Monday, 31 January 2011
Saturday, 29 January 2011
I managed 9 year ticks today, taking my list up to 115 for the year and so far they have all been in the Fylde. The highlights of the day were as follows:
- 2 Barn Owls showing brilliantly in the early morning sun at Bradshaw Lane, also Stock Dove (yeartick).
- An adult White Fronted Goose (yeartick) in fields west of Pilling Lane Ends with pink feet, also a male Peregrine Falcon sitting on the marsh.
- No sign of the Snow Bunting at Cockersands but I did manage a gorgeous male Brambling (yeartick) with a flock of finches in the trees, also Great Crested Grebe (yeartick) and Sanderling (yeartick).
- A Little Owl (yeartick) sitting on the ruined farm house next to Jeremy Lane.
- An adult Whooper Swan on Fleetwood Marine Lakes showing amazingly and allowed for some great photographs.
- Male Ring Necked Duck (yeartick) on the ICI Reservoir, the 3rd year in a row I've seen the same bird now.
- Red Necked Grebe on Fairhaven Lake, although it didn't show as close as it has done during it's stay preferring to be in the middle of the lake.
- male Mandarin (yeartick) on the pond at Ashton Gardens in St Anne's, also a Siskin (yeartick) with a flock of at least 50 Greenfinches in the trees above the pond.
- Seeing 78 species in the day
Tomorrow I'm hoping to get down to my local patches Marton Mere and Stanley Park to try out the camera again, and also to see if I can photograph more of the colour combinations of the coots at Stanley Park. Will report back tomorrow.
Friday, 28 January 2011
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Also seen this morning was a Mistle Thrush flying onto the nearby football fields by the civic centre, where the have bred for the last 2 years raising 4 and 5 young respectively. Hopefully they will be as successful this year and similarly I hope the Song Thrushes do as well.
Finally I received a text from Paul Slade today saying that the Ring Necked Duck had once again turned up, this time on the pools at Fleetwood Park Nature Reserve. It seems ti be very good at disappearing for a month at a time before being re-found only a few miles from it's last position, I've no idea where it has been hiding out as I know all the local sights have been checked since the new year.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
The local female Sparrowhawk was once again hunting around the fields and terrorising all the small birds. It always seems to be the female I see hunting in winter and the only times I see the male is when he is perched in the trees around the garden, which the female never does. I love learning all the little habits of the local birds which helps me to understand their behavior. There wasn't much else around today, a small flock of Fieldfare flew north in the distance but the main bulk of winter thrushes seem to have moved off now.
Since there weren't many birds around I cut short the watch and routed out one of my logbooks from last year in which I had wrote down a running total of species for the year on each day till the start of April when I forgot about it. Using the young birders yearlist thread on birdforum from last year I managed to complete the rest of the year on the computer and also entered this years totals so far. This should help me to see how I ma doing in the yearlist compared to last years, and today I am up 14 species from last year.
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Below photos of an adult and a juvenile bird taken in my garden in the past 2 years. I usually get a family that visit the garden after they have fledged from the nest nearby in late summer.
Monday, 24 January 2011
I also concentrated more on my local patches of Stanley Park and Marton Mere in 2010, which resulted in many brilliant wildlife moments. None were more encapsulating however than the Great Crested Grebe pair at Stanley Park on the 22nd which performed parts of their famous courtship dance just 10 feet from the bank where I was stood, magical. A newly hatched family of Mute Swans were also nearby allowing for some nice shots. A good day was rounded off when I spotted a pair of Spotted Flycatchers high up in the trees on the north side of the park, my first in the Fylde and not an easy bird to see anymore.
Some familiar names on there as the bird is now in it's 3rd winter in Lancashire. The previous 2 winters it was seen in Scotland and the data also highlights that the flocks frequently move between Norfolk in Lancashire in spells of hard weather, like this bird did in the winter of 08/09.
I didn't get out much yesterday however the birds around the garden provided some other interesting long staying birds. There are 2 partially leucistic birds in my area, a female House Sparrow with white wing flashes and a Carrion Crow with white inner wing feathers. Both these birds have been out for at least a year now. I am hoping to get some photos of the Sparrow soon as it is a particularly striking individual.
