Posts Tagged ‘Ring Necked Parakeet’

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.


Our annual first trip of the year began, not too early, with 4 members of our group departing Rochdale and heading for coastal Lancashire. Promise of more rain around dinnertime, did not put us off. We called at Preston Docks first, hoping for the Ring Billed Gull with no success. Clifton Marsh area next with lots of Teal & Wigeon. Fairhaven Lake did not reveal the hoped for windblown Shag, but at Lytham Crematorium, just two Ring Necked Parakeet`s were present. We also paid our respects to a great northern comedian buried in this area, Mr Les Dawson. On Lytham Moss very little was seen apart from lots of flood pools. Marton Mere was next and also the rain started to fall. We picked a few species up from the dry, comfort of a hide and enjoyed the general birding. A visit to a very brisk Marshside Marsh, Southport had us dashing for the hide again. Lots of wildfowl and a brief view of a Great White Egret was all we managed on a very damp day. News of the long staying Caspian Gull being present on Ainsdale beach reached us and as one of our team needed it for a new bird we called in. Lots of mini streams, wet sand and driving rain greeted us, but we pressed on and found the Caspian Gull on the beach. It gave great views down to about 10 yards and Bob K got some nice pictures of this often overlooked gull. We then saw another birder running towards us as we headed away from the bird and he asked us had we seen the Caspian Gull. All wanting to go for another look, as we were already soaked, we took him to the bird. It was a new bird for him also! It was certainly the bird of the day. We had a long, fruitless splash around Lunt (water) Meadows near Formby, looking for a Scaup. Nice place though and we will be back again in better conditions I am sure. A few Grey Partridge were the only land birds we saw. We hurried back to the car just as the heavens opened and we departed for home with around 50 species being seen, quite a low amount but, the weather had a bit to do with it, home by 3-30pm.
Dave O.

With all the strong winds that had blown various American birds to our fair shores, could it be that a Bufflehead found on Ullswater, Cumbria could be genuine? We thought we would give it a go as it had gone fairly quiet on the east coast. So, four A team members set of from Norden with myself at the helm after all enjoying a “lie in”. Just a few cars marked the area that the bird had been found in, on Saturday. It was still there and showed distantly at first until a nearer vantage point was found. What a stunning bird, similar to a drake Smew in “wow” factor! Then, I think you know what I am going to say, some person who obviously enjoys spoiling the moment said,”It`s got a ring on its leg”. Always the same problem with any wildfowl having to prove its authenticity. Have they not all escaped from various places? Later in the week and off course “darn sarf”, another Bufflehead was found also wearing leg adornments. How come they both escaped in the same week? Anyhow it was a beautiful morning in lovely countryside and a trip over the Kirkstone Pass was enjoyed. We headed for Leighton Moss and watched an Otter, a Great White Egret and a Marsh Harrier but not much else.We paid our respects to one of our number who passed on a few years ago and we headed for Conder Green. There were a few waders around but not the hoped for Spotted Redshank or Green Sandpiper. Time for one of those special birds with loads of character the Ring Necked Parakeet. After visiting the grave of Les Dawson, who always made us all laugh, a couple of parakeets were heard and seen very well, always enjoyable! I must point out that the birding was a little slow so some distractions had to be sought! We have had better days, but, it was nice to get out. We all got home by 5pm.

Dave O.

Myself and Steve B just could not resist a Shore Lark at Rossall Point, Fleetwood, so off we went last Sunday. A cold, windy, grey morning greeted us both as Steve drove towards the coast, after leaving Rochdale at 8am. My last sighting of this species was in the Bolton area a few year`s ago, they are certainly not as usual as they used to be. We got to Rossall Point and a real strong wind blew the sand into our faces, as we battled the elements. A couple of “early birders”, were on the beach watching something, it was the bird a cracking male Shore Lark! We spent about 3/4 of an hour watching and trying to get a couple of pictures of the bird and the conditions were forgotten about. Well worth the effort in the end. The tide was well in as we visited the river mouth, were 5 Eiders were seen battling the strong winds. Our next stop was Lytham Moss where a Great Grey Shrike had taken up residence, not far from Blackpool Airport. It was a little hard to find at first (knowing how difficult shrikes can be for me in Lancashire) when out of nowhere it appeared sat on top of a tall bush. Always good to watch as the local Magpie chased it around and eventually gave up and left the shrike alone. In Lytham Crematorium there is a very small population of Ring Necked Parakeets, these are always worth popping in to see and  listen to and what they are up to. Pulling leaves of Holly bushes is their latest pastime, very exotic. A male Scaup was seen next on Fairhaven lake and afforded very close views with it striking plummage and diving ability. A birdwatching colleague of ours, who will not admit to living in the “made up” county of Greater Manchester, sent me a text to tell us that a Great Northern Diver had been found on Rishton Reservoir in Lancashire, so off we went in search of this large diving seabird. We reached Rishton and one of the ELOC members present, could not see the bird after a long search, had it flown off? He thought so and began to leave. Steve B had other idea`s (he had found all the birds this morning) he said, “I have got the diver, its there”. I quickly called the departing birder back to see the diver and he was pleased and so were we. All in all a really grand day out we reached home by 2-45pm.

It’s that time of the year when we all start with zero birds on our year list, so, we did our annual New Year’s Day trip out to the Fylde coast. Not too much evidence of anyone having over indulged this year, after last year’s near do! Not quite a full crew left Norden at 7:30am on a day which was fairly nice after all the rain we have had to endure over the Christmas period. We began at Clifton Marsh with lots of ducks and some small birds thrushes, finch’s, then at Warton Bank, lots of swans and geese and the Great White Egret was still there, also a distant Peregrine. The Long Tailed Duck was hard to see at Fairhaven Lake, as it was diving for 25 seconds and surfacing for 3 seconds. Also Pochard and Tufted Ducks with a few Curlew and small waders on the beach. Next stop Lytham Crematorium for the Ring necked Parakeets. We saw about 3 of these beautiful birds that always make me feel like I am in a different country when I see them. A trip over Lytham Moss didn’t reveal the hoped for winter swans or much else apart from an overprotective man who moved us away from his “driveway” and we all thought he was coming out to wish us all happy new year (miserable get!) Marton Mere had Cormorant, Shoveler, Grey Heron, Goldeneye but no sign of an Iceland Gull or the sound of a Cetti’s Warbler. We decided against the long slog around to the other side for the Long eared Owl’s, due to the time and me going to watch the mighty Rochdale AFC in the afternoon. At Fleetwood we picked up Eider and a few shorebirds. Next place was Eagland Hill area. But, as there was no seed being put out in the normal places (due to the ending of a grant – more cutbacks) we quickly moved onto a new area for us near Scronkey. A Barn Owl was on show for about 10 minutes down to about 50 yards, which  sat on a post. What a bird. A large female Sparrowhawk dashed along the hedge as the photographers tried to capture the owl. Then, as we chased a Corn Bunting down a hedge, a male Hen Harrier was seen, it quickly went to ground. After about 5 minutes wait, we were all able to enjoy this magnificent bird of prey as it put all other birds up into the sky. It was on show for about 5 minutes and was really enjoyed by all our team. What a pity that our rich land owners employ people to kill these wonderful birds? With time marching on, myself and Bob K had to leave the area, what a truly memorable end to a day’s birding. We saw about 63 species on the day. Have a great bird filled New Year!New Year's Day 2013, barn owl, Rawcliffe Moss, Lancs (3) New Year's Day 2013, barn owl, Rawcliffe Moss, Lancs (2)

Dave O.