Thursday, 16 June 2016

Skua Seconds

Paid another visit today to see the Great Skua that had turned up the previous day at Westport Lake, I had pinned my hopes on the fact the rain would have probably caused the bird to stay the night.
My luck was in with a pre work raid proving very wise and lucky the Skua was much closer in and also near the car park meaning I didn't have to trudge around the lake.
I managed to rattle off a few shots before crawling down the "D" road to work.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Westport Lake

After finding out at the end of my lunch break of a Great Skua being found at Westport Lake my initial feeling was Oh Bugger followed shortly by I hope it rains all afternoon, and pretty much it did so I was hopeful the bird would have been pinned down.

After tea Lesley, Gem and me all headed down and our luck was in it was still there, plus we had a bonus of a couple of wagtail families were near the visitor centre fly catching one each of Grey and Pied.

I managed to grab a few record shots at one point a couple of Lesser Black Backed Gulls were mobbing the Skua.

Sunday, 15 May 2016


We had decided in the week to pop along for a day at Attenborough but the added chance of bagging a Purple Heron was a bonus, in the end no Purple Heron or Black Tern, but plenty of Warbler in total we saw 7 different species on only a short lazy stroll and picnic lunch these were Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Common White Throat, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler and finally Reed Warbler. Ok nothing fantastic but made for a wonderful day out and very pleasing on the ear hearing all of these song birds.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Lazy Sunday

Had one of those lazy sunny Sunday's today just doing odd jobs in the morning and then heading off for a family walk, we decided on Down Banks I always loved the place as a kid playing in the stream and Gemma was no different plus I had an excuse to relive my youth as well.
Plenty of bird song surrounded us with Blackcap, Willow Warbler calling alongside a bit more special bird a Wood Warbler not my first for the year that was at Ford Green (in terrible weather) so hearing singing its heart out in the sunny woodland glade really lifted the spirts it truly felt like late Spring early Summer.

Not great shots but it was rather distant

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Audenshaw Reservoir

With the reappearance of the Kentish Plover on Friday we chanced that it would still be around come Saturday and made our way North. We found the area and eventually the best spot to park up and the gap in the fence and was soon yomping around the reservoir in search of our target.
But soon after talking to a few fellow birders our hopes were dashed there had been no sign of it all morning once again the bird had disappeared as soon as Saturday came around.

We did see its cousins in Ringed and Little Ringed Plover along with Dunlin and a single Sanderling which had started to molt into Summer plumage which for us was quite different to see as we are only use to seeing them as Winter grey plumaged birds.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Hanchurch Woods

Over the last few weekends we have not really been able to get out that much having other more pressing jobs around the house to do, boring but necessary.
Gem and me did manage a brief visit to the Void (Silverdale Country Park) for a quick walk plenty of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were around plus a few Swallows and loads of Toads spawning in the main lake which we caught with Gem's rock pooling net so she could have a closer look.
Another quick trip out this time to Dane Bower in the hope of a few Wheatear produced two birds quick a few Meadow Pipit and Red Grouse and a single Raven but only two Wheatear but it was bitter up there.

Today again started with a lap of the Void no Toads what so ever today just the odd dead individual a couple of Hose Martin and Swallows over head and the odd Sky Lark but less Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff today.

In the afternoon I took Gem to Hanchurch to see the Brambling I had been hopeful that the odd one might appear in our garden as previous years but no such luck this Winter, but I shouldn't complain I still have the odd Siskin and Redpoll visiting the feeders.
At first just the odd female Brambling appeared alongside the Chaffinch but no males or the 12 - 15 birds reported. A couple of Jays visited the feeding area and a single Great Spotted Woodpecker was spotted by Gem. Eventually the birds did arrive in numbers but with passing do walkers and cars they were quite flighty but I did manage to grab a few shots.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Formby Sandling

I finally got around to enter the details of my Sandling sightings today and got back the following information.
It was first ringed back on the 17 May 2010 in the North Atlantic? I am assuming by that the precise spot is not known rather than actually some where in the middle of the ocean.
It's a female bird and has the catchy name of G4WYWY ring number ISR 897008.

Here is hoping she has a great 2016, and best of luck to her.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Formby and Martin Mere

Today was more of a family day but the locations picked by my daughter Gem still allowed for a spot of birding on the side.

The day began at Formby aka Squirrel Beach to Gem, a few Red Squirrel were on show as we drove down to the beach.
As should be expected for this time of year it was rather bracing but wrapped up we were fine, a few Sandling were feeding in the surf (including a single colour ringed bird) and the odd Oystercatcher flew past, the local Crows had the odd go at the poor Sandling if they thought they had found something worth nicking.

Been lucky enough to get a shot taken of the Sanderling published in the readers section of the May Birdwatch magazine issue 287.

After lucn we headed for Martin Mere mainly to paint a toy duck and play in the park but we did visit the new hide to see what we could spy, a quick scan around produced Black Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Avocet, Lapwing, and the usual wild fowl.

On a garden note we are now getting more Redpoll then we have had all winter in total 4 birds now visit along with the usual finch.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

North Wales

Today with a fine forecast we decided to head for North Wales I do love Snow Bunting I think they are really charming little birds and as Kinmel Bay held a few is was only natural to call in.

Gem and me eventually found them after walking along the prom a bit from the car park near ASDA enjoying great views of two Snow Bunting looking for food just meters some times less in front of us.
Well Gem was more interested in playing in the sand but she is only 4!

Also on show around the bay was a single Common Gull and numerous Ringed Plover and a scattering of Sky Lark.

Trying for the Black Redstart at Rhos just resulted in me getting cold, although we enjoyed watching the waders and Gem thought the park was alright.

Finally we called in at RSPB Conwy and our luck was in as we located the Firecrest in with a flock of Long Tailed Tits feeding alongside the railway line.
High Lights on the estuary was a lone Knot in with the Redshank.