Posts Tagged ‘Buzzard’


With the lads from York needing the Pallid Harrier for a Yorkshire tick, it only seemed right to join them on their quest for the bird after many failures. The bird has been frequenting the area around Welwick since early November, apart from the odd trip across the water to see what Lincolnshire had to offer. We met at North Cave at a civilised time around 9am, news that the bird had been seen at 8-15am sort off made us visit the site first. We arrived at 10am with the news that the bird flew west and had not been seen since. It looked like we would be in for a long wait!
Lots of birds were seen in the area with Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer, Redwing, Fieldfare, Starling and Stock Dove. Once the birds of prey began to hunt the marshy area the place seemed to come alive. Kestrel`s, Buzzard, Merlin, Marsh Harrier and a cracking Sparrowhawk all were seen hunting. The hours rolled by on a very pleasant day and the birder`s began to arrive in the hope that the star of the show a juvenile Pallid Harrier would put in an appearance. Some of Greater Manchester`s finest birders were also in attendance and I had a good laugh with them. At around 2-10pm a harrier was seen, the bird sat in a distant bush and allowed all the telescopes to focus on it and to all decide that that was our bird, the Pallid Harrier. The bird remained on show for around 30 minutes distantly hunting the saltmarsh chasing and nearly catching a Curlew then a Pheasant. Really nice bird to watch. A supporting cast of 4 Short eared Owls were also a delight to watch them hunting. The light was now beginning to fade rapidly and it was time for home. The 4 hour wait for the harrier was well worth it and Mark K and Nigel S both had a new bird for their Yorkshire list!


Dave O.

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With the weather prediction being okay anoth trip was organised by Chris B. So, with Chris at the wheel, four A Team birders left Newhey at 6am. Our plan was to meet up with Nigel from York at Strensall Common. At 7-30am we reached the common and set off to the area we believed was the right place. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was busy drumming away on a tree, then a call from Nigel had us heading in a completely different direction. After a trudge along a muddy path, we finally met Nigel. He had heard Woodlark singing a little while ago he told us, so we waited. After around 45 minutes with Linnet and Skylark`s seen, another Woodlark was heard and we headed in the direction. We watched and listened to it singing on top of a silver birch tree, very nice. A drive up to Wykeham Forest near Scarborough was next, Nigel also met us there and we enjoyed distant but good views of, at least 3 Goshawk and lots of Buzzard all displaying and chasing each other around, Tawny Owl also heard calling, thanks Nigel for your help. On the journey back to the main road a beautiful Yellowhammer male was seen and heard in song, its really spring now! A long drive north and west was next, to call in at Shaw Farm, Arkengarthdale. We usually manage lots of hill dwelling birds in this area, but, apart from distant views of the Black Grouse, we could not locate any others? Birding can be really hit and miss cant it. Final stop was Buttertubbs Pass to again look for hill dwelling birds and again without any luck, lots of Meadow Pipits though.We headed for Rochdale, arriving at a very late 6-30pm. Thanks Chris for driving through all that beautiful countryside, very enjoyable trip out.

Dave O.

 


A mini trip around Greater Manchester with myself and Steve K leaving Rochdale around 8am. The weather was kind to us with the recent snow having been washed away in most areas. Binn Green near Greenfield (ex-Yorkshire) was first up and the expected Red Grouse were soon heard then seen with a Raven for company overhead. The feeders around the car park at Binn Green were very busy as 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers chased each other around, lots of tits & finches but no Brambling or Siskins. We headed for Heaton Park Reservoir were a very strong wind welcomed us as we balanced on the wall and looked through the fence. Our target species here was a Long Tailed Duck, as 3 had taken up residency on the reservoir. Lots of Teal, Goldeneye, Goosander and a couple of grebe species were found along with a small amount of gulls, As we both searched the water we found a single Long Tailed Duck but did`nt find the other 2, it happily floated around preening, perhaps it had been on the bank? On Rindle Road, Astley Moss the hoped for Yellowhammer or Treecreeper sightings never materialized but a large flock of Redwing and lots of Reed Bunting were seen along with Kestrel, Buzzard and a large flock of Jackdaw were noted. Pennington Flash held its usual amount of noisy people and good birds and fun with the car parking ticket machine! Even a group of grown men “playing” with toy cars on the car park did`nt stop us both enjoying this good place to birdwatch. A trip to most of the hides, but, in Bunting hide, a few pictures were taken as the birds fed quite close to us. The highlight was the 2 Water Rail`s that kept coming out to feed near the Moorhen`s and Stock Dove`s, good entertainment, along with a Willow Tit lots of finches, tits, Nuthatch and Blackbirds were really enjoyed in the dull winter weather, A return to Rindle Road around 3pm did not add any other species to our list. We both saw around 9 species for our year list. At home by 4pm to watch the magic of the FA Cup unravel more strange results. Nice days birding and close to home.

