Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Local patch: Brockholes NR LWT - 7th Feb 2012.

The cold weather wader spectacular on the local patch got better this morning with the arrival of 2 Knot, joining the 5 Grey Plover which had remained overnight. The Grey Plover commute between No1 Pit where they roost etc and fields just upstream to feed. One Knot went wth them, but I could't relocate it in the fields. I never expected to see Grey Plovers field-feeding locally!

Above: 5 Grey Plover & 1 Knot head over the 'Family Hide' viewpoint en route to feed in fields just NE of the site.

Above: A fine adm Peregrine landed on the newly re-profiled island just out from the Visitor Village late morning.

I always get a buzz from clinching colour ring details and today Pete Bainbridge and I clinched a colour-ringed Black-headed Gull each.

Above: 'My bird' - Black-headed Gull 270G was colour-ringed as a pullus on Lough Mask, Co. Mayo on 13/06/09 and is the first re-sighting since that date. It was colour-ringed as part of a project on both Common and Black-headed Gulls and is only the 2nd individual that has so far been re-recorded in England (Black-headed Gull 252B was recorded near Falmouth in Cornwall on 05/01/10 and 03/01/12).

Below: 'Pete's bird' - Black-headed Gull E5JL ringed in the Netherlands on 2nd June 2010:

Subsequent reports after ringing:

06/04/2010 Zoetermeer, you Huizer puddle 5204.35 N 431.54 E colorring read (Benny Middendorp)

03/20/2011 Zoetermeer, you Huizer puddle 5204.35 N 431.54 E colorring read (Maarten Kleinwee)

21/03/2011 Zoetermeer, you Huizer puddle 5204.35 N 431.54 E colorring read (Benny Middendorp)

04/01/2011 Zoetermeer, you Huizer puddle 5204.35 N 431.54 E colorring read (Benny Middendorp)

04/02/2011 Zoetermeer, you Huizer puddle 5204.35 N 431.54 E colorring read (Maarten Kleinwee)

04/18/2011 Zoetermeer, you Huizer puddle 5204.35 N 431.54 E colorring read (Benny Middendorp)

02/07/2012 Brockholes Nature Reserve, Nr Preston, Lancashire, GB 5346.00 N 2.35 W color ring read (Peter Bainbridge).

No species of interest could be found in the Fishmoor Gull roost, although I was delighted to clinch the ring details of a Common Gull (Left: white darvic X16K. Right: Metal), thought to be German, but I am awaiting confirmation of this.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Local patch: Grey Plovers - Brockholes NR LWT, Lancs - 6th Feb 2012.

The past week has seen some obvious cold weather movement sightings, including a grounded flock of feeding Golden Plover on the adjacent floodplain which is a rarity at Brockholes. Numbers of grounded Golden Plover peaked at 23, but today I had a rather whopping flock of 79 over the site.

Most unexpected in this cold weather movement though has been the WINTER records of Grey Plover, unprecedented at the site in the period Aug 1998 - Present. As if the first ever winter record on January 31st wasn't noteworthy enough, the events of today would have been outstanding for Grey plover records in Spring or Autumn, never mind early February!

I arrived onsite in the fog and was only able to see the ghostly shapes of a few Lapwing on No1 Pit island and a few Gulls. After thirty minutes of futility the fog began to dissapate and a robust Plover could be faintly made out amongst the increasing number of visible Lapwing. It had to be a Grey, and so it proved.

The day had turned into a stunner, with glorious blue sky, so I made my way to the 'East Bank' (every patch should have one!) to check whether the grounded Golden Plover flock was still present. A scan across the river with 'Bins' initially revealed nothing, then in the furthest field four Plover were noted, feeding close against the furthest hedgerow. Expecting Goldies, I was amazed to see four Grey Plover through the scope! The birds fed for a few minutes more until flushed by a Crow and they did a nice flypast in good light as they flew onsite and onto No1 Pit island where they joined the single Grey. Five is a site record count.

Above & below: Grey Plover.

Below: 79 Golden Plover.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Local birding: Greenland White-fronted Goose - Rishton Reservoir, Lancs - 4th Feb 2012.

The sole remaining, long-staying adult Greenland White-front, present in the area since 1st Dec 2011, showed well for a time just off the promenade as all birds were confined to a strip of unfrozen water on the eastern side.

But as with Steven Grimshaws observations the day before, it is becoming very restless and may not be with us much longer? During my time onsite, the bird initially looked settled but then began to fly around doing circuits of the site, calling frequently, and was last seen heading east alone, lost to view behind trees and did not return in the fifteen minutes I remained onsite.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Lancs: 25th Jan 2012.

A fair amount of effort today started with a 1.5hrs of attempted Gull watching at Whinney Hill Tip. The Gulls were not being cooperative, so I moved on to Rishton Reservoir, Brockholes, and Over Wyre where I failed to find anything amongst the three sizeable groups of Pink-feet I located and I eventually succumbed to twitching the Knott End Black Redstart. A Little Egret showed well on the saltmarsh at Knott End. Three small herds of Whooper Swans totalling 18 birds were seen whilst driving around in the search for Pink-feet.

I headed back via Eagland Hill where a flock of c30 Corn Bunting came up from stubble, perching nicely in a roadside Hawthorn. Nothing of note was seen in the Fishmoor Res Gull roost.

Above: Black Redstart - KnottEnd.
Below: Corn Buntings - Eagland Hill.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Local birding, East Lancs: Shag, Jumbles Reservoir - 22nd Jan 2012.

News emerged mid-afternoon of a Shag at Jumbles Reservoir on the Lancs/Gtr. Manchester boundary, apparently present for several days. The county boundary effectively cuts the reservoir in two, the northern half being in Lancashire, and more importantly, within the area controlled by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. The Shag seemingly shows good taste and favours the Lancashire end, at least whilst I was watching it.

This is only the second record of this species for the Blackburn with Darwen area that I am aware of, the only other previous record coming from Fishmoor Reservoir in Nov 1996.

The bird is very confiding at times, and has been showing down to a few feet.

The favoured roosting position during my visit was a small grassy ledge at the base of the rock face on the opposite side of the inflow at the northern end, all too easy to walk past unnoticed.