Saturday, 13 December 2014

Squalls and the Oldsquaw!

Long tailed duck (Oldsquaw)

Braved the weather and dashed out to the marine lake at Crosby coastal park this afternoon, 'twas aiming to try and catch up with the long tailed duck that had been hanging out there.  This Oldsquaw was a long way from the Moray Firth in Scotland.

Down by the Mersey it was bracing, well perishing more like. How these birds survive this without gloves and parka beats me.

I checked out the boating lake first as this was where all the action appeared to be.  Nice little flotilla of tufted ducks were with the more usual mallards, coots and Canadian geese. Big squabble broke out when I unburdened myself of a bag of wheat and some scraps of brown bread. Needless to say hordes of black headed gulls joined in the fray.

No sign of the long tailed here so I made my way to the top of the sand dunes overlooking the marine lake. Success, sea duck espied -quite remarkable considering I’d left my bins behind doh! (You’re not the only one Neil)

·         I hurled myself down the dune to the lake path and advanced on my quarry as it dived, stock still as it surfaced. (The Long-tailed Duck is one of the deepest diving ducks, and can dive as deep as 200 feet to forage- impressive, no problem  at Crosby then).
 Running on water - lift off
Despite my stealth it never really came close to shore and at one point took flight and moved further on, one had to be patient.  Eventually it headed further into the lake, surprisingly towards the incredible hardy windsurfers, what’s all that about, tis winter- Brrr!

Took a look at Seaforth reserve, looked quiet but then without bins there could have been a dodo there for all I knew!

The tide was coming in and with it some pretty dirty heavy clouds; alas I didn't make it back to the car before the hail squall got me…oww.. that stung.   Never mind had the pleasure of feeding the hungry ones and I got my tick!  - Laura 

Crosby beach (Anthony Gormley statue)

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