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Post Info TOPIC: Greenfield


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RE: Greenfield


Just over the border from Mossley, the area opposite Wrights Mill had singing Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Also a Jay making all sorts of strange sounds and a Kingfisher fly past.

Then a lifer as I spotted the mythical John Spalding! I've heard about this rare beast for years and exchanged messages via this forum but never, until this morning, clapped eyes on him. ID was easy as he was in typical helmeted plumage and perched upon two wheels! Good to meet up at last.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Morning (post eclipse) walk around the moorland edge.

Woodcock flew off from bracken at Warlow Clough, heading towards Dove Stone.
Plenty of Red Grouse much lower down the moor than usual - maybe the result of a fire (apparently under control) on the slopes of Alphin Pike.
A fair number of Lapwing displaying in the fields - but not half as many as there used to be round here.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Ventured out after the rain, sleet and snow had abated.

Not a good day for Dippers - all their favourite perching stones under water due to high river levels. Two Grey Wagtails.
Now at least 9 occupied nests in the heronry and 3 Rook nests being built/renovated near the King Bill PH.
3 pairs Tufted Duck the only new additions at Royal George lodge.
Pink-footed Goose now back in Greenfield.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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March's WeBS counts (dreary drizzle)

Waterside Mill (Tanner's) Lodge: pair Oystercatcher (site first)

Royal George Lodge:

pair Oystercatcher (site first - probably the same pair as at Tanner's)
Mallard: 15
Canada Geese: 43
Moorhen: 8
Coot: 1
Little Grebe: 1
Black-headed Gulls: 19
Common Gull: 1

+ the introduced birds: Mute Swan: 2, Wood Ducks: 4

Pair of Dipper gathering moss on riverbank.


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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Another tour round the valley with more sleet and hail showers:

ETW: 5 male & 1 redhead Goosanders on river. Heronry not yet in full swing but at least 3 nests definitely occupied.

Confluence of Tame and Chew Brook: Cormorant, pair Grey Wagtails (one with metal ring), Dipper (unringed)

Royal George Lodge: Little Grebe, pair Tufted Duck. 15 Moorhen and 202 Canada Geese in Well-i-hole Farm fields (Pinkfoot has decamped to Mossley).



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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Pleasant stroll between the sleet and hail showers:

Pink-footed Goose with Canadas in field where John Spalding noted it a month ago. Not limping as badly as when I first saw it. Reports from Elton that their Pinkfoot was present this morning mean that it's not the same bird (I had wondered...). 9 Moorhen in the same field but the Water Rail hasn't returned this winter.

Singing Dipper with metal ring at Wrights Mill on the Tame.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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February's WeBS counts (minus 4C and foggy!)

Royal George Lodge (c60% frozen)

Mallard: 40
Canada Geese: 23
Moorhen: 7
Little Grebe: 1
Black-headed Gulls: 62
Common Gull: 1
Heron: 1

+ the introduced birds: Mute Swan: 2, Wood Ducks: 4


Waterside Mill (Tanner's) Lodge (completely frozen)

No water birds. One drumming Gt. Spotted Woodpecker had his territory invaded by two others and a noisy scrap ensued.
If visiting, beware the very aggressive rams in the field by the lodge!

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Late afternoon walk yesterday to see if Herons had started building nests - they hadn't.

However I did discover a magpie roost in trees between the old railway bridleway and Well-i-hole Farm fields. When I left there were at least 49 birds in two adjacent trees, many perched in pairs like Jackdaws.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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A walk between 11 and 12. There was a Pink Footed Goose amongst the Canadas in the field behind the Royal George Lodge.
Also a couple of Dippers on the river by the sewage works.

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January's snowy WeBS counts

Royal George Lodge (c10% frozen)

Mallard: 26
Canada Geese: 70
Moorhen: 8
Little Grebe: 1
Black-headed Gulls: 142 (a WeBS count record for this site)
Common Gull: 1

+ the introduced birds: Mute Swan: 2, Wood Ducks: 4

also one Dipper (unringed) on the river

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Couple of puzzling goose sightings this morning:

First, in the fields by the Manns, there was a grey goose amongst the flock of 150+ Canadas. Almost certainly a Pink-foot (though I couldn't get a really decent view) it was walking with a limp. I had seen a grey goose flying with two Canadas on Dec 27th nearby but in very poor light. I presume this would have been the same bird. Has anyone else noticed this bird?

