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Post Info TOPIC: MARTIN MERE WWT


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MARTIN MERE WWT


Quiet - both people and bird wise.

Didn't see the kingfisher at Ron Barker Hide but others reported having seen it before I arrived (of course.. :)
Only bird of note that I saw myself was a Marsh Harrier

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10.00-14.30

1 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 8 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 100+ Black tailed Godwits, 3 Whooper Swans, 16 Oystercatchers,

2 Little Egrets, a single drake Wigeon plus masses of Lapwings, Black Headed Gulls etc. Lots of newly fledged Black Headed Gulls around too, although the Avocets have all moved on.


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John Williams


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Late post for yesterday:

Mallard - 180 (inc. 23 chicks)
Shelduck - 200 (inc. 2 chicks)
Moorhen - 60 (inc. 9 chicks)
Coot - 30 (inc. 2 chicks)
Wigeon - 4 on Mere
Ruff - 3 including a male in breeding plumage
Black-Tailed Godwit - 2
Curlew Sandpiper - 2 (LIFER) on Mere
Lapwing - 46 (inc. 4 chicks)
Pintail - 2 on Mere
Greylag Goose - 1 on Mere
Avocet - 17 (inc. 5 chicks)
Tufted Duck - 5
Black-Headed Gull - 100 (inc. 30 chicks on Mere)
Oystercatcher - 7
Gadwall - 10
Great-Crested Grebe - 1 on nest from Harrier Hide
Little Grebe - 1 also from Harrier Hide
Mute Swan - 1
Shoveler - pair from Ron Barker Hide
Whooper Swan - 2
Grey Heron - 2
Canada Goose - 29 (inc. 4 chicks)
Blue Tit - 3
Great Tit - 2
Long-Tailed Tit - 4
Blackbird - 4
Mistle Thrush - 1 carrying food
Sand Martin - 1
House Martin - 2
Swift - 2
Swallow - 4
Pied Wagtail - 3
Chaffinch - 9
Feral Pigeon - 30
Woodpigeon - 5
Collared Dove - 1
Robin - 3
Dunnock - 2
Wren - 1
Chiffchaff - 5
Blackcap - 2
Reed Warbler - 1
Magpie - 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Sparrowhawk - 1 from Janet Kear Hide
Kestrel - 1 from Ron Barker Hide
Reed Bunting - 2
Starling - 35
Jackdaw - 4
Carrion Crow - 4 including one that took a Lapwing chick
Rook - 1
Pheasant - 1


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Kristian Wade


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May 24th. Around edge of kingfisher pool from kingfisher hide...1 Cetti's warbler..feeding..(watched on/off for around 5 minutes. Also on sunleys marsh 1 little egret.

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lee bailey


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Not quite Martin Mere, but on my way home from Ainsdale I headed Curlew Lane way and picked up one singing Corn Bunting on the wires and two Red-legged Partridges in the fields.



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2nd May 11.30-2.30pm

A cold day here. Highlights included:
1 Swift (my first of the year)
1 Common Tern
2 Trees Sparrows seen and more heard in the undergrowth.
1 Corn Bunting singing on Curlew Lane (Outside of the reserve)
1 Common Whitethroat singing

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Nice day spent here today. Highlights:

From station to reserve:

4 meadow pipit
2 pied wagtail
2 tree sparrow (one poking its head out of a nestbox)
4 yellowhammer
23 corn bunting (all together; one singing)
3 skylark (one singing)
Jackdaw and rook (both with pairs beginning to nest build around the station)
3 stock dove
10+ lapwing (several displaying)
3 greylag geese
c40 black-headed gull (following a tractor ploughing a field)
3 buzzard
Plenty of singing dunnock, and gold and greenfinch in good numbers.

Reserve:

1 chiffchaff (singing; first of the year)
2 long-tailed tit nest building
Tree sparrow and reed bunting in good numbers
Hundreds of teal, wigeon, shelduck, whooper swan and black-headed gull
c15 pintail, 5 or so shoveler and 2 gadwall
3 pochard (two males and a female; on a small pond in the reedbeds)
30+ pink-footed geese
40+ ruff
2 redshank
5 black-tailed godwit
23 avocet
c50 oystercatcher
1 tawny owl
5+ buzzard
Lapwing, greylag geese, cormorant and all the other usuals.

