News archive

December 2016

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Short-eared owl sitting on the ground

Hesketh Out Marsh Reserve.

Looking very like the 'marsh' of the Dee, Hesketh Out Marsh is an environment improved by man's intervention. Huge nu,bers of Wigeon could be seen (.. and heard!) feeding on the marsh. Just as you thought there couldn't be any more, another flock would arrive! Teal and Shoveller were also in attendance here whilst we had a constant views of Pink Feet and Greylag Geese flying around. Surprise of the day was a female Goosander, feeding in one of the many pools within the marsh. Waders included 2 Greenshank, a number of Grey Plover and a Spotted Redshank in amongst the commoner Dunlin, Lapwing, Curlew and Oystercatchers. All the birds were very 'flighty' which suggested that there was a Harrier or Peregrine about but all we saw were Common Buzzards (although technically that isn't correct, as we did find a dead female Sparrowhawk !!). Very distant views of a Great White Egret completed the haul of Little Egret and Grey Heron. There were very few small birds about with only a few flocks of pipits, Linnet and Goldfinch .... although a small flock of Tree Sparrow did briefly make an appearance ! No cafe here ... so it was out with the sandwiches / flask before we moved on to Marshside. Again good numbers of Pink-footed Geese, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveller but we also added Gadwall and Pintail to our tally of ducks. In amongst the Lapwing was a lovely flock of Golden Plover. Just before we left, a Short eared Owl made an appearance but flew high up an away. Alas it was all too soon for us to also leave for home.