From Inland Cheshire To Coastal Cumbria

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Over the past two days my birding has been work based and they have been completely different; inland Cheshire yesterday and coastal Cumbria today!It was a beautiful day yesterday everywhere it seemed, other than my survey site that was fog bound! On the drive down it was glorious until I got near my site, and then on the return journey foggy until a few miles from the site where it was glorious again! It was one of those mists where horizontal visibility was compromised, but not vertical! The sun was trying it's best to make an appearance!I did have a few birds at my misty Cheshire site including five Song Thrushes, which were almost certainly migrants. No Fieldfares or Redwings though! A Buzzard was ever present as usual, but the best bird of the morning was undoubtedly a Little Owl.I could hear Blackbirds and Chaffinches alarm calli...

Expect The Unexpected

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Five-fifteen. The alarm buzzed. “What would the day bring?” With luck the forecasts had been right, so through the "office" window I checked the darkened trees for signs of sway. They looked still, while above the street light there were breaks in the ghostly cloud. I heaved a sigh of relief, prepared for the off and for the 35 minute drive up to Oakenclough. For a ringer, the anticipation, the excitement of expecting the unexpected never quite goes away. At Okenclough it was still dark at 0630 as outer branches stirred ominously. It was more like 10-12 mph than the 6mph decreed by the experts. That 4+ mph can make a difference when birds with powerful eyesight can spot movement in the fine mesh of a mist net. Soon after dawn Redwings arrived. We caught a few in the dark as they continued to arrive in dozens and low hundred...

Recent Highlights

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Our best recent highlight was a Chiffchaff caught at Poole Harbour in Dorset just four days and two hours after ringing at Middleton NR,a movement of 370 km S. It weighed 9.4 gms when caught, a good weight for a Chiffchaff but only 8.1 grams when caught in Dorset.This is only our second Chiffchaff from Dorset and only our third record from the south coast. We have  had single birds from the Channel Islands, Portugal,Morocco and Senegal. Contrast that with a Sedge Warbler caught 484 km SE in Pas-de-Calais France just 16 days after ringing in late July at Leighton Moss.  It is our 54th Sedge Warbler from France 38 of which have been in August. To date we have ringed 4500 Chiffchaff and 14500 Sedge Warblers.I have posted recently about how faithful Bearded Tit pairs are once formed. Another pair seen recently on the grit trays is a g...
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Different Day, Different Birds

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Monday saw a catch of 33 birds up at Oakenclough. Domestic commitments meant I couldn't make it on the next suitable morning, Wednesday, even though I was raring to go. Andy went alone and caught 60 birds, including another 15 Redwings and 8 more Lesser Redpolls. With so many millions of birds on a migratory push through the UK and Europe at this time of year there is a guarantee that each visit brings new birds to our nets. So with yet another excellent forecast we arranged to meet up again at Oakenclough on Thursday. We were joined today by Bryan H. At 0700 there was a slight breeze from the east with nil cloud and a temperature hovering around 2°C. The lack of cloud meant that migration might at the least prove hard to pick up or even non-existent if birds had found their way through the clear starry night. We needn...

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
So so sorry to read this , awful news , one day I do hope justice will be done and these birds can grace our skies in peace

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Why aren't my comments visible, please?

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
It is incredibly important that then RSPB releases such information. Clearly the police can do little with the information that the missing tag and bird provides. In Scotland, the first signs are appearing that those persons who are responsible are both reducing their actions (after perhaps being told)  and being more careful. For this the Scottish government, the RSPB, and others are to be congratulated. The rest of the UK has to wait. ...

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
My message to the police last month and now another one in same area!!!! According to information released by Natural England (NE) recently: www.gov.uk/.../hen-harrier-annual-tracking-update On 18th August 2010 Hen Harrier id94591 's satellite tag stopped working. 3 days later on 21st August 2010 Hen Harrier id58870's satellite tag also stopped transmitting. Both of these failures were very close together (within 7km) in Bowland an infamous raptor persecution hot spot. id94591 's last known location was Bowland SD596621 which is 1km outside the last known transmission of Hope and 3km away from the centre of the overlap in last transmission of Hope and Sky. id58870's last known transmission was 2km outside the last known transmission of Sky and about 3.5km from centre of overlap of last known transmissions of Sky and Hope. ww2.rspb.org.uk/....

Blog Post: Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
This summer we were overjoyed to have hen harriers nesting in Bowland for the first time since 2015. Our project team worked round the clock to monitor the three nests there, and the parent birds fledged an amazing 13 chicks between them. Young hen harriers were fitted with tags as part of the RSPB’s EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE project and we watched with anticipation as the chicks grew and started to fly away from their nests and make their way into the world. Unfortunately, it was unlucky 13 for one of our brood. Young male hen harrier Thor fledged from a nest of four chicks in the Forest of Bowland and his satellite tag was fitted in mid-June. After leaving the nest he remained in the vicinity for several months. His tag was transmitting regularly when it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. His last known fix on 3 October 2018 showed h...

False Start

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
If you remember I had commented on the potential interesting weather synopsis for yesterday morning, but as often happens it didn't come to fruition. The weak weather front moved through, with light drizzle, but after it had come light the effect was more of a 'blocking' feature than of a 'dropping' feature, if you know what I mean.Having said that, after my 8 o'clock Doctor's appointment I decided to have an hour or so's birding before hitting the office for the day. I arrived at the cemetery under full cloud cover, with a moderate southeasterly wind. Where had that wind come from?As I got out of my car I could hear some Chaffinches 'pinging', looked up and could see just a couple of birds. I looked harder and there high above, just dots in my bins, were a tight flock of 42 heading west. When we get flocks like this down on the coast at th...
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