As an aside, a Ross's goose on the mere; obviously of dubious origin, but still nice to see, and the eiders in the collection are beginning to display, which is hilarious. Frankie Howerd's born again.

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A really enjoyable leap day at Martin Mere.  Stars of the show were...

Whooper Swans - reliably informed that there are still about 1,000 around, certainly hundreds were on site.  Such fun to watch them bugling away together!

Marsh Harrier - at least one 'cream-crown' harrier seen hunting, from United Utilities hide, Raines Observatory and Ron Barker hide

Ruff - about 50 from UU hide and a few feeding right in front of Raines

Barn Owl - just a delight to watch one hunting from Ron Barker hide - it flushed several Snipe, in the process

Plenty of Wigeon, Pintails, Shelduck, Lapwing
9 Pink-footed Geese
1 Black-tailed Godwit
1 Pochard
1 Ross's Goose

Tawny Owl roosting (but well hidden)
Tree Sparrows

 



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7 Avocet 2 Barn Owl 2 Merlin 3 Marsh Harriet

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My original plan for the day was to drive over to the Wirral, but with high winds whipping around (at least in the morning) I decided that somewhere sheltered might be a better idea.  ITs a fe years since I last visited Martin Mere and I was pleased to say that there were a lot more birds present than the last time I was here. I spent most of my time in the Discovery and United Utilities hides with a half hour or so at the end of the day at the Ken Barrett Hide.

While I do normally try to count numbers ( to add to my Birdtrack records), there were just too many birds on the Mere and too much activity from the birds, prompted to some degree by Marsh Harrier(s) and Peregrine that were hunting. I recall some of the WWT estimates for numbers, but by no means all of them

c1650 Whooper Swan

1 Berwick Swan (seen by one of the WWT staff around 3PM)

1000+ Wigeon

1000+ Teal

500+ Shelduck

c350 Pintail (I've never seen so many)

1000+ Pink-footed Geese (These were off the reserve most of the day, so I only saw a small part of the est 5000 in the area)

1-200 Mallard, c20 Tufted Duck, c10 Pochard and a handfull of Gadwall

4000+ Lapwing (with, reportedly some Ruff in amongst them)

c50 Oystercatcher

1-2 Marsh Harrier (4 reported)

2-3 Buzzard

1 Peregrine

3-400 Black Headed Gull, 1 Herring Gull and brief glimpse of probably Great Black-backed Gull 

A small number of Pheasant and Reed Bunting plus typical tits and finches on the feeders.

I had 42 species in all and a few welcome year-ticks.

Not seen by me, but reported from the Ron Barker Hide - 1+ Barn Owl giving great views mid-afternoon, 1 Kingfisher



-- Edited by Charles Farrell on Saturday 30th of January 2016 01:24:36 PM

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2 marsh harrier
3 barn owl (first time I have seen 3 birds together; all from the Ron barker hide
1 tawny owl
3 buzzard
1 sparrow hawk
3 ruff
1000 whooper swan
Maybe a couple of thousand pink footed geese
300 teal
400 wigeon
200 pintail
600 shelduck
30 pochard
2 male goldeneye
4 tree sparrow
1 stonechat
15 fieldfare
20 long tailed tits


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10.30-4.15pm.  51 species seen.

hundreds of whooper swans spread around, not a lot of pink footed geese around, lots coming in late on, 1 ross's goose.

big numbers of teal all around, eventually paid of for me just before 4pm when I located the green-winged teal from the united utilities hide but all teal were soon put up by something.

wigeon, pintail, shelduck, pochard, shoveler, gadwall, tufted duck, no sign of the goldeneye.

30+ruff amongst the many of thousands of lapwings around.

3 marsh harrier, 3-4 buzzard, 2 barn owl, 2 tawny owl, short-eared owl had been seen but not by me, 1 peregrine falcon, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 kestrel.

2 stonechat, 1 kingfisher, 7 snipe, 2 goldcrest, plus all the usuals around smile



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saburke


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Really enjoyable visit this afternoon with surprisingly good weather for once.

