Sunday, 17 January 2010
Up with the partridge.
Today was a busy day on the Ribble. WeBS, goose counts and wild swans counts all taking place meant an early start and I was lucky enough to be involved with the dawn goose count at Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB. Alan Bedford and I counted 3000 Pink-footed Geese on the NNR adjacent to HOM with pleasant diversions that included a male Hen Harrier, 5 Bewick's Swan and a female Red-breasted Merganser. Yeah, OK Mergs are no great shakes but they're pretty scarce on the Ribble (Fairhaven Lake being the only regular site for this sawbill). This one came from inland so it must've roosted locally and decided enough was enough and headed out to the estuary. It took a quick dip in one of the splashes by the seawall before heading towards to the river.
Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plovers, a pair of Ravens, Stock Dove, 15 Corn Buntings and 5 Brown Hares were this morning's other notables. BBC Radio Lancashire were doing a live broadcast at HOM today and the presenters seemed pretty impressed with their surroundings on the Ribble. Mind you, the weather helped with some gorgeous winter sunshine. Many more birders at HOM today than usual as well - maybe returning from searching for the Fylde's American Bittern or was it the lure of media celebrity status? Great to see everyone anyway.