Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Pennington Flash

Little Gull 1 adult
Common Tern 5
Arctic Tern 1
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 1

Year 182 (Little Gull, Common Tern)



Eccleston Mere

Common Sandpiper 2
Whitethroat 5 singing
Blackcap 3
Gadwall 4 (3 males 1 female)
Buzzard 1
Swift 10
Oystercatcher 2

Monday, 29 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Sedge Warbler 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Whitethroat 3
Swift 4
Gadwall  (male & female)



Sunday, 28 April 2013

Torver Common and Coniston Water

Cuckoo 1 heard
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Goosander 1 male

Year 179 (Cuckoo)

Eccleston Mere

Common Sandpiper 3
Whitethroat 4
Blackcap 4
Gadwall 2 (male & female)
Tufted Duck 10
Nuthatch 1

Just a quick walk around this morning....

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Kirkby Moss

Little Ringed Plover 4
Teal 10
Wheatear 13 inc. 12 in horse paddock at Sandy Lane Farm.

Rainford Mosslands

Wheatear 33 Old Coach road inc. 32 in one field near the junction with Cut Lane, 12 Green Lane, Catchdale Moss, 1 Berrington's Lane.

Shelduck 4 Old Coach Road
Golden Plover 1 Howards Lane, Catchdale Moss, in paddock with sheep.

Eccleston Mere

Swift 1
Common Sandpiper 4
Sedge Warbler 2
Willow Tit 1
Whitethroat 4
Blackcap 4
Willow Warbler 10
Chiffchaff 4
Siskin 2
Lesser Redpoll 5

Year 178 (Swift)
Two of the Common Sandpipers appear to be a pair, with one bird displaying to the other.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Common Sandpiper 5
Whitethroat 2
Blackcap 5
Swallow 100
Sand Martin 50
House Martin 50

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Yellow Wagtail 1 male
Common Sandpiper  8+ present all day
Sedge Warbler 2 singing
Whitethroat 2 singing
Blackcap 4 singing males
Lesser Redpoll 4
Gadwall 2 (male & female)
Willow Tit 1
Swallow 50
Sand Martin 50
House Martin 20

It was clearly a good day for Common Sandpiper migration today, with at least another 2 in Taylor Park, and it was the most impressive day yet this year for hirundines. The Yellow Wagtail was a stunning male, on the "delta" mud where the stream enters the mere. It was my 95th species this year at Eccleston Mere.


Common Sandpiper and Yellow Wagtail. Thanks to Damian Pendlebury for allowing me to use these excellent photos!


Swallows.


I've seen Common Scoter at the mere eat Swan mussels, in fact they swallow them whole and crush them in their gizzards, but I'm not sure how this Coot was going to eat this mussel.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Warwickshire

Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling
Tawny Owl 1
Green Woodpecker 1 yaffling
Yellow Wagtail 2

Year 177 (Gropper)

Weeting Heath, Titchwell and Holme Marsh, Norfolk

Stone Curlew 2 Weeting
Crossbill 5 Weeting
Tree Pipit 3 Weeting
Green Woodpecker 2 Weeting
Bearded Tit 2 Titchwell
Cetti's Warbler 1 singing Titchwell
Avocet 30 Titchwell
Ring Ouzel 2 (male and female) Holme marsh ("village hides")
Whimbrel 11 Holme marsh
Lesser Whitethroat 1 singing Holme marsh

Year 176


Titchwell


Titchwell and Muntjac deer, Weeting.


Ring Ouzels, male and female.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Cley-next-the-sea and Kelling Heath, Norfolk

Woodlark 1 Kelling Heath
Cetti's Warbler 2 singing Cley
Avocet 120 Cley, 36 Arnold's Marsh
Whimbrel 3 Salthouse
Sandwich Tern 40 Cley and Arnold's Marsh
Dark-bellied Brent Goose 500 Cley
Sedge Warbler 5 singing Cley
Barn Owl 1 Cley
Tawny Owl 1 heard Cley
Greenshank 1 Arnold's Marsh
Marsh Harrier 2 Cley
Yellow Wagtail 1 male Cley

Also, Lesser Whitethroat singing Swaffham and Tree Pipit.

Year: 174

With work completed for the day I took advantage of the glorious weather and lengthening evenings, and headed north to the birding Mecca of Cley. I've got  so many happy memories of this coastline, I'm overwhelmed by nostalgia everytime I visit, and have mixed emotions of excitement and anticipation, and sadness for bygone times. To quote the bard of the Village"I know every scene by heart, they all went by so fast".


Looking west over the reedbed at Cley, and the East Bank, the most famous birding walk in Britain.


More images of Cley Marshes.


Avocet in flight and Dark-bellied Brent Geese


Black-tailed Godwit in summer plumage and the end of a perfect day (spot the Barn Owl).



