Thursday, January 5, 2012

Windy on the West Coat

The west coast I refer to is the coast of Lancashire/Sefton. As part of my 700 challenge in support of A Rocha UK and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, I had planned to visit Martin Mere, but the winds meant I delayed my departure and eventually decided to give it a miss. First brief stop was Hesketh Outmarsh RSPB reserve. The track to visit here is getting worse and perhaps should only be attempted in a tracked vehicle. We flushed a Barn Owl from one of the ditches approaching the reserve but when we arrived the sea was so far out, very little was visible.

 Then to Marshside to get some respite from the wind in Sandgrounder's Hide. Hundreds of birds easily seen through the panoramic windows. Lapwing, a few pinkfeet, greylag, shelduck, wigeon, teal, coot and mallard. I scanned a little more and glimpsed a single Golden Plover. One of the other folk in the hide then spotted a water rail. It was quite close to the hide but skulking in the vegetation. It was time for lunch which we had in the car overlooking the estuary. Several hundred pinkfeet moving in the vegetation and a massive flock of starlings on the edge of the sea were spectacular. Moving on from here westwards we went on a twitch. Once at Weld Road car park we were able to see our treasure - a glaucus gull. Sadly we could not enjoy it long due to the appearance of that most ubiquitous creature, the dog walker not in control of their dog. The bird was flushed and flew away. We decided at that point to come home and passing Marshside again we saw a merlin fly right across the front of the car. All together another productive day.

Total now standing at 97

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