If you can't get a larger version of the picture the details are:
Ringed 02/04/2006 Site - Balmedie Region - Aberdeenshire
18/04/2006 Ythan Estuary Aberdeenshire
18/10/2006 Newton/Rosefield Inverness
18/02/2007 Middleton of Rattray Aberdeenshire
10/10/2007 Loch of Strathbeg Aberdeenshire
14/12/2007 Bruntlands, Roseisle Moray
30/10/2008 WWT Martin Mere Lancashire
09/11/2008 Boundry Farm Lancashire
01/01/2009 Anmer Norfolk
04/01/2009 Anmer Norfolk
17/02/2009 Eagland Hill Lancashire
29/12/2009 Todderstaffe Hall Lancashire
14/02/2010 Thurnham Lancashire
03/01/2011 Warton Marsh Lancashire
Saturday, 22 January 2011
(can just make out 2 birds in this shot)
2011 yearlist - 106 species
Friday, 21 January 2011
Back home the fog from yesterday had lingered till the morning meaning that once again the visibility was poor and I relied on my hearing mostly to find out what birds were around. The pair of Pied Wagtails that hang around the neighbourhood in winter were in the next street next to mine but as usual didn't hang around long and were very skittish. The Goldfinch flock on Derby Road had grown in number with at least 12 birds present, and a brief view of a bird that could have been a Lesser Redpoll but the flock flew off before I could get good views. Once again both Song Thrushes were in full song, with the bird near to school being particularly adept at imitating a car alarm in the middle of its song! This is a talent usually seen in Starlings, which I've heard do perfect imitations of car alarms, other birds and once a bird that had me looking around for 10 minutes whilst it was doing a great parakeet impression.
Hopefully I will get out this weekend for the high tides at either Warton Marsh or Stannah.
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Maybe I should have been looking through the redwing flock more carefully after news broke this evening of an adult male Dusky Thrush seen and photographed in Leigh near Manchester on the 8th December! This is a stunning species and a bird I would have loved to have seen. The full details and pictures are being posted on the Manchester County Birding Website tomorrow so I await them with interest and also dismay at the same time.
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Even more Blackbirds around today, many of the males singing away from the tops of trees, along with a couple of Song Thrushes which seem to have their own territories set up now as they are always in the same area. If the spell of nice weather persists I might take a walk along the train tracks tomorrow after school to see what birds are in the fields, and mainly try and find a Snipe or 2 on the floods.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
The Green Winged Teal from yesterday was re found on the Conder Estuary this morning and as can be seen from the shots on the Fylde Bird Club's blog (link in sidebar) by Stuart Piner, was giving crippling views. This is a real blocker on my Fylde list and one that I hope to remove come the weekend if the bird is still present.
Finally sorry for the lateness of the postings over the last week, I've been very busy with exams so just having enough time to squeeze in a quick post at the end of each day. Normal service should be resumed tomorrow as my last exam is in the morning.
Monday, 17 January 2011
Yet luck seemed to have deserted me as I turned up at the conder to an empty estuary apart from 4 Teal and 2 Curlew. The pool also drew a blank for the hoped for Little Grebe but it was at this point that I got the text from Paul Slade, "Green Winged Teal, Glasson", YES! Finally a stroke of fortune and within a minute I was behind the bowling green looking out over the estuary with the finder. Unfortunately the ducks were on the far side of the river and the finder informed me that he had lost sight of the bird. Stuart Piner turned up within minutes and together we searched through the assorted Teal and Wigeon for the next 45 minutes until the light prevented us from continuing, typically there was no sign :( Just goes to show that you can be in the right place and still miss the bird. No yearticks at all during the evening so I'm still stuck on 99.
A large flock of waders were flushed up from the river Wyre meaning that they were in view from my house. At least 1000 Lapwing were giving a spectacular display along with 100 Dunlin and 50 Redshank, and despite my best efforts I couldn't locate any snipe which I still need for the yearlist.
The local female Sparrowhawk was causing the blackbirds some grief, giving at least 2 of them a chase around but failing to catch either, however a starling wasn't so lucky as it was clasped from the flock of at least 2000 that were in the fields.
Then in the evening the daily Starling flocks that roost on Blackpool North Pier passed overhead, 5 flocks totalling well over 30,000 birds, a simply stunning sight.
Sunday, 16 January 2011
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Friday, 14 January 2011
I'd always wanted to visit Gigrin Farm in Wales to see the Red Kites being fed, and when a juvenile Black Kite turned up their in January, I planted the idea in my parent's minds that a weekend in the area might be a nice holiday, and amazingly they agreed! The 19th-21st of February were probably 3 of the best days of my life, with 3 days of snow in a gorgeous cottage by a river which had a garden full of birds. The garden held both Willow and Marsh Tits and a Tawny Owl, whilst Dipper and Kingfisher were seen on the river. Gigrin Farm was carpeted in snow on the Sunday and the hide was packed with birders and photographers. The most amazing site I've ever seen ensued with 80+ Red Kites coming to feed from the meat that had been put down, performing some stunning aerial displays.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Down Derby Road the resident Goldfinch flock was in a tall alder flock and numbered 6 birds, I have had Lesser Redpoll with them the last 2 winters but none so far this year. A berry ladened bush next to the path that never seems to have any birds on it finally delivered today with 7 Fieldfare and 6 Redwing gorging themselves. A Mistle Thrush flew over calling as did a Pied Wagtail and a male Chaffinch. Finally as I reached the top of my street, the high pitched call of a Goldcrest rose from a small area of bushes, how they have managed to survive the recent weather I will never know!
Monday, 10 January 2011
GC59952 - A juvenile female bird ringed at North Duffield Carrs in the Lower Derwent Valley NNR in Yorkshire as a part of a different colour ringing scheme. It was first noted at Preston Docks in mid November but was missing a colour ring. Luckily a ringer managed to read the metal BTO ring which confirmed it as this bird. I photographed it still present at Preston Docks on 01/01/2011.
