Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Local Birding: Slav Grebe, GG Shrike. 18th - 23rd Jan 2008.

The last five days has seen me covering local sites. Brockholes Quarry is as full as i've ever seen it. On the 21st Jan, the LWT staff had to evacuate their vehicles from the site as the River Ribble burst its banks submerging the access road outside the entrance gate. My visit on the 22nd saw the reappearance of the female Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid and my first Oystercatcher of the year at the site. Whilst watching the Oyc, I unwittingly flushed a Jack Snipe from bare mud, much to my utter frustration at another potential photographic opportunity missed! Also on the 22nd, an hour at Pleasington Old Hall Wood drew the almost predictable blank for Hawfinch.

Above: female Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid- Brockholes Quarry, Lancs - 22nd Jan 2008.

No Gulls of note have been located at the Fishmoor Reservoir roost despite daily coverage by up to six observers since 17th Jan, although a Bar-tailed Godwit flying amongst Lapwings during particularly wet and windy weather on the 22nd was a welcome bonus, and was from memory only my third mid-winter east lancashire 'Barwit'. Withnell Landfill Site has had virtually no Gulls so far this week and what Jackdaws are present appear to be spending much of their time on the inaccessible tipping area.

23rd Jan saw me put in 1.5hrs at Spring Wood, Whalley, location of the last ELOC Lesser Spotted Woodpecker sighting, and it predictably drew a blank for the target bird. It is now so long since I saw this species I'm beginning to feel psychologically beaten before I even enter woodland nowadays! I also revisited the Slavonian Grebe at Barrow Lower Lodge (my 3rd visit in recent days) and also the Great Grey Shrike which is still in residence by the River Calder east of Padiham, and was showing in & around riverside Hawthorns from 13:55-15:00 at least.

65 Pink-footed Geese > west over the GGS site - 23rd Jan 2008.