-540 Whooper Swans (Majority on mere)
-220 Greylag Geese (All on mere)
-450 Shelduck (Split between mere, harrier and Vinson's Marsh)
-900 Teal (Most on Vinson's Marsh)
-250 Mallard
-500 Wigeon (Most on Vinson's Marsh)
-60 Pintail (All on Mere)
-12 Tufted Duck (All from Harrier Hide)
-13 Pochard (All on Mere)
-34 Gadwall (My highest count here - all from Harrier Hide)
-60 Coot (Most on Mere)
-40 Moorhens (Most in the Captive enclosures)
-10 Cormorant (9 on the Mere, 1 on Vinson's Marsh)
-5 Grey Herons (4 on Mere, 1 from Harrier Hide)
-1500 Lapwing - Great spectacle (1200 on Mere, 150 from each Vinson's & Harrier)
-14 Ruff (Didn't really look for them but saw a few on the Mere)
-40 Black-Headed Gulls (All on Mere)
-1 Lesser Black-Backed Gull (Mere)
-1 Great Black-Backed Gull (Mere - really impressive adult)
-70 Pink-Footed Geese (Flock in field behind mere plus 2 on Vinson's Marsh)
-1 Mute Swan (all alone with 500 Whooper Swans on the Mere)
-1 Canada Goose (alone with 200 Greylag Geese)
-4 Buzzards (2 on fence posts plus 2 circling)
-1 Marsh Harrier (lifer - from the Ron Barker Hide)
-3 Stock Doves (across the road on field opposite the reserve)
-Woodpigeon (quite a few singles and pairs around plus ones overhead)
-Feral Pigeon (over a hundred around the Discovery Hide & Visitor's Centre)
-Carrion Crow (a few on fence posts)
-Jackdaw (8 flew over during the swan feed)
-Magpie (One seen in a tree from Discovery Hide)
-Blue Tt (About 10 in total)
-Great Tit (A few around the Janet Kear Hide)
-Long-Tailed Tit (5 near In Focus Shop)
-Goldfinch (A few around Janet Kear)
-Greenfinch (One at Janet Kear feeders)
-Chaffinch (About 20 in total)
-Blackbird, Robin (Both a couple around)
-Tawny Owl (Only one seen near Kingfisher Hide)
-Reed Bunting (One at Janet Kear feeders)
-Tree Sparrow (6 near Hale Hide)
-Pheasant (4 in total)


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Kristian Wade


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Cold wind but good weather otherwise. Highlights included; female pochard close, female sparrowhawk flying over low, about 30+ Fieldfare, 12 redwing, 1000 whooper swans, lapwings and common teal (i couldnt find the green winged teal), 1 oystercatcher, a goldcrest that almost decided to land on me as I stood still watching it close (changed its mind just when it was 1ft from me in the air) and 1 lesser black backed gull and his mate - a hybrid herring/lesser black. Finished feeling very tired but glad I got out. Managed 47 (excluding hybrid gull).

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1-4 with High Peak rspb (check out our Facebook page). Highlights :

Green Winged Teal from lovely new Discovery hide

2 Marsh Harrier

Barn Owl

4 Ruff



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Nice day spent here today; best of the sightings:

Railway station to reserve:

1 goldcrest
1 meadow pipit
20+ tree sparrow, most in a single flock.
1 yellowhammer
30+ fieldfare on the ploughed field running parallel to the road leading to the entrance.
5 or so redwing with them
Plenty of rook and jackdaw
A couple of stock dove picked out from large feeding parties of ferals and woodpigeon, undoubtedly more.
1 sparrowhawk (a male, watching the tree sparrow flock intently)
1 buzzard
100+ whooper swan in a semi-flooded field
2 pink-footed geese in the same field (though away from the whoopers), and perhaps 250 over, in two skeins.

