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Post Info TOPIC: Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB


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Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB


Peregrine, Merlin (f), Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard made for a great group of prey birds early this morn.

Fieldfare were the bird of the day, at the west end of the reserve a grass field and adjacent berry bushes held over 1,300, many more in the entrance road in and in every hedge.

Three Bewick's Swans (ads) flew from over Hundred Lane and were in the field by the pumps for 1/2 hr before all the flock moved on due to tractors entering the field. 129 Whoopers in total, lovely to watch the family groups wandering then bunching as a flock and then separating again.

 

 



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11.00-14.30

At least 4 Arctic Terns plus 2 Grey Partridges, 1 Raven, 2 Tree Sparrows, 70+ Avocets, 60 Black-Tailed Godwits,

6 Linnets, 1 Kestrel and 3 Yellow Wagtails.

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John Williams


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10.00-13.00

1 Ruddy Shelduck, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 1 Marsh Harrier, 27 Whooper Swans (Single group),

1 Tree Sparrow seen calling from a bush near the car park, around 100 Avocets, 2 Buzzards,

2f+1m Goosanders, 2 Curlews, 2 Kestrels and a solitary Pink-Footed Goose.

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John Williams


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11.00-15.00

3 Yellowhammers (With Chaffinches on an hedgerow near the car park), 1f Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrels,

46 Golden Plovers (With Lapwings), 6 Skylarks, 1m Goosander, a flock of 22 Linnets and

1 adult Great Black Backed Gull (Which frequently toured the marsh flushing waders, ducks and even some geese too).

Huge numbers of Pink-Footed Geese, Wigeon, Teal, Lapwings and Redshanks, but oddly only 4 Curlews, and no Shoveler,

Gadwall or Pintails.



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John Williams


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10.30-14.00

Most of the shallow tidal pools were frozen over resulting in large numbers of Teal flying around in search of

any unfrozen patches. They occasionally landed on ice and although they could usually walk reasonably well on

that, there was lots of slipping and sliding too. Teal and Wigeon appeared very numerous, as did Lapwings.

Seen in fewer numbers were Redshanks, Little Egrets, Dunlin, Shelducks, Skylarks, Snipe and Linnets.

140 Whooper Swans were on adjoining arable fields, and amongst them was a solitary Mute Swan.

Sadly the bodies of 4 deceased swans were noted around the site.

Raptors were represented by 2 Buzzards and 3 Kestrels.

A group of 8 Little Grebes swam together on the Eastern Pools, where 3m+6f Goosanders were also seen.

A mixed flock of Lapwings and Starlings were foraging on adjoining sheep pasture, and amongst them was 380 Golden Plovers.

Pink-Footed Geese appeared to favour the areas of saltmarsh close to the Ribble so were difficult to scan through and count,

but on the few occasions they flushed it was clear that there was at least 300 of them.



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John Williams


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11.00-15.00 (Midday High Tide)

Raptors : 1f Marsh Harrier, 2 Peregrines (Seen having an aerial fight), 3 Kestrels and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Waders : 1 Ruff, 2 Greenshanks, 17 Snipe, 11 Curlews, 7 Black tailed Godwits, 11 Golden Plovers, 15 Grey Plovers

and just 3 Ringed Plovers (On a very soggy nearby field, none at all seen on the saltmarsh despite large numbers of Dunlin).

Lots of Lapwings and Redshanks.

Waterfowl :2m Pintails, 2m+5f Goosanders, 6 Shelducks, 2 Barnacle Geese (Amongst the Pink Feet),

2 Great Crested Grebes and a single drake Shoveler. Huge numbers of Pink-footed Geese, Wigeon, Teal and Mallard.

100+ Whooper Swans on nearby fields, although sadly there were 2 dead ones too, one appeared freshly deceased.

Lots of Little Egrets around the marsh, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Linnets numerous too, whilst a single Tree Sparrow

was by the car park. The monarch of the marsh appeared to be an adult Great Black-backed Gull, who frequently caused

mass panic amongst the Lapwings and Dunlin.

