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Friday, 31 December 2010

The Wizard of Newton Marsh

It was grey overcast and generally miserable, but time to get out of the house. For the past two years I have been convinced of sightings of a Merlin down at Newton Marsh but it has always been a glimpse here and there or at the extreme limit of any optics I might have with me. Finally in the right place at the right time as it flew in across the marsh and landed on a fence post in front of me. I took a couple of photos through the windscreen, hence the 'blue' cast to the image as I thought it may be the only opportunity for a photo. Thankfully it dropped off the post, flew across the road in front of me and landed on the opposite fence posts. Sadly it was just too far away and at the limit of the cameras ability and I didn't want to spook it. It sat for a few minutes and gave good views thorugh the bins before taking off and flying back off over the marsh.

The Wigeon have returned with a small flock of about 60 with the usual suspects, small numbers of Mallard (12) Teal (20ish) and Shoveler (3 males) while around 30 Shelduck flew over north.

I went on to Lytham and again at the end of my optics clocked about 50 Pintail on the foreshore while skeins of Pink Footed Geese were making their way north. At Fairhaven three male Tufted Ducks were making the most of limited open water and on the way home I was fortunate to come close to a Jay, which in the poor light, constantly on the move, proved very difficult to follow, focus upon and then take any photo but I managed these two.


Brian Rafferty said...

Geoff. First of all A HAPPY NEW YEAR and let's hope it is a good one. Secondly congratulations on the merlin shots.. Not an easy bird to get close to.. I am envious, this is on my list to photograph this year.

Hopefully catch up with you sometime. Take care.

Geoff Gradwell said...

Hi Brian
All the best to you for 2011, I hope it is a good year for all us after last year. While lucky with the Merlin it has taken two years and 365 days down there to get even that close! Seen it several times, but never a chance of a photo. Hope you manage to catch up with one soon. I see there were a couple down at Warton Marsh... maybe on the right tide? Hope to see you soon.