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Views from a train driving cab (1 Viewer)

A nice simple job today - two return trips to Lancaster giving me maximum time to enjoy the estuaries, but it was another oddly quiet day. The single Great White Egret at Leighton Moss had turned into two birds, but the highlight of the day was a Peregrine perched on the lineside wall beside the Leven estuary. As I approached, it just stepped forward off the wall and powered away across the saltmarsh. Nice.
Hi Andrea. I use public transport a lot and I think your posts are really interesting. Well done on the Peregrine
 

Andrea Collins

Beside the Duddon, Cumbria
Supporter
England
After we leave the West Coast Main Line and the end of civilisation we certainly ramble along at fairly leisurely speeds. It was a bit annoying a few years back when Network Rail renewed the decking on the Kent and Leven viaducts which allowed them to raise the speed limits across the viaducts from 30mph to 60mph. 30mph was great for looking at the birds. 60mph is way too fast!

At the risk of sounding a bit repetitive there was another ghostly Barn Owl at 0630 this morning near Carnforth.
 

Andrea Collins

Beside the Duddon, Cumbria
Supporter
England
The last few weeks have been rather quiet. I'm a bit concerned about what appear to be very low numbers of wildfowl on the estuaries. At this time of year there would normally be decent numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers, Wigeon, Pintails and Goldeneyes. Some Wigeon are present most days but in very small numbers compared to usual, whilst Goldeneyes are almost completely absent. Perhaps I have just been unlucky with my shift patterns this year. I seem to have done an awful lot of driving in the dark in the past few weeks.

A couple of days ago there were large numbers of wildfowl on the saltmarsh pools at Leighton Moss so perhaps the birds are just elsewhere at the moment. On the same day a male Marsh Harrier quartering the reedbeds was a nice treat, whilst a Little Grebe below the viaduct on the salt waters of the Kent estuary, and a long way from any sort of cover, caught my attention.

If you don't want to know about the unpleasant stuff, DO NOT click on the spoiler box below.

On Friday evening I hit yet another Barn Owl, this time on the Windermere line near Staveley. Nothing I could do and it hit the middle of the windscreen at 60mph. I could clearly see it lying beside the track as I passed the same spot on Saturday afternoon. As I've said before I tend not to get sentimental about wildlife but I am starting to get a little depressed about the number of Barn/Tawny Owls I've killed over the last three years. I'm sure I never used to kill so many. Perhaps though that's a good sign about the local populations and despite the fact that I kill quite a few of them, there are still plenty of birds without territories ready to move in to the vacant spots?
 

BBandW

Well-known member
Mega Rarity Lesser White-Fronted Goose spotted close to the West Coast Main Line just south of Lancaster centre - keep you eyes open for it Andrea ;)
 

Andrea Collins

Beside the Duddon, Cumbria
Supporter
England
.....Lesser White-Fronted Goose spotted close to the West Coast Main Line just south of Lancaster centre - keep you eyes open for it Andrea ;)

Kept a look out but didn't see any geese at all around Lancaster today. There were hundreds in the fields near Leighton Moss though. As far as I could see they looked to be mostly Greylags and Pink-foots. I haven't seen a Lesser White-front since I lived in the south east of England thirty years ago and that may well have been an escape!
 

Andrea Collins

Beside the Duddon, Cumbria
Supporter
England
Grange duck pond with the ornamental collection is a lot nearer to the train line!

A few years back one of the Bar-headed Geese from the ornamental collection had managed to get over the fence from the park onto the Lancaster bound platform. As I set off from the other platform it flew across in front of me and crash landed on the Barrow bound platform. I stopped and told the guard there would be a short delay whilst I attempted a spot of goose wrestling. Luckily for me as I approached it managed to get airborne again and made it back over the fence into the park. I've no idea what I might have done with it if I had actually managed to catch it!
 

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