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John Williams


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Nice day here today, warm bright not too windy, kestrel,goldfinch ,avocet,mallard ,black tailed godwit, black headed gull, reed bunting, skylark, pheasant, carrion crow, little egret, redshank, lesser black backed gull, wheatear , little  grebe,and after consulting the forum a gadwall x mallard hybrid



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3 wheatear today



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1 peregrine on back fields.

3 seperate Kestrel.

2 mute, 6 Whooper and 1 Bewicks Swan still on Marsh. 109 Whooper in fields to South. Numerous (9/10) dead swans in the marsh area (notices are present that RSPB are aware of the Avian Flu). I wonder if the individuals dotted on the Marsh were ill birds that couldn't fly  out the fencing, there seemed to be quite a lot of the dead birds by the fence.

11 Black-tailed Godwits. Redshank and Curlew dotted about everywhere.

3,000+ Wigeon on the river at the West End (high tide).

Nothing unusual in the flocks of Canada Geese dotted about.

2 Tree Sparrows at the farm on the track into the reserve (last farm 200yards south of the car park).



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American Golden Plover eventually showed in grass by 1st pool to East of the car park at 11.20, then flew to 2nd pool where it was showing well for a few minutes before disappearing behind the long grass. 

A good number there viewing, and nearly an hour wait before it showed.

Plenty of other birds, including 25 Avocet, 15 Black Tailed Godwit, Eider, Greenshank, 3 Little Egret, Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Skylark, 5 Arctic Tern with one on nesting platform. 



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An excellent morning out, from 8.00 to 12.00, with the American Golden Plover being the highlight. It showed reasonably well on and off on the second pool to the east of the car park. Plenty of other birds including:

1 Eider.

120+ Avocet, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 1 summer plumaged Spotted Redshank, and 1 Grey Plover.

1 Great Egret and 12 Arctic Tern.

6+ Tree Sparrow.



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09.30-13.00

Highlights :

4 Arctic + 6 Common Terns, 1 Great White + 6 Little Egrets, 6 Tree Sparrows, 1m Yellow Wagtail and 8 Avocets.



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John Williams


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Today cold and breezy12 30 /3 pm.shelduck,little egret,yellow wagtail, grey wagtail, white wagtail ,common tern,mallard ,buzzard ,kestrel ,red legged partridge, pheasant, woodpigeon, oystercatcher,little ringed plover,black tailed godwit ,grey plover, little ringed plover, linnet,dunlin,black headed gull, lesser black backed gull, skylark, meadow pipit, swallow,carrion crow,spotted redshank.avocet



-- Edited by David Hughes on Tuesday 27th of April 2021 06:05:43 PM

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Wonderful visit on 24th April 2021. Very sunny. Very quiet.

Little egret, Shelduck, swallow (x2), Pheasant, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Redshank, Avocet, Lesser black-backed gull, Goldfinch, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Grey Heron, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Black-tailed Godwit, Pied Wagtail, Teal, Meadow pipit, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Lapwing.



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Very nice visit today sun light winds ,11 30 till sunset,Black tailed Godwit ,curlew ,wigeon, shelduck ,redshank, buzzard, goldfinch, moorhen ,sand martin, grey heron, avocet, snipe, barn owl ,meadow pipit ,wheatear, skylark ,mallard ,pink-footed goose, carrion crow ,oystercatcher ,goldfinch,reed bunting ,black headed gull,lesser black backed gull, pied wagtail ,grey partridge, pheasant ,woodpigeon ,magpie, little egret, cormorant. Teal,blackbird,Canada goose 

 


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 30th of March 2021 09:56:58 PM

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Amazingly, 8 avocets this morning among the haze.


-- Edited by Mike Berry on Friday 11th of December 2020 09:17:41 PM

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One Avocet reported to be still present on the marsh yesterday, Sunday 6th.



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6 avocets this last week.


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11.00-15.00 (High Tide 11.30ish)

1 Spoonbill, 1f Merlin, 1 Pergrine, 1 Kestrel, 1 Greenshank, 7 Whooper Swans, 9f Goosanders, 20+ Golden Plovers,

30+ Little Egrets and 2 Black tailed Godwits.

