Primaries Flash ‘Silver’ in Sunlight

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I birded the farm fields at the Obs this morning and sadly because of looming end of September deadlines with work I didn't have time to operate any mist nets. Although with the beauty of hindsight I wouldn't have caught much! The day dawned with a hazy single okta of cloud cover and a 10 mph southeasterly wind that would have troubled the nets if I had put any up!The vis was very slow to start this morning, and even when it peaked it was little more than a trickle, and then it was all over by 9:00 am. My meagre totals were twelve Alba Wags, four Reed Buntings, three Grey Wagtails, a Chaffinch, 21 Meadow Pipits, eight Swallows, a Linnet, four Carrion Crows and 50 Pink-footed Geese.Grounded migrants were equally as thin on the ground, although five Stonechats was nice, but just a single Goldcrest was best of the rest. A Fox brightened things...

Rather slow for a south-easterly

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Disappointing this morning with nothing like the vis mig over my house (High Tatham) and grounded stuff limited to just a few Goldcrest.   So the ringing at two sites, Heysham and Middleton was a bit on the slow side, especially Middleton.  However, the inshore area was given a fair grilling on the incoming tide with 2CY Meds, as usual, coming out of the woodwork as the tide started to shift stuff hunkered down on the outer SW corner of Red NabVis migMeadow Pipit - no more than 40 notedGrey Wagtail - just 3 (1 ringed)Common Buzzard - one struggling east followed by another which swung north-eastChaffinch - 4 SSwallow - eventually a relatively decent total of 56 Salba Wagtail - just 5 or so SE and no influx on O EdgePink-footed Goose - 39 SERed Admiral - 4 SInshore south of harbourLittle Gull - two adults, one on the mudf...

Snipe and Others

Posted on - In Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer
I am posting some images from recent trips to Leighton Moss and into Bowland.My main objective was to photograph purple heron and red grouse.My efforts were shown in earlier postings.At Leighton Moss whilst waiting for the heron to show a trip down to the Eric Morecambe hide was good for snipe. Four snipe were very close to the hide and gave great opportunities for close up shots of this beautifully marked bird. I have included an image showing the superb cryptic plumage on the snipe's back.Trips into Bowland looking for grouse gave me some nice images of a common buzzard close to the roadside which stayed long enough for me to take its photo.Also on the Bowland trip a stonechat and brown hare close to the road were very nice to see and photograph.The final two images were from Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve where I hadn't been for some tim...
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It might only be five minutes but arrrghhh!

The Safari is a little miffed! At the end of the previous post we told how we'd narrowly missed the Otter and a couple of Ravens down at Marton Mere well we did the same trick again the following day.We took Monty for a wander along the cliffs at Chat Alley on the rising tide with the intention of looking out for the 10 Bottlenose Dolphins that had been seen in the far southern corner of the bay off Hilbre Island the day before. The sea was too choppy there were white horses everywhere so spotting any cetaceans was going to be very tricky especially as we only had our bins with us, they'd need to be really close in to be able to see them. So we concentrated on the cliffs themselves as we walked northwards. All very quiet until a single Wheatear was found flitting about dropping in to the long grass to pick off some morsel sheltering from th...

Bits and bobs ahead of the weather front

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
A clear night followed by a relatively clear early morning with an increasing SE wind, rain by 1100hrs.  Two relatively sheltered nets were used on Middleton west and caught about 50% of the Grey Wagtail passage plus a few night migrantsMiddleton NR (only 50 mins vis in two sessions)Meadow Pipit - sample vis mig of 27 in 30 mins, later 16 in 20 minsReed Bunting - 1 SEChaffinch - 3 SSwallow - 4 SEGrey Wagtail - absolute minimum of 14 SE with 7 ringedChiffchaff - 2 ringedBlackcap - 2 ringedGoldcrest - 3 ringedPeregrine - 1 SEInshore incoming tideA bit late again as it was racing inKnot - absolute minimum of 5,000 possibly as many as 7,000 but really tricky as quite distant and mobileMed Gull - slight increase in relation to BHG with 9 (1 1CY, 3 2CY, 5 Ad)Black-tailed Godwit - flock of 12 flew north past Heysham skeer at about 0800hrs (th...

