Sunday, 21 May 2017

Buff Breasted Sandpiper

This week ends plan changed on Friday night as the usual happened we unusual / rare birds "the Friday bunk" this time it was the turn of the Spotted Sandpiper at Belvide to disappear.
But in rolls in plan B and this time its a lifer as well a Buff Breasted Sandpiper had turned up at Burton Mere Wetlands on the Wirral.
So we made plans to go on Sunday as Lesley was working Saturday, with Saturdays rain playing into my hands and probably aiding keeping the bird there off we went.

We didn't hang around the reception hide as usual and walked straight down for the Sandpiper and we were soon put on to the bird by the other birds already there.
It really was a great looking wader and was also kept company by quite a few Black Tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Redshank a nice little batch of waders were on show. The Buff Breasted Sandpiper was Johnny no mates and was always on its own the Godwits didn't actually like it being around them.

Walking back to the reception hide we got a view of a Great White Egret fly over and a single Cattle Egret in the trees.

Back at the reception hide the Godwits seemed in a mood and often squabbled over space, with some quite nasty fights breaking out.

Sunday, 14 May 2017


With Lesley at work and me itching to go out for a walk I took Gem off to Consall in the hope of seeing the Red Start and Pied Flycatcher again. No luck with the Red Start but I did see two male Pied Flycatcher one of which had start to use a nest box plus we heard another walking along the canal near the pub which was serving Dawins Original which was very nice and fitting for a biologist to drink.

Black Tern

After missing out in seeing the Black Tern during or week off on the following Monday as tradition degrees a pair turn up at Westport Lake and stay the whole day while we are stuck at work!
Well at least they had the decency to stay into the early early evening allowing us to pop along and see them.

The shots were rather rubbish especially as I was looking into the Sun, but you can at least tell what it is.

Also noted that evening was a single Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and Reed Warbler.

Friday, 5 May 2017


As its was our wedding anniversary today Lesley fancied popping out to lunch at the Black Lion and a little walk around Consall which we hadn't visited probably since spring last year.
As we drove down to the car park near the pub we heard a familiar call and sure enough in a small field by the road a wonderful male Redstart was in full song.

 Walking along the canal we were surrounded by bird song mainly Blackcap and even a few Goldcrest which we saw feeding in the Ivy, eventually a male Blackcap showed itself.

Further along and as we entered Booths Wood we heard another herald of Spring or at least to us it is the Pied Flycatcher, we managed to see two males in total claiming ownership of their patch of woodland.

After which it was back down the hill for a spot of lunch and a nice pint of beer.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Grasshopper Warbler

Having heard and very briefly seen and even then through a rather dense tangle of old Dock stems the Grasshopper Warbler at Silverdale Country Park aka the Void I thought as I was going to be on my tod in the morning before I had to pop down to the dentist I decided on trying to get a better view of the elusive warbler.
I soon could hear their distinctive call but it took a few minutes to track one down which did show quite well or at least I thought so, in total I counted 3 different calling birds.

Also noted on my quick visit were Common Whitethroat, Garden and Willow Warbler.

Doxey Marsh

Having not been around Doxey Marsh for a while with Lesley after dropping Gem off at school off we went for a mornings walk. Although the weather was fine the breeze made it feel rather fresh and I was glad I had brought a few layers with me.
Plenty of Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat were seen and heard on the walk down from the car park into the main body of the reserve.
The first patch of reed bed held a couple of Reed Warbler but although we could hear them we could not locate them in the dense bed of reeds.
The pool by the Octagon pool held a wader which we first thought was a Greenshank but then the more we watched it the more doubt crept in the back just seemed to brown although the bill and body markings matched so we wondered if we had found a Wood Sandpiper? Talking to another birder he too thought it to be a Wood Sandpiper but we were latter corrected. So it goes to show that sometimes your first instincts are right.

Also noted around the reserve were 3 Swift, 1 Sand Martin and a small number of House Martin.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Little Grebe and Leawood Pumping Station

Sunday morning saw us blowing the cob webs away with a walk around the Void in Silverdale just down the road from where we live, although its nearly May it felt more like early April!
Plenty of Willow Warbler calling as we walked around just three White Throat were seen along with numerous Sky Lark, 2 female Wheatear, 2 Grasshopper Warbler (only saw the one though) and a single Garden Warbler was heard but again could not be located.

On the afternoon we headed off to Cromford its not too far away and we hadn't visited Leawood Pumping station with Gemma before so its seemed the ideal afternoon out nothing too tasking.
Walking along the canal we picked up Grey Wagtail, Willow Warbler, Black Cap and a pair of Little Grebe that were building up their nest (it already had 3 eggs on the very flimsy looking raft).