bay gave me another chance at the long stay Chough, surrounded by hordes of 'walkies' and 'snapper...
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Third Time Lucky.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I managed to talk KT into a walk along the seawall at Heysham this Sunday afternoon with the sole intention of seeing if we could find any of the celebrities available here over the past days.Iceland Gull Heysham Harbour 4 February. Pete Woodruff.The Iceland Gull was picked up in flight across the harbour, and was quite mobile over the waterfall area before eventually disappearing into the south corner of the power station, it then flew over the Fisher rooftops and went down out of view behind a crane on the south quay, it made a brief appearance out in the open here from where I got a shot, acceptable by my standards....Third time lucky.Chough Half Moon Bay. Mike Atkinson.An earlier visit to Half Moon Bay gave me another chance at the long stay Chough, surrounded by hordes of 'walkies' and 'snappers'.Stonechat Half Moon Bay. Mike...
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Thursday 1 February.

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By the time I got to Conder Green the 10.19m tide was lapping by the roadside, and a few birds had taken refuge on Conder Pool including, 2 Greenshank, 110 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 3 Goosander, 26 Curlew, a Goldeneye, and 120 Common Gull. The 2 Rock Pipit and 2 Red-breasted Merganser on Conder Pool I don't ever recall seeing there before, certainly not the latter. On the canal basin at Glasson Dock, 16 Goldeneye, a drake Pochard, Little Grebe and Great-crested Grebe. At Cockersand, waders today were concentrated in Abbey Farm fields down to Lighthouse Cottage, where there was probably 5,000 birds, including most notably 2,000 Dunlin and 2,500 Golden Plover. When I went to Glasson 30 minutes later I found another 1,500 Golden Plover, in which case my records read....'at least 4,000 Golden Plover on the Lune ...
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Hunt The Celeb’s.

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There's little purpose in this post, other than to point out a failure to find the birds. Against my better judgement, I decided on a 'Hunt The Celeb's' on two dates, there having been a selection in the Heysham Harbour area recently, with a list including....Glaucous GullIceland GullLittle GullMediterranean GullShagBrent GeeseChough Wednesday 24 January was my first failure date. The session started in good style and an encouragement to move on to my hunt at Heysham Harbour, when I soon found the Chough and Stonechat at Half Moon Bay. But 2 hours later, and in pretty difficult windy conditions and a gust almost blowing me off the south wall and into the sea at one point....I found bugger-all.The hunt on Tuesday 30 January for a repeat 2 hours at Heysham, also had the same miserable 100% failure rate when again I fo...
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