Brass Monkey Weather

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
It's funny how a brief interlude of cold weather gets us all talking these days. Frost has now become a scarcity in my neck of the woods, a bit like how snow used to be; snow is virtually non-existent now! Gone are the days when farmers couldn't lift their spuds because the ground was frozen, now they can't lift them because it is too wet to travel on the fields, or the numerous days in winter when I was at infant school and our little bottles of milk would arrive frozen!It was cold this morning when I started my hedge survey in the north of the county, in fact it was minus 5 degrees Celsius with glorious clear skies and not a breath of wind. The farm I was on is divided in two by a road and I surveyed hedgerows below the road close to the river first, before surveying the hedges across the road on the hillier section of the farm.The farm h...
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Wednesday 7th February

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Tuesday was cold and snowy, the first snowflakes of the winter. Thankfully by midday the snow stopped, the sun came out and by evening all the white stuff was gone. Wednesday began with quite a frost on the by now ice free roads.As noted on the blog before, a cold weather snap brings out the owls and the Kestrels. So on the drive over Stalmine Moss I wasn’t too surprised to spot a hunting Barn Owl. The owl stayed out along the frosty fence before taking off into the distance.Barn Owl  At Lancaster Road at Pilling Moss was the first of four five Kestrels I’d see during the morning. The Kestrel was on watch across a stubble field where a good number of small birds alternated between feeding on the deck and flying into the hedgerow. I counted 95+ Chaffinch together with, 10 or more Meadow Pipits, several Skylarks, and at least one Ree...

Wednesday 7th February

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Tuesday was cold and snowy, the first snowflakes of the winter. Thankfully by midday the snow stopped, the sun came out and by evening all the white stuff was gone. Wednesday began with quite a frost on the by now ice free roads.As noted on the blog before, a cold weather snap brings out the owls and the Kestrels. So on the drive over Stalmine Moss I wasn’t too surprised to spot a hunting Barn Owl. The owl stayed out along the frosty fence before taking off into the distance.Barn Owl  At Lancaster Road at Pilling Moss was the first of four five Kestrels I’d see during the morning. The Kestrel was on watch across a stubble field where a good number of small birds alternated between feeding on the deck and flying into the hedgerow. I counted 95+ Chaffinch together with, 10 or more Meadow Pipits, several Skylarks, and at least one Ree...

Wigeon Spectacular….And More.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Seen at Cockersand a month ago on 8 January, there was another spectacular sight of at least 4,500 Wigeon again at Cockersand on Monday, on a flat calm sea, a huge raft stretching from the lighthouse, drifting in on the tide towards the Cocker Estuary. As a bonus, 19 Eider, 15 Teal - surely more given time to search - and 4 Shoveler. On Plover Scar, 72 Turnstone, 8 Knot, and 2 Grey Plover. A lone Pink-footed Goose was off Plover Scar, the bird looked healthy, but drifting on the water I wondered if it could fly. I watched at least 100 Black-tailed Godwit drop into the field by the abbey including one individual in near breeding plumage, with c.200 Curlew in surrounding fields, 15 Twite went over my head and SW out to sea towards Pilling, also a skein of c.150 Pink-footed Geese flew south 2 hours after I had seen the same number flying ...

