Sunday, 18 February 2018

February 18th

Mark had a very early start this morning walking around at 6 o'clock listening for the Tawny Owl which he managed to get .Taking the years total so far upto 67 , as we are trying for that magical 100 species this year . I was there for a couple of hours before having to leave for work , but there was no sign of any Hawfinch or Brambling . All I managed was eleven Canada Geese , six Pochard , a single Siskin several Redwing , thirteen Great Crested Grebe , four Bullfinch , three Goldfinch and a Treecreeper in the car park .Two Hawfinch still present at 14-15 , also female Goldeneye and now seven Pochard. In same area as Hawfinch are six Bullfinch. M Stubbs.  John had the pair of Brambling in the copse this morning .

Saturday, 17 February 2018


Three Hawfinch's again this morning 100 mts left of visitors centre in and around small coppice area and in nearby silver birch trees . Also the pair of Brambling are around with good numbers of Bullfinch and Greenfinch . Also this morning Siskin , Treecreeper , Jay , six Canada Geese , Cormorant , Stock Dove and five Pochard . Mark Stubbs.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Spring Bird Walk

The rangers at Astbury have talked me into doing a spring bird walk around the mere to find early passage migrants . So we have set up two dates one in early April and one in early May , for more details of times and dates go onto the Astbury Mere Facebook page or contact one of the park rangers on 01260 297237. Look forward to seeing you there.

February 16th

Myself and Jack found two Hawfinchs still in the same area as yesterday along with the pair of Brambling , and several Greenfinch and Bullfinch. The birds can be elusive but we only waited half hour for them to appear. Also noted a single Mistle Thrush and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Finch Bonanza

A steady walk around this morning with my better half Tracey and our two small pups before work when we came across a Hawfinch sitting up in a silver birch just 100 mts down from the visitor's centre . On close inspection it was with two Greenfinch and a pair of Brambling . After a few record shots were taken to document the bird it flew towards the coppice and disappeared . Tracey re located it sitting with some Redwing back where we originally found it. I quickly texted Mark who luckley was already on site with his brother and together we found another two possibley three . Also 8 Siskin in trees by the sailing club and a pair Shoveler on the water. These are not the sort of photos I like taking but at least they document the birds . Mark went back this afternoon but no sign possibly due to high winds and also the amount of people around. But did manage to pick up three adult Common Gulls on the water amongst fifteen Lesser Black Backs. This is a good record as we only get a single bird sighting of Common Gull in a year.
Brambling female.
Brambling male.
Hawfinch male.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

February 6th

Not very much happening at present very quite at the mere , all the Pochard have disappeared now possibley due to the presence of the sailing boats . Great Crested Grebe number's have dropped back to eight and the pair of Mute Swan's have reappeared . One thing I did notice this morning was the number of Bullfinches around at least eight seen possibly more hidden . Other birds of note were Cormorant , Goldcrest , Coal Tit and Grey Heron.

Friday, 26 January 2018

January 26th

Just a very brief visit by Mark Stubbs at dinner time , two Lesser Black Backed Gulls , two Cormorant , two Little Grebe's and around thirty Black headed Gulls.Along with all the usual suspects like Coots , Great Crested Grebe's , Mallards , Tufted Ducks and Pochard s etc. Jack Swan just phoned me at 14-10 to say he has got a single Hawfinch sat in a pine tree at the mere .

Monday, 22 January 2018

January 22nd

Pochard numbers have dropped now which is normal for this time of the year we only have six birds today one female and five drakes. Jack told me he had a couple of drake Shoveler on Saturday , but no sign today. I couldn't find the Aythya hybrid today but that dosnt mean it has gone either . Great Crested Grebe numbers are creeping up with thirteen present this morning with two pairs displaying already . Two Little Grebe were seen over by the fishermans fenced off area and the pair of Mute Swans have re-appeared again. No sign of the Reed Buntings so far this year they are usually quite vocal around this time . Tufted Duck and Coot numbers seem to be lower than normal that's possibly due to the sailing club starting to sail daily throughtout the winter months , using all of the mere again when they have been asked to leave the left hand corner alone so wintering wildfowl can have some refuge. It seems to be iam banging my head against a brick wall it just seems like fun to use the rescue boat and power all around the mere .

