Bones, Django and I took the first X2 bus of Sunday into Preston, meeting Pete Kinsella on board. Preston has had a spate of good birds in recent days with an Iceland Gull on Preston Docks, and large numbers of Waxwings, which had also been seen by the docks. So to the docks we went, and with the gull having been reported whilst we were en route things were looking good.
However the Iceland Gull didn’t show after 9.30 until around 3.20pm, by which time I was devouring a roast dinner and a few bottles of Sancerre back in Southport Lots of people turned out to look for it though, with plenty of familiar Marshside faces: Neill’s certainly got some good photos of the gull on his facebook page, and it was good to see Mike Stocker without any limbs in plaster! It got very cold though, and Bones and I got a pint sat outside the Ribble Pilot pub with Django ahead of what would have been an early dart, when a familiar noise caused me to turn away from the dock to see this little lot of Waxwings, 20-odd altogether, feeding close by in berry-bearing trees. Later that afternoon apparently 200+ birds gathered just a few streets away, in Euston Street.
With a Firecrest just up the road at Freckleton that would have been quite easily reachable by bus too had I had the whole day to play with, the north shore of the Ribble was on good form today. Plenty of Long-eared owls at Marton Mere, too.
Took the train to Smithy Bridge nr Rochdale early this morning, and managed to locate the Pied-billed Grebe on Hollingsworth Lake that’s been around for a week or so before it got too busy.