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Monday, 22 April 2013

they've all landed

The previous posts were leading up to this I guess. All the migrants have suddenly landed on my patch. Initially the Chifchaffs, Blackcaps and Goldcrests have been around for a week or two while the Willow Warblers have finally landed. 

Those of a less robust constituition and do not want to see nature in the raw may prefer to leave the room now.

The first brood of Mallards appeared and I would think on what was their first swim. Seven young with mum, but it seems two became separated more or less straight away and were hanging around with five juvenile males. A Grey Heron didn't need a second invitation. While a bit distant these record shots illustrate nature in all it's detail. Then there were six.

I came across four Willow Warblers in the morning and four in the afternoon. Plus possible others as they were fairly mobile. They are seen on exactly the same stretch of habitat and walk I do regularly but only one male chiffchaff is singing. The light is always against me and the scrub quite dense so 'picking' them out can be problematic. Again not necessarily all the same bird and one appears to have a mite investation or a problem with its lower leg/ankle/feet.

Anyhoo... the Willow Warblers have landed and this fine male Blackcap was singing and when I returned a little later, he had company with a female Blackcap in the same location... the very same location I had seen them at last year.

A singing male Blackcap, where do they get their names?

Some bits n bobs

I managed a couple of hours off my local patch and was delighted to see a pair of Dippers and this Grey Wagtail. 

I think I said in an earlier email, there were four Bullfinch visiting the garden and just a record shot through the window with an old camera to record three feeding together. The male at the top appears to be the dominant male and has a brighter red chest, whereas the male at the bottom is more 'pink'. Normally they come in pairs and I'm surprised they tolerate this other male, while no evidence does make me wonder if it is their offspring, although he does get seen off if gets too cocky or close!

Just recently I have seen the male Bullfinch appearing more on their own, which may be a good sign... only time will tell.

Back on my patch I was surprised to see two Redwing in mid-April, high in the canopy, I guess on their way home.

And just glad the Tornado is on our side... and as long as he doesn't have any accidents with those things strapped under the wings near my house, always glad to see them.

more chaff's

All been happening on my local patch just recently, you know the score...

I was surprised by the probable Noctule Bat as it was flying and feeding at lunchtime and as it was flying away from me at distance, it at first looked like it might be a swallow... clearly not. THANKS to www.lalows.blogspot.co.uk/ for the id. Goldcrests have been evident with several sightings, inlcuding three together at once, and this chiffchaff was fairly accommodating even though it took quite some time to allow me anywhere near... it was not going to sing though!

it will be ruining my apple crop next... but a fair swap 
waz zat camera shutter noise?

best I could manage in deep scrub

flying at lunchtime!




It's a chaff

or is it, I'm not so sure.

A couple of images for my reference and what I thought was a chiffchaff ... not necessarily all the same bird...

female wigeon landing

my garden visitors

my local resident(s)



Chiffchaff, thought the dogwood was a bit different

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Black and white and shades of grey

Some images from out  'n about. Sanderling, wonderful litle birds at Rossall, a Grey Plover along with a flagged Turnstone (look forward to seeing the results) and an all-alone Black-tailed Godwit from Newton March where the water has been too high in the roadside pools for much to be seen.

There were two Canada Geese (not shown) on the marine lake and I did wonder, but no doubt locals – if not do let me know.

The Sanderling made me smile as they stood on one leg and turned like a weather vane into the prevailing and severely, bitterly cold easterly wind. The Grey Plover was a nice surprise before some mutt decided to take a dislike to me and harassed me around the beach having sent everything skyward of course. It wouldn't come quite close enough to get a monopod stuck where the sun doesn't shine. Of course it isn't the dogs fault but the owners. I had word.

Why Councils bother with 'keep your dogs on a lead' signs I have absolutley no idea... more waste of public funds (without enforcement). Which reminds me... 

(last image)... one from my archives (professionally I am something of an expert on signing [somebody has to do it, well when they don't is when it goes pear-shaped] ... Royal Mail and Manchester Airport were all my fault... mind you we reduced complaints at Ringway by 60% in the first few months with new signing).


Grey Plover, one of three
other photos confirmed it as 'BD'

which I could scratch my back...

5 species in one photo, I'll let you name them

Monday, 1 April 2013

By a short head

I'm going to have to find a different route – I can't drive past without stopping (well depends on the number of visitors).

Mr Cookson and I did our best to ignore each other being at opposite ends of the field being cut by the farmer but eventually spent a very enjoyable couple of hours watching two shorites collecting the casulaties and having a chat – THANKS David.

As always just too far away for the photos to be much good (and I can't be, err bothered to process them) but 'neece' to see as always...