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Post Info TOPIC: Sandbach Flashes


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Sandbach Flashes


I got notification from patcher Andy Goodwin that the 1w Kumlien's Gull that he had found first on Jan 23rd had returned to the flashes this morning. A good number of folk turned up to twitch the bird which luckily lingered and loafed on the sloping grass hillside to the left of the viewpoint at Elton Hall Flash. It was also confirmed that this bird is also the one seen recently in Staffs, explaining why it hasn't been seen at Sandbach in the intervening days since it was first found. I got there late morning and watched it for 45mins, but soon after I left it drifted off and wasn't seen again today.

Later in the day one of the 1w Glaucous Gulls was also seen here.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 11th of February 2018 10:26:28 PM

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11.00-14.00

Elton Hall Flash : 1 1st winter Iceland Gull, 4 huge "Argentatus" Herring Gulls, 50+Snipe and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Hancock's Flood : 2 Redshanks, 1 Curlew and 2 Little Grebes.

Large numbers of Lapwings were on Pumphouse Flash, but little else of note.

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John Williams


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I popped down the road the short distance to Sandbach Flashes late afternoon to check out the gull roost.

Just before I arrived a 1w Glaucous Gull that had been present on Elton Hall Flash ahd drifted off, but as I had seen one here a week or so ago I wasn't unduly worried! An adult Iceland Gull was on the flash when I arrived, giving excellent views in the growing gull roost and this was joined later by a 1w Iceland Gull as well. Despite a good search in the company of expert gull-finder, Andy Goodwin, nothing else unusual was found in the roost. Unforunately a 1w Kumlien's Gull which Andy had found yesterday never returned tonight. A single Great White Egret was also on Elton Hall Flash. A Treecreeper showed well on the trees by the viewpoint too.



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09.30-12.00

Elton Hall Flash : 1 first-winter Glaucous Gull, 1m Pintail, 1m+1f Goosander, 1 Buzzard and 1 Little Grebe.

The part flooded pasture below Railway Farm : 3 Ruff, 1 Redshank and 29 Curlews

Pumphouse Flash : 1 adult Iceland Gull and 2 adult Yellow Legged Gulls.

The Glaucous Gull moved across to Pumphouse Flash and posed just a few feet away from the Iceland.

The Iceland Gull has a badly injured leg, so was lying down for most of the time.

The dry pasture around Hancock's Flood was covered with foraging Fieldfares and Redwings.

Several Tree Sparrows were on the feeders together with House Sparrows.



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John Williams


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11.00-14.30

Elton Hall Flash : 1 Ruff, 2 Redshanks, 36 Curlew, 3 Little Grebes, 3 Buzzards, 4m+1f Goosanders, 1m Pintail and 3 Grey Herons.

Pumphouse Flash : 2 adult Yellow Legged and 6 Great Black Backed Gulls amongst a huge gull roost.

Lots of Redwings moving between the hawthorns across the site.

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John Williams


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Elton Hall Flash ( 11.30-14.00)

1 Ruff, 1 Peregrine, 2(adult)Yellow Legged Gulls, 4 Great Black Gulls, 2 Buzzards, 1 Raven, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Little Grebe and 6 Grey Herons.

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John Williams


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11.30-14.30

Elton Hall Flash : 1 Ruff, 1 Redshank, 1 Snipe, 2 Buzzards and 1 Little Grebe.

6 Chiffchaffs were in the hawthorne hedges near the railway embankment, with 1 giving a brief burst of song.

Amongst a group of Lesser Black Back Gulls on Pumphouse Flash was an huge adult "Argentatus" Herring Gull and 1 adult Great Black Back.

A pair of Stonechats were noticed sat on the motorway fence by Junction 17 of the M6 (Being in stationary traffic does have some benefit).



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John Williams


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Doc Brewster wrote:

A Cattle Egret was found amongst the gulls at Pumphouse Flash at 7.57pm. Several record shots were taken and then the bird flew off towrds Elton Hall Flash and then carried on towards Watch Lane Flash at 8.30pm. The bird will be looked for in the morning.


 Still there this morning, in a dead tree on Elton Hall Flash at 10.27am.



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A Cattle Egret was found amongst the gulls at Pumphouse Flash at 7.57pm. Several record shots were taken and then the bird flew off towrds Elton Hall Flash and then carried on towards Watch Lane Flash at 8.30pm. The bird will be looked for in the morning.



