Monday, 16 May 2011

Local birding: Brockholes Nature Reserve LWT, Lancs - 16th May 2011.

11.5hrs of effort on the local patch in an f4+ westerly and virtually constant heavy drizzle throughout with steadier rainfall thrown in for good measure yielded some good results.

Firstly, no sooner had I parked in the Reserve car park and opened the boot lid, I glanced around to see a large bird with brown upperparts and a clearly interesting jizz with the naked eye, flying low over the screen planting on the SE compound bund.... A low flying Osprey!

All too quickly, the Osprey continued downriver towards the M6 roadbridge. I slammed the boot shut, cranked up the Chariot and shot down the Reserve access road hitting 50mph in an attempt to head the bird off at the entrance for a record shot. Thankfully no LWT staff were onsite to witness the manic drive/slow me down.

The Osprey stopped just short of the entrance and began to fish briefly before heading back upstream, allowing me time to get the record shot. Time of sighting was 07:10-07:19. What a great start to the session.

The Wood Sandpiper remained from the previous evening, allowing me to improve slightly on the record videograb of the previous night, and was still present when I left the site at 18:20.

An Arctic Tern appeared briefly on No1 Pit at 08:06, followed by yesterday's poorly seen interesting flava Wagtail which proved to be a male Blue-headed.

At 09:20, a gargantuan flock of 15 Turnstone dropped into No1 Pit from the east, but only remained for six minutes, 09:20-09:26 and most inconsiderately flew off seconds before I could digiscope them. This flock significantly betters the previous largest flock to be recorded onsite, 9 on 27th May 2000.

At 12:04, following a Coffee in the Visitor Village, a return to No1 Pit revealed 2 grey, 2cy Knot had arrived and were resting on the eastern end of the island. Both flew west at 12:48. A pair of Common Tern briefly circumnavigated No1 Pit at 12:21.

No new arrivals were noted thereafter until a single Sanderling dropped in onto No1 Pit at 15:27, and a single Whimbrel on Meadow Lake at 18:28. I did have two sightings of a Hobby during the day.

Following my departure home at 18:30, Nick Green arrived onsite to continue observations and was rewarded with a flock of 11 Dunlin 'in' onto No1 Pit and also a second Sanderling. At least 18 Dunlin and 10+ Ringed Plover were onsite mid-evening. An excellent day on the patch.