Posts Tagged ‘Sedge Warbler’


With the onset of spring and a really nice weather forecast in store, a trip to the marshy areas of Yorkshire was planned. Myself & Steve K met the York lads at North Cave and after the news that the day before`s Curlew Sandpiper had not been found, it was decided to visit Faxfleet. With Nigel S at the wheel, a new area for myself and Steve K, who was freshly returned from a trip up Scotland with tales about Ptarmigan etc. As soon as we stopped a Cettis Warbler was heard, this was to be the norm throughout the day. Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Marsh Harrier were soon seen at this little known site, but the best was yet to come with the sighting of around 8 Bearded Tits (Reedlings, Parrotbills, whatever) Great birds to watch at close quarters chasing around and calling in the reeds!

News of the sighting of a female Montagu`s Harrier at Blacktoft Sands had us making our way there. Again upon arrival Cettis Warbler seemed everywhere. We went up to Singleton Hide and after a 40 minute wait watching the Marsh Harriers, we finally managed to pick out the Montagu’s Harrier. The bird was distant and only remained on view for around 5 minutes before heading away, hope the male returns soon! A good walk around the reserve were some good pictures of the Cettis Warbler were taken (not by me though) After a bit of a “tip off” we explored Goole Fields hoping to find a “blue pipe” in the ground where a Yellow Wagtail had been seen an hour before. We could not find the pipe, but Steve K picked up a solitary Yellow Wagtail that we all managed to see flying.

A good look around North Cave N.R. was made all the more pleasing when Mark K heard a singing Lesser Whitethroat. After a search the bird performed very well in a large hedge but, it did not sing again. It is probably the first time that any of us have ever seen a Lesser Whitethroat before a Whitethroat. We ended the day with an overhead Red Kite, which is always a real pleasure to observe.

Dave O.

 

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As the weather in the west seemed pretty good on Sunday we decided to visit Anglesey, Wales. Three A Teamers met in Rochdale for a 6am start, both Steve`s and myself with Steve K at the wheel. It was quite a nice, if cold ,morning as we headed into North Wales reaching Holyhead harbour around 8-15am, two Black Guillemots were seen, but not much else. At South Stack RSPB reserve  we went to the cliff top view and lots of Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and just four Puffins were seen. Fulmar, Shag, Raven, Rock Pipit, Gannet, Manx Shearwater were all seen from the stack, then 2 Great Skua passed heading north, what a nice surprise they were! A couple of Common Scoter and the ever entertaining party of Choughs completed an always good visit. We called in at a new reserve in Holyhead called something like Breakwater Park? Lots of dog walkers,so we moved on quickly. Next stop was what we used to call the inland sea, now called Penrhos with its own small nature reserve. A few Sandwich Terns and two Red Breasted Merganser were fishing in the sea, but the hoped for Whimbrel were not seen.

After a short while we decided to visit RSPB Valley Lakes in Caergeilog, the sun was shining really well now but it was still a little chilly. We soon heard lots of Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers singing and after a very pleasant walk towards the railway track we heard Cetti`s Warbler blasting out their loud song. Willow Warbler, Blackcap and a fine pair of Little Grebe made up a very pleasant hour at this warbler rich reserve. As we were about to leave we saw Alan Davies, of “The Biggest Twitch” fame, we had a good talk about birding in general. A nice birder on a bike told us about a noisy Lesser Whitethroat about half a mile away, so, off we went and enjoyed hearing and watching the bird perform. We heard about an Osprey that had been seen in the morning perched on a pylon near the Britania Bridge, as we passed over we looked for it, but it had gone!

At the Spinnies, Aber Ogwen a few Red Breasted Merganser, Little Egret and a few birds on the feeders were seen but not much els,e like the hoped for Kingfisher or Water Rail. A few good waders had been reported at Frodsham and as we where passing we called in. As we slowly made our way along the bumpy track to the tanks, Steve K said, “Reeling” we knew what he meant, a Grasshopper Warbler. With a bit of pishing etc the bird nearly flew into the car and landed a few feet away, nice when this happens! Along the track it became apparent that some construction work was going on, more wind farm nonsense and the usual barrage of no entry sign`s etc. It did not stop me having a good walk through the barriers(the guard on site was okay with us) and being rewarded with views of Ruff, Black Tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover, a birder on site did help me locate a couple of the birds though!

Final call was to be Pennington Flash, Leigh. The weather by now had turned a bit showery and as we reached the flash the heavens opened, we sheltered in a hide and got a couple of Common Terns. Our plan was to see a Black Necked Grebe, but after searching and avoiding more rain we abandoned that plan, five Common Sandpipers where nice though. We looked in at the feeding station, but there was not much happening, must be the weather? I almost left my scope behind, but a nice lady shouted me back from the hide to pass it to me. Many thanks who ever you are. We got home around 6-15pm, 12 hours of really good birding.

Dave O.