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

January 16th

A Buff-tailed Bumblebee was photographed this morning , it is January isn't it ?. Also present were 16 Pochard and the Aythya hybrid Tufted x Pochard looking quite nice now it's fully moulted out. A single Lapwing flew over these birds are scarce at this site with only a handful of records each year.
Aythya Hybrid.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

January 13th

Jack just had a good count of 120+ Lesser black Backed Gulls but more impressive was the four adult Greater black Backed that was with them, we struggle to get one or two records a year.Also now three Little Grebe's present.

Monday, 8 January 2018

January 8th

Four Wigeon on the mere this morning and Pochard have increased to 26 . A pair of Shoveler put in a brief appearance before flying off south. The female Goldeneye is still present and a nice count of 10 Great Crested Grebe's , but no sign of the Little Grebe's today. Buzzard , Sparrowhawk and Raven all flew over along with 14 Redwing and a single Stock Dove.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

January 7th

Five Shoveler new in overnight three drake's and two female . Also 19 Pochard present along with the female Goldeneye . A single Cormorant circled the mere then headed off west and four Siskin noted feeding by the sailing club . A Grey Wagtail was feeding along the shore and several Bullfinch were seen on the walk around.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

January 6th

Eighty Pink-footed Geese flew over heading north/west at 13-10 . A report of 17 Pochard ,female Goldeneye and a single female Goosander over @10-10 plus all the usual regulars. J Hutchins.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

One Year Ago

This time last year January 2017 saw some good birds at the mere species included a female Long-tailed Duck found on the eleventh . Followed by a female Common Scoter on eighteenth seven Whooper Swans on twentieth then two Waxwings on twenty seventh . The more eyes out there looking the more we will find , lets hope this January gives us more of the same. Good Birding......

January 3rd

I was hoping that the strong overnight winds and heavy rain might have brought something new in but alas not to be . Although two Little Grebe and the female Goldeneye were re-located , they were possible still there yesterday but heavy rain prevented me finding them that's my excuse anyway. Four adult Lesser Black Backed Gulls and a third winter bird were harrasing the 100 + Black headed Gulls and we now have ten Great Crested Grebe's . Best of the rest were 19 Pochard , three Siskin , party of eight Long-tailed Tits and a single Buzzard.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

January 2nd

Happy New Year to you all hope you have a good 2018. Miserable conditions this morning ment I only spent a hour walking around but it produced a reasonable thirty six species to start the year list off with . One hundred and fourty five Coot counted along with nineteen Pochard and seven Great Crested Grebe's. Best of the rest were Goldcrest , Grey Wagtail , Bullfinch and Raven.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Review

