Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Hunt for Red, October

Morning visit.
SE 1-3, 8 Oktas, a little light drizzle at first.

I thought the weather looked promising for something grey with an orange tail, but there wasn't a BR on the marsh debris this morning.. (is this even on the Aldcliffe list, Jon?)

I switched to look for stripy easterners in the sycamores and willows, with no success.

So, the parish passerine highlights were:

A chiffchaff, goldcrest, blackcap, lesser redpoll and 22 song thrushes in the wood.

Also 45 reed buntings and two tree sparrows in and around the maize field.


Monday, 26 October 2009

All Quiet on the Western Bund

Late morning to mid-afternoon visit.
SSW 0-1, 6-8 Oktas, dry.

Me and Steve W decided to take advantage of the calm conditions to do some good hard listening.

But what few warblers we came across on our bush-bashing search were all exceedingly quiet and shy. Even the flocks of tits seemed to have taken a vow of silence, so it wasn't always easy to locate the action.

The best of a mute bunch:

4 blackcaps, a chiffchaff and 1-2 goldcrest in Freeman's Wood.

Two goldcrests and 2 rock pipits Stodday sewage works.

A water rail, 3 tree sparrows and an Eastbound flock of 17 skylarks were a little more vocal.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Swanning Off

Weather: SW 0-1, 8 oktas, light mist.

Dan here.

This picture of 4 off-passage whooper swans over Frog Pond this morning is dedicated to Guy McLelland because he is a big fan of my photography! I can see why.

Only had chance for a quick look around today, which was a shame because passerine numbers were reasonable-- highlighted by:

50-60 blackbirds

c20 song thrushes

c25 redwing

c30 meadow pipits

97 greenfinches (a decent flock for Aldcliffe)

2 tree sparrows

2 goldcrests (a mega so far this autumn!)

and a littoralis-looking rock pipit.

Didn't seem to much in the way of vis, with just 5 skylark and 7 meadow pipits noted moving S.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fringillas in the Mist

WSW 0-2, patchy fog (pictured) eventually clearing to reveal 5-8 Oktas. Dry.

The parish was moderately thrashed by Guy, Steve and myself (Dan) this morning and the main points of note were....

Reed buntings: an unprecedented high in and around the (unharvested) maize field-- hard to come up with a decent count but obviously at least 40 birds and probably into three figures.

(Re: the ringing of this species at Middleton and L. Moss-- all seen well were unringed).

Also attracted by the maize crop:

c.35 linnets, 6 tree sparrows, c.40 chaffinches, c.10 greenfinch.

Visible migration:

recording was often halted by and made tricky by fog but 0800-1200 saw circa

skylark 35
meadow pipit 35
chaffinch 30
linnet 15
greenfinch 15
alba wag 8
reed bunting??!
redwing 4
swallow 1
siskin 1

(Snipe mig? A fair bit of activity including 7 + 26 + 11 seen to head South or Southwest)

Also of note in the parish:
6 song thrushes, 2 green sandpipers, raven, merlin, sparrowhawks, 5 little egrets, a blackcap, 2 chiffchaffs, 25 long tailed tits... and a continuation of the goldcrest drought.


Monday, 5 October 2009

Tree sparrows

The first tree sparrows of the autumn turned up today in the few bushes between the two maize fields with a flock of 5 churring around. Also had a curious record of one in Freemans associating with a goldfinch flock. A chiffchaff was singing in the bushes. Freemans pool had approx. 20 wigeon, 2 gadwall, a little grebe, female shoveler and 2 tufted duck on it. 8 reed bunting were scattered around the parish with a wheatear on the high tide mark. 5 little egret were on the marsh with 4 snipe and a peregrine flushing the lapwing flocks.
Guy McC

Thursday, 1 October 2009

(B)Logging off...

Good to know that I'm leaving the parish in such capable hands as those of the patch-work tribe. With such dedicated souls beating a path around the site surely more great birds will be discovered lurking on the fringes of the Aldcliffe area...

Here's a nice dudey pic of the pools for you all to enjoy.

I'll be keeping an eye on the blog from the colonies - and doubtless butting in from time to time.


Jon C


British Columbarius

Dan here.

Now that the Rev. Jon Carter is off to terrorise North American birds instead, I thought I'd better start working his parish again.

I too was hankering for yanks this afternoon, but there was to be no pec on the pools or American goldie in with the plovers.

But a juvenile curlew sandpiper on the estuary at Gull Bank was a pleasing find.

Also in the area:

a female merlin (Falco columbarius)

Whooper Headlines

I certainly won't be able to produce the headlines of Jon, wit of Dan or accuracy in counting of Steve but thope this is okay.
Highlights of a walk round Aldcliffe this morning was 6 chiffchaff scattered around the area with 3 in Freemans (including 2 singing birds), 1 at the cutting and 2 at the walled meadow. Green sandpipers numbered 3 on Freemans pool and 2 on Wildfowlers. A kingfisher was on the pools also. The marsh was quiet with 8 little egrets and a sparrowhawk spooking the waders. Approx. 30 meadow pipit and a regular flow of skylark passed over with the largest being a flock of 7. A merlin was hunting on the lower path. A single whooper flew down the Lune at 11.15ish. Other Icelandic migrants were 3 skeins of pink footed geese numbering approx. 60//30/40. 2 common buzzards were seen close to the Freemans pools on the return trip. They managed to catch a thermal, rose quickly and moved south.
Guy McC