Westerlies bring seabirds to Rishton Reservoir

We've had summer. That nice week is now a distant memory and we're back into cool weather, westerlies and showers but at this time of year this is great weather to drop migrating birds into local reservoirs. I finished early on Friday and though I'd checked the reservoir in the morning (with just a single Dunlin). I thought it may be worth checking again and I was delighted when I saw an Arctic Tern floating over the water. I suspected there were two and that was confirmed a little later by Casper after I had put the news out.
Female Blackcap
The following day was an early start with a ringing session at Mark's. Most of my Redpolls had left but his garden was buzzing with them. We managed a few rounds dodging the showers and got 25 new birds plus controls as well as more Siskins and Golfinches. Two ofthe female Siskins had well developed brood patches and we also had a freshly fledged juvenile - very early indeed. The Redpolls continue to interest with a good percentage having longer wings than suggested in Svennson. Perhaps our Redpolls are growing with the improved nutrition or perhaps we're seeing birds from different populations with longer winged individuals migrating further than more local ones. Perhaps we'll find out over the years.
Lesser Redpoll
The rain started to fall so after a couple of hours we took the net down and headed for Stocks Reservoir where we had a single Arctic Tern, a pair of Cuckoos (really rare in Lancs these days) and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. I headed back to Rishton and once the rain had started to clear, headed down to the Reservoir where I was delighted to see two 1st summer Little Gulls. Two good birds in two days!

Today was WeBS day and I was hoping for something to stay around but no such luck though the LRPs were quite noticeable. I think there may be two pairs in between the disturbance by the fishermen.

Sedge Warblers are singing on the small reservoir and along Sidebeet but there are still no local Chiffchaffs and precious few Willow Warblers this spring.
Bullfinches are reappearing in the garden alongside a small influx of Goldfinches and yet more unringed Redpolls. And on the canal I've just seen the pair of Mute Swans with seven cygnets - we're going to be inundated with Mute Swans at the present rate.


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