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Post Info TOPIC: THE FYLDE


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RE: THE FYLDE


Highlights of a few hours on the Fylde, yesterday. Weather mainly sunny and cold, light winds, 4*c. 54 species seen.

Eagland Hill - Tree Sparrow (6), Chaffinch (30), Pink-footed Goose (500), Stock Dove (3), Skylark (2), Golden Plover (10), Lapwing (250), Starling (150).

Pilling Lane Ends - Whooper Swan (75), Pink-footed Goose (100), Golden Plover (150), Lapwing (500), Curlew (25), Redshank (10), Merlin (1).

Thurnham, Jeremy Lane - Greylag Goose (35), Pink-footed Goose (10), Bewicks Swan (2), Whooper Swan (125),

Conder Green Pool - Shelduck (4), Wigeon (15), Teal (100), Goosander (2), Little Grebe (4), Oystercatcher (1), Redshank (11), Stonechat (2).

Knott End - Twite (c.30), Dunlin (11), Turnstone (1), Redshank (9).

We missed out on Snow Bunting, Cattle Egret (3) and White-fronted Goose that were in the general area.

The jetty/slipway seems to be a guaranteed area for the Twite flock. They also have a liking for the cafe roof if, at first, you dont spot them at the jetty.







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What looked like an immature Black Redstart perched on a fence at Westair, Blackpool Airport.

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Originally posted by Dave Ousey today:

5th February:

We moved south onto the Fylde area firstly Bradshaw Lane and Eagland Hill and were treated to a large flock of Yellowhammer`s. Then around 50 plus Corn Bunting flew onto the same hedge as the Yellowhammer`s how lucky we were to be at the right place at the right time! A large flock of Pink footed Geese were seen on Head Dyke Lane in Pilling and the news was that about 10 Russian White fronted Geese were amongst this flock, we had about 30 minutes finding and enjoying these geese as the cold intensified and we made our way home after a really good days birding was had.

Other species of note: - Barnacle Geese, Bittern, Water Rail, Ruff, Green Woodpecker.



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Originally posted by Dave Ousey today:

Lancashire Day Out. 2/1/2023

 

  First trip of the year in dry conditions after all the rain etc. Heading off into the Lancaster/Fylde area with Bob K & Kev C at the pleasant time of 8am. First stop at Darwen services to try to find a Yellow-legged Gull that seems to like the bins adjacent to MacDonalds takeaway, straight away there it was sat on top of its favourite perch, result. We pressed on to Condor Green near the Lune Estuary, but the tide was out, so apart from a few duck species was rather quiet. We searched the fields and wet meadow`s around Jeremy Lane, Moss Lane, Slack Lane for the swans that spend the wintertime in this area. After a good search we saw Mute & Whooper Swans but not the becoming rarer Bewick`s Swan.

  Onwards to Cockersands area and a nice walk along the sea wall area to see what we could find, we managed a few Red-legged Partridge a couple of Brown Hare`s but not the Black Redstart reported earlier. Meeting a few birder`s on the way back I asked about the missing Bewick`s Swans and was told exactly where they had been seen minutes before. We then enjoyed great views of around 3 birds happily feeding on the edge of the large herd of swans! We headed off to Eagland Hill to try to find Corn Bunting & Yellowhammer that are normally fed in a couple of places, without any joy. One of the reasons was a male Sparrowhawk sat on the feeding cage, wonder if he was going vegan?

   A report of a Black Redstart having taken up residence at Knott End along with 30+ Twite on the slipway, had us heading in that direction. The Black Redstart was eventually seen after a spell of Hide & Seek but the Twite were not seen, maybe lots of people disturbing them on their feed laced slipway did not help? Final call was at Warton Bank overlooking the north shore of the River Ribble, always a special place for our team. A Great & Little Egret were soon added to the day list as two Fylde birders arrived who know the place like the back of their hands They managed to locate a small group of pipits, could they be Water Pipit`s? A species I have not seen for a few years, they were soon confirmed as seven Water Pipit`s and duly showed well on the wet marshy area at about 25 yards then sitting out on a fenced area. Great way to end our first trip out of the year. About 60 species seen today.