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First ever visit to the flashes today, birds of note:

2 Yellow legged gulls
2 Green Sanpipers
1 Juv. Shellduck
Sever Great Black backed Gulls inc. Juveniles
Lapwings
1 Cormorant
1 Buzzard
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Great crested grebe
1 Teal
1 Grey Heron

Eugene.



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14.00-17.00

Elton Hall Flash :

1 imm Peregrine, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Snipe, 1 Little Egret, 2 juv Shelducks, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Buzzards.

There was a huge gull roost, 90% of which were Lesser Black Backs.

Amongst the dozen or so Herring Gulls was an impressive "Argentatus" that dwarfed the surrounding Lesser Black Backs, there was no sign of any Yellow Legged Gulls though.

Pumphouse Flash :

Surprisingly there were no gulls resting here at all, the meadow area though was crowded with Lapwings and Starlings, I soon found out why, there was a huge hatch of winged ants.


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John Williams


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06/06/2017 (18.00-20-00)

Elton Hall Flash

A noisy family of 5 Great Spotted Woodpeckers entertained by the viewing area. With a parent bird catching worms on the field below and feeding them to a newly fledged youngster.

2 families of Shelduck were on the flash, both with 8 youngsters. Also a family of Mute Swans with 5 half grown cygnets.

Lots of Sand and House Martins were feeding over the flash, with lesser numbers of Swallows and Swifts.

In the strong winds a Buzzard tried to catch a House Martin, but stood little chance, then a whole gang of hirundines mobbed the raptor and it make a quick exit.

A single resplendent drake Wigeon stood out alongside a mass of moulting drake Mallards. Also on the flash was a pair of Great crested Grebes.

A small group of Lesser Black Gulls plus a couple of adult Herring Gulls settled for a while, and with them a slightly larger immature gull with a pure white head that

may of been the reported "Cachinnas", but I could'nt be sure as the bird moved off quickly.

The water level is high, with no exposed banking, so little chance of any waders.

Apart from a few Coots and crows the only other bird on Pumphouse Flash was a single Great Crested Grebe.

Whilst Hancocks Flood has almost dried out, and contained no waders, just a single Pied Wagtail.





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John Williams


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Evening Visit 18.15-20.00

Elton Hall Flash

8 Great Crested Grebes. The only wader seen here though was a single Lapwing.

A group of around 40 immature Lesser Black Back and Herring Gulls, plus a couple of Great Black Backs settled on a muddy spit.

Also there was a golf ball which a Lesser Black Back Gull thought was an egg. The gull attacked the ball, pecking it with real fury, as did a couple of it's companions.

However not to be outdone by these underlings a young Great Black Back attacked the smaller gulls, then turned it's attention to the hard shelled egg, which did'nt crack.

The gull looked bemused, and must of had a sore beak.

Pumphouse Flash

2 Buzzards, one of which hovered for long periods. A brood of 10 tiny Shelduck ducklings with 2 adults.

Also a couple of broods of Mallards, plus a tiny Mallard duckling in the middle of the flash alone, with no broods nearby.




-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 16th of May 2017 11:42:11 PM

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John Williams


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12.00-14.00

Elton Halll Flash

2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Goosanders and unusual for here, 1 Treecreeper.

Pumphouse Hall Flash

2 White Wagtails and 1 Little Ringed Plover.

Quiet birdwise here today, although there are still a few Wigeon and Teal around, but many ducks, particularly drakes seemed lethargic and ready for an early moult.



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John Williams


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News from the Sandbach Flashes Grapevine:

Short-eared Owl Maw Green Tip.

Iceland Gull on Elton Hall Flash early am.



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Being busy up to late morning I had an hour and a half before lunch so I nipped down to Elton Hall Flash which is still only a few minutes from my house. On the 'salt pan' were two Green Sandpipers, new for me for the year and a few Redshanks. The gloomy weather brought lots of hirundines down low over the pool, all Sand Martins, 100 or so, except for one Swallow but this was only seen by one observer present, I'll have to wait for my first of 2017! Also on the flash was a Great White Egret which showed really well. Up the road on Hancock's Flood the three Little Ringed Plovers still showed well (see picture).

Over on Railway Flash Andy Goodwin found 2 different first-winter Iceland Gulls.



