Red-necked Phalarope at Newton Marsh

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On 7th June 2015 Ian Walker discovered a female Red-necked Phalarope on the entrance pool at Newton Marsh.

The previous spring/early summer Fylde records are listed below:-

1989 female Marton Mere 25th May
1976 breeding plumage over Ribble Estuary at Freckleton 22nd May
1947 female Freckleton 5th July

Photo by Paul Slade.

hybrid Blue-headed Wagtail x Grey-headed Wagtail at Mythop

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On 27th May 2015 a hybrid Blue-headed Wagtail x Grey-headed Wagtail was identified at Mythop. The bird exhibited plumage features intermediate between the two taxa, including a dark blue-grey head (darker than in typical Blue-headed) and poorly defined supercilium (weaker than in typical Blue-headed - Grey-headed typically have no supercilium and lack any pale areas in the dark cap below the eye, as present on this bird).

This represents the first Fylde record of a hybrid Blue-headed Wagtail x Grey-headed Wagtail.

Photo montages by Chris Batty.

Dotterel at Cockersand

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On 8th May 2015 Stuart Piner located a trip of 5 Dotterel in a coastal ploughed field at Cockersand. The birds remained until the following day, and one was still present on 10th May before it departed during the morning.

Cockersand last hosted a Dotterel in April 2013, and a trip of Dotterel last occurred on the Fylde as recently as spring 2014 (a group of six birds at Calcald's Farm, Stake Pool), but the latter birds were only seen by a local farmer. Before the 2015 Cockersand birds, the last flock available to birders made landfall in April 2000, when a flock of seven birds spent an evening at Eagland Hill.

Photos by Chris Batty and Paul Ellis.

Dusky Warbler at Marton Mere

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On 16th January 2015 Dave McGrath located a Dusky Warbler at Marton Mere. Unfortunately the bird was only seen briefly, and could not be relocated during searches over the following days. This represents only the second Fylde record of Dusky Warbler, following the bird at Fairhaven Dunes 23rd-24th October 2004. Dave has now scored an impressive hattrick of rare warbler finds on the Fylde; Savi's Warbler (Marton Mere May 1995), Iberian Chiffchaff (Devonshire Road Rock Gardens May 2011) and now Dusky Warbler.

Photo by Dave McGrath.

Pomarine Skua at Knott End, Cocker’s Dyke and Fluke Hall

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On 10th January 2015 Chris Batty discovered a juvenile Pomarine Skua on the beach at Knott End. On 12th January Peter Rhind relocated the bird at Cocker's Dyke, where it fed on the corpses of dead birds until 27th January. The bird occasionally ranged to the marsh off Fluke Hall during its stay, and it was ultimately found dead there on 14th February.

Photo by Geoff Gradwell.

Todd’s Canada Geese at Todderstaffe, Knott End, Cocker’s Dyke and Fleetwood

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On 16th December 2014 Frank Bird discovered a pair of Todd's Canada Geese with Pink-footed Geese at Todderstaffe. The birds lingered on the Fylde until 31st December, when they were seen at Cocker's Dyke. They also visited Fleetwood and Knott End during their stay on the Fylde.

Photos by Chris Batty.

Iceland and Glaucous Gulls winter 2014/15

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During the winter of 2014/15 Iceland Gulls were logged at Marton/Marton Mere (returning adult 23rd December 2014 - 15th March 2015), Fleetwood (juvenile 2nd-3rd February 2015) and Wyre Estuary at Wardley's Ferry (adult 8th March 2015). Juvenile Glaucous Gulls were reported in Fleetwood (12th-17th December 2014 and 28th December 2014-10th February 2015) and Knott End (26th-27th December 2014 and 28th January 2015).

Photo of juvenile Glaucous Gull Knott End by Chris Batty and adult Iceland Gull at Marton Mere by Paul Ellis.

Shorelark at Rossall Point

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On 3rd December 2014 Jim Sheldon discovered a Shorelark on the beach at Rossall Point. The bird showed well through the winter and was last seen on 20th March 2015. This represented the first Fylde record of Shorelark for over a decade; a pair frequented St Annes Beach 11th November 2003 - 15th March 2004.

Photos by Paul Ellis.

Great Grey Shrike at Lytham Moss

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On 1st November 2014 Steve and Jan Beastall discovered a Great Grey Shrike on Lytham Moss whilst collecting dandelion leaves for their pet rabbits. The bird remained faithful to the area around Eastleigh Animal Sanctuary until 2nd February 2015.

The last long-staying Great Grey Shrikes on the Fylde occurred in 1998, when one visited Gretna, Blackpool on 5th January then Bispham Church 9th-29th January and 15th February and an adult male lingered at Marton Mere 1st March-18th April. There have been several records since then (Fleetwood Power Station 16th April 1999, Fluke Hall 16th October 2005, Rossall Point 30th September 2007, Fairhaven Dunes 8th October 2010 and Rossall School 16th October 2010), but none have lingered.

Photo by Paul Ellis.