Thursday, 31 December 2009

The end of another year

Eccleston Mere 31/12/2009
Harris Hawk - Year 231 (a festive joke! even I don't tick Harris Hawk..................)

Well, the last daylight of 2009 is rapidly fading, and it looks as though the birding is finished for the year. Another drunken evening of disgraceful excess is upon us (and that's just in my house ), and later hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fireworks will be shot into the air by the good folk of Britain, a country which is meant to be in recession. So now seems a good time to look back at they old year.

It was a roller coaster of a year for me, but from a birding point of view, it was my best for many a year. I finished with a UK year list of 231 species...... ok 230!, which included five UK lifers, Pallid Swift, Paddyfield Warbler, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern and Eastern Crowned Warbler. I was pleased to reach 230, because I didn't have a single holiday or even a long weekend in the UK, and I didn't go to Scotland, East Anglia, Cornwall, Scillies and I didn't go to the east coast apart from the one visit for the ECW. I reached 230 species by almost entirely local birding in North West England and occasionally North Wales.

The main places I went birding included Eccleston Mere (over 80 visits), Hilbre Island (31 visits), Martin Mere (28 visits), Leighton Moss (14), Marshside (13) and Inner Marsh Farm (13).

My 2009 Merseyside list finished on 171, and my 2009 Lancashire list (including Merseyside which it does in the Lancs Bird report) was 203.

Outside the UK, I had two long weekends to south west Spain and Portugal, and saw 115 species in Spain and 87 in Portugal. I got one Spanish lifer, Crested (red-knobbed) Coot.

In July I went to Sardinia, wrong time of year and too hot, but still ended up with an Italian list of 50 species, which included two European lifers, Barbary Partridge and the Sardinian version of Marmoras Warbler.

In October I went to New York, on a completely none birding holiday, but came back with 38 species, most of which were lifers for me.

In total, I saw 313 species in the World in 2009.

A very good birding year for me. Let's hope 2010 is as good. Happy New Year to you all.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Ring-necked Duck and Snow Geese

First we went to Fleetwood to try to see yesterdays Ring-necked Duck, but unfortunately it had gone. Then we went to Aldcliffe marsh to see the four Snow Geese which have been there with about 500 Greylags. Also with the flock, a Dark-bellied Brent and three Barnacle Geese.

Then we found out that the Ring-necked Duck had been relocated at Preesall, near Knott End, so we dashed back and found the bird on a small fishing pool, with 12 Pochard and three Tufties. Also on a nearby pond, three Mandarins.

The photos are a bit rubbish, because it was a very dull windy day, but I quite like the photo of the Snow Geese attacking two Greylags.

Snow Goose: Year 228 (I apologise to nobody!)
Ring-necked Duck: Year 229
Mandarin: Year 230 (ok I'm sorry, I'm a charlatan)

Snow Geese and Greylags

Ring-neck Duck asleep

Ring-neck Duck awake.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Hilbre Island

A cold, dull, grey day today on the island, and the walk back in light rain was bitter! Thank goodness Santa brought me some gloves the other day!

A really enjoyable day! The Pale-bellied Brent Goose flock showed exceptionally well at the north end of the island. I got some half decent photos, but it was very dull and not easy. One of the Brents was the returning colour ringed bird from previous years. I'm not really sure what the Brents eat on Hilbre, but if you look at the attached photo, it looks as if they're eating the green plant on the rocks. I'm not sure what it is, but it looks like little more than green slime! It's certainly slippy stuff! Whatever it is, it must sustain them, because the flock is now about 140 strong, and they'll stay for a few months yet.

As we watched the Brents, I noticed a couple of Purple Sandpipers on the rocks, right below us, with several Turnstones. Really good views of them as they scurried around and fed. I love watching these birds.

Other highlights today included Rock Pipit and Shag.

This was my 31st visit to the island this year, and chances are it will be my last of the year. It's been a tremendous experience. I've seen so many birds on or around the island this year, including a lifer, Paddyfield Warbler, plus visible migration of passerines and seabirds. I just hope that next year is as good.

The Brents!

