Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Willow Warbler and Chiffchaffs Sankey Valley

Willow Warbler singing near Broad Oak fishing ponds this morning, and still at least 19 singing Chiffchaffs in the Sankey Valley between Carr Mill Dam and Earlestown (7:10am - 7:50am).

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Seaforth, Marshside and Martin Mere

No sign of the recent Ring-neck Duck at Seaforth, but a few migrants including Little Ringed Plover, 3 Wheatears, 2 White Wagtails, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff and over 200 Meadow Pipits. At Marshside the 1st winter Lesser Scaup showed well on the Junction Pool, whilst nearby there were at least 500 Golden Plover and 23 Avocets. Martin Mere had 48 Avocets, also Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and Little Ringed Plover.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Chiffchaffs Sankey Valley part 2

19 singing Chiffchaffs in the Sankey Valley this morning, between Carr Mill Dam and Mucky Mountains, Earlestown (between 7:00am and 7:40am).

Monday, 21 March 2011

Chiffchaffs in the Sankey Valley

At least 11 Chiffchaffs singing this morning in the Sankey Valley between the visitor centre at Blackbrook and Mucky mountains at Earlstown.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A busy weekend

No photos from the weekend, but an excellent three days. On Friday I went to Risley Moss where we saw the first Brimstone butterfly of the year and four Slow Worms. Later the same day we went to Astley Moss, where there were at least four Orange Underwing moths flying, as well as two Willow Tits and a few Snipe.

On Saturday we went to see the impressive Common Scoter flock at Colwyn Bay, now numbering around 10,000 birds (though sadly no sign of the recent Surf Scoters). Also here several Red-throated Divers. Then we moved on to World's End at Llangollen, where we saw a stunning male Dartford Warbler and a couple of female Black Grouse which flew over the valley, their diagnostic white underwings clinching the identification.

Finally on Sunday we went to Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales and got Dipper and Grey Wagtail near the waterfalls.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

High Street Eagles

Our first walk in the Lake District this year, and what better place to start than the magnificent Riggindale Crag route up High Street. It's quite tough going for the first walk of the year, but the reward is simply spectacular views in all directions. The summit of High Street at 828m was speckled with snow and bitterly cold, but the air was so fresh and the views so sharp that it was all worthwhile. And to think that just two weeks ago we were lying on a beach in Portugal having just seen Black-bellied Sandgrouse near Mertola!

High Street is immersed in history, with a Roman road across the summit which gives the mountain it's name and horse racing and festivals used to take place just below the summit. One of the most fascinating mountains in Lakeland.

Of course Riggindale is also a great place to go birding, which was partly the reason for choosing it in this season. Flying between Riggindale Crag and Kirdsty Pike was Englands only resident Golden Eagle, it was seen well and occasionally displaying, though sadly there is no female.

Also around the crag, Peregrine, Buzzards and a few Ravens, whilst perhaps most surprisingly, there were about 20 Whooper Swans on Haweswater. Haweswater itself is quite a fascinating place, being a man made reservoir where in low water years the flooded village of Mardale can be seen.

Looking towards the summit of High Street. You can almost feel the presence of the Roman legionnaires marching across the summit on their way to Hadrians wall.

Two views of Riggindale Crag from Haweswater, rising from the pine trees on the left, up towards the summit of High Street. I think that Mardale is almost in front of us from this point. The photo on the left was taken as we arrived in the morning, the one on the right as we left in the evening.

Haweswater, with distant Whooper Swans in the righthand photo.

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