Showing posts from June, 2009

A Wright Royal Tern up for the books

Well, John been predicting that a mega would be turning up sometime in June and after a conversation a couple of days ago, the news of the Royal Tern appearing on the North Wales coast came as no surprise. Following it's movements from Ireland to Wales, we thought it would have to appear in the tern colonies on Anglesey (like the Bridled and Sooty Terns before it).
I'd been fixing the car all morning, done the shopping and was about to settle down to do some more species accounts for the Lancs Bird Report when I decided to have a quick look at the birdguides web-site. The big gray square on the North Wales coast set the pulses racing and was immediately followed by a call to JW who'd just been contacted by Billy.
We met up at Billy's and together with Bill Berry, set off to Llandudno. The A55 is a splendid road now and with the junction elimination works completed on the border the journey was incredibly smooth and fast. The only problem was the news that the Tern had de…

Rishton area 14 June

Another weekend morning and another atlas square to complete. This time I was a bit closer to home doing the area between Rishton and Blackburn. Another lovely day, I decided to do this one from my bike in order to cover as much ground as I could.
It started off well with a family of Pied Wagtails and many young Tits and Thrushes exploring their new found world. Things were quiet at the Reservoir - no fishermen but they've done the damage already. A Curlew and Oystercatcher called on the far bank - I suspect the former has chicks in the long grass. That's one thing that's surprised me this spring, the number of fields that haven't been cut for silage. I wonder if that's to do with the reduction in the farming of the land. The meadows are full of wild flowers and are looking splendid - unfortunately few birds but if treated like this for a few years, things could be on the up!
There were a surprising number of Whitethroats around and then I could hear a Grasshopper Wa…

A good day for a red-neck

I was up early on Saturday to do my second visit to the Hoddlesden Atlas square. The morning was calm and sunny and lots of birds were bisy feeding their young. There seemed to be busy parents everywhere. Highlights of the morning were two wonderful family parties of Long-tailed Tits, the second wone well into double figures, a Barn Owl and a Little Owl (gave the Swallows something to shout about) and an immature male Mandarin Duck was completely unexpected.
All that diligent atlassing meant I was a little late for the Lancashire Rarities Committee meeting where 2008's description birds were discussed. It's always an interesting time and a difficult one as you don't want to put people off from submitting descriptions of what are rare birds in Lancashire by rejecting them but that we have to do occasionally as there just isn't enough supporting evidence. I was just there in my secretarial capacity as the top birding minds debated the intricacies of separating first win…

Atlasing in Girvan

Just taken a quick weekend break up to Girvan to do some atlas work – it’s certainly good to get into areas that you wouldn’t have thought to go birding and although I didn’t pick up anything particularly special, the weather was good and I had an enjoyable days birding. I decided to do some ‘Roving’ into areas I’d never driven as I’d noticed that there were absolutely no records for the 10km square just inland of the town. Just north of Pinmore, there was a lovely quiet valley with a stream that was constantly patrolled by Sand Martins (and perhaps explained where the ones I occasionally see in Girvan come from) and had several Common Sandpipers. There were plenty of common birds around and I think I’ll have to survey the area properly next year.A little further on beneath the wind farm at Penwhapple I found a Spotted Flycatcher in a classic spot in a wooded glen. There must be more here so that’ll be another place to visit!Sunday morning was again warm and sunny (unlike the rest of …