A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Monday, 14 September 2015

Wryneck at Fairhaven Lake, Lancashire

With a Wryneck having been present at Fairhaven Lake in Lancashire since last Thursday (along with 2 Barred Warblers that have sadly now departed) we paid a visit to see if we could catch up with what is usually a rare migrant here on the West Coast. 

Arriving at the pumping station compound to the right hand side of the lake where the Wryneck had been favouring for the duration of its stay, we joined the rest of the crown in anticipation of it showing and looking forward to seeing only my second of these delightful woodpeckers. 

After a spot of lunch while we waited, what must have been the quietest announcement ever that a bird was showing went up, and the crowds eventually realised someone had spotted the Wryneck, cryptically camouflaged as ever in the tops of one of its favoured Rose Hip bushes. Incredibly hidden and matching the bark to perfection, the (dreadful) record shot below exhibits perfectly the difficulty in picking out these masters of disguise!
Wryneck - Fairhaven Lake, Lancashire
With the bird only showing every hour or so when it chooses to perch in one of its preferred bushes or gorse, the Wryneck instead spent the majority of its time feeding on the ground and out of sight, taking advantage of the many ants on the sandy soil and abundance of grasshoppers in the area. Having previously seen my first and only Wryneck on the east coast at Spurn last autumn, it was great to catch up with this relatively local bird not too far from home.
Fairhaven Lake, Pumping Station Compound
Perfect scrubby habitat for a Wryneck to hide out in!
After the Wryneck had disappeared back in to the depths of the gorse thicket, we tried to find the now resident drake Scaup that had been present on Fairhaven Lake for several months, but even a 15 minute scout around the lake in one of the motor boats for hire failed to turn him up!

A quick stop at Preston Marina on the way home for the long staying 2nd winter Ring-billed Gull luckily resulted in success when I found it on the opposite jetty, putting an end to a string of dips for Ring-billed Gull this year in both Cornwall and Scotland! Much bulkier and larger than the Black-headed and Common Gulls, and with the black ring on the bill standing out even at a distance, there was certainly no mistaking this individual.
Ring-billed Gull, Preston Marina
 A great end to a fantastic day out in Lancashire! 

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