Thursday, 27 May 2010

White tailed Lapwing!! - Seaforth NR - 27th May 2010.

Earth shattering news broke early afternoon with the stunning discovery of a White tailed Lapwing at Seaforth! - I was away when the May 2007 Dumfries and Galloway bird was refound in Lancashire at Leighton Moss, and naturally concluded it would be a once-in-a-lifetime county bird missed. Who would have thought another chance would arise?!

And what stunning views, down to c40ft, and a small appreciative crowd, in total contrast to the crowded anarchy of the tower hide at Caelaverock!

I'm unsure as to the age of the bird currently and haven't researched, but the wing coverts are very abraded. Could it be a 1st summer, or an adult in which the feathers have suffered weathering in the middle east?

Almost as rare was the arrival of Doug McAdam, a blast from the past during my manic twitching days in the 1980's.

Spotted Sandpiper, Stocks Res, Lancs - 18th May 2010.

The best I could manage in the heat haze, but a record shot all the same, of the second Spotted Sandpiper for East Lancashire, found by Gary Waddington. Sadly, I am old enough to have seen the first, on Lower Foulridge Reservoir, Colne, in August 1986, found by Martin Naylor. What was widely considered to be the same bird was found by Ted Hunter on Lower Rivington Reservoir, Horwich in Dec 1986/Jan 1987.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Brockholes Nature Reserve LWT: Wood Sandpiper - 15th May 2010.

Some images by Mark Fanshawe of the first Wood Sandpiper to be recorded at Brockholes in six long years.

In the 2005 report I classified this species as 'rare in spring' / 'scarce in autumn' as we did very well for this species in the period Aug 1998-2005.

Todays bird is the 14th site record totalling 19 individuals, August 10th 1998 - May 15th 2010, with 5 spring birds and 14 autumn birds.

Multiple arrivals have occurred on three occasions, once in spring: 2 on 9th May 2002 (the same date as the only site record of Temminck's Stint!) and three times in autumn: 2juvs on 8th August 2004 until 18:10 only, followed by three new 3 juvs on 9th August 2004 (two of which stayed until 15th and one until 4th Sept), and, 2 (ad+juv) on 30th July 2005.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Marshside, M/Side - 2nd May 2010.

Above: Wood Sandpiper from Nels Hide - 2nd May 2010.

It has been years since I last saw a summer plumaged Long-billed Dowitcher, so decided upon a couple of hours at Marshside in the afternoon.

No joy was had with the Dowitcher, but compensation from Nels Hide in the form of a Wood Sandpiper. 2 Dunlin, 1 Ruff and a Ruddy Duck were also noted.

Whilst in Nels, I had brief views to the north of the hide of a Swift which in a rear view seemingly showed clean white underparts. A brief view of the upperparts however also revealed a white splodge on the back. No firm impression of size was noted, but in the brief view I couldn't eliminate that it wasn't on the large side, presumably due to the aberrant plumage. Although I still plumbed for aberrant Common Swift, the initial shock meant a change of underwear was required nonetheless!

Walking back up to Sandgrounders some 45 mins later I was told the aberrant Swift sp. was out over the inner fields from Sandgrounders. Indeed it was and talk that it was the size of Alpine Swift, coupled with views of the bird for a few minutes almost had me suckered in as I struggled to assess the size, to the point where I contacted Colin Bushell to say it may be worth nipping down.

Thankfully common sense prevailed very soon after and an aberrant Common Swift it was. Aside from size, closer scrutiny revealed darkish throat and the underparts showed signs of darker feathering on the belly.

Colin mentioned that a bird matching this has apparently been seen for the past two springs at Marshside!

2 Curlew Sandpiper were amongst a small number of Dunlin on Polly's Pool.