After missing out on the 2005 bird a friend and I decided on venturing our to see this one. I don’t know what I was most looking forward to today seeing the bird or negotiating the quagmire of the farmers field, where I had heard various stories of people sliding and going arse over elbow and paying £10 for the pleasure.
We arrived early, still dark, payed our tenner for entry into the field and ventured to the far side, without mishap, to a place we could over look the river. The crowd had gathered and were waiting in anticipation, we got brief glimpses of the bird on a couple of occasions but not good enough for that tick able lifer sighting..
Four hours into the watch having seen Robin and Greater Spotted Woodpecker for company, we eventually got a shout from from the back of us of someone having a sighting of the bird fishing the local ponds further along the river. Thankfully I was at the back of the crowd when the call happened and one of the first there, I got that tick able view of the Belted Kingfisher, 16 years in the waiting, it was in the bag. I believe it was around the 4th or 5th for Britain.
With the kingfisher seen we moved on down to Southport, where caught up with the Snow Buntings, near the pier, great views of four birds, also a female Peregrine. We popped into RSPB Marshside notching up a few duck species, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall and Pintail. Also on site were lots of Lapwing and Golden Plover, also managing to pick up Black tailed Godwits, Redshank, Curlew and Dunlin.
We moved on then to a place called Banks Marsh where we caught up with Twite mixed in with the Pied Wagtail flock. A male Hen Harrier was seen at a distance, a Great White Egret was also distant, female Sparrowhawk was a bit closer, scarce bird here apparently, a hoped for Short Eared Owl was a no show
Bird List for the day : Belted Kingfisher, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Crow, Curlew Dunlin, Hen Harrier, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Peregrine, Pied Wagtail, Pink footed Goose, Pintail, Redshank, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snow Bunting, Sparrowhawk, Straling, Teal, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon