A really enjoyable days birding in Cheshire in pleasant spring-like weather in the company of Bill Berry, saw me connect with my first Lesser-spotted Woodpecker since........ 1995!! And what an absolute joy to behold it was!
Above & below: Male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire - 11th March 2009. An absolutely crippling male seen on three occasions in the wood on the opposite side of Lapwing Lane to the feeding station. It was good to reacquaint myself with the highly distinctive drumming and call, the latter heard once. A wonderful bird!
In between sightings, time was spent in the company of several senior Fylde birders lamenting the decline of this species in Lancs along with that of Hawfinch, Willow Tit, Yellow Wagtail..... etc etc!
A walk to Birchwood Pool saw plenty of Gulls on the water upon our arrival at the hide. A 1stw Glaucous Gull all too briefly joined the throng before all Gulls were spooked and flew back to the tip.
Next stop was Marbury, where we eventually located the Hawfinch after 45 mins searching. The bird was perched in a tall deciduous tree for several minutes, calling frequently before it flew into some Yews in the vicinity of the Arboretum.
Our final stop on the journey home was Houghton Green Flash where the two Black-necked Grebes were actively feeding in the middle.
The final port of call was the local patch, Brockholes Wetland LWT, late afternoon, where an adult Med Gull and a superb imm male Merlin was seen. The latter in particular always a noteworthy year tick on the patch.