Bird Watching

The birdwatching group has both indoor meetings and outdoor outings.

Indoor meetings and outdoor outings.
2nd Tuesday of each month
10.00 am (normally)
  • Leaders:
  • Peter Hatfield - 01695 424880
  • Peter Banks - 01695 575178
  • Email: birdwatching@aughton-ormskirk-u3a.co.uk

The final group outing for 2018 will be to Martin Mere (WWT), Burscough on December 11th meeting at 10:00 am. 

As usual, there will be no outing in January (2019).  Instead the group AGM will be held on Tuesday 15th January at 10:00 am in the TV room (upstairs) at the Ministry Centre.  There will be a short talk followed by a review of our activities in 2018 and the confirmation of the dates and venues for outings in 2019.

Directions for each outing will be confirmed the week prior to the visit.

Group Leader Peter Hatfield at Marshside, September 2015

Group Leader Peter Hatfield at Marshside, September 2015

Each outing will have an outing leader. Warm clothing is advised but a knowledge of birds is not necessary! If you are new to this Group or if you require directions or a lift please phone the Group Leader.

Please bring your RSPB or WWT Membership Card for outings to these Reserves. Lists of species seen on recent outings can be viewed by clicking past visits.

Reserves have informative websites. Check there for species to look for.

The Group has a database of records for all visits made in a particular year or to a chosen site.

For more details phone the Group Leader.

Unless otherwise stated, all photographs on this group’s page have been taken on group visits by members of the group and are used with their permission.

 

 

Thanks to Bill Hale for permission to include these photographs of Waxwings seen in Coronation Park in December 2016.

 

 

Visit to Lunt Meadows – 13 November 2018

Little Egret at Lunt Meadows

Thirteen members of the group, the largest number this year, attended our third visit to this comparatively new LWT site which is still being developed with new viewing screens being added each year.  There are still, however, no facilities or shelter so it was fortunate that it was a lovely sunny morning, probably the best weather for any of our 2018 visits (last year’s planned December visit to Lunt Meadows had to be cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather).  A total of 38 species were recorded.

 

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

Continue reading

Group visits in October 2018

As there were five Tuesdays during this October, group visits were planned on both the second and the fifth Tuesday.

Visit to Brockholes on Tuesday 9th October

This was the group’s fifth visit to this Lancashire Wildlife Trust site adjacent to the River Ribble east of Preston.  A large site spread over 250 acres with a unique floating visitor centre and a wide variety of habitats it is always an attractive reserve to visit.  Seven members of the group attended and a total of 25 species were recorded.

Visit to Delamere Forest on Tuesday 30th October

This was our first group outing to Delamere Forest.  Four members of the group met at the Linmere Lodge visitor centre where we were joined by guest leader Peter Twist who lives locally to the forest and his extensive knowledge of the area and experience at identifying bird calls was invaluable.  After lunch Peter Twist took us to nearby Newchurch Common in the hopes of seeing the rare Smew.  Unfortunately the Smew did not show but we did record a number of species which had not been seen at Linmere.  In total 47 species were recorded on this visit.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen on both these visits:

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Visit to Sankey Valley Country Park and Carr Mill Dam – 10th July 2018

Because of the Moorland fires that had been burning in the Rivington area the planned visit to Rivington Moor Country Park was cancelled and the group revisited the Sankey Valley, a site we had first visited in June last year.

Eight members of the group attended on this occasion and a total of 31 species were recorded.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Visit to Yarrow Valley Country Park – 8th May 2018

Nine members of the group attended this visit.  This was the group’s third visit to this site, but the first time we have been there during the breeding season.  The highlight of the visit was seeing the Dippers which have eluded us on our previous visits.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

Continue reading

Visit to RSPB Marshside – 10th April 2018

Ten members of the group attended this visit to one of our regular sites.  Heavy rain for much of the morning meant we stayed in the main hide for more than half the visit.  Highlight of this part of the visit was the sighting of a Spoonbill.

After the rain cleared some of us moved on to Nel’s hide for the rest of the visit.  Here we had our first sighting’s of the year of Swallows and Sand Martins.

A good morning’s bird watching despite the rain.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of 36 species recorded:

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Visit to Rostherne Mere – 13th March 2018

This was our second visit to this locked reserve.  On this occasion we were guided by volunteer warden Phil Dell.  Five members of the group attended on this occasion with four of us going to nearby Tatton Park for lunch afterwards.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Visit to Pennington Flash – 13 February 2018

Pennington Flash, one of our regular sites, never fails to provide a good morning’s bird watching even when, as on this occasion, the weather was less than ideal.  Nine members of the group attended our first outing of 2018 and a total of 40 species were recorded.

