Posts Tagged ‘Red Grouse’

A hurried decision to go with the lads from York, Nige S & Mark K was fully justified with a really good days birding. We met in York and with Mark driving, we were soon at Ward Jackson Park in Hartlepool. A couple of Ring Necked Parakeet`s gave excellent close up views on a sunny but cold morning. Next stop was the Jewish Cemetery on the way up to the headland in Hartlepool. The Shore Lark was soon being watched and gave quite a good show. The fish quay in Hartlepool has been used by lots of white winged gulls over the years and, as we managed to be invited in we found a very obliging juvenile Iceland Gull. The bird was photographed many times, some really close shots. We also watched a couple of fishing boats come into dock and chatted with the men on the quayside about the state of sea fishing in Britain. We called at Newburn Bridge on the coast to watch one of the local Mediterranean Gull`s and a few waders as they fed and preened on the foreshore.
At Seal Sands on Teesside we searched for a Spotted Redshank without success, but Nige found a newly arrived flock of Avocet`s, spring is nearly here we all thought. We watched the seals as they used as little energy as possible trying to get into the water, great fun! We headed for Redcar and were soon watching a small flock of Velvet Scoter and in trying to get a bit closer managed to catch a couple of waves in our footwear. Just down the road behind The Stray Café we had hoped to see a small flock of Snow Bunting, but with lots of people and dogs around they were nowhere to be seen. At Marske by the Sea a couple of Lapland Buntings had been seen in the morning. On site birders told us that they had not been seen for a couple of hours. We decided to walk the large stubble field and we managed to encourage one of the Lapland Buntings to fly up and call as it flew around us, very nice indeed. The birds were left in peace to enjoy the food left out by some birders.
As we were so close to Skinningrove it made sense to call in and enjoy the Eastern Black Redstart that seems to have taken up residency there. The bird did not let us down, showing really well and a few pictures were taken. Along with the Rock Pipits, Stonechats & Wrens and lots of enquiring tourists a very nice hour was spent on the sandy beach admiring the Redstart. At Lockwood Beck Reservoir a Water Pipit had been showing all day, well up until we got there! A few Grey Wagtails were seen, but that was all. Our final call was to be Danby Beacon were lots of Red Grouse seemed to be dotted all over the place, they are always good entertainment. The drive back over the North York Moors was very spectacular, especially Rosedale, but being a heavily keepered area the chance of seeing any birds of prey was minimal. We reached York after a good days birding around 5-30pm, thanks for showing me some new places lads.
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.

A  full “A” team enjoyed a day out, starting from Dawlish Avenue at the back of Marshside Marsh, Southport.It was very cold and the hoped for Spoonbill was not seen.At the old sand winning plant,  spring finally arrived with 3 male Wheatear seen,its been a long, cold winter,but, they brightened up the mood! At the deserted RSPB hide lots of Avocets were seen and as we searched the marsh for White Fronted Geese we found the Spoonbill.At this point a small falcon was seen chasing a Meadow Pipit,we then all watched a magnificent Merlin for about five minutes as it hunted down its prey,unforgetable! On the outer marsh lots of Pink Feet were seen then a couple of Barnacle Geese but not the White Fronts. Next stop Burrows Marsh on the Fylde as the tide was rising,  for the Water Pipits.It took a while but we had pretty good views of a couple of them and we left all very happy.At Conder Green Pools a Greenshank was seen.We made our way to Leighton Moss then home via the Trough of Bowland and managed to see lots of Red Grouse


Dave O.