Its not been a bad year really at the Mere with 96 bird species being recorded and with two new species being added to the list which now stands at 145 . Some old favourites returning after a few years absence and a record number of Common Scoter being recorded in a single flock . Butterfly species stayed the same as last year with 17 out of the sites 22 being seen , while Dragonfly species were up by two with additions of Black-tailed Skimmer and Blue-tailed Damselfly. We also ran a couple of Mothing sessions at the site recording 167 species, a few more are planed for 2018. January started off well first with Andy Goodwin finding a female Long-tailed Duck on the 11th it was last seen on 17th Feb a stay of 37 days, the last record at the site was in 1996 .Then John Spottiswood found a female Common Scoter on 18th , followed by Mark Wootton seeing seven Whooper Swan's briefly on 20th . And then two Waxwings appeared at mid-day in the east corner found by Russell Stonier . February was quite as normal but Goldeneye , Shoveler and Wigeon could be seen on most days. March saw us have rather a strange report which came onto the Birdlines after dark on 11th of two female Bearded Tit in small reedbed in front of the visitors centre. This species is a very scarce bird in Cheshire and would obviously be a first for the site. But doubt fell as three of us were at the Mere during the day and surely we would have heard or seen them , no body knows who called the record in and they were looked for at first light to no avail . If you are the person reading this who sent the report in PLEASE get in touch. Our first Chiffchaff was back on site on 12th with three birds singing. Jack Swan found our first Common Scoter of the year with a drake on 19th , the first Sand Martin was sighted on 26th and the first Blackcap back on 29th. April brought the rest of our summer migrants back as the weather warmed up , and a Common Sandpiper was found by John Spottiswood on 26th. Now we don't get many Terns at the mere full stop so to find five Black Terns and have five Common Terns on 30th was something special. May started good with another four Black Terns on the 1st , to put it into perspective that's nine Black Terns in two days and our last record was one bird eleven years ago in 2006. June was very quite but Andy found another drake Common Scoter on 29th and then again on 4th July but this time not one but 17 (11 females / 6 drakes) our biggest flock ever at the site. With a lot of other activities around the mere going on during July , August and September most birders tend to stay away as do most of the birds . I turn my attention to Butterflies , Dragonflies and Moths at this time of the year. Into October and while I was on holiday in Norfolk Mark Stubbs found our largest flock of Wigeon for many years with twenty three along with a single Pintail cheers Mark. And on 23rd a Aythya hybrid duck turned up causing some discussion until finally identified as a Tufted x Pochard. With the large influx of Hawfinch's coming from the continent it was only a matter of time , and on 30th our first site record appeared with a single bird . November saw Jack find another Hawfinch so that was two in eight days . and on the 27th a very late Swallow was hawking insects over the water. December saw 27 Pink-footed Geese over heading north west on 1st , while the Swallow was last recorded on 2nd by M Ball , D Winnington. Another skein of 175 Pink-footed Geese headed north west on 3rd , and on the 12th our second new species of the year for the site when a single Snipe was flushed from a fishing platform during a very cold spell. As we come to the end of the year twenty two Pochard have taken up residence and will hopefully stay with us throughout the winter , certainly not the higher numbers as in recent years when figure's reached into the hundreds. It can be very frustrating and certainly a challenge working a patch day after day as good birds are being found all around you and the temptation to go and see them hurts, but I have enjoyed recording the species at Astbury Mere and I still get such a buzz finding something special . Thanks to all who read this blog , thanks to all the birders that visit the mere . We now have a sightings board at the visitor's center thanks to the Rangers at the site , and if anyone is interested I could do with some help with recording Butterfly and Dragonfly sightings for next year . Birds seen in 2016 but not in 2017 are ...Scaup , Lesser Whitethroat and Common Whitethroat. The challenge for 2018 is to record 100 species of birds for the first time at the site in one single year and hopefully add a Butterfly or Dragonfly to the list. All it remains to say is HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL and hope all your wishes come true. If you see me out and about come say hello I don't bite. Good Birding for 2018.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

December 28th

Twenty two Pochard on the mere this morning with around eighty five Tufted and good numbers of Coot . No sign of the Kingfisher this morning possibly it has moved back onto the canal . Redwing and Fieldfare are around in small numbers and a single Raven flew west. The female Goldeneye is still present along with the Aythya hybrid Tufted x Pochard. Long-tailed Tits , Goldcrest and Bullfinch can be found around most of the mere , but Nuthatch and Treecreeper are a little more elusive .

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

December 19th

Four Teal , 3 Wigeon , 151 Coot , 19 Pochard , 85 Tufted Duck , 9 Great Crested Grebe , female Goldeneye , single Little Grebe. John Spottiswood.........A large skien of Pink-feet flew over A34 just south of the mere heading west at 14-00 well over 100 birds Mark Stubbs. Mark and Tracey also had four Goosander over the mere late afternoon and a flock of 32 Goldfinch by the sailing club , and around 1000 Black Headed Gulls going to roost.

Monday, 18 December 2017

December 18th

A walk around in the fog this morning didn't produce a great deal but did manage to count the Coot with number's now upto 143. Also nineteen Pochard (5 females) and a single Raven over.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Snipe Site Record

With overnight temperature's around -6 and still snow on the ground from the day before there was a good bet that something new would be around. Snipe and Woodcock where on my mind with the freezing temprature's and Snipe it was , it seems strange that its never been recorded before or just possibly overlooked anyway its on the records books now . It was on one of the fishing platforms and by the time I got my bins onto it , it had took flight and to late to get a photo. Also present are nineteen Pochard ( 3 x fem / 16 drakes) , ten Teal (3 drakes / 7 fem) , 6 Wigeon (3 drakes / 3 fem) and a single female Goldeneye. Redwing were photographed in the snow this morning with eleven seen on the grass in front of visitors centre along with two Mistle Thrush and four Song Thrush , also two Nuthatch calling and photographed in the visitor's centre car park . Sparrowhawk patrolling overhead and a Grey Heron flushed from the shore. Seven Bullfinch looked stunning in the frost covered bushes but always out of reach of the camera. Jack had a single Lapwing over going east a scarce bird here at Astbury with only a few records each year.

Friday, 8 December 2017

December 8th

Female Goldeneye on the mere ...J Spottiswood.

