Good Friday!!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A decent day, topped by the smart male Lapland Bunting at Cockersand....Good Friday. In the same flooded field I saw at east 25 Pied Wagtail and 15 Meadow Pipit, with one extra bird making up 5 Shoveler today, also 24 Lapwing, 14 Teal, and 3 Redshank. Up to 80 Twite were flighty in the cover crop by Lighthouse Cottage, 55 Black-tailed Godwit were over going south, c.270 Whooper Swan in a more compact group now than they've been all winter is an indication that some have left the area, and I saw 4 Small Tortoiseshell along the headland.On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock, little more than 80 Black-tailed Godwit , with 2 Knot and 150 Redshank to note, 3 Buzzard were soaring high over Colloway Marsh. Conder Pool could be described as dull, with 13 Tufted Duck , 2 Canada Geese , and the pair of Lesser Black-backed Gull loafing around and d...
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Pollen Horns

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
It was my first ringing session at the Obs this morning for the Spring after the lifting of the ringing suspension in the area due to the avian influenza outbreak at HyFly hatcheries near Pilling. At first light I was greeted with clear skies, a ground frost and it was calm. It felt quiet and I wondered whether it was too clear!The first birds on the move were a hundred Pink-footed Geese that headed north and they were high, positively stratospheric! This would reflect the rest of the vis (all north) that I would record and all I had was two Carrion Crows, a Woodpigeon, two Linnets, 31 Meadow Pipits and three Siskins.I didn't detect any grounded migrants other than the Chiffchaff that I ringed. Talking of ringing my totals were as follows:Meadow Pipit - 8Robin - 1Chiffchaff - 1Long-tailed Tit - 2Greenfinch - 1The Chiffchaff that I ringed ha...
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Saturday Shift

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I was a little delayed at seeing the -2°on the dash and waiting for frost to clear from the windscreen. I was motoring up to Oakenclough to meet Andy for a 0630 start to a ringing session. There was a little light, so rather than the main road journey with zero birds, I opted to head across the empty moss roads where there might be a Barn Owl or two looking for breakfast. Rawcliffe Moss, LancashireSuccess came with two hunting Barn Owls, the first at Stalmine and then another at Nateby. I paused briefly, mainly to make sure the owls flew away from the danger of the road before continuing north and east. Barn Owl I sometimes wonder if the Barn Owl has fully adapted to the motor vehicle and to railways. Studies show that while starvation is a major factor, collision with vehicles is the leading cause of recorded deaths of Ba...
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Cockersand Delivers….Again.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
The flooded field by the junction of Moss Lane/Slack Lane has looked good for a few weeks now, and I've never failed to give it a serious grilling on every visit to Cockersand, it turned up a couple of White Wagtail recently, and in themselves even the Shoveler's are a decent record there.Yesterday I set myself up at the metal gate and decided to be a better birder for once by making an effort to count the bird's present in the field. Not long after starting the exercise, I glimpsed a bird instantly not a Meadow Pipit of which there was a good number, the bird flew, but I had already muttered to myself what I was certain I had seen....but where's the bloody thing gone to. My lucky day, and it was soon relocated and I kept my eyes glued to the scope whilst making a call to make sure I wasn't going to be the only observer of this bi...

At Last!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A week since my last outing, I finally had an opportunity for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon with some business dealt with in Lancaster by 2.00pm. I decided to have a walk through the parish of Aldcliffe, nothing too serious, in fact just a walk in a straight line from Keyline to Aldcliffe Hall Lane and not giving the area full justice, then home via the canal to Ashton Road....All very good for my soul.As I walked along St Georges Quay, a Sparrowhawk put everything in sight on the wing, never fails to amaze me how a hundred birds - sometimes thousands - can sense a threat from a raptor and take to the air in sync. Freeman's Pools showed 3 Goldeneye, 3 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, and a Little Grebe to note. En-route to Aldcliffe Hall Lane, 5 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Song Thrush, and 2 Great Tit, with...
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Vis – the Variety of (Bird) Life

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I headed to the Point this morning for a couple of hours birding, and based on the weather I predicted that there would be quite a lot of vis this morning and there was! The weather has been pretty awful these past few days with strong winds and rain, and this morning was the first decent morning for a while and the flood gates were certainly opened. I joined Ian before seven (Ian had been there since six), and spent a pleasurable couple of hours. We had 6 oktas cloud cover with a 10 - 15 mph east-northeasterly wind.All of the birds moving on vis were heading between east and northeast and we had 502 Meadow Pipits, 51 Carrion Crows, six Linnets, 40 Whooper Swans, three Jackdaws, nine Alba Wags, eleven Goldfinches, a Rook, a female Sparrowhawk, 32 Woodpigeons, a Pied Wagtail, a male Kestrel (at sea), a female Merlin (at sea), three Magpies, ...

Little Wonder

Posted on - In Birding Aldcliffe
Little ringed plover - AldcliffeMid to late March always has me anticipating the arrival of the first little ringed plover at Aldcliffe. They are extremely reliable here and turn up each year around the same date; March 17th in 2013, 19th in 2014 and 2015 and 18th last year.So when I clapped eyes on a lovely adult female on the Flood this morning I wasn't the least bit surprised.These dainty little waders are long distance migrants, returning to the UK each spring from their wintering grounds in Africa. They are as much a herald of spring for me as wheatears, sand martins and chiffchaffs.(The pic here was taken previously). Today's morning visit to Aldcliffe followed a few off-patch visits along with fellow birder and good chum Stuart Meredith. First we headed to Sizergh Castle in search of hawfinch. These dazzling and often elusive birds a...
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Garden Gore

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The troublesome tail end of Stella has meant a week of enforced inactivity for yours truly. The local ban on ringing due to Avian Flu is now lifted but the wind and rain of recent days has given no opportunity for ringing or birding. In my own garden and those of close neighbours there’s been a Chiffchaff, a singing Mistle Thrush, a calling Tawny Owl, a steady stream of Goldfinches, plus a number of Dunnocks chasing around. ChiffchaffTawny OwlMore showers this morning, and as I typed away, Sue reported a killing taking place on the back lawn. From the bedroom window I saw that an adult female Sparrowhawk had just collared a Collared Dove and was in the process of finishing off the job by sinking its talons into the dove's flesh. A Collared Dove is a large bird and at the top end of the list of prey sizes a female Sparrowha...
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