A day without Reece today which was a shame as I got 2 lifers but now I know what I’m looking for I’m sure we’ll pick them up before heading off to Crete in 2 Weeks. Reece was busy playing rugby for Chorley Panthers against a team from Blackpool before the Blackpool vs Workington challenge cup match. Chorley Panthers won 64 – 0 though I will say their opponents were only arranged at the last minute (the original opponents pulled out) and only 8 of their players turned up so they ended up playing 10 vs 8.
Anyway back to my birding day. I was accompanied by Howard, a friend who joins us now and again on our trips out, first to Leighton Moss, then onto Conder Lake and a quick stop at Pilling Lane End before heading home.
First stop was the Allen hide with a few warblers sighted amongst the reeds on the walk up but only able to ID a Sedge Warbler and 2 possible juvenile Willow Warblers. From the Hide I saw Redshank 13, Gadwall 1, Little Egret 2, Lapwing, Black Tailed Godwit 100+, Shellduck, Teal, Oystercatcher and Heron. There was no sign of the reported Wood Sandpiper that was seen yesterday. Around to the Eric Morecambe Hide with some similar sightings but with the light not much chance for any photos. Greenshank and Spotted Redshank were the 2 lifers I saw from here, both hard to pick out due to the light. I spotted the Greenshank first at the far side of the pool feeding next to a Dunlin whilst the 2 Spotted Redshank had been no less than 10 meters away from us amongst some Redshank. It had taken a more observant birder than I to spot them, my excuse being they were hard to pick out in the light,as you can see in the photo. We got chatting to a fellow birder who told us about a place only ten minutes from us were he’s regularly seen a Short Eared Owl so hope to report from there soon. Further sightings from here included 3 more Little Egret, Redshank, Little Gull 2, Black Tailed Godwit, Black Headed Gull, Gadwall, Teal, Greylag, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Shoveler and 2 Greater Black Backed Gull.
Last Stop at Leighton was the public hide, I usually get good views of the Marsh Harrier from here but we only get a brief view of one as it landed between some distant trees. We also missed an Osprey that had been fishing successfully 30 minutes before but did manage a Sparrowhawk that was being mobbed by Swallows as it flew over and 4 Buzzard to the left of the hide in the distance. Not much else to report here but I did manage to see my first juvenile Black Headed and Greater Black Backed Gulls. As we headed back to the car we saw another Marsh Harrier, again only a brief view as it flew over the path and landed nearby but out of view.
We had planned to head down to Heysham but with time not being on our side we went straight down to Conder Lake to see what the high tide would bring in on the estuary. Again plenty of Redshank and a large flock of Starling plus a Greenshank and 2 Spotted Redshank but not much else to report. On the lake we faired a little better with again more Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover (1 Juvenile), Tufted Duck, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail and Black Headed Gull.
We did call in briefly at Pilling Lane End on the way back but with the change of weather and with just some distant Shellduck and Gull plus a Curlew overhead we joined the queues of traffic heading home along the M55.