Trip reports

Visit to Pennington Flash

Long-tailed tit perched on branch

Sunday, 7 December 2008

On a cold and frosty morning, 7 members met in the car park of Pennington Flash Country Park.
The first thing noticed was that the flash was virtually iced over (apart from a few small clear areas of open water). Whilst having a warming cup of coffee, we observed numbers of Canada Geese, Coot, Mallard, all slipping and sliding on the ice, whilst a surreal picture of Moorhens perched high in the branches took the eye. A Goldeneye flew by & attempted to land, changed its mind & decided to try elsewhere.
On arriving at the hide (Frank Horrock) a gentleman rushing out stated a Glossy Ibis had been seen amongst the Cormorants We began searching for the Ibis and eventually it was found, giving good views to all of us. After ten minutes, the bird took flight and flew of very high in a northward direction.
(Is this the same bird that has been on the Ribble marshes, but has not been reported the last 2/3days?)
After the excitment of the Ibis the group then started scanning the spit & the small area of open water & the following species were seen: Great Crested Grebes- 2/3; Little Grebe-2; Cormorants-25+; a single Grey Heron; Goosander-2M/1F; various numbers of - Mallard, Teal, Tufted Ducks, Shoveler & Pochard. Gulls roosting on the ice included : mainly Black headed, singles of Common Gull & Greater Black Backed. Snipe-5/6 were seen in frost covered grass. We also saw Lapwings flying around.

After leaving the hide a walk around the perimiter paths in the winter sunshine was not very productive birdwise, the only ones seen, as follows: Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tits; perhaps not unexpected as everywhere was covered in frost & all the side pools frozen over. Two visits were made to the Woodland hide before & after lunch & were rather dissappointing, as the feeders & bird tables were empty of food (I do not know why but a person stated the area was overrun with Brown rat & they had ceased feeding to try & reduce them, whether this was true I do not know, but it seems rather a drastic solution to the problem). Fortunately, the members did see Willow Tit (albeit a single bird) along with Bullfinch-2M/1F and Dunnocks-10+, Robins-8+, Moorhens-6, singles of Blue & Great Tit, all searching for food amongs the empty tables & over the frozen ice.

All in all a rather disappointing day as the woodland hide is the expected highlight of the trip.

Apoligies for any omissions made. JW Bateman (Group Leader)