Monday, 28 December 2009

Local birding: Black-necked Grebe & Glaucous Gull - 28th Dec 2009.

Above: Black-necked Grebe, Rishton Res, Lancs, 28th Dec 2009. Scoping the Gulls whilst sat on a bench on the promenade, I glanced forward with my 'spare' eye to see the Grebe only feet out from the prom. Cursing myself for not having my DSLR with me I managed this with the Camcorder on 10x optical before the BNG swam rapidly towards the outflow end of the Res. Fingers crossed it will now adopt a regular circuit of the eastern shoreline rather than stay along the awkward south end of the reservoir.

Above: 1stw Glaucous Gull, Fishmoor Res, Lancs, 28th Dec 2009. This bird came in to roost at 16:17. Moments after this record shot, any light for digiscoping had gone completely.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

More Velvet Scoter images, Barrow Lodge Clitheroe - 22nd Dec 2009.

Some superb images of the Velvet Scoter at Barrow Lodge, Clitheroe, courtesy of Pete Morris.

Local MEGA: Velvet Scoter, Barrow Lodge, Clitheroe, SD740381 - 22nd Dec 2009

Medical advice not to drive following a very recent stomach operation simply had to be ignored when news of East Lancashire's first-ever Velvet Scoter broke mid-afternoon... and the pain was well worth it, what a bird!

To anyone who saw the Slavonian Grebe at the same site in early 2008, the Velvet gives staggering views just as close. A must-see MEGA local rarity. I'm unsure about age & indeed sex of the bird at this stage. From a photographic point of view, I just managed to get there with enough light to get something for the blog, but this bird is a dream subject in good light.

Above: The Velvet Scoter was showing as close as the nearest Mallard in centre of the photo!

According to the 'Birds of Lancashire' there have only been two genuine inland occurences, 3 probably immatures at Rivington Res on 12 Feb 1956 and a 1st winter male on the Ribble near Preston 21-25 January 1997 (per Tony Cooper). I believe the latter bird apparently made it as far upstream as Brockholes Bridge just downstream of the Tickle Trout Hotel.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Pom Skua, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset - 2nd Dec 2009.

Nice scope views of the albeit rather distant imm Pom Skua were had as it fed on a probable Common Gull at the mouth of Herons Green Bay, a cracking bird! A Red-throated diver off the Dam and a Black-necked Grebe off Nunnery Point were also seen in a couple of hours mid-late afternoon.