Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Nature Notes up to 9th May 2014

Three of the Burton Swifts arrived back yesterday evening 5th May 2014 (2000hrs)
Friday 9th May 2014
(Forecast: 1000rs: Wind 18-26mph, 9c, 84% Cloud cover, 12500m visibility, 1003mb pressure.

Other North West Migratory News:

6 Wheatear (3 male and 3 female) at Pilling Lane Ends and 50 Swifts over Conder Estuary (FYLDE) (information sourced from the Fylde Bird Club website) 

Thursday 8th May 2014
(Forecast: Wind: SSW 6-9mph, 10c, 89% Cloud cover, 13400m visibility, 1004mb pressure).

0900hrs - 1200hrs "Warbler watching"  Searching the local hedgerows bordering the Hutton Roof Complex.  Had one Whitethroat (possibly two) on hedgerows bordering Pickles Wood (Lancelot), also had three singing Garden Warblers in Pickles Wood (Forestry Track - Lancelot), several Blackcaps, two new Chiffchaffs and several Willow Warblers.

Again at one point in the forestry tracks I found no less than the equivalent of what should have been ten mixed Song Thrush and Blackbirds eggs together with one larger white egg of the size you would expect from a "bantam" hen which I think could have been from a Pigeon. I can only think that the culprit for this cache would have been a Grey Squirrel (yet again). 

Other interesting North West Migratory news: 

1 *** Woodchat Shrike *** at Aldcliffe 1500hrs approx - (found by Peter Woodruff with information sourced from the Lancaster and District website and the Birding Aldcliffe Blog). 2 Spotted Flycatcher at Bardsey - plus 1 Reed Warbler, 6 Sedge, 9 Willow and 9 Chiffchaffs and hirundines heading southward included 61 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin and 16 House Martin. (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory Blog). 12 Greenland Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Whinchat at Leasowe Lighthouse - (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral Blog). 1 Cuckoo at Wycoller (ELOC) (information sourced from East Lancs Ornithology Club)
Wednesday 7th May 2014

(Forecast: Wind: WSW 16-24mph, 9c, 94% Cloud cover, 16000m visibility, 1003mb pressure).

0945hrs  At least 7 Swifts recorded flying at intermediate levels (75ft approx) with at least 5 flying with a probable bias to the Royal/Manor House (Burton In Kendal) airspace. 

Also yesterday evening (2000hrs) had a couple of large parties of mixed hirundines flying very tight in low altitude (40ft approx) through the main street of the village (Burton In Kendal) and heading in a Northerly direction, I would have estimated that one party was perhaps of 30-40 birds and the other party a couple of minutes later would have been of around the 15-20 birds.  I could understand this if it was post breeding, it would have been a simple matter of leaving the territory for better daytime or teatime feed eg: Pine Lakes or the Dockacre complex and then returning back somewhere to roost for the evening.  But its obviously not post breeding which makes me now feel that perhaps they were birds actually on the move North and this move could well have been going on for sometime.  This would also tie in with the good numbers involved with the movement of Swallows going over Rossall School North yesterday evening and the large movement over Bardsey earlier in the day. It is usually around this date that the returning Swallow numbers have their peak count. 

1930hrs - 7 of our Swifts screaming whilst in "follow my leader pursuit" at the 75ft altitude showing a bias over the Manor House/Royal (Burton In Kendal) airspace. 

Other interesting North West Migratory News:

8 Wheatear on Ocean Edge (Heysham) (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog). 5 Wheatear on Walney (information sourced from Walney Observatory. 2 Swifts over Elswick, 6 Swifts over Marton Mere and 6 Swifts over Fleetwood Marsh (Fylde Bird Club) (information sourced through Fylde Bird Club).*** First Spotted Flycatcher*** plus 3 Swift and 215 Swallows over Bardsey Observatory (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory).  4 Dotterel and 7 Wheatear on Pendle Hill and 5 Swifts at Alston Resv. (ELOC) (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club. 

Tuesday 6th May 2014  (Swallow Peak today)
(Forecast: Wind: WSW 12-17mph, 10c, 15% Cloud cover, 19000m visibility, 1002mb and then decreasing pressure.

