Monday, 26 March 2018

An unfamiliar song


One of the unexpected pleasures at this time of year is hearing the unfamiliar song of redwings. There are plenty of these winter thrushes passing through our area at the moment on their way back north to their breeding territories in Scandinavia and perhaps a few in Scotland. Mossley Hall farm at Pennington Flash has held a decent sized flock all winter and today I found another flock of around 100 near Haydock. The woodland they were in was full of their song, a really special moment on a warm, sunny, early spring day.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Intertidal surveys

Foulney, Roa and Walney Islands
Sometimes in amongst a plethora of mundane surveys which are bread and butter in the life of the ecologist, I hit the jackpot and something special happens. A full two weeks surveying estuarine birds not only from the ground, but also from the air certainly falls into the special category. It may seem boring and repetitive at times and if I wasn't being paid to do it, I certainly wouldn't chose to sit in the same spot for two weeks through all weathers in the middle of winter to observe the movements of birds on an  estuary. However, given that I am here, it's a great opportunity to learn so much about the way in which the estuary works. and to watch the interaction of the birds with each other and with the tides.


Fortunately my day up in the helicopter coincided with the nicest day of the two weeks!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Iceland Gull, Warrington town centre


There's been an adult Iceland gull knocking around Warrington town centre for a few winters now, usually around the college and I've had a few failed attempts myself to see it. John Tymon saw it on Thursday morning on Tescos car park, and again early this morning, so I decided to have another go at seeing it. I saw it flying almost as soon as I arrived, but it landed on the flat roof of Linde, opposite the Premier Inn on the A49 and was completely out of sight. I hung around for a while and eventually it flew across the road and landed in full view on the roof of Warrington Business School, where it stayed for about 10 minutes before flying back to Linde.  Unfortunately when it's on Linde roof, you wouldn't even know that there is a bird there let alone what species it is, it's just completely out of view.

As often seems to be the case at this time of year, all of my photos seem to be dull and grey, and of gulls or other black and white birds! Stick with it, all will change soon.......

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