Monday, 16 January 2012

Local birding, East Lancs: Med Gulls, Egyptian & Greenland White-fronted Geese - 16th Jan 2012.

First port of call this morning was the local patch, Brockholes Nature Reserve LWT, to see whether the emerging pattern of morning appearances by the unringed Egyptian Goose would continue, and see me finally add this frustrating bird to my site list.

Sure enough, the 'Gypo' was on Meadow Lake, my first local patch tick of 2012.

Above: Adult Egyptian Goose - Brockholes NR LWT - 16th Jan 2012.

I was also keen to see whether Pink-footed Geese were still on the move in any numbers, but the only flock I saw was c80 > W at 10:48. Up to a thousand Black-headed Gull were in the area, and I eventually located an adult Mediterranean Gull amongst a field feeding flock in the fields across the river just NE of the site. This bird was red darvic ringed on the right leg, but frustratingly there was no chance of clinching the ring details. A pair of Stonechat were on Bolton Marsh north.

Above: Ad Med Gull, already beginning to acquire summer plumage.

Rishton Reservoir was next on the agenda on the off chance the 6 European & 2 Greenland White-fronts of recent weeks may be present, though they have not been reported for some days now. A Fisherman camped out on the western shoreline was the last thing I wanted to see, though there were still 50 Canada Geese on the water, but nothing with them. 20 Teal were present.

Approaching 13:00, I thought I'd nip from Rishton to the West End Post Office, Oswaldtwistle, where my Dad is the Postmaster and have lunch with them, and whilst there I could also scan a field sometimes frequented by a Canada Goose flock behind their house from an upstairs window. I have been checking the wider area of Rishton/Oswaldtwistle for the mystery location of the White-fronts when not at Rishton Res, and this field was a potential site. c50 Canada Geese were present and too my delight so was an adult Greenland White-front (and 5 Pink-feet).

Above & below: Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, West End Oswaldtwistle - 16th Jan 2012.

Above: Greenland White-fronted Goose (right), with my Parents house in background.

Below: The Greenland White-front from the left of the two upstairs windows in the photo above. What an excellent house tick!

This does raise the question, why have the duo of Greenland birds, inseparable since 1st December, parted company?

The Fishmoor Res Gull roost was my final destination. A lovely adult Med Gull was the best I could muster, a different bird to that at Brockholes earlier in the day.