Near Newclose Coppice - Tree Pipits
1100 to 1400hrs Checking out new area within the Dalton Estate.  Found a small area which had three separate singing male Redstarts within a couple of hundred yards radius.  Also a further three Garden Warblers, six Blackcaps and over 25 Willow Warblers, the odd Tree Pipit and three new Chiffchaff territories. At one point noticed near my feet a nest with four eggs (Robin), so quickly photographed and left. Also lots of Orange Tips, Green Veined and Speckled Woods and one beautiful Brimstone.
Reliably informed another Cuckoo present today from Clawthorpe Fell.

2000hrs - We now have 8 Swifts back on territory at Burton In Kendal

Other interesting North West Migratory News

Robins nest with four eggs
1 Cuckoo at Forton plus 2 Swifts and another Cuckoo at Cragg Wood (Lancaster and District) (Information sourced from the Lancaster and District Ornithological Society).  *** First local Spotted Flycatcher*** in Bowland (information sourced from Birds2Blog) 574 Swallows North over Fleetwood - also 11 House Martins N, 1 Yellow Wagtail East, 2 Tree Pipits North and 1 Meadow Pipits, with lots of finches heading East. (information sourced from Fleetwood Blog). 4 Greenland Wheatear at Fluke Hall plus 87 Swallow North over Rossall School between 1615hrs and 1715hrs - FYLDE (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club) 1 Swift, 287 Swallow and 1 Tree Pipit over Bardsey (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory. 5 Wheatear over Hilbre (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory). 12 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral) 10 Swifts at Alston Wetland, 2 Swifts at Rishton Resv, 10 Swifts over Clitheroe Tesco, and 4 at Newton. (ELOC) (information sourced from East Lancashire Ornithological Club).

Monday 5th May 2014
(Forecast: 1300hrs: S 12-18mph, 13c, 100% Cloud cover, 20000m visibility, 1008mb pressure.

Garden Warbler (photo: David Talbot)
0945-1145hrs  Spent a couple of hours this morning with a friend checking out the Garden Warblers in lower Dalton and got some excellent views (see photo).  There looks to be two pairs in close proximity.  Also at times you would get three going in chase of one another.  On one occasion it was clear that a pair where seen to be "copulating". So difficult a bird to photograph with their constant flitting and skulking, but what a bonus when they did come into view. A pair of Blackcaps where in the same vicinity and seen quite close. It was also a good experience to have both species singing from the same areas which allowed you to get a good clear appreciation of the differences in their "calls". Quite a few Willow Warblers and one Chiffchaff where also calling.

Looking to the heavens and you could see a Kestrel actually attacking a Sparrowhawk and yet within the same frame you could also see a pair of Buzzards.

0945hrs approx I have also been reliably informed that another Cuckoo was heard calling from over in the Majors Nursery direction of the Dalton Estate.

2000hrs approx - At least 3 of the Burton Swifts have arrived back (wonder if these were the same birds as what came through Aldcliffe earlier this evening)

Other interesting North West Migratory News:-

One Swift flying over Arnside Pier at lunchtime - Lancaster (information sourced from the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society) 3 Swifts over Aldcliffe early evening (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe). 13 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat over Walney. (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog).  4 Wheatear at Rossall and 1 Swift at Stanley Park also 5 Wheatear at Ridge Farm, 3 Swift at Myerscough Quarry and 1 Cuckoo at same spot, 15 Swift at Marton Mere plus 6 Cetti Warblers plus one Whinchat - Fylde (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club) Five Swifts, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 76 Swallows over Bardsey (information sourced from the Bardsey Observatory Blog.  A rare Citrine Wagtail was at Red Rocks 0720hrs - also small flocks of Wheatear plus 2 Tree Pipits at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral Blog) 5 Swifts at Leagram, 1 Wood Warbler at Stocks, 1 Cuckoo at Stocks Res North, 3 Dotterel on Pendle - 1 Osprey over Townley Park heading SE - ELOC (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club)