Monday, 4 December 2017

December 4th

So the Swallow has finally moved on last sighting was Saturday the 2nd, it attracted a steady stream of admirer's over its six day stay. Fairly quiet this morning just a female Wigeon new in overnight . Pochard numbers are up by one but we have had a swap around as we now have four females and eight drake's all in the north west corner.The Aythya hybrid duck is still present and looking a lot different from when it first arrived . Around the mere this morning just the usual birds , Goldcrest , Kingfisher , Grey Wagtail , Raven , Great Spotted Woodpecker , Bullfinch etc.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Pink-footed Geese

Sitting at work around 15-10 I heard Pink-feet calling overhead , I quickly dashed outside to see a skien of around 175 birds flying towards Astbury Mere about half mile from were I work . I called Mark who I knew was there and sure enough around 175 plus birds flew over the mere heading north west. Mark and Jack could not find the Swallow today , but present were two drake Wigeon and three Raven over.
Part of the skien of Pink-feet going over the mere taken by Tracey Stubbs with her mobile phone . Nice one Tracey.

Saturday, 2 December 2017


Swallow still present at 13-30 thanks to M Ball , D Winnington.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Snow and Swallow

Somehow snow and freezing temprature's and Swallow in mid winter don't go together but in the birding world strange things do happen and today yes December at 8-45 in the morning we still have a Swallow at Astbury Mere . Its hawking god knows what over the water but seems healthy and settled . Also today we have seven Teal (3 drakes) , 68 Mallard , 117 Coot , 83 Tufted Duck and eight Great Crested Grebe . Also noted Grey Heron , Grey Wagtail and Raven. Twenty seven Pink-footed Geese flew over heading north west at  11-30 and Swallow still present mid day. Jack Swan. Swallow still present at 14-30 D Robinson. The Chiffchaff was seen again in same area by S & G Barber who thinks there could possibly be two birds.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Amazing Swallow

Amazingly at -2 temperature's this morning the Swallow is still hawking insects or whatever it's finding to eat in these conditions. Also present a drake Shoveler , three female Teal and 11 drake Pochard . Due to the colder conditions Tufted Duck , Coot and Mallard numbers are all well up . Swallow still present at 15-20 this afternoon Patrick Earith.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Request for Missing Dragonfly Records

We are missing some Dragonfly records for Astbury Mere for this year 2017 , Four-spotted Chaser , Black-tailed Skimmer , Emperor Dragonfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly . If anybody can help please get in touch with myself or a park Ranger who will pass the information on.

Request for Missing Butterfly Records

We are missing records for five Butterfly species for this year 2017 , has anybody seen any of the following at Astbury Mere . Small Copper , Green Hairstreak , Painted Lady , Clouded Yellow and Dingy Skipper. If you have seen any of the following please get in touch with either myself or one of the park Rangers who will pass on the information.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Swallow November 28th

Remarkably the Swallow is still present hawking whatever insects it can find over a cold mere this morning. It's now present for its second day and as the weather is turning colder there is a good chance if it don't move south soon it will not make it. Also noted this morning was the overwintering Chiffchaff feeding on the over hanging willows along the edge of the mere in the north west corner. The Kingfisher was seen again by Steve and Gill Barber . As the numbers increase daily we now have twelve Pochard eleven drake's and a single female.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Grebe or Diver

This is the time of year when just a brief glimpse can play tricks was it a Grebe or was it a Diver . In summer plumage there is no mistake but adult and juvenile Great Crested Grebe's in winter plumage with no ear tufts from a distance to the untrained eye can be misleading . Divers are on the whole a lot bigger bulker bird with a thick neck and bill . Below I have tried to put together some images hopefully to help people that are not familiar with Divers.
Juvenile Great Crested Grebe.
Red Throated Diver. ( Note slightly upturned bill of Red throated)
Black Throated Diver.
Great Northern Diver.