A male Hen Harrier was reported at 10.45, so I just missed it.

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John Williams


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09.00-12.00

4 Arctic Terns, 4 Common Terns, 4 Black Tailed Godwits, 30 Avocets, 10 Little Egrets, 1 Buzzard,

1 Tree Sparrow and 3 family groups of Common Whitethroats (2 of 4 birds and 1 of 5).

Also Skylarks, 4 adult and 1 newly fledged, the youngster just sat on the path until I was close enough to almost tread on it

before it moved away.

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John Williams


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11.00-15.00

1 Curlew Sandpiper seen on the new marsh (East of car park), bird was on a pool towards the East side of marsh.

By the time I left no other birder had found this bird, I hope it hangs around and a photo is taken, it was too

far away for me to get a decent shot, although it gave great views through my scope. There is always the suspicion

that it was actually a Dunlin, especially as it's now November, which seems late for Curlew Sandpiper passage.

The bird really stood out being noticeably taller than the numerous Dunlin (All in full winter plumage) dashing

about nearby, and it's body appeared perfectly tear drop shaped. The upper wings were scalloped like those of a Ruff,

the neck and upper breast ochre coloured but the belly pure white. Probably it's most notable feature was it's beak which

was long and curved but towards the tip it the curve was much more noticeable. The bird did'nt associate with the Dunlin

but waded in the pool and often poked it's head below the surface to feed. It was briefly chased by a Redshank during which

it gave offered a glimpse of it's white rump. The bird had a noticeable supercillium and dark cap, even from quite a distance.

Also seen at HOM today : 1m Merlin, 1f Marsh Harrier (Possibly 2), 1 Grey Plover, 54 Golden Plover (Amongst Lapwings),

6 Tree Sparrows, 4 Reed Buntings, a flock of around 60 Linnets, 6 Whooper Swans (Many more on nearby farmland),

1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Black tailed Godwits and 2m +4f Goosanders.

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John Williams


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Mark Jarrett wrote:

They were thought to be Russian rather than Greenland but again they were fairly distant in one of the fields off Old Hollow Lane, we were looking partly into the sun and it was difficult to be sure.





The White-fronted Geese are in fact Greenland. A guy that was there on Tuesday seemed adamant that they were Russian but in view of distance and lighting, we decided not to commit.

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Not quite Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB but close enough. Had just over two hours this morning from the same spot as Chris (as per yesterdays report) although failed to connect with the White-rumped Sandpiper. The waders were fairly distant today and it would have been a brave man to confidently claim it, without seeing it in flight. I understand the star bird was reasonably close in yesterday. Most of the birds seen then were on show again today including the two White-fronted Geese. They were thought to be Russian rather than Greenland but again they were fairly distant in one of the fields off Old Hollow Lane, we were looking partly into the sun and it was difficult to be sure. An interesting sighting was a flock of a minimum of 31 Avocet than flew in towards mid day.

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Had about 10 minutes of decent views of the White Rumped Sandpiper from viewing platform past Old Hollow Farm past Banks village this afternoon.

Arrived at 11.40 but bird didn't show until 13.30.

Whole area provided some excellent birdwatching regardless of the Sandpiper however.

Also seen were 2 Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Marsh Harrier, 18 Twite at very close range, 2 Great Egret, 5 Dunlin, 2 Greenland White Fronted Geese, 100s of Whooper Swan, 1000's of Pink Footed Geese, 2 Egyptian Geese, 4 Fieldfare, 4 Goosander, 10 Golden Plover as well as 'usuals'.



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11.00-16.00

1 Little Stint, 1 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1f Merlin, 1f Marsh Harrier,

2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, 23 Whooper Swans, 43 Dunlin, 6 Snipe, 4 Linnets, 1f Reed Bunting,

10 Meadow Pipits and 14 Skylarks. A flock of 40 Redwings headied South.

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John Williams


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11.00-15.00

2 Marsh Harriers (1f+1juv) soaring on thermals above the marsh and having

an aerial scuffle with a Buzzard that opted to join them.