Purple Sandpiper

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Wigan Flashes

Green-winged Teal 1 male on Horrock's Flash
Bittern 1 flew onto Bryn Flash
Cetti's Warbler 1 probable calling distantly on Bryn Flash

Barrow Lodge, Clitheroe

Velvet Scoter 1 (1st win male)

The scoter showed exceptionally well, down to just a few metres. It seemed to be feeding well, and as we watched it twice dived and brought up molluscs, which it swallowed whole!

Velvet Scoter: Year 227

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Day on Hilbre

Not a bad way to spend Christmas Day, on Hilbre Island. Nothing too spectacular to report today, 100 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a female Eider and a few Purple Sandpipers, but beautiful weather, and spectacular scenary.

Pale-bellied Brents

Looking towards North Wales with Grey Seals on the West Hoyle bank in the foreground

Hilbre from Middle Eye

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A few days in Donana, South West Spain

Another fantastic visit to this bird rich area. Whilst North West England was enjoying snow, ice and dark evenings, I had warm sunny days, up to 18'C, and sunset times of 18:15.
Haven't got time to go through everything, but here is a brief summary of the highlights.

Night Heron (150+)
Cattle Egret (hundreds)
Little Egret (hundreds)
Great White Egret (39+)
Black Stork (29+)
White Stork (1000+)
Spoonbill (127+)
Greater Flamingo (1000+)
Black-shouldered Kite (2)
Hen Harrier (7)
Marsh Harrier (25)
Purple Gallinule (110+)
Common Crane (2200+)
Black-winged Stilt (100+)
Avocet (30+)
Lesser short toed Lark (200+)
Calandra Lark (200+)
Southern Grey Shrike (10+)
Azure-winged Magpie (100+)
Spanish Sparrow (1000+)

Greater Flamingos - Isla Mayor rice fields

Black Stork - Isla Mayor rice fields

White Storks. Notice also the Swallows flying around - Isla Mayor rice fields

Common Cranes - Huerta Tejeda

A poor photo, but these are all Purple Gallinules! Veta Hornito rice fields.

Glossy Ibis - Brazo de la Torre

Glossy Ibis - Isla Mayor rice fields.

Night Herons - Corredor Verde

Faro beach, Portugal.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Prescot Reservoirs

Red-crested Pochard 2 (male and female)
Red-breasted Goose 1 (adult)
Barnacle Goose 60
Redshank 1
Gulls - a lot

The drake Red-crested Pochard was a simply stunning bird, the pair seen on No. 3 Res.

Red-crested Pochard: Year 226

The St Helens "black" goose flock. A Red-breasted Goose with about 60 Barnacle Geese and a single Canada Goose. Also note the hybrid goose immediately behind the Canada which looks superficially like a small race Canada. This flock commutes to Martin Mere in the winter, where the Red-breasted Goose sets pulses racing.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Leighton Moss

Bearded Tit 4 (3 males 1 female)
Bittern 2
Cetti's Warbler 1
Water Rail

It was a gloriously beautiful and sunny day, cold with ice cover, yet not a breath of wind. A day which made you feel great to be alive. We arrived at 9am and left at 3:30pm, and apart from a short break in the cafe where we warmed up with soup and coffee cake, we spent all of our time walking along the public causeway and the Lower Hide. If it was cold outside, it was bitter inside the hides, so we elected to keep moving, all be it at a slow pace.

The reeds were obviously alive with Water Rails, and there was hardly a moment when you couldn’t hear at least one squealing. Near the start of the causeway, we estimated at least five birds calling all around us, but we couldn’t see any. Eventually we did manage to see two birds quite well.

As we approached the bridge on the causeway, just past the public hide, we suddenly heard the explosive call of a Cetti’s Warbler. This species has slowly been moving north from its southern strongholds, and is now a quite regular winter visitor to North West England, and surely it can only be a matter of time before it breeds, if it hasn’t already done so. We waited near the bridge for about 45 minutes, during which time the bird called periodically, but only briefly revealed itself.

Highlight of the day was four Bearded Tits, including two stunning males, on the causeway grit trays. What a sight! It’s a long time since I saw such great views of males, and the light was perfect. Still couldn’t get a decent photo though! Over the causeway, and awesome adult Peregrine.

At Lower hide, we had decent views of two Bitterns, as well as a selection of ducks. Later we watched in awe as around 10,000 Starlings came in to roost, performing acrobatics before finally landing. Two Sparrowhawks hunted the flock.

