Birdbrain Stuff

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Sizergh Castle and Leighton Moss

DW tempted me and DM to be passengers up to Cumbria in his long held desire to see Hawfinch. To tempt us further, a drop in at Leighton Moss was also on the menu.

Sizergh Castle:
Pr Hawfinch, 4 Bullfinch, GSW, Green Woody, pr Nuthatch, Song Thrush, Swallow, singing Blackcap, Chaffinch & Greenfinch.
I'm chuffed that the Hawfinch pr showed both on the deck and in flight or perched briefly for both Daves and myself; I last saw this magnificent finch last century!

Leighton Moss: a male Nuthatch singing loudly by reception. 3 Marsh Tit, 1 each Whitethroat & Grasshopper Warbler, good numbers Reed & Sedge Warbler. Several WW, few Chiffchaff, 1 Whinchat.

We had great fun feeding a persistent male Pheasant DW's seed mix. It preferred it off the floor mainly but wasn't afraid to stab my hand infrequently.

Pr Pintail, 4 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Shoveler, 8 Shelduck, c10 each Pochard & Tufted Duck, 6 Gadwall.
Numerous breeding BH Gulls, 1 each Common & GBBG.
Raptors were represented by a pr Marsh Harrier at times showing well and a Buzzard soaring high for a couple of minutes.

There were c130 Godwits huddled together at one hide; Black-tailed outnumbering Bar-tailed. We encountered one beautiful bird in a grass field that gave itself up for close approach not out of love of man but because it had a leg injury. We saw it stumble a few times and my bet is it nature shall ensure it won't  be around to suffer in the morning.
Other waders incl Oystercatcher, Lapwing & Redshank barely reaching a double figures per species.

DW's pics:

There are a couple of reasons I believe this bird may be of the race Icelandica but I don't see enough of them to feel qualified to comment further.