2 Buzzards in total were over the marsh, together with 4 Kestrels.

Also seen here today were 2 Arctic and 3 Common Terns, a flock of 25 Tree Sparrows,

16 Linnets, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Sedge Warbler and 4 Curlews.

Oddly I only found 2 Redshanks on the marsh, and all the Shelduck appear to have

left for their summer moult.

Plenty of Lapwings, Oystercatchers, Little Egrets and "Alba" Wagtails though.

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John Williams


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10.00-13.30

1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 4 Linnets, 20 Little Egrets, 50+ Avocets, 2 Arctic Terns,

8 Common Terns, 4 juvenile Eiders and 2 singing Common Whitethroats.

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John Williams


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08.30-13.00

1m Merlin sat on a post whilst being closely watched from a post only a few feet away by a pair of Meadow Pipits.

Also around the marsh were 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 1 Buzzard, 1f Wheatear and 7 Linnets.

Terns were showing very well with a least 4 Arctic and 6 Common around the pools.

7 Common Whitethroats were singing along the hedgerow behind the embankment from the car park to the Western edge of the reserve.

Skylarks, Redshanks, Reed Buntings, Little Egrets and lots of Avocets were also seen around the marsh.



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John Williams


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09.30-14.00

1 Woodcock (On embankment), 3 Yellow Wagtails with 10 White Wagtails, 56 Avocets, 38 Black Tailed Godwits, 2 Grey Partridges, 6 Wheatears,

12 Little Egrets, 2 singing Skylarks, 1 Buzzard, 2 Kestrels, 8 Linnets, 1 Raven, 3 Ringed Plovers, 20+ Dunlin and 1 Grey Heron.

Numerous Redshanks, Shelducks and Meadow Pipits too.


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John Williams


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Did an hour here this morning. The tide was only 8m so nowhere near covering and it hadn't pushed many birds up. Lots of Wigeon on the pools with a few Redshank and Teal. Half a dozen Whooper Swans were on the fields on the inland side of the sea wall. Otherwise very quiet so I went off to Marshside. On the way I was hoping to see the six Bewick's Swans that have been hanging about in the Fields in and around Banks. Unfortunately they are with a flock of over 100 Whoopers and its impossible to park anywhere close by so didn't manage to tick them off.

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On Tuesday 9th having one day off in between two work days and seeing as how the forecast was excellent, I decided on the hours trip out to Hesketh Out Marsh to search the saltmarsh pools there.

Arriving I found a dozen or so cars already there, it is now a popular destination, I remember when I would arrive and be the only birder on site. The tide was coming in so I started at the first pool from the viewpoint, just left of the car park. Here just a few Eurasian WigeonMallards, a Greenshank and a few Redshank were seen. Several Little Egrets frequented all the pool and were quite tetchy with each and and pretty vocal, whereas their larger cousins a couple of Grey Herons just quietly skulked in bank-side cover. I then walked further left checking all the pools on the way. Adding to my list Black-tailed GodwitTeal, Gadwall lots of distant Pink-footed Geese and a few more Greenshanks. The furthest pool held the most Wigeon so I concentarted my efforts there. At first all I could find new were two Red-breasted Mergansers and four Avocets. The I found an unusual looking Wigeon but with its head on its back. The whole flock spooked and as it lifted its head I could see that it was the drake American Wigeon that has been here a while. Unfortunately the whole flock took off and I lost the bird. Walking back to the first pool I couldn't find it again but joining a friend in searching we found a likely looking candidate for a female American Wigeon. Knowing that I had had the drake at least 10 birders and I headed back to the far pool. Here all the Wigeon were out on the water and after a short search I re-found the drake American Wigeon. Quickly I got everyone present onto it and everyone had superb views in the warm sunshine. A small flock of Dunlin flew past to add my last species of the day before I had to depart early to head home.

I wholeheartedly recommend this fledgling reserve, it can only go from strength to strength. It's not easy to find, but well worth it, especially combined with a visit to Marshside RSPB.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 11th of October 2018 09:33:28 AM

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10.30-14.00

2 Great White Egrets, 10 Little Egrets, 1 Wheatear, 2 Greenshanks, 2 Golden Plover, 1 Avocet, 6 Kestrels, 2 Dunlin,

4 adult + 2 juv Common Terns, 9 Black Tailed Godwits, 6 Curlew, 1 Common Gull and 20+ Redshanks.

