A day off work and another dilemma. Leighton Moss RSPB or checking out a few sites around the edge of Morecambe Bay for something more unusual.
M6 just north of Lancaster and junction 34 appeared. Lancaster, Kirkby Lonsdale, Morecambe, Heysham it was time for a decision. The slip road approached and the decision was made. Time to head west on the A683 to what was once a quaint little village. Unfortunately the addition of a ferry port and 2 nuclear power stations has made the village largely unrecognisable from JMW Turner’s “Heysham and Cumberland Mountains” Perhaps Turner’s view was based upon Half Moon Bay?
Back in Turner’s day the Chough had a relatively widespread population especially around coastal grasslands. Unfortunately due to persecution and changes in agricultural practices by 1952 it was extinct as a breeding bird in England.
More recently, the Chough has returned to Cornwall and the populations on the Isle of Man and in north Wales are beginning to recover. Its likely this particular bird is of Manx origin. Perhaps a stowaway on one of the ferry’s that run between Heysham and the Isle of Man.