Old Bolingbroke Dec 2015-Nov 2017

Posted on - In Zac Hinchcliffe
After just shy of two years in our little cottage in a little village in Lincolnshire, we have moved out and we're both back up north in Preston. Prior to Danni getting a job in October 2015 at Operation Wallacea, I had never really even heard of Old Bolingbroke. Little did I know that it would be the village where Danni and I got our first home together and where I would learn how to be a dog owner and a place to where I'd fall in love with it. Our house was called Middle Cottage which was built in 1920 and was a tiny cottage in a row of three terraces. It was certainly not the most sophisticated of houses, but had an awful lot of character with interior walls made of mud and horsehair, more autumnal spiders than a garden shed and temperature extremes that causes no sleep during the summer and the necessity of coal fire in winter...

Bright And Breezy

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The forecast said bright and breezy and it was spot-on for birding if not for ringing at our exposed sites. I travelled over the moss roads where I hoped for a Barn Owl or two; but no luck this morning, just a pair of Buzzards leaving their overnight roost.At Gulf Lane the Linnet flock has increased to 200+ birds but no sign of the Stonechat from earlier in the week. With luck we’ll get a crack at catching more Linnets this coming week. Lapwings and Curlews filled the wet fields alongside the A588 with several hundred of each before I even reached Braides Farm.Here at the farm were 500+ Lapwing and similar numbers of Curlew, and on the flood itself, 80+ Black-tailed Godwit. A mile away I stopped on the rise of Bank End Lane and viewed the fields below. Here were several hundreds more of both Lapwing and Curlew, dozens of Redshank, a...
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Waggies

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
This afternoon Ian and I headed to the reedbeds to try and ring some roosting Pied Wagtails. We had full cloud cover and 10 mph north-northwesterly wind. Whilst waiting for Ian to arrive I had a quick look on one of the pools and there was an impressive 59 Coots and the now ubiquitous calling Cetti's Warbler.A couple of Goldcrests called from some willows adjacent to the reedbed and a female Sparrowhawk coasted across the pool. Another raptor made an appearance in the form of a Buzzard mobbed by Corvids heading towards the river.Before the Pied Wags came in to roost we ringed a few Greenfinches that were on their way to roost in the water treatment works, and at least 30 or so showed some interest in the MP3 player. It was difficult to estimate the numbers of Wagtails roosting, but there must have been at least 180. GreenfinchWe ringed...
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Bearded Tit Update

Posted on - In North Lancs Ringing Group
Our birds continue to use the grit trays at Leighton Moss RSPB reserve. So far this season we have had reports of 307 sightings of invidually colour ringed birds. Of these 183 were males and 124 females. This involves 31 Males and 28 females. Of these 7 are 3 years old, 8 2 years,21 one year and 23 are this years juveniles.The number of visits they pay to the grit trays varies greatly.Nineteen have been recorded on one day only. At the other extreme one male has been seen on 14 days. At each visit birds usually stop for 2 to 10 minutes scratching through the grit before moving on to feed on the reed seed.Up to 3 unringed birds have been seen at the trays recently so we were very pleased to catch 3 unringed birds today bringing our total of new birds ringed this year to 33. One question observers at the grit trays often ask is wether tak...
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Whoopers Abound.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Whooper Swan. Brian Rafferty.I'm reliably told of a total count of 1,350 Whooper Swan at locations in the Fylde, and I saw some Whooper Swan movement into and around Cockersand on Wednesday, with two flights of 25/20 S over Lighthouse Cottage, and later flights of 55/20 from the SW over the Cocker Estuary where birds were also seen on the sea. Whooper Swan. Brian Rafferty. When I got to estimate them in the field NE of Bank Houses where there had been c.265 on Monday, today there was up to 300 Whooper Swan.Two Rock Pipit were always moving ahead of me on the tide wrack as I walked from Crook Cottage to Plover Scar around the high tide where there was a decent count of 112 Turnstone, 450 Oystercatcher, 52 Dunlin, and a lone Grey Plover, with 5 Eider off here. Of note on th...
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October’s Ringing Totals

