No stone unturned

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
Hardly been birding on the Ribble since my holiday, so it was nice to get out early this morning for a walk along the bank at Hesketh. There might be a heatwave coming next week, but it was decidedly chilly this morning in the stiff breeze. A great start when I came across a group of waders on shelter pool and they turned out to be Knot – 25 in total, the most I’ve ever seen on the deck here. Even better was a full patch tick Turnstone hunkered down in the middle of them – it only stayed a couple of minutes and was off calling, but thankfully I managed a record shot as it took to the air. The other highlight was only my 2nd local Hobby of the year having a half hearted go at a Starling pack before heading off towards the Fylde across the marsh. Great to see that both Arctic and Common Terns have got chicks, but there s...
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Short But Very Sweet.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A red-letter day at Birk Bank....Not least because 5 Keeled Skimmer were on the bog, with the bonus of a pair seen copulating, followed by the female observed ovipositing minutes later. Also on the bog, into a double figure of up to 10 Four-spotted Chaser, later a Broad-bodied Chaser was on the damp patch at Ottergear Bridge. The images just about manage to creep up my standard.Keeled Skimmer Birk Bank Bog 22 June. Pete Woodruff.Keeled Skimmer Pair Mating 22 June. Pete Woodruff.Birds of the day on and around Birk Bank to follow when time allows me....

Mainly Conder Green….What Again!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I got no further than the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock after my visit to Conder Green on Monday, where I saw more early returning waders when I found 4 Common Sandpiper and up to 145 Redshank, there was also the first returning Little Grebe in it's fine summer plumage. I was a little surprised to find my record of an even earlier Little Grebe here on 9 June 2017, but it'll be a while yet before the number builds to a double figure on Conder Pool by the autumn.Seven Common Tern were on Conder Pool, four adult and the three chicks still looking good Tuesday morning according to IP's report, despite savage attacks by the invaders from the island the previous day. The island pair have abandoned their breeding attempt, but an Avocet at the opposite end leads me to suspect they might be nesting on the back side of this is...

Pied Flycatcher RAS Interim Report

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Now got the data for about half our RAS study of Pied Flycatchers in the Lune valley woodlands.So far it has been a good season although there has been three reports of nest box predation by either weasels or stoats.So far in total we have ringed or retrapped 369 birds  made up of 33 males, 60 females and  286 nestlings. The later have survived well in the excellent June weather, the number of caterpillars on the Oak especially appears to be high, and the numbers of insects especially midges is amazing!A quick analysis of the retrap data shows that although 13 of the birds ringed as nestlings in previous years and retrapped breeding this year returned to their native wood, but 27 moved to other woods within the Lune valley. But  of adult birds 13 returned to the wood they breed in last year and only  two changed woods. T...

Underground And Overground.

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
We’ve had a few dreary mornings and I’d waited days for a bright, clear morning to drive into the hills with camera at the ready. Tuesday looked promising so I was up early and then drove north and east with fingers crossed as I left the coast behind. This was probably the last chance of the year as upland birds have already started their return journeys to coastal locations. "Click the pics" for close-ups. To The Coast There are not many Lapwing around now and I was counting ones and twos only, with little sign of late breeders. In my experience, Lapwings tend to give up rather than try again if their early breeding fails with small flocks appearing as early as mid-June. I found a good number of Curlew, some with large “running” chicks but also a good sized one learning the ropes of calling from a drystone wall.  ...

Conder Pool….Mainly.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Seven Common Tern on Conder Pool Friday were as seen a week ago on 8 June which was the last time I was there. Other than the three chicks on the pontoon have grown a little, there was no change regarding these seven, but it makes watching the young chicks a little more anxious when the adults keep leaving them unattended whilst they go off fishing, I personally didn't think this would have been their behaviour to leave them at the mercy of predation....Wrong again!Common Sandpiper Conder Pool 15 June. Ian Pinkerton.An early returning Common Sandpiper flew in, one last seen at Conder Green 26 April, and certainly not expected back here in my book just yet. At least one Avocet seen, but no idea what they're up to at the back of the pool, as I've not yet done any trespass to find out, there's also the surpri...

Flycatcher Festival.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
On a few hours spent in the Marshaw - Tower Lodge - Trough Bridge area earlier in the week, it was rewarding to find 7 Pied Flycatcher. Priority of the visit was to get up to date on the pair found tree nesting on 23 May. Today they were both watched regularly returning to the nest feeding young, quite the opposite to the female seen leaving the nest box at Tower Lodge, with at least one young poking it's head out of the box, but despite a couple of prolonged watches, I saw no adult birds returning over a total of 30 minutes. Pied FlycatcherA pair were seen at another nest box in the compound, but better still was yet to come when I got to the top of the hill beyond Trough Bridge, I saw a bird in flight, and picking it up in a tree it was a female Pied Flycatcher offering the possibility of a second pair tree n...
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A Conder Update.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Strapped for birding and blogging time, and unless things change for the better soon, probably not able to get to Conder Green - or anywhere else - until Monday. But I have IP to be thankful to for keeping me updated with news and pictures on Conder Pool matters, where life and death is at the forefront of things.The pontoon Common Tern now have three chicks taking a first look at life through the window....I'd like to think, with good parentage and no predation, we'll see these three flying around the pool, having escaped to freedom from their prison around 10 July.Whilst as predicted from the start, inevitably the Oystercatcher pair have now lost all three of their young, the evidence of one remaining in the pontoon....the other two? Killer in the garden.This Sparrowhawk was the first thing I struck eyes on w...
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Another Moth

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Yesterday morning I checked a Barn Owl and Kestrel box at my good friends Robert and Diana's farm. In the Barn Owl box were two chicks about two days old, so there could be a couple more eggs to hatch. The female Kestrel was in residence at the box and she was sat, presumably incubating eggs or brooding small young, so we didn't disturb her. I'll be back in ten days or so to hopefully ring the Barn Owl and Kestrel chicks. Highly zoomed picture of the Kestrel in her boxThis morning as I was putting my ringing box away in my storage box in the garage I caught out of the corner of my eye what I thought was a Hornet resting on my tool bag! My first thought was "that's going to be interesting getting that beastie out of the garage"! Still thinking I was dealing with a Hornet I thought I would carefully lift my tool bag up, carry it outside,...
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Sleepy Time North

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There’s not a lot to report from this morning’s birding sortie but then it is sleepy mid-June. The regular Barn Owl flew over someone’s garden and past their lounge window. That’s a pretty good bird for anyone’s garden list. Barn OwlI stopped at Gulf Lane to inspect the bird seed cover crop and where pretty soon we’ll be catching more Linnets, a few Goldfinch and one or two other species. There’s been a tremendous surge of growth in the six or seven weeks since the farmer sowed the field during which there’s been zero rain with lots of sunny days. At the end of July we’ll cut a 100 ft ride for single panel nets through the crop and away we go with Linnet catching through until March. Bird Seed Cover Crop I saw six or eight Goldfinch and a couple of Linnets along the edge of the dried up ditch plus a sin...
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