Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back to Brockholes

Another walk round Brockholes to familiarise myself with the site. We started off to the sound of a skylark interrupted by a single redshank calling and flying nearby. As we reached the river we heard the chattering of sand martins and then saw about half a dozen over the river.Walking through the plantation one of our party spotted a song thrush anvil with several snail shells scattered by it. On to the Ribble Way where amongst the chaffinch we heard and saw a tree sparrow. One added flower in bloom compared to last week was opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage. The chiffchaff said hello and in reply another first time song - blackcap. Through the woods and on to Nook pond where a Barnacle Goose had joined the Canada Geese. It was a beautiful sunny day which brought out a few Peacock Butterflies

On arrival back at the offices I also spotted another first flowering plant. Ivy leaved Toadflax

Monday, March 21, 2011

First day of spring

I started off looking for dipper at Kem Mill on Cuerden and was delighted to find them.Then to CVP HQ where we inspected the sheep. New lambs everywhere including this newborn
Then to Brockholes for a look round. Chaffinch, Colt's foot,skylark and reed bunting were spotted fairly soon and then when we entered the woods we saw wood sorrel and wood anemone. There was also some hairy bittercress and then the unmistakeable song of the chiffchaff. Great spotted woodpecker and long-tailed tits were also seen in this area. As we arrived at the open water we heard and saw Canada geese, coot and mallard. Further out still were goldeneye, lapwing, gadwall great crested grebe, cormorant, tufted duck and whooper swans. In some of the quieter edges we saw lots of frog spawn

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sunny Bleasedale

I went to Bleasedale village Hall for a brown hare training course. Driving up the road towards the school, I had to slow down to avoid some red legged partridge. The feeding station by the hall was packed with blue tits, coal tits, chaffinch and the occasional greenfinch.

 After some instruction about hares we set off on a walk to Fairsnape Farm and back. The early spring sunshine made it an ideal day for observing any wildlife.A few pairs of lapwing were displaying and a flock of about 80 starlings kept flying over. We saw several hares, most were running but two or three were squatting down which made it difficult to see them. We had lunch at Fairsnape as well as being interviewed by Stephen Lowe of Radio Lancashire. As we set off after lunch a sparrowhawk flashed past, but we didn't see what it was after. More lapwing and a pair of redshank kept us alert but the walk ended without any more new sightings.

March begins

2nd March I had a walk round the lake to see if there was any progress with arrivals. Two great Crested Grebe were having a courtship dance, but keeping away from the Canada geese, the mallards and the coots. On the trees surrounding the lake, long tailed tits, mistle thrush and nuthatch were very audible

3rd March another walk round Kem Mill. The dippers were busy nest building and the male grey wagtail was displaying so much, it seemed his chest would burst. Other birds in the area song thrush, great spotted woodpecker drumming, lots of wrens, and several blackbirds

Feb 22 and 28 at Kem Mill

Early morning check at Kem Mill revealed little river activity until I saw the mink on the opposite bank of the Lostock. On the lodge there were a few mallard, moorhen and coot. Generally around I saw pheasant,wren, goldfinch, mallard, sparrowhawk, mistle thrush singing and long tailed tit. A goldcrest, bravely drinking at the river edge was a joy to watch

At Woodend there were still the 20+ bramblings, some bullfinch and a few siskin

I started doing some litter picking and noted colt's foot out in flower. Continuing down stream I heard the unmistakable piping of a kingfisher and was excited to hear another kingfisher respond. I stayed as still as I could and was rewarded by seeing both birds fly upstream together. A little further on were a pair of grey wagtail and near where I had parked my car two dippers