Monday, 3 December 2012

Session 9 - 29th November 2012

Unfortunately I missed this week's session as my car wouldn't start when I tried to set off - I spent a very fraught afternoon trying to work out what was wrong when I discovered I'd left the internal lights overnight (well about 20 hours).  The battery wasn't actually flat, but there was not enough juice in it to start the engine.  After charging it for an hour or so,  I managed to get it started and and so I took it for a short drive to recharge the battery a little more, but as it had turned 2:30pm, it was sadly far too late to go to the session.

Anyway, this post is based on a brief outline kindly written by Alan and it will be padded out with a little research by me later in the week.

Alan started ... I gave them a laugh with the Heaton Park Gull photograph which when I had a closer look showed the gull flying off with a pork pie. When I told my wife Marion I’d photographed a gull with a pork pie she said ‘what sort is it?’ to which I replied, ‘I’m not exactly sure but it looks a bit like a Melton Mowbray’.

It turned out that the Heaton Park one was a Common Gull and the Penny one a Lesser-black backed. Peter had us using the field guides to spot the difference
We then spent some time studying the different White headed gulls as a follow up to last weeks Black-headed ones.

One of the birds Peter discussed with us was the Long-tailed Duck, he told us how the East-coast was the best place to see them and named a few likely sites.

We then discussed Waxwings again for a bit before moving on to the differences between Goosanders and Red-breasted Mergansers, then to the differences between Grey Plovers and Golden Plovers.

The next topic was ‘Ten Winter Waders’ as shown in December’s Bird Watching magazine. Turnstone, Grey Plover, Knot, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Redshank, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper and Oystercatcher.

Finally Peter gave us a couple of hand-outs on Llanddulas, Pensarn Beach and Marshside.

Next week's session is a field trip to Mere Sands Wood where we hope to see a Water Rail which is regularly seen at the grit feeders.

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