Thursday, 3 September 2015
There has recently been a reliable bird at Cocker's Dyke in north Fylde in Lancs which is a juvenile. I arrived mid-morning at about 08:45, and began searching. It took about 45 minutes before anything other than a Greater Black-back or adult Lesser Black-back appeared in my scope. A group of 5 juvenile gulls appeared which were mainly Lesser Black-backs, but a really pale bird was very striking. Before I could get much on it, it fell asleep making it somewhat more difficult to ID.
It looked good though with really black primaries extending well beyond the tail, black centres to the tertials and clean white tips, faded brown juvenile scapulars and a couple of freshly moulted grey scaps. They were generally fairly clean with a single black line down the centre. The head was generally fairly clean with a slight mask and a streaked shawl to the nape. When it eventually woke up, it had a parallel sided bill, pear-shaped head and a long neck. It walked onto a bit of mud/sand and was incredibly long-legged, 'filled nappy' on the vent which was extremely clean and white.
It took off and revealed 'Venetian blinds' to the inner primaries, black secondary bar contrasting to the pale coverts and a white rump contrasting with the black tail tip. Very educational.
Monday, 31 August 2015
Thursday, 27 August 2015
After checking my moth trap early doors, I set off and arrived at Canal Scrape at about half 10 and met Liam, who was just about to see a juvenile Red-backed Shrike in Clubley's Field, which was the first bird I saw as I got out the car...not a bad start!
We had a quick brew ready to set off for the point and whilst we did, the bush outside the Warren common room held a male Redstart and 2 Pied Flycatcher.
Getting past the narrows, the first Willow Warblers were seen along with 2 Common Sandpiper. Around the Sheep Field, we saw our first Pied Flycatcher and migrants were certainly obvious with loads of Willow Warblers and a couple of Whitethroat. Just before the lighthouse, I spotted two brown birds flying into a bush, which on reflection were probably Dunnock, and curiosity got the better of me. We walked over and I flushed a brown/grey bird with a long tail and a rufous speckled back. As it was about to land, I was expecting a Shrike to appear in the bins, but it failed to land and started undulating and revealed a yellowy throat and a very skinny body. It just had to be a Wryneck! I managed to get a couple of perched views and was over the moon to finally see a Wryneck in the UK taking me to 362 species BOU.
Heading down to the end of the point, we picked up Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, 3 Wheatear and about 7 Whinchat. Pied Flycatcher numbers probably hit 40 with flocks of up to 6 and Willow Warblers must've hit 80 at least.
Moving back up, we sat next to the heligoland in the potato fields as there was a hive of activity in terms of willow warblers. We gave it a good 15 minutes and saw about 20 Willow Warblers.
A bird suddenly appeared in an Elder which Liam and I instinctively got onto as soon as we saw it. It was startlingly pale and looked almost silver with the naked eye. It was basically white underneath with a clean throat and pale face. It was an obvious supercillium that appeared to get broader behind the eye and a pale green upperbody. As it dipped down to fly, I am positive I noted a wing bar. It looked very good for Greenish, so we waited a good while for it to reappear but frustratingly, it never did. I have never seen Greenish, so I didn't know they could look that pale, otherwise I might've been quicker off the mark with the camera. Would've been a quality bird to end what was a fantastic trip to the point, but oh well....
After a quick cup of tea post-point, I headed back to Preston, stopping just north of Kilnsea Wetlands to scan a flock of gulls loafing in a newly cultivated field. There were 23 Med Gulls in there, which was a real shock considering there were only about 150 gulls and 30 Sandwich Terns.
Monday, 24 August 2015
I was pleased last night then, when it was relocated at Condor Green up near to Glasson.
Danni was still with me after our weekend at Birdfair, so first thing this morning, we headed north and started scanning the creek through the many Redshank. 2 Ruff and a Snipe, were the only obviously different birds amongst the Redshanks, Common Sandpipers and Curlew. We viewed a second time from the layby next to Condor Pool and it wasn't long before I picked up a distant, skinny wader with thin legs, thin bill, long tapering read end, long primary projection, obvious orbital ring and supercillium. It was the Lesserlegs and a lovely bird at that. We got nice views as it fed in the creek, but went out of view after a few minutes.
A nice Lancashire tick and a lifer for Danni