Great Northern Birding

Picture copyright Alex Dacre

Thursday was my birthday. Jane and I had gone up to Barrow the night before and stayed at the Abbey House Hotel, taking in the Barrow-Tranmere football match.

I nipped to the Holker Street ground to pick up Jane’s ticket for the match. It was blowing a hooley and getting a bit dark so I abandoned the idea of doing the WeBS count on the adjacent Ormsgill Reservoir. I did have a very quick look from by the road though and there was a Darvic ringed Coot.

I knew there hadn’t been any Coot ringing locally, and thanks to the excellent website for this scheme I was quickly able to confirm it was ringed in November 2021 at Pennington Flash, Greater Manchester.

On Friday Jane and I went back to the rezza to do the monthly WeBS count. The weather was dire when we checked out of the hotel, but it lifted as we drove the short distance to Ormsgill. We hadn’t got very far on our counting lap when I was rather gobsmacked to see a Great Northern Diver drift away from us into the centre of the expanse. I’ve never seen one here so it was a great thrill to get one on a WeBS count. I got the scope and managed some record shots, and pointed it out to a couple who had come to see the Goldeneye. It was the first they had seen for many years.

Another image kind courtesy of Alex Dacre

I’ve called this blogpost Great Northern Birding because even though we visited two TK Maxx stores and dropped in at my parents the birding was generally excellent. In addition to the diver we saw:

  • a Great White Egret fishing at Conder Pool
  • a wintering Greenshank on the creeks at Conder Green
  • a large herd of Whooper Swans trumpeting in the fields near Glasson Dock
  • a Marsh Harrier quartering the marsh off Pilling Lane Ends

All in all some great post-birthday birding.

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