Bowland Lost And Found.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Hawthornthwaite Fell.I made only three previous visits so far this year and found not one Stonechat, and to turn this into an even bigger disaster found none when I went again last week. This looks like it's going to be a record at the end of the year that I never really wanted to collect, that the Stonechat was never found on Hawthornthwaite in 2018, let alone bred there. Merlin@1000-Pattes But as I came down of the fell, a bird hidden from my view took off out of the heather little more than 50m ahead of me and flew across the clough to perch, this is as good as it gets in Bowland, it was a stunning male Merlin. The only other birds seen were, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Red Grouse, and 3 Sand Martin flying around.Harrisend Fell. I had made just two previous visits, to see a pair on 8...

A Typical August Mixed Bag

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Yesterday morning saw Graham, Ian and Me undertaking a ringing session at one of the reedbeds at the Obs. It had been crystal clear and cool overnight, so every indication was that it had been a 'clear out' night. At first light we had four oktas cloud cover with a 5 - 10 mph southwesterly wind.As we were putting the nets up the morning murmuration of Starlings, as they exited their roost, entertained, and I estimated that there was somewhere between three and five thousand birds. Pied Wagtails also exited their roost on the marina and they flew over in ones and twos heading south to feeding areas.An adult male Sparrowhawk, Little Egret and Great Spotted Woodpecker made it into my notebook, but that was it from a birding perspective.We ringed 27 birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):Wren - 3Willow Warbler - 3Chiffchaff - 1 (1)Robin - 1B...

Terned out nice again

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
A midday walk along Ainsdale beach with Claire for the high tide was a real spectacle – I’d forgotten just how fantastic it is here when the waders get pushed in by a big one. A couple of stubborn dog walkers/bird flushers disturbed the birds, but the poor forecast probably put plenty off even though it actually turned warm with a haze of sunshine. Nice to see some Ribble birding regulars out as well. The terns screeched and floated around in circles, settling on the beach when they got chance. Several hundred Sandwich, fewer Common and the highlight being an adult and juv Little – beautiful birds with such a distinctive call, it was great to watch this pair at fairly close range. A short video of the adult here – it was ringed, would really like to have known the origin of it. I’d actually come looking for g...

Shakespeare And Stroganoff

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There was no ringing planned today so instead I had a scoot around Cockerham way. It’s guaranteed to produce a good variety of species and sometimes excellent numbers of birds. I kicked off at Conder Green, where for an hour or more the place was alive with Swallows and Sand Martins taking breakfast. The cool morning produced a hatch of thousands of insects above the hedgerows and close to the water’s edge. The birds took full advantage as many took insects on the wing while others fed on the ground, almost as if they were collecting nesting material.  It was hard to estimate the mass of birds, especially as some perched up in the straggly hedgerow briefly before returning to the bonanza. My best guess was 350 Swallow, 25 Sand Martin and 15 House Martin. Some of the House Martins were from across the way where they ...

Quick Movers

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
  Two controls received today,  both at Icklesham in East Sussex on the south coast are good examples of the  quick movement of our summer visitors at this time of year. - A Sedge Warbler on July 31st just six days after ringing and a Sand Martin on August 6th 12 days after ringing both were juveniles and involved movement of 425 kms. They set me looking back at our data set for these two well ringed species.The latest control brings the total of our Sedge Warblers controlled along the south coast to 88, 36 of them in Sussex. Of these 19 have been under 10 days after ringing and a further 11 within 20 days. The shortest was just two days after ringing. Further afield we have had 53 controls from Western France of these two were under 10 days and four within 20 days,  the quickest was six days after ringing.The Sand Marti...
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Have Arctic-breeding Waders had a poor breeding Season?

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
In a change from the usual North Lancs RG blog posts we have a guest blog written by Rose A. Maciewicz & Peter J, Knight about the early results of colour ring sightings of Knot caught near Formby last winter:Recent reports that NE Greenland was blanketed in snow in the breeding season suggested that 2018 might be a wipe out for Arctic-breeding waders, and this coming after very poor breeding productivity for Red Knot (Calidris canutus islandica) in 2017. The juveniles aren’t due to arrive in the UK just yet, but there may be a glimmer of hope from analyzing the biometrics of colour-ringed adults resighted just after they returned from the north. On 22nd September 2017 and 30th March 2018 a team including many members of South West Lancs, North Lancs and SCAN Ringing Groups fitted about 1,000 Red Knot with coded orange flags at Altcar...

Next Best!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I had to postpone a visit to the Bowland Fells earlier this week....Common Tern Conder Pool 9 August. Stephen Fairhurst. So it was best I went to check out Conder Pool to find 6 Common Tern including the young bird now back on Tern Island again, and as seen in the image above, getting the feel of it's wings with some exercise, which hopefully should have lifted it into the air by next weekend 18/19 August, when it will have fledged as the fourth Common Tern to be successfully bred on Conder Pool this year.  Bird of the day was the Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile which honoured Conder Pool with a visit, albeit a brief one with Black-headed Gulls. Also on the pool 12 Little Grebe eventually obliged by taking a rest, making the count an easy one. A Common Sandpiper was in the creeks wi...
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Solway Soothes The Soul

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
It's been a traumatic ten days or more and I have spent it with my wife and her family, either in hospital or the hospice, watching her dear father pass away. I'm not looking for a sympathy vote dear reader, just letting you know that this is the reason that I haven't posted in a while.I was 'back in the saddle' work-wise yesterday and had a bird survey to complete in north Cumbria. And after I finished my survey, just like my previous post, I headed to the northern shore of the soothing Solway for some communion with nature! The Solway looking south towards the LakesMy survey site was another of my favourite plantation woodland surveys that I have been doing for four years now, and I like the way the landowner manages this one, creating wide open rides within the trees and I think increasing the number and range of bird species.I adde...

The Ring Reading Problem.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Another ring reading problem has surfaced, this time with a bird seen to follow the Heysham Mediterranean Gull seen recently. Even though this excellent in flight image of the Bar-tailed Godwit was achieved, unfortunately what appears to be a yellow ring on the tibia of the birds right leg, is in fact thought to be a yellow flag with a three letter inscription to give the birds identity, but hidden from view on the blind side in this brief fly by.The bird originates from the Norwegian Bar-tailed Godwit Ringing Project, and without the 'missing' details from this sighting, the bird cannot be identified as an individual from this project. How frustrating....better luck next time.  The Red Darvic ringed Mediterranean Gull seen at Heysham recently, was another good example of the problems of ring reading,...

Low Level Ringing

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Oakenclough is very much an autumn and winter ringing site where nothing much happens in the summer except for nest boxes containing Pied Flycatchers. But the autumn/winter and early spring of 2017/18 was so wet and miserable that we never managed to get here until today, our first ringing at the site since November 2017. In the meantime we enjoyed our hottest, driest summer for 50+ years with very little rainfall. The nearby reservoir is about one third full and where the typical water level is near the top of the brick towers and covering the immediate bank of stones. Low Level Water I met Andy at 0630 and we hoped to catch up a little on our lack of visits. We packed in at about 10.30 when the early minimal breeze wind increased to unmanageable levels. But we had a nice mix in the catch of 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbl...
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