Conder Pool….Up And Running.

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This time last year, an Avocet pair had only arrived at Conder Green three days ago on 20 May. This year there are now three pairs on Conder Pool all breeding, with two still sitting yesterday.Returning to Lancaster on the A588, with my motor unable to drive through Conder Green, it automatically turned left at the bridge for me to check out Conder Pool to find Avocet present and accompanied by two young out of the nest.Avocet Conder Pool. Pete Woodruff. With luck this means a fledge date of June 23-26, but luck was already needing to be on their side, with a Grey Heron and Lesser Black-backed Gull close by as I observed two marauding Carrion Crow whilst two adult Avocet and Common Tern attacked the corvids for several minutes. Also roosting on Conder Pool, 110 Black-tailed Godwit.Oystercatcher Nest Conder Green. Pete Wo...

Bob’s Yer Uncle!

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With ten days behind me, a trip to Barbondale and another to Bowland since my last visit to the Lune Estuary, it was good to be seeing double on Conder Pool when I saw 4 Avocet there on Friday, the pair of originals are going about their breeding, whilst it's anybody's guess what the other two are up to, but when I returned later they had gone to the creeks to feed.Common Tern. Conder Pool. Pete Woodruff.Other than occasionally loafing on the frame, the Common Tern pair have previously ignored the pontoon on Conder Pool as a breeding site since it was installed, before today I've never seen these two actually inside it, but have certainly moved in this year giving us birding dudes a grand stand view of progress. Also on Conder Pool, a pair of Wigeon, 6 Tufted Duck, and a lone Lesse...
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BBQ.

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One or two Bowland Birds of Quality seen yesterday, though there were some blank spells, not least when I walked the length of track from Tower Lodge up by the plantation and back - a thirty minute crawl - and saw not a single bird but heard one Chaffinch, and in the entire 7 hours birding I heard not a solitary Willow Warbler let alone saw one, found no Redstart, and heard no Cuickoo.But it was good to find 4 Stonechat on Hawthornthwaite Fell, seen as two pair with no evidence of breeding. Up to 12 Sand Martin were flying up and down Hawthornthwaite Greave were I saw a Grey Wagtail, also 6 Meadow Pipit, a Mistle Thrush, and a Wren, a Buzzard with a couple of primaries missing, was the only raptor seen all day. Siskin Noushka @ 1000-Pattes At Marshaw, a pair of Siskin and 2 Spotted Flycatcher wer...
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The Ruff , The Harrier & The Falcon.

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Turau Meadow in Belarus is currently the largest stopover site for this species during their spring migration across Europe, but this year the numbers amazed everyone. A group of ornithologists, including researchers from Birdlife Belarus and Turov Ringing Station, registered a record count of 120,000 Ruff in a single day, an unprecedented number since observations began at Turau Meadow 20 years ago in 1997.Turau Meadow is an open floodplain in the middle of Pripyat River and one of Europe’s most essential nesting and stopover areas for more than 50 migratory wading bird species, it is the largest stopover site for as many as 150,000 Eurasian Wigeon and 20,000 Black-tailed Godwit during their spring migration across Europe.In our recording area the Ruff is no ...

Catchers & Chats.

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Thursdays hunt was for the Flycatcher and the Stonechat. At Barbondale I found 5 Pied Flycatcher, they were seen as a pair, two male, and a female, but despite my hanging around to pair up the single birds I failed to do so, but reckon three pairs here to date. Redstart Brian Rafferty Twenty two other species in the 2.5 hours here included, 4 Redstart all male, 4 Robin, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wren, a singing male Blackcap, Tree Pipit, Wheatear, Treecreeper, and a Mistle Thrush. Two butterflies seen were a Small Copper and an Orange Tip.The plan was that I now went to Newby Moor, another former chat stronghold where my records show that I notably found 11 Stonechat on a cold winters day nine years ago on 12 February 2008, I have doubts that number will ever happen again dur...
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The Steady Plod….What Again!

