Sunday, 30 August 2009

Twitch for an elusive little Yanker (=P) in South Lancashire - 30th August 2009

Martin Mere
Since the day I got back from Spain, I've wanted to catch up with the long staying 1stw Wilsons Phalarope (one of my favourite american (hence the title) waders).
Arriving on site, there was no news yet, but no news is better than bad news I suppose! We headed to Ron Barker hide as most sightings have been from here this week. Upon arrival in the hide, there was no obvious point where the gathered scopes were pointing, so I decided to keep my mouth shut and have a scan myself to see what I could pick up...not a lot. I had 3 distant Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 3 Snipe, 4 resident Whooper Swan, 100's of Teal and Lapwing but not a great deal else. After a while we headed to InFocus to see if they had any info on the bird and to see if Tony Disley was working. (Negative on both accounts)
Apparently it has been with a couple of Ruff during its stay so I thought I would set up camp in the very empty Swanlink Hide and try to find the Ruff. Before too long, I found 11 Ruff including a very white male in almost full Breeding Plumage, and 2/3 Juvenile, but no Phalarope. I therefore decided to take some photo's of the birds in front of the hide whilst the Black Headed gulls gathered and potentially may have brought in a Med Gull
At the start of the working week, it had a 3 day absense and appeared at Marshside for a short time, so after we were pretty sure it wasn't visable or onsite, we decided Marshside was our only hope.
Ecl Mallard

Sparring Teal

Arriving onsite, there was no one! We sat down in Sandgrounders Hide and had a scan amongst the 232 Black Tailed Godwit and found 3 Redshank, 4 Lapwing and a Snipe. The Teal were all in eclipse plumage so I couldn't detect anything that led to Green Winged Teal (I was hoping for at least 1 American bird today...). Apart from 2 Marsh Harrier, there was little of note so we decided it was more of a stab in the dark than a stroke of genius.

Preston Docks
Stopping off on the way back at Preston marina was purely because I had my d-SLR and I wanted some photos of the breeding Common Tern. Instead I enjoyed a ternless dock basin, but the 5 common breeding Laridae - Herring Gull (argenteus), Lesser Black Back (graellsii with possible intermedius, although more likely dark graellsii) Great Blackback (marinus), Black Headed Gull (ridibundus) and Common Gull (canus)
Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus graellsii)


Despite most of the target birds not being seen, it was just nice to be out and about in front of lots of commoner birds. I hope to get a Sea watching trip in before I go back to collge on 2nd September.


Derek Gallagher said...

Sorry to hear you missed out on the Wilsons, it sure was a good tick for us who saw it.

Derek & Reece

Zac Hinchcliffe said...

hi Derek

I needed it for my lancashire list so not vital as I saw a 1st winter at Upton Warren.
Still though, I am to see a Nearctic Wader in the North West region...I just hope it turns up in the Fylde for my Fylde ranking!


Mike Watson said...

What bastard luck! Good to see you out and and about again Zac. BR Mike

Zac Hinchcliffe said...

Hi Mike, With this westerly front, I suppose it's possible its moved inland? Has anyone checked Belmont recently?