GR05429 - Adult bird ringed at Southport Marine Lakes 11/01/2010. I photographed this bird at the De Vere Hotel next to Stanley Park on 26/03/2010, the first time it had been seen away from the marine lakes and a distance travelled of 17km. I then photographed it again on 02/01/2011 at Stanley Park, showing that it has now been in the area for over 9 months.
GR24400 - Adult bird ringed at Stanley Park on 03/12/2010. I photographed it at Stanley park a month later on 02/01/2011, not very interesting? Well it was seen at Pennington Flash in Manchester on 31/12/2010, which means that it had moved there after being ringed then come back to the park in 3 days, probably after the flash froze over.
And finally a bit of a mystery. This bird (Left Leg - purple over red, Right Leg - Dark Blue over Metal) was at Stanley Park on 02/01/2011, however Kane doesn't know when or where it was ringed and is currently trying to find out any information on the bird, so it could be another bird from Yorkshire or maybe further afield? Only time will tell, can't wait to find out though.
Sunday, 9 January 2011
I was hoping to go and see the Great Northern Diver at Fleetwood docks but I don't know how the access works to the site or where to view from so my mum didn't want to give it a try so I headed home quite demoralised which I seem to be feeling allot recently, hopefully the birding will improve in the next week.
2011 Yearlist - 97 species
Saturday, 8 January 2011
Getting out of the car at Fairhaven Lake I immediately spotted the Red Necked Grebe (lifer 255) on the water next to the near back. Unfortunately as always seems to be the case when I go to Fairhaven the light was terrible and it started to rain so I only managed a crap record shot as it swam away into the centre of the lake. If the weather is nicer tomorrow I will go
Friday, 7 January 2011
The other thing which I love about them is a sight which I suspect most people will have seen, a small flock of pigeons flying in tight formation over a town which are captive birds. I can watch them for ages as they twist and turn at some extreme speeds and then as they turn a flash of white underwing briefly dazzles the sight.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
No yearticks today so my 2011 yearlist remains on 88 species.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
I did some birding from my bedroom in the hope that I would connect with the local Pheasant and maybe some other year ticks, however it was deathly quiet all except for another flyover Raven. This is the 3rd time I've seen this bird in 2 weeks so it must be hanging around the area.
2011 Yearlist - 87 species
Monday, 3 January 2011
Single Merlin and Peregrine were easily located on the many pieces of wood and metal strewn across the marsh and after 10 minutes the ringtail Hen Harrier appeared from the east and continued to quarter the marsh before disappearing off towards Lytham. Sprrowhawk, Buzzard and Kestrel also showed well on the marsh but unfortunately I missed a Marsh Harrier that turned up briefly that would have completed the Ribble 7 as Colin Bushall (link in sidebar) puts it.
(photo taken last year)
The White Fronts didn't show up while I was there so I decided to go to Lytham Crematorium to get the Ring Necked Parrakeet's to the yearlist. I could here them as soon as I got out of the car and immediately 2 flew over calling in their high pitched voices. Quite a few other birders were present and they pointed out some more in the trees, 6 birds in all and a flyover Skylark also made it onto the yearlist.
2011 yearlist - 86 species
Sunday, 2 January 2011
The only area of open water on the lakes were under the 2 bridges separating the lakes. These areas were crammed assorted ducks, geese and a female Goldeneye which is a good bird at the park. There were plenty of Coots present and many of these had colour rings on their legs, I managed to photograph 18 of them and get the codes so will have the details back about them by the end of the week.
(This photo was taken earlier in the year)
On to Marton Mere where I first went to look to see if the owls were in their usual spot, and as usual at least 5 Long Eared Owls were roosting in the hawthorn bushes on the north side.
On the mere itself the ducks were gathered in a small area of water in front of the Fylde Bird Club hide so I headed round there to see if I could catch up with the regular ducks and also water rail and cetti's warbler. A few birders were already present and informed me that the Bittern had been seen during the morning so this gave me hope. Several Gadwall were feeding in the water with 20+ Pochard, 75+ Wigeon and several hundred Teal. It was at this point that all the gulls to the right of the hide flew up and this is a sure sign that a Bittern is around, and sure enough it flew right past the hide from left to right giving stunning views! Typically my camera was in my bag but I got it out at this point just in case it returned, and luckily a few minutes later it flew back the way it came and I managed a few shots. This is without a doubt my favourite bird, such a powerful and majestic beast and I am extremely lucky to get them on my local patch.
With this I decided to head back, stopping off at the feeders where I managed to pick out a Lesser Redpoll with a flock of 12 Goldfinch in the alders opposite the hide. On the way back to the bus stop I walked through Stanley Park, where I added Goldcrest and Treecreeper to my yearlist. These take me up to 76 for the year and I am hoping to get out tomorrow and if I'm lucky reach 100 species.
2011 Yearlist - 76 species