Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Over Wyre, Lancs: Goose watching - 17th Feb 2009.

More Goose watching on the mosses in the company of Bill Berry.

Enroute from the A6, a Little Egret was sat in a field at Copthorne.

Starting in the Eagland Hill area at midday, a couple of thousand Pink-feet were gathered with at least several hundred well within 'Bean Goose' range, but despite searching over and over for a couple of hours 'only' a 1stw Pale-bellied Brent Goose was noted.

A drive round the lanes in the Pilling area proved very unproductive for Geese, but a superb Short-eared Owl showed really well at the northern end of Bradshaw Lane and c30 Corn Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer were by the feeding station.

We then returned to Eagland Hill and gave the Geese another 1.5hrs 'grilling' but no joy except for the Pale-bellied Brent again.

A decision was made to drive up to Cockerham Moss and check for Geese there, but as we approached Pilling it was apparent that several thousand Geese were in flight over Cockerham Moss and heading for the coast, much to our chagrin!

Enroute we stopped off at Sand Villa and were delighted to find the five Bewick's Swan, 3ad, 2juv, consorting amongst the herd of c60 Whooper Swan in roadside fields. c150 Pink-feet present contained no other species.

As we suspected from our drive around Cockerham Moss, all the Geese had flown to the coastal area, so next stop was Lane Ends Car Park where many Pink-feet were out on the seaward edge of the saltmarsh and sands. The Ross's x Pink-foot hybrid was out on a distant sandbar amongst Pink-feet, a drake Red-breasted Merganser out in a channel along with c300 B.H. Gulls, but no Med was amongst them.

Now late afternoon, a number of Geese were returning to fields just inland of the seawall, so we drove to Back Sands Lane to take a look and i was absolutely delighted to finally locate a Tundra Bean Goose at 16:50 in a field inland of the seawall between Lane Ends Car Park and Fluke Hall, viewed fairly distantly from the Wastewater Treatment Works.

Above: Adult Tundra Bean Goose, Back Sands Lane, Pilling, Lancs, 17th feb 2009. A pity the light had gone, preventing better quality videograbs to be obtained.

Two Little Egret were also in the vicinity. Single Barn and Little Owls on the return journey along Bradshaw Lane brought another very enjoyable afternoon's birding on the Mosses to a close.

Above & below: 2 of 5 Bewick's Swans, Sand Villa, 17th Feb 2009.