Dave O.


Just myself and Chris B for a trip to the east coast with me driving. We met in Newhey at 6am and arrived at Flamborough at 8am with the roads nice and quiet. The weather was dull at first and becoming sunny around midday. There had been some good birds during the week with easterly winds and good sea watching. It had all changed on Sunday as after an hour, apart from lots of Gannets, a solitary Arctic Skua was our seawatching total! News of a Wryneck and a Barred Warbler in Thornwick Bay (near the lighthouse) had us looking for them. The Wryneck showed really well after a while and the Barred Warbler remained hidden. Lots of more common species where around which made the birding much more pleasant, after the springtime double dip of the Crag Martin (think that really hurt me). A trip to Old Fall Flash to see a Little Stint was next, along with a close encounter with 2 Roe Deer, who just ran through a hedge at the side of me! Two Greenshank also on the flash and lots of bathing large gulls. Time to leave the area and have a look out for other raptors in Wykeham Forest just west of Scarborough. Perfect conditions for raptors, but, in the hour Hobby, Sparrowhawk and a single Buzzard was all we saw! News of a White fronted Goose at Fairburn Ings (even though a bit dodgy) was our next stop and and after a good search around only a very large flock of Greylag Geese was apparent and no White front. We lastly visited a reserve that I have only been to once in the last 20 years, Swillington Ings. It used to be known as St Aidans Flood/Flash and was a dissused open cast mining area you could always guarantee things like Iceland & Glaucous Gulls and lots of Smew. The area has really changed and is ready to be taken over by the RSPB. There are lots of footpaths around the large area with lots of people using them and with lots of effort will be transformed into a great nature reserve in time. We called in here as there was a Black Tern in the area, the only hide was visited, access along Fleet Lane. We went into the hide and 3 of the local Swillington Ings members were present, they made us feel very welcome and even gave, yes gave us each a copy of their yearly report! A Spotted Redshank was seen and the lads told us how to find the Black Tern at the other end of the reserve, we had a good laugh with them and as time was against us we went along Astley Lane to where the very large “Drag Crane” is. This will be the RSPB visitor center area as it has a large carpark. The Black Tern was found after 10 minutes of searching and was really enjoyed after missing out on a couple of birds during the day. We reached home by around 6-15pm and both enjoyed our trip seeing 4 new year birds each.

Dave O.


