Saturday, 30 October 2010

Possible Lapland Bunting

Started off rom the sewerage works at 10.00 and got back there at about 1.00. A beautiful morning with bright red autumnal colours in the hedges and blackberry bushes. The smell of dying, fermenting vegetation in the railway cutting smelt like beer brewing. I wish October could go on forever. Two other birders were also making the most of it. One had seen a chiffchaff at the estuary gates.
My sightings included 5 pied wags and one grey wag in the sewerage works. 3 goldcrest on the cycle track at Stodday and a treecreeper accompanying a tit flock on the way back. 50 widgeon under the pylons and about 50 golden plover on gull bank. A little egret on the marsh and 25 fieldfares along Dawsons bank.
On the marsh towards Marsh Point I heard 2 skylark overhead. Accompanying them was a slightly smaller passerine with a blunt head, not as heavily built breastand slightly narrower wings. Unfortunately I didn't hear a flight call. I had a good view of the silhouette of this bird for about 30 seconds before landing on the marsh so I was able to get a good comparison with the skylarks. Being an honest person I won't put this down as life tick but add it to the long list of possible and probables I seem to have.
A little grebe , 9 heron  2 goldeneye and 3 tufted ducks were all in the vicinity of freemans pool. Pishing round the sycamores in Freemans wood brought down a few tits and finches.


Thursday, 28 October 2010


Had a bash through Freeman's Wood for an hour or so, flushed at least 3 Woodcock. Plenty of Redwing and Blackbirds, couldn't count them as they were very mobile. On the pools were 2 Goldeneye new in, along with the usual. Quite a bit if water coming down the Lune after recent rainfall, so Marsh Point was quiet. A Kestrel was hunting over the fields. The recently harvested maize fields saw hundreds of Greylag Geese feeding, good influx of Woodpigeon and Corvids. On the track were half a dozen Greenfinch, various groups of Goldfinch and few Chaffinch.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Hardened Flytippers

A quick visit to the patch today  revealed 5 little egret on the marsh, c. 20 fieldfare round weedy corner, little grebe and a few teal on wildfowlers, a juvenile mute swan on the tiny pond right next to Dawsons bank, a gadwall on Bank Pool, lots of corvids on the maize fields with a few chaffinch and reed bunting.
I seem to lose concentration in certain areas of the patch. One of these is at the footpath through Freemans leading to Marsh Point. I flushed a slender passerine feeding in the leaf litter which quickly disappeared in to the trees and couldn't be relocated. I think I may have missed out on something half decent.
A greensandpiper and redshank were on the flood with an empty packet of viagra close by.


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

A-maize-ing time............

Started at the sewage works, my initial observation was of Blackbirds, about 25 in the small trees. 2 Grey Wagtails, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest, along with 4 Dunnock, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, and Wren also present. I headed north and about 25 Fieldfare flew over, NW, a Great Crested Grebe was on the river. At the railway cutting, more Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Dunnock and a flock of 9 Long-tailed Tits present. 2 Little Egrets were on the marsh. A flock of 18 Jackdaw were in the dead tree on the hillside.
No sign of Brambling spotted yesterday, though the track from railway crossing was very busy with tractors and little else, the Maize is being harvested, so hopefully will be plenty of birds on the stubble very soon. Wildfowler’ Pool 2 Little Grebe and a few Teal present. On the flood I was pleased to see a Water Rail skulking about.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Galliformes and Ratite’s………?

As I approached the sewage works, at the new stables, there are some  Golden Pheasants and Rhea’s in an enclosure, which added a bright colour and interest to an otherwise dull cloudy day. Another flash of colour in the form of a Goldcrest, which was accompanying a fast moving flock of Long-tailed Tits was seen in the trees surrounding the works. Peering over the fence I saw at least 20 Pied Wagtails, five were Alba. Continuing up the track to Freeman’s there were three more flocks of tits, one with a Chiffchaff in tow. 
Gull bank had mainly Lapwing with some Golden Plover and Dunlin on the mud. Three Little Egrets were on the Marsh, with Mute Swans, Curlews and a couple of Snipe. In the fields were Canada’s and Greylags. The Flood and Wildfowler’ were populated with Moorhen and Mallard.
Had a wander through Freeman’s Wood, nothing much about, not that I saw anyway. I did notice a good number of Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Robins. Also present were four Dunnock, two Jay and my first of the autumn two Redwing.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Last visit to the patch

Unfortunately, my many social engagements(!) have prevented me from doing any useful birding during my stay in the area, but I managed a decent trawl around the Parish of Aldcliffe this afternoon. This will probably be my last visit to the old patch for some time...
Naturally, my ears were straining for the sounds of a flyover Lapland bunting, or a yellow-browed warbler in the sycamores, but neither materialised.
To be honest, there wasn't a great deal around, the few highlights being:
4 little egret on the marsh
6 gadwall & tufted duck (Freeman's Pools)
5 little grebe ( "   " & Darter Pool)

There were 3 roe deer at Freeman's Pools too. 

Jon C.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Springing into Autumn........

Beautiful day, felt more like Spring, and a leisurely walk/bike around the old Parish, so leisurely in fact I forgot I was bird watching and spent quite a bit of time taking photographs, chatting to people and chilling out watching the world go by. The birds I did manage to take notice of were, Green Sandpiper on the Wildfowlers’ Pool. At least 9 Little Egrets, plenty of Curlew, and a Peregrine spooked hundreds of Lapwing on the far shore. Various Skylark flying over, approx 9, and at least the same amount of Wheatear. A raven was on the marsh. The Canada and Greylag were close to the bank thanks to the high tide. Flushed a couple of Snipe on the shoreline, and also came across a very rotten dead Buzzard, also a living one soaring way above. A quick look at the sewage works produced about a dozen Pied Wagtails.  

Patch work.

Boy, it was a touch breezy out there yesterday (Wednesday)!
I took a stroll by Freeman's Pools (highlight being a female tufted duck), then along the marsh sea wall path before returning along the cycle track. Birds seen along the way included c450 greylags, 200ish Canada geese, little egret, wigeon, green sandpiper, etc,
I couldn't find any migrant passerines at all - just a couple of grey wagtails over. Even the sheltered area around the walled meadow was bereft of birds.
I was amazed by the lack of common autumnal species - blackbirds, robins etc. Hedgerow activity was disappointing, to say the least. A lone goldcrest was the only thing of note.
Quite a few common darters and, presumably migrant, hawkers were seen.

Jon C.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Back in the Saddle

Hello, Jon C here.
After a getting reacquainted with the Stone Jetty yesterday, I had a stroll around Aldcliffe this afternoon. Old habits die hard. Having not seen the likes of little egret, mistle thrush, moorhen, pied wagtail, etc for 12 months, I rather enjoyed it.
Highlights included a green sandpiper and pair of Eurasian wigeon on the Wildfowlers' Pools, and 6 little grebe and a pair of gadwall on Freeman's Pools. A party of 6 barn swallows passed through.
Let the good times roll!