An East Lancs Mega!

It was my penultimate day at work and as I had half a day's holiday left I decided to take it and sort out a few things at home before Christmas. The snow has been problematical these last few days - the hill from our house proving an insurmountable barrier if I hadn't gritted it and yesterday we ran out of grit! Fortunately I have decided to park the car at the top of the estate so that I had a fighting chance of getting on the road.

As luck would have it, I'd just finished my lunch and the ever-reliable Bill Aspin left me a message about a Velvet Scoter on Barrow Lodge. Well it's only about five miles away, so having successfully traversed the skating rink I got on the main roads and slithered to a halt at the lodge. Allen Holmes and Pete Morris were viewing the bird, a female, as it dived repeatedly on the only open patch of water in amongst lots of Mallards and Black-headed Gulls.

Having done my usual informative talk with some of the locals, I joined up with Allen on the far bank where we got great views of what is normally a distant sea bird. To get one in Lancashire is rare enough, but on a small lodge in the east - unheard of, I think.

The bird proved to be quite confiding if approached carefully. Dog walkers didn't bother it too much as it fed actively. Thanks to Tony Cooper for finding and reporting it! I must try to get to Rishton Res tomorrow afternoon (after I leave what's been my place of work for 29 years for the final time) and see if there is any open water there. Then it'll be back to job-hunting!


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