 

Dave O.



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Highlights of a few hours on the Fylde in dull and cool weather :-

Eagland Hill

Tree Sparrow (2)
Corn Bunting (18)
Whooper Swan (4)
Pink-footed Goose (1500)

Pilling Lane Ends

Whooper Swan (c.200)
Golden Plover (500)
Lapwing (1000)

Upper Thurnham

Bewicks Swan (2)
Whooper Swan (4)

Knott End

Twite (39) In their usual spot by the slipway



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With a day off in between a few work days I needed to blow a few cobwebs out so headed up to The Fylde again. It was dull all day and ended with drizzle which wasn't forecast and cut my day short.

First call was at Fluke Hall Lane where I joined a very small group of birders searching the flooded field south of the car park. Here we had 5 Red-legged Partridges (yeartick), 35 Tree Sparrows (picture), hundreds of Pink-footed Geese, 5 Redshank, 5 Oystercatchers and scattered Curlew, but no sign of the Long-billed Dowitcher that has been here in recent days. After 2 hours that passed by swiftly with pleasant company I moved on. I next visited Knott End. Here I walked down the slipway as the tide was out. Scoping the distant beach the highlight was a large female Peregrine (yeartick) sitting on rocks on the beach planning her next move. Moving back up to the top I found the flock of c.40 Twite (yeartick) feeding on the tide wrack on the beach. From here I set my satnav and drove the few miles down to Blackpool Airport. By walking the fenceline and scanning I finally found the fem/1w.m Black Redstart (teartick) but it disappeared behind a hangar before I could get a picture and then never reappeared whilst I was watching. With the weather closing in I called it a day (I also had had more bad news on the phone so had to get home).



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With a forecast of a sunny day I decided to take advantage and have another day out. So off I headed to The Fylde. It was nice and sunny when I arrived but a cold wind cut straight through me as I was here on the coast.

First port of call was Knott End where I was a bit dismayed to see the tide fully up to the seawall. The birds that I was after wouldn't have much room to settle with the public out on this nice day so I feared the worst. But happily as soon as I walked to the slipway by the cafe there was a small flock of 14 Twite on the top end of the slipway (pictured). As I settled down to try for digiscoped shots a woman wandered past straight towards them and they took off and flew distantly out of view. After a walk I returned and found the flock back where they had been. I grabbed a few shots but the area was busy with dogwalkers and folk out for a walk and they were constantly flushed so it was hard work. I soon gave up, happy with the few shots that I had grabbed. A flock of Turnstones were also on the slipway but they were flushed off too and didn't return. I checked out the beach/saltmarsh round the corner near the pub and found a good number of Sanderling here as well as a few Knot, a Grey Plover and lots of Oystercatchers, Curlews and Redshanks.

Next I headed down to the Eagland Hill area to check for mossland birds. A distant flock of Pink-footed Geese in flight were the only geese seen surprisingly. Also around were a few Redwings, a couple of Jays and lots of Starlings, but it was pretty meagre fare so far! The things picked up with first a Grey Partridge on one of the tracks off Bradshaw Lane and then 2 Tree Sparrows at the feeding station on New Lane. A Little Egret fed in a flooded field by the road too as did a surprise find, a Green Sandpiper, my second this November here in the NW! My target birds though had still eluded me and I decided to head slowly back to the main road. Passing through Eagland Hill onto Bradshaw Lane again I was really chuffed to find my wanted species in the shape of 2 Corn Buntings on the wires right next to the lane, giving cracking views.

Happy with my day and with 2 yearticks achieved I headed back home to Cheshire.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 22nd of November 2021 04:32:27 PM



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Rossall Point 11.00-15.00

Offshore : At least 2 Arctic Skuas giving the Sandwich Terns a hard time. Also 19 Eiders and 2 Gannets.

Sandwich Terns seen offshore throughout with 250+ roosting on beach opposite the leaning tower as the tide receded.

