Monday, 30 November 2009

Yes Sir, I Can Frugi

NNW 2-4, 2 oktas increasing to 7 oktas by midday. Dry.
Late morning visit.

Not many folks get too excited about the humble rook (corvus frugilegus), but here at Aldcliffe we can, and there were eight feeding on and around the maize stubble fields this morning.

These stubble fields were good for other farmland birds today, the best being:

Eleven grey partidges (what a record!)

17 skylarks

19 tree sparrows and

2 stock doves.

The flooded wildfowler's pools fields were graced by 3 whooper swans (sadly later frightened off by an enthusiastic off-lead dog.)

Other wildfowl on this temporary lake included a few shoveler, wigeon and teal.

Aldcliffe marsh was dominated by a four-figure lapwing flock and c.300 greylags along with a party of four (presumed escaped) snow geese.

These have recently re-located from the Silverdale saltmarshes and were first seen in the Aldcliffe area by P. Woodruff on the 28th.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Wet and wild

A recent move to Scotforth has changed my Aldcliffe routine. I now tend to start from the Stodday sewerage works and move north up to Freemans pool and wood. The birding in the south of the parish feels very different to the area about Freemans. Freemans woods and pools have got the ability to turn up anything in the right weather but I don't have that feeling yet about the south of the parish but the ungrazed tidal marsh, thick bushes of the cycle track and the steep grassy banks of the sewerage works all offer potential. 1 meadow pipit, 2 grey wags and 5 pied wags were present at the sewerage works. I then met up with Steve to help with the Snatchems to Conder WEBS. Highlights were c.2000 lapwing on Aldcliffe marsh and totals of 11 goldeneye, 2 rb mergansers, 2 goosander, 1 greater crested grebe and 9 little grebe from the conder area
Guy McC

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Taking stock

Pleasant walk round even in the inclement weather.
Water levels are dropping for now but it's looking good for water rails along the bottom path if we get a cold snap.
Flock of c. 150 golden plover on Aldcliffe marsh. They are usually only seen this far up the Lune during bad weather.
4 reed buntings along the sea wall.
4 little egret on Aldcliffe marsh with 4 on Oxcliffe marsh and perhaps the same 4 on Colloway later.
2 stock dove in the stubble fields.
4 tufted duck on Freemans pool
5 snipe flushed on the marsh with a further 12 at snipe bog.
10 long tailed tits near on the top path with a lone chiffchaff belonging to the western race.
1 goldeneye and 2 little grebe on wildfowlers.
c. 20 blackbirds in various places with 10 together near the sewerage works.
3 meadow pipits and 7 pied wagtails in the sewerage works.

Guy McC

Monday, 9 November 2009


Aldcliffe, lunchtime visit. In total contrast to the very wet weekend today was frost and blue sky and not a breath of wind.
Freeman’s Pools
Some work being done as I arrived, which was useful as it allowed a good count of Coot totalling 38.

Darter Pool
Mute Swan 3
Coot 2
Moorhen 3

Wildfowlers’ Pools, filled to the brim.
Green Sandpiper 2
Kingfisher 1
Little Grebe 1
Snipe 1
Moorhen usual.
Flood, saw Moorhen 5.

Little Egrets 3
Skylark 1 going south.
Usual Greylag and Canada’s.

Cropped maize fields continue to attract a number of birds. Jackdaw, Crow and a large flock of feral pigeons as well as Woodpigeon.
Chaffinch 30
Reed Bunting 6
Dunnock 2
Greenfinch 4


Sunday, 8 November 2009


Sunday 8th Nov, got down for an hour this morning to Freeman's Pools.
Nothing new in that I saw. After yesterdays heavy rain pools filling up and fields flooding.

Sparrowhawk giving good views on fence post.
Greenfinch 4
Goldfinch 8
Song Thrush 1
Gadwall 2
Snipe 2
Tufted Duck 4
Coot usual
Little Grebe 3
Grey Heron 3
Mute Swan 2


Friday, 6 November 2009

Dies Veneris, Vanellus vanellus…….

Aldcliffe 09.00 – 11.00, SSE 7-10, 7 oktas,
First time to the patch for a while, weather was looking dodgy, thankfully apart from a light shower it kept fine. A noticeable increase in Lapwing numbers since the last WeBS count which is good news, lets hope for at least twice as many again over the coming weeks. This time last year the Wildfowlers’ was more like a shallow lake and had good numbers of waders present, today hardly anything.

Lapwing, up to 2000, numbers increasing from last WeBS which was 1200.
Little Egret 3
Canada Geese 130
Shelduck 2
Peregrine 1

Freeman’s Pools
Gadwall 2
Tufted Duck 2
Goldeneye 2
Mallard and Coot usual.
Little Grebe 2
Mute Swan 2
Pheasant 4
Grey Heron 2

Frog Pond had 2 Mute Swan
Darter Pool also had 2 Mute Swan, Moorhen 2

Wildfowlers’ Pool
Nothing else of note, water levels rising.

Moorhen 8
Redshank 2
Pied Wagtail 2

Fieldfare 6
Redwing 4
Chaffinch a flock of 16, moving south along hedgerows.
Goldfinch, Greenfinch small numbers.
Dunnock 4
Robin 7/8
Blackbird 35/40, from Freeman’s to meadow.
Reed Bunting 6/8
Wren 7/9
Maize fields have been cropped, a large number of Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Greylag Geese 220 and Woodpigeon 90+, Starlings