Golden Times

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There are more pictures from the hill country today. Birding is more than a little quiet and the weather so perfect that I took to the upland roads with camera at the ready. Noticeable today was the reduction in numbers of waders with many already gone for the coast, mainly Lapwings, Redshanks and Curlews but to a lesser extent Oystercatchers. In fact I struggled to get pictures of Curlew and Redshank and managed just one Lapwing. Despite that a number of Snipe continued to both sing and display and to show themselves on dry stone walls and fences. Lapwing Curlew Like me, the Oystercatcher below was searching the skies for the Golden Plover singing unseen. I didn’t see the plover but the unmistakeable melody rung out loud and clear across the open fell. OystercatcherMaybe the Oystercatcher didn’t recognise the song...
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Martin Morning

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
2016 was a year without ringing at the Cockerham Sand Martin colony because the martins’ nest holes were too high up the quarry face for us to catch them. It’s the same this year with the birds mostly out of reach of the mist nets. But with so many being around Andy and I decided we’d experiment with catching some down at ground level today. We met up at 0700 and set to with a single mist net in the base of the quarry where the martins had been feeding and flying through on their way to and from the quarry face. We had only partial success with a catch of 9 birds, 4 adults and 5 fresh juveniles. We reckoned on something like 200 individuals milling around the colony and upwards of 60 occupied nest holes, even though counting those is subject to interpretation. Sand MartinThere are Sand Martins in my picture below take...
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Mainly Pics

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I took lots of pictures up in Bowland this morning, almost 400 and easily packed onto half of an SD card. I know there are some who refuse to abandon the traditional 35mm film photography, but give me digital photography, computers and Photoshop any old day. It was a morning of waders again with a number of Snipe on show, plus Redshanks and Oystercatchers with young. I even managed a picture of the very shy Red Grouse. Other highlights of the morning included two Ring Ouzel and at least one Cuckoo, but all too distant to photograph.Click the pics for a closer look. Redshank RedshankOystercatcher  Red GrouseSnipe seemed especially active this morning whereby I saw 8/10 individuals in poses, behaviour or voice that suggested they now have young.SnipeSnipe SnipeSnipeBowland, LancashireA barely fledged Redshank  had quickly lear...
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Back Already?

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Spring is barely over but already it seems that a few waders have left their breeding haunts. First back this morning at Conder Green – a Common Sandpiper. It’s a species which breeds up in the hills 15/20miles away and not in lowland Fylde. I heard it call as it flew behind and then over my head as it lost height, flicked over the pool, landed on the near island and then bobbed along looking for a meal. I glanced at the date on my watch. Bang on time, perhaps one or two days early for the annual excitement of spotting returning waders, the spick-and-span youngsters or the adults showing copious amounts of their summer plumage. Common SandpiperIt made me look at the local waders on show and not far behind the frontrunners - Oystercatchers with half grown young, 3 Pairs of Avocets with 3 youngsters on show, noisy complaining Redsha...
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That Redshank

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Two days of stormy weather have left me indoors. And then tomorrow the forecast is for rain all day and more over the weekend. Is it really June? On Saturday last I posted a photograph of a colour ringed Redshank that I saw on a journey through the Forest of Bowland on 4th June, http://anotherbirdblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/saturday-sport.html I followed the sighting up through the Internet and discovered more information via the Farlington Ringing Group. The group of ringers operate on the south coast of England. See below for the full set of information on the Redshank. It shows how effective colour ringing can be in tracking individual birds.Redshank DD51107Ringed as an adult in September 2009, Redshank DD51107 is now at least 9 years old and has been re-sighted in the Chichester area of the Sussex coast between August and March in ...
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That Redshank

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Two days of stormy weather have left me indoors. And then tomorrow the forecast is for rain all day and more over the weekend. Is it really June? On Saturday last I posted a photograph of a colour ringed Redshank that I saw on a journey through the Forest of Bowland on 4th June, http://anotherbirdblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/saturday-sport.html I followed the sighting up through the Internet and discovered more information via the Farlington Ringing Group. The group of ringers operate on the south coast of England. See below for the full set of information on the Redshank. It shows how effective colour ringing can be in tracking individual birds.Redshank DD51107Ringed as an adult in September 2009, Redshank DD51107 is now at least 9 years old and has been re-sighted in the Chichester area of the Sussex coast between August and March in ...
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Saturday Sport

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Saturday morning began bright and clear with a forecast of no rain. It looked spot on for birding in the hills. I set off over the flat roads of my local patch all the time driving north and east, a direction that took me into the hills above Garstang where our common waders breed. Hopefully I would be able to practice a bit more with the new Sigma lens. The Canon 400mm lens has gone for repair and it will be three weeks or more before I hear the news, good or bad. There are lots of pictures today and not much text. Highlights today were 2 Cuckoos calling from the fell sides, dozens of Meadow Pipits with a few feeding young, a colour ringed Redshank, and then a Curlew chick to ring.  Read on and don’t forget to “click the pics”. The journey to Garstang and beyond takes me firstly over the flat moss roads of Out R...
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Into June

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Yes, regular reader, I know Wednesday was perfect for birding and photography but I was busy with half-term duties. Today was the first opportunity to get out and about and although weather-wise this morning wasn’t the best, it was dry and warm for the first birding of June. The set-aside at Cockerham is coming on a treat with lots of oil-seed rape in the mix giving the field a bright yellow glow. I stopped off to check out the couple of pairs of Skylarks close by. Set-aside field - June 2017SkylarkSkylarkAs before, Gulf Lane is still off limits for ringing due to the latest ringing ban caused following the latest avian flu. But that doesn’t stop us getting details of a recovery from our ringing of over 200 Linnets during the winter. This time it wasn’t a Linnet but a Reed Bunting that popped into the in-tray. Andy...
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Slowly Does It

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
As I drove slowly along Head Dyke Lane I heard a singing Chiffchaff and then saw a Kestrel watching over a field from an overhead line. At Gulf Lane the sitting Oystercatcher raised her head above the crop to see what the stopped vehicle was up to. She sounded a warning but the rapidly growing crop has already outpaced any tiny youngsters and I couldn’t see them. A pair of Skylarks circled and then dropped into the same area of the field and I made a mental note of the spot for another day. All I saw from the Braides Farm gateway was a single Roe Deer, 400 yards from me but just a few yards from the sea wall with not a tree in sight; a strange beginning to my journey of Cockerham to Conder Green. Roe DeerThere are still 3 pair of Avocets at Conder Pool and one pair have two youngsters that scurried along the water’s edge at ...
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Shooting Times

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
After the mishap in Menorca my Canon lens has gone to the lens doctor for a thorough examination. It may or may not come back, and it could be three to four weeks before the decision. I chanced upon a possible replacement, a Sigma, a lens which by all accounts performs quite well. So I waited for a sunny day to test out the substitute, and when this morning dawned bright I took off for the hills of Bowland with fingers crossed. Lapwings and Curlews were in good numbers but I struggled to see and photograph both Oystercatchers and Redshanks. Maybe another week will see more activity as young emerge from the mostly distant nests I could see and hear but not picture. The Lapwing I photographed had young, perhaps obvious from the demeanour of the adult as it frantically warned the youngsters in the field to run and hide. It’s unusua...
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