Spanish sun

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
"Red Midday Sun" by Malcolm Downham The day was notable for two things a) a Pochard turned up at Middleton, almost the only one in the whole area and b) the unusual weather courtesy of the outer edges of Hurricane Ophelia.Heysham NREarly doors the skies were "normal" and a bit of vis got underway with alba wagtails and the odd Siskin and Reed Bunting then a huge yellow blob formed over Heysham and it went dark enough for the security lights to come on again. It felt rather threatening. Luckily the Saharan dust + Spanish forest fire smoke sucked up by Hurricane Ophelia stayed up in the atmosphere and moved off north. Eventually the skies went grey and rain lashed down for a short while, birds dived for cover. Late morning the clouds thinned enough to reveal a spooky red sun that just about everyone in the UK commented on....
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Celebrations in order for our volunteers

Posted on - In Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Release date:  Mon, 16/10/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Once a year we get together with many of our volunteers, for an annual volunteer conference and awards ceremony as a way of saying thank you to all our amazing and dedicated supporters. This year saw Graham Harvey as a keynote speaker, with wise words around mob grazing and deep rooted herb farming benefits. Morning introductions began with a short networking period with projects from across the region showcasing their achievements due to the help of so many volunteers. Graham Harvey gave an incredible overview of farming through the ages, with many in the audience no...

Nectar Points!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I got no further than Conder Green and Glasson last Thursday, and haven't had the time for Birds2blog since. Not enough hours in a day, and too much other stuff to deal with....I can't go on like this, I'm like a fish out of water!The 2 Common Sandpiper found on Conder Pool 6 October when the resident bird was seeing off the intruder, appear to have become friends, they were in the creeks and were feeding amiably a few metres apart, a Goosander was also noted. On Conder Pool, 15 Little Grebe, and the lone Pink-footed Goose was grazing along the rear terrace, but the single Wigeon of late had another for company, 40 Goldfinch were flighty, and a Comma butterfly with wings folded in the bushes, couldn't possibly have been happy in the weather conditions.Notes from the Lune Estuary, an adult Mediterranean Gul...
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Demolished!

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Another little bit of Heysham Nature Reserve history disappears. This is all that is left of the old classroom. But, kids, never fear - there is a more modern classroom at the Reserve in the new building.Went up onto Heysham Head for an hour to see if anything was migrating. The light southerly wind was OK but the generally murky cloud didn't seem to augur well. But out of the murk came a few pulses of birds as follows:0830-1000hrs(in order of appearance and south unless stated)Grey Wagtail - 1Pink-footed Goose - 60 N, 38 SChaffinch - 33Greenfinch - 4Goldfinch - 4Mistle Thrush - 5Reed Bunting - 2 Starling - 13Brambling - 22 (two flocks of 6 and 16)Linnet - 4GroundedGoldcrest - 5Coal Tit - 2Robin - 3 (excludes the singing birds)Blackbird - 3Then went on to Heysham NR 1020-1120Vis - alba Wagtail 1, Chaffinch 4Blackbirds (9...
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Some Migration At Last

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
First of all I need to apologise for a lack of recent updates. This isn't for the want of trying, but mainly it's because most of my birding in October so far has been work related (start of wintering bird surveys), and it's been uninteresting or site confidential, so it's great to be able to report some migration at last! Generally the month has been dire here on the Lancashire coast, whilst north, south and east of us have been having good birds!This morning I headed to the Point at first light with 6 oktas cloud cover and a force 3 south-southeasterly wind. The first entry in to my notebook was sadly a dead Harbour Porpoise washed up on the beach. By the chunks of flesh missing from it's neck, I would guess that it had been hit by a boat's propeller.The skies cleared to probably 3 oktas soon after and by 0945 had become 8 oktas. The clea...

Skies full of geese

The Safari took the trail north over the border last week. As is usual for our longer journeys we kept a tally of the raptors we saw, it wasn't the best of days for raptors to be on the wing and that was reflected in the numbers seen, Buzzards 3 (of which we missed one) versus Kestrels 1. Dead things amounted to just one Fox (apart from a few Woodpigeons and numerous Pheasants recently released to be shot). Is there no wildlife left in the north of England, surely we'd expect more than that to end up squished along a 150 mile route?A comfort stop for Monty by the river in Dumfries town centre had us missing an opportunity to get a snap of a Goosander although it would have had to have been a phone-pic as the cameras were packed well down in the back of the car. Three Red Admirals basking on a tree trunk enjoying the warm sunshine was nice t...
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A visit from Merlin

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
It was a very mild day (15C) with thick cloud, apparently full of dust from the Sahara, and a force 4 wind from the SW. Disappointingly for National Moth Weekend there were no moths in the trap at Heysham but there is another night to go. At least 4 Goldcrests could be heard below the obs tower where it was relatively sheltered so I put a few nets up to try and catch them and in the hope of catching a Yellow-browed Warbler. Sadly, the latter species was still not around, nor any other warblers.Heysham NRRinging (new birds):Long-tailed Tit - 5 Goldcrest - 3Coal tit - 1Treecreeper - 1 (see mugshot)Dunnock - 1Greenfinch - 1Goldfinch - 2Retraps:Coal Tit - 1Chaffinch - 1 (first caught on 18 July as a juv)Great Tit - 1 (first caught on 30 June as a juv)Goldcrest - 1 (first caught on 10 September as a young un)The Goldcres...
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Early Results from Feeding Stations

Posted on - In
With seven ringing visits to our two feeding stations between late July and early October comparisons with previous years shows some interesting trends. Perhaps most satisfying is the re-resurgence of Greenfinch. We have already caught 42 since late July. This compares with just 28 and 23 in the whole of the last two seasons and we have at least another 8 visits to go to be comparable.Coal tits also are doing well we have caught 60 so far compared to 90 in the whole of last season.But Blue tits are down, only 73 to date compared with 243 last season. Perhaps there is so much natural food around this year for they did really well in our nest boxes.Our colour ringing study of Nuthatch is going well. So far this season Jerry and Barbara have identified 18 birds visiting their feeders compares with 22 in the whole of last season. Our seven ri...

KKP team makes a difference at Summerseat

Posted on - In Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Release date:  Fri, 13/10/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  It was wonderful to see the our friends from Knight, Kavanagh and Page clearing some of the foliage from the ponds at Summerseat Nature Reserve today. It’s not the first time KKP have had a work day at the reserve and their “muscle” has been much appreciated on this beautiful hidden reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. read more...