Showing posts from April, 2009

Weekend migrants

News of a Black Tern at Stocks meant that I just had to make the trip up there on Saturday afternoon. First call was into the old hide, opposite which was a splendid adult Med Gull. Two splendid drake Red-breasted Mergansers fished the inlet. I made my way up to the new hide where Mike Watson was in residence. Three Whimbrel sat on the bank opposite, a Greenshank fed actively in the bay and Common Sands called as they flew from one bank to the other.
A cuckoo called from the opposite hillside so I just had to entice it over and after a few renditions, it came up to the hide to give us some great views. As we got back into the hide, Mike called out two terns over the reservoir and after watching them from a distance, made our way back to the old hide where we enjoyed some good views of two Black Terns. Now sated, I had to get back home for the visit of Pete and Sue – together with a Chinese and some very nice wine!
Today, I awoke relatively early and so decided to do one of my tetrads. M…

Back to my old stomping ground

Because I finish work early on a Friday, I thought I'd take a trip over to Southport to look for a few migrants. First call was Marshside and after a brief look from Hesketh Road viewpoint, I made my way down to Nel's hide - perfectly positioned in front of te main wader pool. Here there were the usual flocks of Black-tailed Godwit as well as the nesting Redshanks, Avocets, etc. A late flock of Golden Plover sat at the back of the pool. In amongst then were a small group of Dunlin and a very nice Little Stint. A little further left there was a Curlew Sand just starting to come into Summer plumage, whilst further round to the right I found a semi-concealed Spotted Redshank roosting. Having been buzzed by a Sparrowhawk, the waders git more active and the Spotted Redshank was in full summer plumage - a great sight.
I caught a brief snatch of what I thought was a Grasshopper Warbler. I opened up the window to teh right and a few minutes later, the unmistakable reeling song rang out…

Working in the Garden

With all this nice weather, the garden demanded some work so it was less of the birding this weekend. That doesn't stop me of course. The first home Williow Warbler, Blackcap and House Martins of the year added to the summery feel as I dug out some steps down to the stream at the back - fortunately in the shad of some trees we planted several years ago.
The pair of Bullfinches were very much in evidence with the male giving his subtle song and feeding the female at one point. A pair of Siskins kept coming back to the feeders in the afternoon, the male an absolutely stunning bird. Lesser Redpolls are also still in the area.
As I was moving some of the slabs, I found a couple of Common Toads in what was their winter quarters - I moved them somehwere suitable.
One curiosity we've had over the past few weeks is a resident Magpie that has no tail and a limited ability to fly. It bounds around the garden, front and back when it thinks no-one is looking - very bold considering the numbe…

Ayrshire and Galloway with John

Ailsa Craig from Turnberry Point - behind me the famous 9th tee! If I was there in July I'd be facing this way looking at the flocks of seabirds passing close offshore than watching grown men cry as they battle the elements trying to put a small white ball in a hole!

Wow! What a day. John ("The councillor") Wright came up to meet me at Girvan last night in order that we could spend a day's birding along this wonderful coast. First stop was Maidens where we had all the regular crowd including plenty of Red-breasted Merganser and the regular seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese. A Great Northern Diver was developing its full summer plumage and the odd Razorbill flew past. There was a southerly movement of Crows, rather oddly; one was a few miles offshore and was attacked by a Bonxie. We picked up a few distant Manxies as well as the much closer Gannets and Fulmar.We then headed to Turnberry bay and immediately found several Black-throated Divers in the surf (John watching the…