Monday, 24 August 2015

Conder Green With Envy

Lesser yellowlegs, Conder
I was working at the Birdfair at Rutland Water over the weekend so when news broke that a lesser yellowlegs had been found at Conder on Sunday I wasn't in much of a position to do anything about it.
Of course it's only 3 years ago that Aldcliffe played host to this rare trans-Atlantic wader but nonetheless, yank shorebirds are always great to see so close to home turf.

Naturally, once back in Lancashire, I spent the first part of my birding day today checking the patch before continuing along the cycle track to 'mini-twitch' the vagrant tringa. Well, one has to have one's priorities in place.
Despite the active management work being undertaken by Lancashire Wildlife Trust staff at Freeman's Pools, there were still plenty of birds to see there.
The first autumn gadwall were back with two eclipse birds present and similarly five post-breeding wigeon were also on the main pool.
I counted 12 little grebe and 22 coot.
A single common sandpiper was on the Lune off Marsh Point.
Teal numbers continue to grow at the Wildfowlers' Pools. Last week around 70 were on the pools; today the numbers exceeded 120 birds.
A lone green sandpiper was feeding at the Flood but there was little else there.
Among the throng of common and black-headed gulls at Gull Bank I picked out 3 adult winter Mediterranean gulls while the large lapwing flock on the sandy shore included a couple of golden plover.
A female merlin gave great views as she spooked the waders before heading across to Heaton Marsh and a large juvenile peregrine added to the pandemonium by harassing the birds further upriver.
Masses of the usual gulls, common waders and little egrets were feeding along the estuary on the dropping tide but other than a greenshank and a further 5 golden plover there wasn't much to add.

Lesser yellowlegs
When I arrived at Conder the yellowlegs was showing well but unfortunately the light was behind it. I tried to see if it was visible from the Conder Pool side but soon made my way back to the foot bridge and 'scoped it from the road there. I managed a couple of iffy record digi-shots, as you can see. A couple of ruff and up to 3 common sandpiper were also present.


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