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Post Info TOPIC: WALNEY ISLAND


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RE: WALNEY ISLAND


Rob and I noted a few Stonechats too, and with all the talk of subspecies and so on regarding Daurian and Turkestan Shrikes, not too mention funny-coloured Redstarts on the East Coast, it was tempting to try and manufacture some kind of interest from them. But they were normal Stonechats...

Walney was very evocative in the mist. It was a surprise to find the Shrike had moved on overnight, as the conditions seemed ripe for keeping a migrant on the ground for a day or two. My prior visit with Rob was on a noisy June day with breeding Terns and Gulls all over the place. This time it was amazing how many Curlew were about. There must have been 100+ feeding in paddocks on the way down to the Observatory, and hundreds more on the beach on the Barrow side. It was a pretty high tide and was peaking as we arrived, I presume this had collected birds from several miles of shoreline. We were smiling at the Red-throated Diver too; on the East Coast this autumn we've been seeing double figures day after day, but back on the Western side this was a decent sighting.

If only Walney wasn't so far away, it's a cracking place. I didn't feel too disappointed about the Shrike, although seeing some pictures of the bird from the Walney Obs website brought a slight pang to the surface!

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Saturday 29th October with Simon Gough.

News of an Isabelline Shrike on Friday was tempting so coinciding with a Saturday off work I put the feelers out and it was off to Walney!

Unfortunately the Shrike had departed, but other birds of note...
- lots of Curlew around
- lots of Golden Plover too
- few Oystercatcher
- large flock of Dunlin and Redshank
- 5 Little Egret
- 1 Red-throated Diver
- 2 Shag
- small group of Common Scoter (distant)
- 1 Great Black-backed Gull
- lots of Redwing and Fieldfare
- few Goldcrest around the Obs
- Linnet flock likely containing some Twite as I'm quite sure I heard some calling, but they became a bit more distant and didn't settle as a female Sparrowhawk appeared cruising around.
- also we watched from the car park as masses of Gulls (literally 100's) were put up towards the end of the island.

Bit disappointing really but maybe Leighton Moss could rescue the day!

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Cracking day today, parked up near the caravan site and walked up the coast towards the reserve. 

Near the lighthouse on a piece of grassland there were a small gathering of Canada geese, mixed in with the Canada's was a single Barnacle goose and what I researched Later to find were 3 x Emperor geese.biggrin

Fantastic looking geese



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Weekend away with my brother around the area.
Highlight of the trip a white curlew on waney island near the reserve.
Awesome!
biggrin

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Sunday 24th May 2015
South Walney with Simon Gough

Dad used to bring us here every year as a family when I was younger, not been in over 25years, an absolutely cracking place and we managed 57 species of Bird and some Mammals too (see other wildlife).

Of note...
-Lesser Whitethroat - 2 heard in different locations whilst driving on the country lane approaching the reserve and ended up with good views of both birds
-Whitethroat - 1 seemingly trying to out-do a nearby Lesser Whitethroat
-Willow Warbler - heard only
-Common Eider - seemed to be everywhere, in fields, lagoons, marsh, sea, probably in excess of 500 birds, but not many nests
-Mallard
-Gadwall - surprised to see a few in lagoon behind the effluent treatment works
-Mute Swan - only a few
-Emperor Goose - a Lifer for me, despite being feral, nice looking Geese!
-Canada Goose
-Greylag Goose
-Shelduck - lots around
-Cormorant - lots on beach, marsh and out on rigs/buoys
-Gannet - around 8 adults seen
-Little Tern - 21 seen at one point, absolutely gorgeous little birds, the males were bringing Sand Eels for the females, close up views.
-Common Tern - 4 fairly close, more out to sea that looked like some were Common
-Arctic Tern - good close up views of 6, possibly more noted out towards the sea
-Sandwich Tern - 14 on the beach, never came close up
-Black-headed Gulls - not many around
-Great Black-backed Gulls - quite a few about
-Lesser Black-backed Gulls - used to be 1000's of them here when I was younger but numbers have reduced mainly due to the closure of the islands refuse site
-Herring Gulls - also used to be in large numbers but significantly reduced.