Swallow November 27th

An unbelievable late record of a Swallow hawking insects over the water this morning , I did a double take to make sure but yes sure enough it was a Swallow . I phoned Mark and Jack who both came down to have a look , it's undoubtedly our latest record ever at the site. Nine drake Pochard have now took up residence and on 23rd of the month Jack had two drake Teal and a female Goldeneye, and on the 20th five Wigeon. The Kingfisher is still around seen on a few occasions during the last week also the elusive overwintering Chiffchaff. Both Grey and Pied Wagtails are present and several Goldcrest seen this morning.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

November 18th

Pretty quite this morning just eighteen Canada Geese over heading west , six drake Pochard still . Good numbers of Bullfinch around eight birds possibly more , along with Goldcrest , Treecreeper , Goldfinch and plenty of Long-tailed Tits.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

November 15th

Six drake Pochard this morning along with 100 Coot , 73 Tufted Duck , 33 Mallard , eight Great Crested Grebe's and a single Little Grebe . Four Canada Geese flew over heading north , also noted Jay , Goldcrest , Grey Wagtail , Bullfinch , Greenfinch , Goldfinch and good numbers of Long-tailed Tits. The single overwintering Chiffchaff has been seen on three occasions now feeding on the overhanging Willows around the mere. You will find all the sightings on the information board situated on the wall at the visitor's centre.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Pochard Decline

We currently have four drake Pochard which hopefully will be joined by a few more as the weeks go by and stay with us for the winter period. It was a different story not so many years ago with counts at Astbury Mere above fourty during the winter period not uncommon. Numbers continue to fall both locally and also right across North West Europe . The UK breeding total is around 500 pairs , but during the winter it is estimated that around 59,000 arrive here from the breeding grounds in the east . Their long movements are explicable because the shallow waters that they favour are likely to be the first to freeze . The numbers reaching the UK have however dropped considerably in recent years as the warming climate allows more lakes and rivers in eastern Europe and Russia to remain ice free , so Pochard do not need to move as far. There is a strong differential migration with females moving farther south , probably due to the aggression from the earlier migration of males. But where both sexes share the same site the females hold their own and do not loose out on feeding opportunities . Pochard are largely an inland species and not so long ago most of the larger meres in Cheshire held good numbers of this scarce breeding bird. Pochard are primarily vegetarian , diving for their food in shallow water with abundant plant life although they do take small invertebrates .

Monday, 13 November 2017

November 13th

Another cold and frosty start this morning crisp underfoot . Not a great deal to mention pretty quite really the Aythya (Pochard X Tufted) is still present also a single Little Grebe and three drake Pochard . Tufted Duck numbers are holding steady with a count of 73 along with 100 Coot , and we still have eight Great Crested Grebe's present . A Grey Heron was fishing along the fisherman's side and a single Raven called overhead. Eight Bullfinch noted on my walk around also a couple of calling Goldcrest.

Saturday, 11 November 2017


Our first drake Goldeneye for three years was on the mere yesterday afternoon , we usually get a couple of females overwinter but it's nice to see a drake back will it stay!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Mike Atkinson Photography

A big thank you to local bird photographer Mike Atkinson for letting me use some of his suberb images for our web site. Look on the links section to view some of Mike's work he also runs Bird Photography tutorials a must for any up and coming bird photographer.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Aythya Hybrid

A interesting Aythya duck arrived just over two weeks ago on 23rd October. At first it kept its distance and identification was a little tricky , but over time it has become more confiding and the features of Pochard X Tufted Duck can clearly be seen . Hybrids can always prove a challenge until true parentage becomes obvious. The male of this pairing can be confused with Scaup but are generally smaller and can have a peaked head appearance . The Pochard influence makes the mantle and flanks darker , greyer and more solid looking than Scaup , while head may show a brown tint at close range. Unlike Scaup bill shows large black tip and wing stripe shows grey colouration characteristic of Pochard. Just look at the middle image and see how much the head colour can change at different angles.

November 8th

Looks like we have an overwintering Chiffchaff as one was calling then seen feeding in over hanging willows on the waters edge , just to the left of the sailing club this morning. Also noted were three Cormorants , single Grey Heron ,and only handful of Redwing passing overhead . A couple drake Pochard still present and two Raven overhead. The Aythya hybrid duck Pochard X Tufted Duck was showing really well early morning .

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

November 7th

Our second ever Hawfinch this morning found by Jack just after 7-30 along the top wood , just seven days after our first one. Eleven Teal were new in overnight and the four Pochard are still present. The Aythya Hybrid (Pochard X Tufted) was showing very well this morning so I managed to run off some more image's just for reference purposes as the plumage is changing. Twenty seven Redwing flew over heading east along with three Fieldfare and a single Stock Dove. The resident Sparrowhawk was seen on couple of occasions , and Pied and Grey Wagtails were on the sailing Club shoreline. Jack had a Great Black Backed Gull just after first light this morning leave the mere , this is the first confirmed record for over three years.
Aythya Hybrid (Pochard x Tufted).

