Spoonbills and Scandinavians

The last couple of evenings I’ve been down at Lytham Jetty birding the Ribble Estuary. I laid to rest the Spoonbill dip of last week, both nights half a dozen were doing what Spoonbills do as in very little most of the time. They were also on the other side of the river both days so miles away, but it’s the biggest group I’ve ever seen in Lancashire so that was good even if it’s bittersweet with climate change fuelling it.

Last night I also watched a young Marsh Harrier quartering the saltmarsh on the far side of the river. They’ve been a fixture of these coastal marshes for a good few years, but are always nice to admire even at a distance. Common Terns feeding their fledged young small fish was also a bonus. Soon after the rain came in and I tried Newton Marsh as a site less exposed and more likely to host waders taking refuge from the deluge, though there weren’t any.

I really should pay attention to the weather forecast more as three visits in just over a week have been too windy, too wet and then too windy again tonight. Other than a large number of Sanderling among the Dunlin most birds were too far away with the scope being buffeted so I gave up. Back at the car a check of the gulls on Lytham Green produced this:

I messaged Lytham birder Ian Walker to ask if he had seen this bird before. He had, but has never had a life history back from the Norwegian ringers. I’ve dropped them a line and hope this time they will respond.

I stopped off at Fairhaven and read three other Black-headed Gulls with the local blue rings. Well I say local, one was actually ringed at Rutland Water as these are the only ones using ‘L’ in the sequence. Every day is a school day as this had previously escaped by notice.

A phone shot of Rutland wanderer 2AAL

Perhaps even more interesting was 290E. The life history of this bird as immediately supplied by the excellent website follows below. As you can see it was ringed originally in Finland where it presumably breeds, the colour ring was added in Stanley Park this February but it has potentially moved wintering site. All interesting stuff.

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