Pomarine Skua, Cocker's Dyke, Lancashire

BETWEEN SLEET AND HAIL SHOWERS, A POMARINE SKUA on the Fylde at Pilling was the main focus of a day out with the Morrises. Unfortunately it was in a very sorry state, dropping its left wing and appearing quite sluggish and reluctant to fly. However, it has a store of food, which it returns to every few hours, a macabre pile of dead birds, presumably put out for it, although we heard from someone that it had moved these birds itself? It was nice to get a good look at its plumage anyway, a very typical first winter bird.

My first Pom was on a seawatch from Seaton Sluice in Northumberland more than 30 years ago but I haven't seen that many anywhere since with a scatter of sightings. I could do with seeing some more of them but one look at this bird on the ground and there was never a question of it being anything else with its heavy Glaucous Gull-like bill. A Little Egret and an adult Mediterranean Gull at Cocker's Dyke, few Twite from Knott End Esplanade and a Firecrest with Long-tailed Tits at Marton Mere also brightened up an enjoyable day out. Thanks Pete.

Pete Morris at Cocker's Dyke - there was a cold wind today, I don't think the guy next to us was worried about us nicking his scope and tripod.