Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Ring-necked Stunner

It was a cold start at Rossall Point this morning and when I got out of my car I wondered why I had bothered. The wind was northeasterly 15 mph and I was uncertain whether I would get much shelter behind the Coastguards Tower. There was some shelter, but it wasn't wonderful with the wind chill of the NE wind.

Things started off slow and I found myself taking the picture below of a container ship coming out of Heysham into Morecambe Bay and passing the snow covered lakeland fells. I must have been bored!

Sanderlings were the first birds I had this morning and as the tide ran in I had a respectable 153. Other waders were in lower numbers and included 33 Osytercatchers, two Ringed Plovers and single Dunlin, Grey Plover and Turnstone.

The sea started off slow and then picked up a little. I had 24 Eiders off the 'point' and these were all male. Other wildfowl and associated species included 15 Red-breasted Mergansers and a single Great Crested Grebe that flew east into the bay with a Razorbill for company. Common Scoter numbers were fairly low at eleven and a single Kittiwake flew into the bay early on.

Red-throated Divers numbered 12 flying into the bay and two Harbour Porpoises with their characteristic roll were nice although the views were brief and distant.

Later in the afternoon I was due to go out with 'her indoors' when I received a call from Ian saying "can you get out"? When I asked him why he said because he had just found a drake Ring-necked Duck on the ICI Rservoir. This was a first for the Fylde and within twenty minutes I was watching the bird with some other appreciative admirers.

Ring-necked Duck - record shot

An even more 'record' record shot!

The bird was with a pair of Tufted Ducks, four Goldeneye, three Little Grebes and a Pochard on a small piece of unfrozen open water. I watched the bird for just under an hour and then made my way back to the car.

Out on the Wyre estuary 270 Black-tailed Godwits were flushed and five Whooper Swans flew over. A Water Rail called form an area of reeds behind the fence of the old ICI plant and a pair of Stonechats were a nice finish to the day as they perched up on a wire fence of an area fenced off for Water Voles.


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi S

Can you let me know the time you first saw the two porps please. Hope the RND sticks around until after the new year - no twitching time available til then - arrgghh



Fleetwood Birder said...


I saw the two porps at about 0915.



Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Many thanks Seumus...my 'Beginners Guide to spotting Porpoises along the Fylde Coast' might be ready for publication sometime later this decade...in the meantime all records are most welcome with date and the time they were first seen.

Happy New Year