Sunday Circuit

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The week has been mixed - more of our very special English summer and the longest days when wind and rain battle for supremacy and winner takes all. It’s hard to say which came out on top this week but let’s just say that my suntan didn’t improve and birding was left on hold for a day or two. Sunday morning dawned dull and cloudy but I was determined to have a go so set off on the usual circuit. A Barn Owl hunted over Stalmine moss but then dived into the farmyard as the car got closer. Never mind, I saw another one later on the way back home and in broad daylight hunting next to the busy main road. Barn OwlI guess most Barn Owls have mouths to feed at the moment and are spending more time in hunting, even in the daylight. Just three weeks ago Andy and I had a brood of four Barn Owls at an ideal stage to ring but had to cal...
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Hide & Seek!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I was overdue a look in at Leighton Moss, in any case there had been a 'goodie' there the day before....so on Thursday off I went.Marsh Harrier. Pete Woodruff.From the Causeway Hide, 2 Marsh Harrier seen, a female was perched in a distant tree, and a male hunted over the far side. There was easily a three figure number of Sand Martin hawking over the mere, and a small number of Swift, a Great-crested Grebe had a single juvenile, whilst 2 Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk soared high up, an Emperor Dragonfly was patrolling below the hide window.At the Grisedale Hide, up to 160 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Little Egret, and a Black-tailed Skimmer seen. From the path here I saw 2 Nuthatch and heard one in the car park soon after.At the Allen Hide, 6 Avocet included one sat on a nest in the midst of a Black-headed Gull colo...
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Down But Not Out….Quite.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
After This amazing record of 20 Avocet on Conder Pool last Saturday,  my efforts three days later on Tuesday, turned up just five adult and only one young, that's a staggering fourteen birds - five adult and nine young - down on Saturdays count. But ne'er mind, lets be positive, they were probably all out of view in some hidden corner.Avocet. Pete Woodruff.The only young Avocet seen Tuesday, one of the 22 May birds, growing nicely and looking good....which is more than can be said for the photograph.Common Tern Conder Pool 20 June. Pete Woodruff.The Common Tern family were also looking good, with one of the young looking through the perspex like a kid at a bedroom window....excellent stuff.A wander along the coastal path to Glasson Dock and return via the canal was rewarded by excellent views of a Sed...

Back In Bowland

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Tuesday morning saw me take to the hills in Bowland to carry out a site visit to look at the condition of two areas of species rich grassland. My client's farm is full of breeding waders as he farms exceedingly sympathetically to cater for them; he's amended some farming practises to reduce any potential impact on eggs and chicks, created habitat features such as scrapes to provide additional habitat and adjusted stocking densities to create the correct sward heights. He's a great bloke!Walking between the two fields that I had to survey it was obvious that most of the waders had finished breeding. Nearly all of the Lapwings had gone and just a few pairs of Curlew and Oystercatcher were still about. I had an interesting first wader breeding record for the farm in the form of a Common Sandpiper. I can't claim any credit for discovering this ...
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First Moths For A While

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I ran my garden moth trap for the first time a few days ago and had a pleasing little catch, well for me anyway. I don't like to catch too many as it takes me quite a while to go through them, mainly because I don't run my trap often enough to get my eye in. However, I caught 21 moths of eight species as follows:Brimstone - 2Sallow Kitten - 2Garden Carpet - 4Riband Wave - 1Heart and Dart - 4Dark Arches - 3The Flame - 2Large Yellow Underwing - 3Brimstone Sallow Kitten...

Holiday Snaps

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I've had to hit the ground running this week with work, with lots of site visits and today is the first time I have had time to post anything since getting back from Scotland at weekend. Gail and I had a week in a holiday cottage on the Kilninver Estate south of Oban overlooking Loch Feochan. When it wasn't raining we had cracking views to Kerrera, and Mull beyond that. I say when it wasn't raining because we had quite a dreich week!We didn't see a huge selection of birds, but you know what it's like as a birder you're always birding wherever you are. Highlights included lots of Siskins everywhere we went, Hooded Crows a plenty, Cuckoos, a couple of Golden Eagles, Goosanders, lots of Song Thrushes outnumbering Blackbirds, Spotted Flycatchers, breeding Wheatears, Stonechats, Peregrine, Ravens and Rock Dove (not sure how genuine they are here...
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Digging For Gold.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Excellent day on Monday in the Cross of Greet/White Greet/Bloe Greet area, though the birds did'nt quite reach the 'excellent' mark. Whinchat Martin Lofgren @ Wild Bird Gallery Like digging for gold, it took four hours to find a pair of Whinchat at Bloe Greet, seen as a scarce and declining migrant breeder in the Bowland Fells. But this interesting record in the 1983 LDBWS Annual Report...The Whinchat is seen to be loosing ground with only 8 pairs found this year in Bowland....doesn't seem to make things sound any better for the Whinchat even 34 years ago. You might see them on passage....but go try to find a pair breeding somewhere.Stonechat. Howard Stockdale.Six Stonechat were seen in as many hours as a distant female and two juvenile, or three juvenile above White Greet, a pair and a lone male...
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Golden Times

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There are more pictures from the hill country today. Birding is more than a little quiet and the weather so perfect that I took to the upland roads with camera at the ready. Noticeable today was the reduction in numbers of waders with many already gone for the coast, mainly Lapwings, Redshanks and Curlews but to a lesser extent Oystercatchers. In fact I struggled to get pictures of Curlew and Redshank and managed just one Lapwing. Despite that a number of Snipe continued to both sing and display and to show themselves on dry stone walls and fences. Lapwing Curlew Like me, the Oystercatcher below was searching the skies for the Golden Plover singing unseen. I didn’t see the plover but the unmistakeable melody rung out loud and clear across the open fell. OystercatcherMaybe the Oystercatcher didn’t recognise the song...
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Tern Up For The Books

Posted on - In Birding Aldcliffe
With the sun a-blazing it was always going to be about insects today. Having hardly spent any time birding around Aldcliffe lately, I was keen to see if there was much about - and particularly interested to see what dragonflies had emerged.On the odanata front it was great to see my first emperor dragonflies of the year; four of these monsters were cruising around at Darter Pool. Also here was a lone four-spotted chaser and a few broad-bodied chasers along with multiple common blue damselflies.Butterflies were seriously lacking and just a handful of speckled woods, and the odd red admiral, peacock and skipper were seen between Aldcliffe and Glasson.Birds-wise, Aldcliffe highlights included a newly hatched brood of lapwing chicks at the Wildfowlers' Pools. Otherwise the patch was pretty quiet. Talking of lapwings, the post-breeding (perhaps ...

Another Two Hour Job.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Just time to have a nosey into the situation on Conder Pool on Thursday where I found 4 Avocet adult, three young were seen as just one of the older two, and two golf ball chicks from the nest at the left edge of the island where one egg still remained.Things will have changed by the time I get to Conder Green again probably not until Tuesday at the earliest, other reports will differ from mine and yesterday morning was the best example of this, when one report was of four adult Avocet and just one young, whilst another reads twenty Avocet, seen as ten adult and ten young, and goes on to suggest the possibility of five broods....Now the inside of my head is chaotic!!Common Tern Chicks Conder Pool Pontoon 15 June. Pete Woodruff.The three Common Tern chicks were active on occasions, but were left on their own a couple of times, and more surpr...