 


As we usually follow a regular set of trip`s in spring, it`s always nice when the Bolton Abbey trip come`s along, it reminds us that its migration time. The early start from Rossendale at 5-30am, with me at the helm, Bob K & Chris B for company, is always good and it was to be again. Walking down into the valley at Bolton Abbey woods on a clear but cold morning the bird song seemed all around us and the smell from the plants was quite invigorating! A few Pied flycatchers were heard and then seen, then Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Chiff-Chaff, Willow Warblers and finally up to 4 Redstart`s with 2 males having a right good old go at one another. A freshly cleared area revealed Red legged Partridge`s and a female Pied Flycatcher. No sign of Mandarin,Goosander, Common Sandpiper or Kingfisher on the river, that was unusual. The lack of any Wood Warbler song for the second year in succession was a worry, wonder why? We called in at the Barden area, that had always looked good for Ring Ouzel, as we always comment in passing, so as we stopped to look, 2 female Ouzels and then 2 males were seen along with 2 Ravens, 2 Wheatear and a single, showy, calling Cuckoo. We watched all the activity at this point and really soaked it up, until, right on cue, a man on a motorbike stopped to ask us what we were looking at and all the birds disappeared, so did we! A call at Hellifield Flash was soon done with nothing to report. At Foulshaw Moss (on the Barrow Road) the returning Osprey`s are well wardened and will, hopefully raise some young. A Raven`s nest was bursting with activity as 3 young and two parents were on/in it, quite a sight. A few Tree Pipits were parachuting around and singing. Cracking little reserve, a couple of Swift were also noted. Next stop Leighton Moss lower hide to see the Pied Billed Grebe. Along the causeway Reed & Sedge Warblers were heard just as the rain that has followed us around began to fall. A full hide was further swelled by our arrival and the grebe was seen, sat 20 yards in front of us slightly obscured by vegetation, smart little bird! For a change a Marsh Harrier was not seen. A female Bufflehead near Warrington was going to be our next stop until a plastic ring was found on its leg, so that was abandoned! A Wood Sandpiper had been seen at Alston Wetlands, Longridge. Upon arrival a birder said he could not find the Wood Sandpiper and cursed his luck, having missed the Pied Billed Grebe at Leighton Moss twice already. We told him we had seen it 40 minutes earlier and he was off like a scalded cat! Well we did not find it either but 2 Ruff in breeding plumage made up for that. We searched the area for anything else, but as the rain intensified we decided to head for home, early start early finish. Reaching Rossendale by 4pm. Good day out.

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!

Regards,

Dave O.


Having missed out on a Pallid Harrier last year in Teeside, on the day that a certain football team shipped 6 goals to the eventual champions. We thought that a trip to Patrington Haven, Yorkshire would be in order. It’s a good job that we already have Pallid Harrier on our list, because we were again, unsuccessful. It was just me and Bob K that made the trip with the rest of the A team indisposed. We arrived with no news about the harrier on a bitterly cold “spring” morning, it was more like the middle of December. Much searching revealed 3 Marsh Harriers, Whitethroat, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Cuckoo and an impressive array of waders with the Grey Plovers looking quite spectacular in the spring finest. A small flock of Brent Geese also graced the haven. After a couple of hours in the freezer we headed back to the car. We went to Spurn to follow up on a report of a Golden Oriole. The bird was soon located as it flew out of a bush that also held a caterpillar catching Cuckoo, the Oriole flew from the Canal Scrape area towards Beacon Lane. We had another go for it along Beacon Lane and the bird again gave fairly close flight views across a rape seed field, the yellow colours were quite splendid! We left the Spurn area and had another go for the Harrier, but, as we arrived we were told about a male Red Backed Shrike north of Easington Lagoons. Back to Spurn then. We used a short cut to the north of the area and we had great sightings of the first year male Red Backed Shrike. Two Little Terns then flew just behind us and landed in the sandy area and we got some pictures of them. A final look at Kilnsea and an Egyptian Goose along with the Greylag Geese was a nice bird to catch up with, We headed for home Pallid Harrierless, again, but we picked up about 8 year ticks each. Hope the weather gets better?

Dave O.


Well this has got to be the best Easter weather that I can remember, and that’s all the excuses in need to get out and find some local birds.

Good friday – off to the Peak district. Lud’s Church. A very secretive natural wonder..not to be missed…If you find it, that is. I missed my turning..watching birds off course. I had walked an hour along the River Dane, (looking for Dippers), before I closeley checked the map…My path should not be alongside the river..Opps. Still..I had a Dipper…Lots of Blackcaps about here. Back to the car and out with the picinc. Argh Bliss.

Saturday – Pennington Flash – Up to seven Black Terns reported yesterday. None at 9am today. a pair of  Black necked Grebes and 3 or 4 Common Terns added to my list.

Black Neck Grebes

Black Neck Grebes

Redshank

Redshank

Marshide – As I parked the car, and got out. My ears caught the sounds of Common Whitethroats – about 4 I guess. Sedge Warblers had also arrived in the reedbeds. From the main hide, Avocets (20-30) are beginning to take over the small islands. It wasn’t long ago that this was a Mega bird for the North-west, now we have bazzillions. From Nells hide, a stunning male Garganey is a real well come sight, but no sign of the Lesser Scaup today. Other notable sightings, a few hundred Black Tailed godwits.

Gargeney

Gargeney

Avocet

And on the seventh day..I had a rest…Phew.

Wigeon

Wigeon

Easter Monday – Still sunny. A mega reported at Fleetwood. A Short Toed Lark showing very well. This is a real rearity for the North West. I got good views of it on the path before Dog-walkers sent it hiding for a while. This is only my second British ST Lark. Common Whitethroats alover the reserve.

Brockholes LWT – Officially opened yesterday. I have been coming here for a few years now, and wasted no time to get here now it’s openned. It looks lovely. Out came the dosh and membership sorted. This going to be a cracking reserve for us North West Birders. On main lake, a couple of newly arrived Little Ringed Plovers displayed. A single (early) Whimbrel minded it’s own business before taking off. Lots of Sedge warblers and Common Whitehroats here too. Enjoyed it.