Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lunch at Mere Sands Wood

I have been at MSW two days, part way through a three day First Aid course. At lunch I went to Lancaster hide and then to Marshall hide. From Lancaster there were lots of reed bunting as well as coot, moorhen, chaffinch greenfinch, tree sparrow and brambling. I also had a glance from Marshall hide where teal, goosander, goldeneye and wigeon gave great views. The picture is of brambling, green finch, tree sparrow and chaffinch

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cuerden Winter Bird Walk.

I hold this walk each year for the Friends of Cuerden Valley Park. We started in light rain which stopped after about 15 minutes. The feeders outside the Barn had blue, great and coal tits, with two dunnock and a few robins as well. Taking the main track towards the lake we saw a buzzard in one of the trees closer to the river. As we continued down the path we saw several Canada geese and amongst them two Lesser Canada. A flock of redwing  were flying up and down from the trees to the field and back. We estimated there to be about 100. Continuing down the path we crossed the swollen river Lostock and then up to the lake. A pair of goosander were in the North Eastern corner with a few mallard. As we were viewing these through the telescope a treecreeper came very close to us in one of the nearby trees.

 Moorhen and coot were also noted amongst the larger group of about 80 mallard. We descended the steps and headed towards the wooden bridge. Just by the oxbow lake we had about 20 siskin noisily feeding in an alder tree. A quick tour round Icehouse wood only revealed more tree-creeper and a rude man with his dog walking amongst the sheep. Several wood pigeon and blue tits passed over on our way back to the Barn where collared dove seemed to be getting amorous on the roof

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Warmer at last

I decided to help clear up some litter and took my binoculars as well, on Cuerden. Starting at Stag Lodge I saw bullfinch, crow, mallard and heard song thrush singing. After this to Kem Mill. Common Gull, blackheaded gull, great spotted woodpecker, five jays, several goldfinch, mistle thrush and then saw the dipper just down stream of the road bridge. The Barn was my next port of call to fill up the bird feeders.They continue to be used very well
Bullfinch, nuthatch all the usual tit species, collared dove, aggressive robins, green finch, dunnock and blackbird. Later in Icehouse Wood several siskin, two woodcock and a skein of pinkfeet flew over

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Late start

My first walk round Cuerden for the year was on Jan 10 a damp cloudy day. First check Scramble track Long tailed tits and fieldfare with the occasional crow and nearby in W13 siskin and goldfinch. Just across the path in Sue Ryder's field were 32 Canada geese and  single white one. We then went to the lake which still had lots of ice. It didn't stop a male and female goosander fishing in the NE part, scores of mallard, a few coot, moorhen and a single Canada goose. A buzzard flew over which annoyed a great spotted woodpecker. Several molehills showed that at least one mammal is surviving the cold weather. A very quiet day

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twintal and twintoo

Started a 0900 to Preston Dock so Jim could get the Iceland Gull
 This is his picture. Then to Fairhaven for the Red Necked Grebe. A very obliging bird coming ery close to the side of the lake. We also had red breasted merganser and Maurice Jones

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bank Holiday

I had to take my daughter to work at 0730 so I took advantage of the early start. First Preston Dock to see the Iceland Gull plus a bonus of some waxwings. Then to Marton Mere for Long Eared Owl. Four were just visible on the north side of the reserve in an apple tree. It is the one west of the tree with lots of rotten apples still on. Fieldfare, blackbird, great spotted woodpecker made the trip worthwhile. On the way home I called in at Granny' Bay, Fairhaven and had pintail, sanderling, oystercatcher, curlew, cormorant and lots of redshank. This is NOT my photo

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Birding

A trip to Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh was the order of the day. On the way via Longton I had heron pheasant and reed bunting. I arrived a little early to be greeted by several hundred pinkfeet geese just 20 metres away. A quick look near sandgrounders hide revealed black-tailed godwit, shoveler, wigeon, common gull, black headed gull, teal and mute swans. Others joined the group and a walk along the road soon had us observing merlin. It became a raptor fest with buzzard, mash harrier, sparrowhawk and kestrel joining in the party. The unmistakeable glimpse of the white of a little egret helped warm our chilling bones. Hesketh OM seemed the next place to visit. The rain came as we were on the journey to HOM, but thankfully stopped when we arrived. Chaffinch, linnet and brambling gathered in the hawthorn as well as reed bunting and fieldfare. On the fields to the west whooper and bewick swans were feeding and lapwing and redshank moved from pool to pool. It started to get cold so home seemed a good idea. On the way I dropped in at Brockholes but the reported smew proved elusive. Ah well 364 days to find it    

Year of the anniversaries

Happy New Year. This year my mother-in-law will be 90 and my sister 80. it will also be the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible