Friday, 1 February 2013

Session 3 - Pennington Flash Fieldtrip - 31st January 2013

Today's session took the form of a fieldtrip to Pennington Flash in Leigh.  The weather was sunny but very windy and quite cold, so the prospects for seeing birds wasn't all that good.

We met on the car park at 1:30pm and set off for the Bunting Hide feeding station.  We normally would visit Bunting Hide last, but as the hides have been shut quite early this year, we decided to go here first and not risk missing the birds.

Bunting Hide rarely disappoints and today was no exception.  There were plenty of birds to see and some in quite large numbers.  Here's a list of what was on view today:

Long-tailed Tit (c) Alan Flavell
  • Male and female Reed Bunting
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Willow Tit
  • Male and female Bullfinch
  • Blue Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Greenfinch
  • Dunnock
  • Male and female Chaffinch
  • Robin
  • Moorhen
  • Male and female Teal
  • Magpie
From Bunting Hide we walked to Tom Edmonson's Hide which gave us a brief respite from the wind.  Along the path we could hear Goldfinches chattering away in the bushes and we saw two Blackbirds fly across an opening in the hedge. 

Teal (c) Alan Flavell
There wasn't too much about in view from the hide, but we did see:
  • Mute Swan
  • Tufted Duck
  • Gadwall
  • Teal
  • Mallard

Then very briefly onto Ramsdales Hide where there was scarcely a bird in sight so we quickly moved on to the reedbeds around the corner.  Just before we got there a Kestrel made an appearance hovering over some rough land.

From the viewing area at Ramsdale's reedbed we could see:
Female Goosander (c) Alan Flavell
  • Lapwing
  • Cormorant
  • Male and female Goosander
  • Male and female Goldeneye
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Little Grebe
  • Mute Swans
  • Black-headed Gull
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Coot
From here we took the walk through the wooded area back to Teal Hide.  There was nothing much about on the way, but when we got there we saw:

Shoveler  (c) Alan Flavell 
  • Goosander
  • Shoveler
  • Wigeon
  • Teal
  • Gadwall
  • Coot
  • Mute Swan

Siskin in Alder Tree  (c) Alan Flavell
Perhaps the highlight of the trip was what came next.  On the way back to the car park Peter heard some birds calling from a tall Alder trees outside Lapwing Hide.  At first we could see them but, as we moved round and changed our position, some male and female Siskin came into view.

They were feeding by hanging upside down on the cones to get at the seeds.  Up to four birds were in view, but when they flew off there were at least six or seven of them, showing how difficult it is to see them.

They landed in another tree a little further down the path and Peter set up his scope to get a better view.  There were also some Goldfinches in the same tree.  Peter also noticed some Redwing flying high above us in the distance and a Carrion Crow also surfed the wind.

We had a quick look on the water for any Mediterranean Gulls amongst the Black-headed Gulls, but none were evident today.  However there were some Common Gulls. On the car park there was the usual mix of Canada Geese, Mallards, Moorhens, Mute Swans and more Black-headed Gulls, with some Coot on the water.

So after what looked like a potentially iffy day, we saw a total of 42 species.

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