Home from Home

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Sorry there’s no recent news. Sue and I are in Skiathos, Greece for a few days. Back soon but in the meantime there are pictures from recent years in Skiathos. Enjoy, and don’t forget to “click the pics” of Skiathos and its birds.  Skiathos - centre rightRed-backed Shrike Hooded Crow Hoopoe Yellow WagtailSkiathos TownSkiathos TownSkiathos TownKechriaIsabelline Wheatear Whinchat Little EgretYellow Wagtail To The Beach Alonisos -Skiathos Skiathos - Kastro Skiathos Woodchat Shrike Eleonora's Falcon Red-backed Shrike European ShagKoziakis - Skiathos TownView towards Skiathos TownLet's finish with a video of Skiathos. It features the headland of Kastro where the Eleonora's Falcons spend the summer months . Enjoy.    Back soon. ...
Continue Reading » Home from Home...

A Smelly Old Business

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
How do birds navigate over long distances? This complex question has been the subject of debate and controversy among scientists for decades, with Earth's magnetic field and the birds’ own sense of smell among the factors said to play a part.It’s a subject discussed previously on Another Bird Blog but here's an interesting update by way of scientific experiments on an island I know very well.In new investigations researchers closely followed the movements and behaviour of 32 Scopoli's Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea off the coast of Menorca. Scopoli's Shearwaters breed across the Mediterranean on Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, Cabrera, Conillera and Dragonera. The majority of the population of Scopoli's Shearwater spend the non-breeding season in the Atlantic, including areas off the west coast of Africa and east coast of Brazil. Th...

Change Of Plan

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The forecast for Wednesday was decidedly “dodgy” but with it being the best for several days ahead, we decided to chance a ringing session up at Barnacre. The problem was when I got up at 0530 and looked out of the window the trees were wafting around so I sent Andy a text and said I’d go birding instead. I was early so stopped at Pilling Lane Ends to count the Little Egrets at the roost. Thirty-five was my total but I suspect many were hidden from view in this so called “amenity area” that is now just a neglected wilderness. At Braides Farm - 80+ Curlews and a roosting Buzzard. At Conder green Once again Lapwings proved the most numerous bird with at least 240 scattered around the site, on the island, the grassland and in the tidal creeks. Other waders were few and far between with just handfuls of Curlew, Redshan...
Continue Reading » Change Of Plan...

Some You Win

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The weatherman kindly told us that Thursday 31st August was the Meteorological End of Summer. I tried to recall more than a handful of summery days during of May, June, July and August that resembled summer but I quickly gave up. Friday 1st September. I took a flying visit to Conder Green where a distant Kingfisher proved the only bird of note as it dived into the now shallow water from the top of the marker post. Otherwise there was the usual fare – An increase to 17 Teal, 9 Little Grebe, 80 Lapwing, 5 Snipe, 1 Goosander and 1 Common Sandpiper. The female Tufted Duck is reduced to just three youngsters now. A few pairs of Tufted Ducks have bred on the pool for the last three years but always struggle to get more than one or two youngsters up to full size. KingfisherTufted DuckI was on the way to Gulf Lane to unload a bucket o...
Continue Reading » Some You Win...

Never The Same

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The alarm clock buzzed at 0520. I was due to meet Andy and Bryan at 0630 for another ringing session near Oakenclough. The weather forecast of a 2mph wind with no rain proved to be accurate and we enjoyed an eventful morning of both ringing and birding. Three pairs of eyes and ears proved extremely useful during the usual lulls in ringing. After an initial round of Great Tits, Coal Tits, a Blue Tit and just a single Willow Warbler it seemed as if the session might be below par for this always productive site. But within an hour the species changed when visible migration began, and after five hours we had caught 51 birds of 10 species. While no two ringing sessions are ever the same it was finches top of the leader board again with yet more Goldfinch and Lesser Redpoll. We had handfuls of both Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff togeth...
Continue Reading » Never The Same...

