Posts Tagged ‘Meadow Pipit’

Way back in 1994 myself and Bob K were lucky enough to see a Blyth`s Pipit at Landguard Point, Suffolk. The bird was catching “blue-bottles” (thanks Brian) and showing very well most of the time and was thought to be only the second record of this species recorded in Britain. When local birder Jonny H found a strange pipit on his patch near Pugneys N.R, in Wakefield, he quickly realised that the bird was another Blyth`s Pipit and a first for Yorkshire! He found the bird during the week so most of our crew were not able to go for it until the weekend, so an anxious wait followed. The bird was remaining faithful to a watery meadow inside a business park and overlooked by the headquarters of West Yorkshire Police. All other “A Teamers” needed to see the bird as a lifer. Our Christmas get together on Friday evening for beer and a curry produced a few headaches but did not put Chris B off from going to Wakefield on Saturday morning. Chris connected with the bird almost upon arrival and obtained good flight views and the distinctive calls were heard. The finder was on site to walk the area to flush the bird every hour or so to save the bird any undue stress of lots of birders milling around its favoured feeding area. Sunday morning saw myself, Steve B and Steve K waiting for news of the bird, that was put out around 9-15am that it was still present. We met at 10am and arrived on site by 11am and the bird had been seen in flight at 10-30am as a Red Kite had flown over the area and flushed the bird, but the pipit had landed in the deep grassy area. At 11-30am the finder went into the watery area and after flushing 4 Grey Partridge, Snipe & 4 Meadow Pipit the Blyth`s Pipit took flight. Its tail appeared “twisted” and the call was quite different to the smaller Meadow Pipits that also flushed up. We all had a good, if brief views of the bird. A further 3 times the bird flew and better sightings were had. We left around 12-35pm and headed for home. The bird did show perched up and on the ground later in the day as the wind decreased. The journey home over the Pennines on the motorway was like driving in a fish tank as the rain lashed us around!

Dave O.


After a damp trip up Pendle Hill to see the Dotterel the day before, I hoped for a dryer day for our usual trip to Bolton Abbey Woods. Myself, Chris B and Bob K aboard in Chris’s car left my house for Bolton Abbey and a few other places! The weather throughout the day remained kind to us apart from a couple of showers. A male Redstart sang at the top of a tree for us, then a few Mandarin Ducks sat in a tree started the day off well. Birdsong was all around us with the regular warbler’s very prominent. Then a Pied Flycatcher was heard and then seen well, quickly followed by a very showy Garden Warbler. We searched in vain for any Wood Warbler’s, looks like they are not returning here for a second year or are we too early? A nice bird to find was a female Hen Harrier as we headed over the hill’s, I thought the gamekeeper’s had shot all these beautiful birds? At Hellifield Flash the hoped for Wood Sandpiper was not seen and in fact, not a single wader species, so, when a whole host of wader (along with the Wood Sandpiper)sightings were seen by others later in the day it made me wonder if we were at the right place or is the pool “tidal”. Moving on, we managed to glimpse an Osprey and a few Tree Pipits were giving us a good singing at and parachuting, they really enjoy themselves. A lone Cuckoo was being pursued by a host of Meadow Pipits after calling for 5 minutes or so, a real springtime song. From our lookout on Crag Foot a Great White Egret and a Spoonbill were seen in the distance, then Bob K picked a male Garganey up in flight,well done Bob! A walk to the Morecambe & Allen pools for more distant views of the Spoonbill and then a Whitethroat was seen. Along the public causeway Sedge & Reed Warblers were seen and heard along with a pair of Marsh Harriers along with a few Swift & Sand Martins. A reported Wood Warbler had been heard/seen at Crook’O Lune earlier in the day but we could not find it,but it was a really nice place to stop at on our way home. We all enjoyed the day’s birding and got around 10 new birds for the year list. We all got home in time to gain some “browny” points!


Dave O.

