Monday, 16 February 2015

Doxey Marsh

Again we just fancied being lazy on Sunday so it was a case of a spot of house work, put up a new bird box Gem has decorated plus the usual odds and ends.
Then in the afternoon a stroll around Doxey Marsh, just the usual stuff at Creswell Flash, walking along to the new hide a Water Rail jumped up and then disappeared again, this seems to be my only views of this bird this year.
Walking along past the new hide we stopped by a bench and started to scan around for the Water Pipit, eventually I saw a Little Brown Job moving in and around the reeds but no sooner had I found it it flew off. It didn't give me longer enough to fully id the bird, so back to the hunt.
A few minutes latter I had re-found the bird and this time managed to successfully id the bird, so that was that ticked off for the year, far too distant for a shot but I still managed a decent view, it took Lesley a while longer to pick the bird up but at least she saw it.

Also managed to see 66749 (an ex Euro 66) head North light engine while watching the Pipit.

Wye Dale

Being the romantic sod that I am I took Lesley off for a nice lunch out on Saturday with it being Valentines Day.
We decided not to venture too far just across to Buxton for lunch then a walk along Wye Dale afterwards, there is quite a bit of building work going along the main track to the cottages with crash barriers and strengthening of the edge of the road being worked on.
But we still managed to find our target bird of a Dipper only a single bird but at least they are still there.
Then it was back home with a quick drive over Axe Edge to see what was around plenty of Red Grouse but that was about all.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Cheshire Bash

On Saturday (07 Feb) we did a bit of a bash around Wirral starting off at Hoylake not for birding but to see the drift wood pirate ship there next to the life boat station as I new Gem would love to have a play on the ship.

A really cool bit of kit to launch the life boat just like out of Thunderbirds. 

Pirate Ship at Hoylake

Gem sailing the Grace Darling
It was the on to the more serious matter of birding the first port of call being Wallasey for the Snow Bunting we really didn't need the bins to see or find these two birds which have taken up residence, Gem thought they were cute which they are.

Snow Bunting at New Brighton by the Wallasey Life Guard Station

I bumped into a fellow local Stokie birder which I had a feeling I would see someone I knew around on my travels today and was told the Laughing Gull was on the Marine Lake down at New Brighton off we headed. But as usual our luck was not in and the bird had done a bunk when we turned up and had headed off to feed out by the light house, I manged with a little help to see the bird at a distance but not a great view so it was off back to the car for lunch and hope the bird would come back to the pontoon. After lunch the bird had reappeared at the pontoon allowing for easy viewing of this rare but ugly Gull (well to me at least it looked like a over grown Black Headed Gull) you may have guested I don't really do Gulls.
Plenty of Purple Sandpiper were on show I do love these dumpy waders, also a single Sandling in with the Turnstone and Redshank.
Light House at New Brighton 

Laughing Gull at New Brighton

Purple Sandpiper New Brighton

It was then off to Burton Mere for the Long Eared Owl or at least that was the plan, looking at the book the Owl was still over by the Inner Marsh hide so after a warming coffee it was best foot forward. After slogging through the mud, I have got quite good at pushing a pushchair through mud, needs must though! we got a view of the owl. A much better view than we have had at Park Hall.

Long Eared Owl Burton Mere by the Inner Marsh hide

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Weekend Travels

Saturday was a snow day, or at least hunt the snow, it had basically gone from Silverdale but it was bound to be still around in the Peaks so we loaded up the sledge and warm clothes and headed out.
Sure enough we found the snow it was drifting across the A53 but a snow plough was doing its job around Flash, but trying to get over Axe Edge didn't happen we ended up joining a traffic jam going up the bank which was rather novel for that location. We were waiting it turned out for a tractor with a snow blower to clear a path so we decided to turn around and head back to Titesworth Reservoir instead rather than wait Gem was happy enough building snowmen and sledging around the visitor centre.

On Sunday we again braved the arctic winds but this time we went for a walk around Doxey Marsh, not alot on show with the icy wind but we did spot two Barnacle Geese in with some Canada Geese and a Female Stone Chat kept popping up we were quite lucky in seeing a Water Rail jump up out of the tall grass and disappear again.