Solway Soothes The Soul

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
It's been a traumatic ten days or more and I have spent it with my wife and her family, either in hospital or the hospice, watching her dear father pass away. I'm not looking for a sympathy vote dear reader, just letting you know that this is the reason that I haven't posted in a while.I was 'back in the saddle' work-wise yesterday and had a bird survey to complete in north Cumbria. And after I finished my survey, just like my previous post, I headed to the northern shore of the soothing Solway for some communion with nature! The Solway looking south towards the LakesMy survey site was another of my favourite plantation woodland surveys that I have been doing for four years now, and I like the way the landowner manages this one, creating wide open rides within the trees and I think increasing the number and range of bird species.I adde...

The Ring Reading Problem.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Another ring reading problem has surfaced, this time with a bird seen to follow the Heysham Mediterranean Gull seen recently. Even though this excellent in flight image of the Bar-tailed Godwit was achieved, unfortunately what appears to be a yellow ring on the tibia of the birds right leg, is in fact thought to be a yellow flag with a three letter inscription to give the birds identity, but hidden from view on the blind side in this brief fly by.The bird originates from the Norwegian Bar-tailed Godwit Ringing Project, and without the 'missing' details from this sighting, the bird cannot be identified as an individual from this project. How frustrating....better luck next time.  The Red Darvic ringed Mediterranean Gull seen at Heysham recently, was another good example of the problems of ring reading,...

Low Level Ringing

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Oakenclough is very much an autumn and winter ringing site where nothing much happens in the summer except for nest boxes containing Pied Flycatchers. But the autumn/winter and early spring of 2017/18 was so wet and miserable that we never managed to get here until today, our first ringing at the site since November 2017. In the meantime we enjoyed our hottest, driest summer for 50+ years with very little rainfall. The nearby reservoir is about one third full and where the typical water level is near the top of the brick towers and covering the immediate bank of stones. Low Level Water I met Andy at 0630 and we hoped to catch up a little on our lack of visits. We packed in at about 10.30 when the early minimal breeze wind increased to unmanageable levels. But we had a nice mix in the catch of 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbl...
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Comment on The fortunes of England’s hen harriers in 2018

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Please could you add Bob Eliott's blog ww2.rspb.org.uk/.../peregrine_2d00_persecution_2d00_filmed_2d00_bowland.aspx into this archive so it is automatically posted on the RSS feed for   www.bowlandwildlife.org.uk

Colour Ringed Mediterranean Gulls at Heysham

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
The numbers of Mediterranean Gulls appearing in late summer to mid/late September around Heysham outfalls has increased markedly in recent years, in contrast to the status at other times where there has in fact been a decline (spring passage) or no change (winter) for many years.  At least 70 birds were involved in 2017 and an absolute minimum of 74 have been seen in 2018.  This figure is reached by adding together the maxima for each age class with the highest day count of 62 being in early August 2018. Unfortunately, as regards deciphering the darvic numbers, the immediately local birders/ringers have struggled with ring reading and we have had to rely on better eyesight and better optics/cameras from outside in order to read all but the very occasionally obliging individuals.  Double-figures of Mediterranean G...

Bogey Bird.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Believe it or not, despite birding for 150 years I'm still short on Hobby sightings, I think three is as good as it gets, all distant and short lived. So I was pleased that KT agreed we should go to Leighton Moss yesterday, to see if one of two being seen there - one as recent as the morning - would oblige us, but 3 hours between two hides....no luck.Black-tailed Godwit/Mallard Grisedale Hide 5 August. Pete Woodruff.Nine Black-tailed Godwit were see as two from the Grisedale Hide, and seven over towards the Eric Morecambe complex. Sightings between the two hides were of at least 6 Marsh Harrier, a male and five juvenile.Red Deer Stag Grisedale Hide 5 August. Pete Woodruff.Seven Red Deer from the Grisedale Hide were, two stag, four hind, and a fawn.So the Hobby continues to be my birding nemesis, well one of them actually, but at least ...
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A Wild Day With Honey

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Saturday morning and there was time for a whizz around Conder Green before I met up with Andy at lunchtime. We’d agreed to take part in a “Wild Day” at Cockerham. But first. Early doors showed things were pretty tame at Conder Green despite the sight of 380 Lapwings, the most I've seen here this autumn. Mostly the Lapwings stayed on the island or the rough grass beyond and very few ventured close to the viewpoint. Lapwing Lapwing numbers fluctuate here according to the tidal bore of the River Lune a quarter of a mile away. It’s not unusual to see three or even four thousand Lapwing on the Lune sandbanks in autumn and winter where they often mix closely with flocks of Golden Plovers and Redshanks. Waders otherwise numbered 95 Redshank, 10 Curlew, 10 Oystercatcher, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper and 2 ...

Poached Egg On Toast Please!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
The only thing promising about the weather yesterday, was that by mid-day it was going to be dull, damp, and murky, and by then it was just that. The plan was a look over Conder Green, then another trip to Heysham, but my enthusiasm waned rapidly as I sat around to see if this damp murky stuff was going to pass by, so off I went home for brunch and poached myself a couple of tasty eggs on toast....Isn't life great!Five Common Tern on Conder Pool included the island chick, 10 Little Grebe seen again, with up to 200 Lapwing, 5 Curlew, and 2 Stock Dove, 6 Common Sandpiper were seen as two in the creeks, and four down the channel, also 2 Swift were my first autumn migrants purposefully south over the pool. The Conder Common Terns.In the 4 hours IP spent at Conder Pool on Thursday,...

More Dove Destruction

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Two weeks ago I shared a story about the Turtle Dove a seriously endangered species of the pigeon and dove family at  Dove Tales. Incredibly, and despite pleas, requests and irrefutable evidence of the species continued decline, the French are about to ensure the Turtle Dove loses another 100,00 of its population this coming autumn. This from the LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux). “100 000 Tourterelles des bois seront chassées cet automne” - 100,000 Turtle Doves will be hunted this fall.” Turtle Dove“France has until August 30 to suspend hunting for this endangered species as requested by the European Commission. And for good reason, the global workforce of the Turtle Dove has fallen by 74% since 1980 and, for France, by 44% for the last ten years alone. The responsibility of our country is e...

Mainly Gulls & Terns.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A pleasant and enjoyable 2.5 hours at Heysham yesterday, sifting through the gulls between bouts of human disturbance. Interesting that my meager count of 26 Mediterranean Gull, was just a reversal of the number, when later in the day I find the report of an amazing 62 seen in the a.m. of the same morning.Mediterranean Gull Red Nab Heysham 31 July. Pete Woodruff.This was the result of my best opportunity of a pik, with 20 birds found on Red Nab, 4 on the south side of No 2 outfall, and 2 on the north. Also, the adult Little Gull barely beginning to moult out of summer plumage, 2 Whimbrel, and last Thursdays at least 1,000 Dunlin seen again.Having not been to Conder Green since Thursday last, I was keen to see what the picture was there, to find 5 Common Tern, seen as the pontoon adults, and the island pair with the ...