Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Twitching a Coot! - Brockholes NR LWT, Lancashire - 22nd June 2011

(Photo: John Wright)
Either I have gone completely mad after my first year of University, or I have Ringers blood flowing through my veins. It's not every day that you get excited about a 26km Coot movement!
On the longest day, 21st June 2011, John Wright posted a picture of a colour-ringed Coot on the Brockholes Facebook page. This is one of the birds ringed as part of Kane Brides' North West Coot study. This is the first colour-ringed Coot to turn up at Brockholes, so I was eager to see it!

Recapture History

number Typ Date Init Details


GR24371 N 3F 28/09/10 CMB Stanley Park, Blackpool

5 Resighted 04/02/11 PB Stanley Park, Blackpool

5 Resighted 21/06/11 JW Brockholes Quarry, Preston, Lancashire (26 km, ESE, 266 days)

I decided to walk to the quarry after a Bacon sandwich and was on site just after 12.30. I set up shop in the motorway hide scanning the wildfowl on No1 pit. There was at least 100 Coot present in a reasonably tight flock on the northern side of No1 in the water (therefore the legs weren't visible). The flock started moving towards the bank and 4 birds started getting out of the water and standing on a spit. A fifth bird joined and I caught a flash of Green followed by a flash of Orange. It was the bird! What are the chances that it would be one of the five birds? [1/20 chance for any smart alecks out there ;)]
This may be the first colour-ringed Coot to be seen at Brockholes, but it is not the first of Kane's Coots to be seen as Bill Aspin read the metal ring GC64146 on 1st April 2009 45km from its ringing site in Fallowfield, Manchester.
After the initial 'excitement' of the Coot, I had a wander around and a slightly sombre mood came over my following sightings. I found a freshly dead Mole, which although was interesting to see up close, it wasn't how I would like to have seen this species if I'm honest.
In addition, I thought I would make the effort to go and check out the work of the local Vandals. It really is upsetting and disgusting to see how easily these rather impressive hides can be reduced to ask and oxidised metal. In terms of comfort, I would love similar hides to replace it, but for convenience, I think a container hide would be the most sustainable option until the offenders grow up!

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