In some ways, Red-breasted Geese are always contentious, a fate they share with many rare wildfowl species. Being rather ornamental in appearance, they are often kept in collections. Some are ticked, some are not. One was with Pink-footed Geese and European White-fronted Geese at sites in Lancashire (particularly Cockerham Moss), from 4th into February.
WOOLSTON EYES: Ringing activities on No1 bed gave Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Dunnock. No1 bed records included a Green Woodpecker, Peregrine, three Buzzards, three Stock Doves, five Woodcocks, three Tawny Owls, a Cetti’s Warbler, 19 Pinkfeet, a Chiffchaff, Barn Owl, Nuthatch, eight Yellowhammers and 20,000 Starlings. No3 bed Ringing Team had Moorhen, Coal Tit, Teal, Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Greenfinch and Chaffinch. No3 bed records included three Woodcocks, a Barnacle Goose, Green Sandpiper, two Water Rails, a Siberian Chiffchaff and Waxwing. Reserve-wide counts included three Goosanders, two Goldeneyes, 303 Tufted Ducks, 25 Long-tailed Tits, 67 Mallards, 27 Shelducks, 50 Shovelers, four Willow Tits, nine Mute Swans, 1,000 Teal, 18 Gadwall and 60 Moorhens. Dave Steel
HIGHLIGHTS: A probable Siberian Chiffchaff was at Siddick Ponds (2nd), with a Ring-necked Duck there (21st-22nd) and Bittern (23rd). A Great White Egret was at Humphrey Head (5th). Another was at Kents Bank (15th), plus two Jack Snipe. A White-tailed Eagle was reported over Forest Head (20th). The Great Grey Shrike remained at Soddy Gap. A Hooded Crow was at Whitehaven (1st-18th), with a Black Redstart there (16th) and Black Guillemot (16th-19th). A Spoonbill was at Walney Island (11th). A Shore Lark and eight Snow Buntings were on Helvellyn (21st). A Little Stint was at Port Carlisle (27th). A Hawfinch was in a Beetham garden (30th).
HIGHLIGHTS: A Great White Egret was in the Horrock’s Flash area (3rd-21st). A Caspian Gull was at Audenshaw Reservoirs on and off (1st-24th), with another at Pennington Flash (18th). Glaucous Gulls were at Pennington Flash (24th-31st) and Cutacre CP, Bolton (29th). Three tundra Bean Geese were between Partington and Warburton (2nd). A Short-eared Owl was at Irlam Moss (1st). MERSEY VALLEY: Ten Ring-necked Parakeets were at Chorlton WP, with six more at Chorlton Ees. Ten Bramblings were in the Carrington Moss/shell NR area (1st-20th). A Little Owl was on Carrington Moss. ELTON RESERVOIR: Two Scaup were present late in the month, with a Waxwing (24th) and a Bittern (27th). A Little Egret was in the area (6th-25th) with two (28th-30th). PENNINGTON FLASH: Two Common Scoters
dropped in (1st), with four more (20th). The Long-tailed Duck and four Scaup remained throughout. Two Iceland Gulls, a Yellow-legged Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls roosted on and off (7th-30th). There was a Bittern (19th), three Little Egrets, a Merlin (6th) and two Bramblings (21st).
OTHER SITES: Waxwings were widespread and included 83 in Bolton, 60 in Wigan, 51 in Scholes, 50 in Hyde, 45 at Wythenshawe Hospital, 40 in Hulme, 40 at Ince in Makerfield, 38 in Salford, 33 in Mossley and 30 in Manchester City Centre, Astley Green and Gatley. Audenshaw Reservoirs logged Iceland Gulls (1st and 18th-24th), 29 Whooper Swans (20th), and two Long-tailed Ducks and a Scaup all month. Iceland Gulls were at Daisy Nook CP, Failsworth (20th-24th) and over Horrock’s Flash (23rd). A Scaup was on Lowercroft Reservoirs (30th). A Bittern was at Bryn Marsh (14th-21st). Four Bramblings were at Binn Green, Dovestones (13th). A Chiffchaff was at Hope Carr (14th). Dr Paul Brewster (01606 590 491)
LANCASHIRE AND NORTH MERSEYSIDE
HIGHLIGHTS: A Red-breasted Goose was at Marshside (4th) and in the Over Wyre area of Fylde (from 9th). A Todd’s Canada Goose was with Pinkfeet in the same area (20th-21st). A blue-phase Lesser Snow Goose was at Martin Mere and Marshside early in the month, and near Nateby, Fylde (28th). A Great Grey Shrike was near Eagland Hill (14th and 22nd). A Green-winged Teal was at Martin Mere, with a Red-crested Pochard there (to 2nd). A Coue’s Arctic Redpoll was at Billinge Hall (December 30th).