Highlights on this occasion included:

  • The large number of Goosander
  • 15 long-tailed tits on the bird feeders
  • Water Rail
  • Willow Tit

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

Continue reading

Birdwatching Group AGM – 8th January 2018

1.  The History of Martin Mere

Log boat dated 550AD

Bill Hale opened the meeting with a fascinating talk about the history of Martin Mere which included post ice age geological evidence about the local terrain and the impact of sea level changes on the post glacial landscape, flora and fauna over the millennia.

The size of the mere, its shape and islands before being drained in 1694 was evidenced in a series of maps and documents found in the Lancashire Record Office, by Bill and Audrey Coney whilst researching their book on Martin Mere. The landowners gained increased land and fertility from the draining but the local people (fishermen, thatchers and basket makers, etc.) lost their means of making a living.

Bill reviewed a list of winged visitors past and present as recorded by ornithologists and archaeologists, and showed images of the only extant log-boat (dated 550 AD) now in Southport Museum.

He also spoke of his own experience of the contribution the present WWT Martin Mere makes to sustaining habitat for migrating birds.

Oystercatcher with fresh-water mussel

2.  Proposed venues for 2018

Peter Hatfield presented his list of proposed venues for birdwatching in 2018.  Seven of last years reserves are revisited this year but in different seasons, three sites not visited by the group are introduced (Conway, Rivington and Delamere Forest) and two local venues not seen last year will be seen this year (Mere Sands Wood and Brockholes).

The full list is now on the U3A web site (see above).

3.  Review of 2017 visits and sightings

Peter Banks presented his detailed ‘species list’ of sightings for all of the venues, and the bird number tabulations for each venue including attendees.  At 4 venues we saw 50-62 species.  At 4 other venues we saw 40-49 species and the last group of 4 venues recorded 25-34 species. This was an improvement on the previous year, with the highest yield at RSPB Burton (no surprise).

The lists and tabulations are now also on the Group web pages of the U3A site (see below).

All of our monthly sightings are recorded on the group’s web pages and also logged at BirdTrack a national project run by BTO in partnership with RSPB (and others) that records distributions and migration movements of birds throughout Britain and Ireland.

4.  AOB

There was a discussion about future possible venues for visits.  Sizergh Castle near Kendal, Ribble Marshes between Banks and Hesketh Bank, Farne Islands Northumbria, and Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head north Yorkshire.  Bill was also suggesting a visit to a wildfowl ringing venue.  More comments please, we look forward to an interesting year ahead.

Attendance: Sixteen members, including two new members of the group, attended this year’s AGM.  The list of attendees is recorded on the group’s database and available on request.

Peter Hatfield and Peter Banks joint leaders.

 

Summary of 2017 visits and sightings

Date

Location

Sightings

Members

14th Feb

Martin Mere (WWT)

50 (+2)

10

14th Mar

Marbury Country Park

53

10

11th Apr

Pennington Flash

48 (+1)

15

9th May

Leighton Moss (RSPB)

57 (+1)

5

30th May

Woolston Eyes

43 (+1)

6

13th June

Sankey Valley C.P. & Carr Mill Dam

46 (+1)

11

14th July

Speke Hall

25

7

12th Sept

Rostherne Mere

28

8

10th Oct

Yarrow Country Park

28 (+1)

5

31st Oct

Burton Moss (RSPB) & Dee Estuary

62 (+2)

8

14th Nov

Marshside (RSPB)

39 (+1)

11

12th Dec

Martin Mere (WWT)

34

10

  • Total species recorded in the year = 114 (+6)

  • Total species recorded in 2016 = 103 (+2)

  • A total of 21 members attended one or more visits in 2017 (2016 – 17 members)

Click ‘Continue reading’ for additional statistics and the full list of species seen:

Continue reading

Visit to Martin Mere WWT reserve – 12th December 2017

For our final outdoor meeting of 2017 we had planned to visit the Lancashire Wild Life Trust’s site at Lunt Meadows.  Because of the very cold weather and the lack of any shelter or facilities at Lunt the venue was changed at the last minute to Martin Mere where ten members of the group enjoyed a very good morning’s bird watching in the relative comfort of the well-constructed hides, and several of us stayed on for lunch in the reserve’s excellent cafe.