...Of note Dad used to show us where eggs of Eiders were in Lesser Black-backed or Herring Gull nests because of the shear numbers causing nest overcrowding, the Gulls simply incubated them probably unknowingly, weird but true!

-Ringed Plover - a good number around
-Dunlin - a few flocks around probably totalling over 500
-Sanderling - quite a few present moving with the Dunlin
-Lapwings - lots around
-Black-tailed Godwit - 4
-Oystercatcher - everywhere
-Redshank - 2
-Turnstone - a couple dropped in near the shingle whilst we were Tern watching
-Curlew - 1 flying over near the car park
-Kestrel - 1 out over the marsh
-Common Buzzard - 1 gliding over, saw a few Rabbits disappear down the burrows
-Collared Dove and Woodpigeon about
-Carrion Crow - some around but no sign of the recently reported Hooded Crow
-Common Swift - only a few
-Swallow - plenty around
-Sand Martin - some mixed in with Swallow
-Stonechat - 1 pair not far from cattle grid / reserve gate
-Wheatear - 6 (1 with Stonechats and then 5 together on marsh)
-Meadow Pipit - plenty around
-Pied Wagtail - 2 only
-Skylark - plenty, singing, and on ground
-Lots of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch around
-Reed Bunting - a few males dotted around
-Linnet - plenty about as the abundance of Gorse is still here, just as I remembered it.
-usuals around too including Coot, Moorhen, Magpie, Starling, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, and a small number of House Sparrows.

A belting day and a return here is surely warranted soon!


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9th March 2014
South Walney Wildlife Trust

6 Emperor Geese (small, feral population continues to survive here)
1 Long-tailed Duck
1 Greater Scaup
1 Chiffchaff
1 Stonechat
5 Greenshank
3 Little Egret
2 Barnacle Geese
5 Reed Bunting
1 albino Curlew

-- Edited by James Walsh on Monday 10th of March 2014 08:30:50 AM

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Visit to North Walney Nature Reserve. Don't let the old bonfires, some fly tipping or bullet shot nature reserve sign put you off on the walk from the carpark. You can park further near but this track is on the shingle bank and is a bit bumpy. Once you get there sightings are worth it. Todays were over 200 Eider Duck not far out in the sea, 100+ Common Scoter again at sea but not far out, must have been 800 Oyster catcher flying up the coast as the tide came in, 200 Knot with sure a Curlew Sandpiper in them on the beach, sadly dead Guillemot, single Razorbill on the sea, Curlew Lapwing, Dunlin Snipe, Redshank, Little Egret, Wheatear, Singing Skylarks, Lots of Meadow Pipits, Little Grebe, Teal, Widgeon, Tufted Ducks, Greater Black Backed Gull Lesser Black backed Gull and more. Other things. Very good place for plants 450 species reported including dune helleborine, seaside centaury, and coralroot orchid. Today's were Isle of Man Cabbage, Sea Kale, intermediate wintergreen, Sea Lavender, Wild Thyme and sure Walney Geraniam subspecies of Bloody cranesbill only found wild here. All in flower. Most mammals are present and also 25% of the UK Natterjack toad. There are also lots of fungi one the size of a dinner plate. And the best bit lots of open space, great views, and few people.