Second, as I walked back to Mossley along the towpath there was one Canada Goose by itself (which is unusual anyway) on the canal just inside the Greenfield border. It was definitely smaller than your average Canada (though there were no others to compare with it) and something about it didn't seem right. Its neck feathers were permanently raised and it swam back and forth as though it was frightened by something, though it never made any attempt to fly. Only managed one rubbish photo before my memory card was full cry

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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2 Rough-legged Buzzard relocated at 'Pots and Pans' viewable from Tunstead Lane on moorland East of the Obelisk at 1330hrs (info A.Platt)

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December WeBS counts

Tanner's Lodge: absolutely no waterbirds (but no anglers to blame this time) though c40 Fieldfare over.

Royal George Lodge:
4 WOOD DUCKS - 2 females by Manns cottages, 2 males on the main lodge.
(can only presume these have introduced by the same person who brought the swans - what next? Flamingos no

Mute Swan: 2
Mallard: 17
Canada Geese: 60
Moorhen: 11
Coot: 1
Little Grebe: 2
Black-headed Gulls: 54

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Back to the routine WeBS counts after all last week's excitement...

Tanner's Lodge: only one waterbird - a Moorhen, but Red Grouse very vocal on the nearby moor and a male Gt. Spotted Woodpecker in a pondside willow.

Royal George Lodge:

Coots have now all gone but the wintering Little Grebes are back.

65 Canada Geese
26 Mallard
10 Moorhen
2 Little Grebe
2 Tufted Duck
2 Mute Swan (usual "Polish" introduced birds)
41 Black-headed Gulls
1 Heron

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Mark Rigby wrote:

JamieDunning wrote:


They're almost annual over the moor there!





Almost annual Jamie? 2011 was first record since the Uppermill bird in 1990. disbelief



We'd had reports at Dove Stone from 2010 (2-3 independent on the Isle of skye road from Holmefirth) and (If I remember correctly) from 2009, on the Crowden side.
Didn't see either myself and can't vouch for their authenticity. I guess they need to have been seen by someone using a website like this one and reporting their birds somewhere. It's the problem with an area as under watched as the saddleworth moors - I'm only speaking anecdotally.



-- Edited by JamieDunning on Saturday 1st of November 2014 06:04:28 PM

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-J


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Further sightings/updates of the Rough-legged Buzzards are now on the Dove Stone thread.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Hope you get this one without getting hypothermia mate like we did sat all day on the moor without success for the Lees Hill bird. I'm working tomorrow so will hope for Sunday...
.................................................................................................................

Wouldn't worry to much about hypothermia Tim ........... there will be plenty of cardiovascular body warmth from the exhilarating walk up from Binn Green. biggrinbiggrin

Roger.

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Brian, they covered quite a distance over a huge area and probably could have been viewable from binn green but to get a better vantage point your better walking up the hill to over look more of the moorland

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www.agamiheron.com


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brian fielding wrote:

cheers mark, how far is it aprox from binn green car park, did you view the birds from the tarmac pull in, thanks, brian.





Hope you get this one without getting hypothermia mate like we did sat all day on the moor without success for the Lees Hill bird. I'm working tomorrow so will hope for Sunday...

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Cheers Steve. Sorted the Grouse a few weeks ago but ta anyway.

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That's the one Craig. Don't take the first right (signposted Dove Stone) but carry on up the hill and it's the next turn on the right that isn't a private road. Don't worry you can't miss it.

If you didn't get Red Grouse up on Horwich Moors you'll get plenty up here smile

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Never been to Binn Green. Presume that's the Car Park on Holmfirth Road?

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JamieDunning wrote:


They're almost annual over the moor there!





Almost annual Jamie? 2011 was first record since the Uppermill bird in 1990. disbelief

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As well as the two juv Rough-legged Buzzard also saw c20 Fieldfares flying low over and seeming to landed in the heather (as Mark said vis mig ), one Peregrine seen to mob one of the RLBuzzards, one Common Buzzard, four Ravens and plenty of Red Grouse

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www.agamiheron.com


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cheers mark, how far is it aprox from binn green car park, did you view the birds from the tarmac pull in, thanks, brian.

