White Russian

More goosing today – its great that we’ve had another influx and I’ll watch them as much as I can before they go. I enjoy spring migration at Marshside, but it’s always tinged with sadness as the goose throngs depart for their northern breeding grounds – I’d love to go to Iceland to watch them arriving back – in fact, it’s one of my dreams to visit geese breeding colonies, especially the brent/brant complex.

Any way, back to reality. A walk along the Crossens Pump Station bank this morning put me between 2 big groups of Pinks on the outer marsh and inner fields. 5 Barnacles dotted about, but the star of the show was a really nice adult Russian Whitefront – great to see this bird reasonably close as it was about a mile away the other day! A super looking bird with its combination of orange legs, pink bill, white blaze and black belly bars – 4 styles on one bird!

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Also a Greylag that looked like a wild bird to me – maybe it’s imagination, but it looked leaner than the chubby locals – also moved with the Pinks when they were flushed by one of the Warton light aircraft.

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As I walked back to the car, the adult Spoonbill flew over my head on its way to Marshside – I wonder where it roosts, maybe the Freckleton Egret colony?

There was a spotter group colonising the sand plant and surrounding area so I gave it a miss and nipped down to the bottom end of Suttons to see if I could get close to the Spoonbill. It was at the back of School Pool, but I managed some ok shots – not the rarity up here that they once were, but I still like watching them – so exotic.

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The sand plant had quietened down so I had 5 minutes from the watch point – ringtail Hen Harrier and a Merlin picked up – I’m still amazed that Hen Harrier is almost a given this winter – bloody brilliant! The 2 Scaup continued their sleep-a-thon on Rimmers. I didn’t look for the Wheatear – I figured they’d seen enough humans for the day.

Back to Crossens and the North American Canada was quite close again with the Pinks – showing its chinstrap off nicely and giving a good comparison to some nearby giant ferals – not close enough to get them in the same shot though. Really advise anyone who’s not seen this bird yet to have a look at it, stands out a mile – the fact that you can pick it every day testament to how distinctive it is compared to the local birds.

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A nice mix of usually tideline waders were forced onto Crossens Outer as the sea powered in – Grey Plover’s in the main with a good spattering of Dunlin and Knot. Red and an orange flagged birds out there, but too distant to read – presumably locally rung.

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The tide didn’t push the geese in as much as hoped for – a couple of Russian Whitefronts, but in the main they were too distant and way out on Banks Marsh – at least 10,000 still out there though so who knows what’s in them. I’d be very surprised if there’s not a Bean or 2 to come over the next week or so – hope so……

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