After lunch at Royal Birkdale Golf Course at least six Crossbills showed eventually (up to 30 there recently) with other birds of interest there including a leucistic Mistle Thrush, Chiffchaff, five Goldcrests, two Siskins, displaying Sparrowhawk, two Kestrels & four Buzzards.
The group then headed up to Crossens and saw 34 Waxwings fly from Mr Clappy's near the BP garage along Preston New Road and were seen well by the group perched in the cherry trees lining the road. Along Gravel Lane in Banks 23 Redwings, two Stock Doves & several Buzzards were of interest. Finally at Hesketh Out Marsh things were very quiet but a female Stonechat was worth seeing.
This morning I took the dog for his daily trek around the fields (Red Cat Lane, Burscough Moss, Crabtree Lane areas); this was productive as we bumped into a Grey Partridge, 65 Fieldfares, two Redwings, nine Corn Buntings, 28 Tree Sparrows and a singing Chiffchaff.
After the dog walk family time beckoned and we headed off to visit relatives in Marshside. On the way we had a quick look for the Little Owl along Gravel Lane and Ruth spotted it in a tree - Jacob was delighted. As we drove down Preston New Road we saw the Waxwings (c.30) in the cherry trees (further south than yesterday).
The Botanic Gardens in Churchtown is one of mu old childhood haunts and mu kids also love visiting there. It's actually a good spot for birds (when I worked for RSPB I occasionally used to set up a stall there to promote the society's work and also make new members). Today we saw the drake Pintail that Ron Jackson recently found, a hybrid Wood Duck x Mallard that's been there for a least eight years, a Cormorant, two Mute Swans, two Nuthatches (they would have been a major local rarity until fairly recently), a Treecreeper, singing Goldcrests and Coal Tits, a Redwing, four Coots, four Moorhens and 115 Mallards. A superb Ring-necked Parakeet that's been around for a couple of years was floating about in the trees above the aviaries.
Ring-necked Parakeeet, Botanic Gardens, Churchtown. 07/04/13.
Ron's Pintail, Botanic Gardens, Churchtown. 07/04/13.
I spent a couple of hours at Martin Mere late afternoon and as usual enjoyed counting wildfowl and waders. Highlights included a pair of Ravens, a cracking pair of breeding plumage Med Gulls and a Water Rail on Woodend Marsh, a Dunlin, four Snipe, 63 Avocets, 38 Ruff, 38 Black-tailed Godwits, seven Ringed Plovers and tow singing Chiffchaff Good to see the place busy with visitors; especially families having a good day out.
Last bird of the day was least expected; Jacob and I were playing footy on Mere Ave park and a Kittiwake was circling over Red Cat Lane calling - patch tick.....