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Sunday, 30 May 2010

On the marsh


As the sun sets, the shadows lengthen.
Black Tailed Godwits in the evening sun.
The light becomes flat.

This young Lapwing had a parent in constant attention, while brothers and sisters were less adventurous. It makes you wonder, who made it, as it will be unlikely they all survived adolescence.

With the lack of rain, the water levels have dropped allowing further food sources to become accessible and available.

Friday, 28 May 2010

On the marsh (early)



The changing light always makes a visit worthwhile when 'nothing' else is happening. But there is always something when you look long and hard enough (not that I ever do!).

One of the few places you get such a long flat open vista. Incredibly 'members of the family' had cattle on this site over 300 years ago! Maybe I should give history a wave.
I am used to seeing Redshank on river estuaries, on the beach and they are remarkably well patterned for their environment. From above a raptor would have difficulty spotting this as a target.
Grey Partridge are difficult to approach literally running off as you approach, and if you get too close, zoom off at zero feet, putting any radar to shame!
video

Being in the right place at the right time helps, but it inevitably means an early start. The problem always is, the sun rises in the east EVERY DAY! (and strangely enough sets in the west, funny that).
Sometimes understanding bird behaviour helps, adult lapwings attacking approaching gulls can be a sign that youngsters are not far away. Of course this dull black birds have much more going for them than one realise, the irridescence created by light reflection and all that. As a young lad, I have abiding memories of seeing a lapwing nest with three eggs in the dip in the ground created by cattle feet, when off into the countryside very early one morning — a long long time ago — needless to say that field is now housing. Gotta live somewhere I guess.
Corvids, Rooks, Carrion Crows and Magpies can be a problem, as indeed predatory gulls, but sometimes even they are pre-occupied, this magpie busy collected worms for the offspring.


Thursday, 20 May 2010

Whirleygigs

A quick dash across the fylde
At Carr House Green Common two Grey Herons were in each other's company and a Common Buzzrd was overhead. It flew off towards Mysercough when three army helicopters came flying across low from the east. At St Michaels another three came over, even lower! On the road to Knott End, a Curlew, a Red- Legged Partridge and two Oystercatchers, as you can see! Two hares were galavanting in a field.

While later over at a house in Bispham, a Grey Wagtail turned up. Not great images as usual and these taken through a kitchen window. Nice to see though. 

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A Godwit or Two

Another early start, before the sun was up properly, but grey and overcast, so flat light again just for a change.

At least now I know why they are called Black Tailed Godwits. She doesn't look very happy (or well) at all. He was strutting his stuff and 'looking after her', on patrol. A Little Grebe disappeared off into the reeds on arrival, then again, they always do. A pair of dunnock called by and the Shelduck were in evidence. A Grey Heron feeding at the margins. Redshank too and one female mallard has eleven young with her. The ever present Coot was feeding a newborn. The 'cow' image gives one some idea of scale! A male Linnet keeping a lookout from the vantage point and declaring his territory by song.







Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Marshide – Sedge

On a passing visit, from the road.


While this article is primarily about the Sedge Warbler, these Godwits seem to capture the nature of the environment.

Singing from a high point — this is MY patch.
Defending territory from all-comers.
It was his singing that gave the game away and allowed me to focus on this individual.
While it may appear these are all consecutive images, the sedge was up and away, here and there defending his patch, but returning to a favourite site to sing — a waiting game until he returned.
Unfortunately a leaf was casting a shadow over his head and face.
A constant song – no complaints.



Monday, 17 May 2010

On t'marsh again Godwit and co

Another early start in the marsh to see if anything was about. Nottalot!

Two Godwits, a pair of Redshank, a male Gadwall, Little Grebe while the Coot were looking after the family, each parent appearing to take two young to feed and look after. Bad tempered at the best of times and territorial Coot can get a bit 'stroppy' and fights frequently break out – with anyone who gets too close. An Oystercatcher looking for worms and in the hedgerow a Linnet and a Whitethroat. Overhead Canada Geese and the every present Shelduck. I included the Godwit on the bank as seeing the bird against the dry mud makes you realise why their plummage is as it is, not always easy to pick out at distance.

Later that day a sedge warbler was giving me the runaround at Carr House Common singing from deep within the reeds and dry grasses. A reed bunting sat up in a tree singing while at Brock Bottom a Nuthatch appeared adjacent to the car park on the feeders.




Sunday, 16 May 2010

One of those evenings

One of those nights when the light was fading and it was a quick visit.

Redshank were present and Moorhen fighting until big brother the Coot came along and split them up. The male Gadwall was on his own and he looked sorry for himself. I'm not sure if she has been lost or is nesting somewhere. May have gone off with someone else! I attach a rather poor record shot of the Little Grebe, just so you know there is a pair on site, honest!

Again a pair of Godwit were around the margins but it was too dark to obtain a photo, the sun casting long dark shadows. The lapwing was in the winter wheat field and subsequently raised a brood here. A few weeks later, I watched with great trepidation as the parents led them across the road, with 32 tonners hurtling along! (I ended up playing some sort of school crossing warden, advising a couple of cars of the circumstances. A pair of Grey Wagtails pooped in for a wash and brush up as the sun set. (too much 'ello 'ello!)

On the fence a male Linnet was looking singing away, protecting his territory and looking after his Mrs who was feeding on the dandelion seed heads.





video

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Enough said

Mink!

Nothing else to say.

One slip...

By way of distraction, Nimrod, flaps down, landing gear down, 150 knots...