-- Edited by Ian Boote on Wednesday 25th of September 2013 10:46:30 PM

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100s of Eider Duck everywhere, Tudted Duck, Red Brested Merganser, Barnacle Goose, 7 Emperor Goose,( Apparantly dyig out as gulls eat their eggs) Greylag Goose, Great Stands of Oystercatcher, Lots of Dunlin, Curlew, Black Tailed Godwit Sanderling, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Sure Rock Pipit, Lots of Wheatear, Linnets, Reed Bunting, Sedgewarbler, Common Whitethroat, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover Cormorant, Heron Moorhen 4 Gannets,Swallow Sandwich tern, Little Tern, Arctic Tern Goldfinch House Sparrow, Great Black Backed Gull Lesser Blacked Backed Gull Herring Gull Common Seal, Heartsear Pansy in flower lots of bugs along the fore shore and many other forgotton. £3 in an honesty box entrance fee. only saw 2 other people good views of castle, light house and sea. Fantastic sights and site

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 11th of May 2013 06:47:53 PM

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Visit to South Walney Nature Reserve today by 7 members of Bolton RSPB Group.
The weather was bright and sunny but with a strong wind from the north west.
We followed an extended ''Red Route'' anti- clockwise around the Reserve.
On the exposed West and South coasts, waders were regularly seen along the shingle bank.....
Turnstone....c220
Sanderling c60
Dunlin...10
Grey Plover... an active flock of 15 plus a few singles down on the bank
Ringed Plover....3
Bar-tailed Godwit ...1.
A few Oystercatcher and Curlew.
At sea: Reasonable view of an Arctic Skua with 2 more further out.
Sandwich Terns...5
Plenty Cormorants and 2 Great-Crested Grebes.
Common Eider...2
Common Scoter... 18
Small auk...2
Other birds included a few Swallows and c 40 Starlings.
From Sea Hide, we got close views of a Merlin hunting and then perching nearby.
Lighthouse Bay Curlews....c60,... Mallards...10. Near Bay Hide another Merlin chased a small bird.
The Gravel Pools: Redshank...c30 and Greenshank...8, Grey Heron..1
Near the sheltered north coast a large number (c800) Oystercatcher, and a colony of Cormorant(c30)
Next to a few Canada geese, the 8 Emperor Geese(escapees) showed well.
Approaching the Oyster farm 2 Red-breasted Merganser were on a pool with 4 Lapwing nearby on the grass. A Kestrel hunted.
As we returned towards the Warden's Office a single Little Egret, A Skein of c150 Pink-footed Geese heading south and a Charm of 20 Goldfinch including 10 Juveniles.
I failed to count the numerous gulls, mainly Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed, with some Great Black backed.

Altogether a very bracing and enjoyable trip.






-- Edited by keith mills on Saturday 29th of September 2012 08:58:44 PM

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Saturday 14 April 2012

Annual spring (around easter) visit with Thorpe senior. A sunny start and end to the day, with light rain in the middle and a cold NE wind throughout. We missed both high-tides (they were early & late) so no decent wader numbers or sea-birds.

A bit of light passage in early in the day (before the rain), all heading north:
many Meadow Pipit
2 Siskin
2 Redpoll
2 Swallow

Grounded migrants included:
9 Wheatear (all but one were male)
2 Willow Warbler
19 Chiffchaff
1 White Wagtail

Other things of interest:
58 Brent Goose (pale-bellied)
1 Long-tailed Duck
1 Scaup
32 Common Scoter
5 Wigeon
2 Red-throated Diver
1 Little Egret
1 Merlin
16 Grey Plover
1 Turnstone
4 Black-tailed Godwit
184 Redshank
6 Knot
13 Dunlin
5 Sanderling
80 Sandwich Tern
1 Razorbill

Mammals:
Grey Seals
1 Weasel
2 Brown Hare
1 Fox





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We'd just left Pier Hide on the reserve today when I noticed all the gulls and oystercatchers were up on one of the nearby pools. Just had time to notice a skua-coloured bird drop through the mêlée. We stood for several seconds whilst the black-headed gulls continued to divebomb something on the pool, then it was up and speeding past us at close range, pursued by a string of screaming gulls - a superb pomarine skua. We couldn't see what it had been hunting, possibly eider ducklings, of which there were several broods around.

This was the only skua we saw today, plenty of Manx shearwaters however, plus a few Arctic and little terns, many gannets and a lone red-throated diver. A peregrine came in off the sea. In the high winds passerines were at a premium, though we did see a couple of wheatear.