Reserve:

2 goldcrest
15+ tree sparrow
100s of shelduck, teal, wigeon and lapwing
40+ pintail
c40 gadwall
2 shoveler
7 pochard
10+ tufted duck
1 goldeneye
c70 pink-footed geese, coming in in the late afternoon
c100 greylag geese
c150 whooper swan
5 ruff
2 sparrowhawk
2 marsh harrier
1 barn owl

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Visited Martin Mere yesterday. When I arrived (11.30) I went in the new hide which I thought was brill, great work has been done on that. I watched for a while the whooper swans coming and going which is really impressive. I then moved around the hides ending up in the United utilities hide. This is where a spent pretty much the rest of my day. I had a raptor spectacular!! Out in the one of the fields was a carcus (possibly a lapwing) As I arrived a Buzzard was feeding on it with several crows and magpies trying to get their turn. Then a Marsh Harrier appeared and started feeding. Next a Perergrine Falcon appeared. Whilst all this interchanging was going on I, together with a couple I got chatting to, counted 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards, 2 Peregrines, a kestrel, and a male Sparrowhawk. I was surprised to see the harriers and peregrine feeding like scavengers but I suppose any food is all that matters for survival!! Also, top of the pecking order was the Buzzard. It saw off both the harrier and peregrines as and when it decided it was time for it to feed. I stayed on until closing time hoping to see either the Barn Owl or the recently sighted Short Eared Owl but sadly they never appeared. Still a brilliant afternoon.

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Also at the NW Birdfair for most of the day yesterday.  Had much the same as Steve, but of note I had a single Golden Plover in with approx 1,000 Lapwings out from the UU hide (unusual record at Martin Mere), a lone Dunlin in a similar area, plus a few Goldcrest along the pathways and a Raven overhead.

I was also asked by an elderly lady to help ID a bird she had photographed in the collection area on some ivy, it was a lovely Chiffchaff (not a Siberian though!?).

Nice day pottering about up there as ever......



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all day here 63 species inc birds on route from burscough train station.

on route..

flock of 57 corn bunting
5 yellowhammer
1 female merlin sat on mud pile
1 sparrowhawk
several large flocks of redwing & fieldfare
skylarks & meadow pipits.

martin mere...

hundreds of whooper swans
thousands of pink footed geese
2 barnacle geese
greylag & Canada geese
3 marsh harrier
4 buzzard
1 sparrowhawk
2 kestrel
2 barn owl
2 tawny owl
1 grey heron
11 snipe
30+ ruff
60+ black tailed godwit
lots of lapwing
lots of pintail, wigeon, shelduck, teal (I did try for a green winged but no joy)
few shoveler, gadwall, just 1 tufted duck & 1 pochard
1 little grebe
1 treecreeper
plenty of tree sparrow around
plus all the usuals around
smile

the new discovery hide looks good also.

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saburke


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Spent the day here for the NW Bird Watching Festival. I was interested what people got in the "first annual North west Bird race" but stupidly forgot to check the board on the way out (was instead checking out the hot chocolate..). Our group of 4 casually got 40 species during the course of the day, we didn't participate in the actual contest though.

1 Merlin
circa. 30 Goldfinch, small numbers of Chaffinch and Greenfinch
Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits
Flock of around 14 Tree Sparrows
Grey Heron
Shelducks, Pochard, Pintail, Wigeon
1 single Barnacle Goose (next to Ron Barker hide), Pink-footed and Greylag Geese
5 Ruff
Black-Tailed Godwits
Whooper Swans x many, 2 Bewicks Swans and only 1 Mute Swan that we noticed (later in the afternoon when we realised we hadn't seen one and looked out for one)





No Kingfisher today, no Marsh Harrier, no Buzzard, no Tufted Duck and surprisingly no Collared Dove or Canada Geese!

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9.30 - 14.00. 4 Marsh Harriers, Pink - footed geese in large numbers as were Whooper Swans. Plenty Ruff and Common Snipe. Couple of Common Buzzard. All the usual stuff, but a distinct lack of Pochard!

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9:30am - 5:15pm. 10,000s of pink footed geese were the main activity on the reserve today. I went to look for the reported bewicks swan but no sign of it all day. But, just before leaving, my experience told me to give it one last try from the Hale hide. So at 4:40pm and sure enough, found it! My 2nd and best view which also made a few other people including my mother happy. Other highlights included 2 peregrines, 1 buzzard close, a female kingfisher, a common gull and a goldcrest. And that's that for now. Ta.

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Green-Winged Teal y'day, seems to favour left corner of Sunley's, though has flown. Viewable from Ron Barker.

