Six photographs to follow, non of which are competition quality but are essential to the post which relates to sorting out my records/photographs. All the photographs were taken by my old friend and mentor John Leedal, and the poor quality is down to how I have had to deal with them to get them on to Birds2blog. They are chosen at random to illustrate a hint of some quality birding JL and I experienced over many years.
I can't recall how many in total, perhaps they are all in this image which contains 8 Spotted Redshank on the Eric Morecambe complex at Leighton Moss on 10 October 1996. I'm not aware of the best ever count of this species here, but I certainly hadn't seen this number here before and not since. I appreciate you have to take my word that these birds are what I claim them to be as its not all that obvious in the picture....I assure you they are Spotted Redshanks.
Another 'goodie' on the Eric Morecambe pools was this Long-billed Dowitcher on 6 October 1998.
I remember all these bird observations in this post vividly - photographs have an amazing ability to give lasting memory recall - especially this one of the male Crossbill at Helsington Barrows in Cumbria on 28 February 1997. With no time to search my records for accuracy, this bird was one of a good number at this location which JL and I visited about five times during their stay of at least six weeks, to find an unusual male in that it was referred to - from a photograph - as ' a possible xanthachroistic male' in the Annual Birdline North West Report. We were intrigued by this bird which showed particularly yellow feathering around the underparts with a few hints of red, the mantle, back and upper wings were coloured as a female. If JL ever gave me a copy of the photograph of this 'odd' bird it appears to have been lost, if so, most unfortunate.
I clearly recall saying to JL, how unfortunate it was that the best shot he got of this bird had to have the empty can in the frame. This Marsh Sandpiper was at Seaforth in Liverpool on a date I cannot recall, but I'd say probably around 15 years ago in 1997.
The Snow Bunting was at Cockersands on 6 November 1999....
....and the Great Grey Shrike was at Marton Mere, Blackpool on 8 March 1998....Halcyon days, and theres more on the way for me too with just a couple more corners to turn yet!
Xanthachroistic....never did get my head round that one....anyone please!!