<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society Newsletter
Newsletter of the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society
Local Reality Birding League
Local Sightings
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Position Name Score Species
1 Pete Marsh 934 199
2 Pete Fletcher 885 195
3 Jean Roberts 813 188
4 Ray Hobbs 773  180
5 Mark Prestwood 772 181
6 Tom Wilmer 764 178
7 Howard Elliot 740 176
8 Pete Crooks 740 174
9 Tom Walkington 680 169  End August
10 Mike Robinson 657 162
11 John Mason 630  159
12 Jon Carter 587     144
13 Bill Cross  579 150
14 Andrew McCafferty 480 131

Pete has now moved ahead at the top with 199species, and looks unstoppable, with the main question being, will he reach the  'magical' two hundred species.

Pete Fletcher in second place also saw many good birds over the last few months such as Leach's Petrel, Lapland Bunting, Richard's Pipit and Black Tern, also managing an awayday to the Stellers Eider.

Highlights for others were varied, my own being, finally seeing a Leach's Petrel locally and Water Pipit at Leighton Moss. For Jean Roberts it was picking up the Purple Sandpiper off the Stone Jetty, after missing last years. Pete Crooks were the Wryneck at Heysham and the Honey Buzzard over St. Martins College. For Andrew McCafferty it was also the Stone Jetty Purple Sandpiper, with Ray Hobbs appreciating a Woodcock on the canal, Blackcap in his garden and the sound of Pinkfeet flying over the family bonfire. Tom Wilmers best birds were the American Wigeon and Lapland Bunting.

Covering his local patches of Aldcliffe and the Stone Jetty, means that Jon Carter hasn't seen birds such as Treecreeper, Marsh Harrier, Shag or Little Gull. However I haven't seen that local speciality a Bittern, but I suppose there is still time!.

My local birds page on the Reality League site is updated, whenever possible on a daily basis with local sitings and the address is www.realityleague.freeserve.co.uk/page2 .Contributions to this are always appreciated as local news doesn't always filter through to the pager and other services. I can be contacted on 32020/39556 or e-mail john@whalleyroad.screaming.net.    

John Mason

Petes Reality League Notes

Highlight : Richards Pipit. Relocated & identified the bird which was almost certainly that reported earlier as probable Skylark. Heysham NR plateau  7/11.

Other highlights included yet another (one-day) Lapland Bunting in Cockersands stubble 7/11, blythi Lesser Whitethroat 16-17/11 at JBP, Water Pipit (decent one) Lilians Hide and a couple of additional Shags at Heysham. I don't think I saw any new species as such since 31/10 other than Richards Pipit except Ruddy Shelduck..

This includes Mealy Redpoll, Blue-headed Wagtail and Light-bellied Brent, therefore following BOU rules (but ignoring their prevarication over Yellow-legged Gull), this makes 196 species.

Therefore it is going to be a struggle to reach 200 with only two "easy" ones; Hawfinch and Bewicks Swan. The rest depends on the vagaries of  Waxwings, Whitefront spp. plus one other rarity as the most attractive field imaginable at Cockersands has just not pulled in Corn Bunting (the uncut wheat field). The late winter/early spring when I missed everything, notably Glaucous and Iceland Gull, Greenland Whitefront was always going to prove costly. Other long-shots include Firecrest, Black Guillemot, Little Auk, Bean Goose, Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, & a rare diver, grebe or duck.

A few odd things are being thrown up e.g. missing the easily available north harbour wall Saturday Snow Bunting this spring in anticipation of autumn pull-backs is proving costly. Similarly, but more understandably, the available spring weekday Black Redstart. It was also typical but somewhat incomprehensible that another well-documented Red Kite just "melted away"

Pete Marsh

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