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Post Info TOPIC: Higher End and Bispham Hall, near Billinge Hill


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RE: Higher End and Bispham Hall, near Billinge Hill


A calling Dunlin flew NW this morning seen from nr Coppice Wood, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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A Hawfinch flew north over the Bonelli's Plantation above Brownlow at 10:10, giving the high-pitched call twice. It then veered off over the border in to St Helens, going down over the ridge.
Quiet otherwise, 1 Goldcrest, 3 Tree Sparrow, 1 Brambling heard overhead and a flock of c200 Jackdaw feeding in sheep fields

Chris Darbyshire had 107 Redwing and 29 Fieldfare north-west up to 07:45

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Combined count between myself and Chris Darbyshire this morning

135 Chaffinch north, also 13 south and a flock of c100 feeding at Crank Rd near the masts
230 Fieldfare in various directions but over half going north-west
65 Redwing south, also 29 north/north-west
2 Brambling north, 1 west and min 1 but possibly up to 4 down in the area
55 Starling west
5 Linnet south
4 Greenfinch south
8 Mistle Thrush south
14 Siskin north
62 Herring Gull south
1 ad Great Black-Backed Gull south

Min 5 Tree Sparrow
3 Goldcrest



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This morning Merlin south, Woodcock low west over Brownlow and a Brambling feeding with Chaffinch in stubble north of Crank Road by the masts

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Up to mid-morning today, sightings between myself and Chris Darbyshire
Redwing 35 south, min 145 north and north west
Fieldfare 15 north
Song Thrush 2 north west
Woodpigeon 800 south
Siskin 9 south
4 or 5 Brambling heard
Chaffinch 26 south

-- Edited by dave broome on Saturday 28th of October 2017 12:31:08 PM

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1185 Redwing today logged by myself and Chris Darbyshire, mostly south, but including a total of 24 north-west later in day
2 Fieldfare south and 23 north-west

Crank Rd to Mountains Farm
77 Chaffinch moving south and south-west, also a flock of at least 50 down in stubble
1 Brambling dropped in from N
2 Redpoll (1 west, 1 south)
62 Meadow Pipit south
11 Goldfinch south and south-west, also 48 down feeding
10 Siskin south and south-west
18 Starling north-west
4 Greenfinch south
7 Pied Wagtail south

2 Goldcrest
14 Robin
13 Blackbird
13 Tree Sparrow
2 Song Thrush
2 Raven
4 Buzzard
2 Sparrowhawk
1 Peregrine

Goldcrest and Chiffchaff through gardens by Coppice Wood


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Crank Road to Mountains Farm this morning

3 Swallow south
1 Brambling south
20 Siskin SW
14 Chaffinch south
10 Linnet south
50 Meadow Pipit south
75 Redwing south (a far larger count earlier from just over the boundary at Billinge Hill itself)
2 Mistle Thrush south
16 Jackdaw south
25 Skylark south

In addition, birds down included :
1 Brambling
32 Chaffinch
18 Yellowhammer
3 Tree Sparrow
4 Song Thrush
10 Blackbird
3 Goldcrest
1 Chiffchaff
20 Long-Tailed Tit

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Between myself, C Darbyshire and P Alker 1165 Woodpigeon were logged moving south this morning

other totals moving S were 91 Chaffinch, 58 Linnet, 31 Siskin, 12 Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Bullfinch, 42 Meadow Pipit, 30 Skylark, 9 Pied Wagtail, 2 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Peregrine and 3 high-flying Cormorant



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2.5 hours this morning north of Crank Road, in varying phases of Saharan murkiness swept in by Storm Ophelia

Birds down in the area included - male Brambling in hedgerow north of Crank Rd nr masts, min 12 Yellowhammer, 3 Tree sparrow, 3 Grey Wagtail, 1 Raven

Birds moving through, chiefly S - 107 Chaffinch, 56 Redwing, 2 Siskin, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Meadow Pipit 

 



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1 Crossbill NNW over Coppice Wood 09:45, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire 



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From Brownlow Lane up to The Bonelli's Plantation and along the ridge to Mountains Fm this morning produced 12 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 13 Robin, 12 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 3 Tree Sparrow and 13 Yellowhammer. Prob some local movement of Dunnock going on with 8 counted, inc 4 moving along the hedgerow and wall on top of the ridge.

