Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year

Tuesday morning dawned and for once the sky was a strange blue colour not seen often these past weeks. I was up bright and early to make the most of this, my favourite day of the year. My first bird for the new yearlist had been a Snipe that had called from from the fields behind my house just 10 minutes into 2013 as I was going to sleep, it didn't take long to add plenty more come morning however. Whilst my parents were still in bed I took a quick walk along the old train tracks behind my house to see if anything of interest was about. 6 Pink-footed Geese were already happily feeding away in one of the adjacent fields and a flock of 12 Redwing flew over but other than that it was surprisingly quiet. I had decided to focus more on specific hard to get species rather than go for a massive total on this day, so my first stop was Glasson where I quickly located one of the Scaup in amongst the Tufted Ducks on the marina. Several Goldeneye were feeding here, and even more were just over the road on the river along with thousands of waders which provided a fantastic spectacle as they spiralled around dodging the attacks of a Merlin that shot through and over the marsh. Down the road from there I decided to check the Mute Swan flock by Jeremy Lane to see if any other species were with them, and I was soon able to pick out a single adult Bewick's Swan.

From birding on the River Lune, the northern boundary of the Fylde, we headed south along it's eastern boundary the A6 towards Preston. Here we headed for Savick Park, one of the more 'reliable' places in the Fylde so Bullfinch which are restricted to just a few sites around Preston. Crossing the canal by the park I noticed 3 male Goosander feeding further along, and I pointed them out to Aaron, Ash and his Dad who were arriving from the other side. With all the recent rainfall it was no surprise parts of the park were underwater but we managed to find a way round and I headed to the hedgerow where I knew the finches were often found feeding. It didn't take long for a flock of 4 Bullfinch (3 males) flew in and started feeding, although as usual they were feeding towards the back of the bushes making viewing difficult. I called the others over and we all got decent enough views as they moved deeper into the vegetation. Ash then said "wouldn't it be good if a flock of Siskin flew over", at that exact moment we both heard the call of a Siskin pretty close to, and a quick search revealed a male and a female in the alder above our heads! Unfortunately when we tried doing the same trick with other species it wasn't so fruitful.

From here we parted company, they headed home and we headed along the Fyldes southern boundary the river Ribble to Warton Marsh where the Great White Egret showed distantly, rather sensibly hunkered up out of the gale that was making it hard to keep my already broken scope stable on the tripod. Our last stop of the trip was to see the 1st winter Long Tailed Duck that has taken up residence on Fairhaven Lake, which showed nicely although it never stayed on the surface for more than a few seconds before diving again. At this point we had to go pick my brother up and then drop him and dad off at the football, which gave me and mum a couple of hours left to go birding although the light was against us. The noisy Ring Necked Parakeets in Lytham Crematorium added a splash of colour in the fading light, and the last new bird of the day was a Buzzard sat in a tree in Singleton, my 74th species of the day.

Sorry for the lack of photos in this post, I was concentrating on birding so much my camera never left my bag! Future posts will contain more.

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