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Post Info TOPIC: Alexandra Park, Whalley Range


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RE: Alexandra Park, Whalley Range


Swifts screaming this morning - my first of the year.
4 Swallows skimming the water yesterday.

The usual lake population - Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot
but the young Herons have flown the South nest.

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The usual lake population - Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot and Herons - 3 young in one nest and one in another I think. On the floating pallet, usually occupied by Tufted Duck, 2 terrapins were sunbathing (Yellowbellied Sliders, I think). Nuthatches, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers about the park, plus Ring-necked Parakeets.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 23rd of April 2016 03:46:43 PM

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Swallow by the lake this morning and a Chiffchaff singing at north end.

Info thanks to Tony O'Mahony

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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As I had begun to suspect, the head of one of the 2 Goosanders on the lake is now clearly darkening, so a Redheaded juvenile is coming out as a drake. The other is very red, so I think we have a pair. Photos through today's snow are not very clear but I'll get a clear picture of both to show the difference when the sun comes out.


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I did another count today with a view to mapping the seasonal changes in bird attendance around Alexandra Park Lake. These are minimum counts.

Blackheaded gull 211
Common gull 4
Lesser blackbacked gull 7

Heron 3 (1 on north nest)

Mute swan 4
Canada goose 25
Mallard 11
Tufted duck 23
Goosander 2 redhead

Moorhen 3
Coot 3

Parakeets 5

Plus away from the lake:
Mistle thrush; Blackbird; Robin
Blue tit; Great tit
Wren; House sparrow
Carrion crow
Magpie
Woodpigeon
Feral pigeons
Nuthatch
Treecreeper (yesterday)




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During the last week, there has usually been a single redhead Goosander on the lake. Both the north and south Heron nests have been busy with pairs nest-building and mutual-preening. Parakeets have become even noisier. There were 8 feeding in the conifer next to the south Heron nest, plus others spiralling around. 13 is my maximum definite count so far.

Lake: Moorhen; Coot; Mallard; Mute swan; Canada Geese; Tufted duck; Blackheaded gull; Common gull; Lesser blackbacked gull.

The fields have had their usual thrushes - mainly Mistle and Redwing. In the short time since I moved here, as well as Robins, I've seen Song, Mistle, Blackbird (including Luke, a leucistic bird - see picture), Redwing & Fieldfare. I'm waiting for a Ring Ousel.

A Nuthatch joined the Blue tits at my feeder on Demesne Road yesterday.



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Monday 15th February.
Heron mobbed by gulls, heron on nest on island of the lake.
Group of tufted duck of both sexes.
Several noisy ring necked parakeets.
Nuthatch. Female goosander still on the lake.

-- Edited by Fiona Moate on Thursday 18th of February 2016 06:49:40 PM

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Yesterday, Sunday 7 Feb, the sun came out for a while and I started my walk by watching the Herons in Alexandra Park for a while. There are 2 pairs on nests at the north and south ends of the island. The south pair are clearly visible, more so than most of the nests in the Chorlton Ees heronry - no branches in the way and no leaves yet. One was sitting low in the nest, presumably on egg(s). The north nest is more hidden.


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Thursday 4th February, very large flock of winter thrushes feeding on the cricket pitch in the rain. Mistle, redwing and probably fieldfares. It was very poor visibility so hard to see details.

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This morning, I watched 2 pairs of Herons on new nests in separate trees on the island.

At the lake:
3 Mute Swan (2 ad 1 juv)
4 Moorhen
1 Goosander (brown head)
15 Tufted Duck
6 Coot
10 Mallard
99 Blackheaded Gull
2 Lesser Blackbacked Gull
24 Canada Goose

Off the water:
Feral & Woodpigeons, Great, Blue and Longtailed Tits, Wrens, Blackbirds, Robins, Mistle Thrushes.
I think I heard Goldcrest, but at my age, I have lost the higher frequencies.

Also a screaming Kestrel harried by Crows and Magpies. It passed my window on Demesne Road later, still screaming, at about 2pm.





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Yesterday (Wed 9 Dec), amongst the Coots, Mallards, Moorhens, Canadas, Blackheads & Tufties on the lake were 2 male Goosander, and flying in out of a nearby conifer next to Demesne Road was a very smart Fieldfare.

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13 Goosander and a pair of Shoveler on the lake

Info via Tony O'Mahony



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1 Ring Necked Parakeet at Whalley Range Cricket Club this afternoon. First in GM for me.

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Garden Warbler in trees east of the lake at 11:25 today but mobile.

Info thanks to Tony O'Mahony

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Keep searching Ian, you'll see him at some point! And sadly he wasn't doing his dance when I spotted him.

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I imagine he may have moved on with all this fine weather!


-- Edited by Andy Isherwood on Wednesday 8th of April 2015 03:33:18 PM

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Yeah, dipped too cry

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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You weren't using work as an excuse to twitch Bez were you

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A quick wander around the lake whilst out at work this morning:

Grey Heron with two fairly well grown young in the nest.
First winter Cormorant
Two Coot nests
36 Tufted Duck
Two singing Treecreeper
Nuthatch
Four Long-tailed Tits

No Bez no

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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David Morris wrote:

and Bez from the Happy Mondays.





