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Showing posts from May, 2011

Redpoll ringing

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With the Blue Tits in two of my nestboxes growing fast, we decided it was time to ring the chicks - eight in one nest an nine out of eleven in another (one was dead and another didn't look well!) I hope the weather improves in the next couple of days and we get a bit of warmth in the air as these birds will be fledging in a week or so.

We put up a net for a couple of hours to see what we might catch before settling down to watch Barcelona thump United. I was delighted to get four Lesser Redpolls, one of which, a female, was trapped on 28 Dec 2009. There had been several birds visiting the garden feeders lately and so it proved to be at least three different males and a host of females and a juvenile. one of the brighter males was ringed and I managed to read it as the ring obligingly turned around as it fed on the Nyger seed - another one from 28 Dec 2009!
Nothing much happening down at the reservoir today as fishermen were camped on the far bank and the Grebes were hiding in the w…

Waiting for an American Visitor

This wind seems incessant. This-morning I tried to do a stint at the reservoir but the rain lashed into my face at regular intervals and the wind was sogusty I was fully expecting a petrel over the water. Instead there were plenty of hirundines, a couple of gulls and little else.

One of my daughter's friends is coming over from America today, so not an avian visitor but the wind could bring one over!

Two pairs of Grebes (the ones on the railway embankment) have at least one chick each but I haven't seen the ones that skulk near the yacht club - they could have been drowned out with the constant pounding of the waves over the past couple of weeks.

House Martins have finally arrived in some numbers - at least 25 were feeding in the shelter of the trees along Cut Lane this morning whilst Robins and Chaffinches have struck up song again. On Friday there was a (Greater) Ringed Plover on the far bank of the reservoir and yesterday, a pair of Little Ringed Plovers were busy feeding a…

At last, something's dropped in

... in the shape of six Dunlin on the increasing expanse of sand/mud yesterday evening. I can't remember seeing so many here before. True to form, they'd disappeared by this morning but the two Little Ringed Plovers were still around.

The grebes are keeping to the shelter of the willows so I haven't seen any sign of the youngsters. I'm just hoping the nest on the eastern bank hasn't been inundated by the waves that have been lapping up over the last week or so.

A party of eight Swifts screamed over the park and Sand Martins have reached three figures though they don't breed here. House Martins are still pretty scarce but another two 'sites' around the village are occupied again.

Grebe chicks hatch

Whilst everyone else was finding some rather good birds, checking Rishton Reservoir a couple of times yesterday didn't turn up anything special. A pair of LRP's were trotting around on the far bank away from the fisherman over there and the numbers of martins over the area was very good - at least 100 Sand Martins, 20 Swallows but still only a  few House Martins and Swifts.

The good news was that the pair of Grebe in the farthest corner were feeding and coming back to the nest - I could just make out the top of the head of a chick. Hopefully the other two nests are also coming to fruition.

At least four Lesser Redpolls were on the feeders today including one of the brightest males I've ever seen - shining out against the background of a gloomy, dreech day.

Rishton Reservoir 8th May

At last, some rain. At last, some House Martins and Swifts. It feels like a lot of the summer migrants have been around for ages. Well some certainly have but it's still only the first week of May and after weeks of fine weather, we tend to forget that.
I was hoping that these weather fronts may bring in some birds, drop down a Tern or two, but no, 'just' the regular birds. Yesterday there was been a single Little Ringed Plover displaying on the far bank of the reservoir and today it was joined by a Common Sandpiper, my first of the year here. A female Mallard was taking the attention of six males and was fickle in the extreme as they displayed and fought each other. Another female still had five growing chicks - the same family had nine chicks last weekend that had steadily reduced to five as a third year Great Black-back Gull picked them off when they strayed away from the willows. It looks like the rest have stuck close to mum.
The three pairs of Great Crested Grebes are …

Wonderful Whinchats

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I'd been down at the reservoir again this morning but still there was nothing to shout about apart from a female Tufted Duck joining the two males. Crows had increased to 81 and there were two Ravens present. However a call from Tim Davie got me up to an exposed spot above Parsonage Reservoir where there were two lovely Whinchats faithful to one spot. I could hardly stand upright in the easterly gale so they must have been clinging on for dear life to the fence! Thanks Tim & Janet!

Some good TTV'ing

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Yesterday was spent doing two TTVs around Barnoldswick, somewhere I wouldn't go in most circumstances but a four hour circuit was rewarded with some good birds. The gusty easterly wind kept a lot of stuff down but otherwise it wasn't too bad. I set off up onto the moor to the west of Bar'lick first; plenty of Willow Warblers, Meadow Pipits and a good colony of Linnets with some splendid males singing along the path were a complete opposite to my last visit were there was nothing but for a couple of Crows.

A female Wheatear dodged along a wall and a single displaying Curlew was my only wader of the day. A couple of Red Grouse reluctantly sounded out their 'go-back' call. Apart from another Wheater, there was nothing to write home about around Duck Pond until I heard what is now becoming a more familiar call of a Yellow Wagtail. I picked up the bright yellow male flying overhead.

Further down I could hear a distant Redstart but I got a good view of one a bit further …