Pollen Horns

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
It was my first ringing session at the Obs this morning for the Spring after the lifting of the ringing suspension in the area due to the avian influenza outbreak at HyFly hatcheries near Pilling. At first light I was greeted with clear skies, a ground frost and it was calm. It felt quiet and I wondered whether it was too clear!The first birds on the move were a hundred Pink-footed Geese that headed north and they were high, positively stratospheric! This would reflect the rest of the vis (all north) that I would record and all I had was two Carrion Crows, a Woodpigeon, two Linnets, 31 Meadow Pipits and three Siskins.I didn't detect any grounded migrants other than the Chiffchaff that I ringed. Talking of ringing my totals were as follows:Meadow Pipit - 8Robin - 1Chiffchaff - 1Long-tailed Tit - 2Greenfinch - 1The Chiffchaff that I ringed ha...
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Just a trickle

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Clear overnight and clear day means a lot of birds have cleared off.Middleton NR 07:00 - 11:00Meadow Pipit 25 overAlba Wagtail 3That was it for vis.Cetti's Warbler singingChiffchaff singing by the gate first thing.Common Buzzard - 2 circling but not moving off anywhere. One was displaying for a time so probably local birds.Jay - 1 flew SELapwing - 3 circled over the Model Boat Pond then flew off.Ringing (new birds)Chiffchaff. - 1Pied Wagtail - 2Meadow Pipit - 5Goldcrest - 3Dunnock - 1At Heysham there were even fewer birds!Chiffchaff - 1Robin - 1Dunnock - 1Meadow Pipit - 1At seaRed-throated Diver - 3Grey Seal - 1...
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A beautiful day in the Forest of Bowland

Posted on - In Elizabeth Mills
We went for a walk around Stocks reservoir and then up to Cross o Greets.We could hear lots of male toads croaking for females and some females with males clinging to their backs were heading for the water. I had some dried up honey in the cupboard and put it out for early flying Queen bumblebees and wasps, this one seems to have the same approach as I have with cake - in with the face and begin.Toads are gathering to spawn up at Stocks ReservoirFantastic views - Cross o GreetsFields are filling up with lambsThe day ended with a lovely sunsetI bet the honey tasted good after hibernating all winterand someones creaky old bones probably feel a lot better....

Saturday Shift

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I was a little delayed at seeing the -2°on the dash and waiting for frost to clear from the windscreen. I was motoring up to Oakenclough to meet Andy for a 0630 start to a ringing session. There was a little light, so rather than the main road journey with zero birds, I opted to head across the empty moss roads where there might be a Barn Owl or two looking for breakfast. Rawcliffe Moss, LancashireSuccess came with two hunting Barn Owls, the first at Stalmine and then another at Nateby. I paused briefly, mainly to make sure the owls flew away from the danger of the road before continuing north and east. Barn Owl I sometimes wonder if the Barn Owl has fully adapted to the motor vehicle and to railways. Studies show that while starvation is a major factor, collision with vehicles is the leading cause of recorded deaths of Ba...
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Cockersand Delivers….Again.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
The flooded field by the junction of Moss Lane/Slack Lane has looked good for a few weeks now, and I've never failed to give it a serious grilling on every visit to Cockersand, it turned up a couple of White Wagtail recently, and in themselves even the Shoveler's are a decent record there.Yesterday I set myself up at the metal gate and decided to be a better birder for once by making an effort to count the bird's present in the field. Not long after starting the exercise, I glimpsed a bird instantly not a Meadow Pipit of which there was a good number, the bird flew, but I had already muttered to myself what I was certain I had seen....but where's the bloody thing gone to. My lucky day, and it was soon relocated and I kept my eyes glued to the scope whilst making a call to make sure I wasn't going to be the only observer of this bi...

A bit of warmth is great isn’t it

The Safari has enjoyed another sunshine filled day today, well we would have done even more if we'd been able to get out and about a little more. We didn't get a look at the flat calm sea early doors but did have a little run out at lunchtime to the waste depot. Driving round the corner we saw there were a lot of gulls on the roof today but up at the top and out of sight from the only car parking spot.Most were Lesser Black Backed Gulls as is expected at this time of year, most of the Herring Gulls and Black Headed Gulls that frequented the piles of rubbish only a couple or three weeks ago are now in their breeding colonies/areas, whereas the Lesser Black Backed Gulls are still moving through.The gulls didn't move around much at all, we could have done with a Buzzard flying over to mix them up a bit and prove to us the Iceland Gull was defi...

And they’re off….

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Lots of birds on the move now we're past the equinox and the weather is more favourable.North Harbour Wall from 07:15hrs - 0930Meadow Pipits 195Alba Wagtail 38Linnet 6Carrion Crow 2Greenfinch 1Goldfinch 2Little Gull 1 adult into BayCommon Gull 31 into BayBlack-headed Gull 22 into BayRed-throated Diver 18 (1 in at 0719, 1 on then N at 0726, 2 in at 0805, a further 5 in singly, 7 close together on water, a further 2 on the water)Guillemot 1 on the waterOsprey seen distantly to south at about 0815 heading north then turned and headed in over the Lune channel.Buzzard 1 north at 1100hrsMiddleton NRGreylag 3 NEChiffchaff 11Cetti's singing from Femce PondInsectsMiddleton NR - Comma feeding on coltsfootHeysham NR - BrimstoneJR...

Blog Post: A warm afternoon brings out the butterflies – Recent sightings

Posted on - In Marshside (RSPB)
I'm going to start this weeks blog by giving a mention to our early emerging butterflies, I spotted two species while I was out on the marsh this afternoon - Glorious sunshine possibly bringing them out of hibernation. The first was a peacock butterfly, unmistakable with it's menacing eyes shining brightly in the sun.... Peacock butterfly by Barry Smith And the second was a number of small tortoiseshell feeding along the bank by the golf course - this butterfly has suffered a worrying decline in recent years with a number of theories being offered, one such theory is an increase in the presence of a parasitic fly which also attacks other species such as peacock and red admiral . Small tortoiseshell butterfly by Barry Smith On the bird front it has been business as usual, with large numbers of pink footed geese being seen on the outer mar...

At Last!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A week since my last outing, I finally had an opportunity for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon with some business dealt with in Lancaster by 2.00pm. I decided to have a walk through the parish of Aldcliffe, nothing too serious, in fact just a walk in a straight line from Keyline to Aldcliffe Hall Lane and not giving the area full justice, then home via the canal to Ashton Road....All very good for my soul.As I walked along St Georges Quay, a Sparrowhawk put everything in sight on the wing, never fails to amaze me how a hundred birds - sometimes thousands - can sense a threat from a raptor and take to the air in sync. Freeman's Pools showed 3 Goldeneye, 3 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, and a Little Grebe to note. En-route to Aldcliffe Hall Lane, 5 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Song Thrush, and 2 Great Tit, with...
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Value

Posted on - In Barrie Tyrer
Saw a Wren collecting moss with Wrens the male makes several nests and then tries to temp a female, and a pair of Kestrels looking round the outside of the barn possibly prospecting for nest sites. More flowers are now out in particular Dogs mercury plus the leaves of wild garlic are starting to show. Still no insects to speak of. Saw three baby bunnies in the garden today, as did the cat! The frog spawn has now transformed into a ball of wiggling tiny tadpoles. Saw the Gray wagtails again. Found a possible Blackbird egg in a friends garden it was broken and on the ground so could have hatched. I often ponder things and my latest is, what is more valuable or more important to preserve a site with small populations of one or more rare species or a site with large populations of common many species? Which is more deserving of our resources....
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