It’s that time of the year when we all start with zero birds on our year list, so, we did our annual New Year’s Day trip out to the Fylde coast. Not too much evidence of anyone having over indulged this year, after last year’s near do! Not quite a full crew left Norden at 7:30am on a day which was fairly nice after all the rain we have had to endure over the Christmas period. We began at Clifton Marsh with lots of ducks and some small birds thrushes, finch’s, then at Warton Bank, lots of swans and geese and the Great White Egret was still there, also a distant Peregrine. The Long Tailed Duck was hard to see at Fairhaven Lake, as it was diving for 25 seconds and surfacing for 3 seconds. Also Pochard and Tufted Ducks with a few Curlew and small waders on the beach. Next stop Lytham Crematorium for the Ring necked Parakeets. We saw about 3 of these beautiful birds that always make me feel like I am in a different country when I see them. A trip over Lytham Moss didn’t reveal the hoped for winter swans or much else apart from an overprotective man who moved us away from his “driveway” and we all thought he was coming out to wish us all happy new year (miserable get!) Marton Mere had Cormorant, Shoveler, Grey Heron, Goldeneye but no sign of an Iceland Gull or the sound of a Cetti’s Warbler. We decided against the long slog around to the other side for the Long eared Owl’s, due to the time and me going to watch the mighty Rochdale AFC in the afternoon. At Fleetwood we picked up Eider and a few shorebirds. Next place was Eagland Hill area. But, as there was no seed being put out in the normal places (due to the ending of a grant – more cutbacks) we quickly moved onto a new area for us near Scronkey. A Barn Owl was on show for about 10 minutes down to about 50 yards, which  sat on a post. What a bird. A large female Sparrowhawk dashed along the hedge as the photographers tried to capture the owl. Then, as we chased a Corn Bunting down a hedge, a male Hen Harrier was seen, it quickly went to ground. After about 5 minutes wait, we were all able to enjoy this magnificent bird of prey as it put all other birds up into the sky. It was on show for about 5 minutes and was really enjoyed by all our team. What a pity that our rich land owners employ people to kill these wonderful birds? With time marching on, myself and Bob K had to leave the area, what a truly memorable end to a day’s birding. We saw about 63 species on the day. Have a great bird filled New Year!New Year's Day 2013, barn owl, Rawcliffe Moss, Lancs (3) New Year's Day 2013, barn owl, Rawcliffe Moss, Lancs (2)

Dave O.


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