Lots of other good stuff of course, Marsh Tits, Siskins, Lesser Redpolls, Bull Finches, Wigeon, Snipe, Curlew etc. Just a great day to be out.

Robin. Almost a great photo. Unfortunately the bird is slightly out of focus.

Bearded Tit. Never going to be a great photo!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Hilbre Island

Took a bit of a chance on the weather today, and headed over to Hilbre for the high tide, which was about 9.5m at 13:00. As it turned out, it was a pretty decent day, with just a few spots of rain starting to fall as we headed off the island at 15:30.

There are still a few Shags around the islands, with at least five seen today. The Cormorant flock is still pretty sizable at about 750, though that's down by at least 50% since last week. Waders included at least six Purple Sandpipers and 150 Turnstones, some of which were colour ringed. 3000 Oystercatchers roosted over the tide on Middle, and there were about 150 Curlew. A Little Egret flew over at midday.

The Pale-bellied Brent goose flock has now reached about 130, but they weren't so evident today, being better observed at low tide. They roost away from the main island at high tide.

Passerines included three Blackbirds, two Song Thrushes, about five Robins, two Rock Pipits and three Goldfinches. Out at sea there were at least six Red-throated Divers, 10 Great crested Grebes and about 30 Common Scoter.

A couple of hours before high tide we spotted a baby Grey Seal on the rocks. We initially thought that it was dead, but it startled us by suddenly springing into life and heading off down the rocks back and into the sea. It's been hanging around the island for a few days.


Rock Pipit

Grey Seal Pup

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Hilbre Island and Crosby Marina

A dull, cold and drizzly early morning, with the sun occasionally breaking through to provide spectacular skies, was transformed by lunch time into a pleasant, still and sunny day. The dominant sound was the wild calls of the Curlew on the beach, perhaps up to 150 individuals.

The highlight of the day was a female Snow Bunting on Little Eye, which flew in from the direction of Middle, and landed on the sand in front of me. These confiding birds are always a pleasure to see.

The flock of 110 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were feeding on the rocks between Middle Eye and Hilbre, and there was a Shag sitting on the rocks. At the north end of the island there were another 5 Shags, whilst the Cormorant flock totalled at least 1200 birds, perhaps upto 2000.

There were at least two Rock Pipits on the island today, up to five Purple Sandpipers, plus a selection of other waders, Turnstones, Redshanks, Grey Plover and Knot.

On the way home, I called in at Crosby Marina and saw a Grey Phalarope.

Grey Phalarope: Year 225

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Starlings at Marbury Country Park

Starling roost at Marbury Country Park. Apologies for the running commentry in the background, it's just one of those things you have to put up with when you're birding in a public place :-(

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Shore Lark, Birkdale

Absolutely stunning Shore Lark on Birkdale beach today, one of the nicest I've ever seen in the UK and a strong contender for bird of the year this year. I've never seen one so yellow, or with such distinct horns. It was also a very obliging bird. Also on the saltmash, a mixed flock of Twite and Linnets.

Shore lark: Year 224

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Monday, 2 November 2009

A few days in the Big Apple

Just got back from a wonderful holiday to New York, just me and my non-birding son. We stayed on 34th Street, right by Madison Square Garden and Penn station. As you can probably imagine, birding was very much a secondary activity, but even so I took the binoculars and managed to see quite a few decent birds.

The account that follows ignores all of the non-birding activities, such as the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, the Broadway show, the rock concert at Madison Square Garden (U2, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Ozzy Osbourne, Sting, Black Eyed Peas, Jerry Lee Lewis, Metallica, Ray Davies, Lou Reed, Annie Lennox and the singer from ZZ Top all on the same bill). It also ignores the visit to the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, the New York Marathon, the Natural History museum, the Dakota building where John Lennon was shot, the bar where Bob Dylan wrote "Blowing in the Wind", live music at Cafe Wha where Dylan and Hendrix performed early in the careers, Washington Square, Times Square, the shopping and Thai meals, Japanese meals and Mexican meals, plus loads more.

No, lets just forget all of that and concentrate on the wildlife and countryside.....

