A Small Arrival

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Conditions overnight were clear and at 11:00 pm last night I was watching the Perseid meteor shower in the garden with Gail when I suddenly realised I needed to get to bed as I was up in less than five hours! The clear conditions led Ian and I to believe that it would be a 'clear out night', and it was to a certain extent, but there was definitely a small arrival this morning.At first light we had clear skies with a 5 mph NNW wind and it was cool, a definite nip in the air! We put the nets up in one of the Obs reedbeds and retired to our cars for a coffee. About a dozen Alba Wags went over after exiting their roost, but their numbers were dwarfed by the twelve thousand (well about that anyway) Starlings that came out of another reedbed roost.A Little Egret went over one way and a young female Sparrowhawk shot through the other. There was ev...
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Sunday’s Plan

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
They do say the British weather is unpredictable. Well not this year because there’s a definite pattern emerging in this the worst one for many a year. There’s a day of dry, then the next day of rain, and then a mixed up day when there’s sun for half of the daylight hours and rain during the remainder. Mostly it has been breezy or windy come rain or shine. So in a strange way, it is possible to plan birding, ringing and a spot of photography by looking out for the good days, ignoring the rest and planning accordingly. Luckily Sunday’s forecast of wall-to-wall sunshine looked to be one of the better days so I set off early with camera and bins at the ready. The regular as clockwork Kingfisher opened the account at Conder Green. The bird wasn’t for hanging around though and after it quickly flew off I soon saw it again g...
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Subtle autumnal changes

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Middleton NR6.5C and a whole load of dew all over the car when I left my houseA session using three nets in the western marsh was different to previous visits this month which saw a scatter of warbler species and very little else other than above average numbers of Reed Bunting for this time of year.   The catch of 53 new birds this morning saw far fewer 'scattered' warblers, with the night presumably more about departure than arrival, but quite a few warblers latched on to small tit flocks, mainly (as usual) Willow Warblers.   Noticeably absent were Sedge Warbler (one heard), Blackcap (just one ringed) and Common Whitethroat (only 9 ringed, mainly later in the session)One "notable" feature was the first Sand Martin ever to be caught in morning mist-netting, as opposed to the small numbers as a by-product ...

Up The Wall!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
On Thursday, I attended the funeral of a good friend at the Catholic Church of Ss Thomas & Elizabeth at Thurnham. After the service on a nice sunny day, there was going to be nothing more uplifting for me than a walk along the coastal path from Fluke Hall to Cockers Dyke, and at 1.30pm I was within a few miles of getting there from Thurnham down the A588.Wall Brown. Pete Woodruff.This was definitely a good idea, if only because I found my first Wall Brown butterfly in 6 years which was seen at Pilling Lane Ends on 2 September 2011. The irony being, today's butterfly was on one of the only three Ragwort stems left at the foot of the inland bank from the recent grass cut here on 25 July. Other butterflies taking an interest in the Ragwort and elsewhere along the path were, 9 Large White, 8 Common Bl...
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Rishton mud finally delivers

Posted on - In Dave's Birding Blog
As can be seen from the image, the water level at Rishton Reservoir has been rather low for some time despite the recent rain. Not sure if this is because of another leak in the canal/reservoir bank but it went down dramatically during the spring and has remained low causing the Great Crested Grebes to leave. Even the local fishermen had given up and that's when birds started to turn up and remain on the "West Bank".Rishton Res from a couple of weeks ago - lots of sand/mud/rocksThere has been a steady trickle of birds through - good numbers of Black-headed Gulls with the odd Mediterranean Gull in there. Oystercatchers have been regular with up to 4 as well as Common Sandpipers with up to 7. Redshank and Little Ringed Plovers have also put in appearances along with a single Black-tailed Godwit a couple of weeks ago.Yesterday, we were looking...

Caught In A Shower

Posted on - In Birding Aldcliffe
Aldcliffe little owlHad a very enjoyable three hours or so rummaging around the estuary and environs this morning.Freeman's Pools was quiet with just a couple of coot, a moorhen, mute swan, a gadwall and 6 little grebes.A check of Darter Pool revealed a garganey. It flew off toward Bank Pool where it presumably touched down. After a blank 2016, this was a most welcome bird!The Wildfowlers' Pools and Frog Pond were fairly birdless. Due to the high water levels we're not seeing any waders dropping in to feed on the pools. That said, the flood looks good with lots of mud and water but it must be pretty food-free as few birds are bothering with it.A check of the estuary was more productive.There were around 2,300 black-headed gulls roosting on what was once Gull Bank (now more of a steep terrace following the collapse of the bank during the 201...
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Sedge Warblers on the Move

Posted on - In
A report of a Sedge Warbler ringed by the Group on July 25th this year and caught 12 days later in Kent 412 km SE set me looking at all the similar quick recoveries we have for this species. Over the years we have ringed just over 14,000 Sedge Warblers which has produced 172 recoveries most at ringing stations on the south coast with some further a field in France (51)Spain (3) Portugal(1) and Senegal (1).Our quickest mover was one ringed on August 13th 2004 at 10.00 and caught next day at Coventry at 05.50 a distance of 220 km. Sedge Warblers are night migrants so this gives some idea as to how far they can fly in a night. It weighed 12.7 gms at ringing but only 11.7 on ...

Osprey Farewell

Posted on - In Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer
It has been many weeks since I reported on the Lake District ospreys.The good news was that the pair of ospreys had been successful in rearing two chicks and I returned this week knowing that they had fledged.I wanted to see them before they left on their long migration to West Africa.I did have some nice views of the two juveniles as they fed and flew around from the nest site.The parents were still around and were bringing back fish for their youngsters.I wish them a safe journey to Africa.I have shown below some of my better efforts at photographing the two juveniles on the nest and taking off and landing with fish which will have been left by one of the adult birds.The fish that one of them is carrying is a flounder and will have been caught from the estuary of the nearby River Leven.I have also included some other wildlife seen in the ...
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Crispum, Montanums and finish of Orchids (12th Aug 2017)

Posted on - In I Love Arnside & Silverdale
Friday 11th August 2017 - Dalton Crags 0900hrs to 1030hrsDecided to check out the Crags and I wanted to check a lovely "scollie" which I thought may have turned out to be a "Crispum" but no it was not to be, as you can see with these photos which clearly show the "sori" on the rear of the frond. A lovely Scollie which looked like it may have been a "Crispum" in the makingCheck next photo which clearly shows Sori on the rear of the frond."Sori" showing on the rear of the frond (Click over to enlarge)Superb heads on our (new to me) rare Montanum's (Hypericum Montanum - Pale St. John's Wort) which are going over.  This year has been good with a total for Hutton Roof of 18 plants over three separate sites. Here is a photo showing the flowerhead.The rare Hypericum Montanum nestling away in the Lower Dalton Crags (Click over to enlarge)...