Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

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The weather on Wednesday morning was cloudy, grey, windy, and nothing like what the forecast had been. Hardly to be called suitable for a visit to Bowland, but it turned out decent in the afternoon. In any case I had a man to meet for a survey of Hawthornthwaite Fell, but not until I'd been presented with a brilliant mounted photograph of a female Stonechat complete with a bill full of insects, including a Latticed Heath moth.There's quality loss from the original in the copy of this excellent photograph, but there's some improvement with a 'clik the pik'. Stonechat. Martin Jump.No Stonechat found on the west side of Hawthornthwaite, but 2 Ring Ouzel gave distant in flight views, before soon disappearing up Catshaw Greave. This sighting came two days earlier than a previous male Ring Ouzel I found here on 20 April 2...

Migration What Migration….Part 2.

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Conder Pool.The Avocet seem to be coming and going since their arrival on Conder Pool 28 March, now you see me, now you don't, with no sign on Monday, but a Greenshank was nice, with a drake Goosander and 11 Tufted Duck seen.Lune Estuary.Goldeneye Cliff RabyI was a little surprised to find 7 Goldeneye still here, with the exception of a lone bird flying downstream on 8 April, there was no birds here in 2017 after 4 seen on 21 March, and no Goldeneye were reported on the Lune Estuary in April in any of the 2015 or 2016 Lancashire Annual Reports. Hard to believe that you could count up to 200 Goldeneye on the Lune Estuary at Glasson in 2009, since then there has been a decline, and the last three figure count was 5 years ago when 122 were seen in February 2013. Void of accuracy, this winters p...

A Murky Short List.

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The damp murky weather did nothing to enthuse me on Friday, but undaunted off I went to find 2 Avocet on Conder Pool loafing at the left edge of the island, one preening the other dozing. Otherwise 13 Tufted Duck, 7 Black-headed Gull, a few Redshank, and noisy Oystercatcher with their resounding shrill calls, a Greenshank was in the creeks.At Cockersand, at least 1,000 Golden Plover seen from the road, in flight over the abbey and appeared to go down onto the shore, Five White Wagtail were on a flood, 35 Linnet seen, c.30 Meadow Pipit, 2 Dunnock, a Stock Dove, Skylark seen/heard, and a pair of Shoveler still on the flood. A casual count resulted in at least 20 Brown Hare seen today.I called in at Glasson Dock to find just 5 Eider of note on the Lune Estuary, and to find birds of the day which wer...
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Migration….What Migration!

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When I read....'no more than a small flurry' and 'a day to forget in a hurry'....on a website like Portland Bird Obs, it came as no big surprise that it took me three hours birding to see just a lone Sand Martin heading north at Cockersand on Monday. Also at Cockersand, a Wheatear was on the embankment by Plover Scar, 4 White Wagtail were with similar Pied Wagtail, a Shoveler pair were also on the flood, not seen here since 22 March, a few barely double figure Meadow Pipit and Skylark seen, and a Reed Bunting.I made no attempt at assessing the all distant swans today, but if the Mute Swan stand at the same number as my last count, I'd suggest there was no more than 50 Whooper Swan remaining at Cockersand on Monday.  On the Lune Estuary, 7 Eider, 5 Goldeneye, a Greenshank, and a Goosander. By...

Cockersand Gold Again.

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I was at the end of my visit to Cockersand on Thursday heading back to the Lighthouse Cottage, but I had an underlying feeling the day was going to end well with what I was hoping to find in the field SW of Crook Cottage. The field has been favoured by the GP's for several weeks in the second half of this winter, though recent numbers have fallen and fluctuated, at least 3,000 Golden Plover again today was pretty impressive.In the field at my back on Slack Lane while I was watching the GP's, I reckon up to 120 Meadow Pipit with a few Skylark and Linnet seen, also in another field close by, 3 White Wagtail were with 7 Pied Wagtail. The 252 Whooper Swan here today represents a closer and more accessible group for once, with a little more effort to count on my part.The Cocke...

