Friday, 18 April 2014

Nature Notes up to April 27th 2014

Beef Cattle being attacked by Jackdaw on Dalton Crags
Sunday 27th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind ENE 12-18mph, 9c, 84% Cloud cover, 17700m vis, 1007mb pressure.

Checked out Dalton Crags (1630hrs to 1730hrs), Willow Warblers and one Chiffchaff singing and I am almost sure I have heard another Garden Warbler down near Plain Quarry, need to spend more time checking out maybe tomorrow. No Tree Pipits calling, and couldn't find any Greenlands today and still no Cuckoo.  

Also a new Redstart calling in Lancelot Clark Storth today  (information thanks to Steve Matthewman (recorder) - Cumbria Wildlife) 

200 Arctic Tern and 9 Black Tern, 19 Wheatear, 6 Tree Pipit NE, 20 Swallow NE, 1 House Martin NE, 20 Meadow Pipit NE over Heysham also one male Whinchat at Ocean Edge plus Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog) 

 25 Meadow Pipits N, 140 Swallows NNE, 55 Sand Martin NNE, 19 House Martins NNE over Aldcliffe (0800-1100hrs) (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe) 

30 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat and 2 Yellow Wagtails at Walney (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog)

7 Wheatear (5m 2f) and 2 Whinchat at Rossall School - plus 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club)

65 Arctic Tern, 3 Black Tern E at Knott End plus 40 Swallow E, 5 Sand Martin E. (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club) 

3 Wheatear and 3 Whinchat at Cockersands (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club)

Wood Warbler all day at Stanley Park, Blackpool (information sourced from Fylde Bird Club)  

One Wryneck at Red Rocks - 2 miles west of Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Leasowe Lighthouse and Wirral Birding)  also 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 16 Wheatear, 2 Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 3 Grasshopper Warblers.

Osprey over Bidston Golf Course - Dee Birding (information sourced from Dee Birding)

37 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Whinchat at Bardsey Observatory plus 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 11 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaffs, 13 Willow Warbler, 52 Swallow, 24 Sand Martin, 3 House Martin (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory website)

3 Arctic Terns at Lower Foulridge Reservoir Nr. Colne - ELOC (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithological Club)

390 Sand Martin N, 200 Swallow N and 15 House Martin N over Bury Area (Greater Manchester) plus 2 flava Wagtail (information sourced from Trektellen) 

Saturday 26th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind SE 14-26mph, 8c, 88% Cloud cover, 12200m vis, 1002mb pressure)

Dalton Crags 1500 - 1600hrs - "More Greenlands" Another three Greenland Wheatear noted on walls near gully area.  Also single Swallow heading North. All the usual Warblers singing away. Again another day with no Tree Pipits calling. A single Brimstone Butterfly along with a Green Veined White and a Peacock. Lots of Primrose showing on the lower crags.

Action for Swifts (click here)
Single Swift seen this morning heading East at 0955hrs at Bare, Morecambe (information sourced from Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society website)

Ten Wheatear - Ocean Edge - Heysham (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog 

Two Whinchat and Five Wheatear and two Sedge Warblers at Aldcliffe plus a few NE bound Swallows and Meadow Pipits (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe Blog) 

4 Wheatear at Rossall School, also Grasshopper Warblers and Lesser Whitethroats at Bispham Marsh and Warton Bank - Fylde Bird Club (information sourced from the Fylde Bird Club website) 

15 Wheatear, 12 Yellow Wagtail, plus a rare "Channel Wagtail" (Motacilla flava flava xflavissimo) 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat at Leasowe Lighthouse plus 3 Garden Warbler and numerous Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff (information sourced from the Leasowe Lighthouse Blog)

1 Cuckoo at Stocks Reservoir (been there several days) - ELOC (information sourced from the East Lancs Ornithologist)

Also a Swift seen going North at Hay-A-Park, Knaresborough (information sourced from Trektellen) 

Friday 25th April 2014
(Forecast: 0700hrs Wind ENE 7-12mph, 7c, 40% Cloud cover, 20000m vis, 1021mb pressure).

