Full Spooner

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I headed to the Point first thing this morning and joined Ian and Howard, and boy was it cold! The skies were clear and the wind was a sharp 15 mph northwesterly! It was a toss up between standing on the bank and in the wind, but with the sun on your back, or standing behind the tower out of the wind, but with no sun; I opted for the windier but sunnier option.There was some vis this morning and the direction of passage was anywhere between north and east. My vis totals were 25 Goldfinches, 165 Pink-footed Geese, 248 Meadow Pipits, nine Swallows, 19 Linnets, two Sand Martins, four Carrion Crows, eleven Lesser Redpolls, four Siskins, three Tree Pipits, two Alba Wagtails, a Rook and amazingly a Blue Tit that came high over the dunes and was lost from sight as it headed out to cross Morecambe Bay!The best bird offshore was undoubtedly the 'ful...
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At last a bit of action by our standards!

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Unfortunately the Pom Skua was at best an unidentifiable blob high above Walney lighthouse (seen off Rossall and communicated straight away), otherwise a nice mix of stuff today.  Would have been even better without a heat haze from early doors knocking a couple of additional species on the head! Offshore 0630 to 1020ish (Pete Crooks and Pete Marsh)Med Gull - the major surprise was a pair of adults heading up the Bay (very late for this age class to still be on the move).  Also new in was a 2CY with the Common Gulls on the tideline by Ocean EdgeGannet - 3Arctic Tern - 3+10+5 in (IOY)Red-throated Diver - at least 14 either 'in' or 'on' but floating in, singletons or twosCommon Scoter - 21Sandwich Tern - 3Guillemot - 8 - 'on' floating in - all singletonsWhimbrel - 6 in, 2 on shore Red NabKnot - flock of c4800 southMeadow Pipit - lat...

More additions to the Cumbrian year list

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Quite a bit of stuff in the clear skies has been in Cumbria as scoped from the north wall and it is a good job todays high flying Marsh harrier was showing well-defined 'headlights' otherwise it might have been a bit of a struggle.  Unfortunately  no-one covered the early morning incoming tideOffshore 9ish onwards on early dropping tideMarsh Harrier - distant high flying bird purposefully in (any new ones at Leighton today - f/imm with pronounced 'headlights'?)Common Scoter - c15 u-turned in line with turbinesRed-throated Diver - 6 on, including three togetherSwallow - 5 NE in about 45 minsMiddletonSmall influx of Sedge Warbler (three ringed)Reed Warbler - singing male (IOY)Grasshopper and Cetti's Warbler - at least two singing males of eachWheatear - 2 Ocean EdgeGrey Plover - 16 in fsp visible along tidelineCommon Gull - 37 ...

Quick catch up with spring now springing

The Safari yet again has had only a few opportunities to get out this week and even when we have its been very much time constrained during the day. We've added Swallows to all our various patch lists now (P1 #33) P2 #45 & Garden #25) with the last one being over the garden this arvo while waiting for a delivery. A Willow Warbler (Garden #24) quietly sub-songing at the bottom of the garden at Base Camp before work yesterday was a bit of a bonus; the first here since 2012! There must have been a bit of an overnight arrival as there were two on Patch 1 too (P1 #32). Patch 2 yesterday gave us our first Manx Shearwaters (133) of the year when two sped northwards almost at the horizon, not entirely sure how we're going to get these on our Year Bird Challenge. The sea has been mostly very quiet.We've been reminded to record some of the plants...

Greenland/Icelantic/Faroe Islands Wheatear are with us! plus the first Lesser Whitethroat

Posted on - In I Love Arnside & Silverdale
Yes it was great today I had plenty of "Leucorrhoa" Wheatear especially on Farleton (read below) 3 on Dalton and 8 on Farleton.Saturday April 22nd 2017 - Dalton Crags 1000hrs to 1100hrs then Farleton Fell 1100hrs to 1430hrsYesterday (Friday) I did check out Dalton Crags but no Wheatear showing.  Just one Tree Pipit at the top of Hypericum Way which was constantly singing and displaying.Today (Saturday)  Still no Garden Warblers and still the single Tree Pipit doing some fabulous displays whilst giving off his song.  Had three "Leucorrhoa" Wheatear with two on the walls and one on the ground on Wheatear Plain.  All very upright and all showing the dirty blue backs (presumed male). Stonechat male and female seen around the "line of trees" areas.  A Tawny Owl crossed my path and coming from South to Storth Wood - Dalto...

