Sunday, 27 October 2013

Whirling Dervish

Today had me heading off to North Wales and to be precise Gronant, this place has been good to to me in the past with Shore Lark and of course the Little Terns in the Summer so I had high hopes for today.
The target bird being the Grey Phalarope which had taken up residence in the pools in the dunes just before the start of the board walk to the Little Tern area.
Well me and Gem hoped the storm due in was not going to hit early and the weather was going to hold and it did, arriving with very mild weather and even wonderful full sun we headed off down the path, we were soon enjoying watching the bird spin around and around, I knew they spun around when they fed but these fellow was really going for it and very close in giving great views. Two lifers in two weeks can't be bad, I wonder was next week will bring?

Grey Phalarope at Gronant

As I promised my daughter a visit to the beach off we trekked along the board walk, nothing of interest on the beach a few Sky Lark and Linnet in the dunes though as we headed for the beach.

Next we head off to Rhyl for the Hoopoe which was obviously into it's cycling and had been by the BMX and bike circuit course for a few days now, I drove around in circles a bit at first, I knew it was behind the Marine Lake but just how to get there was proving tricky but a kind couple gave me directions (who save use men can't ask for directions).  Walking around the path a Orange bird flew from the cycle course and over to the river inlet, thinking I was just trying too hard to find the bird I thought my mind was playing tricks, but it turned out it was indeed the Hoopoe which I had seen take flight. I was soon watching it feed in the grass by the inlet, two target birds in the bag we headed back to the car for lunch and then home, a successful day if there ever had been one.

Sunday, 20 October 2013


With it being our last day off we decided to go out for one last trip with a Green Winged Teal being at Carsington and the fact it has Snugbury's Ice cream and a decent park for Gem it was a no brainier so we headed off for the afternoon.
Getting to the wildlife centre we were soon pointed in the direction of the Green Winged Teal by the wardens, although it was asleep for all the time we were these only briefly raising its head for a few seconds, be we shouldn't grumble as it was a another lifer.
Other birds noted were Snipe, Teal, Pochard, Wigeon, Coot, Lapwing and Black Headed Gull.

Snipe at Carsington

Green Winged Teal Carsington

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Having the week off and the weather being fine we all headed off to Formby with the kids all back at school and being a week day we hoped that the place would be nice and quite making for some good Red Squirrel action.
Getting to Formby for mid morning in wonderful full Sun we found our first Red Squirrel soon as we parked the car, you can't buy nuts any more as it was encouraging in the evil Grey ones! so the Nat Trust have put up Red Squirrel only nut feeders all around the Squirrel walk which means easy viewing.
We enjoyed great views all around the walk and Gem was having a great time watching the Squirrels and playing with the fallen cones and needles.
We also bagged Jay, Great, Blue and Coal Tit, Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker and we heard two flocks of Crossbill fly over, one even flew over us down on the beach car park.

Red Squirrel at Formby

On the beach we had great views of a small group of Sandling which by staying still and low and allowing the birds to come to me rather than me to go to them I had great close views, wonderful little waders and great fun to watch. Plenty of Razor Shells were on the beach as well as a couple of Oystercatcher.

Sandling on Formby beach

We called in Martin Mere on the way home just to kill an hour or so so we just played in the park and had a coffee before coming home, was a great relaxing day home and some great wildlife was seen to boot.
I even copped a 507 (028)! so only one more to finish off the class.