Trip reports

Visit to Biggar Bank, Walney and Cavendish Dock, Barrow

Adult black-tailed godwit in summer plummage, at the RSPB Snettisham nature reserve, Norfolk

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Eleven members of the local RSPB group met at the car park at Biggar Bank Walney on a pleasant November morning (much to everyones suprise). Walking along the foreshore the first birds seen were Stonechat (Male and Female) giving good views to all. Watching the incoming tide saw several groups of waders along the tide edge comprising mainly of Dunlin, but with fair numbers of Sanderling,Turnstone,
and lesser numbers of Grey Plover, Ring Plover, Curlew, and flying past, Knot on their way to roost on a prominent spit. I think the highlight of the waders seen was the close proximity of 10+ Purple Sandpipers, on the tide edge looking superb in the sunshine. Passerines were in short supply apart from the previous mentioned Stonechats, with the only others seen being Greenfinch & Goldfinch.

The group then looked at Cavendish Dock. No reported rarieties, but a good selection of species including the following: On a bramble bush a male Stonechat was perched (saying I am here, look at me). On the water - Red Breasted Mergansers (Males and Females) in excess of 60+ along with 30+ Great Crested Grebes. Also seen in lesser numbers - Little Grebes - 20, Pochard, Mallard, Goldeneye - 2 resplendant males, singles of Wigeon, Eider, Scaup (all females). A Kingfisher showed well, flying & then perched. Coot and Cormorants were present in good numbers.
Waders were represented by Greenshanks - 2, a single Black Tailed Godwit, along with Redshank & Knot roosting on the piers.
Lunch was taken in the car park at Rampside over the high tide period, observing in excess of a 100 Brent Geese, as well as a large number of Wigeon, lesser numbers of Mallard and Pintail - 4. Eiders numbered hundreds on the spit on Foulney. On the rough ground Meadow Pipits flitting around along with a Rock Pipit and a Reed Bunting.
After lunch on the way home, the group dipped on two local twitches, the Cattle Egret at Urswick & the Waxwings at Levens Village. All in all a very enjoyable late Autumn outing appreciated by all those present.
Apologies for any species omitted.

JW Bateman (RSPB Local Group Leader).