Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Swallows and Aldcliffe.........

Visited Aldcliffe last night hoping for Barn Owl, no joy on that score. Though the evening was not without its highlights. The Flood had 1 Green Sandpiper and a handful of Teal. 3 Snipe flew over. At Freeman's Pools I positioned myself at Marsh Point, it was a very still evening and the sound of birds carried for miles. Suddenly about 200 Swallow flew over, a Sparrowhawk past me at head height and zeroed in, the chase was a very optimistic attack, the Sparrowhawk was out manoeuvred easily, and it could not keep up with the tight twist and turns of the Swallow. A dog fox was watching every move! 

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Teal Total

Freeman's Pool, saw a Little Grebe with 2 very small young, on the upper small pool another with 1 even smaller young. On the island were 4 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret paid a quick visit, 2 Gadwall also present with the usual Mallard, 2 Swan and Coot. Today was very windy which made viewing the Marsh hard work; at Marsh Point were the usual gulls and roughly 900 Lapwing. Wildfowler’ Pool saw 3 Snipe and 7 Teal, which turned out to be about 35 Teal as the farmer entered the fields on his quad bike and flushed them all. The Flood had a Green Sandpiper, the single Lapwing that's been there for ages, 2 Curlew, 4 Snipe and 3 Pied Wagtails. On the Marsh were a few hundred Canada Geese, 3 Little Egrets and not much else. Further down river a large dead cow was making its way to Cadaver Corner! 

Friday, 27 August 2010


A Greenshank was making its way around the upper pools at Freeman's. Little Grebe, 3, were on the main pool, along with Coot, and a Grey Heron on the Island. A kestrel was hunting near the river. At Marsh Point plenty of LBB Gulls and a few Herring Gulls. No sign of any Wheatear, 1 spotted yesterday, Wednesday, by Jeff Butcher. A Willow Warbler in the bushes. On the Wildfowlers’ Pool, despite farmers, 2 Green Sandpiper, plus 1 Snipe.

Saturday, 21 August 2010


Charm of Goldfinch, in excess of 120, amazing, also more along track. Freeman's Pools were quiet. It then began to rain heavily! On the track were quite a number of frogs. Wildfowlers’ saw 4 Gadwall new in, and a single Snipe. A flock of 25 Snipe then flew over and a Little Egret. The Flood had a single Green Sandpiper and 3 Pied Wagtails and numerous finches. There are an increasing number of Crows in the area, up to 60 present the other day. I walked along the river; at Snatchems were a few hundred Lapwings and a single Black-tailed Godwit. On the Marsh saw a few Curlew and 2 Little Egrets. Plenty of Swallows present throughout the area. Drenched but worthwhile……..I think!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Happy Warblerings.........

Had a wander about today, went into the woods at Freeman's near the track, which was very rewarding. Saw four Blackcaps, six Willow Warblers, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and a quick glimpse of a small bird about the size of a Goldcrest, which I think it may have been. There were two Bullfinch and numerous Wren, Blackbirds and Chaffinch, a noticeable lack of tits.
I then walked to Marsh Point where I saw up 500 Lapwing and a good number of large gulls, Common Gull numbers slowly increasing. I scanned the smaller pools and found a Greenshank skulking about, lovely sight.
Wildfowlers’ was a no go today as the farmers were busy in there. The track had the usual Goldfinch and not much else. On the Flood were two Oystercatchers and a single Lapwing. A Sparrowhawk was disturbing the scene on the marsh. At Gull Bank there were plenty of Greylag and a good few hundred Black-headed Gulls.

Evening stroll from railway crossing along upper path and back round. The Flood was very busy, at least 4 Snipe, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Curlew, and 9 Mallard. In the fields were hundreds of Lapwing and a good number of Curlew, all disturbed by a dog walker! In nearby fields were a few hundred Greylag and Canada Geese.
The track was interesting, a flock of Long-tailed Tits had 3 Chiffchaff tagging along, and in the hedge were at least 4 Willow Warbler. A Sparrowhawk was busy over Aldcliffe village along with kestrel.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

A bit of a Bore........

Thursday night, midnight, a tidal bore came right up to, and past Skerton Bridge, must have been a goodie. So, as it was a big tide the following day I got myself positioned at Marsh Point hoping for the same. Sadly it was not to be, there was a bore but only small and had petered out in no time.
Saturday, WeBS to Skerton Weir, Freeman’s Pool had a mixed gaggle of Canada and Greylag, new in were 6 Teal. There was about 12 Coot, one young, 2 Little Grebe. The Bullfinch are still in the trees. At Marsh Point were 82 LBB Gull, Herr Gull 55, BH Gull 16 and 8 GBB Gull, along with 225 Lapwing. A bit further up river I saw 5 Common Sandpiper.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Watching the tide roll away.......

There were a number of Canada Geese on Freeman's Pool Island and little else. On the path to Marsh Point I saw 2 Bullfinch, first I have seen here all summer. At Marsh Point were Lapwing and good selection of gulls. On the track saw 2 Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff, along with Goldfinch and Tits. On the Wildfowlers’ I saw 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Snipe, 2 Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron and numerous Moorhen. A Little Egret flew over. I made my way down to a bench, near Chaff Wall, and waited for something good to come over, the highlight was a female Peregrine, which then showed numerous times hunting the waders against a fast incoming tide adding much to the drama. Three Snipe flew over, and there were 3 Little Egret on the far bank.


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

High Tide but no High Fives........

Very high tide today, was hoping to find something different, but alas it was not to be. That's not to say there wasn't anything unusual! I did see plenty of the usual Aldcliffe birds, which was well worth the effort. Freeman's Pool was quiet and not a lot happening. Wildfowlers’ Pool saw 2 Green Sandpiper. The Flood had a number of finches feeding, 6 Greenfinch and equal number of Goldfinch, along with 3 Pied Wagtail. Plenty of Swallow around, House Martins and some Swifts also present. The marsh was almost all covered by the tide. There were plenty of Greylag, Canada, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank and six Little Egrets. Also, up to 6 Common Sandpipers. A Peregrine was spooking them all.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Better late than never........

Late evening stroll for an hour, starting from Freeman's Pool. Was speaking to a dog walker who had seen Barn Owl last Monday, so going to get down again when I have more time, no sign of the bird tonight. Plenty of Swifts throughout, probably 80+, along with Swallows and House Martins. Wildfowlers’ Pool saw Kingfisher and three Green Sandpiper. Darter Pool Moorhen with three large young.

Spent an hour or so having a wander round this evening. Freeman's Pool saw Little Grebe, Coots and four Oystercatcher. Wildfowlers’ Pool was good, with six Snipe, two Green Sandpiper, five Redshank and two Curlew, plus Grey Heron and one Little Egret. Nowhere near as many Swift about this evening only saw about 17, and a few Swallows. The Swift were quiet and flying higher. No sign of the Barn Owl, maybe a little to early.

Sunday Morning........
Wildfowlers’ Pool today, at least 9 Snipe, 4 Green Sandpiper  present. 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 Linnet on the track. Raven over marsh.Curlew and Lapwing increasing in numbers, along with Greylag and Canada's. 5 Little Egrets on the far bank, and 4 Goosander, I was thinking that these could be the family from Skerton Weir, who knows?! Peregrine near Snatchems. An Osprey reported flying south further down river earlier in the morning. Dog walker reported a Buzzard at the treatment works.