Several small flocks of Swallows followed the beach southward, whilst at least another 6 feasted on flying ants by the golf course.

A single Wheatear was on the golf course. Small groups of Sanderlings, Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and Oystercatchers followed ebbing tide.

Only 2 Turnstones, 1 Curlew and 1 Little Egret were seen though.



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Sarfraz Hayat wrote:

 

There is a thread posted on Birdforum in the Rare Bird Information section with a BBRC work in progress file posted.  The Eastern Black Eared Wheatear is an IC which I guess means Incomplete/Inconclusive.  Other birds have OK, NP - which must mean Not Proven ?

To view it you must be a member.  I am not sure if it is against forum policy to post the file here or the link itself?


 IC stands for In Circulation, so it just means that the record is still being assessed by the committee and a decision has not yet been made.



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There is a thread posted on Birdforum in the Rare Bird Information section with a BBRC work in progress file posted.  The Eastern Black Eared Wheatear is an IC which I guess means Incomplete/Inconclusive.  Other birds have OK, NP - which must mean Not Proven ?

To view it you must be a member.  I am not sure if it is against forum policy to post the file here or the link itself?



-- Edited by Sarfraz Hayat on Sunday 21st of June 2020 10:33:56 PM

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Fleetwood area 11.00-15.00

Rossall Point : Just 2 Eiders and a few gulls were seen offshore, hardly surprising judging by the huge breakers battering the promanade.

Most birds sheltered on or along the edge of the golf course, notably : 7 Ringed Plovers, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Skylarks, 7 Meadow Pipits,

4 Stonechats and a flock of 70 Oystercatchers.

Fleetwood Nature Reserve and adjoining Wyre estuary : 100+ Wigeon, 1 Avocet, 6 Stonchats, 3 Shoveler and 6 Great Black Backed Gulls.

Amazingly the Avocet was swimming in the middle of the estuary at high tide amongst a large group of Wigeon.

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Following success at Marshside with the L B Dowitcher, I tried my luck mid afternoon with the Purple Heron at Eagland Hill but unfortunately (with the help of another birder who had already seen it twice previous) drew a blank.

A few Corn Bunting were on overhead wires & as dusk was approaching a good Murmuration of around 100+ Starling were seen

 



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For reasons for my recent absence from the forums see my post in 'Leighton Moss'. Doing a quick update from the past week now!

Last week (15/1/20) I was taken up to the northern Fylde for my first trip out in quite a long time. Our first port of call was Bradshaw Lane where immediately on arrival we were treated to stunning views of the immature Purple Heron in its favoured field (the one now mown) just by the road (montage pic attached). Also in the general area was a Barn Owl, 90 Corn Buntings, a Little Egret and big flocks of Pink-footed Geese.

With only half a day at our disposal we next headed to the nearby Pilling Sewage Works. Here after a short wait we managed to pick up a couple of Chiffchaffs, one being the Siberian Chiffchaff (tristis) and the other a standard 'collybita'.

Next stop was Knott End where we eventually found the 30+Twite flock by the top of the slipway by the cafe and even on the cafe roof! From the bottom of the slipway we scoped 2 Peregrines sitting out on the sand bars. Also present were Turnstone, Curlew and Redshank.

Finally we headed to Upper Thurnham and down Moss Lane where we found several groups of Whooper Swans, and in the furthest away (Murphy's Law!) were a maximum of 3 Bewick's Swans.



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Took a trip to see the Siberian Ciffchaff at Pilling Water Treatment. I used postcode PR3 6AB that's Taylor Road but carry on to the old bridge turn right before the bridge and the site is on the right. Its with 2 other Chiffchaffs and to be honest I struggled to tell the difference but everyone there confirmed that my shots are the bird (see pics), so apologies if I'm wrong. Many thanks.
P.S The farmer has cut the field the Purple heron is in but it is still around

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Very obliging first winter Purple Heron at Eagland Hill. Also a Barn Owl around the next door farm. Pink feet Geese heard but not seen through the mist. A Kestrel and a Buzzard seen nearby.

