|Whooper Swans on the mere today.|
This Bewick's Swan (adult between two Whoopers, above) showed well from the United Utilities Hide, spending its time on the Plover Field. Thanks to the birder who had already found it, saving me going through the 1700 or so Whoopers.
Female Brambling and Willow Tit at the Janet Kear Hide are good local birds and the only ones I'm likely to see anywhere in the Ribble Estuary regional Park this winter, with Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders too. Plenty of Tree Sparrows around the grounds and I counted 95 Pochard and 27 Tufted Duck between the mere and the Harrier Hide, 30 Ruff with c. 2000 Lapwings and the odd Oystercatcher and two or three Black-tailed Godwits were around the mere. But it was the geese I was really interested in, with a thousand plus Pink-feet coming in late afternoon, dictating a return to the Ron Barker Hide as I was making my way to the exit.
Glad I took the "about-turn" as I located 2 European White-fronted Geese with the Pinks. They were too far off for a photo but there is a male Sparrowhawk there somewhere. Best of all a Ringtail Hen Harrier appeared while I was going through the geese; the first local bird I've seen all winter.
The wind was dropping late afternoon so hopefully the next few days will be a bit better for local birding?