Monday, 6 November 2017

November 6th

Nice little selection early morning , Fly overs included 317 Wood Pigeon , 7 Fieldfare , 13 Redwing , 2 Stock Dove , single Raven, 2 Lapwing , 3 Rook and 3 female Goosander . Also noted Grey Heron feeding along the fisherman's shore , three drake and a female Pochard , Little Grebe , Grey and Pied Wagtails , six Bullfinch , two Jay , Goldcrest , Nuthatch and Kingfisher.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Sightings Board

Sightings board up and running located at the visitor's center by the main doors.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

November 2nd

Great Spotted Woodpecker , Coal Tit , Goldcrest and Treecreeper all in visitor's center car park this morning , also Siskin over. M Stubbs. Drake Pochard and Little Grebe on the mere and Aythya Duck still present .

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

November 1st

Brambling calling again as it flew over this morning this is the third time in the last four days now , so possibly feeding either around the mere or very close by. Also a single Cormorant over. M Stubbs.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Oct 31st

A juvenile Peregrine made three attempts at trying to take a Coot off the water at 7-30 this morning but failed miserably . We now have two female Pochard but no sign of yesterday's female Wigeon and Goldeneye . The Aythya type duck is still present and two Grey Wagtails were feeding by the sailing club. We should have our bird information board up this week just had my keys from Matt the ranger , also there will be more information on Duck counts , and monthly sightings etc inside the visitor's center.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Hawfinch site first

BOOM......Hawfinch flying over south at 7-30 . Whilst doing another Vis mig this morning a single Hawfinch flew south this is the first record for this species at the site . With hundreds daily reported on the birdlines moving through the country it was only a matter of time. Watched between 7-00 and 8-30 this morning it soon became obvious that there was not the numbers moving like yesterday . Total for one half hours was 434 Wood Pigeon , 31 Redwing , 11 Fieldfare , 16 Meadow Pipits , 4 Pied Wagtails , 2 Siskin , and a single Brambling . Also noted were a female Sparrowhawk , 5 Rook , 2 Grey Wagtail , 13 Goldfinch and a Grey Heron . A female Goldeneye flew in at 8-10 and was photographed also on the water was a female Wigeon and female Pochard .
Goldeneye (female).

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Vis Mig this morning

Two and half hours at first light with Mark Stubbs produced 1200 plus Wood Pigeon , 87 Redwing , 23 Fieldfare , 92 Starling , 500 plus B H Gulls , 43 Lapwing , 36 L B B Gulls , 3 Siskin , 1 Brambling , 4 Meadow Pipits , 5 Rook , Sparrowhawk , 2 Tawny Owl , Kingfisher , 3 Grey Wagtail , 8 Pied Wagtails , Grey Heron , female Pochard and a drake Shoveler .......................................... To put the above into a bit more detail Mark arrived about fourty minutes before me while it was still dark and heard the two Tawny Owls calling and Pipistrelle Bats flying around. Just before I arrived he had Redwing calling overhead and then a Brambling. I arrived just as it was getting light and it was obvious that Wood Pigeons were moving in good numbers with small flocks of tens and twenties going over , we ended up with around 1200 birds. Redwing and Fieldfare started to appear with again small numbers of anywhere from four to ten birds at a time. Two Siskin flew over together then later another single appeared . Two counts of Lapwing with eight and then thirty five these are still scarce birds at the site with only a single being recorded this year. Four Meadow Pipits passed over again not regular at this site. And the Brambling record is only the second in last seventeen years. Small numbers of Starlings were also moving in total we had ninety two. Around 500 Black-headed Gulls also flew from there roosting site along with 36 Lesser Black Backed Gulls. All this took place during first two hours of daylight by 9-00 it had almost stopped.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

October 26th

Tufted Duck numbers are still increasing possibly due to sailing club not sailing at present due to the amount of green algae on the water. A count of 86 this morning which is thirty plus more than last week . The Aythya hybrid duck is still present and we now have two Little Grebe's back hopefully they will winter here . There are eight Great Crested Grebe's that includes the three juveniles , also a good number of Black-headed Gulls this morning . Meadow Pipits and Skylark's flew over but not in any good numbers , also a single Raven , Buzzard and Sparrowhawk . Also noted this morning Kingfisher, Jay , Goldcrest , Bullfinch , Greenfinch , Chaffinch , Goldfinch and a party of twelve Long-tailed Tits.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Hybrid Link

Check out this link for Tufted x Pochard hybrids....................