Sunday, 21 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Common Sandpiper 2
Tawny Owl 1
Water Rail 1 in SW corner
Whitethroat 2
Blackcap 5
Chiffchaff 4
Willow Warbler 4
Lesser Redpoll 10
Kingfisher 1
Gadwall 7 (5 males, 2 females)
Teal 2 (male and female)
Great Crested Grebe 18
Buzzard 1
Swallow 5
Sand Martin 3
House Martin 1

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Arctic Tern 1
Water Rail 1 in SW corner
Whitethroat 1 singing
Blackcap 2 singing
Willow Warbler 5 singing
Chiffchaff 2 singing
Common Sandpiper 1
Oystercatcher 2
Swallow 10
Sand Martin 5
Gadwall 7 (5 males, 2 females)
Tufted Duck 21 (14 males, 8 females)

Bats: Daubenton's Bat. It was still quite light at 8pm, and I was surprised to see a Daubenton's Bat feeding over the water. It was a rare opportunity to watch the species at close range and in almost daylight, so I watched it for about 30 minutes. I normally see them just as a silhouette at night. It had a dark head contrasting with a lighter body and wings, and it looked almost to be flapping it's wings at a disproportionate rate to the speed of it's fight. It was seemingly oblivious to the ducks and grebes, and at one point it flew right between a pair of displaying Great Crested Grebes, clearly startling the birds! Daubenton's are meant to take insects just above the surface of the water, only rarely off the surface itself, yet I saw this bat ripple the water on several occasions. I was also surprised at its range, which was from the jetty right over to the other side of the mere.




Arctic Tern. Notice the transluscent primaries on the underwing view, the long tail streamers and the short blood red bill. Also, in the field, there is a sharp contrast between the snowy white underwing and the dark trailing edge to the primaries, though that isn't particularly apparent in these photographs. Beautiful birds, this is presumably the same bird that I saw at Carr Mill Dam this morning, though there have been up to three Arctic Terns at Eccleston Mere over the past few days.


Kirkby Moss

Little Ringed Plover 2
Wheatear 2
Teal 30
Snipe 3

Rainford Mosslands

Wheatear 20 Old Coach Road, 8 Windle Moss (Moss Lane), 2 Catchdale Moss
Curlew 15 Simonswood Moss, 5 Old Coach Road
Corn Bunting 1 singing Moss Lane

Queens Park

Willow Warbler 1 singing
Chiffchaff 1 singing

Carr Mill Dam

Arctic Tern 1
Sand Martin 5

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Warwickshire

Work has led me into Warwickshire this week, carrying out all kinds of interesting survey work, including Breeding Bird Surveys, Vantage Point Surveys, extended Phase 1 habitat surveys and Great crested Newt surveys.

Today we had a Yellow Wagtail fly over (Year 168), Peregrine and Green Woodpecker, as well as several Great crested Newts.

It's a tough life, but somebody has to do it.......

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Arctic Tern 2
Common Sandpiper 1
Water Rail 1
Kingfisher 1
Gadwall 10 (5 pairs)
Willow Warbler 4 singing
Chiffchaff 3 singing
Nuthatch 1
Buzzard 1

Year 166

Arctic Terns are nearly annual at the mere, and there has been quite an influx across the country today. The Water Rail showed exceptionally well under the Alder Carr at dawn. It's getting quite late in the season for Water Rail at the mere.





Monday, 15 April 2013

Lancs mosslands

Marsh Harrier 1 male
Barn Owl 1
Wheatear 15
White Wagtail 2
Golden Plover 120


Many of the ditches were full of flowers, dominated by Lesser Celandine but also including Marsh Marigold.


Wood Anemone is an ancient woodland indicator species, so it seems a little odd to find it growing in a ditch on the mosslands, in amongst Lesser Celandine. There were lots of Brown Hares in evidence today.

Eccleston Mere

Common Sandpiper 1
Willow Warbler 4
Chiffchaff 4
Swallow 10
Gadwall 10 (5 pairs)
Goldeneye 1 female
Buzzard 2

Year 165 (Common Sandpiper)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Marshside

Waxwing 30
Mediterranean Gull 2
Avocet 2
Black-tailed Godwit 20
Little Egret 2

After leaving the RSPB reserve we cycled along Marshside road towards Churchtown. About 100m past the reserve, I was amazed to find a flock of about 30 Waxwings in a tree. My latest ever Waxwings.


Mediterranean Gull with Black-headed Gulls. Despite the jet black head, this is clearly not a full adult because an adult would have pure white wing tips. The photo of the bird in flight clearly shows that the bird has some black in the primaries, making it a 2nd summer.


This photo shows not only the difference in colour of the hoods of these two gulls, it also shows how much further down the neck the hood of the Med Gull comes.

