Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay

Whilst up in Barrow today for the football I visited a number of birding sites. I have been passing up chances to go for the long staying Red Necked Grebe at Cavendish Dock, and as the weather was set fair decided to give it a go. It was also a chance visit old stamping grounds.

I didn’t see the grebe. It would have been nice but I wasn’t too downhearted, if I had been desperate I’d have swung by the docks last time I was up. I did see this rather fine drake Goosander, a species that would have been notable when I used to come here but is now regular:

Otherwise there wasn’t too much to see on the dock itself, four female Goldeneye right out in the middle of the water at long range were next best. Otherwise a smattering of gulls, a couple of Cormorants and two Redshanks that flew in. There was a lot of life on the adjoining Roosecote Sands including flocks of Dunlin trilling away as they fed.

There are a number of charming interpretative panels on the southern edge of the dock where it meets Morecambe Bay, extracts from which are featured below.

They are charming because they are beautifully illustrated, but also in a rather melancholy way because they describe things that aren’t there to see any longer.

I remember checking through the three figure moult flock here for ringed birds. They don’t use the site in any numbers now. Some have presumably switched to Ormsgill Reservoir near the football ground where there are numbers all year round. It may not be far fetched to suggest some now moult at Glasson Dock in Lancashire, which isn’t far as the swan flies.

Regular readers may remember my post about the decline of the Pochard in Lancashire and South Cumbria. Basically there were none reported anywhere near Cavendish Dock last year, never mind ‘large gatherings’.

Of course it’s not all doom and gloom. When these signs were installed Little Egrets were presumably still scarce, and they are now a reliable presence on the sands. Kingfishers are regularly seen and photographed and as alluded to above large flocks of shorebirds can be seen.

Going back to the title of the blog these rather distinctive seating areas are spaced out across the sea wall. Presumably they are also meant as a kind of practical artwork. They are rather splendid, and I took advantage of them when scanning both water and saltmarshes.

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