With the hour less in bed catching one of our number out and another preparing for an overseas visit, a much depleted “A Team” left Rochdale at 6am with myself at the wheel. First stop, to “tick off” Mandarin, was Preston Grasshopper’s rugby club pond, good start no Mandarin`s, the theme would continue later in the day! Sizergh Castle, just in Cumbria, next stop and a waiting Hawfinch was seen sat on top of a tree. Cracking bird this one, a quick look at the feeder`s for my bogey bird in 2014,Treecreeper revealed none present. A male Scaup has been present on Middleton pond near Heysham village for a while, it was too good to miss and the bird duly obliged with excellent views, I made friends with a couple of Mute Swan’s also. We went past Morecambe F.C. and headed for Heysham harbour. A lot of fishermen and their vehicle`s were parked along the harbour wall and one in particular was parked very badly and it looked like it was going to turn nasty as a security guard tried to reason with the offending parker! About 6 Wheatear, 2 Twite and lots of Linnet`s in the area but, the real stars were masses of Meadow Pipit`s moving south, a real migration in action moment. At Leighton Moss 60 Avocet, 100 Black Tailed Godwit and the constant clamour of Black Headed Gulls reminded us about spring,then 3 Sand Martin headed past us,excellent. Along the causeway the bird of the day was firstly heard then flew out and sat on top of a reed, a male Bearded Tit, the bird was nicer than any picture I have seen,a true gem! A couple of Marsh Harriers were around then our first Swallow`s past just overhead heading north. A couple of butterflies were seen,Brimstone & Peacock and a few Chiff-Chaff in song all added to the general good feeling about the day. Over the hills to Stock`s Reservoir next with a hope of catching up with a large fish eating raptor the focus. No luck in that direction also,but a sunbathing Little Owl made up for it. A few more Sand Martin were seen over a couple of rivers as we headed towards home. We headed for the canal in Littleborough to catch up with a Mandarin,that was nearly always around, and after a good walk we had no joy. The pair of Garganey at Shaw Moss pond near Hollingworth Lake were quickly seen and we headed for home. We all saw about 8 species to add to our “year lists” and all enjoyed birding in warmer,drier conditions than we have had of late!

Dave O.

Whilst one of our number was watching the Great Spotted Cuckoo in Pembrokeshire and another doing his conservation thing the 3 remaining members of the A Team (Steve B, myself and Chris B at the wheel) headed for North Wales. Our target was the Black Grouse at the well named World’s End, we left Brooks End at 6am and arrived at our destination by 7-30am. A bit of frost about but not snowbound like last year! Three aptly named Blackcocks were soon seen at the side of the track and about 30 birds in total were seen during our short visit. Its advisable to stay in your car so not scare the birds and you should have reasonable sightings. Raven, Skylark and lots of Meadow Pipits were seen but the Great Grey Shrike was not around and a couple of fly past Siskin made up the sightings. Up to 8 Surf Scoter have been seen each day from Pensarn Beach over the last week or so, must be worth a go then? The wind was fairly strong from the west as we arrived and the tide was in and the light perfect, but if you dont get all 3 at the same time your chances of seeing them are very limited. After about an hour of watching Common Scoter and a few passing Red Throated Divers, we decided to go without any success, the wind was blowing us about that much!. A nice Snow Bunting was seen on the seawall though. We headed off to Aber Ogwen / The Spinnies, were two Chiff-Chaffs were singing away, they gave this delightfull nature reserve a spring like feel. A Water Rail feeding below the bird feeders and a distant Slavonian Grebe and two Greenshank made up the species. A little detour to see some Chough`s followed and after a bit of good bird observation by Steve B two of these captivating birds were seen. Another visit to Llandulas and again Pensarn still drew a blank with the Surf Scoters, mind you they were not reported from any other birders on Sunday. A quick look in at Haughton Green Pool near Warrington did not reveal the hoped for Black necked Grebe’s but lots of people walking their dogs and low water did not help. Home by 5-30pm, with around 8 new birds for the year.

Dave O.

