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Lancaster Canal Monday 1st October

Posted by Jeff Butcher 
Lancaster Canal Monday 1st October
October 02, 2018 06:09AM
Between 14.30 and 16.45 I walked from central Lancaster along the canal to Raikes Head Bridge and then across Raikes Lane, behind the golf course and Happy Mount Park, to Bare.

I counted 80 mallard, 14 moorhen, 10 mute swan (4 adults - JS6, 4CVZ,4AUC - and 6 juveniles including 4CXX,4CXV and what I think was 4CXZ), 1cormorant, 3 great crested grebes flew over the Lune Aqueduct. During the northern part of the walk I saw skeins of pink-footed geese moving mostly north-eastwards - 70+23+25 - and 7 flying low, but I couldn't find the field near Hest Bank where someone told me they were gathering. 8 black-headed gull.
Other birds seen: 9 long-tailed tits, 18 blue tits, 1 great tit, 9 robins, 3 wren, 1 dunnock, uncounted sparrows, flock of about 50 goldfinch with 8+greenfinch (Foley Farm), 1 jay, 13 crow, uncounted jackdaw, 11 magpie, 11 woodpigeon, 1 collared dove, feral pigeon, 3 blackbirds, 3 song thrush.

Most remarkable sighting: a pool of crab apples had formed by the bank of the canal and a juvenile swan was eating them whole. You could see the lumps going down its throat.

Jeff B
Re: Lancaster Canal Monday 1st October
October 02, 2018 05:09PM

Just a couple of points on your excellent and very thorough observations.

I've cycled the canal from Newton to the Crem for nearly 20 years, less recently than in the past I'm afraid. I can't say that I've noted more than a handful of GC Grebe between March and November in all that time, and they must be regarded as pretty notable in themselves let alone a mystery bird.

In addition to some of the Northerly movement of PF geese, there is a lot of low level movement of feral greylags in smaller groups. I'm fairly sure this is because a lot of the maize N of Barley Cop Lane has been harvested. I have lost the local crows and woodpigeons at Torrisholme Cricket Club and I'm fairly certain that's where they've gone. The crows have started to bring half eaten cobs back in the evening. Along with sauce sachets from Maccie D's they seem happy to litter my field with cobs. Perhaps the Hest Bank geese are actually graylags?
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