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Over on the right you will see that I have updated the ringing totals for Fylde Ringing Group up until the end of October. To date we have ringed 2,378 birds of 54 species. New additions for the year in October were Sparrowhawk, Fieldfare, Redwing and Mistle Thrush.Below you will find the 'Top 5' ringed in October and the 'Top 10 Movers and Shakers' for the year.Top 5 Ringed in October1. Goldfinch - 622. Redwing - 543. Goldcrest - 504. Pied Wagtail - 455. Blue Tit - 32Top 10 Movers and Shakers1. Goldfinch - 264 (up from 2nd)2. Linnet - 241 (down from 1st)3. Blue Tit - 166 (up from 4th)4. Swallow - 145 (down from 3rd)5. Lesser Redpoll - 139 (up from 6th)6. Goldcrest - 128 (up from 8th)7. Meadow Pipit - 124 (down from 5th)8. Great Tit - 96 (up from 10th)9. Reed Warbler - 92 (down from 7th)10. Chaffinch - 80 (straight in)...

Today’s The Day

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
One day a week for ringing. That’s all we get at the moment. One day without rain, wind or both. This week was Wednesday with a cold, clear and frosty start at Oakenclough where I met Andy at 0630. We were later joined by our old mate Will, now too busy with work to do a great deal of ringing. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it. The morning followed a similar pattern to our latest visits here, a post-dawn burst of thrushes and then little else to keep feet and fingers warm. We are now past the peak of Redwing migration and while Fieldfares are often a week or two after the passage of Redwings, this autumn’s Fieldfare migration has seemed a little thin over here on the west coast. Blackbirds were more in evidence today with “continental” types caught, up to 20 seen in total, plus a single Song Thrush. Otherwise, an...
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Fieldcraft!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
When I arrived at Cockersand yesterday it was soon apparent that the fields needed a little closer attention again with waders all over the place. In fields around Abbey Farm and Lighthouse Cottage, 550 Golden Plover, 105 Black-tailed Godwit, 75 Curlew, and at least 50 Turnstone, with Redshank and Lapwing, 8 Skylark went into the air, and there was no effort required in finding at least 265 Whooper Swan in a field to the north east of Bank Houses. Almost certainly the same bird seen here 25 October was a male Merlin obligingly on a fence post seen from Slack Lane where I saw a flock of 30 'finches' around the cover crop, 22 Linnet, 6 Greenfinch and 2 Chaffinch.Off Lighthouse Cottage at high tide, 2 Rock Pipit were on the shingle and a Snipe came up off the marsh. Whe...
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Blog Post: Introducing Cathleen

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
Our new(ish) Hen Harrier LIFE Project Manager Dr Cathleen Thomas reflects on her first few months in the role. Avid followers may have noticed that we’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately. Some of you will know that Blánaid Denman left the Hen Harrier LIFE project in August to become the RSPB’s Area Conservation Manager for the North East and Cumbria. Blánaid has done some great work on the project and we’re sad to see her go, but the baton has been passed on and I now have the privilege of managing the Hen Harrier LIFE project through to its end. I’ve had a mind boggling couple of months getting up to speed with our hen harriers as the project reaches the halfway point. This year we satellite tagged more birds than ever before and it’s amazing to see how much we’re learning about their dispersal and range, provid...

Whooper Trouper

Posted on - In Birding Aldcliffe
Had a couple of hours mooching around the patch yesterday (Saturday) morning.Things were looking slightly livelier at Freeman's Pools with some more goldeneye new in (now 8 birds present) along with 22 coot, 4 tufted duck, 3 little grebe and 19 gadwall. A little egret was on the island.Checking the Lune at Marsh Point, a pair of great crested grebes drifted by on the incoming tide.With the maize fields now fully cut, good numbers of corvids, woodpigeons and geese were rooting around in them. Also there were plenty of chaffinches and a few reed buntings and greenfinches searching for food. I could hear tree sparrows calling and eventually tracked two down in the hedge near Darter Pool. Whooper swanAs I made my way along the cycle track a couple of skeins (comprised approx 70 & 130 birds) of pink-footed geese went over, heading south. A d...
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