Monday, 26 March 2012

A lister in Lancashire

Redshank flying across Conder Creek, Conder Green
Had a ride down into Lancashire again stopping off a various places on route. I had a look round Cockersands and the Abby area, approx. 4-500 Golden Plover in field near Abby, but no Grey Plover to be found, which is what I was hoping for.

 Redshank again same place
From the Glasson area I moved on to knott End, where I found the Black Redstart that has been there for a while, and another addition to the year list.

Black Redstart

Black Redstart, a bit closer this time.
It wasn't that easy to keep up with as it kept flitting about from place to place. There was an amazing amount of butterflies about mainly Small Tortoiseshell, but also a few Peacocks.
   The spring flowers are everywhere now including this......

Wood Anemone.
Although this weather is just fine for me the little Westies are beginning to find it hard going and tend to cool off in any water they find. They are due for a clip now and have already tried to get in touch with Anne the girl that sorts them out for us.

They are fair enjoying it.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Cracking day

Decided to spent another Saturday with my mate Les over on the Isthmus, however I didn't expect to end up working my self !!. We knew at the start of the day that Les would be doing 2 launch runs on the lake, the first at 11-00 am and the second at 1-0pm. At 10-30 am Mike rang from shore side asking if Les would go across and take a party to Hawes End, this was the start of the work. A launch driver by law has to have 1 crew and as they were short on crew I was volunteered. (every little helps) so instead of 2 trips we ended up doing 7, on the plus side you get paid for birding, in effect.

The Lady Derwentwater heading in to Hawse End as we where coming out Pet driving it.

Greylag Goose coming into land, there are quite a few on the lake now, plus a few Canadas.

Is this your lucky day punk.

Always love the colours the male Mallard, but.....

Look at the wing bars on this female wing equally attractive.

And my mate Les at the wheel as we head back to Keswick landings. what a way to earn a shilling.
There was still a good number of Goosanders about and we saw a pair of Mergansers, quite a few Coot, 2 Cormorant and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A very enjoyable day.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Leighton Moss

Not quite as sunny as yesterday and consequently a little cooler, not quite what was forecast.
    Hoping to top up my year list I decided to head for Leighton. I called in first at the public hide along the causeway. There was nothing out of the ordinary and no sign of the Bearded Tits putting an appearance in, the pair of Great Black-backed Gulls have set up residence again in front of the public  hide.

Pair of Great Black-backed Gulls viewed from public hide.
 Next I had a quick look in at Lillian's hide, but as can be seen from pic. at certain times of the day when the sun is shinning it makes viewing difficult.

Sun in the eyes at Lillian's
For a change I called in at the Allan hide and got good views of Avocet and Little Egret, although at a distance.

Avocets feeding

Another good day but only added Chiffchaff to the year list although it is my first migrant of the year. I've had problem loading this post so isn't as good as I was hoping.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Birds of the castle

The forecast for the day was good so I had to make the effort and get an early start to try for another go at seeing the Hawfinch. This is about the forth time I have made the trip down to Sizergh Castle in the hope of seeing them but never had any luck. So I thought an early start would give me a better chance, and in fact it was 7-15 when I arrived. It was a cracking morning, there had been a frost but the sun was now well up and all the white stuff was disappearing fast.
      I parked up and waited camera at the ready, and as can be seen from the following pics I didn't have long to wait.

Male Hawfinch

Male Hawfinch

Male Hawfinch (you lookin at me ?)

Female Hawfinch

Then a pair came down together.

Female again

And male & female again.

And to finish off they were joined by this Chaffinch.
By just after 7-30 I was done and dusted, an enjoyable and successful  morning. Where to next?.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Not good on the West coast.

The day started off with an early morning walk with the Westies taking them up to Cowraik NR. On entering the reserve we were greeted by a Great-spotted woodpecker  hammering away, but as usual for this wood there was very little about apart from the commoner stuff.
       By 10 ish I was making my way over to the West coast, but things didn't turn out as good as I had hoped. I was going over in the hope the Glaucous Gull was still around, well there wasn't many gulls around period so no sign of the Glaucous. Also I had left the sun back in the East of the county, and there was a pretty nippy wind blowing.

A small party of Redshanks braving the wind and tide.

Juvenile Herring Gull.

Black-headed Gull with his summer suite on.
I slowly made my way North keeping an eye on the beach for anything that moved, but there was very little. Parking up at Skinburness I walked to Grune Point, seeing a few Skylarks on the way and also a few Twite. A thousand or more Pinkfeet where heading North it will be a hell of a lot colder where they are heading for. As the tide neared its height the wader roost built up, and a large raft of Scaup drifted up one of the creeks.

Skinburness life boat practising

Skylark with white ring on left leg

Came across this Buzzard perch on a hedge.

Same Buzzard, now being mobbed by 2 Fieldfares

Large areas of Grune are covered in Gorse, most of it in bloom.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Estuary Ducks

A pair of Shelduck 
Had a look round a local estuary today, making the most of the sun again before the rain that has been forecast sets in. Usually when I'm near the coast I tend to concentrate on waders, but just for a change I thought I would give the ducks chance, and couldn't resist, some giving good reflections.


An inquisative Teal

I couldn't resist taking more pics of  Pintail especially as we won't have them for much longer.

And the water was calm enough for reflections. Above is a pair , and obviously this and below are Male.

What a smart duck they are.

Also came accross a small flock of Tree Sparrows, this being one of them. and it added to my year list.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Swaning around

Out and about today and had Mrs Williams for company as it was her day off work.
       We caught up with a few Swans and 1 added to the year list

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Bewick's Swan, the smallest of our Swans

Bewick's Swan

Whooper Swan (full reverse engines)

 Formation fly-pass, Whoopers

Come on you guys give me some landing space, 3 Whoopers.

Black Swan


                                            For those not familier with our Swans, (and when I say ours, it has to be said that the Bewick's and the Whooper are winter visitors to our shores)  The bill markings are the main difference, with those on the Whooper extending beyond the nostrils, and stopping short on the Bewick's. And of course the Mute is totally different.