The American Buff Bellied Pipit had gone missing for a few day’s from Burton Marsh on the Wirral, but it re-appeared on Saturday,so a trip was arranged as all our group (except me,again) needed this species for a “lifer”. I felt much better than my last visit as we all arrived at the marsh (except Bob K who was entertaining an Australian journalist) with myself at the wheel. As daylight crept up about 20 souls looked into the tidal wrack in the marsh as pipits seemed to be dropping in out of the sky. Then a birder at the side of me said that he had the bird only 10 metres away, not exactly panic, as the bird was easily picked out in amongst all the other Meadow Pipit’s present.

American Buff Bellied Pipit - Burton Marsh

American Buff Bellied Pipit – Burton Marsh

American Buff Bellied Pipit - Burton Marsh Mob

American Buff Bellied Pipit – Burton Marsh Mob

Great result for the A Team and the customary hand shakes were made. A female Hen Harrier glided past and put up all the birds on the marsh whilst looking for it’s breakfast, a real spectacular sight. A visit to the Fylde area was planned so a bit of a drive ensued, a Jay flew over the M6 and another species was added. At Clifton Marina no Grey Partridge were seen but Buzzard’s and lots of Wigeon & Teal. Our trip to Warton Bank for the regular Great White Egret was marred by it not being present, lots of Mute Swans and Little Egrets kept us looking though. Lytham Crematorium next, were at least 6 Ring Necked Parakeets were seen, they always brighten up the dullest winter day’s, don’t they? Again we were to be disappointed at Marton Mere as the regular Long Eared Owl’s were not seen by ourselves, although a passing Sparrowhawk helped. We then drove to the Pilling area and had good views of a small flock of Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrow’s at a regular winter feeding area. No sign of any Barn Owl’s in the area but a few Whooper & Bewick’s Swan’s were seen.

Wigeon Flock - Freckleton

Wigeon Flock – Freckleton

We called at Blackburn town center to see if the Waxwing’s were still around but it appears that they had gone to roost just before we arrived. So we missed a few species we thought we should have got but as Steve B said,”We got the main bird, the pipit”. Good day out in reasonable weather.

Dave O.

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