Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tringa Trio

Dan reporting once more... with added boring and pointless pontifications on local waders.

Three green sandpipers were gracing the pools today.

A kind of emblematic bird for Aldcliffe, Tringa ochropus is a regular, if unobtrusive species around the smaller water bodies on the patch. Aldcliffe is one of most reliable places to see green sandpiper in NW England.

These are beginning to return from their far Northern breeding grounds a little earlier than usual.

Indeed, in most years June is (along with May) often the only blank month for this species, with at least one or two in most other months.

July, August and September usually bring peak passage of GE here (don't be alarmed--it's just BTO-ese) with up to 10 birds, but there's usually a small Wintering presence using the puddles, ponds and ditches.

During cold snaps they sometimes resort to the running freshwater of Lucy Brook (alongside Coronation Fields and into Fairfield), but last Winter seemed to be too hard for them, as they appeared to abandon the patch for milder climes.

Ice is a bit tough on the bill, no doubt.

Anyhoo- back to late June, and just one little ringed plover (an adult)  found today. Perhaps any local breeding efforts have come to nowt this year.

At least 5 juvenile lapwings are partly concealed around the area (having spread out from their natal grounds on the maize fields). So, even if lapwing breeding hasn't been a roaring success here, it hasn't been the abject disaster it looked to be 6 weeks back.

A post-breeding flock of L. adults out on the estuary were being perturbed by a peregrine. Not much else there save some ad. black-headed gulls, and shelduck pair with six ducklings.

Aside from c.20 common whitehroat fledglings dotted around I couldn't find too much else of note, bird-wise.

The showery and windy conditions didn't favour dragonfly or butterfly sightings either.

Instead, I took advantage of the currently clear water in the canal with a bit of fish-spotting.... and with many roach, gudgeon and lesser numbers of 3-spined stickleback on show my freshwater year-list leapt to three.


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