40+ Twite at Knott End, followed by a very nice omelette and chips in the busy cafe. A few Redshanks and Oystercatchers on the sands.

The Siberian Chiffchaff showed well at the Pilling Sewage filter beds alongside 2 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, a Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail. A Fieldfare was heard nearby.

Went on to Upper Thurnham and saw 150+ Whooper Swans, 40+ Mute Swans and managed to pick out a couple of Bewick's Swans but there could have more. 2 Greylags keeping them company.
Plenty of Curlews in the fields and large flocks of Lapwings and Golden Plovers in the distance.

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Thought I call and see the Purple Heron before the storm hits today.....Was not disappointed, came out as I got there and started hunting. Gave incredible views and got another meal (see pics) I used post code PR3 6AY and it took me straight to it (a little short as its in a field opposite Birks Farm) although I have heard that it can take you down some really bad roads on other sat navs so be careful

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A great day on the Fylde today. Whilst watching a Barn Owl at Eagland Hill, we then noticed the Purple Heron right in front of us giving superb views, as well as a dozen Corn Bunting sat on wires, plus Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. We had passed a couple of hundred Pink-footed Geese in the fields before ticking off the nearby Cattle Egret. We then moved on to Moss Lane at Upper Thurnham where 7 Bewicks Swan were picked out of the couple of hundred Whooper Swans. Finally we ended up at Pine Lake, just up the M6 at Carnforth where we added the Ring-necked Duck. Very impressive duck numbers here with around 30 Pochard, scores of Tufted Duck, a few Gadwall, 20 odd Wigeon, around 20 Goosander and a minimum of 10 Goldeneye.

A few photos of the 1st Winter Purple Heron.

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Eagland Hill:
After about a 2 hour wait the Purple Heron finally broke cover a gave a brief flight view for a few seconds and then disappeared back into the thick vegetation. I stayed a further half an hour and it didnt reappear. Not ideal but still a UK lifer for me.
Also:
2 Barn Owls giving great views. One caught a vole.
1 Red-legged Partridge
2 Little Egret
24 Corn Bunting
1 Yellowhammer
2 Sparrowhawk
Numerous Pink-footed Geese overhead

Knott-End on Sea:
42 Twite
Quite a few Bar-tailed Godwits were the pick of the usual waders
c30 Wigeon

Lane Ends:
4 Little Egret
23 Whooper Swans flew in at dusk
Plenty of Pink-footed Geese - lots more flying in at dusk
100+ Curlew in a field



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Popped up to see the Purple Heron today as my missus hasn't seen one in this country,the bird showed really well and ate 3 voles whilst we were watching it.Having dipped it previously it was well worth another shot at it.

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This is the exact spot where it was on Saturday, but can be surprisingly elusive in the long vegetation, or lurking in the ditch

53.899559, -2.876780

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Eagland Hill; splendid views of the juvenile Purple Heron this a.m. with Malcolm from the road next to the last farm in the village on the bend in the field it seems to favour.
Cheers Ian

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Purple Heron at Eagland Hill, Lancashire. 5/12/2019

  As a photographer was driving through Eagland Hill, Lancashire, recently, he encountered a bird that he thought was a bit unusual. So he took a picture of it and sent it to a birding friend of his who, quickly identified it as a juvenile Purple Heron! Very unusual in December, more of a spring/summer visitor to our country. It further turns out that it is the first one to be found on The Fylde since the 1970`s.

