News archive

November 2006

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Adult twite perched on branch in heather moorland

South Walney Adventure

An intrepid group of birders disregarded the forecast of fearsome storm winds and set off for a days birding at South Walney NR. Although the sun shone for much of the day, it was evident that the very strong winds were going to make bird watching difficult. And so it proved, with waders and passerines alike seeking shelter behind tuffs of grass and tucking close into banks. Despite this we managed to see sanderling, redshank, knot, turnstone, dunlin, snipe and a greenshank. Off shore and in the various gravel pits we had close views of eider, goldeneye, red breasted merganser, great crested grebe, wigeon and teal. Small birds were exceptionally difficult to see but we managed excellent views of reed bunting and stonechat.

According to Mike, the reserve manager, so far the autumn / early winter had not fulfilled its promise with low numbers of divers off shore and precious few short eared and barn owls present on the reserve.

The only birds present that we missed was a flock of twite that had arrived a few weeks before. However, they hadn't yet settled down into a feeding pattern and so their location was difficult to pin down. Flighty birds at the best of times, looking for twite over a large area in storm force winds was going to be an impossible task.

Tired and wind blown we all decided we would return to Walney so that this magical island could surrender more of its treasures.