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The Avocet flew off after being harassed by gulls.



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No sign as yet of the Snow Goose this morning but there is an Avocet on Pumphouse Flash (per Ian Barber, thanks smile )



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Seeing as how Carys & I were heading down to get more bird seed for the garden (a 20kg sack should now keep us going for a bit!!) from Wheelock Mill near Sandbach, we decided to pop in to the falshes to have a wee peek around. We fell pretty lucky after an initially quiet visit to Maw Green Tip when we heard of a few tasty birds over at the Elton Hall Flash area. Once round there it was Pumphouse Flash that was the first port of call. Meeting up with Ian Barber we were soon looking at a juvenile Glaucous Gull loafing by the flash. But then even more surprising was a bird found earlier, a blue phase Lesser Snow Goose!! Hanging around with the Canada Geese this bird will be tainted by the tag 'of unknown origin' but it was still nice to see. Across the road on Hancock's Flood were 3 Little Ringed Plovers showing very well close to the road. A short visit because of other commitments but a good 'haul' of birds nonetheless.

Juat a post-script to the Snow Goose, it was present on Pumphouse Flash until 5.50pm and then flew off west.



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Having a tip off from birding mate Malc Curtin I popped down to Sandbach Flashes late afternoon as I was heading in that general direction shopping anyway! After checking Pumphouse Flash without any luck I turned my attention to Hancock's Flood across the road. My first scan reavealed nothing but on my second pass I found two small waders on the far shoreline. Immediately it was obvious that they were Little Ringed Plovers which showed beautifully in the scope and the sunshine. I don't know if two had been seen earlier on Pumphouse or not, but there were now teo on the flood.



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Looks like the possibility of 3 different Glaucous Gulls at Sandbach this winter, 2 immatures & an adult. So Maw Green Tip proving a good place currently, what with Icelands and Yellow-legged Gulls seen too as well as Mediterranean Gulls and the usual array of other common species.

A Glaucous Gull was reported on Hancock's Floods there this morning. No age given.



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From the Sandbach Flashes Grapevine:

Glaucous Gull on Pumphouse Flash early afternoon (poss 2nd year bird & if so it's a new one!)



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News from the Sandbach Flashes grapevine:

Singing Chiffchaff at Elton Hall Flash, 40 Waxwings at Watch Lane, Glaucous Gull at Maw Green Tip.



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Nipped over to Elton Hall Flash when reports of a Glaucous Gull came out on the RBA Pager. Luckily it's not very far from me, equidistant to here or Marbury CP in fact so it didn't take long to get there. Going down to the watchpoint saw not a single birder there but a quick scan revealed the juvenile Glaucous Gull still to be on the water off the spit. The bird was a real beast, huge but pretty dark overall, for a white-winger that is! After taking a few record shots I was looking at the camera and then looked up to find it flying off. I had managed to see it by about 3 minutes, real skin-of-the-teeth stuff, and despite a short wait it didn't return.



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Cracking juvenile Glaucous Gull on Railway Flash at lunchtime today. Also, one of the two local Great White Egrets. Huge numbers of gulls on the tip today, more than I've ever seen before. Nice to finally meet local birding legend Andy Goodwin!



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As I was heading to a mill in Wheelock to buy more garden bird food I decided to drop into Sandbach Flashes for the morning, but where to go? With a heap of gulls at the moment on Maw Green Tip I decided that that side would be my best bet and that turned out to be a fantastic decision.

After a bit of birding around Groby Flash I decided to head over to Railway Flash which is used as a bathing pool by the gulls. On my first scan it wasn't a gull that caught my attention but a Great White Egret. Up to 2 had been reported in the general area, but mainly at Elton Hall Flash & Pumphouse Flash so I hadn't expected this at all and was well chuffed with my find. I managed a few distant shots, so if a rarity form is needed I've got proof! Gulls were everywhere and finally I found a less common one on the flash - an adult Yellow-legged Gull, nice but not the white-winger that I had hoped for. Many argentatus Herring Gulls were seen along with Herring Gulls, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gulls and Black-headed Gulls, birds seemingly everywhere I looked, on the flash, on fields behind and over Maw Green Tip. Eventually I headed off and saw a smaller group of gulls in a field opposite, behind Oak Tree Flash, and as they took to the air one stood out as a large, totally pale bird. As they landed I got the scope on it and found that it was a large juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gull, bingo biggrin I managed quite a few digiscoped shots of it before it eventually flew onto Oak Tree Flash for a bathe, giving a restricted view, so I decided it was time to leave. I texted the news to two of the patch lads and put it out on RBA, so hopefully others had a chance to visit. Previously an adult Iceland Gull was seen on the tip but this juvenile is a new bird, so an extra reason to be pleased.