  One of our number had yet to catch up with Purple Heron in this country, so the troops were put on stand by for a morning trip to see it, if it remained. Thursday dawned and news that the bird was still present in a similar area of Eagland Hill were it had been photographed originally. We met in Whitworth and headed for the coast in my latest vehicle (could this be the last one?) New (second hand) vehicles always come up with some oddity, and as we left the M6 and headed for the A6 north the Sat-Nav seemed to send us in the wrong direction, did she know a better way we thought? After 10 miles heading in the wrong direction we turned around and got back on track. How can you lose your satellites, thats what the lady kept saying? Anyway we were soon nearing Eagland Hill along the single track road and the rain began to fall with some real gusto, eventually we arrived at the right place to the news that the bird was showing really well not 80 yards away! After parking the car we dashed along the road and enjoyed great views of the bird as people said, We have been waiting hear for two hours in the rain for the bird to appear I think they were giving us a message somewhere? The landowner kindly allowed us onto his property to get a few pictures of the bird after we showed him the heron through our telescopes. The rain was beginning to get through a little bit as we headed off to hopefully see a Lesser Snow Goose at Warton Bank.

   With the Sat-Nav sending us on the correct road we reached Warton and began to search for the goose of unknown origin. As the rain, mercifully, began to ease the Snow Goose was picked out at distance with a flock of Canada Geese, which are not well known carrier species for Snow Goose. Whatever it was, a nice bird to round the day of with. Strange not to see any harriers in this area, guess the weather put them off!

Dave O.



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Hi Sid + Rob + Simon,

 

Sorry forgot I left  a comment/question here.  I have learnt that what was said was not actually based on evidence or an actual decision.    I had emailed the county recorder anyway and he replied that the consensus was that it was Eastern Black Eared Wheatear but it has not been submitted to the BBRC yet as of 05/11/2019.  The DNA results were not mentioned so I am not sure if they have been published.  On birdguides there have been some announcements about 2 Stonechats seen possibly on Shetland and maybe somewhere else in late September.  There DNA results proved them to be the rarer species/sub-species - Siberian and Stejneger's Stonechats if I remember correctly.  Maybe this Wheatear's DNA results will take longer?

 

Sarfraz

 



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Not a sighting, apologies: I'm sure most people will wait for a BBRC verdict on this Wheatear before they tick it either way, and actually I could imagine that the bird might not be assigned to a species, given the way that they treat things like Subalpine/Moltoni's Warbler and so on, where not all plumages are clearly separable in the field, and the taxonomy science is ongoing. To some extent I am reconciled to never being able to tick this one!

-- Edited by Simon Gough on Wednesday 6th of November 2019 01:05:59 PM

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sid ashton wrote:

Sarfraz Hayat wrote:

I have heard that the Wheatear species seen has been confirmed as an adult female Eastern Black Eared Wheatear? Anyone know if that is true?


 Where did you hear that Sarfraz? Have the DNA results been published perhaps?





Hi Sarfraz,
dont know if you saw a tweet from Paul Ellis on 11th Sept, it explains that Chris Batty managed to identify the white spot in the middle of the mantle feathers from Pauls photos. This is pretty much a decider it says.
Also Paul Slade who runs Fylde Bird Club says that the results of the DNA sample wont be much help due to the closeness of the 2 species.

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Sarfraz Hayat wrote:

I have heard that the Wheatear species seen has been confirmed as an adult female Eastern Black Eared Wheatear? Anyone know if that is true?


 Where did you hear that Sarfraz? Have the DNA results been published perhaps?



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I have heard that the Wheatear species seen has been confirmed as an adult female Eastern Black Eared Wheatear? Anyone know if that is true?

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Rossall Point 12.00-15.00 (High Tide 14.00)

Very little bird movement offshore, just a few Herring Gulls and Cormorants.

I was surprised by a total lack of Sandwich Tern and Eider sightings in 3 hrs.

Small flocks of waders flew past around high tide, mainly Oystercatchers, Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

130 Turnstones rested on the large boulders along the sea wall during high tide, 6 more were on the beach

below the observation tower a little later. Also on the beach here, and often dodging peoples dogs, were

12 Sanderlings, 20 Dunlin and 14 Ringed Plovers. 4 Linnets rested for a while on the sea wall.

A single adult Great Black Backed Gull was among the common gull species on the gollf course, together with

a few "Alba" wagtails.

A huge linear skein of 300+ Pink Footed Geese flew over heading South.

