The Moment Of Truth.

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I received what must have been something like my 100th text over the weeks from Ian 'Pinky' Pinkerton at Conder Pool yesterday 15 August at 2.18pm, and I was as chuffed as a kid with a new toy, to read it saying that the lone Common Tern young from the second pair had fledged.The images below and credited to Ian Pinkerton, illustrate the minutes leading up to the moment of truth, from the bird begging to be fed attended by a parent bird, then joined by two more adult birds, one or both could be either friend or foe. But the sheep were not welcome, and were attacked by adult birds, but the invasion by the sheep, brought about the desired result and the young bird took to the wing for it's maiden flight....ALLELUIA.Bigger and better....'clik the piks'  The Long Watch.Ian Pinkerton has dedicated no less than ...
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Before & After.

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I paid a couple of extended visits to Conder Green on Monday four hours apart, two hours before the tide, and two after, producing some interest and a little quality, albeit the time for quality ratio was a bit unbalanced.Before the tide.Greenshank. Pete Woodruff.Four of 6 Greenshank seen later were roosting on Conder Pool before the high tide, also 11 Little Grebe, a Little Egret, and a Stock Dove, 2 Common Sandpiper and Snipe were in the creeks. Greenshank/Little Egret Conder Pool. Pete Woodruff.After the tide.Ruff/Redshank Conder Creeks. Pete Woodruff.Initially roosting with up to 80 Redshank on the marsh, a Ruff was nice as the tide dropped off the creeks, seen later feeding on the mud.The Conder Common Terns. Common Tern Conder Pool 13 August. Pete Woodruff.When I ar...
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Bowland Lost And Found.

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Hawthornthwaite Fell.I made only three previous visits so far this year and found not one Stonechat, and to turn this into an even bigger disaster found none when I went again last week. This looks like it's going to be a record at the end of the year that I never really wanted to collect, that the Stonechat was never found on Hawthornthwaite in 2018, let alone bred there. Merlin@1000-Pattes But as I came down of the fell, a bird hidden from my view took off out of the heather little more than 50m ahead of me and flew across the clough to perch, this is as good as it gets in Bowland, it was a stunning male Merlin. The only other birds seen were, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Red Grouse, and 3 Sand Martin flying around.Harrisend Fell. I had made just two previous visits, to see a pair on 8...

Next Best!

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I had to postpone a visit to the Bowland Fells earlier this week....Common Tern Conder Pool 9 August. Stephen Fairhurst. So it was best I went to check out Conder Pool to find 6 Common Tern including the young bird now back on Tern Island again, and as seen in the image above, getting the feel of it's wings with some exercise, which hopefully should have lifted it into the air by next weekend 18/19 August, when it will have fledged as the fourth Common Tern to be successfully bred on Conder Pool this year.  Bird of the day was the Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile which honoured Conder Pool with a visit, albeit a brief one with Black-headed Gulls. Also on the pool 12 Little Grebe eventually obliged by taking a rest, making the count an easy one. A Common Sandpiper was in the creeks wi...
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The Ring Reading Problem.

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Another ring reading problem has surfaced, this time with a bird seen to follow the Heysham Mediterranean Gull seen recently. Even though this excellent in flight image of the Bar-tailed Godwit was achieved, unfortunately what appears to be a yellow ring on the tibia of the birds right leg, is in fact thought to be a yellow flag with a three letter inscription to give the birds identity, but hidden from view on the blind side in this brief fly by.The bird originates from the Norwegian Bar-tailed Godwit Ringing Project, and without the 'missing' details from this sighting, the bird cannot be identified as an individual from this project. How frustrating....better luck next time.  The Red Darvic ringed Mediterranean Gull seen at Heysham recently, was another good example of the problems of ring reading,...

Bogey Bird.