Thrushes

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
It was chilly yesterday morning at my survey site in west Lancs, and the cloudy conditions with a biting east-northeasterly wind didn't do anything to raise the temperature or my spirits! But some Thrushes did, well raised my spirits anyway.Bits of field work has been done since my last visit here and some stubble has been ploughed, but a flock of 43 Chaffinches were still finding areas to feed. Woodpigeons, numbering 122, were also feeding in similar areas to the Chaffinches, but others were feeding on some wet fields.The wet fields were where the Thrushes were and they were a pleasure to watch; 133 Fieldfares and 37 Redwings. Occasionally a few rays of sun momentarily broke through the clouds, and if the Fieldfares and Redwings were facing the right direction they were illuminated like a spot light on an actor or soloing musician on a sta...
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In The Picture.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
You may have seen in the comments section of my last post - 'Third Time Lucky' - on Birds2blog, take a look at it HereIn fact I did indeed take this shot of an Iceland Gull through the fence at Heysham Power Station. Rather remiss of me I must say, though at the time I was unconscious to the security breach I was committing.I think as a responsible birder, it's a duty that I come clean on this mistake and use it as an opportunity to draw attention to the fact that it's pretty irresponsible to point a camera to take photographs at a highly secured Nuclear Power Station, as a warning to other birder/photographers, some of which are no more than self centred pricks, intent on getting a better pik than anyone else, which they always fail to do anyhow.There's some sound advice and a warning about the consequences of photography at this loca...
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Sounds Of Spring

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
There's some snow threatened for tomorrow, but over recent days there's been some sounds of spring with an increase in bird song. Day's are lengthening, hormones are building and birds are singing!This was very noticeable during a survey last week. Even though it was a cloudy and cold day a good few songsters could be heard. The avian orchestra consisted of a Goldfinch, a Great Tit, two Song Thrushes, two Dunnocks, five Robins, a Mistle Thrush and a Wren. Even one of the Redwings was doing a bit of sub-song! GoldfinchThe morning started spectacularly when a female Sparrowhawk brought down a Feral Pigeon 30 metres in front of me! I saw the Feral Pigeon fly from left to right and then thwack, the Sparrowhawk hit! She had the Pigeon on the ground and was struggling to subdue it, so I moved away in case my presence was keeping her from her...
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Third Time Lucky.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I managed to talk KT into a walk along the seawall at Heysham this Sunday afternoon with the sole intention of seeing if we could find any of the celebrities available here over the past days. Iceland Gull Heysham Harbour 4 February. Pete Woodruff.The Iceland Gull was picked up in flight across the harbour, and was quite mobile over the waterfall area before eventually disappearing into the south corner of the power station, it then flew over the Fisher rooftops and went down out of view behind a crane on the south quay, it made a brief appearance out in the open here from where I got a shot, acceptable by my standards....Third time lucky.Chough Half Moon Bay 4 February. Pete Woodruff.An earlier visit to Half Moon Bay gave me another chance at the long stay Chough, surrounded by hordes of 'walkies' and 'snapper...
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Third Time Lucky.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I managed to talk KT into a walk along the seawall at Heysham this Sunday afternoon with the sole intention of seeing if we could find any of the celebrities available here over the past days.Iceland Gull Heysham Harbour 4 February. Pete Woodruff.The Iceland Gull was picked up in flight across the harbour, and was quite mobile over the waterfall area before eventually disappearing into the south corner of the power station, it then flew over the Fisher rooftops and went down out of view behind a crane on the south quay, it made a brief appearance out in the open here from where I got a shot, acceptable by my standards....Third time lucky.Chough Half Moon Bay. Mike Atkinson.An earlier visit to Half Moon Bay gave me another chance at the long stay Chough, surrounded by hordes of 'walkies' and 'snappers'.Stonechat Half Moon Bay. Mike...
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Thursday 1 February.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
By the time I got to Conder Green the 10.19m tide was lapping by the roadside, and a few birds had taken refuge on Conder Pool including, 2 Greenshank, 110 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 3 Goosander, 26 Curlew, a Goldeneye, and 120 Common Gull. The 2 Rock Pipit and 2 Red-breasted Merganser on Conder Pool I don't ever recall seeing there before, certainly not the latter. On the canal basin at Glasson Dock, 16 Goldeneye, a drake Pochard, Little Grebe and Great-crested Grebe. At Cockersand, waders today were concentrated in Abbey Farm fields down to Lighthouse Cottage, where there was probably 5,000 birds, including most notably 2,000 Dunlin and 2,500 Golden Plover. When I went to Glasson 30 minutes later I found another 1,500 Golden Plover, in which case my records read....'at least 4,000 Golden Plover on the Lune ...
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