Showing posts from October, 2010

A successful day's ringing

I'll add some photos later but on Saturday Mark came around for a ringing session. The sky was unfortunately clear as a bell and there was still a gusty breeze from the west but we decided to try and put the nets up around the garden.

There was plenty of bird activity and the hope that some over-passing Waxwings may drop in added a frisson of excitement. Anyway, we had no time to think about that as we emerged from putting the nets up 'down the dip' we discovered the top net full of 18 birds!

To say it was a hectic first couple of hours is an understatement as the majority of birds were tits with a predilection  to get themselves tangled up, especially Coal Tits.

Once we'd taken them out, there were 12 in the bottom nets and we ran out of bags. So some serious processing took place!

We managed a few Bullfinches and Chaffinches as well but Goldfinches were scarce.

Dunnock    1
Robin        1
Blackbird    1
Goldcrest    3
Coal Tit      10       1 retrap (compared to just 9 ne…

Waxwings, lovely waxwings

Rishton Reservoir beckoned this morning as I hadn't 'done' it for a few days. Numbers of gulls had increased with 110 Black-headeds, 15 Herring and 45 Lesser Black-backs milling around together with the single Great-crested Grebe and a single immature Goosander. Four Lesser Redpolls flew overhead, calling as did a Siskin whilst a flock of over 60 Fieldfare moved south over the far bank.

There was still no sign of any Waxwings around Rishton so I headed out to Barrow this afternoon and fifteen minutes later I was enjoying a veritable ocular and auditory feast!

I love Waxwings, in fact I bet it's hard to find anyone who doesn't. The sound of their calls evokes memories of cold winter days and the anticipation of a good view of this showy species. Well this-afternoon, the light wasn't good (reason to go back one sunny day soon) but the flock at Barrow was growing by the minute it seemed.

When I arrived there were around 40 in the trees above the main road but fifte…

Back home to sunshine

A few days away in Scotland mixing work and pleasure resulted in some fantastic experiences with Hen Harrier, Merlin and Peregrine not to mention the accompanying birds along the way. I managed to avoid the worst of the weather - the rain poured down and the wind blew strong overnight but most of the day was fine and blustery.
Back home the sun is shining and the berries on the Rowans glowing red - a very appetising sight for any passing Waxwing! They were all over the place last weekend in Scotland but just not where I was a any precise moment in time! Now they're nearby in Barrow and Burnley so they've just got to pass over here soon. I'll keep my ears primed for that delightful soft trilling call!

First few Redwings and an East Lancs YBW

It's been a lovely week weather-wise - clear skies over western Britain and balmy conditions meant that migrating birds could get a wiggle on but did not tend to trouble the scorers on the ground, apart that is from a rather splendid Yellow-browed Warbler that pitched up in Burnley for three days. I was fortunate to see it on a sunny afternoon on Wednesday having spent the previous eight hours on Scout Moor where birds were flying high and straight over. This little gem provided some much needed relief for those who couldn't partake of the east coast spectacle last week and, though elusive at times, it gave some cracking views, calling regularly as well.

Saturday saw Bernie and I up at Malham Tarn for a change - a lovely walk around a place which was the site of one of my first bird-watching trips as a young teenager with my parents. I remember seeing my first Great Crested Grebe there and sure enough, one was there. A few Redwings and Fieldfare were around the place and there…

East coast magic!

The run of easterlies and the news of lots of birds arriving up and down the east coast of Britain left me with no alternative but to head over there on Sunday with John. After much deliberation, we decided that Hartlepool Headland was probably the best place to start and so at 8am we pulled up near the bowling green to be greeted with the sound of hundreds of Redwings.
The signs were good. The bowling green had its nets set up and there was Redwing, Song Thrush, Robin, Chaffinch, Brambling, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Redstart, Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit. Siskins called overhead as more finches and thrushes arrived. We searched the gardens as we made our way down past St Hilda's to Borough Hall where John noticed a Great Grey Shrike flying. We later caught up with it again before it headed over to the bowling green and apparently got ringed.
 The trees in the square were full of Chiffchaffs - I can't remember seeing so many in such a small area - together with a single…

Rishton Reservoir 1 - 7th Oct

Could sum it up in one word but I think that I could elaborate on the birding to be had over the past week.

I have started a contract at what one might describe as proper work in a manufacturers in Barrowford that means no birding for me this week apart from brief dawn sessions at the Reservoir - the evenings blighted by yachts and fishing.

Still nothing of note on the water though the level is rising further. A juvenile Common Sandpiper this morning was nice to see as there have been none recently. A few small flocks of Meadow Pipits passed overhead in the clear weather. Also a couple of Redpolls and several Goldfinches - there was a flock of 24 Goldfinches at the weekend. A Blackcap had chacked in the garden at the weekend and there are lots of common garden birds visiting. Chaffinches are getting more noticeable as are the Blackbirds.

Meanwhile our newly installed PV panels generate a decent amount of electricity in the fine sunny days we've had recently.  High pressure over Sc…