First the pretty awful pic of a bird seen this morning in company with a female Stonechat at Aldcliffe and which frustrated the hell out of me for a few minutes. I'll spare the details of those few minutes to lay claim it's an 'odd' Stonechat with one of its 'normal' kind which didn't help at all whilst the two were often seen together save to say the comparison merely went to prove just how 'odd' this bird really was. The colours in the pic are true to life though it would have helped no end if could have achieved more detail with better photographic equipment......Want to try to make it into a 'mega'?
I was at Aldcliffe at 7.30 this morning and gave the place a decent going over for two hours with absolutely no feeling I'd see the current 'owl' spectacle and didn't. However, the first bird I saw was a Green Sandpiper in the flood, a quick return here at the end of the visit resulted in excellent views of a Water Rail below the hedge. On the way to Freemans Pool I noted at least 10 Goldfinch, a Goldcrest, c.300 Pink - footed Geese in the field adjacent to the flood, and 3 Reed Bunting. On/around the pool, 3 pair of Gadwall, 2 Little Grebe, 5 Goldeneye, 5 Snipe, 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Dunnock, 4 Long - tailed Tit, and a 'few' Meadow Pipit. On the marsh I saw 3 Little Egret, a Spotted Redshank, c.550 Pink - footed Geese came down on to the marsh, and a female Stonechat seen. On Aldcliffe Hall Lane I found two more Stonechat one of which is pictured above.
At 10.00 I joined JB/BT for a somewhat shortened version of the Friday circuit which started at Cockersands today. On what was left of Plover Scar on a 10m+ tide a count of 62 Turnstone was quite a good one for the species with just 2 Ringed Plover. I reckon there are still a number of Twite still around at Cockersands as I saw just two today with the rest evading us. JB reported a male Stonechat to me at the lighthouse car park. The 'swan's' were still to be seen off Moss Lane but with time at a premium we reluctantly 'left them out' today.
A detour round Gulf Lane just gave us the Little Owl on its nest box tree. On Pilling Marsh we saw 4 Little Egret, 3 Whooper Swan, a Merlin, and a distant perched Peregrine Falcon. As you can see I have recorded no waders here today......only half a birder me.
On Bradshaw Lane there is still a Short - eared Owl to be seen. It again took a small vole which was alive then down in less than 20 seconds. A look in at the feeding station produced 29 Corn Bunting, at least 20 Tree Sparrow, 3 Yellowhammer, and 4 Stock Dove......and a good time was had by all!