A little vis mig comprised the following moving south: 38 Meadow Pipit, 10 Skylark (plus 25 down nr Mountain Fm), 6 Chaffinch,  3 Linnet, 2 Siskin

Also 4 Ruddy Shelduck on the pond at Brownlow Farm presumably waiting for a postcard from their pal just down the road at Orrell Water Park



-- Edited by dave broome on Friday 29th of September 2017 12:58:40 PM

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totals logged moving south today (myself and Chris Darbyshire) included 

Swallow 4294

House Martin 124

Meadow Pipit 832 logged up to mid-afternoon with lighter passage continuing through the afternoon taking total to 1000+

Linnet 80

Greenfinch 10

Siskin 9

Chaffinch 27 though many other mobile groups down

Skylark 9

Mistle Thrush 2

other birds present 7 Buzzard, 10 Yellowhammer, several mobile Tree Sparrow, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest and 150 Starling hawking insects by the masts



-- Edited by dave broome on Tuesday 26th of September 2017 10:23:58 PM

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8 Crossbill NE at 08:40 over Coppice Wood, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire



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Crank Road-Smethurst Road this morning, 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler inc 1 singing, 7 Buzzard, 3 Swift, 1 Tree Sparrow and min 9 Yellowhammer



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Merlin low NNE over Billinge Plants this morning, also several Swallow. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire 



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Crossbill NW over Billinge Plants this morning, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire and Peter Alker



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Approx 40 Chaffinch and 35 Skylark on stubble along Smethurst Road between the former brickworks mound and Mountains Farm today, 3 Teal flew over in to W Lancs



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Merlin this morning, stooped in the locality of Billinge Plants-Cob Moor 

info thanks to Chris Darbyshire



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Red Kite low NNW over Tennyson Drive/Coppice Wood at around 15:15, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire



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Yellow-Browed Warbler calling in a large Willow on Brownlow Lane at 10:46, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire



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Hobby high south over Billinge Plants this afternoon, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire



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4 Crossbill circled the Billinge Plants/Coppice Wood area 14:58-14:59, then probably left to the SE. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire



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Mon 3rd Oct: Crossbill SW over Coppice Wood/Billinge Plants, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire 



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This morning Smethurst Rd-Mountains Fm area 1 Hobby, 4 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 40 Linnet feeding in St Helens nr Mountains Fm

Birds moving S/SW 72 Meadow Pipit, 16 Swallow, 4 Skylark, 26 Linnet, 3 Siskin

 



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This morning, Smethurst Road to near the masts:

Kingfisher at Bispham Brickworks, 1 Stock Dove, 39 Mistle Thrush, 2 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrest, 52 Jackdaw, 5 Skylark, 1 Treecreeper, 46 Starling, 14 Tree Sparrow, 24 Linnet, 6 Yellowhammer

little in the way of visible migration, birds logged moving S were 38 Meadow Pipit, 21 Swallow, 3 Siskin, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Chaffinch, also 1 Snipe flew west



-- Edited by dave broome on Wednesday 21st of September 2016 12:07:18 PM

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30 Tree Sparrow just N of Mountains Farm this morning

6 Chiffchaff, 1 Whitethroat



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dave broome wrote:

Birds seen by Chris Darbyshire along the GM boundary between the Bonelli's plantation and Mountains Farm this morning included 2 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and 10 Buzzard





Loving the name of the pine copse :) Had a redstart there yesterday plus whinchat and 3 wheatear in the horse paddocks at Crookhurst Farm

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Birds seen by Chris Darbyshire along the GM boundary between the Bonelli's plantation and Mountains Farm this morning included 2 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and 10 Buzzard



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Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Willow Warbler in the Bonelli's plantation above Brownlow late morning, one of the latter singing occasionally. 6 Chiffchaff from there down to Smethurst Rd. 1 Raven



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Tree Pipit calling but not seen nr conifers W of Brownlow Fm this morning



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Ring Ouzel this morning, presumably same bird as found by Paul yesterday. If walking from Smethurst Road, past Mountains Farm, just past the steps, feeding in sheep field on Bispham Hall side of path. It goes missing for periods before appearing to feed in the field. 