50+ Goldfinches were feeding on Creeping Thistle seeds, and were frequently disturbed by hovering Kestrels, although

the falcons did not actively pursue the finches. A Grey Heron attacked a Great White Egret and chased it away, the dispute

appeared to be over a good fishing spot.

1 Hobby and 1 juvenile Sparrowhawk were over nearby farmland.

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John Williams


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10.30-14.30

1f Marsh Harrier, 4 Kestrels, 7 Greenshanks, 1 Dunlin, 1 Wheatear, 3 Linnets, 2 Stock Doves, 20 Redshanks, 5 Shelduck, 3 Shovelers and 12 Little Egrets.

300+ Lapwings. A large flock of Wigeon, Teal and Mallard have returned to the marsh. There was a steady trickle of Swallows heading West throughout.



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John Williams


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Thurs 5th Jan. 14.30 hrs.

With Ian Lyth and Paul Greenall.

Field on Shore Road just before Dib Road (turning for Hesketh Out Marsh).

Herd of 60+ Whooper swan also containing 4 Bewick Swan.

Roger.

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11.30-15.00 (High Tide 12.30)

1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshanks, 4 Avocets, 1f Marsh Harrier, 3 Buzzards, 3 Kestrels, 1 Peregrine, 48 Little Egrets, 5 Linnets, 6 Meadow Pipits, 8 Swallows, 6 Black Tailed Godwits,

and 14 Greylag Geese. Wigeon and Teal numbers are building up, numerous Cormorants were following the tide in and fishing in the gullies, one was seen to catch a small eel.



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Monday 25th July.

Decided to try a late visit here just incase the Cattle Egret had dropped in but no luck. Many of the Waders were distant.

Birds of note...
- Little Egret 10+
- Greenshank 3
- Whimbrel 1
- Curlew 2
- Redshank
- Dunlin
- Avocet
- Oystercatcher
- Black-tailed Godwit
- Common Tern 2
- Arctic Tern 2 on first pool then another 6 came in and put on a show!

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Rob Creek wrote:

Saturday 16th July with Simon Gough and Chris Chandler.
Nice to bump into Jonathan Platt and his colleague.

- Blue-headed Wagtail, I missed it but the lads caught a brief sighting. Apparently this one had a very pale blue head much like a Channel Wagtail.
- Yellow Wagtail 2 (1f, 1 probable juv)
- Pied Wagtails
- Meadow Pipits
- Linnets
- Greenfinch 1m
- Reed Bunting 1m
- Yellowhammer 1m
- Skylark 1
- Spotted Redshank 1 mostly summer plumage
- Common Redshank
- Greenshank 1
- Avocet 10+
- Sanderling 1
- Oystercatcher
- Dunlin
- Lapwing
- Black-tailed Godwit
- Little Egret 4
- Grey Heron 2
- Common Tern 5
- Stock Dove 2
- Whitethroat 1
- Swift and Sand Martin
- and a Common Buzzard circling above the car park, it had primaries and secondaries missing and no tail whatsoever

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 17th of July 2016 12:35:32 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 17th of July 2016 12:36:49 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 17th of July 2016 01:57:02 PM





We didn't see the Blue-headed wagtail after you left Rob, but there were two Spotted redshank and three Greenshank present, along with a pair of Arctic terns. A Tree sparrow flew past too. As we headed back to the car a Whimbrel landed on the pool in front of the shelter.

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Saturday 16th July with Simon Gough and Chris Chandler.
Nice to bump into Jonathan Platt and his colleague.

