The day we missed out, narrowly

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Too much effort early am in retrospect as we forgot the rule about seawatching - cover over the high tide even if it goes dead beforehand.  A very experienced seawatcher saw an Arctic Skua, followed by a flock of three Pomarine Skuas flying towards the Kent channel mouth between 1050 and 1102, the latter went overland.  Obviously went past us when no observers were present!Sea early am to about 0945Fulmar - one outArctic Tern - 34 inKittiwake - 1+1+3 inGannet - 19 in (and presumably some of these out)Swallow - 29 inSwift - 3 inHouse Martin - 11 inShag - 2CY around, including sitting on wooden jettyWhimbrel - 6Ringed Plover - 4 inMixed Ringed Plover/Dunlin - migrating flock heard but not seenMiscellanyTwo pipits reported from wooden jetty area - this needs further investigation -  and proof of breeding for a single isolated pa...

Catcher in the rye

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
After searching for and expecting Black Terns at Marshside all week, I noticed that 5 had been seen this afternoon at Nels so I drove over for a look. There were still 3 there distantly from Marshside Road when I got across so I parked up at the Sandplant for a walk and a closer view. A quick look from Junction Screen at the wader flocks and a nice Spotted Fly popped up in the trees to the side – looping out from time to time to snatch its afternoon tea. Smart birds and always brighten up a days birding. A walk down to Nels gave better views of the Terns, but too far for my camera. Ken Morrison then sent a message saying the other 2 were by Sandgrounders so I nipped there hoping they were in range. Always on the move, twisting and turning they were not easy, but I got a couple of images that you can at least see what they are! A Dr...
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Excellent seawatching again – what a bonus so late in the spring

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
A decent sea-watch this morning with a heap of Gannets unexpected in an east-north-easterly!  It wasn't easy as there were a lot of layers of birds to try and look at , including fly-behind Swifts and hirundines and Arctic Terns at all heights.  Unfortunately not all observers saw the best birds and some of us missed them all!  Odd there were no Black Tern, but we may not have stayed long enough c/f 'in-off' birds at the EM Pool.Arctic Tern - 301 in, including one flock spiralling up over the harbour and another casually recorded flying up the Lune gaining height whilst scanning Ocean Edge for waders (nothing to suggest any Common Tern were involved in this movement, with even the distant birds unequivocally Arctic (none were too distant to identify) )Gannet - exactly 99 in (plus some of the same presumably out)Gannet an...

Back On Patch

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There was a stiff north-easterly wind as I set off over the moss roads. It had been three weeks without birding the local patch so I was keen to see what had taken place in this “silent spring”. Via the Internet I’d read local blogs and bird club pages where all agreed that a number of species were down or even missing – Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers, Swallows, Swifts, House Martins and Reed Warblers; the same names kept cropping up on the list of absentees. Until this morning I’d not seen a Swift in the UK, just several thousand in Menorca over a week ago. It was almost 1030 this morning before I saw my first 2 UK Swifts of the year, both heading purposefully into the wind and out over Morecambe Bay. The early start gave a number of Whitethroats, both singing but also skulking as they do. Maybe they are just trying to c...
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Double DiStint

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
An early morning visit to the golf course was a non event again – tough year for me on there. A Hare was sunning itself by Fairclough’s but I could see that most of the birds were at the far end of Rimmers. A scan from the Junction Screen showed that yesterday’s new influx of waders were still feeding in the muddy grass fringes of the pool. 3 Curlew Sands (all in breeding plumage) fed in a squadron, plenty of Dunlin and Ringed Plover plus best of all I found a breeding plumage Little Stint. They’ve been rarer than Temminck’s this Spring, in fact this is the only one I know about in the area so it was great to see – a bit like a mini Sanderling in this plumage. A quick wander up to the Halfway Screen and I picked up a Greenshank calling overhead which then settled in with the Godwit. Never an easy bird ...
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A Bowland Bonus.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A rewarding visit to give Marshaw - Tower Lodge - Trough Bridge a good five hour bash and note 26 species, began by finding a Common Sandpiper at Marshaw, the only one seen, a few Swallow here were also on the 'only one seen' list today.The beauty about this area in Bowland, is that you can have the Marshaw Wyre in view the length of the near 3 mile route from Marshaw until going back out on to the moor east of Trough Bridge. I hadn't gone very far when a bird dropping on to the stream to have me muttering Grey Wagtail to myself as I Iifted my binoculars, but I was wrong, it was a Crossbill drinking all too briefly before flying into a conifer then quickly moving on never to be seen again. A Dipper was seen flashing past me downstream, a total of 3 Grey Wagtail noted on the visit. Also included in the species count, up to 8 Willow...
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Black and white

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Late migrants continue to fly through:North Harbour Wall 07:00 - 09:00. Weather - NNE F5, overcast, 13CBlack-ish things:Manx Shearwater 1Black Tern 1Common Scoter 1Swift 6Swallow 73White-ish things:Sandwich Tern 19Arctic Tern 46Kittiwake 1 adult close inBlack and white things:Gannet 2MiscellanyShag - 2CY on wooden jettyOsprey - one flew SE to NW across the Bay from approximately  PL Ends to Ulverston and was seen distantly from Plover Scar and (after alert) Heysham North wall (1025ish) (AD)small Calidrids - c75 distantly along Middleton tidelineA look at the low tide channels from Heysham Head after the rain at 16:00hrs revealed:Swift 9Swallow 3Sandwich Tern 2Great-crested Grebe 2Grey Seal - 1JR, PM...
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Mark Avery on Forest of Bowland AONB Consultation

Posted on - In Roeburnscar Cottages
Please respond to Forest of Bowland AONB consultationMark ♦ May 18, 2018 ♦ 4 CommentThe Forest of Bowland AONB is consulting on its next 5-year plan for 2019-24.  They would like your views by a week today, 25 May.  It’s easy to fill in the short consultation form – takes about 5 minutes. Have a look at their last plan with its images of Hen Harriers and talk of natural beauty and how that means a lot more than just landscape – click here. There are very few questions, and most of them are a choice of boxes to tick, but questions 3 and 5 allow free text.  Here are my responses to those questions. Q3: Hen Harriers – though their numbers are dramatically depleted. This is, as your previous management plan states, ‘the iconic bird of prey of the area’ and yet in th...

Membership milestone and recent sightings

Posted on - In Leighton Moss (RSPB)
Following on from where my previous post ended, we are glad to announce that yesterday David Mower recruited his 1000th RSPB membership at Leighton Moss! As a token of appreciation, David awarded the couple with a lovely framed copy of his photograph of a perching male Marsh Harrier. David began recruitment in October 2014 some months after retiring from 27 years as our Warden, and since then has spent several days a week as a volunteer here continuing to promote the value of the natural world and the conservation work performed by the RSPB at Leighton Moss, across the UK and further afield . It is a remarkable achievement and contribution - well done David! And of course thank you to all those who support us through membership.  David with the lucky couple The recent period of glorious weather, heralding the imminence of summer, ...

Human Remains!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I was birding in Bowland yesterday....Brilliant.But unfortunately I'm out of blogging time probably until Saturday. So Birds2blog is running late....nothing new there then. But some 'good stuff' wasn't the only thing I found in Bowland.Seeing is believing. Welcome to Bowland Landfill.Bring your waste to Bowland Landfill, and tip it there....It's Free. ...
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