A dusting of snow on Winter Hill


A seriously refreshing evening in the Legless Arms (you know it’s a good ‘un, when you can almost persuade the guys to think about a trip to Antarctica – until they see the slightly truncated list that is) meant I was, ahem, a bit slow out of the traps today.
Bitterly cold obviously with 40+ Tufted Duck, Shoveler and 11 Gadwall hunched up under the branches at Sands Lake before I headed out onto Plex mid-afternoon.
A dusting of snow powdered Winter Hill in the distance and the air felt icy.


I spent an hour or so watching the Fieldfare flock as the light faded – about 50 birds with smaller numbers of Redwing, Mistle Thrush, 5 Pied Wagtails and 1 Grey Wag which foraged around the puddles of a soggy ploughed field.
The Fieldfare were as wild and skittish as ever – spending much of their time gorging on berries before dropping down into the field to rummage.
No amount of car gymnastics could help me get anything other than poor digiscoped shots – that superdeluxe bridge camera seems like a better idea every day!



A small party of five Whooper Swans called as they circled over the moss – there was a herd of about 60 on the fields between Carr Moss Lane and Segars Lane a bit later on.
An incredible combination of cold and sound that’s impossible for me to describe in words, but so, so Whooper, so winter.
Just one or two Mipits, Buzzards and Corn Buntings as the light went, and as I headed back over Carr Moss, a fine hunting Short Eared Owl being hassled by a Kestrel.
Not many Pinks about though.
Trip to the bird fair at Martin Mere tomorrow I think…

6 thoughts on “A dusting of snow on Winter Hill

  1. Lunt Meadows – 21/11/15

    3 Barn Owls
    2 Short Eared Owls seen in the air at once, but probably around 6 in total.
    2 Little Egret
    1 Water Rail
    1 Kestrel
    4 Grey Partridge
    Several hundred Pink Footed Geese overhead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear All,
    The next volunteer Buckthorn Bash will take place on Thursday 26th November, 1.45 to 3.45pm, meeting at Sands Lake carpark, opposite Pontins at Ainsdale-on-Sea (SD301128). Please note the early time to take account of the light.
    It should be dry and milder than of late.
    I hope to borrow a number of long-handled loppers from Sefton Coast & Countryside but bring loppers or secateurs if you have them. Also, don’t forget thick gloves.
    We have made great progress clearing the dunes and botanically rich slacks west and north of Sands Lake, including the whole of slack 49 and part of slack 48. Using Google Earth, I estimate that this area covers not less than 10ha; a remarkable achievement but a little more remains to be done.
    Please come if you can and perhaps bring a friend or relative. Also pass the message on – the more people the better.


  3. The wader flocks put on a spectacular display between Weld Road and Ainsdale as the high tide ebbed this morning. Impressive enough on the ground, they looked even more so as flock after flock flew in from the south – the Dee estuary perhaps – to join them. Mainly consisting of many thousands of Knot, there were also huge numbers of Godwits , Dunlins and Sanderlings, hundreds of Oyster Catchers, a smattering of Grey Plovers and Turnstones, and at least one suspected Purple Sandpiper. Add in the constant passage pf groups of up to 30 Cormorants and it truly was a spectacular sight when they all took to the air, perhaps tens of thousands of birds (?). Fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

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