21 Wheatear, 4 Meadow Pipits at Heysham - and 7 Sedge Warblers, 7 Reed Warblers on Middleton. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog) 

One Cuckoo, 12 Wheatear at Aldcliffe - plus 1 Meadow Pipit N, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, and Redpoll and Siskins North. (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe Blog) 

Also One Cuckoo noted in the Langden Valley (information sourced from the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society Website) 

2 Whinchat, 22 Wheatear at Leasowe Lighthouse plus 2 Redstart, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff. With 25 House Martin flying over (information sourced from Leasowe Lighthouse Blog) 

46 Wheatear, 1 Tree Pipit and 1 Yellowhammer at Bardsey - plus 38 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 14 Sand Martin, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 16 Chiffchaffs, 16 Willow Warblers, 3 Siskin and 7 Goldfinch (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory) 

25 Wheatear (majority presumed Greenlands), 5 flava Wags, 4 Tree Pipits and their first of the year Whinchat at Hilbre Observatory - plus 2 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 50 Willow Warblers, few Chiffchaffs, 2 Redstart, 1 Garden Warbler. (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog) 
This is a sketch I did last year of the Greenland Wheatear at Dalton - April 23rd 2013 - click over to enlarge

 Thursday 24th April 2014
0930 to 1000hrs - Checked out the canal area yesterday to see if there were anymore Greenlands, but they were none showing today.  However it was worth while because I did have a "Tree Sparrow" on hedgerow of orchard at property on side of canal, quite close to Bridge No.148.

1530 to 1700hrs - Checked out Dalton Crags and was pleased to find 8 Greenland Wheatear near to the Gully area in the deforested part. Two Tree Pipits in part song, but most of them had gone quiet or moved on. Lots and lots of Willow Warblers in Song. The odd Blackcap and Chiffchaff calling. 

Never seen so many "Dog Violets" a really good year so far for this species, also seen Orange Tips, Peacocks and more Speckled Wood Butterflies.  

15 Meadow Pipits 2 Redpoll and 10 Swallow over Heysham Observatory (information sourced from the Heysham Observatory Blog) 

10 Wheatear and 4 Whinchat and 2 Redstart at Aldcliffe - (information sourced from the Birding Aldcliffe Blog)

76 Wheatear, 34 Willow Warbler, 10 Blackcap at Walney - plus 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Redstart, 1 Stonechat, 1 late Fieldfare, plus Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, etc. (information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blog)

1 Redstart, 22 Wheatear, 46 Swallows over Bardsey Observatory (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog)

1 Osprey (fifth of the year), 25 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 25 Greenland Wheatear, 1 Tree Pipit and 1 Yellow Wagtail over Hilbre Observatory. (information sourced from the Hilbre Observatory Blog) 

21 Wheatear, 2 Winchat, 1 Stonechat, 5 Grasshopper Warbler over Leasowe Lighthouse plus 50 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins flying East, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redstart. (information sourced from the Lighthouse and Wirral Birding Blog) 

 1 Osprey over Little Eye - Dee Estuary (information sourced from Dee Estuary Birding website) 

1 Cuckoo and 122 Wheatear (record) for Winter Hill, Nr. Bolton (information sourced through Trektellen) 

Wednesday 23rd April 2014 
(Forecast: 1000hrs - Wind SE 10-16mph 10c, 83% Cloud cover, 18600m visibility, 1014mb pressure)

Canal walk from Holme to Burton In Kendal 0900hrs to 1030hrs.
Several of the regular Chiffchaffs, a couple of Blackcaps and the odd Willow Warbler calling from all of the regular spots.  But most interesting to find a couple of adjoining sloping fields which borders the Canal from its East side, which had at least 8 Greenland Wheatear present and there could well have been more.  The field was also occupied by a couple of horses and several geese and is almost opposite the Holme Mills Lodge which lies below on the opposite and West side of the canal.  The field lies between the bridges No.146 and No.147 and a rough guide to the spot (marked from the side of the Canal was SD5261178018).
Also had three singleton Swallows making their way North whilst chattering.

Also in the small copse areas adjoining the side of the canal (near the old Station Pub) there were several clusters of Early Purple Orchids in full flower.

I managed to get a reading for the Ceterach (Rusty Back Fern) on the surrounding wall of the Holme Parish Church which has two separate rosettes (SD5239478859)

Covering the same ground along the Canal from Burton to Holme at 1430hrs.

No signs of Greenland Wheatear, they probably will have moved back to the fields beyond or moved on.
Most of the same stuff about, but one to add was a Whitethroat near to the old Station Pub End of the Canal.  

