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Slow outta the blocks

Posted by on January 2, 2014 8:39 PM | 

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I've always been rubbish with year lists - I start off with good intentions and then trail off usually somewhere in April.
No such false dawns this year though, as with an unerring predictability and a car full ready to make the journey south for the Brunnich's, the mega-auk did a disappearing act yesterday - that's life.
On the upside this meant yet another festive evening last night and a lie in today.
Managed a pedestrian pootle round the mosses, with Corn Bunts on Plex, and about 1,500 Pinkies between there and Carr Moss.
Small groups of Skylarks in the ploughed fields and up to seven Buzzards up over the coverts in the hard sun.
Dandelions blooming, bumblebees on the wing and Kestrels grabbing invertebrates at the track side.

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Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

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Great Northern Diver still on Southport Marine Lake at lunchtime today, with approx 50 Twite on what was left of the beach at the end of Fairways.

Marshside 4/1/14

Ross's Goose showing well in front of Sandgrounders hide.

1 x Peregrine
1 x Snipe
7 x Curlew
60+ Redshank
4 x Little Egret

30+ Skylarks from the car park

Lots of valuable sightings appear on this blog each year.
Can I encourage all birders to now submit any sightings for 2013 to the three county bird recorders for Lancashire (incl N Merseyside), Cheshire, and Greater Manchester.
The sightings are immensely valued by those of us helping to write the species summaries for the subsequent county bird reports, especially where birders provide summaries of their sightings are and extra comments about unusual circumstances / bird behaviours / significance of sighting for a particular site.
Those birders with limited time are still welcome to provide brief lists species by species for the year.

Birkdale was good over the big tide today (4th) - adult winter Yellow Legged Gull loafing just south of Weld Road and an adult winter Med Gull about 400 yards further south.
Large numbers of commoner Gulls, particularly Herrings with 2000+ and several Scandinavian Herrings among them.
Plenty of passerines including good numbers of Reed Bunting (c15). Some groups of waders flying south but only a few Redshank actually on the ground as the beach and most of the marsh was entirely covered.
c250 Black Tailed Godwit which came in from the north looking for somewhere to land eventually gave up and headed back towards Marshside.
This being the first time I've ever had Black Tailed at Birkdale (surprisingly given how close to Marshside it is) despite years of birding down there. I reckoned I'd add it to the list one day, and this was quite spectacular with them calling over head as they banked round and returned north.
Also calling Water Rail and a single Snipe out of the marsh...
After this I went to the Marine Lake and got the Diver and a probable Caspian Gull (adult winter) on the seaward side of the north Island; darker mantle, noticeably long primaries, long neck and head, long pale bill and very white head. I took a couple of distant (and not overly helpful) digi-scope shots, one of which is on the Ribble Facebook page.

Belated year-ticking session at Marshside/Crossens cut short by onset of nasty, wet conditions around noon. Highlights fem/imm Marsh Harrier and 2 Merlins over the saltmarsh, c25 Ruffs at the back of M2, the long-stay Long-tailed Duck on Junction Pool and a Nuthatch heard calling on Hesketh Golf Course...possibly offspring of one of the two pairs in Botanic Gardens attempting a further range expansion? Total day-list 59 spp, not bad given the weather.

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