- Blue-headed Wagtail, I missed it but the lads caught a brief sighting. Apparently this one had a very pale blue head much like a Channel Wagtail.
- Yellow Wagtail 2 (1f, 1 probable juv)
- Pied Wagtails
- Meadow Pipits
- Linnets
- Greenfinch 1m
- Reed Bunting 1m
- Yellowhammer 1m
- Skylark 1
- Spotted Redshank 1 mostly summer plumage
- Common Redshank
- Greenshank 1
- Avocet 10+
- Sanderling 1
- Oystercatcher
- Dunlin
- Lapwing
- Black-tailed Godwit
- Little Egret 4
- Grey Heron 2
- Common Tern 5
- Stock Dove 2
- Whitethroat 1
- Swift and Sand Martin
- and a Common Buzzard circling above the car park, it had primaries and secondaries missing and no tail whatsoever

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 17th of July 2016 12:35:32 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 17th of July 2016 12:36:49 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 17th of July 2016 01:57:02 PM

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No sign of Glossy Ibis that's been there much of today

However
2 Arctic Terns on mud just below shelter; also 5-6 more terns (probably Arctic) distantly on pools
2 Whimbrel calling flew over, then turned right to go up the Ribble

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10:30 - 11:30
American Wigeon (1) drake
Marsh Harrier (1) - distant
Took me an hour with the scope to finally pick out the American Wigeon amongst the Eurasian Wigeon. It was in a raft of ducks moving between the pool and banking that is situated at around 10 o'clock as you look out from the bus shelter. A relief to find it as I failed on a previous visit (high tide - doh!) and the cold was starting to bite.


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A pleasant day out in the sun saw me start at Hesketh Out Marsh where the drake American Wigeon was again on the pool immediately in front of the main viewing area with hundreds of Eurasian Wigeon scattered amongst all the pools. Golden Plovers called from out on the marsh and a 'herd' of Redshanks swept up the pools in a feeding group a la Flamingos!! Several Little Egrets were also out on the marsh.

At the extreme SW end of the area, in fields by Marsh Farm there were 90 Whooper Swans with half a dozen Mutes and nearby a small group of 20 or so Pink-footed Geese fed in previously harvested carrot fields along with 20 Shelducks.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 23rd of February 2016 10:10:08 PM

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Originally posted today by Mike Cooper

sun 7/2 15:45-16:50 cold strong s breeze rain setting in at dusk

american wigeon male in pool in front of 'bus shelter' viewing point to left of car park  at end of dib road 

 

with c. 600 Eurasian wigeon, 20 teal , 4 gadwall, 20 shelduck

pink footed goose c. 40, curlew, redshank , little egret



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Tues Jan 26th. 12.00 - 14.30 hrs.

With Ian Lyth.

Due to unavoidable late start arrived at high tide covering the marsh and high winds making scanning difficult.

Merlin flew past as we parked up.

Massive rafts of Wigeon and Teal .. The Wigeon stayed well out but must have been approaching 1000 birds.

Also 100+ Whooper Swan grazing in fields around Hundred End.

Roger.


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Quick visit early morning,
American Wigeon still present in amongst a flock of c150 Wigeon
Peregrine Falcon causing havoc over one of the pools where its presence put up every Teal, Wigeon and Redshank

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Cracking day's birding around the Ribble and then down to Lunt.

Of note were 3 herds of Whooper swans on arable fields around Hundred End - 3 different fields either along the road to the reserve or a little further on towards Southport. 2 Adult Bewick's Swans were ID'd in the largest group, and one juvenile.

Total number of Whoopers on the fields 126.


High tide at Hesketh was so flooded that there were no waders in evidence except a Curlew heard and a few hundred Golden Plover in the very far distance. Plenty of wildfowl in middle distance, and some nice Linnet, Pipit and Pied Wagtail flocks around the sea wall bank and adjoining fields.

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Quite quiet for the moderate tide today at 12.30 but the two Spoonbill were showing well at perhaps 200 yards from the main path. For me too this was easily the best I have seen spoonbill. smile

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Forget to mention we also spotted a male Kestrel over the marsh that landed briefly on a fence post then flew off.

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Saturday 22nd August

Late afternoon visit with Steve Burke, Simon Gough and Chris Chandler.

