A Typical August Mixed Bag

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Yesterday morning saw Graham, Ian and Me undertaking a ringing session at one of the reedbeds at the Obs. It had been crystal clear and cool overnight, so every indication was that it had been a 'clear out' night. At first light we had four oktas cloud cover with a 5 - 10 mph southwesterly wind.As we were putting the nets up the morning murmuration of Starlings, as they exited their roost, entertained, and I estimated that there was somewhere between three and five thousand birds. Pied Wagtails also exited their roost on the marina and they flew over in ones and twos heading south to feeding areas.An adult male Sparrowhawk, Little Egret and Great Spotted Woodpecker made it into my notebook, but that was it from a birding perspective.We ringed 27 birds as follows (recaptures in brackets):Wren - 3Willow Warbler - 3Chiffchaff - 1 (1)Robin - 1B...

Terned out nice again

Posted on - In Wading through Wigeon
A midday walk along Ainsdale beach with Claire for the high tide was a real spectacle – I’d forgotten just how fantastic it is here when the waders get pushed in by a big one. A couple of stubborn dog walkers/bird flushers disturbed the birds, but the poor forecast probably put plenty off even though it actually turned warm with a haze of sunshine. Nice to see some Ribble birding regulars out as well. The terns screeched and floated around in circles, settling on the beach when they got chance. Several hundred Sandwich, fewer Common and the highlight being an adult and juv Little – beautiful birds with such a distinctive call, it was great to watch this pair at fairly close range. A short video of the adult here – it was ringed, would really like to have known the origin of it. I’d actually come looking for g...

Good number of warblers again

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Ringing at Middleton saw over 50 new warblers as follows:  Whitethroat (18), Lesser Whitethroat (7), Blackcap (7), Willow Warbler (10), Cetti's Warbler (1), Sedge Warbler (5), Reed Warbler (3) plus two Jays in the net at the same time!  Once again, tit flocks notable by their absenceElsewhere there were about 24 Med Gulls this evening but rain stopped play.  A Red darvic adult on Red Nab in amLittle Gull - ad this amSanderling - summer adult Red Nab with c700 Dunlin and many more of the latter down the tideline to the southRock Pipit - two Half Moon Bay beach...

Shakespeare And Stroganoff

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
There was no ringing planned today so instead I had a scoot around Cockerham way. It’s guaranteed to produce a good variety of species and sometimes excellent numbers of birds. I kicked off at Conder Green, where for an hour or more the place was alive with Swallows and Sand Martins taking breakfast. The cool morning produced a hatch of thousands of insects above the hedgerows and close to the water’s edge. The birds took full advantage as many took insects on the wing while others fed on the ground, almost as if they were collecting nesting material.  It was hard to estimate the mass of birds, especially as some perched up in the straggly hedgerow briefly before returning to the bonanza. My best guess was 350 Swallow, 25 Sand Martin and 15 House Martin. Some of the House Martins were from across the way where they ...

Quick Movers

Posted on - In
  Two controls received today,  both at Icklesham in East Sussex on the south coast are good examples of the  quick movement of our summer visitors at this time of year. - A Sedge Warbler on July 31st just six days after ringing and a Sand Martin on August 6th 12 days after ringing both were juveniles and involved movement of 425 kms. They set me looking back at our data set for these two well ringed species.The latest control brings the total of our Sedge Warblers controlled along the south coast to 88, 36 of them in Sussex. Of these 19 have been under 10 days after ringing and a further 11 within 20 days. The shortest was just two days after ringing. Further afield we have had 53 controls from Western France of these two were under 10 days and four within 20 days,  the quickest was six days after ringing.The Sand Marti...
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A Turn for the Better

Posted on - In Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer
I am recovering well following hip surgery and hope to be back to normal activities soon. The tern images below were obtained back at the beginning of June.I visited the tern colony at Preston Marina on the day after some of the chicks had hatched.There is always plenty of action down at the Marina with the terns constantly on the go attending to  their youngsters.Hope you enjoy the attached images of feeding time for the terns.The final images with the chick and the colourful small carp were taken as the chick tried and tried to swallow the fish but it proved too much of a mouthful and eventually one of the parents ate it.I have not visited the terns since and probably most of them will now have fledged and departed South for Winter.I look forward to catching up with the terns when they return next Summer.Thanks for looking in and hop...

A work day

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Nothing of real novelty seen on the incoming tide this am with very few Meds left at 0915.  This evening there were 32 between Heysham one and the wooden jetty (12 2cy, 2 Juv, rest ad or 3cy)Whimbrel - at least twoNo sign putative 2cy yellow legged gullLittle egret - 7.Fewer Dunlin red nab but c3k in total...
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Have Arctic-breeding Waders had a poor breeding Season?

Posted on - In
In a change from the usual North Lancs RG blog posts we have a guest blog written by Rose A. Maciewicz & Peter J, Knight about the early results of colour ring sightings of Knot caught near Formby last winter:Recent reports that NE Greenland was blanketed in snow in the breeding season suggested that 2018 might be a wipe out for Arctic-breeding waders, and this coming after very poor breeding productivity for Red Knot (Calidris canutus islandica) in 2017. The juveniles aren’t due to arrive in the UK just yet, but there may be a glimmer of hope from analyzing the biometrics of colour-ringed adults resighted just after they returned from the north. On 22nd September 2017 and 30th March 2018 a team including many members of South West Lancs, North Lancs and SCAN Ringing Groups fitted about 1,000 Red Knot with coded orange flags at Altcar...

Beach School

Posted on - In Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Beach School cvarela Fri, 10/08/2018 - 16:00 Beach School A unique outdoor learning experience for local schoolsBeach School is a completely new and unforgettable way for children to immerse themselves in the wonders of the UK's seas. We aim to improve students' knowledge about their local coastal environment by connecting them with nature; opening their eyes to this amazing habitat and inspiring them to care for our coasts. 11% of under 14’s have never visited a British beach Not only that, but 64% of children play outside less than once a week. With just five minutes of 'green' exercise being proven to improve mental wellbeing, it is important that all children have th...
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Next Best!

Posted on - In Birds2blog
I had to postpone a visit to the Bowland Fells earlier this week....Common Tern Conder Pool 9 August. Stephen Fairhurst. So it was best I went to check out Conder Pool to find 6 Common Tern including the young bird now back on Tern Island again, and as seen in the image above, getting the feel of it's wings with some exercise, which hopefully should have lifted it into the air by next weekend 18/19 August, when it will have fledged as the fourth Common Tern to be successfully bred on Conder Pool this year.  Bird of the day was the Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile which honoured Conder Pool with a visit, albeit a brief one with Black-headed Gulls. Also on the pool 12 Little Grebe eventually obliged by taking a rest, making the count an easy one. A Common Sandpiper was in the creeks wi...
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