Showing posts from March, 2009

A walk in Bowland

The sun was shining, and it was a clear calm morning so I just had to spend some time up in the fells of Bowland. I usually take my bike up the valley as it's a nice easy ride and the return journey is a breeze downhill! However not today - it was going to have to be a three mile yomp up and then back again.
I met Casper in the car park - he'd had the same idea - and we took a leisurely walk alongside the stream - a nuthatch was calling repeatedly but apart from a pair of buzzards over the hillside there was little else. After a mile and a half we came across Mark Breaks and Alan Holmes and soon we had more Buzzards, Kesterl, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk.
We decided to wander up top the Eagle Owl site. Opinions are mixed about these birds - we don't know where they've come from but they've been in the area a number of years now. The worry has been that they'll disturb the other birds of prey, especially the nationally important Hen Harriers. Anyway, they're affo…

A new bird for the Garden

Aa there was quite a high tide expected, I decided to spend the late morning over at Warton Bank in the hope that some Water Pipits might get pushed up off the marsh. There were plenty of good birds around - a flock of Meadow Pipits required searching and a couple with a pinky- orangy wash and greyish head got me wondering. However they were all Mipits - around 40 and further flocks were coming off the marsh and passing through.
Little Egrets were much in evidence, at least eight different individuals. A cracking Peregrine was the only bird of prey. The gull colony on Hesketh Out Marsh was busy and I picked up an adult Mediterranean Gull heading out there.
The tide didn't breach the river banks so there was little chance of the Water/Rock Pipits that tend to be far out on the marsh, so it was back to do some chores around the house.

I couldn't resist the temptation to spend half an hour in "The Hide" as there were lots of finches about - more than usual. Indeed there w…

Some more Garden Ringing

A dull and overcast morning was the perfect weather for some ringing in my back garden. Mark had agreed to come over and set up the nets and see if we could catch some more Redpolls. Birds were in evidence as we erected the first four-shelf mist net between the feeders and the bushes and not long after we left it, there were several birds in it. These turned out to be three Great Tits and a Blue Tit. I was expecting another when Mark pulled out a male Siskin from the bag - he's such a kidder keeping quiet on that one!
More birds followed including some re-traps from December - nearly all birds were adults so it seems the harsh winter has ben hard on the younger population even though they've been well fed!Several finches followed and we caught three 'new' Redpolls as well as re-trapping two others.
What followed was quite extraordinary. We'd been having several Bullfinches in the garden over winter but we managed to trap three different females in the next hour - the…

An afternoon escape from work

Having seen the sunshine from my office window all week, I decided that there was nothing left but to take a half day and see som early migrants. First stop was Mythop flood. Lots of Teal and Wigeon, four blackwits and a lone distant Little Ringed Plover was my first summer visitor of the year.
Then it was on to Stanley Park in Blackpool where there had been a Firecrest for a couple of weeks. I found the pot and some Goldcrests quite quickly and learnt that it had been around from a couple of other birders. I searched the conifers and the scrub - plenty of commoner birds and the Herons in the nearby colony were very active. after about an hour , I took one last circuit and just as I was about to give up I heard the Goldcrests again and then a similar but subtly different call - I knew it was here. A few tantallising seconds later, I got a bronzy flash and then the white supercilium - it wasn't being overly bliging but I managed to get a good view before it disappeared back into the…

Garden birding

Having twitched the 51 Waxwings at nearby Padiham earlier in the day and then the Red-throated Diver a few miles further on at Foulridge Reservoir, I thought I might try and get some better views of all the Redpolls that have been visiting the garden.

Two birds on the feeder yesterday looked like Mealy but todays have all been Lesser - up to twelve birds and only two ringed.

Anyway, there were the usual supporting cast of Bullfinches, Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Greenfinches.