23rd February – Yorkshire or Lancashire ?‏

Posted: March 3, 2013 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , , , , , ,

Lots of Waxwing’ s still around, but where could we go to almost guarantee seeing them? The flock in Brighouse, Yorkshire seemed to be the best bet, for a very good reason and then we could try to find the Ring Billed Gull near Mirfield, afterwards. Just myself and Steve K. meeting in Milnrow on a cold morning for the trip. We got into the town centre in Brighouse and quickly found the William Hills bookies and there, sat on the wires above the betting shop were about 120 + Waxwing’s. What a great sighting. Nearly all sat together whilst a few of them fed on what appeared to be a Cotoneaster, berry laden bush. A very early starting traffic warden was on the prowl (have they really no scruples these fellow? humans?) so we beat a retreat to Mirfield. The gull had been seen regularly near a weir on the River Calder, which, we eventually found after a bit of walking. Steve K. asked a few of the fishermen had the caught much and mentioned what we were looking for and the reply was that the bird had been on the small pools now & then! We searched a few factory roofs and as we approached the canal we met some birders who told us that the Ring Billed Gull was sat on a roof 200 yards away. We hurried to the spot and there was nobody there, ah well! We waited by the weir without any sign and after about an hour the few birders there went to look at the roofs again, just leaving myself and a man from Huddersfield (yes, I do have an aunty in Huddersfield) What happened next? The bird flew in and sat on the weir for about a minute then flew away. The returning birders were not impressed, with our sighting, but after about half an hour the bird returned and spent 5 minutes showing well to all people present. It was time to head back to Lancashire and try to find Richmond Bank, near Fidlers Ferry. It was a little difficult but we got there just in time to see the departing “gullers/birders”. They told us that the tip closes at 1pm and all the large gulls had flown off (including Glaucous, Iceland and Yellow Legged Gulls that had been seen) You live and learn, there were still a lot of gulls to look at at the unusual site though. We also met John Tymon a Pennington Flash regular and we had a nice natter about birding in general. He told us that Short Eared Owl’s are sometimes seen late afternoon at Risley Moss. So we gave it a go, but only managed to see a single Woodcock that someone flushed. At the Woodland Hide, Steve managed to bump into a lady who was speaking Hungarian to her friend and Steve joined in with them, that has never happened to me before, felt like I was on my holiday’s! Time for home and with about 3 year ticks each for our efforts. Spring is only just around the corner.

Dave O.


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