Two More Colour Ringed Avocets

Posted on - In
Three of the 40 avocets on the Allen Pool at Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay RSPB Reserve are colour ringed. One ringed in Brittany as a chick in 2008 has been breeding there since 2012. This year two more appeared and we have just discovered that they were both ringed as chicks on the same day (24/5/15) at the same site at Seal Sands Teesmouth although not from the same brood. After leaving Teesmouth one was seen in Lincolnshire and the other in the East Riding both in mid July. But there has been no further sightings until now. Both now appear to have mates and are nesting on the same island. This is almost certainly their first breeding attempt as many waders do not breed until their second year. It also shows ,along with the French born bird the dispersal of this species.John...

Good Morning

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
The morning started in fine style. Not a cloud in the sky and a promise of sun all day. There was no ringing today so I set off birding camera at the ready as mist began to clear from the ditches and dykes. Pilling morning, LancashireAll was quiet at Conder Green save for the usual display flights of the Oystercatchers and the resident Shelducks still sorting out their pairs. I looked across at the far bank hoping to see the elusive Avocets but instead of the expected two I saw four. There seemed little aggression between the four with as they all fed together until at one point two flew across to a closer island. After a few minutes the pair flew back to join the others on the far side of the pool and I turned my attention to what else might be lurking unseen.  It was cold and just 3°C at 0730 and visible migration seemed nil a...
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Millennium Park.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Apparently the path from Aldcliffe to Glasson Dock has the nameplate Millennium Park at the bottom of Aldcliffe Hall Lane, something I've not noticed before....learning something new every day!  As I went under Carlisle Bridge, I was taken by surprise when a Raven - on an away day I presume - came on the scene, into the air from behind the only building left standing after the rest were demolished, put the Feral Pigeons on the rooftop to flight, and was mobbed by a Carrion Crow.Freeman's and the Wildfowlers Pools were virtually deserted save 4 Gadwall and 2 Little Grebe on the former. A walk along the embankment was well rewarded by 3 Wheatear, and I finally caught up with 2 Little Ringed Plover on the flood. To Conder Green from Aldcliffe, thinly scattered warblers were, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, and a lo...
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A Hoodie and a GNOD

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
The weather has been a bit mixed this week, or perhaps more to the point I haven't been able to get a forecast I could rely upon for my breeding bird surveys in north Cumbria, so there hasn't been any more birding north of the border for me this week sadly!This morning I headed to the Point for a bit of sea watching and 'vis mig' at the Obs. I had full cloud cover with a 10 - 15 mph west-northwesterly wind. It was just about warm enough, or not too cold, to stand on top of the dunes to count vis and look at the sea. The vis was really quiet with blocking low cloud to the south and to a certain extent out in the bay. Nevertheless I did record a bit of vis in the form of a Meadow Pipit, nine Swallows, six Linnets, 19 Goldfinches, a Kestrel that headed due north across the bay until out of sight and a Lesser Redpoll.The sea was relatively quie...
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Wanted and unwanted ducks

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Wanted ducksShoveler - three 'in' (one male)Wigeon - flock of 5 'in' (long after the wintering birds have departed)...........plus a potential tricky year tick but just too far away to be certainPlus other things on the sea:Sandwich tern - one in distantlyRed-throated Diver - two in sp inGannet - 2 out very distantlyUnwanted ducksWheatear Other newly arrived grounded migrantsHirundines or any other landbird vis during the seawatchMediocre miscellanyLittle Egret - 3...