Saturday, 27 February 2010

Happy Days........

What was meant to be a quick trawl round ending up being a leisurely stroll and various conversations with other birdwatchers en route. Guy was having a pedal round and had seen a male Merlin, Red Breasted Merganser 3 by the pylons along with Raven, Little Grebe, and Meadow Pipit 1 on the dung heap near the Flood. Other birds seen,
Freeman’s Pool
Goldeneye, Tufted Duck and Smew still present.
Stubble field and track
Skylark 4
Linnet 17
Reed Bunting 5
Dunnock 4
Greenfinch 3
Goldfinch 8
Chaffinch numerous.
Great/Blue Tit half a dozen of each.
Song Thrush 2
Mistle Thrush 1
Water Rail 1
Wildfowlers’ Pools
Teal 9
Oystercatcher 2
Redshank 3
Moorhen 28
Green Sandpiper 1 and 1 Redshank.
Little Egret 2
Black-tailed Godwit 3
Shelduck 7
Curlew 19
Pink Footed Geese 275


Monday, 22 February 2010

Monday's Rail Timetable

The Water Rails were on fine form, squealing and scolding each other, three in total. I watched one for about forty minutes and got within a couple of meters, amazing birds. Other highlights, Smew still present, along with Tufted Ducks, Wigeon, Goldeneye, and Gadwall and 2 Snipe on the island. Wildfowlers’ was frozen, and the Flood was void of birds due to farming activities. Black-tailed Godwit 106 at Marsh Point.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

British Rail Announcement

A minimum of three water rails continue to entertain down by the hedgerow ditch on the lower path.

The redhead smew is still on Freeman's Pools, along with small numbers of other ducks including gadwall, goosander and goldeneye.

Two green sandpipers and two black-tailed godwits were on 'the flood'.

A hundred-strong wigeon flock by Cadaver Corner did not harbour the rather elusive Cockersands/Conder am wig drake. 

Circa 900 pink-footed geese flew high North over the estuary area early afternoon (descending near the Heysham bypass), and a rather bold grey wagtail was feeding on the sewage works track.


Saturday, 20 February 2010

Confiding Water Rails


Water Rails on the bottom path

A pleasant walk with Steve under a bright blue sky until a fog moved up the estuary at a very rapid speed.

Highlights included 

3 very showy water rails in the ditch on the bottom path. We were getting views from 5 metres just by standing still on the cycle track and letting the birds coming to us.
15 golden plover heading down the estuary.
c. 70 linnet and 5 reed bunting in the stubble fields.
3 snipe, a redshank, 2 tufties, 2 goldeneye and a kestrel round Freemans pool.
30 black tailed godwits at Marsh Point.
2 collared doves came down with the mist. Fairly unusual down here.


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

High Tide highlights........

Changeable weather today, from sleet to rain showers and sunlight lighting up the pylons against heavy leaden skies. Not being a poet I fulfilled my creative urge by settling for a photograph, one for the album, and got on with bird watching. The Smew was present again along with ones and two of a great selection of birds on Freeman’s, list below.............
Freeman’s Pool
Smew 1
Goldeneye 2
Tufted Duck 2
Teal 1
Little Grebe 1
Shelduck 1
Gadwall 6
Shoveler 5
Little Egret 1
Redshank 1
Mute Swan 3
Coot and Moorhen, along with Grey Heron. There were about 30 Woodpigeon sitting on the fence.
Darter Pool
Mallard 55
Wildfowlers’ Pool
Teal 9
Shelduck 2
Little Egret 1
Wigeon 35
Shelduck 5
Oystercatcher 45
Curlew 16
Redshank 35
Little Egret 3
Green Sandpiper and 1 Redshank.
Also, Raven 2 and Kestrel 1.


Monday, 15 February 2010

Marsh Mellow

Sunday 14th Feb.
A very quiet day on the marsh weather wise. Freemans looked busy, did notice Gadwall, Shoveler and Tufted Duck, but my concentration lay on the task in hand, WeBS to Conder Green. Here is a list of birds on Aldcliffe Marsh.
Little Egret 3
Redshank 18
Canada 31
Mute Swan 4
Comm Gull 1
BH Gull 625
GBB Gull 8
Curlew 2
Cormorant 1
Lapwing 400
Golden Plover 45
No Greylag Geese to be seen which was odd.
Pair of Ravens near pylons.


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Brass Monkeys

Quick walk round this afternoon.

Green sandpiper on the Flood.
Water rail in ditch.
Smew on the bottom pool of the Freemans complex with shelduck, gadwall, teal, shoveller, tufted duck and a smart pair of goldeneye.
5 teal and 2 black tailed godwits on the wildfowlers.


Friday, 5 February 2010

The (re)Turn of the Smew

Black Tailed Godwits on the Flood
Met up with Guy for a trawl round the parish. Quiet day, surprisingly mild, spring like, especially as we heard throughout the patch Chaffinch’s singing. The female first winter Smew was back on the pools, literally flitting from one to the other. Other highlights…………
Freeman’s Pool
Shoveler 4
Gadwall 7
Smew 1
Little Grebe 2
Wigeon 1
Mallard, about 8 or 9
Coot, about 8
Mute Swan 2
Kestrel 1

Frog Pond
Little Egret 1

Marsh Point, numerous gulls, Black-headed, LBB, Herring and Common.
Lapwing 450. We also noticed massive flocks further down river. Oystercatcher, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit present.
Grey Partridge 3 in the field.
On the marsh were Shelduck, Little Egret, Canada Geese and Mute Swans.
 The Flood, Water Rail gave us excellent views for ages, along with Black-tailed Godwit 2, Green Sandpiper 1 and Redshank 3.
Wild Fowlers’, quiet, Mallard, Moorhen and Snipe 1.
Track had numerous finch and the hedge on stubble field saw Reed Bunting 4.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Gulls Provide the Interest and Frustrations..


Peregrine from Railway Crossroads

A good selection of gulls viewed from Marsh Point held a ringed LBBG which waded in to the river before I was able to photograph it and a possible yellow legged gull. This gull had a slightly darker mantle than the surrounding herring gulls, small spots on the primaries, bright yellow legs and bill. I made the schoolboy error of taking my scope away from the bird to compare it to a nearby herring gull and then lost it despite going through the gulls again several times.
Other birds in the vicinity were 8 gadwall, 4 shoveller and a widgeon (but no smew) on Freemans, 10 reed buntings and 3 meadow pipit on the high tide mark and the above peregrine eating breakfast.