I drove the short distance to Elton Hall Flash in case any patch watchers were there but no-one was, as usual Tree Sparrows were easily seen in the hedgerows here, an easy yeartick! The Salt Pan, Pumphouse Flash and Hancock's Floods were all checked but nothing out of the ordinary was seen extra. Unfortunately it was then time to get the bird seed and head home, but it had been a fantastic visit, not prompted by any bird info system, just checking out a good area and finding some good birds! I hope this year continues in this vein smile

 



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Juvenile Glaucous Gull on Pumphouse Flash this morning at 9.50am.



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Had a text to say there was a juvenile Glaucous Gull on Railway Flash at 1.15pm (per D.Robinson, thanks).



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Not at the flashes, but almost certainly heading that way:

A Great White Egret heading west over the Sandbach junction (j.17) of the M6 at approx 8am this morning. (info per P.Hill, thanks)



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11.30-13.30

Elton Hall Flash

1 Great White Egret showing well close to the viewing area.

Also here, 2f Goosanders, 2 Green Sandpipers. 2 Grey Herons, 5 Snipe, 1 Buzzard and a pair of Little Grebes.

A Cormorant caught a large Perch, which it really struggled with, but eventually managed to devour.

Pumphouse Flash

Amongst the gull roost, 4 Great Black Backs, and a resplendent adult Yellow Legged. 1 Great Crested Grebe.

A Buzzard flushed all the gulls off the land by flying fast and low across the field.Every time the gulls started to wander back onto the grass, the Buzzard took to the air again,

the gulls shot back into the water, then the raptor would land just a few feet further on. This certainly gave the impression that the Buzzard was on the lookout for weak

or sick gulls.

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John Williams


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rob archer wrote:

Great White Egret seen off the train going south to Shrewsbury at 0800  this morning .. Don't really know the area but it was on the flash closest to the trainline..


 It is on Elton Hall Flash, Rob, the track passes directly behind and abover the flash. Mates reported it to me as being there too, well done :)



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Great White Egret seen off the train going south to Shrewsbury at 0800  this morning .. Don't really know the area but it was on the flash closest to the trainline..



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Had an update on the Sabine's report. It was seen by a reliable patch regular who has found many good birds at Sandbach Flashes. The bird landed on the closer spit and was only there for 8 minutes before departing. So no chance of anyone else twitching it, sorry cry But at least we now know the full story smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 8th of September 2016 07:32:46 PM

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Thanks for the update guys.

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My info was the same as Patricks, Mark, that it was a 'reported' sighting as far as the pagers were concerned when put out this morning and not confirmed, but this evening they have re-sent the message regarding this mornings report without the 'reported' tag. Hope this helps. So far none of my mates who patchwatch here have confirmed it though.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 5th of September 2016 09:42:50 PM

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Hi Mark, The Sabines Gull was only seen for 10 minutes around 10:00 this morning. I don't believe it's been seen since, if, indeed, it was one in the first place. Just thought I'd save you a trip

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Birdguides reporting Sabine's Gull at the Flashes 19.16 hrs. Will probably pop down for a look tomorrow.

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A Great White Egret was found this morning on Hancock's Flood by Andy Goodwin (info thanks to Ian Barber).

Hancock's Flood is the flooded field on the same side as Elton Hall Flash but just a little further along the road, opposite Pumphouse Flash.



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I spent almost an hour after 5pm watching the 2 whiskered terns, lifer for me also smile I managed some ok "ish" pics as they sat on the closest posts.
also 1 greenshank



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After work visit this afternoon to Elton Hall Flash. Nice to see John Tymon, Jonathan Platt, and Joel Tragon.