Eclipsed drk, shabby vertical line visible on RHS, only a fragment remains on LHS. Almost impossible to ID with bins - scope essential to nail it.

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Steve Burke and I had a decent day today, arrived at around 1030 and left at 5 as the Mere was filling up. It was as atmospheric as ever watching the squadrons of geese flying in.

Walking over from Burscough we saw 5 Corn Bunting, including a nice close perched one, and then when we rounded the corner to head across the fields Steve noticed a raptor and we were thrilled to see a Merlin chase a Skylark right across the field in front of us. Stunning agility, from both birds really. Steve also clocked 3 Redwings and 3 Siskins over us, I missed them both, which was irritating.

On the reserve we had high hopes for a Bean Goose and so we spent an hour or so in the UU Hide first, staring out at hundreds of Pink-footed Geese. No joy on the Beans but great views of 2 juvenile Marsh Harrier and a female Peregrine at pretty close range in front of us. With a Sparrowhawk, the usual Buzzards and a Kestrel that made 6 raptors.

There were hundreds more Pink Foots visible from Ron Barker Hide so we headed over there next. The geese were largely much nearer so we were feeling confident about picking a Bean out. I got onto an interesting bird with orange legs and we spent at least an hour glued to it. It was ticking a few boxes, especially with those legs, but we just never quite got the clinching view we wanted. However Steve spotted 2 interesting birds together and when we looked at them and checked Collins they were juvenile Greenland White-fronted Geese! They disappeared again in the maelstrom but what great birds to pick out. Also present 2 Barnacle Geese and a showy Kingfisher. More great views of the Marsh Harriers from there too.

We went over to consult Andy in In Focus on the geese and he was able to clarify from photos that the 'Bean' was just a Pink-foot, which I think we knew deep down. But it was a great bit of learning for me certainly, and they were my first Greenland White-fronts anyway. In a final twist of irony, the numerous Teal we had largely been ignoring included a male Green-winged, which we obviously hadn't seen at all. In eclipse plumage apparently, so we didn't feel too incompetent after hearing that. But 3 solid hours staring at geese certainly keeps you honest. I deserve a nice easy twitch after that!

Walking back we flushed a Grey Wagtail from the ditch opposite the gate into the reserve. Also notable a flock of 20 or so Pied Wagtails heading into town, perhaps to roost by the big Tesco? Steve's quick photo of the White-fronts made it onto the WWT website too!

-- Edited by Simon Gough on Sunday 11th of October 2015 09:30:53 PM

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Here today, primarily for the pink-footed geese, who didn't disappoint. Thousands to be seen from the Ron Barker hide alone, with thousands more in the fields. More pouring in when I left for my train at around five. Wonderful.

Also of note:

10+ tree sparrow
1 grey wagtail
5 snipe
8 ruff
700+ lapwing
7 pintail
c40 wigeon
2 juvenile shelduck
Shoveler, gadwall, teal, mallard, tufted duck
6 little grebe
10 whooper swan
1 kingfisher
1 marsh harrier
1 buzzard

As usual, the walk from Burscough Bridge railway station also yielded some interesting species:

1 goldcrest
10+ meadow pipit
5 linnet
2 corn bunting
20+ skylark (very active and vocal, many chasing each other around)
1 wheatear
1 jay
2 stock dove
Plenty of rook and jackdaw

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Afternoon visit to Martin Mere to see the Pink footed Geese come in from Iceland and what a spectacular sight today with thousands arriving at the mere .I recon over 30000 Pink footed geese came into the mere today many coming in from very high which means they are new arrivals from Iceland.
If you want to visit the mere once this year make it in the next week for the spectacular geese arrival, last year 42000 were here at this time ,I recon they may top that this week.
Also today 4 Marsh Harrier (1 ad female + 3 Juvs) Kingfisher-1,a few Ruff, Snipe and Wigeon.

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5 Whooper Swans from the Ron Barker hide.
c5000 Pink-footed Geese
2 Snipe
Lots of the usuals on a nice sunny afternoon.

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2 Green Sandpiper, couple of Black Tailed Godwit, plenty of Ruff, 1 Marsh Harrier and excellent views of a Kingfisher were the highlights from a visit today.