Original plan was to finish work, go for the Caspian Gull at Ainsdale and then the Spoonbill at Glasson/Conder up at Lancaster, picking the usual suspects up along the way. But with 2 Spoonbills turning up at Hesketh Out Marsh only 13 miles away from Ainsdale Beach, it seemed a better option than travelling 36 miles to Lancaster.

Plenty of bird activity on a seemingly (at first glance) quiet and desolate marsh.
Of note...
- Grey Partridge - 1, brief view as it walked along a ploughed channels and disappeared into crops
- Shelduck - 1
- Wigeon - a few pairs on 1 small lagoon
- Teal - quite a few around
- Common Tern - 1 active bird fishing over the pools
- Juvenile large Gulls about - misleading sometimes looking almost Raptor-like
- Grey Heron - at least 8 maybe more
- Little Egret - plenty around
- few Linnet over
- Yellow Wagtail heard only on 2 occasions
- Swallows - few moving through
- Lapwing - large flock flying around
- Avocet - 10+ with a couple of young birds present
- Greenshank - 5 (4 together + 1 nearby)
- Redshank - just a few about
- Black-tailed Godwit - 3 together along one of the channels
- Dunlin - 1
- Common Sandpiper - 1
- Ruff - 2 very active birds flying around the mud banks
- Curlew - 5 that I saw, possibly more
- Whimbrel - 1, possibly more as calls were heard
- Merlin - 1 female perched in a dead tree, excellent scope views
- Peregrine - 1 over, Steve thought possibly a juvenile

Then on way back to the car came a chance glance up to see 2 SPOONBILL coming in to land in one of the channels, a deep one too as they disappeared. We set up scopes again and waited. Nothing!

Another birder mentioned he'd seen the earlier reported 3 Little Stint at one of the pools. So we headed back over in that direction whilst keeping a lookout for the Spoonbills.
Sure enough, 3 LITTLE STINT were located on the spit of an area we'd viewed earlier, we were all a bit miffed and decided they'd probably been for a 'little stint' on another mud bank out of sight!

On way back to the car, again, we had one last look towards the deep channel out in the middle of the marsh. I just happened to glance back where we'd come from and would you believe the 2 SPOONBILL were busy feeding in a large pool in full view. We turned round and got excellent views feeding, shimmying the head side to side then tossing back the bill to swallow their catch, and then in flight a they were driven off by a Grey Heron, before coming back to land, by far the best views I've ever had of Spoonbill. Brilliant!!!
One was an adult and the other has black tips to its wings so it's likely to be a juvenile.
We still don't know how these large white birds went un-noticed getting from the channel to the open pool quite far away.

The dark clouds had suddenly built up over us, and thunder and lightning started. We headed back to the car yet again but it was too late. We were absolutely drenched through on the seemingly never ending walk back, we took sanctuary in the 'Bus Shelter' as I call it, in torrential rain and amazing fork lightning. Worth it though for what turned out to be a grand finale to our last stop of the day. We left at just gone 8.30pm soaking wet but happy!

smile

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 23rd of August 2015 11:53:33 AM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 23rd of August 2015 12:00:57 PM

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Decided to visit this site for the first time on my way home from Preston Dock. A great reserve, and a very quiet one too; I only saw 3 other people while there

Birds included:

2 marsh harrier (circling over the sea wall)
1 hobby (first seen shooting over the farmland behind the reserve, scaring a flock of linnets in the process, and then, spotted far off in the distance, perched in a piece of farmland machinery)
2 kestrel
1 greenshank
7 ruff
6 avocet
10+ common tern (including one fledged juvenile)
2 arctic tern (only two of the terns that i was able to check through the scope were arctic terns, but there might have been more swooping over the pools)
4 wigeon
1 whitethroat
40+ linnet
6 meadow pipit
30+ Dunlin

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08.00-11.00

4 Avocets, 4 Ringed Plovers, 10 Dunlin, 1 Black tailed Godwit, 3f Wheatears, 4 Linnets, 4 Grey Partridges & 4 Redshnks.

1 Black Swan with 16 Mutes on the marsh.

Lots of "Alba" wagtails and Meadow Pipits on the newly ploughed fields, plenty of gulls here too, mainly adult Herring.

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John Williams
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