Friday 22 April 2011

White, Black, Red and Yellow

After yesterdays Ring-necked Duck success i got news of an unringed White Stork that had roosted over at Fleetwood. So a 5.30 start had us heading down the M6-M55 to Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park on the Wyre Estuary. As things generally go the Stork had flown off and out of view so 10 minutes prior to our arrival, but it wasn't long before i relocated it out on the fresh marsh feeding in a creek, prolonged views ensued at a distance as it was constantly harassed by gulls and corvids. After a couple of hours it fortunately flew by close enough to grab some shots though the light was poor. Initial thoughts were that this bird was a 1w/juv, the white feathers appeared to have a brownish wash to them and the black flight feathers had a contrasting white trailing edge, although i was slightly puzzled as to the lack of black on its bill. Good to meet Chris Batty who has a set of photos that he is emailing to a White Stork expert! No ring, right age and looking very wild this has been a long time coming (although i have never twitched a real one). A good supporting cast was had with Whimbrel, Tree Pipit (over) and Wheatear.

From Fleetwod we made our way back via Pennington Flash for the 7 Black Terns on offer, very mobile and distant but my favorite tern all the same. On offer from the Horrock's hide were 2 LRP, 5 Comic Terns, Common Sandpiper and the story of a puzzling bird seen from the Bunting hide

The description from various sources was of a Goldfinch sized finch, brown with heavy streaks, a yellow  breast and cap? Looking similar to Twite but not a Twite and a bill like a Warblers? The escaped cage bird theory was mooted as was the "was the black bib, yellow on the head and size like a redpoll" question, cant remember if that was answered or not. Best bet was to have a look, after a short wait the bird in question flew in to feed. Now i know now its an aberrant Lesser Redpoll but my 'eliminate the common stuff first senses' were not working and i went down the House Finch route? A phone call soon ended that and a quick look at my camera screen had me calling for a taxi! A very nice bird all the same i can only presume its colouration is due to its diet? Although this does seem to be an adult bird, will it have been this way since hatching? In which case could it be genetic?

No comments: