Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Local birding: Knot, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 17th May 2009.

The three lovely summer plumaged Knot present for the 2nd day.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Local birding: Brockholes Wetland LWT - 16th May 2009.

Three superb summer plumaged Knot today is the 23rd site record totalling 35 individuals for the period Aug 1998-16th May 2009.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Local birding: Avocets, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 13th May 2009.

As someone who missed the first long awaited site record of Avocet three weeks ago, I could hardly have hoped to unblock this bird so soon afterwards. Two birds present on the Main Pool unfortunately departed the site unseen just prior to 08:00. Fabulous birds and a joy to behold during the time they were present. As this species continues to spread and has now found the site, perhaps we can anticipate records annually from now on? Time will tell.

Above: Turnstone. Below: Garganey - Brockholes Wetland LWT - 13th May 2009.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Local birding: Garganey, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 11th May 2009.

Above & below: Drake Garganey, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 11th May 2009. Nowadays regarded as a scarce but annual double passage migrant to the reserve, there can be few other county sites which can boast a similar number of records for this species over the past nine calendar years. Since the first two site records in 2001, there were 10 records totalling 16 individuals up to the end of 2005, including a whopping party of 6 in early autumn 2005. Four further individuals in 2006 brought the site total to 20 individuals by the time the site was purchased by the LWT. Post purchase, a brief analysis of records reveals as many as 11 individuals bringing the total to as many as an incredible 31 birds, though in a couple of cases at least, two single drakes in different years were considered to be commuting between Brockholes and other sites (the adj River Ribble and Alston Wetland) over a period of time respectively. Even allowing for duplication, the site total is in the mid-high 20's nontheless, Remarkable!

Yesterdays Red-necked Grebe did indeed prove to be a one-day wonder, much to the chagrin of the few birders who were onsite this morning hoping it would remain overnight. Hopefully the drake Garganey on the Main pool was some compensation.

Single Dunlin & Whimbrel and two new-in Grasshopper Warbler were nice, but an Osprey briefly fishing the adjacent River Ribble at midday before flying north was an even better reward for the fortunate observer, John Hoyes.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Local birding: Red-necked Grebe, Brockholes Wetland LWT - 10th May 2009.

Hot on the heels of the Avocets, this stunning summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe becomes the second new species to be recorded at the site in the past three weeks. Found by Allen Holmes on No1 Pit mid-morning, the RNG was much appreciated by a steady stream of admirers during the course of the day.

For info, total records of the scarcer Grebes at the site in the period Aug 1998-May 2009 as follows:

Black-necked Grebe: 4 records totalling 5 individuals.

1) Juvenile on the Main Pool from 22nd-26th July 2001.

2) Adult on No1 Pit from 15th-23rd Sept 2006.

3) A pair of summer plumaged adults on the Main Pool on 6th May 2007.

4) Juvenile on No1 Pit from 7th-9th July 2008.

Red-necked Grebe:

1) Summer plumaged bird on No1 Pit, 10th May 2009.


Now bring on the first Slav Grebe for the site................

Sunday, 3 May 2009

White-billed Diver, Burghead, Moray - 2nd May 2009.

Well if I can't find one myself, twitch one instead. A superb adult summer bird found the previous day was fortunately still present on the day I travelled back south, the pager message coinciding with my location just 14miles from Inverness. Within the hour i was onsite, but with no other observers present initially. Fortunately I located the bird on the sea, half way to the horizon in a sea with quite a swell after only ten minutes searching and what an absolute stunning stonker it was even at that range, with a bill like a beacon of ivory, so obvious even in later views 2/3 out to the horizon. What a thrill it must have been for the finder.