Linnet Tales

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Start time 0615. At last, a 4mph negligible wind and no rain. I met Andy at Pilling and we set a couple of single panel nets in time for Linnets to arrive from their overnight haunts and head for the seed plot. Within 15 minutes we had our first catch. We went on to a total of 43 new Linnets with zero recaptures from previous occasions. Of the 43 ringed we had 5 adult males and 38 juvenile/first years, broken down further to 20 males and 18 females. This brought our overall total to 129 Linnets ringed in August, an excellent start to Project Linnet 2017/18. Our maximum count of the flocks and smaller groups in attendance today was of approximately 200 Linnets at about 0930. The flock is almost entirely Linnets with just a handful of Goldfinches tagging along. Linnet  LinnetReaders of a certain age will certainly remembe...
Continue Reading » Linnet Tales...

No Title….

Posted on - In Birds2blog
....well that's pathetic.Dunlin Plover Scar. Pete Woodruff.Cloudy but dry yesterday until later in the afternoon, I was on Plover Scar just after high tide to find an impressive 2,500 Dunlin at least, with c.190 Ringed Plover, a single Whimbrel, a Knot, and 3 Grey Heron. When I returned to the Lighthouse Cottage 2 hours later, the Dunlin and other waders were strung out and feeding from Plover Scar to Crook Farm with nothing 'odd' with them.There was a good movement of Swallow in my two hours in the Cockersand area, generally moving south, but some lingering over the fields, also a number of Sand Martin and a few House Martin, 10 Wheatear were close together on a line of 30 fence posts by Cockersand Abbey, and off the headland, just into double figures of Pied Wagtail and similar Meadow Pipit, a Common Sandpiper on ...
Continue Reading » No Title…....

Purple Patch

Posted on - In Birding Aldcliffe
Well, it's certainly been an interesting few days!On Friday, shortly before I was due to catch my train to Oakham for the Birdfair a juvenile purple heron was discovered in front of the Grisedale Hide at Leighton Moss. Now, given that the last purple heron at the reserve (and in this area) was back in 1996 (I saw that one too) this was not a bird to be missed.So, I duly legged it up the Skytower - following intel from Kev Kelly that it had flow into reeds 'behind Lilian's' - and scanned the vista. Kev decided to join me as it was no longer visible from the hide and we had no idea what it was going to do next.Purple heron (not the Leighton Moss one...)After a few gruelling minutes the heron rose from the reeds and flew a short distance before pitching down, out of sight once more. It did this a couple more times before relocating to Grisedal...
Continue Reading » Purple Patch...

Reed Bunting Movements

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
The recent catching of a Reed Bunting at Middleton Nature Reserve which had been ringed while wintering in Shropshire set me looking at the movements we have recorded for this partial migrant. Reed Buntings feature in our ringing at Heysham Middleton and Leighton Moss reserves. Over the years we have ringed 4553 up to 2016.The recaptures and recoveries of these show that a number winter around the Gt.Manchester/Merseyside /Cheshire area with 9 recoveries there in winter. Others move a further with 3 reports from the Midlands and 5 along the south coast from Dorset through to Kent.The only bird to buck this southward movement was a bird ringed by us in October and recaptured in Tyne & Wear in the following January.Of birds ringed in spring and summer only 10 were retrapped at the ringing site, 8 in November and one each in December and F...

Sunday Times

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Saturday was rubbish for birding so I odd-jobbed, blogged and saved my energy for Sunday. I didn’t get many photos this morning but right at the end is a video that everyone will like. Braides Farm was first stop this morning where a roadside Buzzard flew off as soon as the car slowed. Our resident Buzzards don’t like being looked at, even less being pictured on bird blogs. Many of our native farmers and country folk have very established opinions about birds with “hook bills” and there’s not much doubt that the local Buzzard population suffers as a result. Hence the aversion to man. There’s been a large influx of Continental Starlings this week with substantial flocks noticeable. So much so that at Braides/Sand Villa I counted a minimum flock of 1000+ swirling around the cow sheds and the open fields. StarlingOf...
Continue Reading » Sunday Times...

