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Neil 2011 UK list (NW England) (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
13/7/11 Bashall eaves

I was out with the East Lancs CAMRA group last night. As we arrived at one of the pubs, one of the other members said "oh look theres an owl!". A barn owl was hunting along a roadside hedgerow.

137. Barn owl
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Well-known member
27/7/11 Preston city centre

Wow! List is def. slowing down now. Still some nice birding going on though. The house sparrow gang in my garden didnt use the "triple nestbox" that I made for them, great tits moved in instead. The sparrows bred under the eaves of my neighbours bad roofing.
With a flying ant eruption yesterday, the sparrows were feasting! A pleasure to watch, until a male sparrowhawk swooped in and took one of the juv sparrows (the female sprawk took one last week). Also new for garden were hummingbird hawkmoth and male bullfinch.

Anyway, last year, a young local birder said he saw a black redstart family in the centre of Preston. I went for a gander last year but couldnt find them. This year, Zac found them again, and today I did find them

138. Black redstart (proof of breeding in Preston)


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Well-known member
30-31/7/11 Crofton nr wakefield

We were visiting friends at the weekend. We went for a walk at wintersett reservoir and to the anglers rest pub. Common terns with young and reed warbler feeding young were highlights. A family of wrens was good to see, as wren numbers are down after the last 2 winters.
Walking from the res to the pub I heard an unfamiliar call. I assumed it was just some fledgling as it was monosyllablic and incessant. I eventually spotted a tit. Coal? nope, Marsh or Willow. Well I am familiar with marsh tits call from RSPB Leighton moss. I checked my "birds of northern europe" ipod app which has bird calls as well as ID plates. The call was identical. I had a willow tit! A great self-find and lifer for me! On closer inspection my bird also had the "bull neck" that separates it from marsh tit.
Had a lovely pint at the Anglers Rest to celebrate B :)

139. Willow tit

Next morning with the scope in my friends back garden I spotted 1 adult with 9 young Grey partridge. Another species that had evaded me so far this year.

140. Grey partridge


Well-known member
3/8/11 Barrow, Clitheroe. (old home patch)

I was looking for ladybirds to put in my greenhouse to counter my aphid problem. I had already checked all the usual owl roosting trees and started to concentrate on bug searching. One of the tawny owls (there are usually 2 here) flushed from just a few feet in front of me. It had been perching quite openly.

141. Tawny owl


Well-known member
26/8/11 Leighton moss

My delivery route took me to Lancaster on Friday so a visit to Leighton moss was in order. Saw Marsh tit on the feeders on arrival and sustained views of female marsh harrier from lillians hide.
Nice to see kingfisher and greenshank so close from the Eric Morcambe hide. I saw a weasel cross the path out there too. An unexpected year tick was a whimbrel that dropped-in calling and then left 5 mins later.

142. Marsh harrier
143. Whimbrel


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Well-known member
2/9/11 Grannies bay, Lytham

I only had a short delivery run to Preston today. I checked the tide tables and saw that high water was at 1.40pm, so I nipped out to Lytham hoping for passage waders and/or any of the obvious seabirds missing from my list.
Nice views of little egret and a single golden plover. Millions of oystercatcher and curlew but no curlew sandpiper or little stint.
Eventually scored the consolation prize - a raft of 30+ common scoter.

144. Common Scoter


Well-known member
11/9/11 Fleetwood and Knott-end

Targets were little stint and curlew sandpiper. Previous day red throated diver and sabine's gull were reported too. No diver on the marine lake but a boatfull of turnstone and a single wheatear flitting around. Plenty more turnstone on the high tide line with sanderling, oystercatcher, ringed plover and all the usual gulls. Just before returning to the car I heard and then saw 2 sandwich terns.

Drove round the coast to Knott end and found another wheatear, 2 roosting sandwich terns and a single knot.

145. Turnstone
146. Sanderling
147. Sandwich tern
148. Knot


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Well-known member
15/9/11 Fairhaven lake and Knott end-on-sea

149. Grey phalarope (imm)


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Well-known member
2/10/11 Carr bank and Leighton moss

150. Little stint
151. Curlew sandpiper
152. Green sandpiper

Little stint was found at Carr bank whilst looking for the Buff breasted sandpiper. Never did find "buffy-the-sandpiper-strayer", moved on to Glasson/Conder for the reported lesser yellowlegs. The tide was so high it cut-off the access road. Onwards to the Allen hide at Leighton moss to shelter from the rain. A good variety of waders here. 2 spotted redshank, 2 knot, 1 ruff, many redshank, lapwing and blackwits.
The common consensus in the hide was that we had common sandpiper too. It seemed to have the white patch between the breast and the wing.
However, when examining my terrible digiscoped photos at home, I saw the dark underwing and white rump (4th photo below).....so it was a green sandpiper.


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Well-known member
6/11/11 Longridge fell

154. Common crossbill

A flock of approx 50 birds, unfortunately the bright sun was behind the birds while I was in the shaded forest track. Digiscoping near impossible :(


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Well-known member
Oops forgot this post

5/10/11 Fairhaven lake, Lytham

153. Slavonian grebe


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Well-known member
13/11/11 Cant clough reservoir, nr Burnley

155. Twite

Flock of about 20 birds at the feeding station, including an unringed leucistic bird.

Also today, watched a stoat chase a rabbit in the open. It seemed half-hearted and the rabbit got away. A dog-walker had just passed me by 10 meters when they ran about the road. If the 2 Jack Russells had seen the stoat and rabbit, all hell would have broken loose!


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Well-known member
2/12/11 Rishton res.

156. (Greenland) White-fronted goose

2 birds fully IDed by others. Easily digiscoped (albeit over the full width of the reservoir, in the rain, at dusk) on the way to the supermarket.

Least exciting local twitch ever!


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Well-known member
18/12/11 Leighton moss

A fantastic day at Leighton moss in clear crisp sunshine. Found the Glossy ibis immediately. I havent seen one since Marshside 2 years ago. At the main feeding station it was nice to see a pair of bullfinches gorging themselves along with a nuthatch and some marsh tits. Marsh tits were so numerous today, I think they may have outnumbered blue, coal and great tits! Only a small part of the main pool (viewed from lillians hide) was not frozen, thus had attracted a bittern, my first for this year. I saw 2 different marsh harriers and was delighted to have digiscoped one at distance from the public hide. On leaving the public hide I heard 2 cettis warblers and got the briefest of glimpses of one of them, then a few water rails started squealing and I saw 2 of them at the near end of the causeway. 4 new birds for my yearlist! Very lucky for me in December.
I'm still hoping to see snow bunting and brambling before the year is out.

Edit: I've just looked at the photos on my tv screen and the marsh harrier might appear to be carrying a stick. Its not, its a fluke, a broken reed behind where the bird dropped down.

157. Glossy ibis
158. Bittern
159. Cetti's warbler
160. Water rail


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