Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Warm Spell

The warm weather over the last couple of days has brought many Insects out onto the wing . Good numbers butterflies noted with 14 species seen most days , also Common Darter can be found with at least twenty noted around the pool in the top wood. A good selection of Moths , Hoverflies and Damselflies are putting on a good show as well .
Large White.
Common Darter (female).
Common Darter (male).
Leucozona lucorum (Hoverfly).

Thursday, 13 July 2017


Shaded Broad-bar is a moth that's now flying at the mere it can easily be disturbed and observed as you walk through the grass especially around the north east corner . Myself Jack Swan and Steve Hind our Micro Moth county reorder are collating a list of species that have appeared at the site. Images below are of one of the Shaded Broad-bar moths seen today.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Holy Blue

A nice fresh second generation Holy Blue photographed this afternoon along with a few moths that were disturbed from the grass. Aslo noted sixteen Small Skipper a single Comma several Ringlet and Gatekepers.
Holy Blue.
Holy Blue .
Holy Blue .
Shaded Broad Bar .
Udea lutealis .
Unknown micro .
Unknown micro .

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Astbury Insects

Decided as its gone quiet bird wise to have another look to see what insects are on the wing this time of the year around the mere. Good numbers of Ringlet still with around 14 individuals noted along with a fresh looking Holy Blue obviously second hatching . Also noted Comma , Large and Small Skippers , Red Admiral , Large and Small White , Gatekeeper and plenty of Meadow Browns. Five Common Darter were on the wing along with a female Broad Bodied Chaser and really good number of Common Blue Damselflies around 50 plus. A nice looking Hoverfly which I managed to photograph but as yet unidentified and a new moth at the site for me a Blackneck , and two Six Spot Burnet Moths.
Small Skipper.
Common Darter.
Common Blue Damselfly.
Six Spot Burnet Moth.
Chrysotoxum festivum.
Chrysotoxum festivum.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Common Scoter

Todays seventeen Common Scoter is the largest flock ever recorded at the mere . There were Eight drakes in March 1996 , then five females and two drakes in October 2012 , and all records before and after those dates have mainly been singles . Below are a couple of my images from todays flock which spent most of the day sitting tight in the middle ,except on the odd occasions when they flew around the mere .
An awesome sight watching seventeen Common Scoters landing on your local patch.

Record Scoter,s

Seventeen Common Scoter,s found by Andy Goodwin this morning on the mere a record amount for the site with eleven females and six drake's . The birds are still present this evening @ 17-30 . Attached below is an excellent image of all seventeen in flight captured by Dave Kelsall .
Image by Dave Kelsall.

Monday, 3 July 2017


Eleven species of Butterfly were noted on a short walk at mid-day along with good numbers of Common Blue Damselflies and five freshly emerged Common Darter and a single Southern Hawker . A few moths were also seen which included Common Emerald , Burnet Companian , Straw Dot and many unidentified small Micro,s .Andy Goodwin texted me earlier to say there was a Common Sandpiper on the northern shore that's the fenced off area that the fishermen use.
Common Blue Damselfly .
Common Darter.
Common Darter.
Comma .
Ringlet (worn individual).
Mason Wasp.
Burnet Companian.

Sunday, 2 July 2017


Skippers both large and small are now on the wing at Astbury along with Ringlet , Meadow Browns , Common Blues , Large and Small Whites. A good look around and you could be rewarded with 14 different species.
Speckled Wood.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Common Scoter

Just been down quick visit Common Scoter still present @ 18-35 this evening.

Common Scoter

Astbury Mere as been exceptionally quiet of late un till a text at 11-30 from Andy Godwin saying drake Common Scoter now at Astbury . It took me ten minutes to dust my camera off and I was there watching it some 150mts out in the pouring rain , not ideal for photography in fact not ideal for anyone to be out in this really . My chances of getting anything on camera was slim , these are the times you envy the birders with digiscope set up . Apparently the birdlines are saying quite a few Common Scoters are being reported at inland waters today. Thanks to Andy for the shout. Below are two very distant shots of our drake Common Scoter from a very wet Astbury today.Also two Common Tern's at 16-30 ( J Swan ).

