After a family day out at Martin Mere, I had a really productive hour and a half at Marshside looking over Crossens Outer until dusk.
The highlight was probably a neck collar Greenland Whitefront that was in with the Pinks, but it had some competition. The bird was just too distant and the light not good enough to clinch the number, but it was something like “X6U” from bottom to top, black writing on orange band. I’ve sent the ringer an e-mail, hopefully he can ID the bird. If anyone else sees it and can get the reading, please let me know.
Goose aside, the stars of the show were the raptors. A nice selection including 3 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 3 Marsh Harrier and the Ringtail Hen. One of the Marsh Harriers came in close, but the others were distant – the Hen came in close to dusk and is the speck in front of Lytham Windmill (honest). It drifted back east so wonder where it’s roosting?
At least one Water Pipit was calling close to the road, and I possibly had 2 at one point, but the car noise always makes it difficult on the coast road. A flock of c50 Twite, 2 Goosander and a GWE the other birds of note. The 5,000 Pinks over head and the constant stream of Egrets heading towards the marine lake also added to the spectacle.
A very pleasant evening, and despite being serenaded several times by mobile disco’s, I wasn’t beeped at once…..
EDIT – brilliant response on the goose from Tony Fox – “Apologies for the cryptic out of office reply, but enormous thanks for this news! Superb news about X6U, although obviously blown a wee bit off the beaten track. This bird was an adult male ringed at Wexford Slobs in late winter 2016/17, it was paired to X5T and had 3 goslings, X7U, X8U and one that escaped capture, but which associated with its siblings and parents later that winter. Last winter, it wintered at Wexford but neither its mate nor collared offspring were present with him. I regret that he was not seen anywhere else in the interim, so that are not many observations to contribute to his life history (see the attached listing on the pdf, perhaps not a good idea to print out as it is so long, but scroll down to find details of X6U). We will certainly make sure to keep an eye out for it at Wexford to see if and when X6U gets back “home” to Wexford. We have had an exceptional number of birds blown off route this autumn on their way back to the winter quarters, so several like yours have turned up in eccentric places.”