Bolton Abbey Woods & North Lancs. Saturday 2nd May 2015.

Posted: May 6, 2015 in Bird Watching, Twitching
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As we usually follow a regular set of trip`s in spring, it`s always nice when the Bolton Abbey trip come`s along, it reminds us that its migration time. The early start from Rossendale at 5-30am, with me at the helm, Bob K & Chris B for company, is always good and it was to be again. Walking down into the valley at Bolton Abbey woods on a clear but cold morning the bird song seemed all around us and the smell from the plants was quite invigorating! A few Pied flycatchers were heard and then seen, then Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Chiff-Chaff, Willow Warblers and finally up to 4 Redstart`s with 2 males having a right good old go at one another. A freshly cleared area revealed Red legged Partridge`s and a female Pied Flycatcher. No sign of Mandarin,Goosander, Common Sandpiper or Kingfisher on the river, that was unusual. The lack of any Wood Warbler song for the second year in succession was a worry, wonder why? We called in at the Barden area, that had always looked good for Ring Ouzel, as we always comment in passing, so as we stopped to look, 2 female Ouzels and then 2 males were seen along with 2 Ravens, 2 Wheatear and a single, showy, calling Cuckoo. We watched all the activity at this point and really soaked it up, until, right on cue, a man on a motorbike stopped to ask us what we were looking at and all the birds disappeared, so did we! A call at Hellifield Flash was soon done with nothing to report. At Foulshaw Moss (on the Barrow Road) the returning Osprey`s are well wardened and will, hopefully raise some young. A Raven`s nest was bursting with activity as 3 young and two parents were on/in it, quite a sight. A few Tree Pipits were parachuting around and singing. Cracking little reserve, a couple of Swift were also noted. Next stop Leighton Moss lower hide to see the Pied Billed Grebe. Along the causeway Reed & Sedge Warblers were heard just as the rain that has followed us around began to fall. A full hide was further swelled by our arrival and the grebe was seen, sat 20 yards in front of us slightly obscured by vegetation, smart little bird! For a change a Marsh Harrier was not seen. A female Bufflehead near Warrington was going to be our next stop until a plastic ring was found on its leg, so that was abandoned! A Wood Sandpiper had been seen at Alston Wetlands, Longridge. Upon arrival a birder said he could not find the Wood Sandpiper and cursed his luck, having missed the Pied Billed Grebe at Leighton Moss twice already. We told him we had seen it 40 minutes earlier and he was off like a scalded cat! Well we did not find it either but 2 Ruff in breeding plumage made up for that. We searched the area for anything else, but as the rain intensified we decided to head for home, early start early finish. Reaching Rossendale by 4pm. Good day out.

Dave O.

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