L.O.S. Fieldtrip to Blacktoft Sands RSPB - Sunday 8th September 2019


Our first Leigh Ornithological Society Fieldtrip of the season took us to RSPB Blacktoft Sands on the south side of the Humber Estuary. The group met at Doctors Nook Car Park 7.30am, joining up with others at Blacktoft Sands just after 9.00am. The weather was perfect: still, sunny and warm. A promising day lay ahead.

Avocet (c) Paul Pennington
Leaving the car park we walked over the small hump-backed bridge, to the site of the feeding station. Here there were good numbers of Tree Sparrow which are always nice to see, the odd Chaffinch and Greenfinch, and a Goldfinch on the Teasel feeding its young.

Goldfinches (c) Paul Richardson
After a brief visit to the Visitor Centre Hide for all the formalities and the low down on recent sightings, we decide to head off in a westerly direction. But this was not before getting good views of Green Sandpiper, Redshank and Spotted Redshank. A superb start to the day. So onward to the Xerox Hide the Marshland Hide, and our final destination the Ousefleet Hide.

Green Sandpiper (c) John Preston
Visiting each hide in turn produced some wonderful birds including a female Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier and a Barn Owl. Bearded Reedling could be heard with their signature "ping ping" call, seen only for a split second before taking cover in the Fragmates reedbed. Other notable sightings, Sparrowhawk, a juvenile Garganey, Gadwall, the usual Reed Buntings, good numbers of Teal, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, and Linnet, amongst others.

Lapwing (c) Mandy Robertson
We added a few butterflies such as Painted Lady, Speckled Wood and numerous Large White with a couple of Dragonflies too - Common Darter and Emperor both male and female. A nice number of species had been accumulated during the morning session before returning to the car park - picnic area, for a well deserved spot of lunch.

Migrant Hawker (c) Graeme Robertson
After lunch we headed in an easterly direction from the Visitor Centre. Visiting First Hide, Townend Hide and Singleton Hide. First Hide produced an excellent Greenshank the usual Redshank and Teal.  At Townend Hide we saw Ruff and had our first glimpse of a Water Rail, eleven Black-tailed Godwits and four wonderful Avocet which are always nice to see.

Marsh Harrier (c) Keith Williams
Finally we visited Singleton Hide where we stayed for quite sometime. With wonderful views of Marsh Harrier, five or six in number, appearing and reappearing while quartering their hunting ground. A couple of Water Rail on the far reedbed showed out in the open now and again. Some six or seven Bearded Reedling feeding on the muddy reed margins, and stayed for most of the time we were in the hide, albeit at distance.

Tree Sparrow (c) Martyn Jones
Others to add to the day list were three Kestrel, a single Peregrine Falcon, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Dunlin, a few Buzzard and a very distant Arctic Skua spotted by Pekka, our eagle-eyed friend from Finland who is an excellent birder.

Making our way back to the car, we added a Willow Warbler and a yet to be confirmed Weasel. 60 plus bird species were recorded during the day - well done to one and all. Thanks to all twelve people who attended, I had a wonderful day in great company as usual. Until next time
Paul Pennington
L.O.S. Fieldtrips Officer


David Shallcross said...

What an excellent report of our field trip, thank you Paul P. for your considerable efforts with our trips

David Shallcross said...

stunning images too

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