Friday, 7 December 2012

My tringa ling(ers)

After 3 years living in western Canada I returned to Lancaster earlier this week and in between various essential domestic chores I managed to squeeze in a few brief visits to my favourite local patch in the known universe - Aldcliffe.
Of course I was well aware that a lesser yellowlegs has been hanging around the area, and despite the fact that I just came from a place where they're pretty much 'trash birds' I was eager to add this American vagrant to my Aldcliffe list. Perhaps more interesting still in a national context was the highly exceptional presence of a wintering wood sandpiper at the Wildfowlers' Pools.

Wood sandpiper
Thankfully I managed to catch up with both; the lesserlegs on Monday and the sandpiper on Wednesday when I manged to get some terrible digi-scoped pics in the bright morning light.
Today (Friday) I met up with old Aldcliffe regular Greg Potter but we came away without sight nor sound of either bird.
For me, the thrill of re-connecting with common birds I used to take totally for granted has been a real highpoint. Even such naff birds as robins and blue tits have been giving me a little tingle, while the soft call of a bullfinch or sight of a bunch of lapwings roosting on the estuarine mud has had me in near rapture!  

Redwings, fieldfares (pictured), little egrets, tufted ducks, kestrels, sparrowhawks and even moorhens have been competing for my attention.
And I've really been scrutinising those coot undertail coverts...   
I was also fortunate enough to see a couple of (Bohemian) waxwings at the end of my street a couple of days ago. Not exactly on par with the sizeable flocks doing the rounds this winter but a pleasure to see nonetheless.
As the weeks go by I'm sure the novelty of the commoner species will wear off as I encounter them on a near-daily basis, but for now I couldn't be enjoying the birds of Aldcliffe and beyond more.   

And I must thank Guy, Steve and Dan for maintaining this blog and keeping us all up-to-date with the avian goings-on at Aldcliffe.



Pete Woodruff said...

Good to see you 'home' Jon.

I'll be at Conder Green if you get a puncture on your bike there!

Jon Carter said...

Cheers Pete - I'm looking forward to getting out and about (punctures or otherwise)!

ray said...

You were a year tick for me at Stonewell. And I know you weren't ship-assisted. I'll get your orchid book back to you as I promised. ray