Monday, 21 February 2011

Wader Wonder

With another high tide on the cards today I decided that a trip to Pilling and Fluke Hall could produce large flocks of roosting waders on the small areas of marsh left uncovered. Arriving at Pilling Lane Ends the tide had started to flood the edges of the marsh but there seemed to be a lack of birds with Shelduck being the only species present in any large numbers. However in the fields behind the sea wall plenty of waders had gathered to escape the incoming water. At least 100 Lapwings, 70 Redshanks, 45 Golden Plovers and 20 Dunlin were feeding on the flooded fields and after a while I picked out the Ruff (year tick) that had been present for a few days. The Golden Plovers looked stunning in their bright plumage with one or two birds starting to acquire their summer plumage.

It was Fluke Hall that provided the main spectacle, with several thousand Dunlin roosting on the marsh and performing brilliant aerial displays when they took off. In amongst these were at least 200 of my favourite wader, the Grey Plover, with several birds in full summer plumage. The sea also provided some interest with 2 each of Great Crested Grebe and Red Breasted Merganser, 4 male Pintails west and an adult Whooper Swan that drifted in on the tide. Despite looking around I couldn't locate any large Pink Footed Goose flocks, where are they all?

Sorry for the lack of photos in the last few posts, the weather has meant that my camera hasn't left its bag but hopefully with some milder weather forecast the blog will once again return to its colourful self.

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