I can't believe I'm saying this about the north west of England but the weather was just great, nice sunshine, no wind and not too cold, amazing for November.
I left my hotel on the seafront at 9am and walked across the road to view the huge expanse of Morecombe Bay during low tide. It was truly a great sight, the sand goes on forever and thousands of birds were out there. A pool of water not too far out held, Common Shelduck, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Turnstone and large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits and Knot.
|Godwits and Knot opposite my hotel this morning|
|Common Snipe from Tim Wilson Hide|
|Common Snipe at Hest Bank|
|the main 'causeway' at Leighton Moss|
Other sightings on the reserve were made of Long-tailed Tit, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Marsh Tit, Common Snipe, Common Kingfisher, a single Black-tailed Godwit and lots of Common Pheasants.
From Leighton Moss I drove a short distance to the Hest Bank where another section of the reserve has two hides overlooking large pools and grass meadows. The pools were full of birds, hundreds of Common Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks and Common Shelduck dominated the shallow areas and the islands. The ducks present were mainly Eurasian Teal and Wigeon but one pool held over 100 Northern Pintail. A Common Kingfisher pleased the crowds but then I found a Spotted Redshank and got everyone in the hide on it. A smashing bird and a good find for north-west England in the winter.
|two shanks - Red and Spotted side by side - how nice of them to pose like that!|
Little Egrets and Grey Herons were also present and a flock of Greylag Geese fed on the grass in the distance. I must say that all the hides there and at Leighton Moss were brilliant - spacious, airy, light with lots of glass windows. They are even building a huge canopy hide which will overlook the reedbeds at Leighton Moss.
|Spotted Redshank behind the Godwits|
I left heat bank at 2pm the light was beginning to fade but I decided to visit a nearby woodland before returning to Morecombe. The woods are right next to a village so many garden/woodland birds were still active, this area is supposed to be a good place for Hawfinch but they avoided me quite well. I did add Eurasian Jay, Collared Dove, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Jackdaw to my day list.
Soon it was too dark to see anything so I drove the 15 miles back to Morecombe to the warmth and comfort of my hotel room.