31st January 2011 – A trip into Lancashire

Our first stop was the Pilling area to search through the Pinks for a Red-breasted Goose that has been present over the winter months. Unfortunately most of the geese were out of view and in fields that could not be seen from roads or paths, a 1st winter Greenland White-fronted Goose and an adult Eurasian White-front being the best birds we could find amongst the birds visible.

Onwards to Fairhaven Lake in Lytham and the very confiding Red-necked Grebe was showing superbly under grey skies.

Then a short hop to Marton Mere LNR and the highlight of the day. No less than seven roosting Long-eared Owls were located amongst the scrub, including five birds in a single tree! As expected most were tucked away and barely visible, but a couple were showing quite nicely, albiet obscurred by various twigs and branches. They were a real treat to see, it’s been quite some time since I last saw one.

On the mere itself a quick scan through the gulls revealed a nice adult Med Gull.

Nearby a drake Ring-necked Duck snoozed with Pochards on Thornton ICI Reservoir south of Fleetwood…

With daylight fading we made a quick dash back over to Preston Docks where a 1st winter Iceland Gull quickly gave itself up and showed well for us.

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