Visit 4

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Saturday was Visit 4 to our Project Linnet 2017/2018. With darker mornings and the evenings drawing in we make a slightly later start; fifteen minutes a week is the rule until the Autumn solstice. I met up with Andy at Gulf Lane at 0630 and even then we waited a while for the first Linnets to arrive. Our three previous August visits realised catches of 49, 37 and 43 Linnets respectively with not a single recapture from this year or the last. Such a huge turnover of birds for one small area! Although we counted circa 300 birds in the air at any one time today, not all were Linnets. The Linnets had been joined through the week by a flock of some 60+ Goldfinches. The Goldfinches had found their own niche by exploiting in particular a plant that resembled a tall dandelion but which may be sow thistle. The heads of the plant are stuff...
Continue Reading » Visit 4...

First Vis Mig

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I’d met up with Andy at Oakenclough at 0630 for a ringing session. All started fairly quiet and uneventful but as the minutes ticked by it became clear that the morning would see the first substantial visible migration of the autumn. An early highlight was the Osprey that powered in over the trees from the North West about 8am and then turned as if to plunge for a trout in the reservoir. It hovered briefly but then turned again and continued on a southerly track and out of sight to leave the trout for the Cormorants and anglers. There were plenty of other birds heading south, mainly finches and Swallows, but also 2 Song Thrush. After five hours we had counted 95+ Goldfinch, 45+ Lesser Redpoll, 30+ Chaffinch, 4+ Siskin and 4+ Tree Pipits arriving from the north and heading either into or over our ringing site. Our catch of...
Continue Reading » First Vis Mig...

Cream Top Etc.

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Conder Green was quiet as quiet can be this morning. I was a little late as I waited for the rain to stop, but even so, rarely have I seen the water and the immediate area so devoid of birds. There was a solitary Lapwing on the island and the usual handfuls of Cormorant, Little Grebe and Little Egret, but no sign of the regular Kingfisher. A dozen or so Pied Wagtails skittered around the margins, joined briefly by two loudly calling Green Sandpipers. The sandpipers flew off towards the canal and in the direction of Glasson Marsh.CormorantLittle EgretI followed the Green Sandpipers and stopped overlooking Glasson Marsh where I hoped to see a Marsh Harrier. There have been good numbers about in recent weeks and one of my contacts tells me that a pair bred successfully in The Fylde. That’s the River Lune on the horizon. Glass...
Continue Reading » Cream Top Etc....

Linnet Tales

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Start time 0615. At last, a 4mph negligible wind and no rain. I met Andy at Pilling and we set a couple of single panel nets in time for Linnets to arrive from their overnight haunts and head for the seed plot. Within 15 minutes we had our first catch. We went on to a total of 43 new Linnets with zero recaptures from previous occasions. Of the 43 ringed we had 5 adult males and 38 juvenile/first years, broken down further to 20 males and 18 females. This brought our overall total to 129 Linnets ringed in August, an excellent start to Project Linnet 2017/18. Our maximum count of the flocks and smaller groups in attendance today was of approximately 200 Linnets at about 0930. The flock is almost entirely Linnets with just a handful of Goldfinches tagging along. Linnet  LinnetReaders of a certain age will certainly remembe...
Continue Reading » Linnet Tales...

Sunday Times

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Saturday was rubbish for birding so I odd-jobbed, blogged and saved my energy for Sunday. I didn’t get many photos this morning but right at the end is a video that everyone will like. Braides Farm was first stop this morning where a roadside Buzzard flew off as soon as the car slowed. Our resident Buzzards don’t like being looked at, even less being pictured on bird blogs. Many of our native farmers and country folk have very established opinions about birds with “hook bills” and there’s not much doubt that the local Buzzard population suffers as a result. Hence the aversion to man. There’s been a large influx of Continental Starlings this week with substantial flocks noticeable. So much so that at Braides/Sand Villa I counted a minimum flock of 1000+ swirling around the cow sheds and the open fields. StarlingOf...
Continue Reading » Sunday Times...