LANCASTER AND DISTRICT REALITY BIRDING LEAGUE
The last month of the last century was pretty quiet. The only new bird seen was the Stone Jetty Velvet Scoter, ticked from Teal Bay on the incoming tide of the 12th making it my 200th Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay lifer. From the beginning of November, through December and into January I have been covering Carnforth Slag Tips once a week and seen nothing of note. But I hope to carry on through to April, so I might find something??
2000 already, hope you did not crash, malfunction, have a bug or stop operating in any way.
My birding started as it had finished in 1999, at Leighton Moss. Instead of dashing around the local area, I visited Teal Bay, Eric Morecambe Pools, Jenny Browns Point and Leighton Moss itself. I recorded seventy three species seen and two more heard only.
The 2nd of January and I toured the local area before returning to Leighton Moss for Chiffchaff. Its always best to get them early, you never know.
To be at the lower hide end of the reservoir, when a Leighton Moss lifer turns up, gives no quick way back. But I did get the Red Crested Pochard in front of Lilians Hide; before it got dark, giving two hundred and one and my first tick of the century.
I took a week off work and I needed it, birding seemed hard, it took me five days to reach a hundred species. When I finally went back to work on the 10th, I had seen 110 species.
Saturday the 15th of January was my first days birding in a week and the Holmere Green Sandpipers were ticked after first visiting Hest Bank and Carnforth Slag Tips. Along with Steve I visited Holmere again and with Eric Gibb and Jon Carter found an additional Sandpiper making three in total, bonus points I think!
The week-ends pass so fast, so after another week of work I was keen to get out birding again. Visiting Teal Bay, Slag Tips, and Jenny Browns Point produced nothing of note. News of a Yellowhammer at Helsington had Steve and I checking out the bird table. Nothing at first, but returning after a short walk, sitting under a tree produced a single bird.
On the down side two local people said they had a Brambling while we were away. After dropping Steve off at home in Morecambe I along with Eric Gibb and wife, Howard Elliot and John Mason drove to Pilling Lane Ends for Swans and Geese, then to Bank End for Twite at last.
John Mason's local line on his pager said there was a Barnacle Goose on the Lune at Overton and viewing from Aldcliffe I had two of them.
I then returned to Pilling Lane Ends at dusk for possible Barn Owl, but had Little Owl on the way instead. Year list was then on 117 with only one week-end left.
Only managed one new bird during the week-end despite looking for Scaup off Morecambe, dawn and Dusk and trying for up to three possibles at Leighton Moss.
After a trip to Lancaster Tip on Friday 4th, the 5th produced Barn Owl at midnight and beyond, with Scaup from Teal Bay in the daylight. This week-end, as all week-ends in February produced new birds, with Bearded Tit at Leighton Moss on the Sunday.
The following week-end produced new birds in Stock Dove at the Trough of Bowland and Green Woodpecker at Leighton Moss.
The next week-end had me ticking Kingfisher at Scorton and Jean Robert's Ruddy Shelduck at Pilling Lane Ends, that was found on her WEBS count. Most Reality Leaguers with pagers managed to see it and I finished off the day with Yellow-Legged Gull at Dockacres.
While at work on the 22nd my pager informed me that there was a Little Egret on Heaton Marsh. So on returning home at 5.00pm, I got my bins and drove to Aldcliffe Marsh and just as I was pulling up it flew off the marsh into the river.
The last week-end produced my first dip of the year, the White-fronted Goose, first seen at Pilling Lane Ends on the Saturday. I did see the Lesser Canada Goose at Cockersands on the Sunday, my first within the recording area. But as this species is not split, no points allowed. So it was up to Leighton Moss to produce and it did with Ruddy Duck at lower hide after having to put on all my waterproofs first. Thus keeping up my record of recording new species every week-end.
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