One of the best sightings I've seen on here in ages; I'm actually quite envious! I can only hope he was doing 'his dance' biggrin

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Saw a pair of Cormorants on the pond today. Other highlights spotted were a pair of Chaffinches mating and Bez from the Happy Mondays.

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Cormorant on the pond today. Not sure if anyone has seen them here before, but this is first one I've seen here. Was sunning itself on a low branch over water, just beneath Grey Heron on nest. What looked like a juvenile heron was also tentatively making its way into the water nearby. The Tufted Ducks seem to be doing well here, with many more around than last year around, along with plenty of Coot, Canada Goose and Mallard.

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What action can people take on this?

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GUYS! They're gonna start draining the lake soon . by a metre. to rebuild the wall (which means it will take ages) there's a heron chick that needs protecting - theyre doing it at the wrong time of year - the fact theyre doing it altogether is outrageous as it will affect the whole ecosystem of the lake. please take action!



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Highlights of today's walk were good sightings of 2 x nuthatch and 2 x redwing.

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Quick walk in the park today - large areas of the park devastated by the tree felling since my last visit. Will undoubtedly have a negative effect on many species.

Spent some time at the other side of the park, around where the firecrests had previously been reported. No firecrests or goldcrests as I was really hoping for (the former more in unduly optimistic hope, as they have perhaps now moved on permanently as has been suggested on here), but did see a couple of bullfinch which brightened up the day.

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Steve - I fear you're right. But I spoke to the RSPB this morning, who confirmed that if any evidence of bird nesting behaviour (even just flying from tree to tree carrying nesting materials) is evident in the park, then it is unlawful for the felling to continue. That's why I'm urging any local birders with a half decent zoom lens to get down to the park and see if they can spot, and photograph, any such behaviour, ASAP...

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I think the City Council are well aware of the Wildlife & Countryside Act, which is why they are chopping down the trees now before any eggs are laid

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Spent an hour last Saturday 26th January watching birds in the area which is soon to be felled to make way for tennis courts (unless we can provide evidence of bird nesting behaviour in the park ASAP). Spotted the following:

1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Nuthatch
1 Treecreeper
5 Redwing
1 Chaffinch (f)
1 Coal Tit
2 Long Tailed Tit
1 Wren
1 Robin
1 Blackbird

... as well as the usual suspects (blue tits, great tits, woodpigeon, magpies, etc).

Today, 5th Feb, saw a stunning male bullfinch in a tree, moments before it was felled. Absolutely gutting that they're destroying this wildlife habitat. See Save Alexandra Park's Trees for more info.




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400 trees under the chop , work has already started and large area already felled over past fews days,

5 Ring necked Parakeets seen today.

campsite area where protesters have set up !



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2:30 - 4pm

40+ Redwing
2 Mistle Thrush
Sparrowhawk
Nuthatch
Bullfinch (m)


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No sign of any Firecrests the last few days but knowing how elusive and mobile they've been they could easily still be about.
Also 1 Siskin over.

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2 Firecrest in Hollies by the Play Centre at 3pm
1 Treecreeper
4 Goosander drakes

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One Firecrest this morning and two this afternoon per BG's.

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Rob


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Nice to meet you Tony, shame we spent so long in the wrong spot. Chuffed to see one eventually though.

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The duller bird showed well in the SW corner around 14:40

Moved quickly from tree to tree but spent a little time fly-catching and hovering in a birch. It then flew towards and over Demesne Road.

(Unfortunately I had spent 2 hours looking in the wrong trees near the abandoned building)

Birds also seen

Dunnock
Goldcrest
Coal, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits
Treecreeper
Nuthatch
Redwing
Fieldfare

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Yes, who knows what the locals thought with a crowd of folk gathered under the dark trees only legs showing...some sort of drug party!
Anyway, second time lucky for me and arrived about 1110, so great timing after dipping yesterday!


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16/12/2012 - 8.45am-12pm with Phil Owen and a good crowd of Mancunian birders:

1 Firecrest - male, showed well after a couple of hours around the yews and hollys to the east of the lake by the boarded up building

And in addition to yesterdays sightings (44 species in total):
3 Common Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
5 Ring-necked Parakeets
1 Grey Wagtail - over
1 Dunnock



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1 Firecrest showed well for 5 mins at 11.15. In conifers near abandoned building opposite Spring Bridge Road entrance.

Cheers John.

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No luck for me or Phil Owen between 10am-12pm for the Firecrest, will have another crack in the morning.