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Incredibly, as I arrived I immedistley picked up the Rough-legged Buzzard hanging in the wind. I jumped out of the car when my son shouted "there's a Kestrel above it". Raising my bins in utter disbelief, another Rough-legged Buzzard was hovering about 50 meters above the first. Both juveniles, one with very clean underparts.

Knowing Gary Crowder was on Featherbed Moss and having no phone signal, I drove up to get him. We soon located a single bird and watched it until 1630hrs when light began to fade. I would think there is a good chance the birds will be present tomorrow.

The parking will be very tricky. Best bet is to park in Binn Green car park and walk up the road and view from there. Higher up the road there is no footpath and the road is very busy. There is a small red Tarmac pull in for a couple of cars on the right hand side.

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Parking suggestions would be good too please!

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could someone please post directions, best place to look etc, will have a look asap tomorrow, thanks, brian.

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Rough-legged Buzzard on Featherbed Moss at 15:20 today.

Info thanks to Gary Crowder via Mark Rigby

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Nice one Steve, They're almost annual over the moor there!

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-J


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ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD

Walking along Moor Edge Road from Mossley to Greenfield this morning I was descending the path to Warlow Brook when a large bird of prey flew down from the moor. As it passed in front of me I said to myself "Buzzard" but as it flew below me and banked over I could see the tail was white with a dark tip. It was only a five second view before it disappeared behind the shoulder of the hill, but surely it was a Rough-legged? I retraced my steps to get a better view down the valley but it had gone.

Continued the walk and above Tanners Mill another Buzzard appeared high in the sky. I got my bins on it but it was just a silhouette and then a Peregrine cruised into view and the Buzzard disappeared quickly.

I returned along the same route, and as I was approaching White Lee Farm along Intake Lane, the first Buzzard reappeared descending from the moor again right in front of me. This time I had a longer view and got the bird in my bins. The tail was very white and the tip black. Upper body and wings were mainly dark brown with some feathers looking silvery grey in the bright sunshine. The bird rose briefly to give a view of the underwing pattern. Apart from the dark primary tips it seemed very pale apart from the carpal patches which were very dark - much more contrasting than any Common Buzzard.

The bird continued to fly down low over Greenfield village where I lost sight of it.

Checking my field guides, the tail pattern would suggest it was a juvenile.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Liz Headon wrote:

I'm surprised at the numbers on Royal George Lodge. On Thursday morning (before 8.00 am) it was totally deserted, as was Manns. There were a few geese and gulls in the field near Manns, but nothing on the water in either location.





The "Royal George Lodge" site includes the Manns pond and adjacent field for the purposes of the WeBS counts. However, all the Canadas were actually on the lodge yesterday, as were the swans, the Coot and half the Mallards. I've been doing counts here at the same time of day, for the best part of 20 years and there seems no obvious reason why one day the geese are feeding in the field and another day they're mooching around on the water. The increasing numbers of folk on the campsite might be an influence?

As for Tanner's Lodge, I wasn't blaming the anglers - though there's usually a Heron and quite often a Cormorant when the human fishing folk aren't there.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Steve Suttill wrote:



Tanner's Lodge: absolutely no waterbirds (probably as a result of the large number of anglers)
.........................................................................................

I had a look round on Tues (2nd) afternoon ...... there was no sign of life then either Steve ...... nor any anglers.

Roger.


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I'm surprised at the numbers on Royal George Lodge. On Thursday morning (before 8.00 am) it was totally deserted, as was Manns. There were a few geese and gulls in the field near Manns, but nothing on the water in either location.

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First WeBS counts of the "winter"

Tanner's Lodge: absolutely no waterbirds (probably as a result of the large number of anglers) though Chiffchaffs singing and Red Grouse very vocal on the nearby moor.

