Sunday, 22 May 2011

Grasshopper warbler

One reeling this afternoon, heard but not seen, from the top path opposite wildfowlers.
2 sedge warblers still calling close by.
A very confiding common whitethroat near the bund.
A little ringed plover on the flood.
Mute swans reoccupying their nest site on darter pool.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Swift Session

Dan here.

A brief early evening visit didn't turn up too much, but 75 swifts sweeping up flies over Freeman's Wood as low rainclouds hit the town was a pleasant sight.

So was Guy's splendid drake pochard on Freeman's Pools.

Also noted in the parish were a pair of red-legged partridges near the sewage works, a whimbrel and 3 little ringed plovers.


Monday, 16 May 2011


A male pochard was present on Freemans pool this afternoon.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Mob Handed....

Miserable weather today doing WeBS count, brightened up by a female Marsh Harrier, seen from Conder Green, headed up to Aldcliffe with a mob of corvids and Oystercatchers. Met Guy briefly, he saw Sedge Warbler on the track, Buzzard and Kestrel at trig point. I heard plenty of Whitethroats and Blackcaps. The Lapwing with chick is still present on Wildfowlers’ Pool, the maize fields have been cultivated so who knows about any others! Freeman’s Pool was pretty quiet, Little Grebe and Tufted Duck. There were a number of Swifts, Swallows and few House Martins over pools. 9 Eider were present on the river.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Winter lingerers and scarce summer visitors

A couple of winter lingerers were at Aldcliffe today. A lone wigeon at freemans pools and a snipe on wildfowlers. A little ringed plover was in this area also. One of the advantages of being a patch watcher is experiencing annual occurences of eccentric bird behaviour. Today this was provided by house sparrows. Small numbers of  house sparrows use the hedges between darter and wildfowlers for feeding before flying off in the direction of Willow Lane, presumably to feed their broods. What attracts them to these specific hedges is a mystery but must make the round trip of about a kilometre worthwhile.

4 singing sedge warblers, chiffchaff, willow warblers, whitethroat and blackcap were noted. 3 wheatear and two tufties were also present.


Sunday Morning............
Much the same, including 3 Wheatears, Wigeon and 2 LRP on Wildfowlers and Peregrine on pylon.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Quick 'Wits

Dan here.
Today's weather promised much but delivered little.
A morning visit to Aldcliffe was enlivened by
this party of black-tailed godwits which
fed at Freeman's Pools for a while 
before moving on.
A common sand here also.
4 whimbrels were
noted in the parish

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Coastal birding was made of Sterna stuff

Dan here. I too was out and about on the patch today so you lucky bloggers will get 2 for the price of one today.

A few bits and pieces today but sadly nothing mega. My best sightings were as follows:

A flock 6 arctic terns heading East inland mid-morning (cf. today's mammoth tern passage at Heysham).

A flock of 65 bar-tailed godwits headed upstream NNW and up over Snatchems.

Up to 8 whimbrel in typical haunts. A greenshank and a wigeon Freeman's Pony Pools.

Two pulses of common swifts (18 and 13 NE early morning--my first of the year here ).

A male whinchat on the marsh by Gull Bank was also a patch year tick.

The next best passerines included two garden warblers (thanks Garry), a flyover tree pipit and 35 NE-bound sand martins.

Breeding wader interest came in the form of 3 lapwing chicks and 3 adult little ringed plovers.

Fourteen eider drifted up the river on the rising tide. Pictured: a whitethroat, hawthorns and insects...


Grasshopper warbler

First visit to the patch for a while, I have been in Scotland climbing and chilling. I had a wander round the wood hoping for a Wood Warbler, instead I was treated to a Grasshopper Warbler, along with Blackcap, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, not bad at all. Also present were Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Wren and the usual tits and Robins.
I had a look on the pools, and saw three horses actually in the reserve, luckily a pair from lancswt were there, also assessing the damage being done to the fences by our lurcher friends! The mind boggles. At least no one was picnicking on the island today!
On the Wildfowlers’ Pool were a couple of Shelduck and a LRP. Various Whitethroats were singing along the track, I was almost squashed by a nutter speeding along the track, no joke doing at least 40mph, watch out for this one, he is a regular joyrider, silver/grey Vauxhall thing!  
A number of butterflies were present today, along with a cockchafer.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Freeman's Wood Warbler

An off-passage wood warbler was to be found in Freeman's Wood this morning. The first Aldcliffe area record for some years.

Several siskins were heard to pass over the wood (in the very long gaps between wood warbler song bursts), and a little-ringed plover was noted nearby.

A lesser whitethroat and a nuthatch were singing at Fairfield Orchard.