Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Moore, Cheshire - 25th Feb 2009.

Above: Left-right, Janet Davie, Tim Davie, Bill Berry & Myself take time out from the LSW search. At least two other birders had brief views of our target bird prior to our arrival.

A pretty unsucessful six hours at Moore Nature Reserve saw us dip my nemesis in recent years, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Only low numbers of Gulls were using the pools and even the well photographed roosting Tawny Owl was not visible in it's usual spot. A Willow Tit and a Green Sandpiper were the highlights. Small numbers of Tufted & Pochard, 1 Ruddy Duck, several Little Grebe and a Kingfisher were noted on a few waterbodies checked. 20 Siskin and 2 Lesser Redpoll were by the feeding station.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Over Wyre, Lancs: Goose watching - 22nd Feb 2009.

Above & below: Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, Rawcliffe Moss, 22nd Feb 2009.

Another enjoyable afternoon's Goose watching on the north Lancs mosses, in the company of Mike Watson.

A 1stw Eurasian White-fronted Goose, 1stw Pale-bellied Brent, single Barnacle Goose and a single Greylag were seen amongst 5,000+ Pink-feet in the Sand Villa area of Cockerham. c50 Whooper Swan and a Little Egret were also in the area.

A Barnacle Goose was with Pink-feet on Back Sands Lane and 2 Greenland White-fronts, ad + 1stw, were seen on Rawcliffe Moss, as was a Peregrine and Short-eared Owl.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Over Wyre, Lancs: Goose watching - 20th Feb 2009.

5 hrs Goose watching this afternoon produced 2x 1stw Greenland White-fronted Geese and a 1stw Pale-bellied Brent Goose viewed distantly through a heathaze to the SSW of Eagland Hill, in fields near Ridgy Pool Farm, cSD430439 (both Dark-bellied & Pale-bellied Brents were later seen in same area by Mark Fanshawe), 3 Barnacle Geese by the A588 at Stalmine, SD370458, and the Ross's x Pink-foot hybrid at Gulf Lane, SE of Wrampool House, SD427490.

Other birds included: Little Egret: 1 at Woods Lane, Copthorne SD451455, 2 in the Barnacle Goose Field at Stalmine, SD370458, and 1 at Back Sands Lane, Pilling. High-circling territorial Buzzards: 2 nr Crag Farm, Nateby and 3 together over Winmarleigh Moss. Short-eared Owl at New Hall Farm, Scronkey, SD411469, and female Stonechat at The Heads.

Above: 2 of 3 Barnacle Geese, Stalmine, 20th Feb 2009.

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.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Over Wyre, Lancs: Goose watching - 12th Feb 2009.

Above: 1stw Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Cumming Carr, Pilling - 12th Feb 2009.

Above: Ad Ross's x Pink-footed Goose, Lambs Lane, Pilling - 12th Feb 2009.

Above: 1 of prob 4 Waxwing, Carr Lane, Pilling - 12th Feb 2009. Most unexpected whilst driving around looking for Geese were some Waxwings in an almost berry-less Hawthorn all-too-briefly, for c1 min at 14:40, then flew south. In the very brief time of observation, I thought two were present in the Hawthorn, but four birds flew out of the back of the Hawthorn in a chorus of multiple calls and away. I strongly suspected all four were of this species.

Above: Little Egret, Fluke Hall Pilling - 12th Feb 2009. One of four seen whilst driving around the Mosses. The others, all singles: Flew west over Woods Lane at SD451451; 1 flying alongside road at Stalmine Moss, SD394453, and one west over Lambs Lane, SD391476.

Other notables during six hours in cold, dull and increasingly damp weather included a Merlin at Eagland Hill, a Short-eared Owl at the northern end of Bradshaw Lane, 30 Golden Plover and c30 Corn Bunting in vicinity of Bradshaw Lane feeding station.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Over Wyre, Lancs: Goose watching - 10th Feb 2009.

Above: Adult Ross's x Pink-footed Goose, Beech House, Pilling, SD389493 - 10th Feb 2009.

Above & below: Ad Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Beech House, Pilling, SD389493 - 10th Feb 2009.

Above & below: Pink-footed Geese, Pilling, Lancs - 10th Feb 2009.

Following a frustrating few hours from 10:00 in which I was unable to locate any Pink-feet on the ground within checkable range, the afternoon was much better with a good number of Geese between Beech House & Fluke Hall and c400 to look through at Horse Park Lane. Once again, the main target bird I set myself over the past two days, Tundra Bean Goose, eluded me.

Late afternoon, news on the pager referred to the latter at Eagland Hill, but no joy, although the same three Greenland White-fronts from y/day were seen distantly.

Other birds of interest until 17:45 included: 2 Barn Owl; 1 at New Hall Farm, Scronkey at 10:30 and 1 at Tarn Farm, Eagland Hill at 17:00. 2 Buzzard at Tarn Farm. Little Owl at Tarn Farm, Short-eared Owl at Rawcliffe Moss 10:25, Merlin on Pilling Lane Ends saltmarsh, Peregrine at Out Rawcliffe. 2 Little Egret; 1 Fluke Hall Lane and 1 flew NW over Rawcliffe Moss at 17:15.

Another two neck collared Pink-feet were noted, totalling 7 read in past two days. Have emailed details to WWT.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Over Wyre, Lancs: Goose watching - 9th Feb 2009.

Above & below: 3 (1xad, 2x1stw) Greenland White Fronted Geese, Carr Lane, Pilling, Lancs - 9th Feb 2009.

Above & below: 1stw Greenland White Fronted Goose, Carr Lane, Pilling, Lancs - 9th Feb 2009.

Above: Five neck collared Pink-feet were noted.

Above & below: Pink-footed Geese, Pilling area, Lancs - 9th Feb 2009.

Above: Part of a c70 strong herd of Whooper Swan at Sand Villa, Over Wyre, Lancs - 9th Feb 2009.

These three superb Greenland White-Fronts were the pick of todays Geese for me in several very enjoyable hours spent in the Pilling area. Other birds seen included 2 Short-eared Owl on Bradshaw Lane.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Local birding: Long-eared Owl - 8th Feb 2009.

Good to know the local Long-eared Owl is still around, with today being the first time i've seen it in a week.

My birding in the past couple of weeks has been a struggle to turn anything up of interest. Gull wise, I have done the Fishmoor roost every night for the past thirteen days and have not even turned up a Glaucous or Iceland Gull. With the exception of an adult Med Gull on a couple of nights, this aberrant Herring (below) is the closest I have come to a 'white-winger', this bird being seen 1st-3rd Feb both at Whinney Hill & Fishmoor Res. The former site has been most frustrating with seemingly intensifying bird scaring in the form of workers leaning out of their cabs and firing starter pistols as soon as Gulls appear over the tipping area. This has been the pattern during my last five visits, with the majority of Gulls present retreating to unviewable areas of the Tip.