The Bakers Dozen….

Posted on - In Birds2blog
....and a few dozen others.Whinchat. Jan Larsson @ Vingspann Always a good idea for some footwork to take a closer look in the fields and on the fence posts along Jeremy Lane around this time of the year, and yesterday was definitely a good idea, and didn't take long for one bird to develop into 12 Wheatear in one field - the bakers dozen was made up with one at Cockersand later - but wait a minute, the bird further into the field isn't a Wheatear, it's a female Whinchat.A Goldeneye is lingering on at Conder Pool, it thinks it's one of the 14 Tufted Duck it was diving with, a Greenshank was in company with 38 Redshank. The Common Sandpiper I saw again today is almost certainly the wintering bird, it was again in the very same area I found it in virtually every time I visited throughout the w...
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Buzzy!

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I had a busy morning yesterday ringing at the School with lots of buzzy Lesser Redpolls! I've said this numerous times before, probably every year at this time of year when Redpolls are on the move, but you can't beat clear skies in April with Redpolls flying overhead giving their buzzy call as they head to woodlands north and east! Lesser RedpollI got to the School about 5:00 a.m. and had my nets up by half past. I had clear skies with a light easterly wind. It didn't feel like a grounded morning, but there was obviously a few grounded migrants about as I had four Lesser Whitethroats (including 3 that I ringed), two Blackcaps (one ringed), a Chiffchaff and six Willow Warblers (all ringed). Willow WarblerAs I hinted at above I had a busy morning ringing and I ringed 49 birds as follows:Blackbird - 2Willow Warbler - 6Lesser Redpoll...
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Change Of Scene

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
With a forecast of a good sunny morning I decided to have a drive up to the hills to see how things were going in this belated spring. With luck I’d have three hours of birding before the parades of wannabe Bradley Wiggins’ showed up in their day-glow clothing and very loud voices that scare the birds away.It’s a forty minute drive and a bridge over the northbound M6 before I hit the beginnings of the Trough of Bowland."Click the Pics" for a closer look. Bowland, Lancashire Bowland The quiet of early morning was broken mostly by the sounds of displaying Curlew and Lapwing. To lesser extent were the calls of Oystercatcher, Redshank and Snipe, all in the throes of establishing their breeding territories but the last three tend to be later breeders. Redshank Oystercatcher Snipe I lost count of the Mistl...
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Deja Vu.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
As on Monday, the last birds of the day for me on Friday came via yet another text from 'THE RAC' - The Reliable AC - to alert me to his claim of at least 5 Yellow Wagtail at Braides and probably more in poor light looking into the sun and long grass, of which I found three. Also here,  5 White Wagtail seen in a quick scan before I had to scoot off back to Lancaster.Black-tailed Godwit Lune Estuary. Pete Woodruff.On the Lune Estuary at Glasson, 26 Black-tailed Godwit and 14 Eider noted, and at Christ Church, a singing male Blackcap gave excellent views. Along the canal tow path to Conder Green, a Sedge Warbler, a Buzzard was over fields behind Aspley Farm, and a Cormorant fishing the canal. Three Wheatear were at the water treatment plant at the entran...
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A for effort

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
Some serious field hours and footsteps covered today, but very little reward – seems like the surrounding areas were scoring, but really struggled for any quality today. Let’s not complain too much, it was great to feel the sun on my back, but the birds just didn’t play ball today. Started at the Golf Course at dawn and it felt like it would be a good day – 8+ Redpoll through and my first Tree Pipit of the year. A pair of Sparrowhawk chased through the scrub and Whitethroats were in fine song, but little else of note. The Sand Plant still had a few White Wags around (there were still plenty on Crossens etc), a pair of Wheatear, the resident tame Dunlin and a few Willow Warbler including an acredula type A quick look at Crossens Inner produced a Common Sand, but the geese on the outer marsh were too distant s...
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Missing In Action

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
A rather grey morning left me waiting for the promised lunchtime sun before I hit the trail. Although the light was still not good, sun was on the way with our bit of the “heatwave”. Those midday Barn Owls showed again, this time an obvious pair since they hunted the same fields. They weren't quite in tandem with one of them much more active than the other which sat in the adjacent hedgerow for a good hour. I was still on ISO1200. Barn Owl Barn Owls Barn Owl I checked out the recent Buzzard location to find both birds on show but partly hidden in the nest, seemingly doing a little housekeeping. Nearby was a Kestrel and also a male Sparrowhawk sat in the depths of the cover with its bright orange breast a dead give-away. Some migrant species are rather slow in arriving this year. The long journey from Africa...
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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
The weather on Wednesday morning was cloudy, grey, windy, and nothing like what the forecast had been. Hardly to be called suitable for a visit to Bowland, but it turned out decent in the afternoon. In any case I had a man to meet for a survey of Hawthornthwaite Fell, but not until I'd been presented with a brilliant mounted photograph of a female Stonechat complete with a bill full of insects, including a Latticed Heath moth.There's quality loss from the original in the copy of this excellent photograph, but there's some improvement with a 'clik the pik'. Stonechat. Martin Jump.No Stonechat found on the west side of Hawthornthwaite, but 2 Ring Ouzel gave distant in flight views, before soon disappearing up Catshaw Greave. This sighting came two days earlier than a previous male Ring Ouzel I found here on 20 April 2...

Where Are All The Swallows?

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Another bird survey for me today in north Cumbria, not a million miles from Wigton, and again in some plantation woodland. The woodland is part of a dairy farm and normally, even on the April survey, I have good numbers of Swallows flying from the buildings around the yard to forage for insects over the trees. But not today! SwallowSwallows are now a March bird and in recent years by this time in April you can record large numbers on the coast on vis, but not this year. At the moment at the Obs they are barely reaching double figures. Time will tell whether something calamitous has happened, perhaps on the wintering grounds in south Africa or on migration between Europe and Africa, or perhaps they have just been held up. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the latter.Ian tells me that there was a half decent arrival of birds today on the ...

Migration What Migration….Part 2.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Conder Pool.The Avocet seem to be coming and going since their arrival on Conder Pool 28 March, now you see me, now you don't, with no sign on Monday, but a Greenshank was nice, with a drake Goosander and 11 Tufted Duck seen.Lune Estuary.Goldeneye Cliff RabyI was a little surprised to find 7 Goldeneye still here, with the exception of a lone bird flying downstream on 8 April, there was no birds here in 2017 after 4 seen on 21 March, and no Goldeneye were reported on the Lune Estuary in April in any of the 2015 or 2016 Lancashire Annual Reports. Hard to believe that you could count up to 200 Goldeneye on the Lune Estuary at Glasson in 2009, since then there has been a decline, and the last three figure count was 5 years ago when 122 were seen in February 2013. Void of accuracy, this winters p...

One Of Those Mornings

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
It was one of those mornings where it wasn't brilliant, nor was it poor. It seemed to have promise, but failed to deliver. Perhaps frustrating would be a better description.I headed to the coastal farm fields at the Obs at first light to be greeted with 4 oktas hazy cloud with a 15 mph southeasterly wind. By 0800 the cloud had increased to 7 oktas, and as I found out when I tried to do a short sea watch it was pretty murky out at sea with poor - moderate visibility at best!The first bird I recorded was a singing Chiffchaff as soon as I got out of my car and this gave the feeling that there might be more grounded migrants. And there was, but not that many. In total I had three Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, a Willow Warbler and best of all a singing, or should I say reeling, Grasshopper Warbler. Grasshopper WarblerThere was some 'vis' but it...