Eccleston Mere

Shelduck 1 flew over
Raven 1
Willow Warbler 4 singing
Blackcap 1 singing
Chiffchaff 5 singing
House Martin 1
Swallow 15
Sand Martin 2
Gadwall 10 (5 pairs)
Pochard 2 males
Tufted Duck 25
Teal 1 (pair)
Goldeneye 3 females
Lesser Redpoll 30
Treecreeper 4
Bullfinch 3

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Martin Mere

Crossbill 2 (male and female)
Spoonbill 1
Avocet 4 (but I didn't go to the Ron Barker hide where most of the Avocets are)

Year 164 (Crossbill)


Female Crossbill. At least the photos show the bill quite well! There have been up to 7 Crossbills at Martin Mere over the past couple of days. This was my 166th species at Martin Mere.


Spoonbill, it looks like the same bird I saw at Marshside a couple of weeks ago but apparently it's not.

Kirkby Moss

Little Ringed Plover 6
Teal 47
Shoveler 2
Gadwall 2
Shelduck 2
Snipe 2
Fieldfare 19
Redwing 3
Oystercatcher 2
Lapwing 4
Buzzard 3

Rainford Mosslands

Curlew 5 Old Coach Road
Corn Bunting 1 singing Inglenook Farm, Rainford bypass
Buzzard 5 Old Coach Road
Bullfinch 2 Berrington's Lane
lots of Chiffchaffs

Eccleston Mere

House Martin 2
Shelduck 2
Willow Warbler 2 singing
Blackcap 1 singing
Tawny Owl 1 roosting in bush
Swallow 10
Sand Martin 5
Lesser Redpoll 30 including birds displaying
Siskin 2
Gadwall 10 (5 pairs)
Teal 2 (pair)
Goldeneye 3 females
Kingfisher 1
Tufted Duck 27
Chiffchaff 7 singing
Red-legged Partridge 3
Little Grebe 1 adult
Bullfinch 2

Year 163 (House Martin, Willow Warbler, Blackcap)


Lesser Redpoll and Tawny Owl.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Alder Lane, Winwick

Green Sandpiper 1
Little Ringed Plover 1
Teal 11

Eccleston Mere

Gadwall 7 (4 males, 3 females)
Goldeneye 2 (females)
Chiffchaff 3 singing
Siksin 1
Lesser Redpoll 3 displaying
Tufted Duck 17

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Tawny Owl 1
Water Rail 1
Swallow 1
Sand Martin 5
Gadwall 9 (5 males, 4 females)
Goldeneye 2 (females)
Teal 2 (male and female)
Chiffchaff 3 singing
Kingfisher 1
Tufted Duck 17


I found this Tawny Owl roosting in a bush.

Alder Lane, Winwick

Green Sandpiper 1
Little Ringed Plover 1
Oystercatcher 2
Teal 5


Green Sandpiper, Teal and Little Ringed Plover. I'm not sure why these fields should hold such a good selection of birds. The best I can come up with is that perhaps the birds use the Sankey Valley as a corridor to migrate along, which would also explain why Penkford Flash at Earlestown can be good.

Delph Lane, Winwick

Little Ringed Plover 2
Redshank 1

Monday, 8 April 2013

Eccleston Mere

Swallow 1
Sand Martin 1
Water Rail 1
Willow Tit 1
Gadwall 10
Kingfisher 1
Nuthatch 1
Teal 2
Goldeneye 2

Slowly but surely spring is getting here, but it's freezing in that wind when the sun goes behind a cloud! The Water Rail is showing very well at the moment, more often than not in the middle of the afternoon, and the Willow Tit is now being seen daily in the southern flooded woodland.

Year 160 (Swallow)


Mosslands birding

Ring Ouzel 1 male
Golden Plover 300
Merlin 1
Wheatear 5
Grey Partridge 2
Barn Owl 1
Shelduck 150
Curlew 25

It was a bitterly cold wind first thing this morning, nearly cut me in half! I arrived at my first stop at 7:15am, stopped the car, lifted my binoculars and the first bird I saw was a male Ring Ouzel! Nice!

I was on the mosslands between Ormskirk and Southport, the same place where previously I had wonderful views of the harriers in the winter. No Harriers today, but I was more than compensated by a flock of 300 Golden Plover, many in spectacular breeding plumage. A Merlin dashed across and briefly spread panic, there were Shelduck everywhere and five Wheatears were my first of the year, as were two Grey Partridge. At dusk I watched a Barn Owl hunting.

Year 159 (Ring Ouzel, Grey Partridge, Wheatear)



Golden Plover.


Ring Ouzel and Shelduck. Shelduck are one of my favourite birds, partly because I always used to associate them with Llandudno Junction station, where I saw my first on the Conwy estuary in about 1972! I counted about 150 Shelduck today, of which this was the largest flock, with nearly 60 birds in this one field.

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