Showing posts from February, 2013

A weekend break in Gloucestershire

Half term has arrived and not a moment too soon for Bernie. So I'd booked a hotel near Cheltenham so that we could spend some R&R around the Cotswolds and drop in on a few birds too!

A Great Northern Diver that had taken up residence on a Park lake in Cheltenham not 4 miles from our hotel was very obliging. It gave us some great views as it fished in the shallows with the local Mallards and Coots for company!
We had started off with a visit to Slimbridge WWT on the Saturday morning where we quickly got aquainted with the wintering wildfowl population. There were around 40 Bewick's Swans dotted around the place as well as a couple of hundred European White-fronted Geese and a Tundra Bean Goose (there were three but I only picked out one). There were thousands of Lapwings and Wigeon as well as hundreds of Golden Plover & Dunlin. There was a good selection of Ducks at various points around the reserve but the highlight had to be a Bittern (or was it two) at the Kingfisher…

Cannon-netting Sanderling at Fleetwood

For the first time this year, I've ventrued away from east Lancashire to do some Sanderling ringing at Fleetwood with Richard Du Feu and others. This was initially planned for December but the weather scuppered our plans and so today was the next best high tide - in excess of 10 meters.

The plan was to cannon net waders at their high tide roost - a sand and gravel bank on the beach near the Marine Lake at Fleetwood. A few days previously there had been 170 Sanderlings present but the last few days they were far fewer in number following weekend disturbance.

However seven of us turned up at 9am to set out the cannon nets under Richard's guidance. This was something I had done before but over 35 years ago at Seaforth with the SW Lancs ringing group when I wasa novice teenage birder. We carefully laid out two nets and four cannons just below the crest of the bank hoping that the birds would come into roost at just the right place.

Once the nets were in place (an hour later), it w…