Green Woodpecker yaffling in Bispham Wood, then on top of a tree in woodland west of Brownlow Fm (world's worst record shot below, taken from distance)

2 Siskin flew N, 1 Swallow, 1 Raven, 2 Willow Warblers singing on mound at former Bispham Brickworks, 4 Yellowhammer 

 

 



-- Edited by dave broome on Thursday 14th of April 2016 11:15:55 AM

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In The Greater Manchester part of Billinge Hill behind Bispham Hall this morning was a ring ouzel, 2 wheatears, 5 swallows, pied wagtail, great spotted woodpecker, willow warbler, chiffchaff plus a few siskins over. At the beacon 2 fieldfare flew over, blackcap heard singing too



-- Edited by paul brady on Wednesday 13th of April 2016 03:43:56 PM

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A minimum 2100 Redwing, 120 Fieldfare and 1 Swallow S-SW this morning, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire



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A juvenile Osprey circled over the general vicinity of Billinge Plants between 1555-1610, gaining height before drifting off SW. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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Amen to that!

I try to get up a couple of times a week, if work, weather & family permits but often have the dilemma of choosing which bit to spend my precious time on. Saying that I do like this little patch (even if it is in Gtr Manc!) and often venture over there though only a handful of times have I bumped into a fellow birder (and most of those are Chris D). The fields are good for ring ouzel in the spring whilst redstart, spotted flycatcher, wheatear and various warblers in the autumn, though as I was saying I was gutted to miss this one by about 2 hours.

I spent a good amount of time up there this morning and redstart, spotted flycatcher and 3 wheatear were present but warblers were notably v. quiet/absent as were birders ..... aside from me and Chris.

Its amazing how yesterdays flurry of birders quickly subsided but also how many positive comments the site got and many people connected with at least a redstart, spotted flycatcher, whinchat or pied flycatcher (does anybody know who this was as I've not had one up there and Chris hasn't for quite some time), a lesser whitethroat was even reported on the other side.

So anyone up for covering this patch a little more regularly? Now is THE time

Oh and I put all my sightings out via @sthelensbirds on twitter fairly quickly and for anybody who wants to contribute to a combined blog we have (see link on signature below) where Damian, myself and a few others post pictures and sightings fairly regular.

Cheers

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I don't mean to take anything away from the regulars, but there's a lot to check !

The 1-2 quail earlier this year were very welcome

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Ian McKerchar wrote:

Originally posted today by John Watson:

The site somehow appeals as a mini migration hotspot, with a few isolated patches of deciduous woodland, willow, conifer, a pool a few hedges & relatively easy access; all at the top of a hill standing out from the mosslands to the NW, W and S. Given how busy Horwich moors can get, this site is surely underwatched.





Billinge Hill in particular does receive some excellent attention from birders and visible migration watchers John (Chris Darbyshire in particular has covered the site for many years), although like most places it still classes as under-watched! The site's migration totals are not usually posted on this forum but do make their way into the annual county bird report and often give an excellent comparison (though more often to a lesser degree) with those on the Horwich Moors.


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No further sign of the Bonelli's Warbler this morning.

Birds present though included Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and Wheatear.

Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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RE: Higher End and Bispham Hall


Originally posted today by John Watson:

Missed it, sadly. Last seen at 11:10 by Damian though several others looking for the rest of the day.

Also, 30+ swallows drifting South ahead of a shower

Also, others had seen Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchat; I think someone mentioned Spotted Flycatcher too.

The site somehow appeals as a mini migration hotspot, with a few isolated patches of deciduous woodland, willow, conifer, a pool a few hedges & relatively easy access; all at the top of a hill standing out from the mosslands to the NW, W and S. Given how busy Horwich moors can get, this site is surely underwatched.