18 Meadow Pipits and 4 Tree Pipits over Heysham Observatory -plus 6 Alba Wagtails NE, 25 Swallows, 14 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, 3 Reed Warbler, 6 Sedge Warbler. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog) 

7 Blackcap, 3 Redstart, 1 Ring Ouzel at Leasowe Lighthouse - plus 50 Willow Warblers, 17 Chiffchaffs, 5 Wheatear, 12 Yellow Wagtail, plus Grasshopper, Sedge and Reed Warblers. (information sourced from Leasowe Lighthouse Blog) 

Large falls of Wheatear all week with most indications that they are likely to be "Greenlands" (O.o.leucorrhoa). Later reports also state that massive falls of Wheatear have been recorded on the West Coast today...

Just a interesting short piece from Calderdale Birds: At the court
Judge: Young man, it says here you shot and killed a California Condor. How do you plead?
Defendant: Guilty your honour.
Judge: GUILTY!? Don't you know how endangered these condors are? There are hardly any left at all.
Defendant: Yes sir, I know, but I had to feed my family, we're so poor.
Judge: That's no excuse. I fine you 30 days in jail. By the way, what does California Condor taste like?
Defendant: It's real good your honour, kinda like a cross between Bald Eagle and Whooping Crane!

Tuesday 22nd April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs - Wind East 13-20mph, 11c, 79% Cloud cover, 17600m visibility, 1007mb pressure)

Whinchats seem to be on the move

Small party of Wheatear, a male Whinchat and a Grasshopper Warbler approaching Allen Pool Car Park (information sourced from David Talbot - Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society)

4 Meadow Pipits NE, 1 Tree Pipit NE, 92 Swallows, 17 albas NE over Heysham - also 30 Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, a male Whinchat.  (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog).

15 Meadow Pipits, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 11 Wheatear at Aldcliffe today - plus 20 Siskin, 150 Swallows, 18 Sand Martin and 3 House Martin (information sourced from the Birding Aldcliffe Blogsite)

Arctic Terns and Skuas are moving through

A single Whinchat and 58 Wheatear and 12 Willow Warblers over Walney 
(information sourced from the Walney Observatory Blogsite)   

One Tree Pipit, 66 Wheatears, 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat over Bardsey Observatory - also 1 Whitethroat, 22 Blackcaps, 58 Willow Warblers, 27 Chiffchaffs, 83 Swallows (heading Southward thought to be heading to Ireland) - (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory) 

3 Redstart, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Whitethroat,  450 Swallows, 85 House and 59 Sand Martins at Hilbre Observatory (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blogspot)

30 Meadow Pipit, 2 Tree Pipit, 5 Wheatear, 3 Whinchat, Sedge Warbler and 4 Reed Warblers, 15 Willow Warblers, 5 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat at Leasowe Lighthouse plus 250 Swallow, 100 House Martins and 68 Sand Martin.

One Cuckoo returned at Luddenden Dean (information sourced from Calderbirds. Blogspot) 

First Whinchat at Spurn  (information sourced from Spurn Observatory)

Monday 21st April 2014 

0900-1100hrs Dalton Crags

At least another Tree Pipit arrived back plus more Willow Warblers present. Two Chiffchaffs now calling from near the Summer House. (one I take to be Summer plus maybe a offspring).  Also the Swallow count at Russell Farm is up to seven birds.  Had a party of five House Martins feeding there as well.

Also whilst passing through the Dalton hamlet I had: Peacock, first Orange Tip, a early Wall Brown, a pair of dancing Speckled Wood Butterflies. 

Osprey over Heysham North Wall 1125hrs also Arctic Terns (6) and one Arctic Skua (dark phase), several Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroat, One Redstart, One Grasshopper Warbler, trickles of hirundines and Meadow Pipits, (information sourced from Lancaster 

63 Meadow Pipits NE, 4 Tree Pipits NE, 223 Swallow NE and 40 Wheatears at Fleetwood Observatory - plus 2 Redstart, 65 Willow Warbler, 12 Blackcap, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 51 Sand Martin NE, 4 House Martin NE, 3 Yellow Wagtails E, 26 Albas NE, also Sedge, Grasshopper Warblers. (information sourced from Fleetwood Observatory) 

One Cuckoo and 59 Wheatear on Bardsey - plus, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warblers, 10 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs, 36 Willow Warblers, 12 Sand Martin, 48 Swallow, 3 House Martins. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory website)

1 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Tree Pipit, 5 Lesser Whitethroats at Leasowe Lighthouse - plus 7 Blackcap, 5 Redstart, 20 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 30 Willow Warblers,20 Swallow, 8 Sand Martin and oneHouse Martin. (information sourced from Lighthouse and Wirral Birding) 

4 Grasshopper Warbler, 50 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and Two Tree Pipit at Dee Estuary (several sites) plus 2 Redstart  (information sourced from Dee Estuary Birding Website)                                     

Sunday 20th April 2014

89 Wheatear (mainly Greenlands) and One Red Kite over Bardsey.  also Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and a Yellow Wagtail. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog).

