Saturday, 27 August 2016

Out and about around Winwick

There's been a movement of waders through the area in the past few days. On Monday I had a text from a friend to tell me that he had just seen 25 black-tailed godwits on the flooded fields at Alder Lane opposite the Fiddle i'th Bag at Winwick. I called in that evening and though there was no sign of any godwits, I could see that the place certainly had great potential. I've seen green sandpiper, little ringed plover and redshank here in the past.Then yesterday I had a text to say that there was a ruff on the same field, so I called in again last night.Sure enough, the bird was still present and showing well, though the light was very poor.

On my way home I called in at Houghton Green Flash and found a greenshank and a couple of black-tailed godwits. There was also plenty of ragwort in flower, a favoured flower of many hoverflies, so I made a mental note to return on the next sunny day.

This morning on my way to work I called in again at Alder Lane to find the ruff still present, and it had been joined by a juvenile little ringed plover, both showing well on a lovely sunny morning.

Later I returned to Houghton Green Flash where there was no sign of the godwits but the greenshank was still present, with a common sandpiper. There was also a green sandpiper, though not seen by me.  Plenty of hoverflies on the wing as well, on a beautiful sunny late afternoon.

This photo and the next are the very common Helophilus pendulus.

This photo and the next are Helophilus hybridus. The stripes in the thorax always look paler to me than on H. pendulus and the abdomen looks a bit dirtier. I nearly said this species isn't as smart as pendulus, but on reflection I'm not sure about that. In some ways this is actually nicer.

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