On arrival the weather was just holding, so I walked the Flashes path hoping to see Treecreeper, which I had yet to connect with so far this year. There were plenty of Redwings, Bullfinches and a Goldcrest about, but TC was out. Neither were there any Avocets, so I headed to the Moors.
As it was starting to rain I took up residence in the concrete hide. Of note were good number of Pochard, Shoveller, and Cormorant. There were 3 Shelduck ( 2 male) and an Oystercatcher. Great Crested and Little Grebe were seen, as well as Reed Bunting. I dashed round to the west Hide for a different view of the rain, and was pinned down by the downpour for a good hour there. Unfortunately neither Kingfisher or Water Rail made any appearance, but I was kept amused by various tweets about the no show Yellowthroat. I left..in terrible rain.. having added Oyk to my Upton Warren year list a most disappointing session. By early afternoon the bird in my Sibleys guide had apparently shown it's throat.
So to Sunday. A bright start with a dusting of snow. I fancied a trip to the Wyre, to walk Dowles Brook for the first time this year. From Car Park to brook, Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Goldcrest called and showed themselves. On reaching the bridge over the Weir, I scanned for Grey Wag but instead got Dipper ! Result ! The bird was nice and settled, starring at me from a hundred yards or so, I stood enjoying the bird for a couple of minutes and I was just lining my camera up for a record shot when a somewhat overly vocal local decided to impart some deer related wisdom on me. Whilst not uninteresting, by the time he had gone, so had the Dipper. Oh well.
I walked the Brook to the youth hostel, noting several Nuthatches, A Jay, and plenty of Coal Tits, but no Marsh tit or Grey Wag.
Crossing the water I headed for Lodge Farm and spent 30 minutes on the bridge and there abouts. Yellowhammer, Kestrel, more Nuthatches, Dunnock and Greater Spotted Woodpecker about, and a Pair of Buzzards and Raven overhead. The area looked very pretty in the sun, with a little snow here and there.
Finally, I stopped off at Uncllys, but couldn't add anything to what I had already seen, but the exercise was much needed. A White Throated Dipper was my mega this weekend, I'm easily pleased.
|Dipper..always a joy, 1st this year|