Showing posts from July, 2011

Blacktoft Sands and some more garden ringing

After the washout last weekend, this week has given me some opportunities to do some birding and ringing. Ringing with Mark firstly at his place on Wednesday afternoon when we trapped several Siskins and Redpolls amongst the plethera of Great Tits, and then on Saturday morning at mine where we got a juvenile Treecreeper in the first round. I think I'll be doing some more Sand Martins this week - all helping in my training. the examination of moult on many of the birds was very interesting and I think I'm slowly getting the hang of it!

On Thursday I was working in East Yorkshire so I called in at Blacktoft on the way to see the Marsh Sandpiper that had been in residence. It was asleep virtually the whole time but eventually popped its head up a couple of times. Twelve Spotted Redshanks including a very black one were really appreciated and the supporting cast of Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Little Egret, Bearded Tit and Garganey made for a very productive hour.

I should've taken …

It's more like September

And if it was, I'd be headed for the coast for lots of lovely seabirds. But it's mid-July and though there would undoubtedly be some shearwaters off Formby Point and perhaps a petrel or two, I've decided to keep checking the local patch just in case something drops in.

There have been up to three Common Sandpipers on Rishton Reservoir over the past week as well as teh usual LRP. Friday and today, there has been an adult Common Tern - once more regular than it is now. Good numbers of Sand Martins were feeding low over the water and the football field and these must have been the draw for a Hobby to dash through. I thought it might have landed so I made my way over towards the wood, being battered by the wind and rain. Sure enough, as I got near to where I last saw it, it dashed out on over the trees.

A female Blackcap was feeding a youngster in the garden today - I've been hearing them all summer so it was nice to have confirmed breeding.

And still the rain pours down!

More unexpected birds

I was up reasonably early this-morning so that I could complete a couple of TTVs around Barnoldswick before the showers came. Initially there wasn't anything out of the ordinary with many family parties around the place, especially Magpies and Blackbirds. As I headed up the steep path next to Copy Nook towards Gisburn Old Road, I heard a call that I realised was a Crossbill! It seemed to have come up from a nearby plantation - part of the influx we seem to be having at the moment.

A couple of juvenile Redstarts a bit further round were really nice to see.

Later, I called in at Rishton Reservoir where the Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers were still present along with three Common Sandpipers and an Oystercatcher. However, I took a double take when I noticed two Little Grebes hauled out on the far bank - an adult and a juvenile. These are very uncommon here so I suspect they've dispersed from somewhere nearby due to water level drops. I checked Parsonage Reservoir later and there…

Some showers, some birds

I've not done a great deal of birding in the last week - well it feels like I haven't but in fact... Sunday afternoon and evening was spent on the Lune ringing Sand Martins (just short of 400 birds caught) as part of my training. This was my fourth session in the last three weeks and yet again I got wet feet! Siskins on the feeders on Saturday were completely unexpected.

Then there were a couple of really good birds reported late on Sunday in the north west. So Monday after work was earmarked for a potential twitch. In fact, both were present on Monday so I decided to go for the Western Bonelli's Warbler (as I've never seen one in the UK) knowing that twitching waders on the Fylde has not been a successful pastime for me! I knew the traffic would be bad so I didn't get to Arnfield Reservoir (just over the Greater Manchester border into Derbyshire) until around 7. Once parked up I found the area straight away as I caught a brief snatch of song - and then again - and…

RBO's First Mothing Session

A fine Friday evening was a good time to have the first ever Mothing session in my back garden. Bill's been encouraging me to do it for years and so, as everyone was available, we decided to spend a couple of hours seeing what we might collect.
Natasha from next door was at home so she and Tim & Janet Davie came along for a very informative and enjoyable couple of hours. We set up a trap at the bottom of the dip near the stream, one half way up the path near the ringing ride and a light and sheet on the back lawn.
The evening was cool so there wasn't a great deal of activity but enough for us novices. Soon I was acquainted with some common species such as Brimstone and Purple Clay as well as three species of Y Silver, Plain Golden and Beautiful Golden.
This Buff Arches was my favourite of the evening but there were also Ghost Moth, Map-winged Swift, Single-dotted Wave, Coxcomb Prominent and a host of others (for which I'm waiting a list of).
The evening was enlivened by pa…