Last day of the year and a last look of 2010 at RSPB Hesketh Out Marsh. We managed to get quite a few species despite the pretty murky conditions including a good range of raptors: ringtail Hen Harrier over Warton Marsh, 2 immature Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards, 3 Merlins (at least), 3 Sparrowhawks and a Peregrine on its usual perch on Banks Marsh East.
At least 31 Whooper Swans in the recording area this morning and better still some Bewick's Swans. Graham Clarkson and Martin McDerby and I watched 4 adults fly in from the north near Hundred End and I photographed these 3 in a field a little later before they headed east.
I relocated them with the Whoopers Swans at the end of my walk so let's hope they stay a little while. Pink-footed Geese are returning to the South Ribble Marshes with the thaw but most seen today were heading south. I counted 270 in all but there were others over Banks and Crossens on the estuary. Looking forward to some settling in the New Year for further scrutiny.
Otherwise just a nice selection of species fully "BirdTracked" today including 9 Jackdaws heading north, 16 Bramblings, 20 Tree Sparrows, 9 House Sparrows (rare here), 5 Corn Buntings and a superb Woodcock as I walked the footpath back to the car park through the farm fields. Two flocks of Cormorants numbering 52 and 18 were quite a sight too.
That's it for 2010 then. Let's hope for another birdy year in 2011 and stay tuned - Callum's promised to jazz up my blog header for the New Year!