Sunday, 12 January 2020

A Twitching Double.

A text to AC on Friday morning to ask if there was any news on an Iceland Gull seen on Thursday at Knott End was negative, but resulted in a good day for both of us when he suggested I met him at Eagland Hill.


The weather was perfect with calm sunny conditions, and a Purple Heron was out in the open in a field opposite Birk's Farm and giving excellent views with the bonus of a Barn Owl flying over the herons head, to return complete with a vole in it's talons. Also, up to 30 Corn Bunting close by, they were up and down on to the telephone wires in varying numbers.

On to the sewage plant on Backsands Lane at Pilling, and more excellent views, this time of a Siberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis, with the advantage of the bird being accompanied by a 'yellow' collybita, as opposed to our bird being overall much paler. Also seen, a Grey Wagtail and Pied Wagtail on the beds. In the field opposite the works, c.350 Pink-footed Geese and 230 CurlewAt Fluke Hall, up to 900 Pink-footed Geese, also noted 7 Blackbird in 50m of hedgerow, and a lone Tree Sparrow

Over our house on Friday, at least 450 Jackdaw at 4.05pm flew NW towards Aldcliffe. This is a daily occurrence, but I'm struggling to work out where exactly they go to roost. When we lived elsewhere in Lancaster 8 years ago, we saw the Jackdaws gather nightly towards dusk on the  top of the tower block at the then called St Martins Collage - now the University of Cumbria - when they would fly off towards Ashton Hall, where 900 Jackdaws were recorded going to roost on 15 December.

The Purple Heron.

The Purple Heron has the reputation of an over-shooting spring visitor with some even through to October. It breeds as close as France and Spain, but many records are linked to breeding colonies in the Netherlands. I reckon this bird should really be wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, and certainly not in a field at Eagland Hill on the Fylde in January.

The first record of a Purple Heron in Britain was at Middlesex in 1722, but although today it is regarded as an annual vagrant to Britain, the next record didn't come until 88 years later in 1810. Since 1983 the species ceased to be considered by the BBRC, by which time over 700 records had been accepted.    


Richard Pegler said...

WOW, WOW, WOW! and, by the way, WOW!

Pete Woodruff said...

Looks like you enjoyed that Richard, I certainly did.

Marc Heath said...

What a cracking session and bird to see. You've got some good winter birds up there. Plenty to keep you busy.

Pete Woodruff said...

When I got out of the car, the PH was stood out in the open in blazing sunlight catching voles like they were going out of fashion apparently, and the Chiffchaff the same with the insects on the beds at the sewage works....Birding on a plate Marc.

Paul Foster said...

Nice one Peter,hope that you are keeping well.Nice video footage of the Heron,I have been twice to have a quick look, but missed it both times, well it was 700 yds away one time!!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for this Paul, hope you are keeping well too.

The video isn't too bad considering the basic equipment I have, and Blogger only allows a limited size for downloading, which amounts to not more than a minute of film.