Posts Tagged ‘Green Woodpecker’

As I watched the rain splashing against the windows at home last Sunday morning, I casually looked at the BBC Weather news. It was sunny in the Southport area, so, I decided to have a look at the 6 Cattle Egrets that have been in the Birkdale area for some time. As there were no takers to accompany me I got my birding gear into the car and off I went. Within 10 miles of leaving home the rain stopped and it was really quite nice. As I reached the bird’s usual feeding area, the sun was shining, now to find the 6 Cattle Egrets. A couple of Little Egrets fooled me at first, but as I searched around an area of allotments 10 egrets could be seen quite a distance away. As I scoped the birds the 6 Cattle Egrets were picked out along with 4 Little Egrets. They were happily feeding and some of them seemed to be in some form of breeding plumage. Such a large concentration of this species I have never seen before in Great Britain. I watched the birds for about half an hour and set of back for home and as I got to 10 miles from home it began raining again.
Myself and Bob K decided to try to see the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in Moore N.R. near Warrington on Wednesday. The rain was still falling at a great pace as I picked Bob up around 9-30am. We reached Moore and began to explore the wooded area, plenty of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpecker but no “drumming” was heard and perhaps the rain was drowning it out? As we headed back to the car to dry out a bit, the rain finally stopped, so we went back to the area we had been searching before, still no joy, but the first Chiff- Chaff of the year was heard and along with a nest building pair of Lesser Redpoll it made it all worthwhile.
One of my many favourite nature reserves was next at RSPB Burton Marsh, the normal friendly staff told us were all the birds we wanted to see were located. Avocets, Ruffs, Spotted Redshanks and then to listen/see the Cettis Warbler what a place. A Little Gull had arrived last Saturday and was still on the mere and gave good views in amongst the small Black Headed Gull colony, who seemed to like chasing their smaller cousin away. At this stage I made a little boo-boo (not my normal type) but the heads of a couple of gulls were visible and I casually said, “Are those Kittiwakes over there?” A local sage replied with a comment of, “If a single Kittiwake was on here this hide would be full, those are Common Gulls”. Whoops by me, the birds were now seen in all their glory and the sage was quite correct! We had a look up at the “Hill Fort” area that looks out over Burton Point and most of the Dee Estuary with a Great White Egret the only highlight. As we walked back to the car it began to rain again, so we headed for home. This was a bit of a nightmare with 10 miles taking one hour on the M56, but it was rush hour!
Dave O.


Our almost annual trip to Moore local nature reserve in Warrington was well attended this year, apart from one of the lads choosing down rather than feathers! We met at 6am in Rochdale and with myself at the wheel arrived at Moore around 7am. It was cold but we had the reserve almost to ourselves. After we had all spread out and began to search for the sometimes hard to find Lesser Spotted Woodpecker a Greater Spotted Woodpecker & Green Woodpecker were soon heard. Then the much quieter and more rapid drumming of our target species was heard. The bird was only about 15 yards away and happily fed amongst the mossy/lichen covered branch of an old tree before landing 30 yards away and beginning to drum, great views! Its a smashing reserve for various species and worth a visit if you are ever in the area. A few more birders were arriving by now and we told them what we had seen. As the tide was around 11am at Liverpool we decided to visit Richmond Bank to search for the various type`s of gulls that are usually present. The tip area were the gulls visit closes around midday so the earlier the better we all thought. So by 8-45am we met another 6 “gullers” and began our search through the many birds present. Conditions for viewing were excellent and within 5 minutes of arrival a juvenile/first winter Iceland Gull was found. It remained in view for our 2 hour stay! Then a  Herring Gull that looked like a Yellow Legged Gull was seen, until a really well marked Yellow Legged Gull gave itself up, what a nice example. Next up an adult type Caspian Gull was seen. Long “spindly” legs, slim parallel bill. black beady eye on a tapering head shape were some of the noted identification features. Round about this time Steve B (who has a small attention span with gulls & wildfowl) just happened to point out to us all a Glaucous Gull flying down the river, well done Steve! By this time the River Mersey was beginning to push the birds off their roost areas and as we all watched the tidal “bore” the sound was quite spectacular, most of our team have never seen or heard this before. We believe it was to do with it being a 9.9 metre tide? An Iceland Gull was seen flying up & down the river as the river area was completely covered by now. We called in at an area along the East Lancashire Road (A580) to see if we could see any Yellowhammers and managed to find one. We managed to get home around 1pm and all had enjoyed the half day trip, all seeing around 7 new species for the year.

Dave O.