Friday, 8 January 2010

Lancs: Fylde birding - 3rd Jan 2010.

An enjoyable day's birding on the Fylde with Cllr John F. Wright began to the south of the Blackpool end of the M55 in the wider vicinity of Lytham Moss searching for Pink-footed Geese flocks. After over an hour we could only locate c150 Pink-feet on the deck, a flock of 11Whooper Swan and c400 Lapwing plus c100 Golden Plover in fields around Great Plumpton.

Zac Hinchcliffe kindly texted me with news that he had relocated the drake Ring-necked Duck at Marton Mere, so that was our next stop and a quality three hours birding followed.

The drake Ring-necked Duck was easily found amongst a horde of wildfowl which included numbers of Tufted, Pochard, Goldeneye, Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal. A Water Rail showed for 15 minutes sunning itself amongst some Mallard on the reed edge.

Mutliple Water Rails were heard in the reedbeds along the walk to the Long-eared Owl roost where three LEOs were just about visible.

4 vocal Cetti's Warbler's were noted calling from the reedbed/scrub, but mostly frustrated by giving only brief glimpses as they crept amongst the bases of the vegetation.

JW located a Bittern at the very far end western of the Mere. Whilst we watched this, another appeared only metres away, with both in view at the same time. Later one of the two or a third bird gave an excellent close flight view at the eastern end and some decent scope views on the deck whilst Cetti's warblers continued to call in the reed in front of us, rounding off a quality visit.

We were keen to grill some Goose flocks so headed Over Wyre for the final 2.5 hrs of light. c2000 were located in the Pilling area in two areas, but no other species could be found amongst them despite much searching, save for two neck collared Pink-feet CHT & PVF for which I have emailed the details and will add to this post when received.

From Pilling Lane Ends car park, single Merlin & Peregrine were noted, both sat distantly out on the saltmarsh, with the Merlin flying close by east a short while later. The same or another Merlin was seen perched on a fencepost in fields inland of PLE a short time later. A few Pintail were distantly offshore amongst numbers of Teal and Wigeon and two Little Egret fed in the saltmarsh creeks.

Above: Merlin. Below: Peregrine
Pilling Lane Ends - 3rd Jan 2010.

Final stop of the day was Eagland Hill, where two Barn Owl showed, one distant, one close. A Little Owl was perched on a hedge and two Little Egret flew over presumably heading to roost at Fluke Hall. The evocative calls of Grey Partridge filled the freezing, still air over the Mosses as darkness fell providing a very atmospheric end to the day.