Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Long-billed Dowitchers, Old Hollow Farm, Banks Marsh/Crossens Outer Marsh, Lancs - 14th Oct 2009.

Today's mission was to try and relocate the two Long-billed Dowitchers on Banks Marsh, which i did, and attempt and get some better images of them, which ended in failure after several hours of effort. The weather was grim for much of the time, murky with light drizzle, coupled again with distance, hampering digiscoping efforts considerably!

After a few hours a Peregrine flushed everything, but i relocated the Dowitchers much closer to the seawall at Crossens Outer Marsh, midway between OHF and the Coast Road at Marshside. This was my chance to obtain my best images yet.

Just after I had taken these 'insurance' record shots, I hurried further along the base of the bank on the inland side to get the birds in better light and crept up. The Dowitchers were still out on the pool. Then out of nowhere a Wildfowler appeared on top of the bank, flushing everything and I couldn't find the Dowitchers again from 15:00 - 17:15, either on Crossens Outer Marsh, OHF or the Junction Pool at Marshside. Did they go all the way to Inner Marsh Farm?

Other birds at OHF/Crossens Outer included: 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 juv Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 juv Grey Plover, 40 Dunlin, 10 Snipe, 50 Blackwit, 34 Little Egret, 6 Whooper Swan, 2 Black Swan, c300 Wigeon, 2 Peregrine, male Marsh Harrier, 1 Merlin, 1 Rock/Water Pipit heard and 1+ Twite > south. A Cockatiel provided unexpected entertainment as it flew over the saltmarsh calling, always great value in flight.

Looking towards OHF from Marshside late afternoon, several Wildfowlers with Dogs could be seen on the Marshes. The last port of call late-on was Hesketh Outer Marsh RSPB and once again I was positively salivating at the potential of this newly created reserve. 15 Black-tailed Godwit and a perched Merlin the highlights.