Avocets & Chats.

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When I arrived at Conder Green at around 11.00am yesterday, I was pleased to have found a pair of Avocet on Conder Pool this time....But there was better news to follow.Avocet Conder Pool 5 April. Ian Pinkerton.It was excellent that Ian Pinkerton sent me photographs of the Avocet yesterday, and good to see there are now four birds on Conder Pool.Avocet Conder Pool 5 April. Ian Pinkerton.It obviously didn't take long for the decision for one pair to get the breeding programme underway.Stonechats.It was also good that JW sent me some much appreciated Stonechat records he had collected, over the past week he reports pairs at....Longridge (OOA) MarshawHarrisendWhitendaleLangden...
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Tuesdays Top Ten.

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I don't do braving the elements any more, I used to have to brave all elements thrown at me when I was delivering milk for a living at four in the morning, but I got paid for it then. So my birding was on hold Tuesday, until the rain stopped, the weather picked up and off I went for a couple of hours - four actually - around Aldcliffe, where I enjoyed seeing three migrant species had arrived.The walk along the embankment wasn't excactly the equal of the East Bank at Cley in Norfolk, but it rewarded me with my first Chiffchaff, a silent bird giving great views as it flit amongst the bare branches. Of 6 Wheatear seen, five were in the flooded field at the bottom of Aldcliffe Hall Lane which included three male, and another male opposite Snipe Bog.Little Ringed Plover Antonio Puigg Around the Wildfowlers Pools, a ...
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GP’s Still Rule Cockersand.

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Golden Plover. Jan Larsson @ VingspannThe numbers were up again at Cockersand on Friday, with at least 1,400 Golden Plover seen in three groups, 450 on Plover Scar, 750 on the weed covered shore off the headland, and 200 in the field off Slack Lane, where up to 90 Meadow Pipit were grounded, 3 Stock Dove and 2 Reed Bunting seen.It was a little after high tide when I got to Conder Green, life on Conder Pool consisted of, 17 Oystercatcher, 12 Tufted Duck, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Shelduck, 5 Goosander, 4 Snipe, a drake Wigeon, and a Kestrel over. Of note on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Wigeon left overs, a lone Goldeneye, and a drake Goosander.The main purpose of this birding session was to check out the field off Slack Lane at Cockersand SD432542 which has looked interesting for ...

Late News….Again.

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Can't keep up with all this birding, and certainly not blogging too. Avocet Conder Pool 28 March. Pete Woodruff.I'd been looking for this bird at the left hand edge of this island on Conder Pool for the past few days, the very spot they nested last year, but I had to wait until Wednesday to find the Avocet had arrived here. The bird was attacked by a Black-headed Gull, and chased off towards the Lune Estuary where I found it 30 minutes later feeding by the Conder mouth. When I returned to Conder Green 4 hours later, the Avocet was back on Conder Pool. There was no sign of it yesterday in two visits 2 hours apart.The Avocet has returned to Conder Pool for it's third year, 10 days earlier than it did in 2017, when AC found it there on 6 April, he texted me with the news, but the bird had left before I got there and I ...
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Hard Times!

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I met three birders on Monday, one of them said he'd come out today with some target birds and had found none of 'em....Join the club.Conder Green/Glasson Dock. Conder Pool was almost deserted, but 22 Tufted Duck, and 14 Oystercatcher seen. The Lesser Black-backed Gull pair had taken up on Tern Island, I've no idea what these two are up to, they take up residence here every spring, loafing around but never show any sign of action....until the Avocet hatch!Raven. Cliff Raby @ Fylde Coast Wildlife I was attracted to 2 Raven calling very high over the Lune Estuary which I would otherwise have missed, larger in size than the Buzzard, and wedge tail was obvious once I got on to them. There was a little song along the coastal path, including that of a Wren, the volume of which belies this diminutive&nb...
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