Excursion to the dark side

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With confusion still reigning over Phil Smith’s Ainsdale nightmare gull (see previous entry), I felt my work was done locally for the time being, so I decided to take a trip over to the dark side (or the Fylde as it is sometimes called) today.
Fieldfares and Blackbirds were hanging off hedgerows as I drove north west from Preston towards the big skies of Fleetwood and Rossall Point.
The gorgeous Shorelark that has been gracing the seafront there was scurrying around the cropped grass and picnic table beside the Rossall Point car park.
Some may prefer their critters in a more authentic setting, but I say if a birdy wants to make it easy, so much the better.
I’ve never seen a bad Shorelark (in the same way as I have never seen a good clown, with the possible exceptions of Krusty and Mr Jelly), and this one is particularly fearless, feeding too close to focus on through the scope at times.
Wonderful.

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I watched the Shorelark at close quarters for half an hour or so in good sunlight, then left it hanging out with its favourite stone.

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And a short walk south of the Rossall Point observation tower, at Groyne 59, a Snow Bunting was mooching and preening on the pebbly foreshore.
Splintered memories of Desert Wheatear and Kentish Plover here.
The bunting looked seriously eclipsed by its flashier cousin doing the business on the car park, but I was pleased to watch it in a strengthening breeze as they seem to be so scarce on our side of the Ribble this winter so far (the only one I’ve heard about is a bird at Crosby early last month).

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At least 20 Little Egrets hunched on the outer marsh off Fairways, pre-Marine Lake roost as I headed back home along Southport seafront, where Mrs D has succumbed to serious Christmas fever – all radios at the towers are now preset to Smooth Xmas and you can’t move for holly boughs and tangerines.