Butterflies, Bird’s, and a Gull.

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Some leisure time on Sunday at Heysham had KT with me on Heysham Barrows for an hour or so to find 4 Meadow Brown, 2 Small Copper, 2 Common Blue, 2 Gatekeeper, and a Small Tortoiseshell. The only birds seen were 2 Whitethroat, with a Blackbird, Linnets and Goldfinch in flight. It was good to see a Holly Blue on Cotoneaster in our garden yesterday afternoon. Little Gull.Little Gull. Heysham Red Nab 9 August. Pete Woodruff.I was pleased to have found a Little Gull on Heysham Red Nab last Wednesday which I recorded as a 1st summer bird. But on closer viewing the moderate photograph of the bird, it was thought that, what I regarded as the dark wing tips of the bird, could well have been a deceptive view of the rocks on Red Nab appearing to look like the tail end of the bird giving the impression that it was the blackish prim...

Up The Wall!

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On Thursday, I attended the funeral of a good friend at the Catholic Church of Ss Thomas & Elizabeth at Thurnham. After the service on a nice sunny day, there was going to be nothing more uplifting for me than a walk along the coastal path from Fluke Hall to Cockers Dyke, and at 1.30pm I was within a few miles of getting there from Thurnham down the A588.Wall Brown. Pete Woodruff.This was definitely a good idea, if only because I found my first Wall Brown butterfly in 6 years which was seen at Pilling Lane Ends on 2 September 2011. The irony being, today's butterfly was on one of the only three Ragwort stems left at the foot of the inland bank from the recent grass cut here on 25 July. Other butterflies taking an interest in the Ragwort and elsewhere along the path were, 9 Large White, 8 Common Bl...
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A Little Reward.

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On a visit to Heysham on Wednesday I found just 5 Mediterranean Gull, three were in the roost on Red Nab with 3 Whimbrel, and at the Stage 2 outfall, another two were seen as a 2nd summer and a juvenile. At least 120 Turnstone were on the old wooden jetty, and a Grey Seal was between the outfalls. Little Gull. Heysham Red Nab 9 August. Pete Woodruff.On the return along the sea wall an hour later, lots of the gulls had been pushed off Red Nab, but I was rewarded by finding a lovely 1st summer Little Gull which also soon departed the nab as the tide pushed in, it follows another 1st summer Little Gull I saw  here last year on 8 July 2016.On the pool at the nature trail, out in the sun was an Emperor Dragonfly, a Brown Hawker, and at least 2 Common Darter. Butterflies seen, 2 Red Admiral, a Gatekeeper, Common Blue...
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Until The Rains Came!

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Star bird for me on the Lune Estuary at the moment has to be the drake Scaup, yesterday it was tucked away and out of sight until I found it at the west end of the pool with 5 Little Grebe close by. A second female Tufted Duck has six ducklings, hope it has better luck than the first one with seven ducklings on 25 July and not seen since, no surprise there it has to be said, 92 Lapwing were also present, and the Kingfisher put in an appearance, first time for me on Conder Pool in over three months since 29 April.On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, an adult Common Tern, estimates of waders in view, 1,500 Lapwing, 800 Redshank, 250 Dunlin, and 190 Curlew, with 14 Little Egret and 2 Great-crested Grebe noted. A call here on the way back to Lancaster at 4.30pm had the drake Scaup now on the canal basin, ...

A Scaup In The Scope!

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Drake Scaup. Conder Pool 4 August. Pete Woodruff.In Lancashire, no better than an uncommon winter visitor to the coast, it was a surprise to find my first ever summer Scaup, a drake on Conder Pool Friday afternoon.Also on the pool, 5 Little Grebe were seen, in the creeks and downstream channel, 6 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank was with 320 Redshank and 5 Goosander noted, with butterflies on the coastal path, a Red Admiral and Gatekeeper. The Lune Estuary was big on water and little on birds, but 2 Common Tern adult and 2 Whimbrel were seen.Wheatear Plover Scar. Pete Woodruff.Plover Scar was almost deserted, but did provide me with my first autumn Wheatear. Long Tongue held c.250 Oystercatcher, a few Golden Plover and Turnstone. Later from Plover Scar north to Crook Farm, probably in excess of 1,500 Dunlin and 150 Ringed ...

