Missed The Pink

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I found myself looking at Starlings this morning. Yes, those noisy, mucky pests that carry the very appropriate Latin title of Sturnus vulgaris. For readers not up to speed with the latest rarity news, there has been an influx of Rose-coloured Starlings into Western Europe and the UK from the pink ones’ normal area of easternmost Europe and southern Asia.  In those parts the species inhabits steppe and open agricultural land but when they turn up here in the UK they might be found in almost any habitat that resembles their original.  An adult Rosy Starling looks nothing like our Common Starling but for the next few weeks it’s a good idea to check out any post-breeding Starling flocks as the juveniles of each species have a closer likeness.All of a sudden there are a lot of Starlings around this week with flocks here and t...
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Nairn better

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
Just come back from a fantastic family holiday in Nairn near Inverness, where we managed to see most of the Highland and Speyside specialities in just one full day birding plus some stop offs after days out. An extended stop at Killiecrankie on the way up saw 2 singing Wood Warbler – what a great place to have lunch and stretch your legs. The caravan park that we stopped at was great, right by Nairn’s lovely beach and surrounded by Gorse, Broom and some forest full of Yellowhammer and Redpoll. A few pure(ish) looking Hoodies were around with various intergrades and pure Carrions. The days birding was mostly spent walking in Golden Eagle territory and we saw 3 different birds – an adult and a young bird together and a lone young bird that gave fantastic views overhead – the pics with the Buzzard are quite nice as a s...
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Pleasant Bowland Birding.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Cuckoo. Cliff Raby @ Fylde Coast Wildlife  Another perfect day for a wander on the Bowland Fells which paid off nicely, not only because I heard my first Cuckoo from Harrisend, distant and sounding like it came from the Grisedale/Nicky Nook area. It took me two hours to find the only male Stonechat seen, it was alarm calling with it's sharp whistle and throaty clicking, the female no doubt somewhere on the nest, 13 Meadow Pipit was two up on my last low count of eleven here on 8 May, 3 Linnet, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Wren, a Mistle Thrush and Blackbird. A Kestrel with two tail feathers missing, and of 4 Buzzard seen, one over high had prey dangling from it's talons, which on size and shape looked suspiciously like a Stoat. Of 5 Reed Bunting seen there was some odd behaviour by a male w...

Trees

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I love trees, and trees are featuring strongly in my work at the moment, because as you know I am carrying out a number of bird surveys across Cumbria in recently planted woodland. On my travels this week I noticed the shape and form of a few trees and you will see a few snaps below.On Wednesday I was at one of my larger sites northeast of Penrith where I have to survey ten woodland compartments. It sounds like a lot, but some of them are quite small. There was lots of trees, but I did have a few birds too. My list of noteworthy birds included eight Tree Sparrows (including one recently fledged juv.), seven Willow Warblers, two Stock Doves, a Curlew, two Blackcaps, two Buzzards and two Redstarts. Two trees stood out on my wanderings; an Oak tree and a Sycamore. I can't begin to guess how old the Sycamore is, but it's old, have a look a...
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Blog Post: Hen harriers breed in Bowland

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Recently, it’s been one bad news story after another on this blog with many reports of our satellite-tagged hen harriers disappearing in unexplained circumstances.  So, it makes a nice change to give you some good news. I’m delighted to report that, for the first time since 2015, there are hen harrier chicks at Bowland in Lancashire. RSPB wardens discovered two hen harrier nests on the United Utilities Bowland Estate in early spring and have been monitoring them closely ever since. The nests were visited recently by the wardens under licence who were delighted to find four healthy chicks in each of them.   One of the two hen harrier nests  with chicks in Bowland. Photo by M Demain A single male hen harrier is responsible for both of the nests and he is currently taking food regularly to them.  Bowland used to be known as England’...

Wader Snaps

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
This is the quiet period when migration takes a breather as the birds settle down to breed. I took time out with the camera today with the intention of snapping a few waders in the hills a thirty minute drive from home.  Don't forget - click the pics.Snipe intrigue me. Dumpy, squat  little waders that like to hide away in marshy places and rarely make it easy for the camera. In the breeding season the males keep an eye open for trouble along fences or dry stone walls and where with a stealthy approach there’s a chance of a picture or two. I took loads of pictures of one obliging Snipe. Snipe Snipe SnipeFor a minute or more the Snipe took a walk along the fence towards an on-guard Oystercatcher. The Oystercatcher had chicks but Snipe are generally a week or more behind the oyks. Oystercatcher Oystercatc...
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Briefly Post Meridian.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A bit of PM, with just time for a look in at Conder Pool, and a bit of time for some playing around to try for some piks at Cockersand. IP continues to monitor the goings on at Conder Green, and documents the inmates of the pontoon on Conder Pool with illustrations. His latest pictures show the intensity of the situation between the Common Terns and Oystercatchers, showing the male CT weighing up the young Oyks in his top pik, before attacking them in the bottom one....Things can only worsen when the CT's hatchlings turn up on the scene.Herring Gull Plover Scar. Pete Woodruff.A small group of age assorted Herring Gull were with barely a total of 50 Ringed Plover and Dunlin on Plover Scar, whilst in the field behind me, five Stock Dove, 2 Reed Bunting singing, and Sky...

The Quiet Peak Of The Breeding Season

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
For the past two days I have been in north Cumbria continuing with the second of three bird surveys that I do at several sites recently planted with woodland. Following standard Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) methodology I do a first visit in early April - mid-May and a second visit mid-May to June. In addition to this I do a third survey from July to August. The third survey is to look at the value of these sites as foraging areas after post-breeding dispersal. The second visit, particularly for those sites surveyed in June tends to be the quietest as birds are generally busy feeding young. However, there is always something to record.On Monday I was near Penrith and this site is isolated from other habitats in as much as it is set within fields of intensively managed grassland with no connecting corridors to other habitat; it's a walled lands...

In On The Action.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Plenty of action to entertain on Conder Pool yesterday.Oystercatcher with young Conder Pool. Ian Pinkerton.The three young Oystercatcher are now up and running, though not running very far, imprisoned in the confines of the pontoon for five more weeks and dependant on their parents to deliver the much needed food supply, unless they can jump up on to the frame, to dive off and swim to freedom. Oystercatcher chicks normally remain in the nest for only a couple of days after hatching, when they leave to follow the parent birds and collect their own food like the ones are able to do on the island in IP's pik above.Grey Heron Conder Pool 4 June. Pete Woodruff.Meanwhile the Common Tern is sitting tight in the pontoon, with much dive bombing at every thing that moves around them, the tern on the island was also sitting tight, that ...
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