Tuesday 5 January....Better late than never!
Barn Owl. Howard Stockdale.
I was checking out a bird which I saw dive on the Cocker Estuary - I always get excited when I see a bird dive and don't know what it is until it comes back up - when up walked birders Geoff and Frank. I said something like....'if your luck's in you should see a Barn Owl whilst you're here today'....two minutes later I told them to look towards Abbey Farm to see the Barn Owl....I said the fee was a fiver each, but can't repeat the reply on Birds2blog!
The bird I had seen diving on the Cocker turned out to be a drake Red-breasted Merganser. Seven Black-tailed Godwit and 32 Pink-footed Geese flew south during my walk along the headland at Cockersands.
Tree Sparrow Marc Heath
In and around Bank Houses horse paddock, 4 Tree Sparrow, 7 Blackbird, a Mistle Thrush, Great Tit, Blue Tit, and 2 Brown Hare.
Out of several hundred gulls on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock I picked out an adult Mediterranean Gull and noted c.400 Common Gull, with up to a similar number of Black headed Gull. Also of note, at least 2,750 Golden Plover and 160 Bar-tailed Godwit, a drake Red-breasted Merganser and 7 Goldeneye. I found no Goldeneye on the canal basin today but noted a Great-crested Grebe.
It was good to find the Common Sandpiper at Conder Green again, the first time in three visits since I last saw the bird on 15 December, it had the creeks to itself, they were otherwise deserted. On Conder Pool, 6 Little Grebe, also of note, the recently resident drake Goldeneye, a female Goosander, 2 Snipe, and 25 Wigeon.
Thanks to Howard for yet another brilliant Barn Owl, and to Mark for his excellent Tree Sparrow.
I'm keen to get to the Bowland uplands sometime soon, but not keen enough at the moment, with places like Clougha and Harrisend having areas like giant sponges.