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Sarfraz Hayat wrote:

It would be so much better if it was Eastern Black Eared Wheatear but ultimately I assume the BBRC/BOURC will give the final decision.  For some reason I am not optimistic.  I hope it is not an undecided or hybrid.  Some were saying that DNA may not be a deciding factor too.  Either is fine for my British list but as a sub-species Eastern Black Eared Wheatear would be a lifer if split unless it occurs in Greece.  I hope someone rings it because it would be nice to know if it could turn up anywhere next.  



-- Edited by Sarfraz Hayat on Thursday 12th of September 2019 10:37:42 AM



Eastern O.h. melanoleuca occurs in Greece. Steve Dudley included Western in his Lesvos guide in error (pers comm Lesvos Birding facebook page)
Oenanthe hispanica: S Europe and North Africa; > Senegal to Mali
Oenanthe melanoleuca: SE Europe to Caspian and Iran; > to ne and w Africa

The DNA of of Eastern is closer to Pied than Western BEW. Schweizer, M, Warmuth, V, Kakhki, N A, Aliabadian, M, Förschler, M, Shirihai, H, Suh, A, & Burri, R. 2018. Parallel plumage color evolution and introgressive hybridization in wheatears. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13401

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The ID feature that they are basing this on is so subtle but seems to be fairly diagnostic from the literature. A white spot on the base of the mantle feathers, not normally visible and never seen on Pied - apparently. Be very interesting if the DNA came back as Pied!!!!

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It would be so much better if it was Eastern Black Eared Wheatear but ultimately I assume the BBRC/BOURC will give the final decision.  For some reason I am not optimistic.  I hope it is not an undecided or hybrid.  Some were saying that DNA may not be a deciding factor too.  Either is fine for my British list but as a sub-species Eastern Black Eared Wheatear would be a lifer if split unless it occurs in Greece.  I hope someone rings it because it would be nice to know if it could turn up anywhere next.  



-- Edited by Sarfraz Hayat on Thursday 12th of September 2019 10:37:42 AM

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Statement on RBA this morning plumping for Eastern Black-eared Wheatear over Pied as the ID.



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Very close views of the Pied/Eastern Black Eared Wheatear today from the seawall about 200 meters West of the car park at the end of Fluke Hall Lane ftom 11am to 11.30.

Also 5 Northern Wheatear, Sparrowhawk, 3 Little Egret 

A few images attached. 



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Just got back from a trip to see the The Pied/Eastern Black-eared Wheatear or whatever is decided. The bird is still showing incredibly well and catching lots of flies (see picture) everyone who was there today had an opinion on what it is but all I can say its a superb little bird and well worth going to see if you can.

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I totally agree, as I've said before in the field I favoured Eastern Black-eared, the bird looking warmer toned. But from my pics as well as the myriad on the web it looks more cold & like Pied. The consensus on places like Bird Forum and Facebook is Pied, but they are all going from pictures. There is even a suggestion now of a hybrid since these are quite frequent in the 'overlap' zone. It has also been stated that DNA analysis of poo alone won't be conclusive and that a feather is needed, again I don't know if this is true but it was  aCounty Recorder who explained this, so I have no reason to doubt it at all.



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Hi John - Yes, I agree fully. I'm quite happy to let those far more experienced than myself decide. Even they may probably have to await the DNA result. Cheers, Mark. Ps. Im hoping its an Eastern Black-eared as that will be a UK tick!

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Wednesday 4th of September 2019 09:00:25 PM

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Hi Mark,
Using online photos to help ID of bird can, as I am sure you are aware, be problematic. Particularly judging colour tones, when lighting and various camera settings can affect the outcome. I saw this bird yesterday and already had in my mind that a greyer toned mantle might favour Pied whilst browner tones might favour Eastern Black-eared. An oversimplification I know.

Looking at my back of camera shots it looked greyish, but in real life down the scope it appeared browner. I took a couple of photos just a few minutes apart under exactly the same gloomy lighting conditions, same range, and identical camera settings - apart from White Balance.

I found that switching from 'AWB' to 'Cloud' setting gave a more accurate colour rendition. See the two (not very good) photos attached. Greyer is 'Auto', browner is 'Cloud'.

