Monday, 30 May 2011

Leighton and Warton

I headed for the west coast with Cain (Holywell Birder) on Friday. After a couple of stops in Carlisle and Penrith so that Cain could attend to some uni work we went down to Leighton Moss.
We didn’t see much on the way down but a female Peregrine keeping up with the car outside Carlisle was good to see.

Although Leighton Moss was quiet by its usual standards, we still enjoyed the close views of Marsh Harriers flying overhead and food passing.
From the Lower Hide a Hobby was flying around, mobbing the groups of Swifts and a female Pochard with just one young left was followed around by three drakes who acted as bodyguards when BH Gulls tried to attack.
We then drove the few miles along the road to the hides overlooking Morcambe Bay where 20+ Avocets were on their nests on the various islands.
On the way back we had a look at the impressive Warton Crag. Amongst the hundreds of Jackdaws nesting on the crag we picked out a Peregrine perched on the edge of the crag.

Today I got the chance to see the Terek Sandpiper- Lifer, at Hauxley. It took me a while to pick out the Sandpiper as it was sleeping with its back turned to me amongst the rocks on the western shore.
Once it was awake and feeding amongst the rocks I could see it more clearly as it bobbed up and down like a common sand. Somebody then let me look through their scope where I got even better views. It is the strangest looking wader I have seen, like a cross between a Greenshank and a Godwit with a bent bill.
Also there was a Pale Bellied Brent Goose swimming along the north shore with 5 Greylags.

In a few hours I will be off to Norfolk/Suffolk until Saturday, maybe I can get a lifer everyday this week!

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Went out with SH for a few hours this morning to do the WEBS count at Castle Island. After the count we went to Woodhorn South pool where a Reed Warbler and a squealing Water Rail could be heard from the reeds.
On the way back we check Arcot first, which was quiet and then West Hartford. With not much water left on the main flash I was suprised to still see 3 Ringed Plover. Whislt we watched them a Little Ringed Plover flew overhead calling loudly. It flew in from the direction of the river and landed on the mud.

99 - Little Ringed Plover

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

April Results

The following is how the patch competition 2011 stood at the end of April:

GM: 91
DMcK: 92
LMcD: 93
PJA: 94

I got a call from LMcD on sunday morning saying 2 Greenshank were at West Hartford. By the time I got there they had gone but the 7 Wood Sandpipers remained.
Whislt checking the fence row between the pools for migrants, I found a Whinchat perched on a branch in front of the fence.

Also the day before 2 Swifts were circling over my house.

97 - Swift
98 - Whinchat

Saturday, 7 May 2011

End of April Begining of May

Over the last two weeks I have been finishing off my final pieces of work for uni before I officially finish for the summer on Monday.
In between doing work I have been able to get out and do some birding though. Also I forgot to mention in my last post that on the morning that the Wryneck was at WH, I had a very early singing Garden Warbler on the roundabout in front of the entrance to WH.

27th April
I got a lift up to Lesbury with GM Liverbirder that night to see the night heron.
After two hours of searching up and down the river, eventually at 8:50 the Night Heron flew over our heads down river and landed on the bank side next to the viaduct.
During those two hours we waited Common Sandpiper, Green Woodpecker, Grasshopper Warbler and a Tawny Owl were all active around the viaduct.

29th April

I went up to Harthope with SH and DMcK. We walked around most of the main tracks in the valley and as a result ended up seeing Stonechat, 3 Whinchat, 2 Ring Ouzel, 2 Redstart, 2 Cuckoo and Tree Pipit.
On the way home we stopped at WH where a Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the entrance plantation and 2 Ringed Plover were on the main pool. Also 2 Common Terns were at Arcot.

Last night after GM told me there were 3 Wood Sandpiper at West Hartford I went and had a look. As I approached the main pool 4 waders flew off SW. I presumed they were the WS but when I looked at the other side of the pool 3 WS were there feeding along with a Ringed Plover. I didn’t think anything else of it as I though they had just landed again without me noticing.

This morning when I went for another look I found 7 feeding together in the SE corner of the main pool along with a Redshank. I now think that there were also 7 last night and the other 3 had been there the whole time, either way 7 Wood Sandpipers is still and impressive sight.

90- Garden Warbler
91- Redshank
92- Common Tern
93- Ringed Plover
94- Lesser Whitethroat
95- Undisclosed
96- Wood Sandpiper