B For Butterflies.

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Painted Lady. Brian Rafferty. A visit to Aldcliffe and on to Stodday, turned out to make Tuesday a better butterfly day than a bird day for me, with another three figure count made, including a Painted Lady, up to 75 Large White, 13 Speckled Wood, 9 Gatekeeper, and 4 Meadow Brown. In the main the birds have fallen silent now, making life a little more difficult for a birding dude like me, but a Willow Warbler gave itself away with it's 'hweet' call, 32 Canada Geese, a Little Egret and Grey Heron were all around the Frog Pond. Freeman's Pools yielded 6 Little Grebe, and a pair of Coot at the far end with two young.On a very quiet Conder Pool to join with Freeman's Pools, 55 Lapwing, 7 Cormorant, 6 Little Grebe, and 6 Tufted Duck. In the creeks and downstream channel, 8 Common Sandpiper, and toward the estuary, 2 Greenshank were wit...
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Birding The Fast Lane!

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I could only allow myself three hours birding time on Friday which would be taken up around the Lune Estuary, at Conder Green, Glasson Dock, and Cockersand, where the sole purpose was to be on Plover Scar an hour before the high tide. But in the end I only needed a couple of hours, as I arrived at the car park at Lighthouse Cottage I could see a mutt-lover and his two hounds out on the scar which thwarted my birding plans for Cockersand....Mutt-bound and birdless! Conder Pool saw 65 Redshank, 5 Little Grebe, and 3 Cormorant, all of which did a disappearing act at the sight of a patrolling Sparrowhawk. On the circuit, 8 Common Sandpiper were in the creeks and down the channel, the House Martins are still around Cafe d' Lune and River Winds with nests still active. A Red Admiral and Gatekeeper were seen on the co...

Tuesday Notables.

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In my last post I made a note about behaviour between the 2 adult Common Tern on Conder Pool, with loud vocals and wing drooping by one of the birds. On Tuesday I saw a Common Tern return to the pontoon with a fish which it promptly gave to the other bird which was begging....Very interesting.Also on Conder Pool, at least 30 Black-tailed Godwit in view with others behind the island no doubt. A female Tufted Duck had seven ducklings in tow, hope they have better luck on their side than the Avocets did. In the creeks, 3 Greenshank, 7 Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Egret, and a good number of feeding Swallow over.Sanderling With Dunlin. Plover Scar 25 July. Pete Woodruff.On Plover Scar, it was good to find 5 Sanderling roosting with up to 250 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover, and a lone Golden Plover. A Kestrel was hovering o...
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Butterfly Conservation.

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Coastal Path. Fluke Hall to Knott End. Pete Woodruff.Black and White, taken some years ago, and not effective in showing colour to some excellent butterfly habitat, but illustrates the coastal location well.Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar On Ragwort. Pete Woodruff.Butterfly Conservation went out the window again on Tuesday, the day after I had found in excess of 200 specimens of butterfly and an abundance of Ragwort, including at least 60 Gatekeeper, large numbers of Cinnabar moth caterpillars, and endless numbers of other insects, all attacked/destroyed at the wrong time in the season on a walk along the coastal path from Fluke Hall to Cockers Dyke on the Fylde coast. I also met Barry who had done the same walk ahead of me and extended the walk towards Knott End to find even more butterflies than I did, he'll be del...

Where Are All The Butterflies?

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Yesterday started cloudy and looked like it might rain as the tide was flowing, but in fact it made a nice sunny day just after noon with no more than a light breeze.Greenshank/Oystercatcher. Pete Woodruff.The 2 Common Tern adult were on the pontoon, there was some interesting behaviour on show, almost as if some courtship taking place, with vocals and wing drooping. Waders of note, up to 100 Lapwing present again, 6 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, and an Oystercatcher pair with young, 3 Cormorant were taking small fry like there was no tomorrow, 2 Little Grebe and 7 Tufted Duck. On the Lune Estuary, 2 Mediterranean Gull adult, and 2 Common Tern adult fishing.Where are all the butterflies?A trip down the A588 to Fluke Hall for a wander along the coastal path to Cockers Dyke produced evidence that in excess o...