Saturday, 25 April 2009

Caithness & Sutherland: April 2009.

Above: Ad female Surf Scoter, Dunnet Bay, Caithness - 25th April 2009.

Above: Adult Great-northern Diver, Sandside Bay, Caithness, 26th April 2009. GND's were present in every bay along the adopted patch (from just west of Strathy Point - Dunnet Bay), max 20 Dunnet Bay).

Above: Black-throated Divers, Melvich Bay, Sutherland, 26th Apr 2009.

Above: Long-tailed Ducks. 300+ in Dunnet Bay was the largest concentration I came across in late april, with much smaller numbers elsewhere, second highest count being 40 in Sandside Bay.

Other selected birds encountered during my time in Sutherland/Caithness in late April have been a distant, but excellent Rough-legged Buzzard watched through the scope for 40 minutes as it hunted along a ridge c5miles SW of Reay, at cNC935603 on 29th April. A female Marsh Harrier, which must be a notable bird this far north, near Melvich. The long staying drake Ring-necked Duck remained on Loch Calder, Apr 28th at least. 3 Arctic Terns in Sandside Bay on 27th Apr and a Little Tern on 28th April. A Slavonian Grebe on a suitable breeding loch for the past week, though I don't know if they breed this far north in Scotland and an 'older plumaged' White-tailed Eagle, green wing-tagged on the right wing, down to 50m briefly, but I didn't have my camera to hand!!!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Local birding: Little Gull, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 17th April 2009.

The tenth individual in the past two days and eleventh in total for the spring at the site thus far.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Local and NW birding - 16th April 2009.

A cracking days birding started with 3 Grey Plover briefly, a record site count for Brockholes of what is always a quality bird on the inland patch.

Above: 3 Grey Plover, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 16th April 2009.

with the intention of a prolonged session at Brockholes, I caved in some 4 hours in when Tim & Janet Davie arrived enroute to the Wirral for a Red-Rumped Swallow found by an old friend, Allan Conlin, on his local patch the previous evening.

The RRS ranged from reasonably close on a couple of occasions to very distant, but gave very pleasing scope views over a few hour period. Against a leaden grey sky and with an inferior camera lens, the images below are the best I could manage on a couple of occasions it came closer, but as always I look at it from the viewpoint that had I found the bird myself I had the record photographically documented regardless of the quality!

Above: Red Rumped Swallow, Carr Lane, Moreton, Wirral - 16th April 2009.

A reeling Grasshopper Warbler and a Common Sandpiper were both yearticks at the Swallow site.

Next was a visit to the excellent RSPB reserve at Inner Marsh Farm on the Dee Estuary, which did not disappoint.

Highlights were a drake Green-winged Teal, 3 drake Garganey and a colour ringed imm Spoonbill, whilst migrant yearticks were singing male Lesser whitethroat, singing Sedge Warbler and a Swift. A supporting cast included a ringtail Hen Harrier, 10 Little Egret, single Raven, 11 Spotted Redshank, 3 Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Avocets, several Pintail and reeling Grasshopper Warbler.

Above: Spoonbill, Inner Marsh Farm, Cheshire - 16th April 2009.

The history of sightings of this Spoonbill as follows:

