Monday, 28 February 2011

Local birding, Lancs: Iceland Gull, Med Gulls & FDxPO hybrid - 28th Feb 2011.

Nine hours pottering about locally started with an hour at Pleasington Old Hall Wood to see if Hawfinch still exist? No pain, no gain! Predictably no joy but I shall keep trying for the next month or two when possible. Following a fruitless first scan of the Black-headed Gull flock on Pleasington Playing Fields on the drive-in, a second check of Gulls present on the way back out along Tower Road was rewarded with three adult Mediterranean Gull. Always wanted to see a Med here, on the first ever local patch, Witton Country Park, where birding began for me back in the late 1970's!

Mass disturbance by multiple dog walkers saw the Gull flock disperse

Next stop was the local patch of the past 13 years, Brockholes Nature Reserve LWT for the next 4.5hrs. Three Med Gull were present on No1 Pit upon arrival, 4 Ringed Plover on No1 Pit island and the female Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid made a reappearance.

Above: 3 Med Gull.
Below: FDxPO hybrid
Brockholes NR LWT

Next was a drive over Belmont and Entwhistle for an unsuccessful check of some Clearfell wth fantasies of finding a Great Grey Shrike, a species I am long overdue to find in East Lancs!

Finally, the Fishmoor Res Gull roost came up trumps with an Iceland Gull in at 17:52, which looked to be a 2CY, but by this time the light had almost gone completely. With up to six Meds seen locally today, I couldn't find any at Fishmoor, although one must have roosted surely!

Above: Iceland Gull (arrowed!).

Roe Deer - Above: Brockholes. Below: Pleasington Crematorium.

Above and below: I have lazily relied on automatic DSLR settings for far too long and have started practising with exposure compensation on birds in flight against lead-grey skies with the newly acquired 7D.... With the Osprey passage only four or so weeks away, I've got to get my act together for when one flies through in similar conditions. Work in practice!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Local birding, Lancs: Iceland Gulls - 1st Feb 2011.

One juvenile Iceland Gull was present at Rishton Res upon my arrival just before c14:50, stood on the western bank amongst other Gulls. Just after 15:00, a second Iceland appeared on the water. With terrible sunlight in the face at the promenade and a south-westerly meaning all the Gulls were back-on, I had to run around the dam to get better light in order to age this second individual which proved to be another juv. Both were present for only ten minutes, with the second bird lingering until 15:45.

Presumably both returned to Whinney Hill Tip as they didn't come into roost at Fishmoor Res until 16:56 and 17:16 respectively.

The above poor record shot of the second individual is handheld to the 30xw eyepiece. A few days ago, for the first time in several months I dusted down the 30xW eyepiece for the Kowa 883 (I usually leave the zoom on), which I inadvertently left attached to the scope. As a result, I forgot the zoom at home and my digiscoping adapter only fits the zoom. The effort involved to obtain even the record shot above handheld bordered on the farcical! - As a result, i'm considering biting the bullet and purchasing the ridiculously overpriced Kowa DA-4 and DA-10 adapter so both eyepieces are covered!