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...

Crests Not Leach’s

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
The 'Hairy Birder' is stuck indoors at the moment up to his eye-balls in Countryside Stewardship Mid-tier applications that have an end of September deadline to be submitted to Natural England by, so today's brief blog entry is about grounded Goldcrests from yesterday, before all the Leach's and Sabs Gulls of the past couple of days! Goldcrest on a sunnier day than todayAnd to add 'insult to injury' I'm stuck indoors all week! However, my master plan is to have the decks cleared by the end of next week and take the remainder of September and all of October off to bird...bring it on!The forecast Saturday night was for a brief ridge of high pressure to nudge in to the west and then for rain showers in the early hours after midnight. Unfortunately, it was forecast for the wind to pick up rapidly during the morning with a rain front rollin...
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Ruff Justice.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A couple of hours before high tide on the Lune Estuary on Friday, 3 Ruff was some justice for what turned out to be a day struggling to find anything of substance, 8 Black-tailed Godwit also added a little interest to the area, with a good number of Redshank and fewer Dunlin hanging on to what mud was left as the tide raced in, later in the day a Peregrine Falcon was on Colloway Marsh. I stuck it out in a bit of a howler on Plover Scar up to high tide to find up to 200 Dunlin, 60 Ringed Plover, and 3 Turnstone. Whilst a shower blew through, I watched the sea from the motor for thirty minutes to see a Guillemot drift out of the estuary and noted 2 Great-crested Grebe off Plover Scar.Apart from 12 Little Grebe on Conder Pool again, and a Greenshank ...
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Blog Post: Mannin’s failed sea-crossing

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
RSPB Scotland’s Investigation Intelligence Officer Jenni Burrell provides an update on Mannin, the Isle of Man sat-tagged hen harrier.   Monitoring satellite-tagged hen harriers can bring many positives – following an individual bird from the day it was fitted with a transmitter until its first flights away from the nest area, its travels through the UK (and beyond in some cases ) or even hopefully until its own first nesting attempt. Unfortunately, however, it can also bring some negatives. Sadly, here, we report on the death of another of our 2017 birds.  Mannin, along with his sister Grayse, was tagged on the Isle of Man on 3 rd July 2017 by trained & licensed members of the Scottish Raptor Study Group and Manx Ringing Group in partnership with Manx Birdlife. After fledging in July, Mannin explored his home island until 14 th Augu...

Long Day Short List.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Round the bay and back for tea, with more pik's slipping through the quality control net again.Sandwich Tern Red Nab 6 Sept. Pete Woodruff.I decided to get to Heysham three hours before the tide on Wednesday morning. I took a look over Red Nab before walking to the power station outfalls and on to the south wall of the harbour. But Red Nab was the focus of my attention, the rest produced little of note.1st Winter Mediterranean Gull Red Nab 6 Sept. Pete Woodruff.Before the tide swallowed up Red Nab I found 12 Mediterranean Gull, eight of which were adult, with two near adult, and two 1st winter. By the time I was about to leave, 7 Sandwich Tern were present one of which was a 1st winter, I also had excellent views of the moulting adult Little Gull.I dashed off to Cockersand to check Plover Scar before the tide dropped too much, but no surpri...
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A Quick Dispersing Merlin

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Mark and team were mist netting Meadow Pipits on the edge of Bowland and to their surprise they caught a juvenile male Merlin. They were even more surprised when they found it was already ringed!We have just got the ringing details. It was ringed as a nestling from a brood of four on July 5th at a confidential site in Swaledale North Yorkshire. It had moved 57 km SSW in 51 days since ringing.But it had probably been ringed a few days before it fledged so it is an amazing quick dispersal for a young bird. Marks superb photo is shown below.John...

Briefly Around The Lune.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Briefly birding again on Monday, and with at least fifty more sheep than birds on Conder Pool, where there was a grand total of 5 Little Grebe, 3 Black-headed Gull, a Little Egret, and a Grey Heron. A circuit of Conder Green produced a similar level of excitement, with 12 House Martin still around River Winds and Cafe d' Lune, and a Common Sandpiper in the channel, which is becoming more likely to be this years wintering bird here with every passing day.Golden Plover at Glasson 4 September. Pete Woodruff.On the Lune Estuary at Glasson, 2 Mediterranean Gull were both adult, a Greenshank, c.500 Redshank and a few Dunlin, with a lone Golden Plover seen close from the bowling green, and of 17 Little Egret counted, twelve were together in a tidal pool up stream from the Conder mouth.Two Ruff were nice off ...

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...
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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Autumn

Posted on - In Birding Aldcliffe
It certainly felt autumnal again this morning, not so much weather-wise but bird-wise.A few migrants hinted at the real onset of passage.Distant whinchat & wheatearTwo redstarts were the highlight, both dazzling males.The whinchat remains by the Wildfowlers' Pools - I assume it's the same bird I first saw on 27th and again on Saturday, when it was with a wheatear.I could see 5 wheatear out on Aldcliffe Marsh though I suspect there were more around.A few other bits and bobs in the hedges included a lesser whitethroat and a male blackcap plus several willow warblers and chiffchaffs. Swallows were moving south in good numbers.A green sandpiper was on the Flood but given the reported national influx of pectoral sandpipers it wasn't exactly what I'd hoped to find!Similarly, the mass of waders on the Lune in recent days has yet to attract any...