Sunday, 28 December 2014

Icy outing

All ready and in the car for 9:30 this morning, with my mum and dad. I had my camera, binoculars and rucksack and we set off for a day on Lancaster coast. The route was recommended by a fellow birder Phil Slade, who has a great blog worth a look.
We started the day off at a reserve near Fluke Hall. It was very well set out, with a few ponds dotted around and plenty of hedges and reed beds. A kestrel flew overhead and landed in a birch before flying off further on soon after. Many robins and blackbirds were darting around, with a few perched singing. The marshland was filled with Lapwing, Curlew and Shelducks, whilst hundreds of very vocal Pink Footed Geese flew over towards the tide.

My dad and i walked down to Pilling, about 20mins whilst my mum drove down. Many cyclists were out and the odd car past us. We saw two Muscovy ducks and a black and grey rabbit. I managed to find my first ever fox skeleton, which had been hit by a car. I only took the cranium and hopefully will have some pictures of it to share soon. Small starling flocks and charms of goldfinches dotted around the trees, with many crows and rooks crowing from the branches above. A Kestrel flew over some flocks and flushed them from the ground. At the time I couldn't see what was flushed, but now I know it was a group of Black Tailed Godwits. A tick for me!

When we reached Pilling, we drove down to Knott End where another group of Pink Foots were busy feeding on the fields. There wasn't much there so we headed up to Cockerham and parked at the lighthouse. There were few there so we had some lunch to give them time to walk further ahead. Along the way a group of 50+ Whooper Swans were feeding on corn. Not as many as there were last year, but it was a good sight.

I went for a walk up the beach along the tide line, looking for anything which caught my fancy. I found a few mermaid purses which i will identify and record on Shark Trust for the Great Eggcase Hunt (i have submitted around 300 sightings to them). A lot more seaweed had been washed up than usual, but the weird thing was, last night had frozen a layer of seawater on the sand and shells, which made it unbelievably crunchy to walk upon. Therefore many Redshanks and oystercatchers where flushed from the grasses.

the black rabbit

I walked back down the beach to Cockerham Sands Caravan Park with my dad. There where plenty of Teal and Wigeon at the waters edge with one Little Egret at a sea pool. We got to the sight around 2:45 and hadn't found much which I could bring home. I did find a washed up sheep and dad found a Fallow Deer, but I wasn't allowed to take them. I had also found four separate Pink Footed Geese washed into the tide line. However only the bodies were there, there neck and head was missing on all four, which we thought was strange. I took home the odd bones, mermaids purses and a few oysters.

I convinced them to take me down to Conder Green, to a walk I had been on before with my granddad. A group of Mute Swans were in the fields and mallards and other ducks were in the gullies. My dad and I went on the walk, but didn't find or see much. There was some amazing views from the walk, which I hope to see again. It was getting darker as we set off home, but I did manage to see some more Mute Swans in the fields along the canal.

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