1 Osprey 1630hrs over Cockersands/Middleton (information sourced from Lancaster and District Birdwatching website)

Saturday 19th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind: ESE 9mph, 7c, 40% Cloud cover, Visibility 20000m 1021mb pressure

0930hrs-1030hrs Dalton Crags - Another Tree Pipit returned to the top section of Dalton Crags (deforested). Counted about 8 Willow Warblers singing and the odd Blackcap. 

1 Yellow Wagtail, 37 Meadow Pipits NE over Heysham (0700hrs-1000hrs) - plus 35 Lesser Redpoll NE, 11 Alba Wagtail NE, 8 Swallow NE, 6 Linnet NE, also 5 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warbler (information sourced through Heysham Observatory Blog)  

12 Meadow Pipits, 6 Redpoll, 4 Sand Martins (North) and 2 Swallows (East) over Aldcliffe - plus Common Whitethroat, 4-5 Lesser Whitethroat, 6-7 territorial Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, and 2 Chiffchaffs. (information sourced by Dan at Birding Aldcliffe) 

1 Yellow Wagtail and 5 Grasshopper Warblers over Dee Estuary. (information sourced through Dee Estuary website)

74 Wheatears, 1 Tree Pipit and first Yellow Wagtail over Bardsey - plus 19 White Wagtails, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 37 Willow Warblers, 14 Chiffchaffs, 13 Blackcaps (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog)

One Osprey at 1240hrs and one Red Kite at 1700hrs over Heron Corn Mill at Beetham (information sourced from Jon Carter via Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society website) 

Good Friday 18th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind: ESE 6-7mph, 7c, 20% Cloud cover, Visibility 20000m, 1023mb pressure

Herb Paris in Pickles Wood
Two Garden Warblers have arrived on Burton Fell. Checked out from Vicarage Lane, Burton up Slape Lane and into parts of Lancelot Clark Storth and then a sweep of Burton Fell (0900hrs - 1130hrs)

First a new Blackcap calling from about 20 yards across from our back garden somewhere near Orchard Close. Goldcrest calling from conifers in Old Vicarage on Vicarage Lane. A new Blackcap singing from Browside. Another Blackcap near to crossroad (gates) on Slape Lane. Another Blackcap calling from Pickles Wood.  Also another calling in Ramsons Wood. (all these are fresh in or previously not recorded). It certainly seems a good year for Blackcap so far!

View today from Burton Fell - Spot the Rape Seed
Fresh in was a Garden Warbler calling from near the Plinth at the bottom of Burton Fell, and then another one was heard about 200 yards away and near to the boundary wall with Lancelot. 

A count of 17 singing Willow Warblers were recorded in Burton Fell and a further 3 in Lancelot Clark Storth, bringing the total there to press to 15 singing birds. Also a new Chiffchaff singing close to the Plinth at the bottom of Burton Fell.

Two Swallows chasing one another in play but also in haste making their way through to the North West. 

Birds Foot Sedge in Lancelot
One Long Tailed Tit present in Burton Fell, maybe some 200 yards to the West of the Spring in Lancelot. Lots of calling Nuthatches giving off the Trill breeding call plus several variant calls as well. Also a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers could be heard.

Lots of Peacock Butterflies, Bluebells are coming through and not far away from opening up, Ramsons are only a week away from opening. Lots of Ladybirds seen on the nettles. Garlic Mustard is showing on Slape along with Wood Anemone.  The mega rare Birds Foot Sedge (carex ornithopoda) is showing well (see attached photo). Also the Herb Paris is well on its way. 

9 Meadow Pipits NE plus finches over Heysham today - also 8 Redpoll NE, 15 Goldfinch NE, plus 6 Willow Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and one Common Redstart. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog)  

108 Greenland Wheatear, 161 Swallows at Bardsey (1230-1330hrs) - Also 45 Sand Martin and 7 House Martin. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog) 

1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Whitethroat etc in the Dee Estuary - plus 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Grasshopper Warblers, 14 Wheatear (information sourced from Dee Estuary Blog)