Sweet & Sour!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I spent a couple of hours at Cockersand on Tuesday, nothing new about that, but it was a pretty disappointing two hours with nothing more of note than a Stock Dove, and a Kestrel seen over Bank Houses, one later over Slack Lane could have been the same bird on wires with 22 Linnet close by at the cover crop. Whinchat. Ana Minguez @ NaturanafotosBut hang on....that's not a Linnet on the fence post is it, it's a Whinchat....nice one.More on the 'nice one' list followed a little later when 6 Ruff were on the Lune Estuary at Glasson, and on Conder Pool, 5 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, and a new peak of 13 Little Grebe ended what I'd call Tuesday's birding sweet and sour.Wednesday 20 September.Wednesday didn't shape up much better either, and Plo...
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Sweet & Sour!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I spent a couple of hours at Cockersand on Tuesday, nothing new about that, but it was a pretty disappointing two hours with nothing more of note than a Stock Dove, and a Kestrel seen over Bank Houses, one later over Slack Lane could have been the same bird on wires with 22 Linnet close by at the cover crop. Whinchat. Ana Minguez @ NaturanafotosBut hang on....that's not a Linnet on the fence post is it, it's a Whinchat....nice one.More on the 'nice one' list followed a little later when 6 Ruff were on the Lune Estuary at Glasson, and on Conder Pool, 5 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, and a new peak of 13 Little Grebe ended what I'd call Tuesday's birding sweet and sour.Wednesday 20 September.Wednesday didn't shape up much better either, and Plo...
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More productive wader watching but the tide races in

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
About 30 minutes too late arriving at Ocean Edge ironically through dealing with issues related to the foreshore.  The nearest small wader flock held a juvenile Little Stint but these were soon flushed by the tide and a much larger flock they joined further to the south appeared to hold two very small waders but everything was very mobile as the tide raced in.  Bar-tailed Godwits were up to 520 but no time to properly count anything else which looked in the numbers they have been in the last few days.  Rather strange looking at a superb wader gathering with no other observers around!Ocean Edge/Red Nab etc 1.5hrs before a high spring tideLittle Stint - at least one juvenileSanderling - at least one in winter plumageBar-tailed Godwit - 520Little Gull - ad winter sat on the sea off the saltmarsh - seemed to have some staining on...

Wednesday is a Ruff day

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Ruff - juv on grass at southern edge of OE then dropped down towards saltmarsh when flushed by dogMed Gull - 8 in careful search - 3 x 1CY, 2 x 2CY, 3 x Ad on Red Nab/outfalls or sand early incoming tideBlack-headed Gull - 1100 - hence sudden difficulty locating Meds!Wheatear - 2RingingDid include 3 Grey Wagtail out of about 7 which flew over - just about the only vis!Otherwise just low single figures of Goldcrest, a Blackcap and a few finches and Blue tits...

Not quite dipping out

The Safari has been out most days this week. Most mornings we've been round Patch 1 at the crack of dawn mostly counting the Blackbirds, Robins and Wrens we come across. The other day we had a 'good' count of three Moorhens although with two juveniles around there should really be at least four present, and a singing Chiffchaff was a nice bonus to the usual 'extras' of Goldcrest(s) and/or Coal Tit(s). Visible migration has been slow to get going, Patch 1 has only given us a single Chaffinch and a couple of Greenfinches which could have been local birds although we rarely see them in or over the park and these were quite high 'overs'. The same morning as the singing Chiffchaff we had one grounded at Base Camp too.'Vis mig' over Base Camp has been limited to a solitary Meadow Pipit - where are they all??? - and a few skeins, up to a maxi...