A Grand Day Out.

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Children from North Yorkshire will soon be enjoying a special conservation experience on grouse moors with the British Association for Shooting & Conservation thanks to funding from North Yorkshire Police.Moorland Heather. Pete Woodruff.A grant from the Police Property Fund will enable hundreds of youngsters between the ages of six and eleven to take part in experience days which will see them visiting the North York Moors, helping with conservation tasks and learning about habitat and wildlife unique to the region.  The police have been keen to support BASC's application with one of the funds largest ever grants which will provide an unforgettable experience for youngsters, and will allow them to find out all about life on the moors through the eyes of a local gamekeeper....well that'll be riveting.I ...
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Marked BTG.

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It's been a disappointing winter for me with regards to finding marked birds, I've had few chances to get close enough to the huge herd of Whooper Swans spending the entire winter at Cockersand, and getting close to any Pink-footed Geese hasn't happened. But it was excellent that just a half dozen of the 1,750 Black-tailed Godwit seen on Tuesday on the Lune Estuary at Glasson, had come to feed close in from my viewpoint at the bowling green the following day for me to find one of the birds was marked.The photograph of the Black-tailed Godwit below is courtesy of my man in Iceland who had sent me this copy last year when there was some confusion about a bird I'd found, the picture resulted in the confusion being resolved. Now I've seen this bird again on Tuesday, it was my fifth sighting of OR-GYflag which will be 5 years old ...
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A Little Routine….

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....with nothing 'new in' to talk about, save a White Wagtail on the flood at Cockersand, one of which I had seen here on Tuesday. Also on the flood, 26 Pied Wagtail, 4 Meadow Pipit, a Skylark, a pair of Shoveler, and 2 Dunlin. Up to 900 Golden Plover were in an Abbey Farm field, and 12 Tree Sparrow at Bank Houses was the best count I've had at Cockersand since I don't know when. On Plover Scar at high tide, 213 waders seen, 135 Turnstone, 68 Oystercatcher, 5 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, a single Knot and Golden Plover. I put in a bit more of a determined effort to count today to arrive at 460 Whooper Swan at Cockersand, not an easy task with birds spread across fields from behind Crook Farm all the way south to Bank End. On the Lune Estuary at Glasson, a much reduced number of 650 Bla...
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BTG’s….

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....top of the pop's for me again on the Lune Estuary.It was good to find the godwits in good number on the Lune Estuary at Glasson again yesterday, but on my first visit as the tide raced in counting was difficult, they were seen in four groups, one at the Conder mouth was particularly hard to get to grips with, they were a distance, packed tight and deep. But on a return three hours after the high tide, life was made easier as the birds were feeding and more strung out, it was an interesting exercise, and the estimate was of at least 1,750 Black-tailed Godwit. Also of note, 3 Knot, 2 Red-breasted Merganser drakes, and 3 Eider were my first here since five on 27 June 2016.I only had a brief look in on Conder Pool yesterday to find 17 Tufted Duck, a pair of Shoveler, and a single Snipe, a Kestrel was hovering close ...
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The Non-Starter.

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We had a 'numbers' first on Friday when 3 Siskin visited our garden, all males on the same feeder, excellent....But little did I know that these three were going to be birds of the day as I set off from home on my birding trip around the Lune Estuary, which turned out to be something of a non-starter.But I must have foreseen the lack of quantity if not quality I was going to have today when I arrived at Conder Pool, which has once again become more a lake than a pool, with little to attract the waders, so to make sure I had something in the book I decided to note every bird I saw, all 55 of 'em....12 Wigeon, 10 Oystercatcher, 10 Black-headed Gull, 9 Tufted Duck, 8 Mute Swan, 3 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, and a Goosander. In the creeks, the Common Sandpiper and a single Little Grebe.On the Lune Estuary, a Spotted Redshank&n...
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Day Of The Godwit.

