Sunday, 30 January 2011

Ring-Billed Gull

 29th Jan' Sands Lane gravel pit, West Yorkshire
An afternoon to twitch the long staying r b gull with Sean Johnston
was a success. The bird was found by Sean almost immediately on
arrival, amongst a group of around 250 other gull's.
It showed well on the ice for around thirty minutes
but couldn't be tempted closer, even with my crispy coated
peanut's! Also present: Tufted Duck 16, Pochard, Goosander 4,
Cormorant 8, Wigeon and Mallard.

Next stop, Fairburn Ing's.
The European White-Fronted Geese were
viewable very distantly from Lin Dyke.  Even at a range of 1km
the adult bird's belly marking's were still very noticeable as
they fed amongst Canada Geese. Finally we finished the
freezing day with view's of a Long-Eared Owl, which
was roosting very low down behind a small reed bed.

Tufted Duck with fishing line attached.

Long-Eared Owl

Monday, 24 January 2011

East Lancs 23/24 Jan 2011

 Dunsop Bridge 23rd Jan' a quiet afternoon in Bowland with the hope of seeing
 some raptor's. 3 Buzzard's  2 Kestrel and a single Sparrowhawk
were on offer today. A flock of forty siskin were in the conifer's.


Decomposing Salmon, Dunsop

Foulridge res's 24th Jan' a lunchtime visit was quiet
as expected with 6 Goosander, 10 Wigeon, 3 Pochard
and a single goldeneye.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Water Rail, Lower Towneley

22nd January 2011

Another visit to the marshy pool at Lower Towneley
to see the wintering Water Rail's. A period of freezing
weather left most of the pond frozen over.
The bird's showed very closely at times but scurry quickly
through any open areas into cover, making photography difficult.
I did manage a few reasonable shot's in the poor light.
Also at the site: Goosander (over), Pink-Footed Geese 200 (west)
Grey Heron and Sparrowhawk.

male Sparrowhawk carrying Blue Tit.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Waxwing's at work!

Today was the first time that i'd seen Waxwing's
in the car park at work in over seven year's of working there!
At least twenty were flying around as i routinely
drove in to work. They showed very well as
they fed briefly on rowan berries before flying off.

This winter has seen the largest number
of Waxwing's that i can remember in the East Lanc's area.
Below are some images from late last year, when the bird's
were first sighted in the area.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Foulridge 17th Jan'

After a weekend of continuous rain it was good to
get out in dry weather. A lunchtime visit to my local
patch of Foulridge was uneventful but at least i didn't get wet.
4 Goosander, 2 Pochard, 5 wigeon and 2 Great Crested Grebe
was the best i could manage. A Mistle Thrush in full song
showed that spring is not that far away!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Red-Necked Grebe, Fairhaven Lake


A day on the Fylde with Ian and Glen Hodgkinson, started
with a visit on the way for the semi-resident Iceland Gull at
Preston Dock. The water at the dock has now thawed and
not as many gull's were present as on previous visits, including
the Iceland!
Moving on to Warton Bank in the hope of finding
a decent raptor. The best we could do was a distant Common
Buzzard. Lot's of waterfowl were present at the site
but unfortunately, these were all very distant and against
the light.
Fairhaven Lake and at last, a reward for our efforts.
The immature red-necked grebe was showing very well
and i managed a few reasonable shot's as it moved from
one side of the lake to the other. After the cold got to us,
we decided to try for the Rose-Ringed parakeet's at Lytham
Two bird's were quickly added to the day's tally.
Next stop, Fleetwood Dock for the Great Northern Diver.
On route, we came across a large group of geese, feeding
by the roadside at Rossall. After scanning carefully, we
could only find Pink-Feets, around 1800 of them.
 Arriving at the dock's, Glen located the diver after a little
 searching, among the boat's. Frustratingly, it spent most
of it's time under the water. Nevertheless, it showed
reasonably well in the bright sunshine.

Red-Necked Grebe

Pink-Footed Geese

Rose-Ringed Parakeet

Great Northern Diver with Great Black-Backed Gull's

Ian and Glen brave the cold weather!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

water rail, Lower Towneley

 This bird was one of at least two, probably three
bird's on the pool at Lower Towneley this afternoon.
After a half hour wait, it was great to watch the bird's
feeding on the reed edge, probing the ice-free patches
of water. They fed, undisturbed for around twenty minutes
before a lull, then resumed feeding and showing well to a small
audience of four other birder's.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Leighton Moss RSPB


At least three bitterns were on view from Lillian's
hide this afternoon and not alot else. At 15:00
three bitterns got up from the reed edge and flew
over the frozen area of water and dropped down
deeper into the reedbed. My first of the year!

 The visitor centre feeding station was alive
with bird's. A small group of lesser redpoll and
marsh tit showing well. The starling roost was
fabulous to watch as they swirled around in the sky
before finally coming in to roost.


starling roost


Sunday, 2 January 2011

2/01/11 East Lancs

I started off with a late morning visit to Pendle
Hill. Where yesterday a flock of twenty-five snow
buntings had been seen. That was yesterday and today
they were not playing. I could not find a single bird.
With just a few red grouse on the summit and a reasonable
view of a fieldfare on the way up, it was very quiet bird wise.

A drive to the layby near the Moorcock Inn at
Waddington Fell to look for the great grey shrike.
With a common buzzard and 3 kestrel's the only thing of note
and no sign of the shrike.

Next stop, Barrow Lodge for a Mcdonald's and a few
 flight shot's of the black-headed gulls before a final visit
of the day to Lower Towneley Scrape. A water rail showed
 itself briefly and a flock of around 20 waxwing
 flew over and down by the nearby housing
estate, ending the day off nicely!

1st winter black-headed gull


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Calidris pygmeus) @ Chukotka, Russian Far East

Wish i'd seen this!



A couple of hours at Foulridge reservoirs this afternoon
saw both waters virtually, completely frozen still. With just
a small patch of  ice free water on the lower res', where
goosander, 15 wigeon, 20 mallard and singles of
goldeneye and tufted duck were present.