Friday, March 21, 2008

Local birding: Kittiwake & Whooper Swan - 21st March 2008.

Above: 2 ad Kittiwake (foreground) with a Common Gull - Fishmoor Res, Lancs - 21st March 2008.
The delightful Kittiwake is one of my priority species to record locally annually, so following a fruitless vigil at Brockholes yesterday and this morning, and feeling a little disillusioned with the northerly wind, I returned home to do some work on the PC.
At c16:30, following an earlier 'eye-brow raising' pager message relating to 8 Kittiwake at Audenshaw Res, Gtr. Manchester, I noticed that numbers of birds at this site had increased to 13, then 16, by late afternoon.
A sudden attack of guilt at not being out in the field, coupled with paranoia set in, so it was a case of straight in the car and head towards a local waterbody.
At the jcn of my street and the main road I had to decide whether to turn left to Brockholes or right to Fishmoor, mindful that the incoming roosting Gulls at the latter site may drag a Kittiwake in with them.
I plumbed for Fishmoor, arriving just after 17:00. At 17:16 an adult Kittiwake appeared amongst Black-headed Gulls in flight over the water. Brilliant! This was followed 15 mins later by two further adults on the water, the single bird joining them briefly.

Above: 3 adult Kittiwake - Fishmoor Res, lancs - 21st March 2008.

Bill Berry successfully twitched the Kittiwakes and left for home at 18:35. Five minutes later whilst watching the 'pair' to see whether they were intent on roosting, 7 Whooper Swan suddenly appeared high overhead, heading west, a direction that would take them over my house. Without hesitation, the trusty Citroen Berlingo was put into Ferrari mode as I set off in hot pursuit, just about succeeding in catching the Swans up as they overflew Feniscowles before continuing west over Hoghton Bottoms.

Kittiwake takes the Fishmoor Res Gull total to a very impressive 11 species since 1st Jan. The single bird appeared to head onto the roosting roof with the other Gulls whilst the 'pair' appeared indecisive, gaining height over the water before repeatedly dropping back down. I didn't see the outcome due to the Whoopers!

Heres hoping for more local Kittiwake tomorrow......