The bright but very cold weather made for excellent visibility, with closer than usual views of birds that were concentrated by the ice into unfrozen areas near the main hides.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of 48 species seen:

Continue reading

Visit to Marshside RSPB – 14th November 2017

One of our regular sites on the coast between Southport and the Ribble Estuary.  Eleven members of the group attended this visit and a total of 40 species were recorded on this occasion.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Visit to Burton Mere RSPB and Dee Estuary – 31st October 2017

Eight members of the group attended this visit and we had the benefit by being guided by a guest leader, Peter Twist.  We were very grateful for his considerable expertise in identifying birds by song as well as by sight.

The morning was spent on the RSPB reserve and the afternoon at the Dee Estuary, Denhall Lane.

A total of 64 species were recorded on this visit, the largest number recorded by the group on a single visit.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Visit to Yarrow Valley Country Park – 10th October 2017

Five members of the group attended this, the group’s second visit to this country park near Chorley.  There are a wide variety of habitats at this site and a total of 29 species were recorded.  Unlike last year, this time a kingfisher was spotted but again the dippers proved elusive.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Visit to Rostherne Mere – 12th September 2017

This was the group’s first visit to Rostherne Mere and was attended by eight members of the group.  Access to the reserve is by permit only and we were guided on this visit by two of the volunteer wardens, Dave Clarke and Phil Dell.

A varied site with woodland and meadow habitats as well as the mere and a total of 28 species were recorded (for a full list of sightings click ‘Continue reading’ below).

A sighting of particular interest was a pair of Egyptian Geese.  This species of African origins is now established as a breeding bird in the UK and other European countries.  According to recent BTO surveys there are around 1,000 breeding pairs in the UK mostly in the Thames Valley and East Anglia but with scattered populations in Northern and Western England.  As these birds were on the far side of the Mere it was not possible to get a good picture, the photograph shown here was taken in Germany last year.

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Visit to Speke Hall – 14th July 2017

Seven members of the group attended this, the group’s second visit to this site.  It was a mostly cloudy but clear morning with good visibility across the Mersey Estuary where we could see there were lots of waders on the far side but they were too distant to identify even through a telescope.  A total of 25 species were recorded, mainly in the grounds and woodland surrounding the hall – for a list of species seen, click ‘Continue reading’:

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Visit to Sankey Valley CP and Carr Mill Dam – 13th June 2017

Great Crested Grebe on nest at Carr Mill Dam

Eleven members attended this, the group’s first visit to Sankey Valley Country Park and Carr Mill Dam, St Helens.  We benefited from having Dave Owen, one of the Rangers, to guide us round this extensive and varied site.

A total of 47 species were recorded on this visit – for a complete list of sightings click ‘Continue Reading’:

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Visit to Woolston Eyes SSSI – 30th May 2017

Access to this ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ is restricted to permit holders and we were guided on this visit by Douglas Buchanan, a member of the Woolston Eyes Conservation Group.  From the ornithological point of view this site is home to a breeding colony of the rare Black-necked Grebe and we were fortunate enough to see about ten adult birds along with several chicks.  (None of us managed to get a good photograph this year however so this picture is one taken by group member Graham Cawdell last year.)

The conservation group’s website includes lists of sightings, photographs and other interesting information which can be reached by clicking here.

Another interesting sighting this year was a pair of immature (2nd summer) Mediterranean Gulls, one of which was ringed and the conservation group’s website includes an on 31st May showing where this bird has been recorded since it was ringed in 2015.

Six members of the group attended this visit and a total of 44 species were recorded.  For a complete list of sightings click ‘Continue Reading’:

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Visit to Leighton Moss RSPB – 9th May 2017

 

Another of our regular sites which we try to visit at different times of the year.  A lovely day, mostly sunny or light cloud and with little wind, made good conditions for bird watching.

The morning and early afternoon were spent at main site before visiting the hides located on the edge of Morecambe Bay for the final part of the visit.

 

Star of the show was the spoonbill seen at the Morecambe Bay hide:

For a complete list of sightings and more pictures from this visit, click ‘Continue Reading’:

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Visit to Pennington Flash – 11 April 2017

One of our regular sites which we often visit at this time of year when some of the winter visitors are still present and summer visitors have started to arrive for the breeding season. There is also always a chance at this time of the year of spotting migrating birds flying overhead or dropping in to feed before continuing their journey. Unfortunately the weather conditions – mostly cloudy with a strong and blustery northerly wind prevented any migrant sightings on this visit.

