It’s a well-worn birding route of mine from Stalmine to Conder Green and then back again, often with a detour or two. Alongside the flat coastal road there are many birds to be found at almost any time of the year. How remiss of Google in not showing the legendary birding spot which goes by the name of Conder Green. For blog readers not in the know but itching to get there, I am sworn to secrecy so cannot divulge the exact location. However it could be worth a look below the letter “o” of “Dock”.
On the way north this morning I missed out a chunk of Head Dyke Lane and traversed Stalmine Moss instead, hoping for a Barn Owl coping with the extra responsibility of youngsters at home. There was one criss-crossing the fields and the road ahead but sods law prevailed and by the time I reached the spot, the owl had fled. I made do with a Kestrel or two and then a Buzzard content with the distance between us. Our local Buzzards don’t usually sit around for a picture and regular readers will know that in the UK this much maligned creature is as likely to have a gun pointed its way as it is to see the business end of a lens.
Down from the hills a good number of Curlew have found their way back to the coastal fields of the A588 and while I didn’t stop to count the scattered birds, a couple of hundred seemed likely. At Braides was yet another Buzzard along the regular fence doing not much except waiting for the sun to rise and warm the air. I stopped for a while and found small numbers of Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Swallows and Skylark song.
At Conder Green the Common Terns have at least two youngsters with adults back and forth for food, one out to the marsh, the other towards Glasson Dock. The terns don’t stand for others near their youngsters and I watched as the pair mercilessly chased off a Grey Heron and then a Shelduck. Luckily for them the 5 Little Egrets stayed in the creeks away from the aggressive terns.
Although now part way into July and with well grown young in tow the Oystercatchers here still indulge in loud and frequent piping whereby aerial bouts of “piping parties” display in the air as well as on the ground. “Piping parties” are made up of pairs of birds which are often joined by birds from neighbouring territories. The Oystercatchers taking part in such displays maintain the open-billed posture they use in their ground displays. An Oystercatcher “piping party” can consist of a handful of birds or as many as twenty or thirty. It’s quite a sight and a fair old din.
Oystercatcher Piping Party
In the creeks and around the pool - 80+ Redshank, 35 Lapwing, 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and then 4 Black-tailed Godwit flying west.
A walking circuit to find the “small stuff” revealed a singing Blackcap plus a Lesser Whitethroat still on territory along the railway line. Meanwhile Meadow Pipit(s), Reed Warbler(s), Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting(s) all fed young.
The House Martins near the bridge had a late start this year with a number of them still in the throes of nest building and a handy roadside puddle all they require for a proper job.
The final stop Glasson Dock where I found one of the Common Tern from down the road, 15+ Swift, 1 Grey Heron and the adult Swallows yet to fledge their chicks from beneath the road.
Yes the route and the venues may be the same but where birding is concerned no two days are ever exactly alike on Another Bird Blog.