Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Rare warbler provides icing on the cake

I expect that this will be my last post from old Blighty, as I'm not expecting to see any birds of interest between now and the Tsawwassen to Duke Point, Nanaimo ferry.

This morning I went over to Morecambe where, first, I checked the Dome bushes for migrants (just a few 'continental' robins & blackbirds, unfortunately). A lone rock pipit flew by over the beach.
I had a scan through the numerous turnstones and redshank, in search of purple sandpipers, but I couldn't locate any. Most years, one or two turn up here to spend the winter. There were plenty of Eurasian oystercatchers and curlews around.
No sign of any Mediterranean gulls among the common, herring, lesser & great black-backed and black-headed gulls. 
Offshore, there were approximately 140 eider plus several great-crested grebes and cormorants.

I then headed up the road to Heysham Nature Reserve to catch up with some old birding chums. My arrival couldn't have been better timed as it coincided with the discovery of a yellow-browed warbler. I haven't seen one of these brilliant little eastern vagrant phylloscopus warblers for several years, so I was delighted to get great views as it actively fed in a group of willows.

I watched the processing and ringing of a few birds, including treecreeper, goldcrest (pictured) and chaffinch before heading off to Sunderland Point.
At least 8 little egret were on the marsh and there were more eider, plus several Eurasian wigeon on the river. There were plenty of rock pipits around, I saw well over a dozen, plus a few skylarks. Waders were represented by yet more curlew and redshank, plus grey (black-bellied) plover, lapwing, dunlin and a flock of 60ish bar-tailed godwit.

A return to the Jetty in Morecambe for high tide, was pretty unrevealing with much the same stuff as seen earlier.

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