The feeding station near the woodland hide virtually guarantees sightings of bullfinches and many other woodland and garden birds.

The lack of leaves at this time of year makes it easier to locate birds heard singing in the trees, but they are still difficult to photograph as this picture of a Chiffchaff taken by Bill Hale illustrates:

 

Despite the weather conditions this visit was well attended, 15 members of the group being present.

 

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

 

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Visit to Marbury Country Park – 14th March 2017

Ten members of the group attended this, our first visit to Marbury Country Park near Northwich, Cheshire.  The weather was cloudy but fine in the morning, brightening up after lunch.  Marbury is an extensive site with a wide variety of habitats and a total of 53 different species were recorded.

Definitely worth another visit!

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Visit to Martin Mere – 14th February 2017

Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff in flight – photo by Bill Hale

Black-tailed Godwit – photo by Tony Leigh

 

Ten members of the group attended our first outing of 2017, with four staying on for the afternoon.  The weather was fine and sunny in the morning but increasingly cloudy after lunch.

A total of 52 species were seen with large flocks of Whooper Swans; Pink-footed and Greylag Geese; Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff being among the highlights of this visit.

Click on ‘Continue Reading’ below for a full list of species seen.

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Visit to Hesketh Outmarsh 13th December 2016

Five members of the group attended this visit.  The weather was mostly cloudy and fine but with a few showers and (even fewer) sunny intervals.  The visit coincided with high tide and there were large flocks of geese, ducks and waders.  Unfortunately the hazy conditions made it difficult to identify all the species present.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of the 34 species seen:

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Visit to Lunt Meadows 8th November 2016

Eight members of the group attended the morning session for our second visit to this quite new reserve by the River Alt.  A cool clear morning with light cloud meant the conditions were quite good for bird watching.  Just three members of the group stayed for the afternoon session during which the cloud steadily increased bringing rain which started just as we were leaving.

bird-watching-2016-11-08-lunt-meadows-1

Highlight of the visit were the large flocks of pink-footed geese, lapwing, crows and pheasants feeding in the fields on the other side of the river.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of the 34 species seen:

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Visit to Leighton Moss – 11 October 2016

Five members of the group made the trip to the North of Lancashire for this visit to the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss.  The weather was mostly cloudy but dry for the morning session with a few sunny intervals but quite cool and with quite a stiff breeze.  The
afternoon session was sunnier and warmer.

2016-10-11-leighton-moss-5This year’s visit to Leighton Moss had been timed to give us the best chance of seeing the Bearded Tits, and we were not disappointed!

Bearded Tits are uncommon birds, but present at Leighton Moss throughout the year but stay largely hidden in the reeds except at this time of the year when they visit the bird tables for grit (not food).

 

2016-10-11-leighton-moss-3Another highlight of this visit was the sighting of four Great White Egrets.  Until recently these birds were classed as vagrants but, over the last few years, they have been extending their range (still in small numbers) after first breeding in Somerset in 2012.

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This Robin was determined that we would also notice the common birds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Visit to Mere Sands Wood – 13 September 2016

20160913-mere-sands-1Six members of the group attended our latest visit to this local nature reserve.  The weather was warm and sunny in the morning, clouding over for the afternoon session which was cut short by a thunderstorm.

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Visit to Parbold – 9 August 2016

20160816_Mallards eclipse plumage

Mallards in eclipse plumage at Parbold

This was the group’s first visit to Parbold.  Starting from the sports ground car park a two mile circuit took in a wide variety of habitats including farmland, wildflower meadow, woodland, river and canalside.  The breezy conditions kept many of the smaller birds in the trees making identification difficult but nevertheless an enjoyable morning attended by 10 members of the group.

One of the highlights of the visit came right at the end when we had a good view of a Whitethroat, thanks to Eric for first spotting it!

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen on this visit:

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Visit to Yarrow Valley Country Park, 12 July 2016

It was the bird watching group’s first visit to Yarrow Valley and everyone who came was impressed with the interest and variety of landscape found there. From the Visitor Centre we walked up above the valley floor to Burgh Meadows where the grass reached well over six feet tall. We struggled to identify birdsong, but were surrounded by a carpet of wild flowers; thank you Brian for carefully identifying them all (see separate log at the end of this report).