It was Fall, and the trees in Central Park were a wonderful spectacle, yellow and red and gold.

I didn't actually have any spare time to go birding in Central park, but we did wander around a couple of times. American Robins (above) were one of the commonest birds, in fact I saw at least 40 on one particular lawn. I've never seen them in Britain, but in Central Park they were quite tame and approachable. Other birds seen in the park included Mourning Dove, Red-shouldered Hawk, Song Sparrow, American Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Laughing Gull, Wood Ducks, White-throated Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Grey Catbird, several Hermit Thrushes and a few Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

Breathtaking colours!

Central Park

Midway through the holiday, we had a break from the city, and headed out to La Tourette Golf club on Staten Island. We caught the (free!) ferry across which took us right past the Statue of Liberty, as well as several Laughing Gulls, Ringed-billed Gulls and a few Pale-bellied Brent Geese. We saw more of these geese on a lawn by the sea in Brooklyn as we walked across the bridge on another day.

However, back to the golf. I don't play, so I just followed behind my son, birding as I went, and I was so lucky to stumble across possibly the bird of the holiday, a Belted Kingfisher (above). Certainly it was my most exciting find. It's a big Kingfisher, over twice the size of the bird we are familiar with in Britain.

The Kingfisher pond is in the background.

Another star bird on the golf course for me was this Hairy Woodpecker. I was delighted to get such a good photo on my first attempt, because it really was just point, click and hope!

Also on the golf course I saw hundreds of American Robins, there must surely have been a passage of these birds while we were in New York. Other birds included Lincoln's Sparrow (2), Dark-eyed Junco (3), Blue Jay (10), Northern Harrier (1), Turkey Vulture (1), Tufted Titmouse (1), Black-capped Chickadee (1), Red-tailed Hawk (2), Northern Flicker (1), Yellow-rumped Warbler (1), Ovenbird (1), Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinal (15), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1), Great Blue Heron (1) and Mourning Dove (2).

Oh, and lots of Grey Squirrels exactly where they should be, in a tree in North America. On the way back to the airport via the train, several Snowy Egrets and a Little Blue Heron.

Sorry, couldn't resist this one - this is yours truely walking down Jones Street, Greenwich Village. "So what?" you might say, well this is the very same street, and almost exactly the same position where Bob Dylan and Suzi Rotolo where photographed for the most famous of all Dylan album covers, "The Freewheelin' ".

Pennington Flash

Slavonian Grebe - Year 223

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Eastern Crowned Warbler, South Shields

Possibly the birding event of the year (the finders of the Tufted Puffin might disagree!), an Eastern Crowned Warbler at South Shields was identified from a photograph on Thursday evening, and was relocated yesterday and again today. A first for Britain and only the fourth ever in Europe, I decided that it would be rude not to make its aquaintace.

I took it at a leisurely pace, only leaving home this morning at 8:45 once I was certain that the bird had been seen again today, and spurred on by positive texts (thanks John) I arrived at South Shields at noon. Though it was dull and breezy, the forecast rain and gales had not arrived yet.

I saw the bird about five times, twice through the scope, but the best view of all was through the bins at a distance of about 10m for about 2 minutes. The bird had flown straight towards me and landed in a bush next to where I was standing! I saw all the relevant features, crown stripe going down to its nape, broad eye stripe, yellowey / green fringed flight feathers, couple of wing bars, white underparts with yellow vent and generally a bulky bird, not unlike a vireo. Easy to dismiss this bird as just another Leaf warbler, but it's actually quite a nice bird, in the same way that Pallas's Warbler is a nice bird.

Also flitting around was a Yellow-browed Warbler.

Yellow-browed Warbler: Year 221
Eastern Crowned Warbler: Year 222

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Rainford Mosslands

Pink-footed Goose - 8,000
Barnacle Goose - 1 juv.

Not quite the spectacle of yesterday, but still plenty of activity around the flock which today (this evening) was in fields along Dairy Farm Road. The Barnacle Goose brought the goose species count on the mosslands this weekend to four, following Greenland-white front, Greylag and of course Pink-foot yesterday. It's always nice to see unusual species in the flock, and though we can never be sure that any Barnacle in St Helens is wild, a juvenile with 8,000 Pinks is surely just about as wild as it gets.

