<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society Newsletter
Newsletter of the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society
Marks Birding League Diary 2003
May 2003
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Wednesday 1st January dawned bright and early at SD438648, that's the Yacht club on Morecambe Prom. The Leighton Moss listers were there, that's John Reddish, Steve Rock and myself. Robin was ticked just before it walked over the white line and out of the Leighton recording area. As  we moved along the prom we checked the Boat Groyne, Broadway Groyne, Strathmore Groyne,  and Teal Bay, with thirty three species recorded, nothing special, just the usual waders and gulls.

Next stop Hest Bank, and another dozen species added, the first major target bird was added at Bolton-le-sands and it was Twite, a good bird for the Leighton Moss recording area, which was only first seen by myself and John Reddish in November 2002. The second target bird, meant returning to the Broadway, for high tide to record Purple Sandpiper. The fiftieth species of the day was recorded at the Eric Morecambe pools, it was Black-tailed Godwit. Raven was also seen, but not Peregrine.

The rest of the day was spent birding from SD477749 Lilians Hide, SD477745 Jackson Hide, SD479744 Grisedale Hide, SD483750 Public Hide, SD488753 Lower Hide, SD487758 The Blue Gate and last but not least SD477750 The Tea Room. Seventy eight species seen during the day, a usual total for just the Leighton Moss recording area.

Thursday the second of January and I started to bird the rest of the Lancaster and District Recording area. First with John Reddish at Fluke Hall for the roosting Little Egret, then Graham Powell at Aldcliffe for the over wintering Green Sandpiper. The best bird of the day and year so far, was found at Heaton Bottom Lane, while looking for Tree Sparrow, which was a Firecrest, only my third record for the area. Next stop Heysham North Harbour Wall, with Eider, Red-throated Diver and Guillemot seen. With up to eight or nine Mediterranean Gulls in the area, we could not fail to see one, and the usual Stone Jetty bird was seen. The next bird on the was also an overwintering bird a Smew at Dockacres. The day was finished off at Leighton Moss, with Siskin and Snipe before a well deserved mug of tea. No grid references today, how quickly we tire of christmas presents.

Friday 3rd January ; Todays birding started in the Trough of Bowland and the hundredth species of the year was recorded, with Stonechat . A back road trip to Thrushgill was put paid to by snow over Great Harlow, so we had to go the long way via Long Preston, Settle and Bentham, but at least we did see the Crossbill in the end.

A good look for Hawfinch at Woodwell, which only turned up when a little old lady came up and said "there's one". The day ended with Woodcock beyond the Blue Gate.

Saturday 4th January A bits and pieces day, Whooper Swan from Fluke Hall, Pergrine Cockersands, Ringed Plover The Battery, Spotted Redshank  Broadway Groyne, and finally Barn Owl in the Lyth Valley.

Sunday 5th January My last day before going back to work, a lot of running around but no new birds, so finished on 112 species.

Saturday 11th January With only weekends to bird I have to make the most of them. If you look at last years total I finished fourth, but I was the top full-time working birder, and only finished four species less than the winner Pete Marsh. Todays bird was Waxwing at Bare and I joined all the other perverts cruising the streets, not my words, but what some lady called the first birders on the scene.

Sunday 12th January Two new birds recorded, first Bewick Swan from Pilling Lane Ends, then Hen Harrier over Hawthornthwaite Fell.

Saturday 18th January Three new birds today, Dark-bellied Brent on Aldcliffe found by John Reddish and twitched by John Reddish and myself from Leighton Moss to Aldcliffe and Pete Marsh and Pete Fletcher from Heysham to Heaton, the other side of the river and a long way off. Heysham outfalls were checked for Little Gull and Kittiwake and produced both birds.

Sunday 26th January After not seeing any new birds on the 19th and 25th of January, my last bird of the month was the Sinensis Cormorant at Glasson Dock, a bird both myself and John Reddish thought had died at the end of January 2002, and subsequently did not see in 2002. I finished January on 119 species and 208points.

Saturday 1st February Bittern finally seen at Leighton Moss, the longest it has ever taken to see a Bittern at the start of a year.

Sunday 2nd February Birding the Prom when John Reddish got a phone call from Pete Fletcher about a Rock Pipit at Snatchams. Twitch of the day, you don't have to travel hundreds of miles for it to be a twitch you know!

Saturday 8th February  A first for the Lancaster and District recording area, but for some just a bird that makes other people hungry, Ross's Goose off Pilling Lane Ends.

Sunday 9th February Arrived too late to see the Ross's Goose fly inland, and with nothing good in with the Geese ,we went to Leighton Moss, but then Cherokee Colin phoned with news of European White-fronts at Cockersands, so we twitched back for them.

Saturday 15th February Another day, another Goose, this time a Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Crimbles

Saturday 22nd February Last new bird of the month and guess what, it's another Goose, Barnacle down Gulf Lane.

Finished February on 125 species and 245 points    

Mark Prestwood

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