Posts Tagged ‘Swallow’


Though we have not been known for going to difficult places to see rare birds, Three “A Team” members decided to give it a go. So when a Cretzschmar`s Bunting was found on Bardsey and a “booking system” was in place (kindly policed by Lee Evans) after sleeping under boats etc. We made the arrangements on Tuesday evening to go on Friday morning, weather and bird permitting. Wednesday & Thursday really managed to rack up the “twitchyness” (new word). An early start on Friday morning with Bob K driving, myself and Steve K aboard. We got through the mystery that is the M60 motorway around Manchester onto the M56, along the A55 coast road passing Rhyl when a check of the bird news revealed the bird was still present. Going through Caernarfon, Morfa Nefyn and some beautiful scenery with some of the small villages reminding us of Little Britain and a certain sketch! We passed Aberdaron, previously visited to see Lesser Grey Shrike and Black Headed Bunting and reached the car park at Porth Meudwy in 3 hours 10 minutes, well done Bob. Our time was 11-30am to get there, so time to have a sleep or watch some birds, Black Guillemot, Rock Pipit and a few Manx Shearwater were seen. Off we went with birders from Bedfordshire and Devon, reaching Bardsey at midday. The sun was shining and it wasn`t to windy so we hurried along to the area, passing Rob Lambert (sorry for not stopping to talk Rob) who told us he had seen the bird really well. We were greeted by the warden who told us some do`s and dont`s and all assembled near the lighthouse. We all got decent viewing positions and settled down to watch the concrete block`s that had seed on them that the bird came into. The bird had last been seen at 11am, it was now 12-10pm. After the first hour of waiting, House Martin, Swallow, Linnet, Pied Wagtail and a small flock of Chough were seen. The bird had not been seen for over two hours by now, the tension was building and we had to be off at 4pm. Now standing still and in silence is not a problem for “hardened, dedicated twitchers(nutters)”, but as the second hour passed and still no-show from the bunting with only Linnet`s for company, we all needed some help. It duly arrived in the shape of the warden`s trying to see where the bird was for us all (ta for all the help) After the third hour had drifted by (3-10pm) we all suffered from the horror`s of dipping this ultra rare species. Hardly anyone had missed seeing the bird in recent days would we be the first? At 3-30pm a bird landed on the wall and disappeared back into the grass, it looked good, then suddenly the Cretzschmar`s Bunting was feeding on the seed. It was on show for about 5 minutes and made everyone, who had waited 3 hours and 20 minutes to see it, very happy! The bird then flew past us all, calling and giving great flight features. Hand shakes all around by the “A Team”, the collection bucket was sorted and we headed back. Bob K remarked,”Am I dreaming or did we just see the bird?” I guess the long wait had made it all the more special for us, as we only saw it with 20 minutes to spare. We didn`t have any time to search this beautiful area and we were soon back at the car park for our return home. We had a good laugh about it with all our co-sufferers and saId goodbye for now. The drive home was all the more special now we had seen the bird. Bob had us all back in Milnrow by 8pm, three very happy birders!

Dave O.SAM_2325

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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.


In a 3 hour “vigil” at Clough Bottom in which there was heavy showers, light rain and mist then, warm sunshine the following birds were seen:- 9 Greylag Geese (landed on res at 3-20pm and flew off in the direction of Burnley at 4-00pm) 1 Mallard, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 LBB Gull, 4 Wood Pigeon, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Swallow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 10 Wren, 18 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Blackbird, 14 Willow Warbler,3  Blackcap, 8 GOLDCREST – smile (finally caught up with them at Clough Bottom this year!),  3 Spotted Flycatcher, 12 Coal Tit, 24 Blue Tit, 40+ Great Tit, 1 Treecreeper, 2 Jay, 4 Magpie,6 Carrion Crow, 32 Chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch, 5 Crossbill (2 Juv`s).

Clough Bottom

Clough Bottom

Regards,
Dave Ousey.


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.