Pennington Flash – 24 Oct 2012

Our second trip of the season was to Pennington Flash near Leigh. Always a popular destination, we hoped to see a good variety of species. Fourteen faces in the car park was a good number for us, and we were soon scanning the water from the edge of the car park. Among more common birds a female Pochard and a couple of Teal were picked out, the first of numerous Great Crested Grebes was spotted and a single Greylag appeared among the Canada.

We made our way along the bank of the Flash to the Horrocks hide, which we almost filled. A heron flapped lazily across the open water, while close scrutiny of the spit in front of the hide gave up three cryptically-marked Snipe, given away only by a need to preen that stray feather. Gadwall and Shoveler were added to our list, and a flock of 120 Pink-footed Geese were seen flying south over Sorrowcow Farm. We moved on to the New Hide, the height of comfort, and had better views of birds already seen. Despite all efforts to turn it into a Black-necked Grebe (one had been reported the day before), we managed to identify a Little Grebe correctly.

We moved on through several hides, which revealed nothing new. Impetus was starting to drain away by the time we came to the Bunting hide, but it did not disappoint. Like a flying trapeze act birds were whizzing backwards and forwards across the feeding area, with great views of Willow Tit, Nuthatch, a pair of Bullfinches, Greenfinches, Coal Tits, and just before leaving the hide, a female Reed Bunting flew in.

We walked back through the car park and on to the bridge, where we hoped to see a reported female Mandarin. No luck, so we carried on the East Bay hide, where a Water Rail called. Common Gulls were sitting on a couple of buoys. And back in the car park the female Mandarin appeared to those who walked all the way back to the cars. With Long-tailed Tit also seen by some we had collected a healthy 48 species.

Pennington Flash 24 Oct 2012  Sandbach U3A Birdwatchers

Species Remarks
Mute Swan Seen from car park.
Pink-footed Goose 120 in flight on the west side over Sorrowcow Farm.
Greylag Goose One from car park.
Greater Canada Goose Seen from car park.
Gadwall 35 counted.
Teal Seen from car park and from various hides.
Mallard Present.
Shoveler One eclipse from Tal-y-fan hide.
Pochard Female from car park.
Tufted Duck Several on main Flash.
Mandarin Duck Female at Car Park (photographed for posterity!!).
Pheasant Seen from Bunting Hide.
Little Grebe ruficollis One from New Hide then several more.
Great Crested Grebe Good numbers on the Flash.
Cormorant Several in flight and on the Spit.
Grey Heron Couple in flight, and on Spit.
Water Rail Heard from East Bay hide.
Moorhen Several around the reserve.
Common Coot Good numbers.
Lapwing Several on Spit.
Common Snipe 3 on spit.
Black-headed Gull Commonest gull.
Common Gull Standing on buoys on the Flash.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Two or three on the water.
Herring Gull Several.
Feral Pigeon Seen.
Stock Dove Seen from Bunting Hide.
Wood-Pigeon Seen in flight.
Collared Dove Bunting Hide.
White Wagtail yarrellii On grassy area behind Bunting Hide.
Wren Seen from Bunting Hide.
Dunnock Seen from Bunting Hide.
Robin Seen from New Hide.
Blackbird First seen from Horrocks Hide.
Redwing One from New Hide.
Blue Tit Many at Bunting Hide.
Great Tit Many at Bunting Hide.
Coal Tit Several at Bunting Hide.
Willow Tit c4 at Bunting Hide.
Long-tailed Tit Seen.
Nuthatch Many at Bunting Hide.
Magpie Car park.
Jackdaw In flight over the Flash.
Carrion Crow In flight over the Flash.
Chaffinch Seen from Bunting Hide.
Greenfinch Seen from Bunting Hide.
Bullfinch Pair from Bunting Hide.
Reed Bunting One from Bunting Hide.