The dull cloudy weather also made bird recognition difficult but we saw meadow pipits, magpies and swifts, and heard linnets in the bushy trees. When we dropped down through woodland to the large reservoir, great crested grebe, black headed gulls, common tern, house martins, and Canada geese were present. The walk along the River Yarrow to the weir had the promise of kingfishers and dippers, (a promise not kept), but high in the trees we saw Jays and in the dappled river margins grey wagtails foraged.

Definitely worth another visit!

Continue reading

Visit to Marshside – 14 June 2016

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Skylark at Marshside

Following the last minute change of venue due to the inclement weather, eight members of the group attended this visit to Marshside and enjoyed a good morning’s bird watching before the rain arrived in the afternoon.

We were also joined on this visit by two guests, Peter and Mike Twist, and benefited greatly from their extensive knowledge and experience.

A total of 50 bird species were observed, the most the group has recorded in a single visit to Marshside.

Other highlights included:

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A Mediterranean Gull amongst the Black-Headed ones

  • A male Garganey, a rare and secretive duck with a UK breeding population estimated to be only around 100 pairs.
  • 4 Mediterranean Gulls, among the numerous black-headed gulls
  • Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff in full breeding plumage
  • Avocets with chicks

20160614 Marshside-4 20160614 Marshside-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:

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Change of Venue for 14 June outing

Dear all,

The poor forecast for Conway tomorrow,(light rain from 11am, persistent rain after 3pm) has lead me to alter the venue to Southport Marshside. Its only 20 mins from here and the light rain from 1pm would at least give us a good half day’s bird watching from 10am. There has been a Glossy Ibis there for a week so we might see that tomorrow.
I know some of you will be disappointed but I think we need a dry day to get the best out of Conway and Bodnant, which can be arranged for another day.
The rendezvous point is 10am at the carpark just across the road from the visitor centre. It has 2 hides one of which is the visitor Centre, and it has a WC. Bring your own drinks and snacks. We  should also see Avocet, godwits, gulls and other waders and small birds. Please email me to confirm you are coming, and whether you would like a lift.
Best wishes,
Peter Hatfield

Visit to Woolston Eyes – 10th May 2016

Report by Peter Hatfield, photos by Graham Cawdell.

Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve, our May visit this year, never disappoints. Positioned between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey it provides secluded and naturalised habitat for a good range of unusual species which we viewed from 6 hides all overlooking the lagoon.
Turnstone at Woolston Eyes by Graham CawdellThe surprise visitor was a solitary Turnstone (my first) it resembles a ringed plover with chestnut feathers to back and wings, and was seen very close to the hide.
There were large numbers of breeding Pochard, a migrant duck whose numbers are decreasing in the UK, also large numbers of breeding Gadwall.
Black-necked Grebe at Woolston Eyes by Graham CawdellThe rare Black Necked Grebe was the main attraction, we saw 7 or 8 including one on a nest. Woolston Eyes has 25% of the UK breeding population. They return to northern Russia after breeding.
A flock of Swifts overhead gave a splendid aerobatic display. We also saw and heard 5 species of warbler (Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat) assisted by Douglas who guided us throughout the visit and had an excellent ear for birdsong identification.

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Visit to Speke Hall – 26 April 2016

20160426_Bird Watching_Speke HallA cold but clear morning with many trees not yet in leaf made for good conditions for spotting woodland birds.

We had planned to also look out over the estuary but with restricted time available decided to stay in the gardens and woodlands around the hall.  Five group members attended on this occasion.

Highlight of this visit:  A Merlin flying overhead – the smallest of the falcons.

 

20160426_Bird Watching_Song Thrush at Speke Hall

Song Thrush at Speke Hall

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Visit to Pennington Flash – 12 April 2016

Bird Watching 2016-04-12 Pennington Flash-3

The weather was cloudy but mostly dry for this visit to Pennington Flash which was attended by nine members of the group.  The light winds made conditions much more favourable for spotting smaller birds than on our previous outings in 2016.

Highlights included:

  • Seeing (rather than just hearing) a Cetti’s Warbler, and at close quarters.
  • Great Crested Grebes
  • Willow Tits
  • The variety of different bird species seen

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Visit to Brockholes 8th March 2016

Bird Watching 2016-03-08 BrockholesJust three members of the group braved the cold drizzly weather for this visit.  Conditions were far from ideal, but nevertheless we managed to record a total of 29 species.