We had planned to go to Hilbre Island on the Wirral, but, the winds did not look very promising, so, we decided to go to find the Blue winged Teal’s in Lincoln. A fully employed “A” team met in Newhey for a 6am departure with Bob K at the wheel. My idea of a shortcut over the tops turned into a bit of a nightmare with thick fog/mist hampering our progress. We reached the M62, which was surprisingly short of roadworks, but still shrouded in mist and upon reaching the A1 the mist cleared. As we reached Lincoln the famous cathedral was engulfed in the early morning mist, normally associated with San Francisco! We began the half mile walk to Boultham Mere, formally a gravel pit for railway ballast and the sun began to shine. A Chiff -Chaff was around and as we crossed the drain we met a couple of birders, who told us the birds were still present. A quick look in the hide revealed nothing only sunlight. At the south western end of the reserve was a seat and as we rested on it, the 3 Blue winged Teals began feeding only 25 yards away, result for us and a tick for one of our number! A really pleasant reserve in a nice city makes a pleasant change. Blue Wing Teal 22-09-13With the main target birds seen, where too now? Blacktoft Sands was the answer to see an elusive Spotted Crake. An hour later at 11-50am we sat in Singleton Hide and as we had only missed a brief appearance by 10 minutes it would show would’nt it? By 3pm the bird had beaten us and had really earned the title elusive, not much consolation for one of our number who still needs it! Lots of Ruff, Snipe, Lapwing and a couple of Green Sandpipers made up the waders present. Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel & Buzzard were the birds of prey present. Next stop,  Fairburn Ings,  for a “nailed on” species of duck whose name escapes me. As we got there a lady birder told us that,  “they” had been flushed off by a Grey Heron! Despite a 45 minute search they were not seen. Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Garganey were seen though. All the birds suddenly took to the air and we thought that the 5 Grey Herons were to blame for this, but Steve B, who had left the hide, had seen and photographed a Fox grabbing a Canada Goose. At least someone would have had a good meal on Sunday evening!

Dave O.


The wintery weather that we are still getting didn’t put us of having a trip into North Wales last Sunday. After a little planning and the promise of a 5:30am start, it wasn’t surprising that there were only three of us. Steve B, Chris B and myself at the wheel. After getting rid of some snow we left Rochdale on time and by 7am reached Minera, near Wrexham. Then a climb into the snow and ice line, up a steep gradient made us all wonder as to our sanity! Then we found the reason why we were here, 10 Black Grouse at a “Lek”. Great displays and much noise accompanied this spectacle. They were distant, but undisturbed by our presence as we stayed in the car, on a bitterly cold morning. A Peregrine was a nice sighting as it flashed by silhouette against the snow.Worlds end 001 Worlds end 008 Worlds end 005 Worlds end 003 At the other end of the valley more Black Grouse were seen, bringing the total to around the 30 mark. The hoped for Great Grey Shrike was not seen by our team but others found it back up the valley. My luck with seeing Great Grey Shrike’s carries on. Well the one in Clocaenog Forest is much more reliable to see, we were told by a group of Greater Manchester birders. We went to a couple of raptor watch points but were inundated by lots of Ravens, Buzzards, Red Kite’s, then after a slog up a mountain path we arrived at the highest point in the forest. Great views, but next to no birds and not a glimpse of the Great Grey Shrike that we were told had just been seen by 2 leaving birders! The sun was now shinning as we headed for the coast for our third call at Rhos point, this year, to search for Purple Sandpiper. As usual they were not present or showing themselves. Now comes the duck part of the title, one of our team has not caught up with Surf Scoter yet. We have called at Llandulas to search the enormous flocks of scoters for the Surfies but have always failed. Today we thought our luck was in, as we saw 4 Velvet Scoters and the large flock of birds were coming closer inshore, but,as luck would have it, some prat in a boat sailed right through the centre of them and scattered them all away, thanks pal! After we had added Red Breasted Merganser we decided on a last call at Burton Marsh, Cheshire. Upon arrival, I said that it would be a little early for the Short Eared Owls to be out hunting and of course up to 3 birds were quickly found. One of which was a really pale bird, that we have seen before. A Peregrine on a post and lots of Little Egrets were also seen. We headed for home having all added at least 4 species to our year totals. The day was a real success and the early start was rewarded with watching the Black Grouse “Lek”.
Regards,
Dave O.


About this time of year. The bird world hits a bit of a lul. So a bit of local bird watching is called for. Ozzy visited Holden Wood, Ogden and Calf Hey Reservoirs this afternoon and saw the following species:- GC Grebe, Little Egret (feeding at the far western end of Ogden Reservoir for over 2 hours) Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Buzzard, Kestrel (watched 4 birds hunting together) Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, B H Gull, LBB Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Redstart (juvenile in small bushes at western end of Holden Wood Reservoir, firstly at 3pm and again at 5pm) Stonechat, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Willow Warbler, Blue Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.

Some great birds for our area. We don’t get many records of Little Egret – great bird. Always glad of any sightings of Redstart too.