Monday, 26 September 2011

Local Birding 24th-25th September 2011

Two visits to Foulridge over the weekend and the best birds were
Med' Gull and Shoveler. It's been a very poor autumn with very few
waders passing through. The Wood Sandpiper in the spring seems
like an eternity ago.

A search for migrants at Sheddon Clough produced 2 Chiffchaff and
around 6 or so Goldcrests.
A little further afield at Widdop Reservoir 4 Wheatears showed well by the
dam wall, along with several Stonechats.

I should have gone to the coast......

Wheatear taken using 2x converter attached to 300mm lens


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Black Terns, Alston res' 17th September 2011

Driving back from Fleetwood, i received a text informing me of 10 Black Terns
at Alston no1 Reservoir. Within 15 minutes i was watching them, as they fed with
hirundines over the water. One adult with nine youngsters, very nice!

Adult Black Tern

Grey Phalarope, Fairhaven Lake

14th September 2011 after the distant views of Grey Phal' at Pennington the
previous weekend the chance of seeing a real 'showy' bird couldn't be missed.
I nipped over before work and was treated to views down to just a few yards.
A Little Gull and Kittiwake were also on the Lake.

 very obliging!

Immature Little Gull with Black-headed Gull

Monday, 12 September 2011

September 10th-11th 2011, Chesire and Anglesey

10th September, the tanks at Frodsham are excellent for waders and with the
large numbers of Curlew Sandpipers in the country this autumn, it was no
suprise to see 13 at the site, (12 on no 6 tank and 1 on the Weaver Bend.)
A single Green and Common Sandpiper, 40 Redshank and 80 Black-tailed Godwits
were also present.
A late Swift was a suprise.

Moving on to Inner Marsh Farm RSPB to twitch the Spotted Crake which had
been reported earlier in the week. It was still present but showed distantly and for
a few seconds at a time, as it kept close to the reed edge. A lone Water Rail chick
was feeding along the reed edges, with no sign of an adult bird, it seemed
Another 2 Curlew Sand's, 14 Ruff, 500 Lapwing, 2-4 Green Sandpiper, 2
Hen Harrier (a juv' over the reserve and one over Parkgate)
Peregrine, Merlin and c20 Little Egrets (Parkgate) provided more interest.

Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit and Teal take flight.

Spotted Crake

11th September Point Lynas, Anglesey
With very strong westerley winds battering the North West, i spent 08.30-10.40
at Point Lynas, hoping to find a Sab's Gull.
I didn't, but arrived to find a large movement of Terns and Kittiwakes heading West.
I couldn't count the birds, as there were so many. At least 3000 moved through, mainly
Common and Sandwich with smaller numbers of Arctic and 6 Black.
Totals of: 15 Manx, 2 Balearic Shearwater, 2 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie,1 Fulmar,
1 Common Scoter and several Porpoise were seen from the lighthouse.

4 Whimbrel came in off the sea and 2 Choughs were near the Lighthouse.
In a sheltered, well vegetated gully, at least a dozen Chiffchaffs and 4 Blackcaps
were feeding out of the wind.

A quiet visit to Cemlyn, with a few Red-Breasted Merganser on the Lagoon.

On the shore at Maltreath, were a wide selection of waders, with 2 more Curlew
Sand's, several Greenshanks, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit. Viewing conditions
were awful in the relentless wind.

Porpoise, Point Lynas


juvenile Herring Gulls

The journey home was halted with a slight detour to twitch the Grey Phalarope at
Pennington. With the light fading, it was feeding up against the reeds and out of the
wind in the extreme north west corner of the flash.

spot the Phalarope

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Eaten alive!

Sparrowhawk attack on Lapwing, Upper Foulridge 3/09/11

This female Sparrowhawk attacked the 300+ Lapwing flock and pinned a
very unfortunate individual to the ground. Within seconds, a small group of
Carrion Crows appeared, trying, as i thought, to rob the Hawk of it's catch.

The Lapwing remained alive for around twenty minutes as the Sparrowhawk
didn't start plucking it straight away.

Struggling to escape

After removing some of the Lapwing's back feathers the Sparrowhawk started
tearing strips of flesh from it, before the bird finally died. The Crows keeping a
respectable distance, managed to steal a few bits of flesh stuck to plucked feathers.