I thought my best bet was to pay a visit to Leighton Moss today, I really wanted to get into the uplands and must do so in the next few days with one or two locations in mind, but the weather isn't up to it at the moment and the plan was to be able to dodge the showers between hides, as it happens - apart from some nasty stuff around 11.00am - the day wasn't all that bad and there was no showers to dodge.
Two photographs today have nothing whatsoever to do with the post or my birding, but they are 'gooduns' and liven up the blog no end.
Bluethroat. Gary Jenkins
My records are of mainly predictable birds and there are some I didn't see but had hoped to, but as always an enjoyable change of non 'cutting edge' stuff which began in the Public Hide where I noted a male and female Marsh Harrier, 3 Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, a 'good number' of Swift, and a pair of Greylag with six young. Notable was just five wildfowl being three Pochard and a pair of Tufted Duck, a Coot had two balls of fluff in tow under the watchful eyes of the two brutish Greater Black-backed Gulls nesting on the island. From the road end of the causeway I heard a Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff.
At the Grisedale Hide a Little Egret put in a brief in flight appearance, a 'few' Gadwall, and 2 Red Deer generated some excitement to a full hide, a drake Garganey eventually put in a brief three minute appearance and promptly disappeared probably for the next three days being the elusive creature it is. The Garganey is an annual summer visitor to Leighton Moss but there are no 100% breeding records at the reserve. At the centre I heard a Chiffchaff.
At the Eric Morecambe/Allen Hides I counted 23 Avocet, c.220 Black-tailed Godwit, at least 8 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon, and 2 Skylark. As I was about to leave I noted three ducks fly in which halted my exit and turned out to be two drake and a female Garganey. From the path here I heard a Garden Warbler and Whitethroat, and during my visit I inevitably heard Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler.
On the way home I called in at Teal Bay to find 3 Whimbrel, 8 Eider, 8 Red-breasted Merganser, and 2 Whitethroat.
Puffin. David Cookson
Not just a photograph of Puffins but of two involved in a dispute of sorts brilliantly captured by DC.