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A relaxing couple of hours in the Ron Barker hide yesterday morning with Chris Chandler produced an enjoyable view of the current Wood Sandpiper, although it was distant at the back of Sunley's Marsh. Also a superbly showy Kingfisher perching right in front of the hide and a nice close Common Sandpiper. No sign of the Whinchat, but visibility was poor for some of the time as the rain came down.

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Hi Gordon, I figured that was a decent tally for 10 this morning! Just thought I'd check....

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Hi Simon, I would presume the sightings were from Thursday as that was what was seen from Ron Barker Hide throughout the day. Mid afternoon a juvenile Whinchat was found on Vinson's Marsh from the afore mentioned hide.

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Hi Mike,

Sorry to be a bit pedantic, but was your "day of the sandpipers" today or yesterday (Friday 21st or Thursday 20th) or indeed another day?

I was going to head up to Martin Mere myself this weekend, just hoping the Wood Sandpiper is still about

Thanks

Simon

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Thursday afternoon:
Day of the sandpipers - wood, green, common.
4 little ringed plover young.
Black-tailed godwit still in breeding plumage.
Good numbers of ruff including many young.
Kingfisher very active at Ron Barkers.
6 little grebe at Harrier hide.
United Utilities hide useless owing to strimmers and diggers.


-- Edited by Mike Berry on Friday 21st of August 2015 10:14:53 AM

-- Edited by Mike Berry on Friday 21st of August 2015 02:14:08 PM

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The Bittern has not been seen since 27/07/2015, Kingfisher shows at some point during the day every day currently.

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We had fantastic views of a beautiful kingfisher right in front of us, whipped out the camera, only to discover the memory card was still in the PC at home! Oh well!!

Weather was dry and warm, highlights were: Kingfisher 1x(Ron Barker Hide), a couple of cormorant, Garganey, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Marsh Harrier x3, Grey Heron x 7 (or the same one everywhere!!), Little Egret x1, Buzzard, Kestrel, Tree Sparrow x5. No sign of the Bittern for us sadly.





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No sign of the Bitten from Wednesday, but still a few decent birds about.

1 Kingfisher
Juvenile Cuckoo
Juvenile Peregrine
8 Little ringed plover
2 Ruff
1 Common sandpiper
3 Dunlin
3 Avocet
11 Black tailed godwit
3 Kestrel
40+ Tree sparrow
2 Sedge warbler
3 Chiffchaff
Teal with 2 chicks

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The Bittern was showing exceptionally well from the lower left hand side of Ron Barker hide throughout the day. Sometimes so close under the hide as to be invisible in the vegetation. Kingfisher showed well on the branches over the sluice in front of the hide and a Cuckoo distantly in a Willow at the back of Vinson's Marsh.

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Hi Karl,

A couple of great photos by yourself on the WWT site. Well done mate. I've yet to see a Bittern so I'm pretty jealous.

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Stupidly close views of Bittern today from Ron Barker hide
Other birds of note where
Marsh Harrier (F)
Cuckoo (Juv)
Green Sandpiper

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The day spent here today.

1 goldcrest
3 whitethroat
8 tree sparrow
Swallow, house martin, sand martin (1)
Coal tit, greenfinch, goldfinch, reed bunting (singing all over), pied wagtail, stock dove, all the usuals
50+ black-tailed godwit
10+ ruff
2 avocet
3 oystercatcher
2 redshank
1 dunlin
3 (at least) little ringed plover
1 (at least) ringed plover
200+ lapwing
1 whooper swan
Good numbers of teal and shelduck, with the latter having several growing young.
1 great crested grebe
1 tufted duck
3 grey heron
1 little egret
Lots of coot and moorhen with chicks
1 buzzard

Walking from Burscough Bridge and back, the pick of the species were: whitethroat, reed bunting, yellowhammer, corn bunting, skylark and house martin.

Corn buntings were particularly conspicuous, with several heard singing, and a few giving stunning views (singing from telephone wires).