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Black-tailed Godwit. Lune Estuary 29 April 2016. Pete Woodruff.On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock on Tuesday, an arrival in style when my count came to at least 2,250 Black-tailed Godwit, a spectacular sight with some of the males standing out in their well advanced bright orange-rufous breeding plumage even at the distance. This count exceeds mine or any other previous counts at this location, including WeBS counts for the Lune Estuary.Also mingling with the BTG's I could pick out a few Knot and Dunlin, with 6 Goldeneye, a drake Red-breasted Merganser and a pair of Goosander were also of note....The Spotted Redshank and Common Sandpiper with 3 Little Grebe were all on show in the creeks at Conder Green, and 3 Goosander were on Conder Pool.At Cockersand, the swan herd was tighter grouped than it has ...
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Seven Up!

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Seven Stonechat found yesterday, with five seen on my first search of Jeremy Lane, another seen on my return, and one on the circuit of Cockersand. Also at Cockersand, one week later the Snow Bunting was again on the inner edge of Plover Scar today, and the long staying c.60 Twite were in the rough field behind Bank House Cottage accompanied by a Little Egret, 8 Blackbird and 2 Robin were noted in Bank Houses horse paddock, 120 Golden Plover were in the Abbey Farm field with Lapwing, the 4 Shoveler seen as two pair on 24 February, were still on the flood by the junction of Slack/Moss Lane, 2 Skylark seen, and 10 Brown Hare counted. An excellent return to the Lune Estuary of up to 2,000 Black-tailed Godwit upstream from the Conder Estuary, also c.420 Curlew, a female Goosander and drake Red-breasted Me...
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GAME ON.

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My day was made up on Friday when I found a female Stonechat on Jeremy Lane, since then AC had found 7 Stonechat by 10.30am yesterday morning, which add up to reports of 15 birds in our area in the first four days of March, all of which heralds the start of Stonechat migration...GAME ON!Another excellent record for my book on Friday was two stunning adult Mediterranean Gull complete with black hoods on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, with c.150 Black-tailed Godwit, and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. Of the 19 Goldeneye seen, 10 were on the estuary and 9 on the canal basin were I noted a Great-crested Grebe. The Great White Egret was in the field by Saltcote Pumping Station on Jeremy Lane with 2 Whooper Swan again. And on Conder Pool, 14 Tufted Duck, 12 Wigeon, and 3 Shelduck were noted. In the creeks, the Spotted Redshank, ...
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The Shorelark.

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The two Shorelark which AC found on the marsh off Bank End last Friday, are still present there a week later.Shorelark Jan LarssonThe race flava which breeds in Fennoscandia and western Russia, is the Shorelark that visits Britain, where it mainly inhabits the shoreline and saltmarshes. A pair nested successfully in Scotland in 1997, but had possibly done so during 1972-76.Wintering on the east coast ranging from Grampian to Kent, though previous records, and the current Bank End birds, some occur on the west coast. Numbers vary, but one winter survey estimated a maximum of 300 birds in Britain during 1981/84. In Norfolk, the winter total fell as low as one or two birds in 1988/89, but a survey in December 1998 found an amazing 591 Shorelark.Ringing info on the Shorelark is scant, but evidence of site fidelity was found ...
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4,000 And Counting.

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The fields around Cockersand on Monday held hordes of waders as they had on 30 January, in particular the field by Abbey Farm which was covered with up to 4,000 Golden Plover, a good number of Dunlin, with Lapwing, Curlew and Redshank, an amazing sight, even more amazing when a dread brought about an aerial display en masse....truly spectacular.A couple of other good counts on Monday were the 120 Twite I saw, they were pretty evenly split at Bank End and in the recently favoured field behind Bank House Cottage at Cockersand. The swan herd spread across several fields from Moss Lane to Bank End is still in tact with 450 Whooper Swan at least, 8 Bewick's Swan were viewed from Slack Lane. Snow Bunting. Cockersand Plover Scar 26 February. Pete Woodruff.Bird of the day was a Snow Bunting which gave itself away as it...
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