Double helpings

A double dose of Hesketh today broken up by an overly optimistic Scoter search. Started at dawn and the drake American Wigeon was showing well on shelter pool with about 400 Eurasian birds. Shame it was so murky as I probably could have got some decent shots. Nice to watch it without a force 10 blowing to be honest.

A Wheatear was probing around for food and 2 GWE were feeding on the pools with multiple Heron and Little Egret – must be plenty of fish in there as their success rate was pretty high. Marsh Harrier was my only raptor, but if I’m honest I spent much of my time head down scanning the waders and wildfowl. 4 Whooper Swans flew through and 1 was my first juv of the autumn.

The interesting female Wigeon was still on site. I’ve sent images and video to Sebastian Reeber and he’s promised to have a look at them for me, so it will be interesting to get his thoughts.

There was still plenty of wader action with 3 Spotted Red, Little Stint, Curlew Sand, 10+ Greenshank, 12 Ruff, Golden Plover, 60 Dunlin, Ringed Plover and the usuals.

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A quick dash over to Ainsdale for high tide – I had the absurdly optimistic thought that I’d pick up the Fylde’s Black Scoter in the birds off the beach – no luck, but if it had been in the 1000 or so not too far out, I think it would have been ID’able. A half hearted go at Marshside and then I decided to go back to Hesketh to see if Wigeon was still showing in the now much better light.

No joy, but the site is just brilliant at the minute. The Spotted Reds had increased to 6 and they were feeding next to a group of 9 Greenshank all calling away.

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Then a great sawbill double with last week’s 2 Red-breasted Merganser now joined on the same pool by 2 Goosander. Quite rare to see these both on the same body of water so I watched them for a while noting their different feeding techniques, structure and plumage. Very interesting.

Finally a couple of Pintail on Shelter as I was leaving. Has Hesketh ever been this good before? I don’t think so in the time I’ve been watching it…..