Royal George Lodge:

49 Canada Geese
24 Mallard
1 Coot
6 Moorhen
2 Mute Swan
8 Black-headed Gulls

+ Dipper (unringed) on river

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Hi Liz, It sounds like you'd be better looking at photos of birds taken in the hand. If you 'google' the species you're interested in followed by 'ibercajalav' it should take you to a fantastic Spanish website with PDFs of most of the common birds in Europe. Hope this helps.

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Mon 25th Aug. 15.30 hrs.

4 Swallows flying around Dysarts.

Roger.

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Further to my previous report - almost as soon as I'd posted it, I heard a chaffinch singing, went to the window and had superb and lengthy views of a pair !

However, my main reason for posting today is a question, which I hope nobody minds. Can anyone recommend a website with good pictures of birds in flight - diagrams would be fine, it doesn't have to be dramatic/arty in-flight photos, which is what I am getting when I do a Google search. I need clear images of pattern on back and upper wings.

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Greenbridge Lane, around lunchtime. Pair of grey wagtails feeding by stream

Friezland Lane, afternoon/evening.
Family party of long tailed tits - young recently fledged, judging by behaviour.
Swifts, swallows, house martins.
Finches - if I hear a finch and see it, it is almost always a goldfinch. I'm hearing lots of chaffinches at the moment, and the occasional greenfinch, but I rarely see either. They must be singing from the trees - in heavy leaf, of course - whereas the goldfinches seem to perch on the wires and poles to sing.
Garden warbler.
The usual wood pigeons and jackdaws, of course...


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The local Dippers seem to stay on territory all year long. They don't need to move downstream to find food in Saddleworth.
Most of the Grey Wagtails leave in winter but Dippers are made of sterner stuff!

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Yesterday... dipper in the stream at Greenbridge Lane. I thought they went higher up in summer ?

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This morning: climbed up Alphin as far as the quarry - abandoned summit attempt as back and knees were giving out cry

On route back 2 recently-fledged Stonechats on Intake Lane were a nice surprise - haven't seen them there for quite a few years.
In the adjacent field 6 Lapwings were present, 3 of which repeatedly dive-bombed a cock Pheasant which was just sitting there minding its own business.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Morning - Springfield Farm area (bottom of Friezland Lane) - goldfinch, pied wagtail, swallows.

Afternoon - another unsuccessful ring ouzel spotting expedition....

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18th April, 2.30 - 6.30 pm. Circular route: Greenfield to Uppermill on bridleway, Shaws, Pots and Pans, back to Greenfield via Dick Clough.

House sparrow, blue tit, dunnock, curlew, meadow pipit, blackbird, song thrush, jackdaw, raven, skylark, wheatear, pheasant, buzzard, kestrel, chaffinch, grey wagtail.

Frustratingly, no ring ouzel, though they had been seen shortly before I was there: a couple who were strangers to the area asked me if I knew whether it was possible that that was what they had seen.

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5 Ring Ouzel above the farmhouse on walls below Pots and Pans at 0615hrs

4 Wheatear, looks to have been a clear out overnight.
3 Pied Wagtail
Curlew
Kestrel
2 Mallard

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3 Ring Ouzels mid morning below Pots and Pans (B Stanley and A Platt) but no sign between 2-3pm but lots of disturbance.

30+ Wheatear
Little Owl
2 Mistle Thrush
Skylark
Loads of Meadow Pipit
3 Willow Warbler singing in plantation below

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15th April, 5.30 - 7.30 pm. "Circular" route: Friezland Lane, Intake Lane, Hey Top, Waterside, Manchester Road.

Red grouse, curlew (heard), meadow pipit, skylark, wren, lapwing, pheasant, crow, jackdaw, wood pigeon, great tit, coal tit, blue tit, robin, starling, chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch, jay, great spotted woodpecker (heard), dunnock.

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Originally posted today by Dave Agnew:

Ring ouzels at Pots and Pans below the ruined farm. A flock of 7 on the dry stone wall then amongst the sheep and jackdaws. Male wheatear in the same field. Pair of ravens and buzzard on patrol. Curlews calling, must be breeding nearby. Skylark singing at the top of the hill. Great birding walk and we saw the crossbill at Binn Green!!

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Two Jays together in gardens opposite Clarence pub today, 4pm

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Keep calm and carry on birding....


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First swallows at the Royal George briefly at 3-30pm today.

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