Trip reports

Conder Green to Leighton Moss - 21/09/13

Conder Green to Leighton Moss - 21/09/13
Little gull - Dennis Atherton

Saturday, 21 September 2013

After meeting at Lancaster services on the M6 at 7.30am, our first stop was at Conder Green which stands on the Lune estuary. A walk along the marshland path produced redshank, oystercatcher and several curlew. We had seen a wildfowler out on the marsh putting 2 unfortunate Canada geese into his bag so, reasoning that not much would be hanging around the estuary if there was a man with a big gun around, we headed back up the river to Conder pool. This turned out to be a good decision as there were plenty of birds on & around the pool. Wigeon, mallard & teal were joined by a very healthy number of little grebes and in the margins, little egret and grey heron dwarfed several snipe which were hidden in the grass. Surprisingly there were no spotted redshanks seen here and the garganey, which had been reported the previous day, was also conspicuous by its absence.

Onto our next location was Heysham. This site is not very aesthetically pleasing but it often turns up some cracking birds. In fact, there had been a Bonaparte's gull present all summer which we were hoping to catch a glimpse of but we were to be disappointed on that score. We did manage to see a good number of turnstones fleeing the rising tide as well as bar-tailed godwits and an inordinate number of oystercatchers. A Mediterranean gull was seen flying round the harbour but the star bird here was a little gull. It was feeding around the outflow from the power station and came pretty close which enabled us to get a good view. On the way back to the cars we spotted both mistle & song thrushes.

We were all getting a bit peckish by this point so we headed into Morecambe and parked up overlooking Teal Bay for the high tide which is where we had our lunch. Good numbers of waders were present including oystercatcher, redshank and ringed plover. Several eider were floating around close to shore and a good number of shelduck could be seen further out.

Our final stop of the day was Leighton Moss. We called in at the outer hides first picking up spotted redshank, greenshank and a single avocet. A kingfisher was sat on the fence at the far side of the pool and behind that, on a more distant post, sat a peregrine. Up at the main reserve, a marsh tit was at the feeding station along with chaffinch, greenfinch, coal tit and pheasant. We called in at both Lillian's and public hides but the reserve was pretty quiet. Coot, moorhen, great crested grebe and tufted duck were the only birds added.

59 species were seen.