Saturday, 11 January 2014

Morning Glory

Watching snipe at School Pond, FAUNA reserve
I had the great pleasure of leading a short birding walk in and around the Fairfield Community Orchard and FAUNA nature reserve this morning.
Having been encouraged by the good forecast, I was somewhat dismayed to awake to a very rainy morning. As I trudged toward our meeting place a crack of lightning split the sky, swiftly followed by a rumble of thunder. Not exactly what I'd hoped for...
I was the first to arrive shortly before 8am but before long several of us had gathered and we set off along the path into to the orchard as the sky started to brighten.
The remainder of the walk was rain-free and as the sun rose conditions were soon bright and very pleasant.
All around us there were singing birds; blackbirds, robins, song thrush and mistle thrush were all heard while dunnocks and woodpigeons became increasingly active.
We were out for around an hour and 20 minutes or so, and clocked up just over 30 species in the relatively small area.
The morning's highlights included little owl, redwing, kestrel, jay and snipe along with other common species.
Big thanks to those who came along; I'm already looking forward to our next outing! 

Little egret, Aldcliffe
Just after 10am I headed down to Aldcliffe where I met up with my old chum Greg Potter, former Lancastrian and one-time patch regular.
We spent a couple of hours doing the rounds, seeing all the usual stuff - little egrets, little grebes, single pinkfoot, goldeneye, gadwall, wigeon, etc.
Undoubted highlight was a single jack snipe and 2 common snipe at Snipe Bog.
This is the first jack snipe that I have seen at this traditional site so far this winter.  

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