Friday, 30 January 2015


Just received some information about the ringed Turnstone I saw last week at Rossall Point looks like he/she is a local to the area.
Below is the information I have received back from Seumus Eaves the North West Turnstone Project Coordinator.

Recapture History
  Ring                        Age/   Capture
  number           Type                            Date      Init         Details
  ST28469 - BR             N                      6             12/01/13           PJB       Fleetwood Marine Lake, Lancashire
                         O      6    Sighted (R)   18/01/13  IG    Fleetwood Marine Lake, Lancashire (6 days)
                         R      4    Recaptured   16/12/13  IG    Fleetwood Marine Lake, Lancashire (338 days)
                         O      4    Sighted (R)   16/01/14  IG    Fleetwood Marine Lake, Lancashire (1 yr 4days)
                         O      4    Sighted         06/12/14         Rossall Point, Lancashire (1 km, W, 1 yr 328days)
                         O      4    Sighted         24/01/15         Rossall Point, Lancashire (1 km, W, 2 yrs 12days)

N = new bird i.e. first ringed
O = field sighting
4 = hatched before current calendar year – exact year unknown (e.g. many adults in autumn)
6 = hatched before last calendar year – exact year unknown (e.g. many adults in Spring)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Lancs Wandering

I have not this year really gone any where birding just staying very local which although nice and restful doesn't progress ones year or life list so this weekend I made the effort and headed off into uncharted territory or at least for me heading firstly for Pilling and then on to Rossal Point.

Finding the area around Pilling End was tricky but finding the rough area and then a collection of cars all bearing RSPB, WWT etc stickers I assumed I was in the right spot and pulled over and parked up.
Bumping into a couple of birders on asking if the Pomarine Skua had been spotted today I was given some rather negative news but seeing a group of other birders a head watching something I still plodded on and after asking again, I was given of the answer of its just there! And so it was and it's quite a beast of a bird with a real powerful looking bill I watched the bird for a while before the cold got the better of me and I retreated to the warmth of the car and on to the second location.

Getting to Rossall Point which was now bathed in full sun unlike the gloom of Pilling, although no warmer in the wind I was given the bad news that no one had seen any sign of the Shore Lark even after looking all through out the dunes, oh bugger!
But I was not to down hearten it had to be there somewhere and who knows maybe I would find it!
Walking along the beach I manged to pick up quite a few waders and a Pied Wagtail which I saw out of the corner of my eye did at one point get the heart beating that little quicker. A Turnstone I spotted had a couple of rings which I will have to report in. A couple of Eiders were pointed out just beyond the breakers.

After playing with Gem on the beach for a while we decided to head for the Tower for a look around and get out of the wind, just as we headed up the steps I noticed a group of birders all watching a patch of the golf course so it was a change of plan and off we shot, sure enough the Shore Lark had been found.

This allowed for a record shot to be grabbed not great as it meant looking straight into the sun but needs must.
Hunger then meant it was off to the car for lunch, just after finishing my luck was in and the Shore Lark moved to almost right in front of my car allowing for a much better set of shots to be bagged.

One life tick and plenty of year ticks, I was a happy chap driving home.

Hanley Forrest Park

Lesley still needed the Juv male Smew which I had manged to pick up on the 3rd Jan at Westport Lake so it was off to Hanley Forrest Park to hopefully see this great little duck.

Sure enough it was there, it seemed to be eating bait thrown by the fisher men called Boilies I have been informed.

It's not daft this duck it knows how to get a quick and easy meal for its self.

Jan First

The first of Jan for me is always more of a leisurely start than it is for some birders, I just tend to do a spot of garden watching followed by maybe a quick walk somewhere.
This year was no exception, so over the morning I manged to get a nice garden list together, although this year unlike the last 3 winters we have not got any Brambling so they are absent from my list to date.  But the garden favorites of Bullfinch and Willow Tit have been bagged alongside Green Finch and other common garden birds.

The afternoon was spent doing lazy birding from the car with a quick drive to Hanchurch for the feeding area by the rock which added Great Spotted Woodpecker and Jay to my list followed by a drive alongside the railway line at Mill Meece which added Red Wing and Field Fare.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Hanley Forrest Park

Well having a free day to my self with the Lesley and Gem going away to visit her parents I could choose how I spent the day, no real great plans of bombing off to some far flung corner of the country just a lazy stroll being on the cards.

With the Red Head Smew now being located at Hanley Forrest Park I thought I would go there I hadn't been there since I was a lad, looks like the park has been done up, but I didn't go far I just to stuck to the lake and watching this very showy Smew which put on a nice show, it even caught a fish while I was there. Although the poor thing did rather get mobbed by the Black Headed Gulls if they thought it had caught anything.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Something Smew

Although I had not heard any news about the Female Smew that had been spotted at Westport Lake on Wednesday as we fancied a afternoon stroll it seemed the perfect place with the outside bonus that it was still there.

When we got there a group of birders called us over (pays to where a scope on your back) and we were soon pointed in the direction of where the Smew was problem was it was the far corner from where we were. Gemma must have remembered seeing one before as she preferred to feed bread to the local ducks and coots instead.

