Sunday, 29 August 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
I fear United Utilities may be tightening the noose re access to Guide Res. More fencing has gone up, blocking the access point of recent winters which involved squeezing through the gap and around the fencing blocking the track. Access is still possible across the ditch (whilst water levels are low!), but the banking on the Guide Reservoir side of the ditch has been cleared. I hope i'm wrong but this could be for a reason. If UU put fencing along this side of the ditch, then we may be screwed re access to the banking of Guide Res. This would mean no way of scanning the roof. If so, an absolute disaster for law abiding citizens such as my good self who have been watching this Gull roost for nigh on twenty years only to suffer the consequences of the actions of lowlife scum from neighbouring estates who vandalise the site! Rant over... for now!
Friday, 27 August 2010
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Other notable birds seen from the apartment balcony included: Golden Oriole (Max 6 on 23rd Aug), Serin (Max 4 on 19th Aug), one Western Bonelli's Warbler (19th), 1 Short-toed Treecreeper (19th), Green Woodpecker (regularly calling), Great-spotted (regularly calling) and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (the latter, a male calling on four dates, at times frustratingly close, but never seen), Red-backed Shrike (one female, on 18th Aug), several Crag Martin and 20-30 Alpine Swift which were amongst a flock of 50+ Swift hawking over the ridge prior to 09:00 one morning, the rest being Common/Pallid Swifts. Padders included Blue & Great Tits, Greenfinches, Chaffinch Blackcaps and Nuthatches.
Birds seen in the area included: 15 Mediterranean Gull amongst numerous Black-headed Gull, 40+ Yellow-legged Gulls, 100+ Common Tern, 100+ Sandwich Tern, 5 juv Black Tern, 6 Ringed Plover, 3 juv LRP, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret, 1 Melodious Warbler, 1 male Cetti's Warbler, 7 Indian Silverbill, Sparrowhawk and 5 Crag Martin.
Prior to visiting our favourite perched village in the region, the stunning Gourdon, for an evening meal, a walk around the perched village of Tourrettes-Sur-Loup on the evening of 22nd saw a family party of Crag Martin giving stunning, point blank views from the viewpoint at the southern end of the village. Sadly, i didn't have the DSLR to hand. A Golden Oriole also did a nice flypast.
The 23rd Aug and final day saw a trip to Sainte Marguarite Island, location where 'The Man In The Iron Mask' was imprisioned for eleven years. A couple of Crag Martin and Swift sp (Common/Pallid) patrolled the seafront at Juan les Pins whilst we awaited the boat to the island. Once on Sainte Marguarite and following a lengthy and interesting tour of the Fort and Museum, I sped off to spend the final hour at a hide overlooking a pool on the island. 2 Black-winged Stilts, inc. a smart juvenile, saved the day ornithologically. Other birds on the pool included 2 Little Egret, 18 Grey Heron, 5 Common Tern, 40 Black-headed Gull, 2 juv Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Common Sandpiper and 2 juv Common Redshank.
So, in summary, The primary mission objective was achieved. Ornithologically, given the nature of the holiday I can't complain either!
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Apart from 2 Ringed Plover and a juv Shelduck > west, It had been quiet for the first 2hr 20min of my visit, when this 3CY Yellow-legged Gull dropped in for ten minutes mid morning, 8th site record.
Two minutes later, a Wood Sandpiper appeared in flight, calling loudly and repeatedly over the M6 end of No1 Pit, then did a close flypast, still calling as it gained height, crossed the M6 and headed SW downriver. Good to see Brockholes coming back to some kind of form re Wood Sand following four blank years (2006-2009 inclusive), with records in both passage periods this year. There have now been 16 records since Aug 1998, totalling in excess of 20 individuals.
As the weather warmed considerably for an hour or so late morning, 9 Buzzard could be seen in the area, and a distant large Raptor in heathaze to the NE of the site at 11:00 was almost certainly a Marsh Harrier but wasn't clinched. A Raven also circled to the south of the site.
The last bit of action noted was at 11:59, when a short shower forced 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin and 2 Snipe to drop low over the site, but didn't landed.