Seagrets

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I headed to the Point this morning for first light and was joined by Ian. We had three oktas cloud cover and a 25 mph west-northwesterly wind. Unlike the other day when there was too much southerly, today there was too much northerly!We didn't expect much because of the wind direction, and as such we weren't disappointed, but the morning did have some interest. One of the most interesting/unusual sightings was that of five Little Egrets heading west out to sea and flying between the wave troughs. I have said it several times on here before that being a birder of a certain generation I always delight in seeing Little Egrets, but when they are heading west out to see it is quite spectacular. Where were they going? That is a good question, but as there are so many breeding in the UK now they are probably establishing migratory patterns from br...
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Midget gem

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
Early start at Hesketh hoping that some mud was showing again after a week without any tidal top ups, but its still too high for small waders. The visit started well(ish) with a pair of Egyptian Geese flew over the car as I arrived in the car park. A full patch tick even though they probably squeak if you squeeze them. A relatively quick visit, but still 2 adult Spotted Red on Shelter Pool and another one further up the reserve, Greenshank, 2 GWE, Avocet (doesn’t look well), 2 Peregrine (ad, juv), 3 Ruff (2ad, juv), 8 Dunlin, 3 Golden Plover, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Jackdaw through. There was a lot of geese over and I half expected my first Whoopers, but they didn’t materialise. A quick call in at Marshside, and the 4 Cattle Egret were on Fairclough’s – part of the southern influx from last month moving north I ...
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Petrel heads

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
An early morning jaunt to Ainsdale today as the weather looked favourable for a few Leach’s. The wind had too much South in it, but a decent amount of West when I first got there and I was rewarded after about half an hour with a cracking juv Sab’s gull fairly close in to shore fighting its way south towards Formby and the Wirral (a juv was also picked out at New Brighton about an hour later, again close in, so maybe the same bird). I was joined by John Dempsey and he picked out a distant Leach’s quite far down the beach towards Southport and we watched it briefly before it disappeared in the surf. Also single Manx, 2 Kittiwake, 10+ Guillemot, another 30 or so Auk sp., a few Gannets, 6 Pintail, 7 Golden Plover + the usual waders, terns and gulls. 2 interesting LWHG’s – first one clearly a hybrid LBB/Herring, bu...
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Bearded Tit Gritting Season gets Underway

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
The sighting of a pair on the  grit trays at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve today signals the start of the gritting season. The pair sighted proved most interesting.They were  both 2016 youngsters, the female having been ringed as a nestling in May and the male as a juvenile in July. The were first recorded together on October 2nd 2016 when they were recaptured. They were them recorded gritting together on 10 occasions up to  November 11th. The next  sighting was on the grit trays on 17 September 2017 and over the next months they were recorded gritting together on 14 occasions up to November 14th. On April 3rd this year they were sighted together near a nest box and the female was seen at the same nest box on April 27th.These sightings again prove that Bearded Tits pair in their first autumn and remain together as a pair as...

Too Much Southerly

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I sort had this morning free so I took myself off to the Point to do some seawatching and joined Ian who said to me as I walked up to the tower, "you may as well go home mate it's awful"! Not what I wanted to here, but not surprising either as the wind was dues south without a hint of any west in it. At the Point the best direction is anywhere between southwesterly and westerly.Funnily enough, even though I was hoping for a bit of seawatching, because the wind was fairly strong, but not very strong, and because of the southerly direction there was a bit of vis. Three Grey Wagtails and a handful of Meadow Pipits and Swallows headed south into wind.The sea was quiet also, with the most numerous species recorded being the 86 Common Scoters that headed west and the scarcest a male Velvet Scoter that drifted slowly out and west on the falling ti...
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Boomerangs

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
September means Skiathos where Sue and I join the Boomerang Club, people who return year after year to this very special Greek Island.  Don't forget - click the pics.Skiathos is the most popular of the Sporades, the group of islands east of Volos and north of Evia on mainland Greece. The island of Skiathos is actually an extension of wooded Mount Pelion 100 miles away on the mainland and the scenery reflects this. Skiathos is a green island with pine forests and abundant water with fig, olive, plum, and almond trees, as well as grapes.  SkiathosLeaving SkopelosSkiathos embraced tourism many years ago where on glistening beaches, wooded hillsides and in peaceful valleys are a number of the finest hotels in Greece. We stay in one such place that shall remain our secret.Skiathos has much to offer people of all ages and national...
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Wot No Birding

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Life, namely work, and the weather has been getting in the way of my birding of late and it's Autumn!!! And I haven't posted since 8th September, so really all I want to do with this post is to let you know dear reader that I am still here and very frustrated!Before I was self-employed I used to always take the last week in September and the first week in October off as annual leave and go birding every day. I can't do this now, because if I am doing a series of wintering bird surveys at a site for example, and the weather is fit to get some surveys in, then I have to do the surveys and there goes my day or days off! I'm not after a sympathy vote as there are far more worse ways to earn a crust, but I am just offering this up as an explanation for my 'radio silence'. That in its self rings a bell, and I think I have offered that as an expla...
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A Breath Of Life.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Sounds a little dramatic, but wasn't meant to, rather than meaning to give a breath of life to Birds2blog whilst I get back some sort of normality again, and just to thank everyone who passed on to to me their good wishes via e-mail, phone, and card, I really appreciate them all, and had no idea I had such a strong healthy following.  It was also good to see Brian Rafferty back in business following a spell in hospital. Brian's Long-eared Owl is featured in my header image, and is one of two birds he saw on the the trip. The bird in the header being a juvenile, the other above an adult bird.Pallid Harrier.  Pallid Harrier Jan Larsson Pallid Harrier at Cockersand....as write. ...
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Comment on Three more hen harriers disappear suddenly

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Prasad et al, even if the suspicious circumstances were reported to the police, NE have some small measures (unlike in Scotland) which they can take without a successful persecution. Even better, the estate against whom the measures were taken, could appeal and let the public find out what is going on. If they did take measures against the estate/s where the incidents happened, it is clear due to the locations revealed, that the measures did not work as the same places  seem to be repeated. Of course, NE could have given greater details as incidents occurred over the years, which might have had an effect. Ah, sorry, I forgot. ...

Comment on Three more hen harriers disappear suddenly

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
I have an update on my comments. NE has replied and say 'In all cases, in England and the IoM, when one of Natural England’s satellite tagged Hen Harriers stops transmitting the Police are notified straight away and a thorough search of the area is made' That is very interesting but opens up new questions about what the police have done, I also wrote to them but if it ongoing i doubt i will get a reply. In other words another black hole of infornation Strange that the NE Hen Harrier satellite tagged data-sheet mentinons nothing suspicious about birds failing. Why? They write 'Missing Fate Unknown includes:    (i) radio-tagged birds that left the study area. The vast majority of Missing Fate Unknown's are radio-tagged birds, this is not surprising given the mobility of Hen Harriers and our relatively small study area.    (ii) radio-ta...