The American Buff Bellied Pipit had gone missing for a few day’s from Burton Marsh on the Wirral, but it re-appeared on Saturday,so a trip was arranged as all our group (except me,again) needed this species for a “lifer”. I felt much better than my last visit as we all arrived at the marsh (except Bob K who was entertaining an Australian journalist) with myself at the wheel. As daylight crept up about 20 souls looked into the tidal wrack in the marsh as pipits seemed to be dropping in out of the sky. Then a birder at the side of me said that he had the bird only 10 metres away, not exactly panic, as the bird was easily picked out in amongst all the other Meadow Pipit’s present.

American Buff Bellied Pipit - Burton Marsh

American Buff Bellied Pipit – Burton Marsh

American Buff Bellied Pipit - Burton Marsh Mob

American Buff Bellied Pipit – Burton Marsh Mob

Great result for the A Team and the customary hand shakes were made. A female Hen Harrier glided past and put up all the birds on the marsh whilst looking for it’s breakfast, a real spectacular sight. A visit to the Fylde area was planned so a bit of a drive ensued, a Jay flew over the M6 and another species was added. At Clifton Marina no Grey Partridge were seen but Buzzard’s and lots of Wigeon & Teal. Our trip to Warton Bank for the regular Great White Egret was marred by it not being present, lots of Mute Swans and Little Egrets kept us looking though. Lytham Crematorium next, were at least 6 Ring Necked Parakeets were seen, they always brighten up the dullest winter day’s, don’t they? Again we were to be disappointed at Marton Mere as the regular Long Eared Owl’s were not seen by ourselves, although a passing Sparrowhawk helped. We then drove to the Pilling area and had good views of a small flock of Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrow’s at a regular winter feeding area. No sign of any Barn Owl’s in the area but a few Whooper & Bewick’s Swan’s were seen.

Wigeon Flock - Freckleton

Wigeon Flock – Freckleton

We called at Blackburn town center to see if the Waxwing’s were still around but it appears that they had gone to roost just before we arrived. So we missed a few species we thought we should have got but as Steve B said,”We got the main bird, the pipit”. Good day out in reasonable weather.

Dave O.

With Bob K making a shed and trying to earn “browny” points the other four members of the A Team headed for the hills of Yorkshire. The weather over the last couple of weeks had been like traditional summers were, hot! The plan was to search the hills for Ring Ouzel a species that has eluded us all up to now this year. So on a warm Sunday at 6am we set of, it was a bit misty in places as we passed through the Settle area. We reached an area around Buttertubs Pass and began the search and after we had sifted through lots of juvenile Wheatear and Meadow Pipit there on the opposite hillside was a male Ring Ouzel perched out on a rock surveying his area,what a gem, bird of the pennines! After a call at an area well known for having Black Grouse in springtime we made our way towards Wykeham Forest which is around 8 miles west of Scarborough. We did’nt see the grouse by the way but there were lots of the Red one’s. We called in at a place that had Marbled White butterflies present , but, finding the entrance fee to be £7.00 we decided against it, we are from Lancashire by the way, were do they dream these prices up? At Wykeham the search for Turtle Doves began. We visited the area a couple of times last year and between us only saw one bird. Well as soon as we got out of the car one bird began “purring”, I had almost forgotten what the sound was it is so long since I have heard it. Then two birds landed in a tall tree and began being friendly. As we searched for more Turtle Doves, Tree Pipit and Yellowhammer were seen. Probably the same two Turtle Doves were seen again in flight whilst the single bird was still calling. So at least 3 birds were present. At the raptor watch point Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Raven, Spotted Flycatcher and high flying Goshawks were seen, but not the hard to find Honey Buzzards. The first test match between England and Australia was coming to a nail biting conclusion and as we all listened to a ball by ball commentary the end, when it came, was greeted with happiness amongst the 15 or so people there! After about 1 1/2 hours we decided to head for home and arrived home at a decent hour. We all managed at least three new birds for our year list. Very warm trip!
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.