- Whiskered Tern 2, a Lifer for me, and they were showing well when I arrived. One perched up on a post in the pool, the other flying around. Almost a lazy flight but then a split second turn of acrobatics. There was one point when both birds were repeatedly diving into the water.
I've included some images that have been cropped as my bridge camera isn't equipped to deal with Tern flight but they do capture some decent features.

wink

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Whiskered terns still present



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Saturday 7th of May 2016 06:54:01 PM



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Saturday 7th of May 2016 09:31:28 PM

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Popped down as soon as I got the news, managed to get there before work to see the two Whiskered Terns, as John says, over Elton Hall Flash. The birds were showing very well from the viewpoint, for mostly local patchers when I was there. A new bird for the Sandbach Patch List, well found by Jan Jones who visited this morning to look for Black Terns! A great reward again smile

In case anyone want to head there who doesn't know where it is but has Satnav the postcode for Elton Hall Farm (just over the road) is CW11 3QY smile



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2 stnning whiskered terns on elton hall flash showing well at the moment

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Doc Brewster wrote:

The Wood Warbler was showing well this morning on Red Lane, near Watch Lane Flash, at the site of the former Red Lane Tip. It was in partial song and contact calling. At one point it flew distantly over the fields opposite its favoured area and so could be said to be mobile! Good to meet lots of folk down there from the Sandbach & Marbury Patches, thanks to Jan Jones the finder smile


 Amazingly this patch scores again this morning with a male Redstart found opposite Maw Green Tip along the footpath behind Mablins Lane Primary school smile



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Thw Wood Warbler was showing well this morning on Red Lane, near Watch Lane Flash, at the site of the former Red Lane Tip. It was in partial song and contact calling. At one point it flew distantly over the fields opposite its favoured area and so could be said to be mobile! Good to meet lots of folk down there from the Sandbach & Marbury Patches, thanks to Jan Jones the finder smile



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A Wood Warbler was found on Red Lane Tip today, a really rare bird for the Sandbach Flashes recording area (per Ian Barber, cheers).



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Highlights on and around Elton Hall Flash - 3 pairs of Goosander, Willow Warbler, 2 x Chiffchaff. No sign of the Little Ringed Plovers.

At nearby Red Lane Pool, a very vocal and quite showy (at least for this species!) Cettis Warbler, several Reed Bunting and, my first 2 Sedge Warblers of this spring.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 13th of April 2016 09:47:45 PM

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As a quick diversion from a shopping trip I nipped down to the flashes this afternoon.

It needed two visits to Hancock's Floods to get my target bird - Little Ringed Plover, with two present. With little or no wader habitat at Newchurch Common I need other local sites for certain species! A Yellow Wagtail showed well on the fringes of the flood pools too along with a White Wagtail and a few Pied Wagtails. Another White Wagtail and a few more Pied Wagtails were by Pumphouse Pool. A male Blackcap showed well by the road on the floods side, singing away too.

On Elton Hall Flash were 9 Black-tailed Godwits and a Dunlin. At least 9 Swallows and 8 Sand Martins flew over whilst I was there. Other common birds here were round the feeders, such as Tree Sparrows and Great Spotted Woodpecker.



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Had a text today to say that there were 4 Little Ringed Plovers on Hancock's Flood and nearby a fifth bird was on Elton Hall Flash (per D.Robinson, thanks)



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Sunday, with Simon Gough, and nice to meet the Wigan birder who stuck with us for a while that made for good company!

Last minute decision to try for the adult Glaucous Gull but it had flown off before we got there, but an interesting few hours nonetheless and the 3 of us had a near miss with a giddy herd of dairy Fresian's!
We dipped on the Long-eared Owls too.

100's and 100's of Gulls on some of the flashes and especially around the tip, what a sight when the Buzzards put them up a few times. Herring, Lesser Black-backed, a few Great Black-backed, a few Common, and lots of Black-headed.

Other birds of note...
Black-tailed Godwit 5
Redshank 1
Wigeon in high numbers
Teal also numerous
Pintail 2 (1m 1f)
Shoveler
Tufted Duck
Shelduck
Little Grebe 1
Grey Heron 1
Common Buzzard 3 together but numerous singles seen
Kestrel 1
Grey Wagtail 1 flew over the car as we parked up
Redwing and Fieldfare few flocks around the farmland area
Tree Sparrow at least 3 around the feeders
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
Reed Bunting 1 showed briefly after calling near the reeds towards the tip
Chiffchaff 1 singing in the trees near the car



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