Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Lesser Scaup at Brockholes Wetlands

March 15, 2013:
Today, there was a first record for the Reserve when a drake Lesser Scaup arrived at the Meadow pool overnight.

There, it consorted with a small flock of Tufted Duck but could only be viewed at long range as it remained close to the reed beds on far, eastern, side of the lake. It spent most of the time diving or sleeping out on the water and had departed by the following morning.

It was slightly smaller than the Tufted Ducks. Through the scope, its somewhat pointed head with a purplish sheen and its pale strongly vermiculated back could be clearly seen. Although usually rather inactive, one observer sighted its white wing-bar. The Lesser Scaup is a vagrant from America, the first British record not being until 1987 in Staffordshire; since then there have been approximately a hundred more with at least three from the North-west.

Much credit to Bill Aspin for spotting it amongst the Tufted flock.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Owls on the Lancashire Fylde

March 5, 2013:
A nice sunny day today but despite this at least three species of owl were active in the area during the afternoon.

Two Short-eared Owls hunted together over the rough farmland, perching frequently in the hawthorn hedgerows where they were usually partially concealed, although occasionally a better view could be obtained.

Nearby a Barn Owl also hunted, not harrassed by the other two, although later attacked by corvids which required avoiding action.

In its favourite tree some distance away a Little Owl made the most of the sunny weather