On getting to the spot where it was last spotted it had done a bunk and it took a while to be re-found right where we had been standing which was now again the far end of the lake, this duck was keeping us fit!

But we tracked it down again only to loose it, Lesley decided to take Gem over to the park while I soldiered on in the hope of getting a shot or two, but my luck was suddenly in a it appeared in front of me by the visitor centre.

Now I just need a male to turn up some where!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Barrow Hill

Today was all about cops (that's ticks not the police) with Barrow Hill playing Host to my Dad's last 37 (37800) and a couple of 01's I still needed to bag in the form of 01515 and 01520.

On getting there using info provided via the End of the Line forum 37800 was soon bagged with it still occupying the area around the platforms alongside 20001 aka 8001.

20001 aka 8001 in BR Green at Barrow Hill

37800 part of the Euro Phoenix fleet awaiting a return to traffic 

Dad enjoying getting his hands on his last 37
Inside the depot a 37 was in full under coat and does not look too far from completion 03066 made for an interesting shot having its engine open for all to see.

Out in the yard another set of 37's were on show in a variety of liveries from DRS, faded EWS and a plain DRS Blue but with new style DRS branding.

From the bank a class 24 and 33 were on show, have to say I would have preferred if 33035 had retained Network South East tooth paste colours buts that's just me. Here I also managed to see 01520 stabled up towards the HNRC depot area.

By the HNRC depot itself 37884 in full Euro Phoenix colours and my other target 015515 were stabled up.

37884 in Euro Phoenix colours at Barrow Hill

05515 in military purple colours complete with cat badge at Barrow Hill 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Although it was half term week decided to braved a visit to Formby, as this is where Gem had wanted to go aka Squirrel Beach to her.
But we all love this place so we didn't object and we had a pleasant time building sand castles and collecting shells on the beach.
There were the odd Sandling on the beach, not a huge number, but with quite a few dog walkers around I couldn't blame the wildlife giving the place a miss, but I still managed to grab a few shots.

Gem didn't fancy popping down to see these little waders so I just left her to play with Mum.

Then it was time to do the good old Squirrel walk, and we were quite lucky at seeing a fair few Squirrels around, although we did make sure we headed the opposite way to a gang of noisy kids.

We headed home via Martin Mere allowing Gem to burn off more energy and for us to just chill and enjoy a nice coffee and a few birds.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Morfa Madryn

Today was a venture out to a new location to allow Lesley to pick up a life tick and me a nice year tick in the shape of a Grey Phalarope that had taken up residence at Morfa Madryn which is near to Llanfairfechan a beach I have spent many a happy time at as a kid but I have never visited the wild life reserve although I have heard plenty of good things about the reserve.

Picking up a directions off the North Wales Bird forum we were off and found the spot quite easily and were in luck as there was one single parking space when we turned up.

The bird had just left the area where it feeds in when we had arrived but was visible on a bank next to a ringed Little Egret although of the rings all I could make out was N and W so nothing to report about that Egret.

The Phalarope though soon returned to area in which it feeds by the stream up flow and gave cracking views and allowed me to try out my new Tammy 150-600 lens.

Gem was happy collecting the shells that littered the floor we even took a few home so she could take them into nursery during her so and tell which was coming up.

Grey Phalarope at Morfa Madryn 

Also seen while we were there were Red Shank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, King Fisher a Grey Plover had been spotted but we didn't see it.

We did try for the RSPB Conwy Reserve but it had just started to rain and looked rather grey so we called it a day and headed for home.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Derby 175

Today was Derby Etches Park depot open day as part of the Derby 175 celebrations, so off we set to enjoy looking at trains well two of us Lesley came along for the ride and a promise to do something better in the afternoon.

The weather Gods were smiling on us today and apart from the fact I headed for the wrong depot entrance meaning a long trek to the other end things were going fine, didn't even have to cue to get in and had a nice line of choppers to look at as we went in.

 It was a bit like 20's through the ages with the liveries on show just really needed BR Green and BRT to round off the display.

Although not really my thing seeing the two original Peaks on show was a nice touch.

 Gem loved having a sit in the bubble car Iris and it took some persuading to get her out of the unit, she thought the sprung seats were great for bouncing on.

It was then a case of looking into the depot and seeing the Meridians with one being jacked up, Gem thought that was quite fantastic seeing a whole train lifted into the air like that.

The star of the show was next in line for of viewing pleasure 08899 in Midland Purple.

08899 on display after being named at Derby open day.

 Just around the corner were a few items on display from Network rail with one of their DVT's and 97's on display.

31106 was hidden within the wheel lathe shop but made for an interesting shot

By the fuel point were a couple of grids, it was a pity these could have been displayed better.

Around the back you could just about look on to the RVEL work shops with a distant 57602 on show and some closer 37's

It was then off to a near by park I had been recommended which was great for Gem having a boating lake, play area, paddling pool, bouncy castles and Donkey rides which she loved.