Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dark Herring Gull type - Whinny Hill Tip - Dec 20th 2007.

I've struggled to find anything of note amongst the local Gulls this week although I've not looked every day. This very dark 1stw Herring Gull type being the best I could come up with. This striking bird was unfortunately too distant to shed any further light on the reasons for its appearance. Distance = difficulty of viewing for anything other than white wingers is going to be a problem at Whinney Hill Tip this winter. The 1stw Glaucous was last seen on 15th Dec and now looks to have moved on. The regular adult Med Gull continues to be seen in the roost.

Everything flushed and scattered for miles and the reason became clear soon after! - This Guy was letting off bangers then releasing the bird. I hope he's not going to be onsite daily!
Away from the Fishmoor Gull roost and local landfill sites, birding activity this week has seen me bring forward my 40th birthday by a couple of months so I could upgrade my Binoculars at Focalpoint, from a battered old pair of Leica 8x32 Trinovids to a pair of Zeiss 8x32 FL's. A three hour search for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at nearby Marbury Country Park in the company of Bill Berry and Tim & Janet Davie drew a blank although they are being seen with some regularity at the site at the moment. Janet did fortunately manage to see a Bittern in the Coward Reedbed however. It is now 12 long years since I last saw a LSW anywhere! - This must be remedied in 2008!
If visiting Brockholes Quarry, you can't fail to be impressed by the number of birds using the site at the moment with numbers no doubt boosted by cold weather movements from elsewhere, resulting in good mid-winter counts of 133 Teal and whopping site counts of 50 Gadwall and 496 Coot amongst a nice selection of waterbirds which also included a Ruddy Duck.