Monday, 14 February 2011

Saturday 12th February 2011

Normal service resumed this weekend after no birding last weekend due to being busy/wet weekend forecast. First stop, as per usual was at Westport, where we saw a whopping 33 Goosander (main lake record) plus signs of spring with the first three Shelducks of the year down there. Best bird of the day though was a new CR Coot. This bird (picture below) was rung at Crompton Lodges near Bolton on 14th Dec 2010 and walked 57km in 60days! (Well have you ever had a Coot fly over?).

Next stop was a rare visit to another North Staffs Bird Forum reserve, Uttoxeter Quarry to look for the rare geese that have been seen here recently. We easily found the goose flock viewable in fields from the access track off the A50, but viewing was hampered by the flock repeatedly feeding behind bushes. We did see one White-front and one Pink-foot, but we decided to head to the pits instead for better views. By this time, the geese had moved out of the field and onto the water, and we saw the single White-front again but no sign of the Pink-foot this time. First two Oystercatchers are the year - more signs of spring.

White-fronted Goose at Uttoxeter Quarry

Next stop was at BGP's where there was a Little Egret on the first pit, and the Sandy Pit was covered with birds including 20 Curlew and three Redshank.

We also visited other pits in area, seeing the five Whooper Swans that are usually found at Croxall, a Black-tailed Godwit plus a female Red-breasted Merganser, that probably promptly left as one was found at Blithers on Sunday.