Bearded Tit Gritting Latest Results

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Gritting is now in full swing at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve especially on fine reasonably calm days. Although a few have ventured out on less attractive days. To date I have received 201 daily sightings of colour ringed birds although there are a few unringed birds around.To date we have recorded 52 different birds visiting the trays, the make up of the sightings is shown in the table below.Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 TotalMale 3 2 14 10 29Female 4 3 6 10 23Total 7 5 20 20 52To date we have colour ringed 30 young birds in 2017 so two thirds of these have visited the trays. The reserve staff have now put out trays in two new areas near the Griesdale and Jackson Hides. To date there has been no reports of birds using these.This season is following the usual pattern that some birds visit infrequentl...

A Gamekeeper From Bleasdale

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Readers of Another Bird Blog will remember that I am a frequent summer visitor to the beautiful part of Lancashire known as Bowland.The same readers may also know that the bird ringing site of Oakenclough mentioned frequently on this blog is bordered by the shooting estate of Bleasdale highlighted below.  As I turn into the track to our ringing site, immediately opposite is a gated track that heads alongside Harris End Fell and into the secret world of the Bleasdale estate.  Bowland, Lancashire I am grateful to http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/ for the following. “28th September 2017 was a landmark day in Bowland’s dark history of ongoing raptor killing, when Mr James Hartley a 34 year old gamekeeper from the Bleasdale estate appeared in the dock at Preston Magistrates Court facing nine charges relating to the alleged killing of...

17 for 5.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
After the passing of Ophelia, it was a brilliant morning on Wednesday and I was keen to get off into Bowland to check out the early winter status of any birds to be found wherever I decided to go up there. One thing for sure, despite it now being mid-October, it was guaranteed I wouldn't be seeing many if any raptors, at least two species of which I certainly wouldn't be seeing, and at least a couple more I wasn't likely to, in the end I found just one....Imagine that, one raptor for 5 hours in Bowland in the 21st century.But it was good to see 3 Stonechat on Hawthornthwaite Fell, distant and together, I'd suggest a female and two juveniles, with no adult male present. The count with the most interest was of 6 Wren, with 13 Red Grouse and 2 Meadow Pipit bringing up the rear.Of the 17 species found, 14 were between Marshaw - T...
Continue Reading » 17 for 5....

Farmland Vis

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Yesterday and today I have been doing some bird surveys, yesterday in the Fylde and today in the Lune valley. The vis hasn't really been part of the surveys, but I record it anyway for my own interest, and after the stormy weather earlier in the week the flood gates opened.  The day dawned with clear skies and very little wind, perhaps just a tad from the east, and birds were on the move straight away. My totals below don't really justify the true numbers of the birds involved, as I was having to concentrate on other things, but the species make-up is accurate. So a flavour of yesterday morning included 654 Pink-footed Geese, 49 Skylarks, 4 Woodpigeons, 13 Meadow Pipits, four Redwings, a Snipe, a Tree Sparrow, 44 Jackdaws, a Lesser Redpoll, five Alba Wags, two Grey Wags, a Brambling, a Greenfinch, a Siskin, a Raven, a Fieldfare and nin...
Continue Reading » Farmland Vis...

Farmland Vis

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Yesterday and today I have been doing some bird surveys, yesterday in the Fylde and today in the Lune valley. The vis hasn't really been part of the surveys, but I record it anyway for my own interest, and after the stormy weather earlier in the week the flood gates opened.  The day dawned with clear skies and very little wind, perhaps just a tad from the east, and birds were on the move straight away. My totals below don't really justify the true numbers of the birds involved, as I was having to concentrate on other things, but the species make-up is accurate. So a flavour of yesterday morning included 654 Pink-footed Geese, 49 Skylarks, 4 Woodpigeons, 13 Meadow Pipits, four Redwings, a Snipe, a Tree Sparrow, 44 Jackdaws, a Lesser Redpoll, five Alba Wags, two Grey Wags, a Brambling, a Greenfinch, a Siskin, a Raven, a Fieldfare and nin...
Continue Reading » Farmland Vis...

