A leisurely tour of the hides gave us 43 species including a Common Tern, one Common Sandpiper, two Willow Tits and a pair of Blackcaps. There was a very brief glimpse of a Cetti’s Warbler at Tom Edmondson’s hide and fine views of a colourful Kingfisher. Dave’s excellent knowledge of American birds helped Heather compare all these somewhat strange British birds with related species in the States.
Dave left us shortly after midday and then, after lunch, we were joined by Angela Pike to go to Risley Moss. Its reputation as an excellent raptor viewing area is well founded – the first bird we saw was a Hobby chasing dragonflies in a marvellous flying display. A second Hobby appeared and joined in the fun – they are the sort of bird I could watch all day! It was then a short drive back into Leigh and a stroll along the canal where notable birds included a Grey Wagtail, spotted by Heather, and then a female Sparrowhawk chasing feral pigeons. All this activity was carefully watched by one of our local Peregrines, perched high above.
Luckily the weather remained fine throughout the day and it was soon time to drop Heather back at the bus station and say goodbye. A thoroughly relaxed and enjoyable day’s birding in the local area gave us 50 species in total, including five types of raptor. It was a pleasure to meet up with our charming American visitor.