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

May 17th

John Spottiswood was at the mere yesterday lunchtime and found 4 singing Willow Warbler 4 Blackcap and 7 Chiffchaff . There were 45 Coots with 17 young in five broods and 10 young Mallard in two broods. The Reed Warblers are still present and a single Garden Warbler singing behind the sailing club.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

May 14th

Very quiet this morning one Garden Warbler noted along with several Willow Warblers , Blackcaps and Chiffchaff's. Two Reed Warbler are still present in their usual place and Swifts Swallow's House and Sand Martin's all feeding over the water. Two Jay squabbling up in the wood and a Buzzard came off the farm fields to circle overhead. Noted feeding young were Goldcrest , Wren , Blackbird , Robin , Long-tailed Tit and Song Thrush. Bullfinch Greenfinch and Goldfinch were also present. No young Grebe's have been seen yet with the two females still sitting tight.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

May 13th

The Swans eggs were found on the path destroyed this morning, as the nest was inaccessible by man and talking with the local fisherman who found them we think it was mink. Mink have been sighted recently along that stretch of water. Anyone who sees a Mink please inform Matt the resident warden on site.

Monday, 8 May 2017

May 8th

Found two Common Terns this morning on the mere which is good for the site anyway but on closer inspection one looked a little different . It had long tail streamers and at first glance what looked like a all red bill, which would make it Arctic Tern a first for the site. But after taking loads of pretty distant crap photos I am pretty much certain its just a common. In the photos you can see slight dark tip on the bill and flying the wings did look clear underneath . But on inspection of some photos the wings do not look as clear as what they should for Arctic. All said and done it was a interesting bird and I think the photos show its just a Common. Even on the perched shot the Arctic should look smaller with shorter legs and the tail feathers should protrude past wing tips , the photo does not show either . Also noted this morning very good numbers of Sand Martins in their hundreds along with a few House Martin , Swallows and eighteen Swift. A Lapwing was a very interesting bird over the mere they breed nearby but you don't get many sightings here. Three Reed Warblers were in song again along with a single Garden Warbler which Jack found yesterday. The Tern images below were taken at great distance and are for identification purposes only that's my excuse anyway .
The Lapwing sighting now takes us to 81 species the exact same total for all of last year. Still missing for this year is Lesser and Common Whitethroat and Hobby.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

May 7th

While i was up the moors photographing Dotterel early this morning . Jack had our first Garden Warbler of the year behind the sailing club , several days later than last year . This takes us to 80 species for the year so far just one behind last year's total.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

May 4th

Oystercatcher over again this morning calling. MS , JS.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

May 2nd

The Mere at its best at 7-00 this morning peaceful quite just the sound of bird song , it was a clear night so it was inevitable that yesterdays Black Terns would be gone. The excitement over the last couple days is now over and done so its back to normal life here at the mere. Two Reed Warblers are still holding territory along with several Blackcap , Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff but we are still waiting for our first Garden Warbler of the year. A single Oystercatcher flew over calling along with Raven and two Cormorant . Reed Bunting Bullfinch Greenfinch Goldfinch and Chaffinch were all seen on my walk around , along with Treecreeper Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit. John Spottiswood was there at mid-day and found the first Holy Blue Butterfly of the year , also noted two Mallard broods with eight and five .Below are three images taken early this morning of one of our resident Reed Warblers.
Reed Warbler .
Reed Warbler.
Reed Warbler.

Monday, 1 May 2017

May 1st

I went early again this morning arriving at around 6-30 in the hope of seeing more Terns but on arrival it was quite with nothing feeding over the water . So I decided to try and capture one of our resident Reed Warblers on camera, with three presently singing I was in with a chance.
Even at 7-00 in the morning with very little light on them I am quite pleased with the efforts . It was now around nine o'clock and I noticed how dark it had gone with a rain storm coming over , ideal conditions to drop something in so I hung on. Around sixty Sand Martins arrived ahead of the storm with two Swallows , two Swifts and a single House Martin then what I had hoped for some more BLACK TERNS four of them . Here we go again ring news in contact local birders then settle down and try and get something on camera. It was always going to be difficult as they were only feeding bang in the middle of the mere , my images are not good but at least the moment has been captured . Myself and John Spottiswood enjoyed the next hour an half as the four birds performed well for us all be it a little distant.
The Black Terns arrived at 9-20 this morning and I've just popped back into the mere and they are still there at 17-50 this evening.