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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Originally posted yesterday by Rob Creek:

Delivering in Southport today so when the text came through, it was an opportunity not to be missed to try for the Bonelli's Warbler, seeing as though it was actually on the way back to work in Reddish.

Late afternoon in none stop heavy drizzle...
Parked on Smethurst Road, walked 0.72 miles to the suggested location, a few other birders present but the bird hadn't been seen since earlier on, judging by the post below that was you showing me your photos Damian, nice to meet you, couldn't stop any longer had to get back to work.

Birds of note however...(in the Pine trees and surrounding area)
Goldcrest - 1, moving through the trees calling
Coal Tit - 1, also moving through
Blue Tit - 1, also moving through
Chiffchaff - 3, also in the same trees, 1 of which was a dull olive colour with a greyish hue to it just to confuse matters.
Grey Wagtail - sat on side of pool in middle of the copse then flew off calling

In the hedges surrounding the copse...
Robin - 1
Chiffchaff - 1, with another 1 calling in next patch of woods.
Also 2 Wheatear and numerous Meadow Pipit around the stone walls on way back down to the car near the cattle field.

If this hangs around then I may try again at weekend.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Originally posted yesterday by Craig Higson:

I went for this bird this afternoon, shortly after news was put out. Sadly I (along with everyone else there) failed to make contact. Speaking to a couple of St Helens birders the opinion was that it had probably left the pine copse and moved along the hedges into more suitable deciduous woodland. One hedge in particular seemed to be a favourite bet, as it had a number of birds in it, and this was leading away north, deeper into GM. Great find.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Originally posted yesterday by Damian Pendlebury; note the copse referred to is actually within Greater Manchester:

I found a Bonellis warbler sp. this morning on Billinge Hill on the
public footpath between Crank Road and Smethurst Road that leads to Mountains
Farm. It was in the pine copse that's on the right.

sd519021

Cheers,

Damian

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A flock of 20+ Whooper Swan high west over Billinge Plants at 09:02 this morning. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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Min 500 Redwing this morning over the Smethurst Road-Mountains Farm area. Some flocks dropping in briefly before moving on. Various directions involved mostly S, though some SE and one flock N. (1500+ logged from Billinge Hill, per Chris Darbyshire)
Other birds in the Smethurst Rd area inc min 124 Skylark, which included a low-flying flock of approx 85 E, 2 Corn Bunting by Mountains Farm, 6 Tree Sparrow, 7 Goldcrest, 28 Robin and 14 Dunnock. Other birds moving S inc 14 Meadow Pipit, 3 Siskin, 4 Song Thrush and 13 Chaffinch

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juvenile Redstart this morning north of Smethurst Road, in hedgerow north of Bispham Brickworks lake (actually the Greater Manchester/West Lancs boundary)
256 Meadow Pipit S to SSW in 2 hours, just 2 Swallow S, 5 Chaffinch S
In the Smethurst Rd/Bispham Brickworks vicinity 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 19 Robin, min 7 Yellowhammer and 10 Chaffinch

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Yesterday morning, an Osprey flew SW over Billinge Plantations.

Info thanks to Peter Alker

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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A Wheatear this morning, just in St Helens, west of Billinge Plants, then flew (in to GM airspace!) over Bispham Hall. Pair of Ravens flew N. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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Redstart today, moved through gardens by Coppice Wood at the north end of Billinge Plants today. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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New to forum. My house (upholland road) backs onto the fields in this area and we get lots of good sightings. 9am this morning (9th Dec) we had a Merlin sat on the shed.
Previous sittings of interest include grey partridge, fieldfare, sparrowhawk, tree sparrows, great spotted woodpecker, marsh or willow tits, willow warblers, various tits and finches - all in garden. Plus lapwings, buzzards, red legged partridge and yellowhammer in field.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 9th of December 2012 02:21:03 PM

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Sunday 21st: min 1 Crossbill NE 1402hrs and Merlin high W at 1625hrs, over Billinge Plants/Coppice Wood area, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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