A good day, but one that might have benefited from a scope; a good proportion of the day was spent staring intently at distant plovers. :)




-- Edited by Shannon Llewellyn on Sunday 12th of July 2015 09:48:42 PM

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A happy decision to visit today with Steve Burke, based on not much more than wanting to get some value from our memberships, but by lunchtime it looked quite a good move as a Red-necked Phalarope had been spotted on Vinson's Marsh. We had great views of it feeding merrily, it was an adult female and looked very cool. I'd only seen a juvenile before.

It didn't feed by swimming in circles, so nothing I can add to that discussion, but it was pecking dynamically from side-to-side as it fed. I assumed it was swimming to start with, but logically the pecking must have been into mud as it was so quick it seemed impossible to be grabbing food from the water. I think it might have been wading in a few inches of water instead, and the pecks were through into the mud. It was certainly on the fringes of the standing water most of the time. Lovely bird.

Also over there in Langley's Brook was a male Garganey associating with some male Teal. It was a handsome thing but Steve noticed its right wing was not fully intact, it looked to be missing most of its primary feathers. It was also preening that wing incredibly vigorously. We weren't sure if it might be in moult or if it had been damaged. The bird was squabbling with the Teal over one of 'their' females, perhaps one of them had managed to hurt it. I hope its OK...

Other notable birds seen were:
outside the reserve in the fields
Corn Bunting
Grey Partridge
Red-legged Partridge
Skylark
Stock Dove

Around 150 House Martin over the sewage works, the most I've ever seen by miles, not sure Steve had seen that many together either, there were only a handful of Swifts and Swallows with them. A nice soundtrack of Whitethroats and Blackcaps singing

On the reserve:
Black-tailed Godwit
Ringed Plover
Common Tern
Red-legged Partridge
Avocet
Ruff

The Ruff was a summer plumage male, which was displaying or threatening to in front of Lapwings and Oystercatchers, in lieu of any other Ruff. Another new plumage for me.

I got 64 on my daylist; considering people associate the reserve with winter wildfowl, I didn't think that was bad for a June day











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Late post for Tuesday 2nd - spent the afternoon on the reserve. Weather was very blustery, with a couple of heavy showers.

The most interesting birds reported on the day were Little Gull (either 1st or 2nd summer, according to differing reports) and Curlew Sandpiper - I didn't see either species myself, unfortunately. Did see

Avocets sitting on nests and with chicks out and about feeding
Black-tailed Godwits (100+, per Andy Bunting)
1 Ringed Plover
1 Mediterranean Gull - adult, summer plumage. Luckily, it was loafing half-asleep plum in front of Raines Observatory, so even a duffer like me couldn't miss it.
2 Tree Sparrows on the feeders at Janet Kear Hide
3 Stock Doves
A Lesser Black-backed Gull successfully stealing a chick from Black-headed Gull colony, despite determined defensive mobbing.

On the walk up from New Lane station, a Common Whitethroat and back at the station after, a Sparrowhawk just over my head, sending the local Blackbirds crazy, with barred tail fully spread out as it crashed by with the wind behind it. My favourite moment of the whole day.



-- Edited by Ollie Wright on Friday 5th of June 2015 11:15:02 PM

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Rob Creek wrote:

Many thanks Ivan and Ian,
We were fairly confident with Merlin as the plumage colour, size and shape, and it's fast flight low over the ground all seemed to fit nicely. Your comments strengthen that sighting so I'll stick with Merlin.
Cheers guys!





Why could it not have been a first Summer Hobby ,they are mainly Brown? small,fast fly low and the males can be tiny ,That's the problem with not being sure in the main it could have been anything. one that got away :)


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Many thanks Ivan and Ian,
We were fairly confident with Merlin as the plumage colour, size and shape, and it's fast flight low over the ground all seemed to fit nicely. Your comments strengthen that sighting so I'll stick with Merlin.
Cheers guys!

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Quotes from the RSPB website Merlins in the UK

When to see them
All year round. Birds leave their upland breeding areas between August and october, when N European birds also arrive here. They return again in April and May.

Where to see them
The UK breeding population is at the south-west extremity of the merlin's European range, and is thinly scattered across upland moorland from south-west England north to Shetland. In winter birds leave upland areas and come down to inland lowland and coastal areas. They can be seen in almost any open country but are often found near coasts. They can be found at roosts in reedbeds, bogs and on heaths, often with hen harriers.

