26/01/2014 Pennington Flash

Willow Tit: Yesterday I spent a very pleasant   morning dodging the dog walkers and Saturday morning runners down at penny.

I started the morning off at the Bunting Hide were I came across this little dude, who had a deformed claw. I first Thought it was Trichomosis but this is a respiratory disease - Mr Woollens thoughts are that it may have broken its leg and it has healed in a deformed way.

Bullfinch: The feeding station was busy with a flurry of different species. The highlights being a large flock of Bullfinches a male GS Woodie and a few Jay.

Jay: I was hoping to see or hear the Cetti's Warbler which has been frequenting the reeds around one of the hides and I was hoping to get lucky and pick up a white winger among the gulls, but after looking and looking I never turned up anything special.

Goldeneye: The best of the rest from around penny's pools where Goldeneye and several Goosander and a few Kingfisher calling and whizzing past Tom Eds.

19/01/2014 Hindley

Glossy Ibis: Nice to see Hindley's Glossy is still there doing well, its been in the same couple of small fields since the end of December.
Unfortunately  the bird has chosen the worst light fields as its on private land and the only access faces directly into the sun!

12/01/2014 Pennington Flash

Kittiwake: After being treated to some nice views, of two ring tail Hen Harriers over Parkgate Marsh Dawn and I made our way back home via penny for the lost Kittiwake.

I know Kittiwake is an excellent record for penny, reading Manchester Birding Forum (Ian McKerchar), with only seven previous January records and six in February, spread over the past 40 years or so!

So I am glad to have made the trip even though the light was flat and frustratingly rubbish - roll on the long summer days.

Would of loved the Yank Coot though.

12/01/2014 Burton Marsh

Siberian Chiffchaff: I was happy to have finally caught up with Burton Marsh's Sibe Chiffy after dipping it a few times.

This bird showed incredibly well along the  hawthorn bushes alongside the new coffee shop.

Burton Marsh was not only covered in pipits including the BBP which I saw a couple of times along the strand line, but also birders! The place was chocca today.  

11/01/2014 Moore NR

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker: Today I was hoping for some good gulls, but unfortunately the rain has made its way in to my scope so a trip to Richmond Bank was put on hold and myself and Allan McBride decided on a trip to Moore.
This was Alan's first visit here, I was hoping to show him Kingfisher and Iceland Gull, I also mentioned we might be in for a chance of a LS Woodie, but I never really thought we would be lucky enough to catch up with one.
After a quick walk past the Lapwing Lake hide and visit to the feeding station we walked around the small wood between and heard the distinctive drumming of the small woodpecker.
From behind us this bad boy appeared and gave us a great show just as the clouds parted and the blue skies in came in to view.

Alan and I walked over to the Phoenix Hide via Birchwood and Pumphouse Pool - both of which were void of any gulls!
I was disappointed about the lack of gulls but it was great to see the LS Woddie, a few mixed flocks of Siskin and Redpoll and it was nice to catch up with Alan.

10/01/2014 Marbury Country Park

Bittern: Today I was at Marbury Country Park doing a spot of profile raining for Cheshire Wildlife Trust as they manage the reedbed, a lovely boardwalk trail and woodlands all part of Budworth Mere.

Which is currently home to two Bitterns and an impressive Starling roost.

After a longish wait and a frustrating scan over the reedbed one of the Bitterns was found hiding, we watched it for about 20 minutes before a Grey Heron flew in and pushed the Bittern out of sight.
Song Thrush: I then stopped off at Newmans Flash hoping to see the Green Winged Teal, however after scanning over hundreds of common Teal I gave in!

05/01/2014 Hoylake

Waders: Back to the Wirral to make the most of the last of the high tides and I wasn't disappointed as the Hoylakes high tide wader roost put on a good show.

This is always a stunning sight, we had tons of Sanderlings, Knot and Grey Plover only 10-25ft away from the prom.

Peregrine Falcon: Tom and I were enjoying the free entertainment that the flocks of waders were putting on for us until they all took off at once and out of nowhere this female Peregrine swoop in and took a Sanderling (I think).

Wheatear: Before attending the Hoylakes wader roost I made it down to Burton Marsh in search of the Siberian Chiffchaff - no luck unfortunately, but I did see the female Wheatear which has been hanging around for a while.

The highlight of the day was most certainly Hoylakes high tide wader roost, however it was very disturbing to see so many obtuse, thoughtless, ignorant DOG WALKERS just happily walking across the roost and disturbing the waders! Is this a case of uneducated folk who need the correct info or do these people not care? I mean if I saw a bunch of birders looking at a large flock of birds, or a small part of beach with thousands of flocking waders circling the skies waiting to drop back and roost I would think twice and walk on the path.  

04/01/2014 Broomhead Reservoir

Red Grouse: Not long now until I go back to work, and I am keen to get out and make the most of my time off and fit as much birding in as possible!

So Dawn and I decided to go to Broomhead in search of Two Barred and Common Crossbill.

On the way up over Woodhead we spotted several Red Grouse looking as equally unimpressed as me with the dark, dank weather conditions.
Common Crossbill: And FINALLY after chasing Common Xbill for a while now, and taking the stick that comes with not having them on my list, here we have it, Common Xbill.
Along with this flock of around 20 commons I spotted three Two Barred Xbill showing within the dim light of the forest before getting scared away by a low flying Woodcock.

I am made up I saw the Cmmon Xbills but even more happier that I saw the Clitheroe Two Barred the light was much better and the bird was much more confiding.

03/01/2014 Parkgate Marsh

Short Ear Owl: With the weather forecast predicting 70mph winds and knowing there was going to be a 10.1 meter high tide I thought I would spend my day watching the Parkgate  high tide extravaganza!
Field Mouse: All the predators had their eyes peeled for small mammals like this Field Mouse. I witnessed Black Headed Gulls feasting on mice and rats and local Herons stuffing their crops!

I also counted three SE Owls, two Kestrels and one ring tail Hen Harrier all on the hunt for an easy meal.
Short Ear Owl: The highlight of the day was this SE Owl which came in close before soaring right over my head before disappearing past the houses.

Although the forecast got it a bit wrong as the winds were not that strong, it was still a very windy, very damp and very grim day, I was kind of gutted as when the SE Owl came close the clouds closed in and light was lost! However the day was brightened up my watching thousands of birds flying around Parkgate Marsh.

Water Rail: It wasn't just Field Mice and other small mammals getting pushed off the marsh by the tide. I counted eight Water Rail scampering for their lives off the flooded marsh.

Great White Egret: It was also great to see this GW Egret making the most of the 'fast' food!