Cheers, John




-- Edited by John Rayner on Wednesday 4th of September 2019 04:13:03 PM

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I've birded the Cocker's Dyke to Fluke Hall area several times, so know the spot reasonably well. There was an injured Pomerine Skua nearby a few years ago that, because of its injured wing, provided a very easy year tick for many birders. The Pied/Eastern Black-eared Wheatear continued to show very well this morning in its usual spot on the boulders forming part of the sea defences. Whilst there and in the flesh, I was leaning to Black-eared but, after having perused my photos, the fine scaling on the mantle coupled with the general overall colour tone, makes me switch towards Pied. A few photos attached.

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Really hope it is a Black-eared, Richard, I thought it was when I was there, but on reading the BirdForum thread including views of several World experts with experience of both species in their local ranges, they are putting it in the Pied camp. But then again they all got it wrong on the possible rejection of the Stow Blue Rock Thrush and the Cornwall Dalmatian Pelican!! Hope springs eternal.

For anyone up that way tomorrow of interest today there was a Wood Sandpiper at Brockholes Wetlands LWT and an Osprey at Leighton Moss RSPB smile



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The last time I went to "twitch" something new was last year with the rose coloured starling. So I was up for something different for a change as a break from my normal birding.. I was itching to go and see this black eared/ Pied wheatear thingy and I just had to scratch.

I set off for Bolton at 9:30 and caught the 10:20 train to Poulton-Le-Fylde and it took me about 50 minutes to cycle to the Fluke Hall area. As soon as I arrived at the spot, i was first greeted by two Northern wheatears. And just a stones throw away was the pied wheatear, waiting for me! So after enjoying a good half hour with her, I went to spend longer with the Northern wheatears.

Other highlights include...

Tree sparrow
Whitethroat
Skylark
Meadow pipit
Little egrets
Redshank
Lapwing
Curlew
Pheasant
Shelducks
Great black backed gull


Ta!

ps.After analysing my own photos, I am inclined to agree with paul that it's more likely to be a black eared wheatear.

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Tuesday 3rd of September 2019 09:12:37 PM

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Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Fluke Hall 10.00-12.00

The enigmatic wheatear was still showing when I left at noon, although it had moved a little

further South to the point where the farm track moves away from the sea wall.

4 Northern Wheatears were in the same area, and the celebrity bird appeared to enjoy their company,

so it move South with them. Most of the birders there considered the bird to be a female "Melanoleuca",

or rather were 90% sure like myself, and some very experienced ornithologists and ringers were present.

If only the bird was seen to shed one tiny feather, it appeared a little scruffy, then together with the faecal

analysis the ID issue could be solved.

A juvenile Cuckoo provided additional entertainment as it gave great views flying round, settled on a post

for a while, and even squatted in the middle of the track.

12 Tree Sparrows and 2 Dunnocks were in the nearby hawthorn hedge, which has a linear heap of well rotted

manure in front of it, so may well be a magnet for small insectivorous birds over the next few weeks.

Small numbers of Redshanks, Curlews, Little Egrets and Lapwings lined the edge of the small salt marsh.

A 10 metre high tide was due around 2pm, but I could not be bothered waiting, so if the afternoon sky filled

with skuas, please don't tell me.



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John Williams


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The bird is present again today, reported at 6.40am so far. It is in the same place too.

Due to the weather being very wierd when I was there, heavy, driving rain at times, then a sunny break, my pictures vary, some cold, some warmer toned. Having studied the salient ID features online and trawled through all the pictures my gut feeling is now leaning towards Pied Wheatear. I also agree Rob, having seen some great pics of open tail of this bird, that that can't split them confidently either! BUT, if the faecal sample can be analysed then we may get a definitive answer in time, at least my yearlist is up by one biggrin



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 2nd of September 2019 09:02:00 AM

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Sunday 1st September.

Fluke Hall near Pilling.

Black-eared Wheatear / Pied Wheatear.

