Birding around the Lune - Wed 13th Jan

It had been a while since I'd had the chance to get out and do some birding so I borrowed Bernie's car (so I could get up the hill in the snow) and headed for Bowland to pick up Mark. We gingerly traversed the Trough road and headed for the coast at Pilling and then making our way around the Lune estuary.

Though the tide was in, there wasn't a great deal at Pilling. Several Pinkfeet were out on the marsh as well as a single Little Egret but everything was quite far out and the wind was cutting us in two! We decided to head for Cockerham Sands via the back roads where we might find some geese (without luck). The water was right up to the bank and there we had nice views of Bar-tailed Godwits, a couple of Grey Plovers and a couple of Turnstone. A single Shoveler looked rather forlorn against a backdrop of Wigeon. Back in the fields we found seven Whooper Swans in amongst the throng of Mutes and at Conder Green we managed to pick up a Geenshank and Spotted Redshank right next to each other.

There were plenty of Teal knocking about as well as a couple of Snipe and a few Tufted Ducks. A little further round the coast at Aldclife we slip-slided our way to view a large flock of Greylags and Pinkfeet in amongst which were four Snow Geese of dubious origin.

Out on the marsh there was a single Black-tailed Godwit and three Barnacle Geese (probably feral birds). From there we made our way throughh Lancaster to Heysham where we connected with an adult Mediterranean Gull - always a delight to see - and a flock of around 30 Twite and 3 Linnets. Finally it was to Leighton Moss in the eager anticipation of seeing Bitterns on ice but as it happened it was the birds watching us skating on ice as the paths were treacherous. There had been a bit of a thaw and there was probably enough open water in amongst the reeds so consequently, the Bittern's and Water Rails weren't showing. We did get stalked by a Robin all the way down the causeway. It must get fed by passers by as when I reached for the camera, it came right up to us, even perching on Mark's telescope.

Tomorrow is ringing day as it's meant to be a bit warmer, calm and overcast.

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