A mixed day with visits to several places across Lancashire and not only in search of birds. First stop was Salwick and the Hand & Dagger pub, not literally as at 8.30am it was closed. We dropped down onto the canal across the road from the pub in search of a Spotted Flycatcher which Neil Spiers had seen previously. Reece spotted it within minutes of arriving perched high amongst the branches, I managed a record shpt before it flew off. We did see it again briefly but no chance of any further photos, thanks again Neil for the information.
RECORD SHOT OF A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER
Next we made a brief visit to Preston docks and apart from the 2 nesting Coot pairs, Black-Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull and 1st year Common Gull we counted 10 Common Tern. Numbers certainly up on last year and it looks like there are at least 2 pairs nesting.
ABOVE PIED WAGTAIL BELOW LITTLE EGRET
Leighton Moss was our next stop in search of the Lesser Whitethroat a bird we managed to see in Crete last year but have yet to see in this country. It’s also on our list of Warblers to photograph this year so any information on a localish LWT will be gratefully received. As you can tell we didn’t manage to see one. After feeding our faces at the café we headed out to the hides to see what was around and apart from the summer resident Marsh Harriers and a male Bearded Tit flying over one of the paths we didn’t see much else to write about apart from several Red Deer that were moving around the reed beds.
SPOT THE RED DEER
In one of the hides we met a couple we have spoken to on odd occasions down at Brockholes Nature Reserve who had been to see a rare orchid that was flowering locally so after obtaining its whereabouts we called in at Warton Crag to see the Peregrine before setting off to Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve.
PEREGRINE PLUCKING ITS PREY - MOBI-SCOPED
After taking the long walk around we finally found the area the Lady’s-Slipper Orchid were flowering. The area is taped off to avoid the plants being trampled by walkers as they are the rarest orchids in the UK. The several plants we saw were grown from seeds taken from the last remaining plant in the Yorkshire Dales by Kew. The Orchid used to inhabit the area about 100 years ago but due to Victorian collectors the species declined. Hopefully modern collectors can be deterred from taking this beautiful plant so it can be there for us all to enjoy.