colourrings :GYfG/BaL ringing place:NL Schiermonnikoog, Oosterkwelder 5329N-0609E
metalringnr :NLA .8048768 ringing age :nestling 97995
ringing date:10-06-07 sexe :unknown found dead: - -
date country and site or reserve observer days dist sexe
13-06-07 NL Schiermonnikoog Oosterkwelder RUG 3 0 km.
17-06-07 NL Schiermonnikoog Oosterkwelder RUG 7 0 km.
24-07-07 NL Lauwersmeer Jaap Deensgat H.& R.Oosterhuis 44 14 km.
05-08-07 NL Lauwersmeer Jaap Deensgat Eddie Douwma 56 14 km.
05-08-07 NL Lauwersmeer Ezumakeeg Eddie Douwma 56 17 km.
07-08-07 NL Lauwersmeer Achter de Zwarten Otto Overdijk 58 12 km.
12-08-07 NL Lauwersmeer Ezumakeeg Eddie Douwma 63 17 km.
07-11-07 GB Devon, Barnstaple River Taw David Churchill 150 755 km.
06-02-08 GB Devon, Chivenor Isley Marshes Roy Churchill 241 753 km.
22-03-08 GB Devon, Barnstaple River Taw BTO 286 755 km.
25-04-08 GB Kent Dungeness Tim Wright 320 461 km.
02-05-08 GB Norfolk Breydon Water Peter Allard 327 327 km.
04-05-08 GB Norfolk Berney Reserve Peter Allard 329 329 km.
07-05-08 GB Norfolk Breydon marshes Peter Allard 332 330 km.
15-05-08 NL Schiermonnikoog Oosterkwelder RUG TL 340 0 km.
19-05-08 NL Serooskerke Prunjepolder Mark Hoekstein 344 258 km.
01-06-08 NL Serooskerke Weversinlaag Hans Zegelaar 357 259 km.
03-06-08 NL Serooskerke Prunjepolder Sander Lilipaly 359 258 km.
13-06-08 GB Norfolk Breydon Water Peter Allard 369 327 km.
15-06-08 GB Suffolk Minsmere reserve Dave Fairhurst 371 349 km.
01-07-08 GB Suffolk Trimley Marshes Dave Langlois 387 382 km.
06-07-08 GB Suffolk Orford Ness Mike Marsh 392 358 km.
12-07-08 GB Suffolk Orford Ness Mike Marsh 398 358 km.
19-07-08 GB Suffolk Orford Ness Mike Marsh 405 358 km.
02-08-08 GB Suffolk Havergate Island David Fairhurst 419 355 km.
30-08-08 GB Norfolk Breydon marshes Peter Allard 447 330 km.
09-10-08 GB Devon, Chivenor Isley Marshes Robert Jutsum 487 753 km.
21-02-09 GB Devon, Barnstaple River Taw Stewart Beer 622 755 km.
08-03-09 GB Devon, Barnstaple River Taw Tim Jones 637 755 km.
05-04-09 GB Devon, Barnstaple River Taw Tim Jones 665 755 km.
13-04-09 GB Cheshire, Burton Dee estuary Paul David Shenton 673 619 km.
13-04-09 GB Cheshire, Burton Dee estuary Steve Seal 673 619 km.
14-04-09 GB Cheshire, Burton Dee estuary John Kirkland 674 619 km.
16-04-09 GB Cheshire, Inner Marsh Farm Bill Aspin 676 621 km.

Meanwhile, back at Brockholes, Cllr John F. Wright was fortunately in situ to document the arrival of first 4 Little Gull increasing to a record site count of 9 (7ads, 1adw, 1x2nd summer) as the afternoon progressed. Fortunately these stayed just long enough for me to fire off a record shot of the flock as they departed at 18:25.

Little Gulls (and Black-headed) Brockholes Wetland LWT - 16th April 2009.

A fitting end to an excellent day saw 7 Whimbrel and 44 Curlew to roost on the Main Pool in quite a raw E/NE wind by 20:40.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Local birding: Arctic Terns, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 15th April 2009.

Above: 2 Arctic Tern. Four in total through the site today: 2 briefly at 09:25 and 2 from 11:30-17:05 at least.
Below: 3 Pink-footed Geese

Also, an adult Kittiwake briefly and 2cy female Greater Scaup still present.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Common/Mealy Redpolls - East Lancs - 6th April 2009.

Some images by Pete Morris of a few of the 5+ Common/Mealy Redpolls currently visiting a private garden in the Longridge Fell area. Absolute crackers!

Above: Male Common/Mealy Redpolls
Below: male Lesser Redpoll.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Local birding: Brockholes Wetland LWT - 2nd & 3rd April 2009.

Above & below: Little-ringed Plover, River Ribble adj to Brockholes Wetland LWT - 3rd Apr 2009.

2nd Apr: 8hrs continuous scanning for Osprey in good visibility failed miserably for the target species, perhaps due to the easterly wind direction. 15 Common Buzzard in a single 360 degree scan was noteworthy. A pair of adult Med Gulls in flight over the vantage point, 1stw female Scaup and a single grounded Golden Plover onsite were other highlights.

3rd Apr: 3hrs Osprey scanning in hazy visibility from medium distance again drew a blank. A pair of adult Meds on No1 Pit inc. a metal ringed female.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Local birding: Osprey, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 1st April 2009.

The third Osprey for the site so far this spring, and my first of the year, appeared from the south at 15:45, fished the adj River Ribble for ten minutes, caught a Fish, then flew NE. Superb!