After having family commitments for most of the day, I finally got a couple of hours to try for a Lifer ... if it turns out to be a Black-eared Wheatear.
Time and light was against me but I had to try. I arrived during heavy rain, there wasnt many birders there and almost every one of them was either driving off or walking back to the car, but not to be deterred by a bit of water I took a short walk out on the path by the sea wall.
Well the rain stopped and I managed a few record shots in between watching it before the light got too low.
When I saw it this morning on Twitter, I text a mate of mine to say I thought it looked a bit like a Melanoleuca.
Having seen it and tried to observe some of the features, Im none the wiser, as both these species apparently can be inseparable.
What I did notice was the plumage looks rather coldish grey and my digiscopes show that, but some images online show it slightly warmer so it could be a trick of the light.
I tried to view the tail open in flight but it was difficult as it dropped of the rocks and flew whilst obscured, but on reviewing the tail pattern
of both birds it probably wouldnt have mattered. Would it? Faecal sample it is then.



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This photo pinched from Birdforum shows the diagnostic feature smile

Cheers John

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I aint seen Black-eared Wheatear anywhere in the World so will bow to those with more experience than I. I have the RBA feed and see that they are still saying Black-eared. I assumed that Chris Batty, who lives close by, and who is one of the top UK birders, has seen it. He works for RBA so presumably their stance is taken from his thoughts? 

p.s. just seen that now RBA are hedging their bets over either species (based on their last report at 9.48pm). Either way it's a yeartick!  Hope they got the right faecal sample as there was a Northern Wheatear there too!!

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 1st of September 2019 10:13:49 PM

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Paul,
I haven't seen this bird but there appears to be confusion over the ID. RBA still have it as EBW. Birdguides have it as ?EBW and Birdforum discussion seems to be coming down on the side of Pied (mainly based on 'scaly' fringes to mantle and darkish breast without any rusty tones). Apparently a faecal sample has been collected so maybe it will Be decided by DNA in the end.

Cheers John

PS. Wasn't there initially similar confusion with the Meols Pied Wheatear?

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Originally posted today by Paul Brewster:

When a report came through today of a rare Wheatear at Fluke Hall near Pilling I became very interested. The initial report said that it was a Black-eared Wheatear (or possibly a Pied Wheatear). Needing the former for a lifer I decided to head off after lunch to try for it. 70 miles and just over an hour later saw me at Fluke Hall car park joining a large number of birders already there. Many of GMs finest were present so we joined together and were soon watching what had now been confirmed as a female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. Initially the bird was hunkered down under overhanging rocks as it was blustery and very rainy! As the weather improved the bird popped out and showed very well. I rattled off a few digiscoped shots and watched but soon the nasty weather returned and the bird again went to ground amongst the coastal defences. This happened a few times but given time everyone arriving had great views.



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Originally posted today by Ian Campbell:

Went to Pilling Lane End car park to look for the reported Iberian Chiffchaff with Malcolm. The bird was still present, very vocal but difficult to see. A British lifer for both of us.
Cheers Ian 



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Originally posted today by John Williams;

Lane Ends-Fluke Hall 10.30-15.00

Saltmarsh : 6 Wheatears, 7 Skylarks, 10 Pink Footed Geese, 1 Whimbrel, 6 Little Egrets, 1 adult Common Gull

and 4 adult Great Black Backed Gulls.

Adjoining farmland, wildfowlers estate and Lane Ends amenity area : 

4 Meadow Pipits, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Ravens, 2 Buzzards, 6 Tufted Ducks and a singing male Reed Bunting.

Cuckoo heard calling towards Fluke Hall, but not seen.

Numerous Oystercatchers and 



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Visit to Fleetwood Marsh and Rossall Point highlights include finding 2 Bearded Tits.
2 Bearded Tits record shots attached.
3 Cettis Warblers Heard.
9 Little Grebe
1 Snipe.
2 Wheatear

Cheers Steven


-- Edited by Steven Higginbottom on Saturday 23rd of March 2019 07:20:58 PM



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