Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lesser Yellowlegs at Aldcliffe, Lancaster

October 24, 2012:
The juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs spent most of its time alternating between a large flooded field near the lane end and the far northern part of a string of shallow pools about half a kilometre away. Both spots couldn't be watched at the same time. As one approached one of these it would frustratingly fly to the other, so the answer was to stay put and just wait. At either spot it was almost always distant but on one occasion it did come within 100 metres or so.

A north American bird which usually winters in the south of that continent, there have been over 400 UK records, this is about the 12th for Lancashire.

The short white supercilium not extending beyond the eye, the fine beak, the rather elegant build, and yellowish legs, can be seen seen in some of these (rather distant) photos.

Its yellowish legs are just visible

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Pallas's Warbler at Knott End, Lancashire

October 18, 2012:
After a long bleak autumn for interesting birds locally, a Pallas's Warbler arrived at Knott End on Monday (the 15th). Since then, it has spent most of its time hunting insects in and around a sycamore tree in a garden which backs onto the sea wall.

It was very elusive and fast moving amongst the leaves and branches and being so small, was difficult to follow never mind to photograph. Eventually, it came slightly more into the open for a few seconds allowing some distant photos before vanishing again.

Pallas's Warblers breed in an area eastwards from Siberia to north-east China and usually winter in southern China although small numbers can also arrive in western Europe. It was watched by quite a large group of people today. Many thanks to Chris Batty for allowing access to his garden.

Its characteristic pale cream rump, the bright yellow crown stripe and the prominent dark eye stripe can be seen.