Friday, 25 March 2011

Lancs: Lesser Scaup, Marshside RSPB - 22nd March 2011.

A good days birding on the south Ribble Marshes was largely spent in the Marshside area watching the 2cy drake Lesser Scaup on the 'Junction Pool'. Unfortunately it was mostly into the sun viewing as the skies were blue and a heathaze was evident. A good Lesser Scaup, better in 'the flesh' than some images viewed over the weekend, suggesting a potentially anomalous rear-headshape. Only my 3rd ever, all have been drakes.

Above & below: 2cy drake Lesser Scaup, Marshside RSPB, Lancs - 22nd March 2011.
Below: About to dive, change in headshape.

A male Wheatear at the former Sand Works was a yeartick, several hundred Black-tailed Godwit and a flock of c350 Golden Plover were present, superb views of Avocets from Sandgrounders, 2 Little Egret, a f/imm Merlin on the Outer Marsh, 2 distant Hirundine sp. heading north over the Ribble were probably Sand Martin.

Views of the Pink-footed Goose flock on Crossens Inner Marsh were simply superb from the inland perimetre of the reserve. 2x1stw Eurasian White-fronted Geese, 1stw Pale-bellied Brent and a single Barnacle Goose were amongst the flock.

Above: 1stw Eurasian White-fronted Goose
Below: 1stw Pale-bellied Brent Goose
Crossens Inner Marsh, Marshside RSPB, Lancs - 22nd March 2011.

Above: Avocet from Sandgrounders Hide, Marshside RSPB, Lancs - 22nd March 2011.

Finally, 1.5hrs of solitude at Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB produced highlights of c30 Avocet, f/imm Merlin, Grey Plover and 5 Grey Partridge.