Sunday, December 23, 2012

Great Find!

View From Living Room Window!
With mum in her early nineties getting on and off a boat is obviously a real problem and so each year Dee researches a cottage to rent during the Christmas period. This year Dee has really excelled herself!

The cottage is situated overlooking the Ribble Estuary in the village of Warton. In fact the cottage is actually on the approach to British Aerospace Warton Aerodrome, so close in fact that one of the flare-path light arrays is actually situated in the garden. For an aircraft and bird enthusiast like myself, with the estuary literally over the garden wall and the aerodrome seconds away I feel all my Christmas's have come at once.

Today started bright and breezy and after the unpleasant chore of the Christmas food shop, which to be honest was quite painless, Dee and I took a walk along Warton Bank Marsh. Although we had an almost cloudless sky the strong wind coming in from the west and the low sun made birding conditions quite difficult.

Notwithstanding Dee and  I persevered  with good numbers of Curlew, several Little Egret and a female Marsh Harrier as we headed north towards Lytham. With the tide way out large flocks of Geese and Waders were seen off in the distance but closer in we managed Water Rail, Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Geese, Shelduck and 5 Whooper Swan (2 adult with 3 Juvenile). Along the hedgerows Fieldfare, Redwing Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, and a few Skylark over.

However, the best was saved until almost back at the cottage when Dee, having one of her usual scans with the scope came up with another great find, a Great White Egret feeding in the pools just to the rear of the aerodrome. The best part was when we got back to the cottage and could actually watch the bird from the comfort of the living room window! The bird flew out towards the estuary just prior to sunset and as the light faded a Barn Owl flying over the garden wall ended a top day.