Saturday, 20 March 2010

March 8th-18th 2010.

Above: Water Vole, Rainham Marshes RSPB, London - 7th March 2010. Whilst watching the individual above I was fascinated to learn from a warden at the reserve that during the population crash of circa a couple of decades ago, numbers of this species at Rainham Marshes were not affected and as a result held 10% of the national population at the height of the 'crash'. Nowadays as numbers have recovered nationally, Rainham holds 1% of the population, with between 5,000-7,000 Water Vole estimated to be present on the reserve currently.

Above: drake American Wigeon, MMWWT, Lancs - 13th March 2010. Axillary colour not seen during time of observation, but a cracking bird otherwise!

Above & Below: 4 Med Gull (2pr), Brockholes LWT, Lancs - 18th March 2010. Fabulous birds and a single day site record count I think. Also, 5 Sand Martin, LRP and Ringed Plover seen.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Great Grey Shrike, Waddington Fell, Lancs - 6th March 2010.

An overdue twitch for the Waddington Fell/Grindleton adult Great Grey Shrike early afternoon was rewarded with good views of the bird on wires to the east of Slaidburn Rd, plus 2 Raven overhead.

A few hours with the wife in Clitheroe followed before nipping back up to the Fells with 50 minutes of light remaining and a hastily drawn up hit list of species to see within the timeframe: Great Grey Shrike, Hen Harrier, Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl, Tawny Owl and Little Owl.

The list proved a little over ambitious in the remaining light, with four of the six species seen. The Shrike obliged on arrival at 17:50, still actively hunting from trees and fencing and was followed by a drive around the wider area which produced Tawny Owl, 1+ Short-eared Owl, Little Owl and a bonus Woodcock which flew past at close range as darkness fell.