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Another steady plod around the Lune Estuary on Tuesday started with a brief look in at Conder Green where I poked my nose through the screen at Conder Pool to see the Avocet pair on the island, and the Common Tern pair looking more interested in the pontoon than they've ever done previously, I reckon they're going to nest there this time, 45 Black-tailed Godwit were in the creeks.Turnstone. Howard StockdaleWith the exception of 8 Eider and 112 Shelduck counted on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock the place was void of waders and gulls. Of 8 Sedge Warbler seen, three were on Jeremy Lane, with another five at Cockersand where on Plover Scar, c.2,500 Dunlin, 60 Ringed Plover, 2 Sanderling, and a Turnstone which was a stunning male in summer plumage making it one of the best dressed bir...

The Other Borrowdale.

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There is a sizeable area of beautiful unspoilt land to the north of Kendal, sandwiched between the M6 near Tebay and the A6 near Shap. It is dominated by the Lake Districts ‘other’ Borrowdale which cuts a deep wide swathe through the hills.Mike rang me on Sunday evening to ask if I was birding on Monday, he asked if he could come along, and perhaps we could pay a visit to Borrowdale....well of course we did.I don't think 21 species was a good result for the four hours here, but most notable was the healthy count of a least 20 Willow Warbler with a good number of Chaffinch also notable, 4 Redstart were all singing males, a Tree Pipit gave itself away singing atop a tree, and a Treecreeper seen with nesting material escaped me before I could see where it went with it's beak full.Wheatear. Pete Woodruff.A Wheatear was on the wall by B...

Cutting Edge!

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Quite a nice picture in the header of the cover crop at Cockersand, but it isn't there to be admired as such, it was my intention to elaborate much more on this, but unfortunately I ran out of time, so here's the condensed version....The cover crop forms part of the Countryside Stewardship Grant for the farm in question, and by the way, I have the full permission from the farmer to publish this piece of info, with whom I have a good relationship, I know the family well and visit them regularly, along with two other farmers in the area, all of who know my interest in birds just as well as I know their interests and all the problems that go with modern day farming.Cover Crop Field 5 May 2017. Pete Woodruff.The truth is, the grant for the cover crop at this farm which was seed-bearing to provide food for...
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The Great Escape.

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Well I did manage to break free in the early afternoon yesterday, and for that reason alone it certainly was great....birding always is.Swift Simon HawtinI saw my first 11 Swift at Cockersand, three flew low and close by me off Crook Cottage - where 3 Whimbrel were on the shore - with another nine Swift two hours later over Lighthouse Cottage. A female Whinchat was around the cover crop, with a singing Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat in the area, and in the time spent at Cockersand I saw 8 Wheatear. In what was the flooded field, a pair of Shoveler were still there, as are the 2 Whooper Swan, with 2 Linnet, and a Skylark seen. I found another 4 Lapwing young, two of which were in the road with screaming adults above, I had to break into a gallop to usher them under a hedge to save them from the wheels of a fast approaching van. ...
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This Is Serious….Again!

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I was on the upland fringe of Bowland yesterday, and spent six hours and covered at least as many miles between Harrisend and Birk Bank to find just one Stonechat....This is serious.Cuckoo Marc HeathBut compensation came in the form of my first Cuckoo, I heard the bird calling, and looking ahead saw it on the lone Hawthorn as I skirted the foot of Harrisend. A Wheatear was nice, I think only the second one I've ever seen on this fell, at least 20 Meadow Pipit, 2 Reed Bunting, and singles of Blackbird, Dunnock, Linnet, and Wren.In three hours I noted 12 species and a total of 30 birds on Birk Bank, one of which was a lone male Stonechat, which had taken me four hours and twenty minutes of  'chatting' to find. Also seen, 7 Meadow Pipit, 5 Red Grouse, 4 Wren, 3 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Raven, a Long-tailed Tit, Bl...