Sunday, 14 March 2010

Plex Moss - Bean and gone

Birding wasn't officially on the weekend agenda at all! Saturday was spent all day at an alpine plant show in Blackpool but I couldn't resist a brief detour on the way home!!

There have been a couple of Tundra Bean Geese reported at Plex Moss lane in South Lancs for a while now and with this species being a bit of a bogey bird for me, I reckoned - nothing ventured nothing gained!

I arrived with not a lot of daylight left. Tis a very long lane and after slowly cruising for a mile or so, I was pleased to see a distant group of three birders - scopes poised, I pulled up.....

There were a few obvious Pink-footed Geese nearby but on their own, the focus of their attention were two separate and quite striking Geese. The bills looked good (thick base, mainly black with narrow orange subterminal band) for Tundra Bean Goose from an initial 'scope'....






They were both part hidden in a deep furrow however and you could sense our collective 'SHOW US YOUR LEGS!' for confirmation. Eventually, the larger bird did just that - yes, just look at those orange legs....

I referred to this individual as the 'larger' bird; the smaller of the two was noticably shorter necked and had a paler head. It did however have equally orange legs.






For no apparent reason both birds took off and looked as though they were leaving but merely circled low before returning to the same field.






We now had confirmation of the wing pattern - the dark upperwing and tail with narrow white trailing edge to black tail band!






They landed a short distance away but now virtually out of sight!

Oh well, good to meet Clywd birder Paul Shenton aka 'Black Grouse' Nice witty blog covering his local area and further afield....

Footnote: Sunday had an even shorter finale with a trip to Whixall Moss, arriving at 5.10pm. No time to get cold or bored then!

Bumped into Ian Grant who had been birdless since mid afternoon but after 20 mins, it turned into a worthwhile session with 1 Short eared Owl, male Sparrowhawk and then at approx 6.20....






....the Ringtail Hen Harrier 'gotcha' at last came steaming in to roost! (nice pic considering - come on, flight in near darkness!)

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