Both myself and Alex Jones were in need of a break, so we organised a trip to Moore Nature Reserve for Friday 21st January. Moore Nature Reserve is one of the best places in the north-west to see Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, amongst a few other sites. If your planning a visit to Moore Nature Reserve, it can be reached via the Runcorn Bridge and Daresbury turn-off; or Junction 11 of the M56. Take the Daresbury turn-off, shortly followed by the the Moore turn-off. For more information on the reserve, visit:- http://wrg.co.uk/ and search for Moore Nature Reserve.
Waking up at 6am and catching a train to Rhyl, certainly woke me up for what we were hoping to be a great day's birding. Alex picked me up at the station and we were on our way. First stop was Richmond Bank, a hotspot for scarce gulls on low tide, however we had timed it wrong and with the tide on it's way in, there were fewer than 200 gulls present, with nothing out of the ordinary in view.
Moving onto Moore itself, we walked the intire stretch of the reserve, covered every footpath, every lake and all compartments of woodland but not a sniff of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. I suppose we will have to make a visit in the spring when the males are drumming and hopefully we will have a chance of seeing them then?!
At the feeding station, a male Great-Spotted Woodpecker showed well on the feeders, giving me time to do a bit of digiscoping.Birchwood Pool was virtually deprived of gulls, however when nearing Pumphouse Pool, the lake was completely covered with roosting gulls. Surely we would pick something scarce out here? Dissapointingly, all we could find were the 5 common species of gulls and not a single Yellow-Legged or Caspian Gull.. Several metal-ringed Black-Headed and Herring gulls were in evidence but impossible to read at that distance.
A quick stop at Shotwick Fields to check on the large swan flock that was in residence here, revealed at least 50 Bewick's and 30 Whooper swans. A larger flock resided at the far end of the field, but these were too distant to confirm their I.D.
Thanks to Mark Feltham for giving us the best sites to see the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. To visit Mark's blog on Moore Nature Reserve, visit:- http://moorepatcher.blogspot.com/. Thanks to Alex for doing all the driving aswell. To see Alex's account of our trip to Moore, visit:- http://birdingnorthwales.blogspot.com/.
Back to Bangor via the train, rapidly un-packed and re-packed and headed off to Newton-Le-Willows where I met up with Kane to do some ringing with him over the weekend.