Sunday, 28 November 2010

Life in the Freezer...........

It is usual to have a cold spell at the end of November, but it feels more like February and is apparently the coldest November for 17 years, going to be a tough long winter for the birds. Yet it is the hottest year on record according to the Met Office! Freeman's Pools are frozen, apart from usual corner, with 18 Coot and a couple of Swans paddling about. Marsh Point saw gulls and Lapwing. Despite the blue skies it was freezing, and everywhere iced up, apart from the river of course, which was busy with gulls, Lapwing, Grey Herons, Wigeon and Goldeneye etc. In the channel at Cadaver Corner were Little Grebes and 2 Little Egrets. 
The highlight was the track down from the Wildfowlers’ Pool, here there were at least 2 Water Rail showing well, along with Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Redwing, Robin, Wren and mixed tit flock. A Kestrel was perched nearby watching all the Lapwings and Gulls in the fields. Mixed in with these were a number of Golden Plover, Curlew and Redshank.  I had a look for the Barnacles but all the geese were way out on the marsh, and as I had no scope I couldn't be sure.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wild goose chase

2 peregrines were in the vicinity of the pylons putting every wader up between Glasson and Snatchems.
The barnacle geese were still on the marsh at the north eastern end.
10 goldeneye were at Freemans pools with 2 tufties.
The fields are still being prepared with lovely black stuff. I'd quite like some of that for my veggie patches.
20 fieldfares in the area. Lots of berries still on the hawthorns. Will waxwing enter my Aldcliffe list?


Monday, 22 November 2010

Happy Monday.....

Began at the sewage works, in the fields were roughly 200 BH Gulls and a Med Gull, un-ringed. Along the track were a handful of Pied Wagtails, Chaffinch, Blackbirds and Robins. A Little Egret near the pylons was feeding; also 2 Rock Pipits by the fence, and a few Wigeon floating up the channel with the tide, and a Snipe flew up stream.
At the railway cutting I saw 2 Goldcrest, a handful of Redwing, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Bullfinch, Blue Tits, Great Tits and a flock of 6 Long-tailed Tits. On the marsh were 4 Little Egrets, plus all the usual Curlew and Redshank. The Flood had a flock of 30 Redshank feeding. 2 Fieldfare were in the hedge.
Freeman’s Pool had a Little Egret and 3 Goldeneye, along with the usual Coot. Had a walk along the river bank and found the Barnacle Geese, I could only count 15, though they were quite mobile, despite all the Greylags and Canada’s they all stayed in their small group.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Barnacle geese

Ray Hobbs had a flock of 16 barnacle geese at Aldcliffe on Thursday 18th Nov.
I'm pretty sure that's a record for the site. I assume they're Caerlaverock overshoots, rather than fence-hoppers?

Jon C.

Monday, 15 November 2010

All work.... not much play........

Managed A couple of hours down the patch today, though things were very busy down there. Farmers, hedge cutters and workman all doing jobs at key areas, so fairly quiet while I was there. Freeman’s Pool had a dozen Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 1 Goldeneye, 2 Teal and Coot numbers appear to be on the increase. Still loads of water on the Wildfowlers’ Pools and the Flood, so not much on there. On the marsh were Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank and 2 Little Egret. All the geese were way out, usual Canada and Greylags.
Plenty of gulls Great/Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Common and Black-headed. On the mud were hundreds of Lapwing and approx 185 Wigeon, there were a good number of Golden Plover mixed in.
On the pylons were 2 Ravens.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

On a roll..........

A perfect autumn day, cold, crisp and bright. Freeman’s Pool was much the same as yesterday, with the addition of 2 Shoveler. The Wildfowlers’ Pool was occupied by Canada Geese and the still present 3 Little Grebes; a large skein of Greylag flew in from the North West and landed on the marsh. A Bullfinch was calling from the hedgerow. In the fields on the Flood side, were good numbers of Lapwing and a couple of dozen Golden Plover feeding alongside. 
Gull Bank had a number of Black-headed Gulls and few Common Gulls, there was about 35 Teal, 20 Wigeon and 55 Dunlin, a Great Crested Grebe was fishing the near bank. Further up river were hundreds of Lapwing and around 135 Golden Plover. 3 Little egrets were feeding on the marsh, also about 25 Shelduck present.
 I continued towards the pylons, on the incoming tide were 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Goosanders and a pair of Goldeneye. 
A Peregrine Falcon was keeping tabs from one of the pylons while another was causing chaos over Calloway Marsh. I managed to spot a couple of Rock Pipits around the plastic bag covered fence near the picnic area.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Autumn Chill......

A chilly blustery day, but fine and dry. Started off at Freeman's Pool and there are 5 Goldeneye present, usual Gadwall, Little Grebe, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and today a Little Egret. I popped into the woods briefly, GS Woodpecker, Redwing and Treecreepers being the highlight. There is a noticeable increase in Chaffinch numbers all the way to the sewage works. The half a dozen or so Greenfinch are still present along the track, along with Goldfinch.
Wildfowlers’ Pool had 3 Little Grebe and 1 Kingfisher. Frog Pond was occupied by Canada Geese, 55ish. The Flood and surrounding fields had a few gulls and Redshank wandering about. On the marsh were 3 Little Egrets. A Kestrel was near the walled meadow. 
Last Sunday on my WeBS count there were up to 6 Rock Pipits near the pylons, it was almost a 10m tide which makes seeing these birds easier as they get pushed closer to the track. Today, at the works, apart from all the Chaffinch, 35ish, there were a good number of Blackbird around. I noticed snow on the Cumbrian Mountains. Also of note was a Peacock Butterfly.

Friday, 5 November 2010

More Weather.......

Managed a quick cycle round before the wet weather set in yet again. Freeman's Pool was where it was happening, Green Sandpiper being the highlight. Also on the pools were Gadwall, Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Mallard and Mute Swans. Had a look in the woods and saw plenty of Redwing, also a pair of Treecreepers busy flitting from tree to tree. There were around 6 Wrens between the gate and Marsh Point.
Wildfowlers’ Pool was flooded and nothing much to report other than Moorhens and a Little Egret in the far corner of the field. A Sparrowhawk flew over.
The area known as the Flood is now a substantial piece of water, and totally void of any birds when I looked. The marsh looked busy with gulls, I was scope less so couldn't go through them. 

Monday, 1 November 2010

The one that got away

A walk round with Steve yesterday was interupted by a couple of wildfowlers in the stubble fields. We anxiously watched as a greylag flew over the guns but lady luck was on it's side. It seemed fairly quiet, not sure why???
 A couple of goldcrests were in the hedge near weedy corner, a couple of water rails were squealing when the guns were discharged with a female shoveeler close by, one definite chiffchaff near darter pool and possibly another at Estuary Gate, a blackcap in the hedge opposite wildfowlers and 9 gadwall at Freemans pool.
Watched one of those flying latterns being blown high from east to west last night whilst walking the dog at 9pm and imagined all the little gems a wind like that would bring to Aldcliffe today.