Saturday, 8 January 2011

Clifton Country Park

I'd not been out birding since returning to work after New Year, and so when the weather brightened up today I decided to try a new location to which I'd never been before.  The main aim of going to Clifton Country Park in Kearsley, Salford was to see the rare Red-headed Smew that had been regularly mentioned on the Manchester Birding Forum recently.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the Country Park, which included a small visitor's centre and a large free car park.  The lake (which is sometimes called Clifton Marina) is the flooded remains of a gravel pit which was excavated to provide material for the construvtion of the nearby M62 motorway. Today it was mostly frozen, with just a small pool of water available conveniently in front of the viewing platform.

As I was getting ready to leave the car I, a fellow birder called Keith Mills passed by and so we had a quick chat. Keith had also come see the Smew and so we both made for the viewing platform where another female birder was already taking photos.

Smew on ice

Cormorant over

Mute Swan on ice

Mute Swans landing
Male Tufted Duck

Female Tufted Duck
Two white Mallards ?
Duck melee !

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