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Believe it or not, despite birding for 150 years I'm still short on Hobby sightings, I think three is as good as it gets, all distant and short lived. So I was pleased that KT agreed we should go to Leighton Moss yesterday, to see if one of two being seen there - one as recent as the morning - would oblige us, but 3 hours between two hides....no luck.Black-tailed Godwit/Mallard Grisedale Hide 5 August. Pete Woodruff.Nine Black-tailed Godwit were see as two from the Grisedale Hide, and seven over towards the Eric Morecambe complex. Sightings between the two hides were of at least 6 Marsh Harrier, a male and five juvenile.Red Deer Stag Grisedale Hide 5 August. Pete Woodruff.Seven Red Deer from the Grisedale Hide were, two stag, four hind, and a fawn.So the Hobby continues to be my birding nemesis, well one of them actually, but at least ...
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Poached Egg On Toast Please!

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The only thing promising about the weather yesterday, was that by mid-day it was going to be dull, damp, and murky, and by then it was just that. The plan was a look over Conder Green, then another trip to Heysham, but my enthusiasm waned rapidly as I sat around to see if this damp murky stuff was going to pass by, so off I went home for brunch and poached myself a couple of tasty eggs on toast....Isn't life great!Five Common Tern on Conder Pool included the island chick, 10 Little Grebe seen again, with up to 200 Lapwing, 5 Curlew, and 2 Stock Dove, 6 Common Sandpiper were seen as two in the creeks, and four down the channel, also 2 Swift were my first autumn migrants purposefully south over the pool. The Conder Common Terns.In the 4 hours IP spent at Conder Pool on Thursday,...

Mainly Gulls & Terns.

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A pleasant and enjoyable 2.5 hours at Heysham yesterday, sifting through the gulls between bouts of human disturbance. Interesting that my meager count of 26 Mediterranean Gull, was just a reversal of the number, when later in the day I find the report of an amazing 62 seen in the a.m. of the same morning.Mediterranean Gull Red Nab Heysham 31 July. Pete Woodruff.This was the result of my best opportunity of a pik, with 20 birds found on Red Nab, 4 on the south side of No 2 outfall, and 2 on the north. Also, the adult Little Gull barely beginning to moult out of summer plumage, 2 Whimbrel, and last Thursdays at least 1,000 Dunlin seen again.Having not been to Conder Green since Thursday last, I was keen to see what the picture was there, to find 5 Common Tern, seen as the pontoon adults, and the island pair with the ...

Seeing Red!

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Iv'e had no opportunities for birding or blogging since Thursday when I was up at 6.30am, that's very rare for me since the day I threw in the towel with the milk round when 4.00am was routine for me seven days a week, not just when I fancied an early birding start....So, like the trains often are, this post is running late. Mediterranean Gulls. Noushka@1000-PattesI was at Heysham by 8.30am and thoroughly enjoyed sifting through the gulls for a couple of hours or so, concentrating mainly on Red Nab as the tide came in. The end result was 16 Mediterranean Gull, mostly adult but a 3cy and two juvenile were noted. Of four ringed birds seen, two Green and one White were all too distant for reading the marks, very frustrating, as together with looking for these brilliant gulls, the main aim was to clinch some ring details, but I did ha...
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The Nearly Day.

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I very nearly didn't venture out on Tuesday, but did eventually go to give Conder Green an hour or two, and was rewarded with some interesting finds, not least of which was the first bird seen in the creeks, which was a head moulting adult Mediterranean Gull with the Black-headed Gulls where I found just 5 Common Sandpiper. I then went off to find a Green Sandpiper still upstream, with 3 Snipe and 2 Little Egret, all feeding on this quiet and concealed part of the River Conder. Two Greenshank were downstream in the channel with up to 80 Redshank, and a singing Blackcap was by Christ Church at Glasson Dock.Painted Lady. Andrew Cornall.A nice variety of butterflies seen along the coastal path included, 17 Gatekeeper, 3 Speckled Wood, 2 Red Admiral, and 2 Painted Lady, one of which AC had seen on Monday by th...
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