Monday, 24 April 2017

Goyt Valley Tree Pipit

Having not had a walk along the Goyt Valley for a while Gem and me had a little walk on Sunday she zoomed ahead on her bike while I toddled on along after her. The aim was to see if the any Summer migrants had arrived so I could take a closer look in a couple of weeks when I am off.

Three pairs of Common Sandpiper were seen along with numerous Willow Warbler but alas no Red Starts or Pied Flycatchers were seen or even heard. But I did hear a couple of Tree Pipit and while trying to get a shot of the Common Sandpiper my luck was rather in as a Tree Pipit was right in front of me!

On the way home we took a slight detour and called in at Dane Bower Quarry in the hope of some Wheatear action. Only a couple were seen but there were plenty of Meadow Pipits around the area between the lay-by and the pond along the track, seen flying over head were 2 Raven and a couple of Curlew and finally a nice male Stonechat poked it's head just over some Heather to check us out.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Tree Pipit

Today Gemma and me went for a walk around Hanchurch woods again, this is turning out to be a frequently visited location this year but has produced some good sightings.
After last weeks failed attempt at finding Tree Pipit around the woods (we did hear one but we just couldn't pin it down) probably not helped by a Mountain bike race being held in the woods. This week we were more hopeful as the weather was better and hopefully a few more birds had arrived on site.

Plenty of Willow Warbler were calling (no Whitethroat yet though) plus a couple of Blackcap we did eventually find a bird in the usual area just off the main track along we a fly over group of Redpoll. Too far for a shot but was good to see and hear in full song plus a Tiger beetle was spotted.

Back at the carpark we decided to have a look around the clear fell area as it was another likely spot for Tree Pipit and so it turned out to be with 3 different birds located plus a couple of fly over Crossbill.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Hanchurch Wood Crossbill

Had a walk around Hanchurch Woods on Sunday (02 Apr) mainly to see what migrates had arrived. But as a bonus Gem and me had some of our best ever views of a small group of Crossbill we watched while they came down for a drink, fed on the buds of the Birch and Beech trees and even while they firmed up their bonds (very cute).
Also had a group of Redpoll fly over and 2 Willow Warbler along the tracks along with a Tiger Beetle and finished off watching a couple of Hare box and then get down to business.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Hanchurch Woods

Today we tried for the Waxwing at Biddulph after waiting for quite a while they did drop down into the trees near the car only to be spooked and departed as soon as they left, we did follow them around into the housing estate where they felt safer perched high up in some near by trees. In total there were about 20 birds.

In the afternoon we took a walk along Hanchurh nothing really was noted walking along the main track as Gem cycled along. But around the feeding area around 15 Brambling were putting on a fine show along we one of my favourite birds the Nuthatch.

Saturday, 4 March 2017


Around this time of year my mind always turns to Crossbill if I am out walking around Hanchurch Woods. While following one of the bike tracks a small group flew over but I could not locate them, but we did find a small party of Redpoll. While making our way to the track we had flushed 2 Snipe and even to Mallards (not your typical woodland birds).

Making our way back to the car our luck was in as a party of 4 Crossbill dropped into a tree close to the track, two flew off but a male and female stayed behind. The female for some reason appeared to be eating the bark off the Pine tree. The birds eventually dropped down to a pool to drink.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Martin Mere

On Sunday we headed up the M6 to Martin Mere the main reason being the Puddle Jumping for Gemma but reading the sightings board the night before I noted that Woodcock had been reported in with a note saying to ask in the In Focus Shop.
So upon arrival we did just that, not long after we were watching a at rest just the other side of the bank along the main path just before the Janet Kear hide.
Although we have seen Woodcock before we have never been so close to one so it was great watching the bird.

From the Janet Kear hide the usual "small" birds were visiting the feeders Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow and the usual Finches.

Popping in at the Discovery hide we saw the as expect wild fowl species with a few Ruff and Godwits passing through.

A Snipe was trying its best to stay hidden in a small patch of reeds although it did come out to briefly feed, popping down to one of the screens where the old Swan Link hide use to be allowed a quick shot to be grabbed.

Heading down to the Ron Barker hide it was time for one last camouflaged bird this time a Tawny Owl roosting in an Ivy covered tree by the Kingfisher hide, we couldn't spot it but a more Eagle eyed lady pointed the bird out to us.
From the Ron Barker hide we saw the first returning Avocets for the year at the reserve.

The afternoon was spent doing Gemma based activities before the pleasant drive down the M6.