If you go to see these birds, please be aware that Dairy Farm Road and the Old Coach Road are private, with no access to vehicles. You can walk or ride a bike, but no cars please.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Awesome Pink-feet eclipse even a dowitcher!

Today I found my new local patch. It’s called North West England! I covered it from dawn until dusk and did it all by push bike, a grand total of 55 miles! I’ve seen some great sights this year, and been to some fabulous places, but today is my best birding day of the year so far.

As a confirmed lover of geese, it’s not unusual for me to spend a lot of time watching these birds at this time of year, but never have I seen them so well or so many. Breathtaking is the only word for it!

My route took me first north along the Old Coach Road, a farm track which is devoid of cars, but ideal for the birder on a bike. This is a good spot for Pink-footed Geese, and in recent years there has been a roost here of over 10,000 birds. Soon I could hear their calls, and eventually I found the flock, feeding in a field at the side of the road. I abandoned the bike and almost crawled through the under growth and into a ditch alongside the field. Here I sat patiently and waited, with just my head showing above the ditch. It really felt like pioneering work, it seemed to me that this was the sort of thing that Peter Scott must have done in the early days just after the second World war. As I watched, more and more birds landed in the field, and many where now quite close. I estimated about 6000 Pink-feet in the flock. Then, just to my right, I noticed a bird which was different. It was altogether darker, and bigger, and had a large bright orange bill. A juvenile Greenland Whitefront! Exactly what I was hoping for! A few minutes later I had also located a Greylag. I watched these wonderful birds for an hour, and then slowly crept away and back to my bike.

I continued north, through Bikerstaffe, Aughton, and Halsall, and across Plex Moss, which was disappointingly quiet. Finally I reached the traffic lights at the start of Southport marine drive, which I followed to the Birkdale roundabout. Here I stopped for a while. It was just on high tide and there were good numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits, Sanderling and Oystercatchers.

I pressed on, with just a brief stop at Marshside, where I found both hides packed and not much to see from either. I wasn’t in the mood for being sociable, so I decided to head for Banks marsh.

It’s been fairly dry recently, and I was able to bike it right along the sea wall from Crossens pumping station to Old Hollow Farm. Lots of Little Egrets seen along the way, I counted at least 40. I could see another birder in the distance and when I got to him he told me that he had just relocated the Long-billed Dowitcher which has been in the area on and off for a couple of weeks. I had a look at it through his scope, and also managed to see Peregrine, two Spotted Redshanks and a Stonechat, before I put the bins down and had my lunch. How could the day get any better?

I knew that it was going to be a special day at Martin Mere, because before I even got in, I could see geese flying around, and the noise was incredible. I went first to Swan Link, and the mere was just covered in birds. Somebody said that there were 20,000 and I have no reason to challenge that! I was in United Utilities hide when they all took off . The noise was deafening, the sky was black, like a huge cloud had just covered the sun. An awesome spectacle. Three Barnacle Geese with the flock.

Finally I decided to head home. I was going to go straight home, but something in the back of my mind told me to head back down the Old Coach Road. I think that I just wanted to be sure that the birds I had seen earlier were still there, and had not joined the Martin Mere birds.

Sure enough they were there , but now there were even more, at least 10,000 birds I estimated. I watched them in awe as the sun started to set, and I saw a 1000 Peter Scott paintings. Then they took to the air, in one huge mass, and just like at Martin Mere the sun was blotted out, and the noise was deafening.

Half an hour later I was home, worn out, and not just physically. All of my senses had been stretched to their limits today. And the total cost for today was £1.30 for a cup of tea at Martin Mere!

Greenland Whitefront - Year 219

Yes the sea does occasionally come in at Southport!

Pink-footed Geese Old Coach Road

Banks Marsh

Juvenile Greenland White-fronted Goose, Old Coach Road

Turn your speakers on and the volume up before clicking on this video! Pink-footed Geese, Old Coach Road. Hard to believe that this is St Helens!

Even more geese at Martin Mere.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Santa Claus releases Christmas album following a night on the town!

