August 25/26th – Whitworth wanderings.

Posted: August 28, 2012 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , , , , , ,

My local patch is Cowm & Spring Mill Reservoirs, Whitworth, Lancashire. Most visits are fairly predictable with ducks, crows and a host of smaller birds to watch, this weekend has been very different! Saturday morning, an early walk around Cowm was as normal as ever, when I remembered what a fellow Rossendale birder told me about seeing 2 adult Stonechats at the picnic area. It was such a nice morning that I took a detour to see if I could locate them. After about 15 minutes, 2 adults and 3 juvenile birds were located, but,what was that other bird that was with them? A rusty red tail and a washy grey body and upright appearance, it was only a Black Redstart! A new bird for me in Rossendale and only half a mile from my house. The bird showed really well and sat in the sunshine with the family of Stonechats.
On the Sunday morning a return visit was planned and along with 2 other Rossendale birders a search of the area was made and no sign of the Black Redsart. The Stonechats had moved farther up the valley, perhaps the bird had carried on? Also seen were:- 2 Buzzards, 2 Raven, Goldcrest. We decided to have a look at Spring Mill Reservoir and upon arrival 6 Cormorant & 30 Black headed Gulls seemed to be the the only birds in the area, how wrong! I picked up a Hobby chasing hirundines and then had a go at a Jackdaw across the other side of the valley over Healey and Lobden. We watched the bird swooping around for over 10 minutes, what a sight and on my local patch! The Hobby then had a go at a Kestrel, only to be joined by a Peregrine Falcon that made the Hobby gain height and disappear in the direction of Watergrove. What an amazing 10 minutes of raptor watching! We carried on around the reservoir to the back, very wet side and picked up a couple of Stonechats. Then as we nearly got all the way around the reservoir, more birds were seen sat on the fence, as we watched them we realised we had found 3 Whinchats mixed in with another four Stonechats. The birds were in the same place that we found a Whinchat in spring, must be a stopping off place on migration. What a couple of day’s of local birding makes you realise what you can find if you put the time in!!

Dave Ousey.

  1. ateambirding says:

    Good effort. I could do with three of those for the year. You must have found the only dry spot in the North West.

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