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Showing posts from June, 2011

Flaming June

.. it is most certainly not! So not too surprising then that two drake Common Scoters were sailing around the deep-end this evening. These sea-duck do drop in occasionally as they commute between Scandinavian breeding grounds and the Irish Sea but, still, it's a bonus!

There were also three Tufted Ducks and lots of Sand Martins (at least 95) - a permanent fixture here this year with all the cool weather. Ringing Sand Martins on Monday evening was fun - crossing the Lune in my walking boots on the way back was fun too - they're still drying out!

A young Grey Heron has been patrolling the shallows for the past couple of weeks and my first four juvenile Black-headed Gulls put in an appearance on the far bank as they disperse from Belmont Reservoir, probably.

Nuthatch - a garden and ringing tick

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As the wind had moved into the north west, the dip behind the house was sheltered and lots of birds were coming to the feeders down there so a bit of garden ringing was called for this-afternoon.

A male and juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker have been vising the peanut feeders for a few days and whilst watching them, I caught a glimpse of a Nuthatch on another feeder. At last! I had heard one very briefly in the spring but this was my first sighting and very glad about it I was too!

Even better was the fact that we trapped it later that afternoon.....

We trapped lots of young Great Tits and Chaffinches. Also two more adult Bullfinches and two juveniles. A quick visit to the nearby stables resulted in two broods of Swallows ringed as well.

Better late than never

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..with a photo of the Crane that graced the borderlands last Tuesday. A good couple of days birding with this and the White-throated Robin on the Monday. This bird was reported around 6pm so I finished my tea only to miss it at its original but distantly viewed site. Fortunately Mike Watson got stopped by a local to show him where the stork was. Managed to get a shot in the rapidly fading light.

At Rishton Reservoir today the young grebe was being fed by its parents. Unfortunately, the other two nests were washed out - last year they were left high and dry!

The flock of Canada Geese has been absent for some time but they're now re-assembling.

I couldn't see anything on the far bank. There had been a single LRP there last week but I've not seen any the last two visits. I just hope they may be sitting tight somewhere!

The first juvenile Goldfinch was on the feeders today and I'm still getting regular visits from Lesser Redpolls. Blackbirds are singing all around us at pr…

White-throated Robin Twitch

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09:15 - massage from John "Going to Hartlepool at 10:30 if I can make it". Eh? A quick check of the Birdguides web site and the urge to twitch takes hold. 09:30 - after much internal deliberation, decide that  I'll be just useless doing anything else now today so "Yes".
The day was going to be oh-so-different to yesterday where I spent the evening ringing Sand Martins on the Lune with Mark, Richard and a few others. I even handled a recovery with a French ring on it though most of the retraps were last year's juveniles from the same colony.
The troops assembled at my house and at 11, yes 11 o'clock, John eventually appeared. With the A59 closed, I decided that the quickest route would be the long way round the M62. All morning the news was arriving that the bird was showing well until we were about 30 minutes away when it had dived for cover. Our spirits rose again as we entered the outskirts of Hartlepool with the news that it had re-appeared!
At 13:15 we…

Some upland specialities

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Mark invited me out to check some Pied Flycatcher boxes on Saturday morning. Two out of the five we checked had young in them which were just ready to ring as pulli. All the other nests were vacant with the broods having fledged or succumbed.
Wandering 'off-piste' in Bowland woodlands was hard work on my dodgy joints but worth it. I managed a few snaps with my new iPhone too! Redstarts were singing in lots of places and we flushed up a Tawny Owl in one of the woods.

Back at Mark's we decided to throw up a couple of nets in the vain hope we may catch something even though the wind was picking up. We weren't disappointed as we got a couple of re-trap Nuthatches and this wonderful second calendar year male Redstart amongst other things.