Lancashire Birding - 6th December 2009

Well the plan was to try for a few lifers as we hadn't been out for a few weeks and with the Willow Tit in Preston, Hawfinch up at Sizergh Castle, the possibility of the Slavonian Grebe still being at Pine Lake and a grid reference for 2 Short Eared Owls things looked good.

First stop was Cottam Brickworks, Preston to try and find the Willow Tit. We'd been told there is a feeder on the other side of a pond where it had been seen and some directions on how to find it. After an hour of trudging around the area and only a Jay, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Blue and Great Tits making any sort of appearance we decided it was time to give up and move on. As we headed back to the car we bumped into 2 separate birders and one had heard it the weekend before and was willing to let us tag along to the area. Another hour was then spent searching for the pond with the feeder but again to no avail. The bigger disappointment was that whilst wandering around we flushed a Woodcock but was seen by neither of us so nothing to add to the life list. We did manage 2 Snipe and as we left for a second time a small flock of House Sparrows. We've had a little more information via the Preston Society forum so hopefully this time next week we may have seen it.

Next stop was Pine Lake and hopefully see the Slavonian Grebe for Reeces list. I haven't seen it reported on rare bird alert but was hoping it was still there. Again we were disappointed but we did see Goldeneye, Goosander, Coot, Pochard, Tuffted Duck, Cormorant, Greater Black Backed, Herring and Black Headed Gull.

We then moved onto Leighton Moss and the Eric Morecambe hide, the area was quite flooded and very windy so our hopes weren't very high when we arrived. 40+ Redshank were sheltering at the far side of the pool as well as Wigeon feeding on the bank. Teal and Shellduck were around in numbers, 2 Merganser on the Allen Pool as well as c1000 Oystercatcher. Several Little Egret battled with the wind and c400 Lapwing took to the air as we left.

Driving away from Leighton Moss we both remarked on the lack of raptors around until Reece spotted a Kestrel which kindly landed on a telegraph pole so he could get a couple of shots off.

The last stop was the coast just north of Morecambe, we've spotted Eider before whilst driving past so this time we decided to pull over and have a proper look. Another large roosting flock of Oystercatcher sheltered on what was left of the shore along with the odd Redshank and Lapwing were also in small numbers. Out on the sea itself we spotted 3 Scaup (1 Male and 2 Female), 2 Merganser and 20 Eider.


Anonymous said...

Shame about the WT but you'll perhaps get it next week. Also, thanks for today's tip-off about it. Nice photos Reece, I like your Kestrel! The Slav Grebe was still there on Friday. If the water is rough though, it's difficult to spot at any distance (plus the fact it spends more than half its time under water). Mike.

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