A promise of some snow in Lancashire did not put of three intrepid souls leaving Rochdale at 6:30am on a cold Sunday morning. With Steve B at the helm, myself and Chris B hoping to explore the old part of Lancashire E.g. South Cumbria, to see if we could pick up some more species for the new year list. Just as the first vestiges of light began to filter through we arrived at Sizergh and quickly picked up Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Then a Song Thrush, Treecreeper, Bullfinch, then the star bird a solitary Hawfinch. It showed really well for the three of us and it was a great pleasure not to have to listen to the constant bickering of the “photographers” that normally assemble here. News of a Black Redstart at Grange over Sands on Saturday was worth a look, but, alas the bird did not show itself during the time that we were there, lots of Dunlin though. It was a nice place to visit.  Next stop, Leighton Moss and we saw Gadwall, Pintail, Marsh Harrier, Snipe, Black tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher near the public hide, what a gem! Teal Bay, Morecambe held a strange looking grey feathered Oystercatcher, it sat alongside a ‘White’ Oystercatcher seen a number of years ago.IMG_3970 Strange! A search for any Scaup on the high tide in Morecambe, was unsuccessful, just a Great crested Grebe Surely we would get the Purple Sandpiper at Heysham Harbour, after a search through the Turnstone roost, it wasn’t found. The two nearing breeding plumaged Mediterranean Gull’s that sat on the fence waiting to be photographed, made up for this miss!IMG_3973 Lots of Twite, and a solitary Shag. lots of Knot and a lively Rock Pipit made up the species seen around the harbour. At Conder Green pools the weather took a turn for the worst and it began to sleet, turning to snow, we saw Little Grebe and Spotted Redshank and a Little Egret.  News of an adult Lesser Snow Goose “Blue form” near Cockerham made us quicken the pace a little, the snow was getting worse by now. On arrival Maurice Jones, Lancashires finest,  said, “You can only see the birds head from here.  Follow us we have been told a better place to see it”. Unfortunately it wasn’t and we went back to our original spot on Crimbles Lane and after a bit of a wait the bird was picked out and showed well, if only a little distantly. It was a first for us all watching a Snow Goose in the snow, really excellent bird to almost end the day on. On the way to Fluke Hall lots of Golden Plover were seen and on arrival the large herd of Whooper Swans graced the wintery fields. On the way past Eagland Hill a large flock of Pink footed Geese were checked out, a really  large flock that was. Time for home, another good day out and we all had 20+ new species for the new year list. Thanks for driving Steve. You will never need a Sat Nav!!


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