D & G

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Earlier in the week I had a couple of days in Dumfries and Galloway with Gail. On the first day I was working at a couple of sites assessing tree condition and growth in a couple of newly planted woodlands, whilst Gail mooched around Dumfries spending money!It's the third year that I have assessed these sites and for the past two years it has been dry at the first site and rained at the second site (further inland and higher), and this year it was just the same! The first site isn't far from the Criffel and a surprise on this visit were four Tree Pipits that I put up in my walk round. It does look like good habitat for Tree Pipits, and it obviously was! The only other thing of note was a flock of 30 - 40 Linnets feeding on the weed seed that is in abundance amongst the trees. I wouldn't be surprised if this flock gets larger as we get furth...
Continue Reading » D & G...

Briefly Birding!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Think we may have had that title before, it sounds a little repetitive, and boring too, but Thursday's birding really was at the lower end of the excitement scale for me. But a couple of scans through at least 1,500 gulls on the Lune Estuary at Glasson uncovered 2 Mediterranean Gull, both adult, one moulting, one in winter plumage, wader numbers were at a low, but a distant Greenshank was good.Conder Pool held 9 Little Grebe, my best count to date this autumn, by the same date last year - 17 August - 15 Little Grebe were present here. In the creeks, 4 Common Sandpiper, and along the coastal path I found 3 Whitethroat with a juvenile still being fed. A total of 7 Speckled Wood were seen along this path and on Jeremy Lane, where thirty minutes on foot found my tenth Painted Lady. The Purple Patch.Purple Hero...
Continue Reading » Briefly Birding!...

Thursday 17th August

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The forecast was OK for later in the day but no good for early birders like me. Rain spotted the windscreen as I stopped off at Lane Ends, Pilling, hoping for another look at the Marsh Harrier that us three ringers saw on Tuesday, possibly the same harrier one that’s been around for a week or two. Lots of local farmers have all seen the mystery bird but can’t put a name to the thing that’s “not a Buzzard and much bigger”. Our local farmers aren’t too good at bird ID but they are red hot at counting sheep & cattle or making a bob or two. Anyway I didn’t see a harrier but I did see and hear more than 25 Little Egrets leaving the island roost and 70 or more Greylags coming off the marsh and flying south. A couple of Willow Warblers tuned up ready for the day ahead, not singing but contact calling. I called nex...
Continue Reading » Thursday 17th August...

Nowt Much!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I can't really say nothing much to report, perhaps nothing much to impress is a little more appropriate, though in excess of 1,500 waders on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock was good, with estimates of 650 Redshank, 450 Lapwing, 180 Curlew, 150 Dunlin, 28 Black-tailed Godwit, and 4 Ringed Plover were all in view along the mud to the Conder mouth.In the creeks at Conder Green, 8 Teal were the first returns I've seen here, with 4 Common Sandpiper seen. Up to 40 Swallow were at/around Conder Green Farm, and House Martin are still active at some of the five nests at River Winds, with birds attending a nest at Cafe d' Lune, the House Martin can have up to three broods. A Long-tailed Tit with a young was along the coastal path, with a Robin the onl...
Continue Reading » Nowt Much!...

Yes or No. Touch and Go.

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Text messages flew back and forth at 5am this morning. There’d been rain most of the night with a forecast that was a little “iffy”, especially so for a site on the edge of the Bowland fells. There seemed just a small window of opportunity for a ringing session. “Let’s go for it” was the final message, so I met up with Andy at 0615 at Oakenclough. The morning remained grey with the camera set at ISO1600 but in between an odd light shower or two we managed a respectable 33 birds. Our total included one or two warblers and our second Tree Pipit of the week. 34 birds - 11 Goldfinch, 7 Goldcrest, 6 Coal Tit, 3 Robin, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Tree Pipit. Tree PipitGoldfinches were around in some numbers today. As noted earlier in the week, there are Goldfinch...