Showing posts from September, 2011

Several Shelducks drop in

There were no 'hunters' at Rishton Reservoir this morning and so the far bank had some birds on it - seven Shelducks in fact. They occasionally drop in a couple of times a year on their cross-country moult migration (that used to be much more pronounced) but seven is a good number. And whilst I was there, two drake Tufted Ducks and fifteen Mallards came in.

To go along with the long-term injured Tuftie and Canada Goose, there is now a Black-headed gull with a droopy wing. I'm pretty sure who's to blame for that! I've made contact with our councillors to see what they can do.

There were 12 Lapwings and a small flock of at least 15 Linnets - it'll ne interesting to see if the numbers get up to those of last year. There were no hirundines over the water and I've only seen a couple of Swallows this weekend.

In the garden, finch numbers are rising - lots of Chaffinches visiting and plenty of Goldfinches including a flock of 16. Time to get the nets up soon, meth…

American Black Tern

Just time to pop a couple of picture up from yesterday's jaunt over to Lincolnshire. I've resurrected my 5mp Sony Cybershot as the other stuff is out of action. The results are not too shabby!
After a bit of traipsing around the saltmarshes of the Lincolnshire coast, I eventually caught up with the two Buff-breasted Sandpipers too!

A ringing and a garden tick

A trip down to the reservoir these last couple of days hasn't produced a great deal of note apart from the continued disturbance by wildfowlers who are allegedly culling Canada Geese but targetting Mallard and anything else that flies near them. There was a steady stream of Meadow Pipits overhead along with six grey Wagtails in an hour.

A Nuthatch called from Cut Wood - the first I've ever heard there, so I'm fully expecting the area to be colonised more fully. It has been one of those strange enigmas - Rishton is surrounded by woods with Nuthatches but they've been virtually absent from the borough as long as I've lived here.

late on Sunday morning, I met up with Mark to do some more ringing and the first net round produced several Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and this Whitethroat (a garden ringing tick for Mark).

Though the weather was almost perfect, it seemed as if the majority of birds had overflown in the morning when the area was covered with low cloud. However …

Pipts and Goldcrests on the move

A break in the weather at last - but only for a day. I've been unable to spend any time at the coast and consequently missed all these Sabine's Gulls that have been around. Numbers of Leach's Petrels have been surprising few. I did manage to find a littl shelter on Rishton Res on Tuesday and was rewarded with a first-winter Little Gull and a juvenile Hobby.

Today, Mark and I took advantage a a fine spell up at Newton. Spotted Flycatchers were hunting from the farm buildings but none came down to the netting area. However, Meadow Pipits did in abundance with nearly 30 getting themselves ensnared as they were attracted into the boggy area by the willows. Many more escaped though and large flocks were heading over the fell.

A few Chiffchaffs were caught as well as 13 Goldcrests by the time I'd left. We also caught  six year old Blue and Coal Tits - quite amazing that they both came through on the same day.

Later in the evening, I joined a few of the Lancaster ringing grou…

Back home

I've been home just short of a week now and the jet-lag has still not totally gone. The weather has been atrocious but a brief interlude of fine weather on Friday and Saturday got a few things moving.

Long-tailed Tits were noticable as they noisily made their way around the place - there have been very few of late. Steve Grimshaws discovery of a Ruff at Rishton Res enticed me out of work a little early - a good job too as fifteen minutes after I arrived, it departed south whilst the other waders with it, two ringed Plovers and two Dunlin, remained. They weren't there this weekend though.

Three weeks away meant that the garden was getting a little overgrown and the long grass enticed HEdgehogs out into the center of the lawn in the middle of the day. I was delighted to see a Migrant Hawker in the garden on Saturday - we normally have a couple of Brown Hawkers during the summer months but this one taking insects from the rear of the house was a surprise indeed.

Back to work now …

Dropped camera - no focus

After a sultry night in Chicago, I headed for Montrose again this morning. It was cloudy and occasional drizzle filled the air. Thunderstorms are on their way as is some cooler weather.

Anyway, the Magic Hedge was filled with early activity - all manner of Flycatchers looking subtly different left me more than a little bemused. I think I could have stayed all day and not got much further. Maybe next Monday morning when it's cooler. Birds that I could identify - lots of Magnolia Warblers still, Chestnut Sided, Redstart, Wilson's Yellow, Blackpoll, Tenessee and a probable Orange-crowned. Warbling Vireo and Red-headed Woodpecker were added to the list.

On the Shore, there was just the Short-billed Dowitcher and three Semi P Plovers. There was a strong passage of hirundines, mainly Barn Swallow with a couple of Bank Swallows and a Purple Martin but then disaster. My camera bag slipped off my shoulder and landed with a thud on the concrete pier. Though padded all over, the lens had…

Phew, it's hot.

Following a birding free day checking out some of the sights of Chicago and the promise of a very hot day today, Bernie and I headed for Montrose Point this morning. It was already very warm and the sun was hot at 7:30 as we entered the realm of the Magic Hedge. Straight away, a Warbling Vireo was singing away and we saw several Magnolia Warblers, 'Traill's' Flycatchers, Swainson's Thrush, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher and a latish Yellow Warbler. A wander around the drinking fountain produced more Magnolias and a Pine Warbler but our attention was drawn to the shore where a Short-billed Dowitcher was very obliging, along with a  Baird's Sandpiper, two Leasts and a Semi P (Sand and Plover) as well as a Sanderling.

Having baked a while on the beach, we headed back for shade whilst some locals searched in vain for a repeat glimpse of a Lark Bunting that had put in an appearance yesterday. More Magnolia Warblers greeted us along with this Eastern Wood-Pewee and more Flycatcher…