Thursday, 30 December 2010

Roaming around Preston - 20th December 2010

I started off the morning checking the Tickled Trout hotel for the redhead Smew. 30 minutes of no sign made me lose hope, but as I was scanning the river from the Brockholes exit bridge, I happened to look up as the Smew flew overhead downstream. This was a Brockholes site tick for me (it can be seen from onsite, so counts!)
Treecreeper - 52P Male Bullfinch - 52P
I then carried out a tetrad survey for the BTO as a favour to Chris Batty. This covered the area of Frenchwood and east of Avenham Park in Preston. I was quite excited to do this tetrad, as it covered 2010's Black Redstart breeding site, so I was keen to check if they had wintered. Sadly I was not able to locate anything remotely 'redstart' (Peregrine was seen at this site though). I moved on to where the tetrad meets the R.Ribble and had Bullfinch, Treecreeper, Goosander and Nuthatch as highlights for the particular survey. They may not seem like 'stop press' birds, but Bullfinch is a hard bird to come by in the Fylde and although this is past the eastern most limits of the Fylde recording area, It was still a surprise to see.
Moorhen - Lancaster Canal - 53F
A second tetrad was done around the area of Ashton-on-Ribble and Cadley where the highlights were 2 Waxwing that flew from the Lancaster Canal within the tetrad limits and then flew onto the previously reliable site of Stock's Road. Nice to see there are still a couple of birds hanging on in my home town. The canal itself was extremely iced over still with at least 5 inches of ice covering the surface!
Iceland Gull - Preston Dock
There is no question that it's a White-winged Gull
Preston Docks
I went in to get another view of the Iceland Gull and was pleased to see it on the ice below the car park, so I was able to get some improved photos.
Cottam Brickworks
I went to see if I could get the Willow Tit for the first time this winter. The feeders were empty, but a tit flock around the feeder did hold the little gem. Willow Tit are by far my favourite resident breeding bird. I would love to be able to ring a Willow Tit during my training over the next year or so. It would be fantastic to observe such a charismatic bird up close and personal

53 Species - A decent days birding considering I didn't leave Preston!

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