In winter the UK population increases as most of the Icelandic breeding birds migrate to our warmer climate. Although recovering from a population crash in the late 20th century it is still on the Amber List.

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Ian Chisnall


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Rob, could well have been a merlin. The overheard expert would surely have poo pooed the temmincks stint or the red throated pipit or the hoopoe in Oldham, as they cant be here at this time of year.!! But obvioulsy are/were. Birds can turn up any time any place as we all know.

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Monday 25th May with Simon Gough.

Of note...
Curlew Lane area proved fruitful before even getting on the reserve.

1 Corn Bunting - was on a power line then dropped down and started singing on top of a low hedge of a ploughed field
2 Yellow Wagtail - in same area, presumably 1m 1f as one was very bright yellow, the other a lot duller and browner
1 Oystercatcher
1 Shelduck

Main reserve.

-Few Tree Sparrows in usual spot around Kingfisher Hide and feeders
-No luck with the Tawny Owl

-TEMMINCK'S STINT - a Lifer for me, viewed out in Woodend Marsh from UU Hide.
Absolutely tiny and even gave a comparison view against a Ringed Plover, appearing probably around half the size. Very quick indeed, running around from one end of a spit to the other in between other Waders, Shelduck and Shoveler, then flying to another spit, we had a right job picking it up again as once in the air it was lost against matching background scenery. But we did notice however despite its speed running, it was a little slower feeding compared to Little Stint, which we've seen at Burton Mere and Frodsham Tanks.
A great little bird to watch.

-a single Dunlin
-Plenty of Avocet about
-Black-tailed Godwit - 2
-Lapwing
-Ringed Plover - at least 8 possibly more
-Oystercatcher
-Redshank
-Whooper Swan - still a couple remaining
-Pink-footed Goose - 3 (injured so we were told so assuming the Whoopers were too)
-few Greylag Goose
-1 Drake Wigeon
-1 Drake Pintail
-quite a few Shoveler about
-plenty of Gadwall
-Lots of Shelduck about
-1 gorgeous Barn Owl quartering over the large branch piles
-1 Kestrel
-1 distant Common Buzzard
-2 Goldcrest showing well near Janet Kier hide
-nothing on JK feeders apart from an acrobatic Brown Rat
-couple of Reed Bunting
-few Skylark
-1 House Martin
-couple of Sand Martin
-Swallow
Lots of usuals around including Gulls, Waterbirds, and Song Birds

Other sightings of note...

On leaving the reserve we pulled up at the side of the field literally 100yds away and there was a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull with some Black-headed Gulls. Good fairly close views and easily separable from the others.

Whilst watching the Temminck's Stint a fellow birder on the top tier picked up a small Raptor flying low over the marsh towards the farm and we looked at each other and both suggested Merlin as it appeared to be a darkish grey-brown with a falcon appearance about it. We settled for that but a birder downstairs must've overheard us and was heard saying there was no chance of Merlin round there as they're all up in the higher ground, breeding.
Any help on this would be appreciated as that's certainly what it looked like, and don't Merlin breed in bog-land or marshy fenland too?

A great few hours here!



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 26th of May 2015 11:06:52 PM

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Worth checking out the dung heap on Curlew Lane just outside Martin Mere. This morning it held
3 Yellow Wagtail (2 male 1 Female)
Corn Bunting
Tree Sparrow
Pied Wagtail
Male Wheatear
Male Whinchat

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Golden Oriole has been found in the enclosures in the past!

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Thanks Simon, Rob and Patrick for your replies.

I heard that there were Corn Buntings on the reserve but sadly did not have time to check yesterday. I was only curious about the birds' status as I did not see Gadwall or Pintail on the mere yet saw them from the visitors centre. Sadly I do not get the train (which in one way is a good thing because it's quite a long walk to the reserve from the train station) but I have seen that quite a few good farmland birds are seen around there. I think I might have a look next time I go. I'm not really that surprised at the sightings of a Cuckoo as there is some good habitat in the duck enclosures and I'm sure some good birds must turn up once in a while.

Thanks,
Kristian

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Kristian Wade
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