Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Is Local Best?

Kingfisher From Carlton Hide
As a very positive individual with my cup always half full I have to say that I've been really struggling over the past few weeks to come up with anything of note to blog about at Brandon Marsh. The birding has literally been dire! Yesterdays visit was a complete loss save for the usual large Siskin/Redpoll flock, ♂♀Goldeneye, Kingfisher and a Yellow-legged Gull on East Marsh Pool. I got even more depressed last night when I read the updated BTO report on the worst summer ever for some breeding birds. Mind you with the wettest summer on record the latter wasn't all that surprising!

Flighty Fieldfare
Notwithstanding I decided to be positive and concentrate on birding closer to home this morning and so took a stroll around the marina and nearby fields before the predicted rain set in. The first surprise was when I stumbled on a wintering ♂Blackcap, a first for me at the marina and by the time I'd completed my check of the Hawthorn bushes I'd further recorded (2) Goldcrest, (2) ♂Bullfinch, (7) Redwing, (4) Fieldfare, (3) Blackbird, (1) Song Thrush, (6) House Sparrow, (1) Wren and (4) Tree Sparrow.

Tufty's Mates!!
The various feeders around the grounds put out by fellow moorers held Great Tit, Blue Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Starling, Chaffinch, Goldfinch Greenfinch, ♂♀Reed Bunting and  Pied Wagtail and Moorhen enjoying the over-spill. The marina basin had our usual selection consisting of Mallards and their hybrids, our regular Mute Swan family of 2 adult and 6 youngsters and our resident flightless ♂Tufted Duck who I'm glad to say had been joined by a couple of friends. My second surprise of the day was a Grey Wagtail which I found under the canal junction bridge opposite the marina entrance.

Common Gull
By the time I started on the surrounding fields I was feeling a lot more enthused and a flock of around 150 or so Lapwing cheered me even more, especially as 4 Golden Plover were among them! A good number of Gulls were also feeding, the majority of which were Black-headed but Common, Lesser Black-backed and Herring were also recorded.

By the time I arrived back aboard for breakfast my tally for the morning had increased even further with (4) Red-legged Partridge, (3) Pheasant, (3) Yellowhammer, Kestrel, Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, and more Fieldfare and Redwing. Also recorded overhead were: Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Raven and (4) Skylark. What an excellent mornings birding, this has really set me up nicely for next weeks Christmas on the Ribble Estuary!