From Inland Cheshire To Coastal Cumbria

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Over the past two days my birding has been work based and they have been completely different; inland Cheshire yesterday and coastal Cumbria today!It was a beautiful day yesterday everywhere it seemed, other than my survey site that was fog bound! On the drive down it was glorious until I got near my site, and then on the return journey foggy until a few miles from the site where it was glorious again! It was one of those mists where horizontal visibility was compromised, but not vertical! The sun was trying it's best to make an appearance!I did have a few birds at my misty Cheshire site including five Song Thrushes, which were almost certainly migrants. No Fieldfares or Redwings though! A Buzzard was ever present as usual, but the best bird of the morning was undoubtedly a Little Owl.I could hear Blackbirds and Chaffinches alarm calli...

Expect The Unexpected

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Five-fifteen. The alarm buzzed. “What would the day bring?” With luck the forecasts had been right, so through the "office" window I checked the darkened trees for signs of sway. They looked still, while above the street light there were breaks in the ghostly cloud. I heaved a sigh of relief, prepared for the off and for the 35 minute drive up to Oakenclough. For a ringer, the anticipation, the excitement of expecting the unexpected never quite goes away. At Okenclough it was still dark at 0630 as outer branches stirred ominously. It was more like 10-12 mph than the 6mph decreed by the experts. That 4+ mph can make a difference when birds with powerful eyesight can spot movement in the fine mesh of a mist net. Soon after dawn Redwings arrived. We caught a few in the dark as they continued to arrive in dozens and low hundred...

Starling and Chaffinch vis

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Every morning has been different this week and this morning looked very duff at dawn with cloud spilling in from the west.  However, it soon became apparent that small flocks of Starlings were bombing SW - a route which is not ex-local-roost.  Indeed they were crossing over local ex-roost birds heading east from the harbour.Vis migStarling - 1374 SW in about 26 flocksChaffinch - 153 (including flock of 36)Meadow Pipit - 17Jackdaw - 161Grey Wagtail - 2Redwing - 51Linnet - 3alba Wagtail - 14Siskin - 4Greenfinch - 10Skylark - 14Goldfinch - 2Pink-footed Goose - 300GroundedChiffchaff - the resident male by the office stillGoldcrest - 3 ringedBlackcap - one ringedRobin - unringed birdWheatear - 1No sign Chough Heysham Head ...

Recent Highlights

Posted on - In
Our best recent highlight was a Chiffchaff caught at Poole Harbour in Dorset just four days and two hours after ringing at Middleton NR,a movement of 370 km S. It weighed 9.4 gms when caught, a good weight for a Chiffchaff but only 8.1 grams when caught in Dorset.This is only our second Chiffchaff from Dorset and only our third record from the south coast. We have  had single birds from the Channel Islands, Portugal,Morocco and Senegal. Contrast that with a Sedge Warbler caught 484 km SE in Pas-de-Calais France just 16 days after ringing in late July at Leighton Moss.  It is our 54th Sedge Warbler from France 38 of which have been in August. To date we have ringed 4500 Chiffchaff and 14500 Sedge Warblers.I have posted recently about how faithful Bearded Tit pairs are once formed. Another pair seen recently on the grit trays is a g...
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Non-birdy wildlife at Marton Mere followed by a good bird day there

The Safari was able to get an unexpected sneaky visit to Marton Mere yesterday morning.There were a few birds about the first notable one being a Cetti's Warbler in one of the ponds at the wetland on the way in. That was followed by a Sparrowhawk circling over the north western corner of the reserve. A few Skylarks were going over calling but unseen the continued on and off all morning, no idea how many were involved all together. We decided to go round anti-clockwise taking us to the Feeding Station first where it was quiet with only two Pheasants and two Chaffinches. A volunteer was mowing the path edges behind us and the noise was upsetting Monty so we high tailed it out of there, wasn't owt happening anyway. We'd just got out through the caravan site gate when four Redpolls (MMLNR #82) went over. They'd come from over the mere so h...

Different Day, Different Birds

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
Monday saw a catch of 33 birds up at Oakenclough. Domestic commitments meant I couldn't make it on the next suitable morning, Wednesday, even though I was raring to go. Andy went alone and caught 60 birds, including another 15 Redwings and 8 more Lesser Redpolls. With so many millions of birds on a migratory push through the UK and Europe at this time of year there is a guarantee that each visit brings new birds to our nets. So with yet another excellent forecast we arranged to meet up again at Oakenclough on Thursday. We were joined today by Bryan H. At 0700 there was a slight breeze from the east with nil cloud and a temperature hovering around 2°C. The lack of cloud meant that migration might at the least prove hard to pick up or even non-existent if birds had found their way through the clear starry night. We needn...

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In RSPB Skydancer Project
So so sorry to read this , awful news , one day I do hope justice will be done and these birds can grace our skies in peace

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In RSPB Skydancer Project
Why aren't my comments visible, please?

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In RSPB Skydancer Project
It is incredibly important that then RSPB releases such information. Clearly the police can do little with the information that the missing tag and bird provides. In Scotland, the first signs are appearing that those persons who are responsible are both reducing their actions (after perhaps being told)  and being more careful. For this the Scottish government, the RSPB, and others are to be congratulated. The rest of the UK has to wait. ...

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In RSPB Skydancer Project
My message to the police last month and now another one in same area!!!! According to information released by Natural England (NE) recently: www.gov.uk/.../hen-harrier-annual-tracking-update On 18th August 2010 Hen Harrier id94591 's satellite tag stopped working. 3 days later on 21st August 2010 Hen Harrier id58870's satellite tag also stopped transmitting. Both of these failures were very close together (within 7km) in Bowland an infamous raptor persecution hot spot. id94591 's last known location was Bowland SD596621 which is 1km outside the last known transmission of Hope and 3km away from the centre of the overlap in last transmission of Hope and Sky. id58870's last known transmission was 2km outside the last known transmission of Sky and about 3.5km from centre of overlap of last known transmissions of Sky and Hope. ww2.rspb.org.uk/....