New Balls Please

North Shore Golf Course from their website, taken near the footpath route

At lunchtime today I had a very quick check of Devonshire Rock Gardens and North Shore golf course. There is a public footpath that crosses the course, and whilst you can’t linger it’s worth a fast paced look. I’ve had a couple of Hooded Crow together in the past, a Chough that wandered the Fylde a few years back was also apparently seen here.

I mention these past corvid highlights because today’s highlight was also from that family. After the golfers playing the hole had walked past a Carrion Crow flew past and dropped a golf ball on the short turf of the fairway. It picked it up again a few times before dropping it into the newly excavated pond which would be just left of the shot above. Presumably it thought the ball was an egg, the golfing group didn’t come after it so it must have found it in the light rough.

There were also just shy of a hundred gulls loafing around the relatively small pond. It looks like they are going to be a regular feature. Gulls are also known to snatch golf balls from unsuspecting players so there may be fun and games on the fairways at times. I am not sure how big an issue ball theft is on the Fylde coast links courses, but in some places elsewhere it’s a regular enough occurrence to require local rules.

Going back to Choughs they like golf courses as a substitute habitat for the clifftop turf they taken insects from in remote parts of the British Celtic fringe. I’ve mentioned this before on my blog in connection with the third Fylde record in 2017, which I refound whilst marshalling on Stanley Park parkrun. It settled on the closed course for several days. There hasn’t been another one locally since, so if you see a red-billed Crow shouting ‘ciao’ like a true Italian do let me know.

The Stanley Park Chough in March 2017, named after it’s call but ciao or chow describes it better

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