Willow Planting

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
Every year I harvest Willow stems from the Willows in my garden,drop them in a bucket of water for a week or three and then plant them out at the Obs to bulk out some of the net rides, and yesterday was my planting day. I hadn't realised just how many there were in my bundle, but let's say I was planting Willows for some time!After I had finished planting as it was quite warm and sunny I decided to have a wander around the farm fields to see if there were any migrants about. First up were a pair of Stonechats working their way along the fence posts and also perching up in the dry Phragmites reedbed.I didn't have any more migrants until I was back along the main hedge and here I managed to 'pish' two Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. I couldn't see the Blackcap, but just hear it's hard Sylvia 'tack'.A number of Woodpigeons were flying out of this ...
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Singing In The Rain

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
The forecast was for it to be a bit mixed last night with some cloud, rain, clear periods and most importantly of all a southerly wind. With thoughts of migrants in mind I headed to the cemetery after breakfast. I had to sit in my car for a while as the rain was quite heavy. It's not that I'm bothered about getting wet, it's that when the rain is really heavy birds aren't very active. If the rain is light, then they will feed away, and of course the rain does drop migrants in.So sat in my car just to prove me wrong I could hear a Chiffchaff singing away and the contact calls of Goldcrests! The rain eased and I set off to do my usual circuit. I had a single Goldcrest first of all and then two together further round. I clocked the singing Chiffchaff and then had a further three working their way through the trees. On the other side of the cem...
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Gone but not Forgotten

Posted on - In Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer
I am referring to the long staying bittern at Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve.As suspected it was not seen for a number of days and the conclusion was that it would have returned to continental Europe for the breeding season.I understand from a knowledgeable birdwatcher that this bittern returns to Mere Sands Wood every Winter. If so I look forward to it's return.As I usually do when at Mere Sands I visited the Cyril Gibbon's Hide to see if the great crested grebes were displaying and on my last visit they did indeed perform for the camera.The grey heron that flew in at the Rufford Hide soon caught a frog. The frogs were busy spawning and would provide easy pickings for the heron.I have shown a sequence of one of the frogs being despatched and swallowed by the heron.It was nice to see kingfishers again showing well at Mere Sands.One bird vis...

More migrants

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
29 March 2016 Rain.Middleton NR Osprey over at c10amFirst Willow Warbler of the yearHeysham NRSinging BlackcapHeliport4 Wheatear***********************************+*********************************************28 March 2016Middleton NR 0705 - 10306C, ENE F2, Clear but mistyThanks JanetHardly any migration was detected at Middleton, just 8 Meadow Pipits (1 trapped and ringed)  and 1 Pied Wagtail (trapped and ringed) flew over!Cetti's Warbler still singing in the central marshWater Rail still calling from the western reedbedA pair of Gadwall was on the Fence pond along with a pair of Mallard and a spare malemale TealChiffchaff singing.Blackbird with food seenOcean Edge 4 male Wheatear grounded2 Linnet (local)c40 Meadow Pipit groundedNo Snipe on high tideline...
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Just Cockersand.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
Two hours either side of the high tide on Monday I concentrated on Cockersand, though I did see the Spotted Redshank at Conder Green as I drove through, to record the bird for something like the 75th time since it's return here on 12 September 2016. There was probably little more than 120 Whooper Swan left at Cockersand on Monday, with 330 of my best wintering estimate of a steady 450 having presumably moved northwards. Waders on Plover Scar at high tide amounted to 193 birds, 110 Dunlin, 58 Oystercatcher, 10 Turnstone, 8 Redshank, 4 Ringed Plover, and 2 Knot, a lone Grey Plover was the quality bird. A Buzzard was overhead by Cockersand Abbey being mobbed by a Carrion Crow, and in Bank Houses horse paddock, a White Wagtail and at least 3 Tree Sparrow.Wheatear Brian Rafferty  The stubble field left off...
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First “Phyllosc”

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
I met up with Andy for another ringing session at Oakenclough. After three or four night of clear weather and sunny skies to help migration along it was perhaps too much to expect a large catch. And so it proved with just 12 birds - 4 Goldfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Wren, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Siskin, 1 Chiffchaff. WrenSiskin Lesser RedpollThe Chiffchaff was our first for the year here and although it was a male we did not hear it singing prior to it appearing in the net at 0900. By March 28th an early Willow Warbler might also be around. A cursory check revealed that appearance-wise our first “phyllosc” was clearly a Chiffchaff. On closer inspection primary 2= 7-8, and primary 6=emarginated, so therefore nothing but a Chiffchaff. It is not unknown that dull and dark-legged Willow Warblers can resemble a Chiffchaff, but also that W...
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Assistant Engagement Officer (Bickershaw)

Posted on - In Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Quick summary:  We seek an enthusiastic Assistant Engagement Officer to take forward the transformation of one of Wigan’s former collieries into a sustainable, high quality and much valued local resource, with focus on an innovative and creative programme of community engagement and events. Full time (37.5 hours per week, until 31 March 2020) We are looking for an individual with a ‘can do’ and resilient attitude who has a passion for engaging and empowering local people, turning a site suffering from anti-social behaviour into a much valued environment enjoyed by both people and wildlife. Salary:  £19,000 pa Closing date:  Wed, 19/04/201...

Shoresearch Survey

Posted on - In Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Date / Time Start date:  Mon, 03/04/2017 - 10:00am - 1:00pm What is Shoresearch? Shoresearch is a user-friendly and fun method of exploring the shore and recording the species and habitats found there. How does it work? We use 4 different survey methods. Not all are used at every survey but we always try to incorporate a walkover survey which is the best fun! 1. Timed Species Search Summary:  Join us on the rocky shore to survey the amazing species found at Half Moon Bay in Heysham. Main image:  Booking details Booking required?:  No Admission charge: ...
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Welly Walk

Posted on - In Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Date / Time Start date:  Thu, 13/04/2017 - 10:00am - 11:00am Joinus to take part in a strandline search to see what animals call the beach home. Remember your wellies and don’t be afraid to get muddy! This event is ideal for 4 to 8 year olds and no booking is required - just turn up! Summary:  Get your wellies on as we explore the beautiful Fylde coast and its sea edge for marine life! Main image:  Booking details Booking required?:  No Admission charge:  No Audience:  ...
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