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...

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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You Couldn’t Make It Up

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I was out yesterday looking for more eastern sprites, but it wasn't to be, in fact it was very quiet both in terms of vis and grounded migrants. I had seven oktas cloud cover with a 10 mph northwesterly wind. I'm blaming the northwesterly wind.I visited the cemetery first as it is closest to home and I didn't have a single grounded migrant and just the odd Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch over was the only vis.The coastal park was a little better as there was some grounded migrants in the form of five Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, four Coal Tits and a Song Thrush that dropped in. Vis was similar to the cemetery with a handful of Chaffinches and three Grey Wagtails west.Last night the forecast for this morning looked good for some ringing locally, and it was forecast for some rain at my Cheshire wintering bird survey site, so I decided to go ...

You Couldn’t Make It Up

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I was out yesterday looking for more eastern sprites, but it wasn't to be, in fact it was very quiet both in terms of vis and grounded migrants. I had seven oktas cloud cover with a 10 mph northwesterly wind. I'm blaming the northwesterly wind.I visited the cemetery first as it is closest to home and I didn't have a single grounded migrant and just the odd Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch over was the only vis.The coastal park was a little better as there was some grounded migrants in the form of five Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, four Coal Tits and a Song Thrush that dropped in. Vis was similar to the cemetery with a handful of Chaffinches and three Grey Wagtails west.Last night the forecast for this morning looked good for some ringing locally, and it was forecast for some rain at my Cheshire wintering bird survey site, so I decided to go ...

Eastern Sprite

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Ian's garden is an important component of the Obs recording area, as it is directly on the coast, and the habitat in his and neighbouring gardens are very attractive to migrants. The garden is one of the sites where we trap migrants for ringing and good numbers of Lesser Redpoll, for example, are ringed every Spring in the garden.I didn't set my alarm this morning as the forecast was poor and I'm ashamed to say that a phone call from Ian got me out of bed. He phoned me to say that even though it was wet, even very wet at times, there were migrants around as he had just had six Blackbirds and a Song Thrush 'drop in' to his garden!I got up and dressed, and decided I would go out if and when the rain eased. I then received another phone call from Ian saying that he had just caught a Yellow-browed Warbler in his garden, and did I want to come u...
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Landlocked

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
As I write, it is blowing a southerly gale outside, and it is forecast to start raining soon and carry on for most of the night and tomorrow! Earlier in the week in sunnier and warmer times I had two site visits to undertake; one in southwest Lancs and the other in Cheshire. Without a doubt, both of them well and truly landlocked!My southwest Lancs site visit was on Tuesday and it was a gloriously sunny morning as I wandered around some intensive agricultural fields. I wasn't completing a bird survey, but I was outdoors and that was all that mattered. Skylarks were a feature of the morning and these 'blithe Spirits' would make another appearance later in the week. I had eighteen head south during my short walk, and three Tree Sparrows calling noisily as they went by were good to see.It seemed odd in these beautifully warm conditions to have...
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East and West

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Yesterday morning before it got light I loaded my car up with my ringing gear, tied my poles on to the roof rack and headed to the pools at the Obs. I was looking forward to a few hours ringing and the forecast had been spot on all week for Sunday morning, even before I went to bed just before midnight.Looking north I could see black clouds looming, and what's this, rain on my windscreen! The wind turbine was also spinning round at more of a rate than it should given the forecast. I parked up before unlocking the three gates to get access to the ringing area and checked the forecast again, not that I needed to as I could see, feel and hear that the weather had changed! And sure enough the wind strength was due to increase as the morning went on, so I made the decision to abort and headed home to drop my poles off before checking a few coast...
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A Quiet Morning Ringing

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
At last the weather was kind enough yesterday to allow me the opportunity to do some ringing at the Obs in the reedbed and scrub. Six oktas cloud cover with a 5 - 10 mph southwesterly wind wasn't going to trouble the nets at all. Unfortunately it was clear overnight and it was very obvious at dawn that it had been a 'clear out' night! Nevertheless, I persevered and put just a couple of nets up.I ringed eleven birds as follows:Reed Bunting - 1Chaffinch - 1Robin - 1Meadow Pipit - 1Blue Tit - 1Wren - 1Greenfinch - 5 Greenfinch Blue TitAs you might expect the birding was quiet too. Three Cetti's Warblers calling away from various parts of the site with their explosive call never fails to make me smile, mainly because I still find it incredible that they are relatively common now! Two Ravens flew over giving that fantastic deep throate...

Seagrets

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I headed to the Point this morning for first light and was joined by Ian. We had three oktas cloud cover and a 25 mph west-northwesterly wind. Unlike the other day when there was too much southerly, today there was too much northerly!We didn't expect much because of the wind direction, and as such we weren't disappointed, but the morning did have some interest. One of the most interesting/unusual sightings was that of five Little Egrets heading west out to sea and flying between the wave troughs. I have said it several times on here before that being a birder of a certain generation I always delight in seeing Little Egrets, but when they are heading west out to see it is quite spectacular. Where were they going? That is a good question, but as there are so many breeding in the UK now they are probably establishing migratory patterns from br...
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Too Much Southerly

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I sort had this morning free so I took myself off to the Point to do some seawatching and joined Ian who said to me as I walked up to the tower, "you may as well go home mate it's awful"! Not what I wanted to here, but not surprising either as the wind was dues south without a hint of any west in it. At the Point the best direction is anywhere between southwesterly and westerly.Funnily enough, even though I was hoping for a bit of seawatching, because the wind was fairly strong, but not very strong, and because of the southerly direction there was a bit of vis. Three Grey Wagtails and a handful of Meadow Pipits and Swallows headed south into wind.The sea was quiet also, with the most numerous species recorded being the 86 Common Scoters that headed west and the scarcest a male Velvet Scoter that drifted slowly out and west on the falling ti...
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