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Saturday 21 August 2010

Yet another hot sunny day on the island with Thorpe senior. This place must have the lowest rainfall of anywhere in the north-west!
Sightings included:
Manx Shearwater
Gannet
Shag
Common Scoter
Eider
Merlin
Whimbrel
Black-tailed Godwit
Greenshank
Kittiwake
Sandwich Tern
Wheatear
Stonechat
Whitethroat
Willow Warbler



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Also on Walney on Sunday was a Little Egret. My first for the site.

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Sunday 04 April 2010

Another sunny (but rather windy) Easter visit to Walney for my dad, my brother and I.
Highlights:
An Arctic Skua (the first seen there this year) at sea, along with 2 Shag, 1 Kittiwake, 2 Gannet, several Sandwich Tern, Red-throated Diver, Common Scoter and Red-breasted Merganser.
A Merlin gave great views as it chased a small wader up and down the shore for a good few minutes. 7 Greenshank were amongst hundreds of Redshank. A Raven on the saltmarsh was a Walney tick for me, as was a Rock Pipit on the beach. One Sand Martin heading north was the only sign of migration.

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Easter time means Walney time...

Saturday 11 April 2009

a gorgeous sunny day, but not much on the bird front...
The highlights being 2 Water Pipits, a Short-eared Owl (in-off the sea), 2 Scaup, a few Red-throated Divers, a Wheatear, a few Willow Warblers, and a couple of Gannets. Still a nice day out though wink.gif

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Me and my Dad had our annual easter pilgrimage (delayed due to easter being stupidly early) to Walney obs on Saturday (12th). Lots of sunshine, but a cold north-westerly wind. Not many birds about, but a female Black Redstart near the lighthouse was nice. Also lots of Sandwich Terns some Mergansers a few Razorbills and at least 10 Red-throated Divers. There was a nice mixed flock of waders on the beach including Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin, a Sanderling and a Turnstone. The only other migrants of note were 3 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff and a Swallow in-off the sea.

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Looking forward to going now. Thanks for the replies guysbiggrin.gif

Dean.

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The Hudsonian Whimbrel is still around.

Other goodies I've twiched at Walney

King Eider : drake -17th June 1978
Paddyfield Warbler: 13th Sept 1982
Desert Wheatear : 1st wtr fem. 20th Nov 1986.

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Without checking, I think my first visit was in summer of '78, primarily to see a drake King Eider. I remember fending off Herring and Lesser Black-backs with my old Hertel and Ruess draw tube scope and got covered in bird ****. Paid two short visits last month for the Hudsonian Whimbrel ( dipped first time ) and didn't get covered in bird ****. I think it's still around.



-- Edited by Pete Hines at 00:20, 2007-07-30

-- Edited by Pete Hines at 00:21, 2007-07-30

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Cheers Ian, hopefully i'll be sheltering from the sun not the Gullsbiggrin.gif

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Hi Dean,

I spent a couple of days there last May. Re. the hard hat ; it wasn`t that drastic, but it was a bit hairy in places ! Look out for the small numbers of nesting Great B-b Gulls - when they go up it`s time to run !
It`s a good walk round all of the South reserve with hides along the way to shelter from the sun hmm.gif. From the Sea Hide you can watch Gannets and Sandwich Terns fishing fairly close in. From the Pier Hide you`ll see the small flock of self-sustaining Emperor Geese ! Whilst I was there there was a Little Egret gracing the pools near the Admin buildings - a good record for Cumbria. It`s worth a visit to the North Island as well - had fantastic views of f. Marsh Harrier over the dunes. Also if you`ve time try and visit Foulney - close-ups of Eiders and Little Terns over your head.

Good luck. You`ll enjoy it smile.gif

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Got 2 weeks holliday coming up. Thinking of a trip to Walney Island(a day trip not 2 weeks) I've never been. Anyone been there? I've heard you get given a hard hat and a stick to fend off the gullsbiggrin.gif

Cheers Dean.

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