Highlights included:

  • Goldeneye
  • Mediterranean Gull

Continue reading

Uncommon Birds 1 – The Water Rail

Bird Watching - 2016-02-09 Martin Mere-4Seen (through heavy rain) at Martin Mere on February 9th 2016 in mid afternoon from Kingfisher Hide, immediately below the hide in a shallow pool amidst reedbeds 10 metres away.

 

Status: Resident breeder and migrant winter (October – March) visitor.

Recognition: Lead grey face and breast, chestnut upper including cap with black streaks, long down curved dull red bill, black and white striped belly, short upright tail with white/cream underside, 23-26cm long including bill. Smaller than a moorhen. It has a repertoire of calls including grunts, groans, whistles, squeaks and squeals, often silent during daylight hours in winter, but calls audible after dark.

Habitat: All types of standing water including small ponds, large meres, wetlands, marshes,especially favouring rushes, sedges and phragmites reeds.  They feed on aquatic invertebrates, small fish, amphibians (frogs), insects, and vegetable matter including rhizomes.

Abundance: The UK population is thought to be in excess of 1000 breeding pairs (Brown and Grice 2005) but this number is swollen from September to spring as migrants arrive from northern Europe and Iceland. Because of the birds elusive habit it is impossible to be sure of population numbers and some experts think the quoted numbers underestimate the actual resident population. Water Rails are on the Amber List of rare birds following the significant decline in numbers between 1970 and 1990. Birds are mostly seen in single numbers, but in favoured breeding grounds (Dee Estuary) flocks of 20-30 are occasionally recorded. Have been sighted at most of the wetland reserves in the NW of England. Resident breeding bird present in the UK all year.

Acknowledgements: Collins Bird Guide UK and Europe;  Collins BTO Guide to British Birds;  Bird Atlas of Cheshire (CAWOS);  British Birds (AA)

Visit to Martin Mere 9th February 2016

Bird Watching 2016-02-09 Martin Mere-6A cold and blustery February day with heavy showers but also sunny intervals. Despite the weather twelve members of the group attended the morning session for our first outing of 2016.

Highlights of the morning included:

  • large flocks of Whooper Swans, Geese and Shelduck
  • Marsh Harriers

Bird Watching - 2016-02-09 Martin Mere-3Only two members were able to stay on after lunch, but were treated to good views of the Barn Owl hunting (which one or two of the group had seen in the distance in the morning).

Bird Watching - 2016-02-09 Martin Mere-1

 

 

 

 

 

Other highlights of the afternoon were 3 Snipe and a Water Rail, both seen through pouring rain from the shelter of ‘Kingfisher Hide’

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Bird Watching - 2016-02-09 Martin Mere-4

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Bird Watching Group AGM 19 January 2016

The AGM followed on from the St Kilda Talk, with 10 group members in attendance:

The meeting began with a personal tribute from Peter Hatfield to Eric Morris who had led the group so well for 12 years until handing over at the beginning of May 2015. This was endorsed by all present. Eric continues to be active with the group and remains a valued member of the group.

This was followed by: Continue reading

Visit to the Wirral 10th November 2015

For this visit, which included both the Burton Mere RSPB reserve and the Dee Estuary, Denhall Lane, the group had the benefit of a guest leader, Peter Twist.

Highlights of the visit included:

  • The largest number of species recorded in a single visit by the group (63)
  • Two Marsh Harriers, a Hen Harrier and a Peregrine
  • A Great White Egret, as well as several Little Egrets
  • A Brambling and two Kingfishers

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Visit to Lunt Meadows 13th October 2015

 

Lunt-Meadows-1-1024x576A beautiful sunny October morning for the Bird watching group’s first visit to this new wetland reserve near Sefton.  The reserve is still being developed and an additional hide screen was being installed at the time of our visit.

Eleven group members attended and a total of thirty seven bird species were recorded.

Highlights of the visit included:pb2

  • Thousands of Pink-footed geese
  • Large flocks of Goldfinches feeding on thistle seeds
  • Several Kestrels and Buzzards (up to 6 at a time)

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New location for October visit

The October meeting on the 13th has been switched to Lunt Meadows near Sefton instead of Pennington Flash. It’s a new venue for the bird group, only 15 minutes away, quite a large reserve with 2 sizeable lakes, reed beds, wild flower meadows and woodland.  The reserve is quite large, has good paths and 3 screen hides; it’s managed by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, and also has archaeological interest.