Sunday, 5 July 2009
Had a most unexpected Aldcliffe 'tick' (if indeed such things are tickable) late afternoon as a pair of ruddy shelduck flew down the Lune heading toward the Conder just after 5pm.
While mid-summer influxes of this species are well documented, I'm a bit sceptical about their provenance... I haven't even ticked the group of 7 or 8 I saw on the Hayle during the big influx in 1994 and it remains off from my British list. Having seen loads abroad I don't mind keeping it that way!
Other wildfowl news was more 'valuable', evidence of successful breeding was again implied by an adult female eider on the Lune, off Colloway, with 2 juvs - another 2 juvs were further down river.
Shelduck don't seem to have done overly well - a few juvs were seen, though nowhere near as many as used to be the case 10 years or so ago.
Single green sandpipers were at both the Wildowlers' Pools and Freeman's Pools with 2 juv LR plovers also at the latter site.
2 common sandpiper were on the river.
Up to 5 ravens were honking around and a couple of kestrels were busy hunting.
A couple of weasels were along the cycle track near the Low Wood paddocks.
Still amazing numbers of painted lady caterpillars around (see pics above) - this place is going to be absolutely filled with butterflies in a few weeks assuming all goes well...