Saturday, 25 September 2010

2 days out

Two Days birdwatching started at South Stack Anglesey in a force 7 with me realising I'd forgot my flask of coffee!
However, Chough was a year tick and Med Gull was found at Trearddur Bay by yours truly.
A quick viewing of the ferry terminal for Black Guillemot proved fruitless, possibly the wrong time of year,But nice to know the locale.
Penhros and Cemlyn were just as windy, with Bar tailed Godwit being the only year tick.
The Great Orm was next in search of Lapland Bunting and after I took everyone to the wrong place the godfather of Sargent birding(my Dad)eventually got us to the right area.There was no sign of the Buntings, we later found we were 200m shy of seven of the beasties,But Manx shearwater was a year tick for some of the party and I found a nice specimen of lycoperdon perlatum AKA the common puffball.
A quick chat with a fellow birder saw us heading to Conwy RSPB to bag a lifer for me in the form of a Grey Phalarope.Also present was a little Stint and 3 Red Breasted Mergansers.
Must say I was very impressed with the site at Conwy and look forward to the same at Middleton lakes if it ever opens!
A blast down the A55 saw us on the Wirral at Neston looking for the Whiskered Tern to no avail,But a distant/possible Spoonbill and Black Tern were some reward.
After arguing with my the satnav we finally got my brothers hotel in Blackpool.
Great to see "our kid" and many thanks to him for putting us up at one of his busiest times of the year.
A quick note to my other brother, there is no such thing as a deliberate foul in Pool!
After a great breakfast the decision was made to head to Pennington flash to look for the Red necked Grebe.
There had been no sighting of the target bird, but a Black necked Grebe was a nice bonus.
The decision then had to be made, where to go next? There wasn't a lot about up here and a report of a Pectoral Sand piper at Upton Warren proved to tempting.
So down the M6, onto the M5 and there you are just like that!
Well not just like that, you need an indefatigable,built-in satnav driver to do that, and luckily enough my brothers just that and without him I wouldn't have seen half the birds I have.Thanks Mark.
The "pec" was seen at Upton and a few photos taken, but poor hide etiquette, don't you just hate it when you let someone into a crowded hide and then they stand in front of you,forced me to leave.
A great couple of days and it looks like we might be doing it again Monday!

Monday, 20 September 2010

More of the same

More of the same from Kingsbury Water Park, with another Immature Black Tern seen today along with 3 Greenshank, a Ruff and 8 Little Egrets.
a Garden warbler was also heard along the path to the hides.
Duck numbers are also increasing with many Shoveler, Teal & Gadwall starting to moult from their eclipse plumage.
On a negative note, the Cormorant with red ring "JW" has not been seen yet and fears are growing for his safety.
This bird has been regular in the Tame Valley for the last two years and I'd hate to think it has set up home elsewhere.If anyone does see this bird, could they let me know or record the fact in the bird log at Cliff Pool.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Honey buzzard over Cliff pool

Had a cracking flyover today in the form of a Honey Buzzard, which showed for about 2 minutes while drifting in from the East.
The bird had a much smaller head, very flat profile in flight, a much slower flap rate and a barred tail.
Also present were 7 Little Egret and singles of Ruff and Greenshank.

Another nice, if common mushroom found was Aminita Muscaria or the fly agaric and a giant puffball was found decapitated by some body's foot.
Why anyone would want to do this is beyond me as it isn't even poisionous!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

What a difference a day makes

Spotted a lovely specimen of Aminita Rubescens and took a couple of snaps with a gap of 24 hours.This was in plain view and was lucky enough to avoid the feet of of over zealous parents and kids.
Also added another distant snap of the 2 Imm Black Terns from Cliff Pool and of the Black swan that has appeared on Canal Pool.
With the kids now back at school and the weather forecast looking quite good, lets hope the water levels carry on dropping and we get some of the quality wader that are passing through the area.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A surprise Tern

I got up yesterday morning at 02:00am for work, only to find a text message from TVB that 2 Ruff had been reported on Cliff pool last night.
Got straight up there after work to find that the water levels had risen again, forcing all but a greenshank to vacate the area.
This disappointment was soon forgotten when I pick up a distant Tern.
Grayish in colour, small black cap, skimming and swooping over the water, it was a juvenile Black Tern!
After the poor passage of Black Terns this spring it was great to see one and on my patch.
The bird wouldn't settle, so you have some very distant shots taken with a plain old digital camera.
A couple of Pochard on Broomey Croft looked like new arrivals and a sign of things to come.

Monday, 6 September 2010


Finally after the summer doldrums things are finally starting to move through.
2 Greenshank and 2 Ringed Plover at the end of last week at North pit were followed by a single Greenshank on my patch, Cliff Pool at Kingsbury Water Park for those of you who haven't been paying attention.
Also present were a single Little Egret and a Juvenile Yellow wagtail.
Talking of Juveniles the updates should be more frequent now that my son is back at college and I can access the PC!
The other 2 photos are of a Common Darter and the Canada/Greylag goose hybrid.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Just got back from a fortnights holiday in Dorset where the change of scenery was both refreshing and challenging.
Being based in Weymouth I was only a brisk walk from both Radipole & Lodmoor where wader passage seemed well under way.Dunlin,Black tailed Godwit,Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper were all "bagged" in the first week.
The second week produceed a tricky calidris that was first thuoght to be a Litle Stint, but turned out to be a Semi-palmated Sandpiper.
Iv'e posted a couple of record shots but much better can be found courtesy of the great Martin Cade at
A two hour seawatch from the end of Portland proved fruitful with Manx, Balearic and Sooty Shearwater, but a call in at Ferrybridge was scrapped due to poor weather.
It was also nice to see quite a few Med Gull of different ages and I'm 90% sure I'll be able to age any that I see in the Tame valley.