Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Going For Goldeneye

Goldeneyes - Freeman's Pools
Following last week's flying visit by a female scaup, it was another classic winter duck species that dropped in on Monday morning.
A considerable flotilla of 14 goldeneye were present at Freeman's Pools for the first couple of hours of daylight with all but two females having moved on by mid-morning.
It doesn't half make you wonder what turns up and subsequently clears off unseen...

Otherwise the big numbers of birds were concentrated on the flooded fields by the Wildfowlers' Pools fields. Here there were large numbers of probing redshank, along with a handful each of curlew, dunlin, snipe and black-tailed godwit.
Approximately 230 black-headed gulls, and a few common gulls, were also taking advantage of whatever abundant food-source had attracted so many birds. Teal too were notably numerous with in excess of 120 dabbling nervously away.
A single rock pipit was on the marsh near The Channel.
The majority of the wintering greylags were reasonably close to Dawson's Bank as I walked back toward Marsh Point and I was able to read the neck collars of 22 birds. Most of these were familiar individuals but there were a few that I had never seen before.

Pied wagtail roost - Lancaster
Many Lancastrians will be aware of the pied wagtails that routinely roost in the city centre in the winter months.
In winters past, they favoured the trees around the car park between Sainsburys and the old Waring & Gillow building on North Road. 
In more recent years this roost has been primarily concentrated in the two small trees at Horseshoe Corner.
Once again, the birds are coming to huddle in these Christmas-light-festooned trees in the late afternoon and I have estimated there to be somewhere in the region of 300 wagtails there. Give or take one or two...
I may be way off the mark with that very loose count and I would welcome any more accurate estimates!

Waxwings - Kendal

And talking of birds in trees (not a unique concept, admittedly) here's a pic of the waxwing flock that I recently saw in Kendal. I reckoned there to be in the region of 65 birds present when I was there.
These dazzling birds seem to be turning up all over the place so, as always, keep an extra special eye out on any ornamental berry-filled rowans or similar, and do pass on any sightings of these nomadic northern beauties.


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