Saturday, 30 January 2010

Merlin, jack snipe and smew too.

Merlin settled on the marsh

A bit of disturbance down here today with slurry lorries delivering their goods.
90% of Freemans pool iced over. You should see the smew whilst you can.

2 water rail in the ditch between the top and bottom paths.
5 skylark and 50 plus linnet in the stubble fields.
Smew still on Freemans pool. It looks very settled and is associating with the three tufties. 10 gadwall, a kestrel and a green sandpiper also.
2 dunlin and 40 golden plover on the marsh.
1 little egret.
Merlin attacked a couple of pipits on the high tide mark before settling on a tree stump.
17 moorhen together at wildfowlers.
Presumed jack snipe flushed at snipe bog. Shorter bill, silent when flew off and only flew about 100m before settling again. 12 of its common cousins scattered about the place.
Dead GBBG round cadaver corner.


Smew still on Freeman's Pool, reported on LDBWS.

Friday, 29 January 2010

That Friday Feeling……

Flying start to the weekend! Freeman’s Pool saw some excellent birds starting with the first winter female Smew, tagging along with 2 Goldeneye. Also present were Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Gadwall, Shoveler, Mallard, Little Grebe,
Green Sandpiper, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Snipe, Moorhen, Coot and 2 Roe Deer. On the marsh saw Lapwing, 1 Little Egret and Redshank. There was a flock of about 35 Linnet flying around the stubble field and 2 Reed Bunting in the hedge by the manure. Mute Swans and Mallard frequented darter pool and Frog Pond. While the Wildfowlers’ Pool saw Teal, Moorhen and 2 Shelduck.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Smews of the World

Snapped by Dan.

Met up with Steve for an owl session late afternoon. At Freemans pool Steve saw a bird we first thought was grebe. Neither of us had a scope and the bird was swimming down the western end of the pool. Thankfully Dan was free to come down with his scope and he identified it as a smew, a life tick for Steve and myself. The bird was very flighty and flew up a couple of times before settling again. We finally lost the bird at 4.30. It may have ended up in the Lune at high tide.

Other birds were a green sandpiper, 6 gadwall, 4 tufted ducks and a little grebe.


Saturday, 23 January 2010

Mist opportunity……

Today had a very foggy wander round Freeman’s Pools, which have now thawed, and just managed through the murk to make out a pair of Gadwall and Shoveler, there was a number of shadowy objects on the island, though they remained a mystery. Also, present 45/50 Fieldfare in the trees, along with a charm of 9 Goldfinch. In the hedge by the stubble field were up to 6 Reed Bunting, 5 Dunnock and a few Chaffinch. There was also a flock of up to 50 Linnet flying about the place. The Wildfowlers’ Pool had a pair of Shelduck and usual Mallard, Moorhen and Redshank 8.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Peregrine Adventures......

Aldcliffe Mid Morning, low tide. Dull, poor visibility.
Via Stodday, noticed birds much more vocal than of late, very pleasing to the ears. Was on bikes today and only got as far as Wildfowlers’, was hoping to catch up with the 2 Green Sandpipers as spotted by Pete Woodruff yesterday, no worries the weekend is here!

Lapwing 3800 on the riverbanks.
Wigeon, numerous.
Shelduck 14
Little Egret 3
Curlew 5
Redshank 45 in stable field
Peregrine, initially heard then spotted flying over The Flood with what looked like a Redshank in its talons, I watched it fly towards the pylons easily outmaneuvering the corvid in pursuit.
Mute Swan 9
Grey Wagtail 1

Wildfowlers’ Pool
Goldeneye 2
Snipe 1
Redshank 9
Mallard, Moorhen.
Little Egret 1


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A Quiet Evening......

Seemed very quiet, hoped to see owls but not one to be seen, not even the Little Owl at Admiralty Wood was showing off! Freeman's Pool still has ice on two thirds of it and was occupied by 2 Mute Swans and 1 Snipe. All the hedges have been cut, watch out for tyre puncturing thorns!

Little Egret 1
Lapwing 375
Shelduck 6
Black-tailed Godwit 16
Curlew 22
Redshank 5

Wildfowlers’ Pool
Little Egret 1
Redshank 9
Mallard, Moorhen.


Monday, 18 January 2010

Blue Monday

Despite the drizzle, had a pleasant walk round with Steve and his mate.

Highlights included-

1 adult Med. gull south of Railway crossroads.
22 black tailed godwits, 1 shoveller and 1 little grebe on the Flood.
Increasing numbers of redshank and curlew feeding on the sodden fields.
Still a couple of groups of redwing round the field margins.

All the freshwater pools remain frozen.


Saturday, 9 January 2010

Saturday highlights

Some obvious localised cold weather displacement.

7 tufted duck and 3 gadwall in the river.
3 goldeneye on Aldcliffe rapids and 1 goosander heading upstream and a red breasted merganser downstream.
1 little egret.
Kestrel with a recently caught vole being harassed by a large female sparrowhawk.
Passerines around Stodday included a treecreeper, grey wagtail, reed bunting and meadow pipit.
Minimum of four water rail, 4 snipe and redshank in the ditch between the top and bottom paths. 1 kingfisher and 3 bullfinch in the same area. This ditch is the only open water in the area.
7 linnet in the stubble fields.
1 sparrowhawk at Freemans pool and a black tailed godwit at Marsh point.


Friday, 8 January 2010


My outside thermometer gave a minimum temp. of -9 degrees last night and didn't get above -1.5 during daylight hours. I've got a fieldfare in the garden eating apples and saw a snipe flying over my garden.
Sightings from Aldcliffe were highlighted by;
Woodcock seen at 1pm flying over canal near Admiralty Wood.
Merlin just south of Stodday picnic site with a small bird in its talons.
Snow geese and barnacles feeding together on marsh.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Memories of warmer days

Marsh harrier 4/8/09

A Haywoodesque snap of one of the August marsh harriers photographed at Heron pool. Hope this warms your cockles on a cold winter night.

Sunday, 3 January 2010


The view from snipe bog to the Coniston fells.

Fewer birds around today and I couldn't locate any pinkies, linnet, water rail or goldeneye.
Common buzzard slightly out of the parish at deep cutting.
Thrush species increasing in fields.
Barnacles and snow geeses pushed off the marsh in to the fields by the high tide.
4 grey wagtails 4 meadow pipits seen at various places on the high tide mark.
4 tree sparrows in the hedge.


Friday, 1 January 2010

New year resolve

Looking down the estuary to Glasson.

One of the water rail

On call for work last night meant no alcohol and a clear head today. Eager to make the most of it, I headed down the parish fairly early. Highlights include:
2 water rail on the iced flood with a male bullfinch in the bushes and 2 meadow pipits on the ice.
7 tree sparrows, 53 linnet and a few reed buntings in the hedge between the stubble fields.
The 4 snow geese and 3 barnacles were on the marsh.
8 goldeneye, 1 red breasted merganser and alittle grebe in the river between cadaver corner and the pylons.
A rock pipit, 2-3 overhaed skylarks and reed bunting were at the Stodday picnic site and a coal tit on the lane to Stodday. Mixed flocks of redwing and fieldfares in the fields to the east of the sewerage works.