Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Return to the patch

Today I was back at my old stomping ground of Eccleston Mere in St Helens, in search of a drake red-crested pochard which would be a new bird for me at the mere. It's been around for a week or two now, but has been very elusive at times, and I failed to see it last week. However it showed very well today in superb light.

Just as impressive, there's a decent selection of wildfowl on the mere at the moment, with around 60 gadwall (my previous best was 11), 60 tufted ducks, two pochard, six wigeon and 11 mute swans.

According to my database, I visited the mere on around 1700 occasions between 1991 and today, and I have over 20,000 records in my database from the place. I've also visited the mere on all 365 days of the year, 366 if you count leap years, and in 2006 I visited on around 250 days in the same year! So yes, I was keen to add a new bird to my mere list!

It's been a good few weeks for birding, with the highlight of this week being the gull roost at Pennington Flash and a superb 1st winter Caspian gull at Shaw near Oldham yesterday. All of this leaves my year list currently on:

UK Year: 164 (latest Caspian gull, velvet scoter)

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