The month started well when I saw a Goldcrest on New Years Day. A few of the usual suspects were seen along the Wheelock Rail Trail and my list was given a boost when I went to Winterley Pool on 04/01/2022. The list was given an even bigger boost when I decided to take advantage of the weather and visit Windermere on 05/01/2022.
The Goldcrest was seen again on the 11th and flitted about in the same tree for a good twenty minutes. Just the one quick snapshot because it was hidden by the branches for most of the time.
A few local walks didn't add any new sightings to the list until the 13th when I saw mixed flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing between the Golf Course and SUFC.
Another dry and bright day was forecast for the 17th so I travelled light and went exploring. RSPB Marshside. Relatively easy to get to by train from Crewe to Wigan North West then a short walk to Wigan Wallgate for the train to Southport. Just an hour and twenty minutes travelling. Walk down to Marine Drive from the station, turn right and keep walking. Salt marsh and ponds on both sides of the road for miles. And it's all flat! 11.3 miles walked today with not too much trouble. This is the sort of place I can take my big backpack with 2 cameras, big lens, spotting scope, my big tripod and food & drink, Easy walking and plenty of places to stop for a rest. 27 species on the day with 15 birds ticked off my yearly list. Probably would have been more if I'd gone fully equipped but I now know it's worth carrying all my gear for next time.
25th was a great day for walking and watching birds but not so good for photography. I decided to take my spotting scope to see if I could get anything ticked off my list locally so I walked to Fields Farm Flash, then Elton Hall and Pump House Flashes.
Fields Farm Flash was unusually quiet again. A few Mallards, some Black Headed Gulls, 2 small groups of Wigeon, a Kingfisher fly-past, 2 Mute Swans, 2 Moorhens and a Grey Heron. Highlight of the day came later as I saw a Sparrowhawk in action 3 times. Once at Elton Hall Flash viewing area and then twice over the flooded field between Pump House Flash and Elton Hall Farm. This bird took my yearly number of species to 55.
Species seen on the day:-
Black Headed Gull, Black Tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Kingfisher, Lapwing, LBB Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Pintail, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Wood Pigeon, Wren.
The List so far.
Aylesbury Duck, Black Headed Gull, Black Tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Call Duck, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Domestic Goose, Dunnock, Feral Pigeon, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Great White Egret, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Indian Runner Duck, Jackdaw, Jay, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Marsh Tit, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail (yarrellii), Pink Footed Goose, Pintail, Redshank, Redwing, Robin, Rook, Shelduck, Shoveler, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Wood Pigeon, Wren.
- Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs - Nesting Seabirds. 5 days in April
- .Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife - Ospreys. 5 days in May
- Haggesrston Castle for Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands. 8 days in June