Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Ring Necked Duck - ICI Thornton, Lancashire - 29th December 2009

Drake Ring Necked Duck
The Fylde has created a very good end to 2009 with 2 lifers in 2 days! A text from the Fylde Bird Club news team just after lunch caused me to put a hold on revision and put my Megane into race mode. Soon enough I was parked in a carpark full of the cars of the Fylde regulars. A 1/2 mile walk to the ICI tank was rewarded instantly as there were about 10 scopes all trained on a group of aythyas. The bird was immediately recognisable with its brilliant white patch on the flanks and grey towards the rear. I arrived after the light was going and the drake had decided that it has shown off to the crowds for long enough and the views above of it roosting were the same thoughout my visit. Scope views were excellent however and my photos do not do justice to how striking even when roosting, this bird was. Great bird and a fine way to end 2009 and my 2009 fylde year list on 161.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Goose Watching - Marshside and N. Fylde - 28th December 2009

I started off at first light at Marshside RSPB with the intent of doing several hours Goose Watching...To my horror, I arrived to a Pea Souper with only 20ft Viability. I persevered until about 10.30 and managed to stop the Great White Egret (the same colour ringed bird that visited Brockholes in the Autumn). As it was obvious that the fog wasn't clearing, I made a quick stop at Southport Marine Lakes and managed to connect with one of the two Shag present.
adult Eurasian White-fronted Goose.

It was clear that I wasn't going to be able to search for my target White fronted Geese at Marshside, so I thought I would try the flock of Pinkfeet near to Freeport in Fleetwood where Jonny Scragg found 2 juv Whitefront on the 27th. It took about 40 mins searching the flock of about 1100 Pinkfeet before i spotted anything different. A superb adult European White Fronted Goose feeding actively in the centre of the flock. This is a lifer for me and one of my unluckiest birds throughout my birding career! Another couple of searches through the flock and I picked out Jonny's 2 European Whitefronts. Hunger was taking over, so I decided I would go round to the other side of the flock for a few scans of the back of the flock. On my very scan of the flock, I picked up a Tundra Bean Goose feeding away from the flock with a Pink foot. This was only my 3rd Bean Goose after 2 Tundra Bean Geese on Eagland Hill in 2005.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Velvet Scoter - Barrow Lodge, East Lancashire - 23rd December 2009

A female/immature Velvet Scoter turned up on what appears to be a coastal magnet! Barrow Lodge is currently no larger than a garden pond as 3/4 of the lake is frozen over. Even so, there is a large population of mallard that have certainly been welcoming to the scoter. This is my first inland Velvet Scoter and also the first record for East Lancashire. The Bird fed actively only 10 feet away throughout my visit. A superb bird and a fabulous Christmas Present to all East Lancashire Birders who get a chance to see it before it decides to have more of a seafood dinner.
Female/immature Velvet Scoter.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Willow Tit - Cottam Brickworks, Preston - 6th December 2009

Willow tit - Cottam Brickwork

I have finally pressed logoff on the facebook homepage and managed to twitch the delightful Willow tit at Cottam Brickworks. The bird appeared at the newly/temporary placed feeding station. The light was awful though so the photo's are simply awful!
It's a shame to have the words twitch and willow tit in the same sentence but this is the case in most parts of Lancashire. A real Fylde Scarcity!