Well there's never really any guarantee but always a satisfaction to any birding as far as I'm concerned and today I had the company of JB, a birder who sees birding and wildlife in very much the same light as I do which makes our association all the more interesting.
Short-eared Owl. Pete Woodruff.
I only once had the opportunity to get a pic of the SEO with the sort of third rate photographic equipment I have today and this is the result from a couple of years ago. JB and I had excellent views of one of these brilliant creatures today quartering a field, the bird has been seen previously by us on 21 January.
Conder Green was a little on the quiet side this morning with nothing more than a single Goldeneye in the Conder channel below the railway bridge with another four on Conder Pool where I decided to become a recorder extraordinaire - well not quite - for a few minutes and noted everything in sight, 5 Tufted Duck, 16 Wigeon, 32 Mallard, and 12 Mute Swans, in the creeks at least 80 Teal. A return visit on the way home produced a Greenshank and a Grey Plover.
I kept my recorders hat on at Glasson Dock and on the Lune Estuary noted estimates of, 5,000 Lapwing, 400 Redshank, 450 Dunlin, 465 Golden Plover, 45 Curlew, 36 Bar-tailed Godwit, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, a Spotted Redshank, 325 Wigeon, 29 Shelduck, and 3 Goosander drakes. Off Bodie Hill I noted c.120 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Goldeneye drakes.
At Cockersands on my second attempt I finally caught up with the1st winter male Snow Bunting which - thanks to me freezing still when I found it - came within touching distance below the embankment overlooking Plover Scar. Also noted here, 2 Goldeneye drakes, and at least 90 Linnet at the set-aside.
On Pilling Marsh, 10 Whooper Swans, c.300 Pink-footed Geese (PFG), a Little Egret, and a distant Peregrine Falcon. At Fluke Hall, myself and about a half dozen other birders made no contact with anything amongst the c.1,500 PFG. Off Lancaster Road another c.4,000 PFG and 45 Whooper Swans seen, and a trip down Union Lane produced just 5 Corn Buntings.
Great-crested Grebe. Cliff Raby
Another reminder of the season to come. Thanks for this Cliff....excellent and much appreciated.