In addition to other reports today there were:
1 Treecreeper
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Mistle Thrushes
1 Grey Heron (1w)
1 Pied Wagtail
2 House Sparrows
2 Greenfinches


-- Edited by Henry Cook on Saturday 15th of December 2012 06:38:07 PM

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Well done Tim,you deserve it after all those hours you put in
Thanks for getting myself and other birders onto the firecrest at 2.10pm in the birch tree you mention,cracking little bird nice to get one so close to home after recently getting two out off county. Nice to meet other birders
Other birds off note...
Several goldcrests
Several redwings
2 nuthatches
2 collared doves
2-3 sparrowhawks
1 bullfinch,male
Goldfinches,chaffinches
Blue/great/coal & long tailed tits
1 jay,just outside the park on Stanley rd
1 shoveler,male
3 goosanders,male
At least 5 tufted ducks
Plus usuals



-- Edited by steven burke on Saturday 15th of December 2012 05:45:09 PM

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saburke


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I managed to get the firecrest after about 15min, very lucky! Thanks to Tim Wilcox and Tony Darby for showing me where it was. :)

Also great to meet steven burke and Neville Wright. Good company and a stonking bird. I think I saw the duller bird (missed the bright male by 5min, but not complaining!) See Tim's directions below

Also jay, nuthatch, 3 male (at least 1 sub-adult) goosander, male shoveler and lots of goldcrest plus some commoner woodland species.

The firecrest was not seen after about 1445hrs. (But heard it call as I was leaving)

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 15th of December 2012 03:35:18 PM

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12.30 - 2.30

YEES! My 6th visit since last Sunday and after over 8 hours fruitless vigil all told this week I finally got lucky. Tony Darby arrived at about 12.45 and straight away picked up a movement in the Holly just south of the deep water signage on the south side of the lake. A splendily bright male Firecrest showed right in front of us at about 10 feet then worked its way inside the tree and disappeared. Then there was nothing for a bit till I picked up probably the same bright male from the road but again it disappeared. About an hour later I was watching 3 Goldcrests fly-catching in the Silver Birch towards the west end and thought they might bring out a Firecrest too and one appeared. This bird was then seen well by all assembled. To me it seemed like a different bird - probably a male but not quite as bright on the crown which on the first bird was a brilliant orange but on the latter bird more a yellowy-orange with slightly duller supercillium.

Also a Siskin, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Redwing , 2 Collared Dove and Steven Burke saw 2 Sparrowhawks through

-- Edited by Tim Wilcox on Saturday 15th of December 2012 05:40:54 PM

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Two Firecrests feeding on birch catkins with a Goldcrest for company early this am at about 9.30. Seen at the south-west corner of the lake.Tried again later without success. May wander down late afternoon as this looks a good time for spotting these.
Also 3 Goosander, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Nuthatch, Jay, Redwing, Chaffinch.

Record shot at flickr
Thanks to the finder and posters of these Firecrest sightings. First one I've seen.

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Two Firecrests plus two Goldcrests showing well despite the rain in the silver birch at the south west corner of the lake at 2pm.

Info thanks to Iain Johnson

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Firecrest still present in holly and conifers on the south side of the lake at 1.30pm today but keeping to the middle of the trees in the very wet weather!

Info thanks to Andy Isherwood

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Firecrest (m) seen at 2:45 - 3:00. It flew in from the conifers at the entrance and stayed for at least 15 minutes (Thanks to the other birder who pointed me in the right direction. It was also seen flying into the birch on the West side of the lake.

Numerous Goldcrest and Tit flocks
3 Goosander (m)
1 Shoveler (m)

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Firecrest still present at 3pm today, in a Silver Birch on the west side of the lake with a Goldcrest.

Info thanks to Tony O'Mahony

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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-Back home at 6 p.m.

After a 3 hour drive I arrived at Alexandra Pk at 11.30 a.m. (totally new area for me, and rather more extensive than I had thought) and put in 3 hours of slowly exploring all the hollies and conifers, listening, and "squeaking out" just about every species in there, apart from Firecrest!
I met up with Mike Brown and Heath Green who similarly had had no luck;- they went off for lunch as I soldiered on, chewing my butties on the hoof.
We met up and carried on (not filled with optimism by this time, though I felt sure the bird/s would still be around).
At 14.30, checking the same line of hollies (already checked 3/4 times), Heath spotted one Firecrest some 20 ft away at eye level.
- Jubilation all round as it performed for a good 5 minutes, flitting between two large hollies. -A duff record shot obtained.

I left them with it and shot off to the car to clear Gr. Manchester ahead of the rush hour.

For precise directions, (assuming this is a key part of the bird's circuit):

Starting/entering at the Spring Bridge Rd entrance to the park (i.e. at it's southern edge, along Demesne Rd) turn immediately left and go some 50 yds hugging the fence by Demesne Rd. This marks the start of a longish row of tall hollies, and the bird was in the first two that you come to. Opposite, in a Demesne Rd garden is a tall conifer which helps to confirm you as being in the same spot.
This would seem to tally with where the two birds were seen well on Sunday at 15.30, and may be a good bet for late afternoon attempts. We heard no calls at any time so it was just a case of putting in the time and getting lucky.

28 species logged in all, - best of the rest a drake Goosander on the lake.

Good Luck, and don't give up!

Regards,
Mike P.

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Why not?



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John Rayner wrote:

1Firecrest still present in same area as 9th Dec.

Info from Mike Passant

Cheers John





I'm pleased Mike got it coming down from Durham. I spent a total of 5 hours there yesterday at dawn and later on all pm without success and was there before and after you saw it Sunday without success - so far at least 7 hours searching...

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