So Bob's done it again and surprised us all! His first ever Christmas album was released on 13th October and contains such Christmas classics as "Here comes Santa Claus", "Little Drummer Boy" and "Hark the Herald Angels sing". It's all for charity of course, you can read more about it at Dylan is donating all royalties to help homeless people.
The reviews have been generally good and some have made me laugh, such as "it sounds like he just smoked 20 ciggies before going into the recording studio", "....Bob Dylan's Christmas album is here, its arrival harkened by the 68-year-old legend's fearsome wheeze —a sound more Beelzebub than Jolly Old Elf", and my personal favourite "Dylans voice adds menace to these chirpy old Christmas favourites."
But the point is, despite some fans wanting him to become a greatest hits artist, he's ALIVE and well and continuing to surprise and shock. Two studio albums this year, the first of which was all new material and reached number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic, 150+ gigs this year all over the World with more to come, a radio program (Theme Time Radio) and rumours that his voice is to be used on a SAT NAV system! What will he surprise us with next?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Hilbre Island

It's been a relatively quiet autumn on Hilbre following an excellent spring, but I'm never disppointed, because there is always something to see.

I set off from West kirby at just after 7am and it was still almost dark. I'd barely gone more than 100 yards across the beach when the heavens opened and within seconds I was soaked. However there were breaks in the cloud so I kept going undeterred and full of hope, and soon the rain stopped, and by the time I reached Hilbre the wind had almost dried me out.

This is peak migration time for Rock Pipits on Hilbre, a species I had never previously seen on the island and there have been birds present all week. Today we saw one, or possibly two birds at the north end of the island, and one of these was caught and ringed, the first ringed on the island for two years.

Other highlights today included a decent selection of ducks, with four Pintail, three Teal and 20 Wigeon. Six Pale-bellied Brent Geese were my first of the autumn, though there have been up to 20 in recent days.

By the time I left at 12:30 it had turned into a lovely warm day, and there were even butterflies flying, with Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell seen.

Rock Pipit


Sunday, 27 September 2009

Inner Marsh Farm - Another Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher 2 juvs.
Water Rail 1
Green Sandpiper

So yesterday we assumed that the dowitcher at Inner Marsh Farm was the same as that at Marshside the day before, and possibly even the same as one near Fleetwood last week. The jigsaw seemed to fit together nicely, an American wader moving south and being seen at various locations. So where does the second bird fit in to the equation? Who can say? In my opinion, having seen the bird yesterday, and having seen photos of the Marshside bird, I think that they are the same, and todays bird is new.

In the photo below, the (new) dowitcher is the middle bird. It's not a great photo, but it does show how small it is compared to the Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwit.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Inner Marsh Farm, Dee Estuary

Long-billed Dowitcher 1
Hobby 2
Hen Harrier 1
Greenshank 2

We arrived at Marshside to discover that yesterdays Long-billed Dowitcher had not been relocated by 10am, and with the Southport airshow threatening to disturb every bird in the area, it seemed that we were unlikely to connect with the American wader today. We were just about to walk down to Nels hide, when a text from a friend had us dashing back to the car – the dowitcher had been relocated at Inner Marsh Farm on the Dee.

Ninety minutes later we were in the hide watching the bird. It was a well marked juvenile, with a distinct supercillium. It’s 10 years since I saw my last dowitcher, and I had forgotten how small they are compared to the nearby Black-tailed Godwits. In fact it was nearer to Snipe size.

The supporting cast was excellent, with two Hobbies spectacularly hawking for dragonflies over the marsh, at times quite close, and a ringtail Hen-Harrier occasionally scattering the Lapwings right in front of the hide.

Long-billed Dowitcher Year 217

Long-billed Dowitcher


Sunday, 20 September 2009

Leighton Moss

Great White Egret 1 (Year 215)
Little Egret 45
Little Stint 3 (Year 216)
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Spotted Redshank 1
Greenshank 2
Bittern 1

A beautiful September day, and the light was perfect for viewing the egrets and waders on the Eric Morecombe and Allen pools. When we arrived at the hide, the Great White Egret was flying in amongst a whole flock of Little Egrets. Amazing numbers of these birds in the North West at the moment. There were hundreds of waders on the Allen pool, with my favourites being the Little Stints. On the reserve we had a good flyby view of a Bittern from public hide.

Little Egret

Little Egrets!

Even more Black-tailed Godwits.

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