Thrush Rush

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There was no post-Ophelia rush of Redwings on Wednesday with just a single one caught out of the less than 40 birds on the move. Andy and I met up again on Thursday where we hoped to improve on our previous catch and also to witness something in the way of visible migration. October is generally one of the better months to do so, weather permitting. Visible migration "vis-mig" is the observation of bird migration during daylight hours, a bird watching principle pioneered by Dutch ornithologists in the 1940's. At suitable locations and at the appropriate times of the year it is possible to detect bird migration as birds follow their favoured habitats and routes to reach their destinations. Under certain conditions at Oakenclough, near Barnacre on the edge of the Pennines and looking north to distant Morecambe Bay about 12 miles a...
Continue Reading » Thrush Rush...

The Birding Highs and Lows of Ophelia

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
The press has been full of reports of the damage and sadly loss of life that ex-hurricane Ophelia wreaked upon the UK, particularly Ireland, Wales and southwest Scotland. Luckily here in northwest England we escaped the full force of the storm, but when I went out sea watching at the Point yesterday it was still a force 9 southwesterly!I was at the tower for first light and was soon joined by IG and GH, and later AD. The first bird I had was a dark morph Arctic Skua shearing west, but sadly it was some way out. We had another two Arctic Skuas, and these were followed by both Great and Pom. We had three Bonxies head west and then at 1140 whilst I was on the phone to my Doctors I heard IG shouting for me to get back up quick. Two gorgeous Pom Skuas were heading west and they were close in. Both were adults; one was in winter plumage and the o...

Goodbye Ophelia. Hello Birds.

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Thank goodness. Hurricane Ophelia passed over us without doing too much damage apart from destroying any chance of birding or ringing. Hopefully, and as the wind subsided throughout Tuesday night, it opened up a window of opportunity for migration to take place. I met with Andy at 0645 on Wednesday morning at Oakenclough where the trees barely moved in the still of post-dawn. We set up shop and hoped for a good catch of birds to ring and where with a little time between the processing of birds we might observe “vis-mig”, visible migration. The Ringing Point It’s in the half-light that we mostly catch Redwings but we caught just the one this morning. And then within an hour of dawn that small arrival of Redwings stopped completely and we caught no more. Of the forty or so Redwings that arrived in fives and tens most did so fr...

Always The Chance.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
With the tail end of Ophelia still lashing through yesterday, it was never going to be a good idea to walk along the headland at Cockersand, but it might have been a better one to stake out for a couple of hours sheltered from the howler in the motor and see if the odd sea-bird was going to be blown off course and pushed by me.Well it might have been a good idea, but it bore no fruit, but as the tide fell the waders dropped in to feed on the exposed shore. Nothing remarkable, but descending in number, Dunlin, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, with 3 Eider off Plover Scar. In a field by Abbey Farm, c.350 Golden Plover and 25 Black-tailed Godwit were seeking refuge from the high tide and wind, and 15 Linnet were around the cover crop on Slack Lane. The Lune Estuary ...
Continue Reading » Always The Chance....

Nectar Points!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I got no further than Conder Green and Glasson last Thursday, and haven't had the time for Birds2blog since. Not enough hours in a day, and too much other stuff to deal with....I can't go on like this, I'm like a fish out of water!The 2 Common Sandpiper found on Conder Pool 6 October when the resident bird was seeing off the intruder, appear to have become friends, they were in the creeks and were feeding amiably a few metres apart, a Goosander was also noted. On Conder Pool, 15 Little Grebe, and the lone Pink-footed Goose was grazing along the rear terrace, but the single Wigeon of late had another for company, 40 Goldfinch were flighty, and a Comma butterfly with wings folded in the bushes, couldn't possibly have been happy in the weather conditions.Notes from the Lune Estuary, an adult Mediterranean Gul...
Continue Reading » Nectar Points!...