A good scout round the Ribble area today and some quality birds, even if I had seen most of them before at some point over the last few weeks. Some of them, like the drake American Wigeon that I picked up at first light on Shelter Pool at Hesketh feel like old friends!
Also a leucistic female Teal on the same pool was quite interesting – shame it stuck to the back so I couldn’t get a better image.
There was plenty more Wigeon on the West (c6,000) as well as a few Pintail, Shoveler and c500 Teal. The raptors were great again with Marsh Harrier, 2 Peregrine and a Merlin.
A ringtail Hen Harrier came past quite close at the west end and then flew along the outer sea wall – I managed a couple of shots after I’d stopped watching it. It was a much bulkier bird than the 1cy male so was presumably the female seen by Colin etc last week. The blurred shot with a Buzzard shows approximate size.
There were several thousand Pinks on the outer marsh, but too distant and in too long grass to go through properly. There was a leucistic bird in with them though. A couple of Stonechats knocking about as well.
On the way to Marshside, I had a look at the Boundary Lane Whooper herd. Far less Whoppers, but 8 Bewick’s in with them today.
Also this stained Whooper certainly stood out!
The Scaup was still in the Tuftie flock from Hesketh Road and Rimmers was full of birds, but I couldn’t pick anything else unusual out.
On to the marine lake to look at the gulls, but the only birds of note were a bleached out 1cy Herring that looked interesting as it flew in and a colour ringed Herring that’s been knocking about for a few weeks.
Also the Goldeneye still fishing at the northern end – 3 males and 3 females today.
Finally a stop off at Crossens produced 3 individual distant Barnacles in the sprawled out Pinks on the Outer marsh – strange, they usually stick together, but nice to get some “new” birds.
A Water Pipit called overhead as I was watching the geese to round off the day – not a bad haul…..