Catching Up

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Apologies first for yesterday posting again a duplicate post from last week. This was a bungled attempt to update the blog and Google wasn't very forgiving of my blunder. Doh!What with one thing and then another I’d not been out birding or ringing for a good few days. Finally today I attempted a few hours out in the less than ideal conditions of yet another cloudy, grey morning. A drive along Backsands Lane at Pilling revealed the grand total of three Pink-footed Geese and a far cry from the many thousands of recent weeks. There’s not been the same numbers of geese in fields close to home, towards the river at Stalmine or even flying to and from the direction of Pilling, their usual route overhead. I get the distinct feeling that the mild weather of late has sent many pinkies heading back to Iceland. And just this week I hav...
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Play It Again Sam!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Yesterday was almost a repeat of Monday, the weather certainly so, and in the short time birding the weather allowed me, the birds were pretty much the same too, with nothing significant to note. When I took this 'clik the pik' to see how bad it really was looking upstream on the Lune Estuary, by 1.00pm I was packing my bags once again and off back to Lancaster.I managed to pick out c.550 Golden Plover through the murk from the bowling green, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, the lone Bar-tailed Godwit again, a Snipe, and 7 Goldeneye. Goosander Warren BakerMain interest of the day was that earlier I had made another double figure count of 10 Little Grebe at Conder Green, save the one on Conder Pool, nine were in the creeks where I found the Common Sandpiper lurking again. Also of note on Conder Pool, 20 Wigeon,...
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Rough-legged Buzzard – Throckenholt, Lincs – 21st February 2017

Posted on - In Zac Hinchcliffe
 I headed out this morning to South Lincs in search of the recently reported adult male Rough-legged Buzzard at Throckenholt near to Wisbech and Spalding.I headed down to the bottom of Common Lane down a road that certainly felt like maybe I shouldn't be there, but met a couple of farmers in tractors and a couple of men working from a pick up truck and they all waved quite happily, so either it was fine or all of us shouldn't have been there!Anyway, I went to the very end and started scanning the woodland behind the windfarm directly in front of me and couldn't see much. I gave it a good 15 minutes of scanning before scoping the ground in a 270 degree scan picking up a buzzard with particularly long fluffy legs sat on a hay bale. In the heat haze, I couldn't really pick out many features but kept watching it in case it took off. It tur...

Keeping Up The Pressure.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
If I was going to keep up the pressure on the Lune Estuary, yesterday wasn't the day to do it, visibility in the murky, damp, and drizzle conditions was poor to say the least, but if I said there were a few thousand waders here as illustrated when they went into the air probably due to a raptor attack, at least 4,000 were Lapwing. Most interesting because of their irregular appearances here were 3 Knot, otherwise I found no more than 250 Golden Plover which were difficult to see on the weed covered stones, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, a single Bar-tailed Godwit,  and saw just 4 Goldeneye today. Of note on Conder Pool, 25 Oystercatcher had taken up here, with 20 Curlew and 9 Redshank in the wader camp, and a female Goosander and 10 Tufted Duck ...

Grillers In The Mist

Posted on - In Birding Aldcliffe
Aldcliffe birding's been a bit on the predictable side of late. The last three or four visits have seen me looking at pretty much the same birds, in the same places.But today was different. Today we had persistent mizzle. Today we had apparent 'movement' of birds.Things started out as normal; Freeman's Pools was hosting a few tufted duck and goldeneye along with the regular residents. 150 or so pink-footed geese were grazing on the drumlins.Frog Pond had its attendant wigeon flock - and the drake shoveler, lately faithful to Darter Pool, had relocated to this larger water. In the fields, curlew were feeding and with them a couple of fine black-tailed godwits (my first on the patch this year).A further 9 black-tailed godwits were frantically feeding on the Flood where a sure sign of impending spring included a flock of 9 meadow pipits.Two di...
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Ducks And Others.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I noted 20 species in the time I was on the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock yesterday, and ducks were worthy headliners, if only because 48 Goldeneye were the new peak count here surpassing 42 seen 1 February. Also on the estuary, a female Scaup was with 7 Goldeneye at the Cocker mouth, c.150 Black-tailed Godwit were difficult to count well scattered, with c.1,200 Golden Plover and 6 Snipe of note.Great White Egret. Pete Woodruff. The Great White Egret was on the southern end of Colloway Marsh, this picture taken at Conder Pool 20 January.A drake Pochard was on the canal basin with a Great-crested Grebe noted. Ten Tufted Duck had turned up again on Conder Pool where the drake Goosander was seen again, 5 Little Grebe, the Spotted Redshank, and a lone Black-tailed Godwit were in the creeks. In a field at the ju...
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Mist With Splits And Joins.

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Friday. I met Andy up at Oakenclough for a ringing session.  The scene that greeted us was not quite as promised by the weather forecast and nothing like the clear morning I'd left at sea level fifteen miles away. In place of a starry sky was low cloud, fog and far from ideal conditions for catching birds. Our experience is that birds don’t move around much during foggy and misty conditions. Misty Start Towards Bowland The sun never broke through and as we expected, birds didn’t arrive in high numbers. Nevertheless we left quite happy that we’d managed to catch 16 birds. Unusually for here and for the first time ever, Blue Tit proved to be the most numerous bird of the catch with 7 Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Coal Tit and 1 Lesser Redpoll. Adult Male Siskin  Adult Female Siskin Adult Female Sis...

Blog Post: Making bath bombs with Chris Packham

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Hen Harrier Life Project Community Engagement Officer Aimée Nicholson reports on recent the LUSH summit   Since joining the Hen Harrier Life Project back in October of last year, I have spent many a happy day telling people about the wonderful birds we are working so hard to protect. Last Thursday was no different but there was a slight twist to this event; this time it was live streamed across the internet for the world to see. The event I attended was the LUSH Summit, a two-day event organised by the ethical cosmetics company, which showcased the causes that they support through the campaigns in their shops. The Hen Harrier Life Project is very lucky to be one of those causes and since 2015 the sales from the Skydancer bath bomb has raised over £100,000 to fund the purchase of satellite tags. Thanks to this support from Lush we are ab...

Above The Wenning

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I was up above the Wenning earlier this week measuring various habitat features.It wasn't a bad morning with 3 oktas cloud cover and a warm southerly breeze.I walked from the huge old barn which has been sympathetically restored to be still used for agriculture. This is great as a lot of these old barns don't fit in with modern farming practises and are either converted to housing or left to fall down. The barn has also been restored with the colony of House Sparrows that occupy it in mind and lots of holes, nooks and crannies have been left in the external skin of the building for the Spadgers! The twenty or so knocking around the barn seemed happy!I headed up to the Iron Age hill fort and with such warm weather lots of Buzzards were on the wing and in total on my walk I counted seven. Song Thrushes were singing and I had a Great Spotted W...
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Latest Recoveries

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Recovery NewsOn a visit to southern Portugal in January I was amazed at the numbers of Chiffchaff wintering there. They were the commonest bird in many areas. I felt that some of our breeding birds must be among them. On my return we got news of a juvenile ringed at Heysham in early July and caught in early December in Central Portugal. This is our first Chiffchaff from Portugal but we have others in winter from Morocco and Senegal. Another first was a Willow Warbler on Alderney Channel Islands in early August 34 days after ringing at Heysham. Two Sand Martins ringed on the Lune were retrapped In France, one juvenile just 29 days after ringing, bringing our total for Sand Martins from France to 56. Another French recovery was of a Sedge Warbler our 51st from Western France.A colour ringed Waxwing, part of this winter’s influx was sight...
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