EAST LANCASHIRE: Waxwings included 108 at Blackburn, 110 at Padiham, 50 at Worsthorne, 30 at Adlington and 37 at Chorley. Two Bitterns were at Brockholes (4th), with one remaining (to 31st). A Long-tailed Duck was there (25th). A Glaucous Gull, two Iceland Gulls and a Kumlien’s Gull roosted at Fishmoor Reservoir. Two Scaup were at Alston Reservoir, with singles at Clowbridge and Stocks Reservoir. The latter site had ten Russian White-fronted Geese.
FYLDE REGION: Over 400 Whooper Swans and a few Bewick’s Swans were near Cockersands Abbey. Sixty-one Whoopers were at Lodge Lane, Warton (16th). Some 7,000 Pinkfeet in the Pilling-cockerham area held 20 Russian Whitefronts, three tundra and one taiga Bean Geese, a Barnacle Goose and a Brent Goose. Two Marsh Harriers were on the Ribble Marshes. Three Short-eared Owls were at Wesham Marsh. A few Little Gulls were offshore (10th-12th). An Iceland Gull was at Fleetwood. Glaucous Gulls were there, at Lytham (16th), and near Knott End. Great White Egrets were on Warton Marsh, with two (18th), and at Conder Green and Glasson Dock (12th-31st). A Bittern was at Fleetwood Nature Park (22nd), with five Bearded Tits there (1st). Green Sandpipers were near Singleton (8th) and Little Eccleston (21st). One or two Purple Sandpipers were at Fleetwood (2nd) and North Shore (30th). Waxwings included 70 in Preston, 12 at Marton, 30 at St Anne’s, and four at North Blackpool. Black Redstarts were at St Walburga’s Church, Preston and Knott End. Twite included 70 near Cockersands and 20 at Cocker’s Dyke, Knott End. Three Water Pipits were at The Heads, Staynall (15th). Eagland Hill had 80 Corn Buntings and 15 Yellowhammers.
MARTON MERE: Just one Long-eared Owl wintered. There was an Iceland Gull, Bittern, Red-breasted Merganser (2nd), 145 Wigeon and three Goldeneyes. SW
LANCASHIRE-N MERSEYSIDE: The Hesketh Bank area had 700 Whooper and 18 Bewick’s Swans. Two Great White Egrets roosted on Southport Marine Lake, with another at Burscough (18th). There were 250 Twite at Southport Pier. Three tundra Bean Geese were at Marshside (13th) and one at Altcar (17th), where a dark-bellied Brent Goose was seen (17th-18th). A Hen Harrier was on the South Ribble Marshes throughout. Four Short-eared Owls were at Lunt and Garston CP. Bitterns were at Mere Sands Wood and Kirkby. Waxwings were in several areas of Liverpool. Maurice Jones
HIGHLIGHTS: The two Long-tailed Ducks remained at Pine Lake, with a Scaup there from mid-month. A Bittern was a site-first at Middleton NR (from 28th).
HEYSHAM BIRD OBSERVATORY: Wildfowl included 11 Gadwall, a Scaup (9th) and two Pochards. There was the most significant Snipe influx seen for many years, with 98 Snipe and three Jack Snipe on Ocean Edge saltmarsh. Two Mediterranean Gulls were noted. A Kittiwake followed the Isle of Man Ferry into port (3rd). A Red-throated Diver (1st), Little Gull (11th) and Shag (30th) were offshore. A Cetti’s Warbler was at Middleton, where a Grey Wagtail was wintering.
LEIGHTON MOSS: There were five Whooper Swans and two Bitterns (1st). Two European White-fronted Geese were with Greylags and Pinkfeet on the Eric Morecambe saltmarsh (27th). Two Great White Egrets joined the Little Egret roost. Three Marsh Harriers remained throughout, as did a pair of Stonechats. There was a Chiffchaff (12th) and ten Waxwings (7th). Eighty 80 Siskins were joined by ten Lesser Redpolls (from 17th). The 2,500 Lapwings were joined by Golden Plovers (19th). Bearded Tits were seen regularly. The Starling flock reached an astonishing 70,000 birds, but unfortunately not as a viewing spectacle, as they relocated to Silverdale Moss.
LUNE ESTUARY: Aldcliffe logged a Barnacle Goose (29th), the wintering Greenshank, a Chiffchaff, and two Jack Snipe (16th).
WAXWINGS: Two flocks of 23 and 12 in Lancaster (1st) included an Aberdeenshireringed bird. There were four at Yealand Redmayne (8th), 18 in Lancaster (10th), 12 in Hornby (from 13th), 15 in Carnforth (16th), four in Lancaster (20th) with gatherings of between 12 and 28 in south Lancaster (from 21st), and 54 near Skerton Bridge (from 27th). Kevin Kelly and Pete Marsh
Waxwing, Blackburn, Lancashire, January