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Post Info TOPIC: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


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RE: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


Monday 14th May 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am

Around Walkerwood.

2 Oystercatchers flew over, down the valley, calling.
1 pair of Tufted Duck
1 Pair of Common Sandpiper
1 Moorhen
Cuckoo singing from above the gamekeeper's cottage
1 Whitethroat singing

On Saturday morning, a female Wheatear was at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir. My first sighting of the year in the valley, in what for me, has been a poor year for this species.

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Thursday 10th May 2018, 9.00 - 11.45am.

From Walkerwood Dam, up past the rifle ranges, and on to Wild Bank Hill.

22 singing Willow Warblers, all but 4 in Wild Bank SBI
2 singing Chiffchaff, one each at Flaxfield, and Brushes Road
6 Linnet, including 2 singing males, and a female at a nest site
7 Lesser Redpoll
30+ Meadow Pipits
1 Reed Bunting singing in the juncus between Brushes Road and Range House
Only one Whitethroat in the entire area, a male that has been singing along the Brushes Road edge of the country park since Monday. Some years I'd expect to have half a dozen males singing.
3 Swallows over Walkerwood Reservoir
2 Cormorant on the reservoir

A Cuckoo was singing from Cock Wood around dusk this evening.

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Monday 7th May 2018, 7.15 - 10.30am.

Wild Bank Hill, taking in Hollingworthall Moor, and Hobson Moor. Most sightings in Wild Bank SBI, hence this thread.

Wild Bank.

1 male Cuckoo giving great views, singing initially from a pylon, on the moor, before flying towards Brushes, landing several times on various walls and posts. Harangued the whole time by Meadow Pipits.
1 pair of Linnet
2 Snipe
2 Buzzard over the area of the trig point
3 Red Grouse
1 Grey Heron
Reed Bunting singing in the juncus behind Shaw Farm

Elsewhere.

2 Wheatear
1 Lapwing
2 Curlew
Many Meadow Pipits and Skylark, over the entire area

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Friday 4th May 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am.

Walkerwood Reservoir.

My first Cuckoo of the year, singing above the gamekeeper's cottage
Pair of Common Sandpiper on the reservoir
Buzzard over Harridge

A Common Sandpiper was calling from Brushes Reservoir at dusk last night

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Thursday 26th April 2018, 11.15 - 11.45am

A quick stop off at Walkerwood

10 Lesser Redpoll, including 8 flying together over Brushes Road
A couple of Song Thrush carrying food
Willow Tit on feeders
1 Nuthatch
Male Grey Wagtail at Brushes Reservoir

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Sunday 22nd April 2018, 8.30pm

1 Whitethroat singing along Brushes Road, between the houses and Walkerwood Dam. My first of the year.

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Saturday 21st April 2018, 7.30 - 11.30am

Brushes Valley, as far as Lees Hill.

Higher Swineshaw and Lees Hill.

1 pair of Stonechat, the male singing
1 pair of Pied Wagtail
2 Common Sandpiper, flying together
Skylark singing
2 Buzzard
1 Kestrel
3 Reed Bunting

Lower down.

2 Common Sandpiper on Lower Swineshaw Dam
1 pair of Pied Wagtail in the same area
2 Curlew above Lower Swineshaw
1 Treecreeper, doing a spot of wallcreeping
Nuthatch calling
Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing around Brushes Cottages

A Blue Tit seemed to be competing with bumble bees for residency of one our nest boxes

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Thursday 19th April 2018, 9.00 - 11.45am

From Brushes Cottages, to the far end of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.

31 singing Willow Warblers; 8 around Higher Swineshaw, 4 around Lower Swineshaw, the rest along the valley.
1 Blackcap singing at Brushes Cottages
Weirdly, not one Chiffchaff heard singing in the entire length of the valley. Plenty around Walkerwood and the Country Park.
1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling between Brushes and Lower Swineshaw Reservoir
1 Treecreeper
2 Buzzards over Swineshaw Moor
Pair of Pied Wagtails at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
2 male Reed Bunting at Higher Swineshaw
1 Linnet
1 Curlew on the shoreline of Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, more calling beyond Pack Saddle

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Wednesday 18th April 2018, 6.00 - 7.15am.

A circuit of the Country Park, then across Walkerwood Dam, to Brushes Cottages.

2 Common Sandpiper, my first of the year here.
13 Willow Warblers
5 Chiffchaff
2 Blackcap
9 Chaffinch
1 Lesser Redpoll
7 Song Thrush, including one carrying food
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, drumming
1 Treecreeper
1 Willow Tit on the feeders

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Monday 16th April 2018, before dusk.

Wild Bank Hill.

2 Ring Ouzels skulking in the heather above Shaw Farm
3 Buzzards in the air over Hollingworthall Moor
2 Curlew in the fields above Moorside Farm
4 singing Skylark
10+ Meadow Pipits
1 Willow Warbler singing

Flaxfield.

18 Fieldfare
2 Linnet
2 Lesser Redpoll
5 Goldfinch
1 Pied Wagtail


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Monday 16th April 2018, 6.30 - 7.20am.

A quick walk from Walkerwood Dam, through the top half of the Country Park, and back along Brushes Road.

All Warblers are singing males.

1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the field next to Brushes Road
8 Willow Warblers
4 Chiffchaff
2 Blackcap
5 singing Chaffinch
3 singing Song Thrush
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming

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Saturday 14th April 2018, 7.00 - 11.00am

Brushes Valley, to Higher Swineshaw Reservoir and Lees Hill.

Brushes Valley.

11 singing Willow Warblers
2 singing Chiffchaff
2 Cormorant over, down the valley
1 Curlew calling from Cock Knarr

Higher up.

6 Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut
3 singing Willow Warblers
1 Linnet singing by Lower Swineshaw Reservoir
5 Reed Bunting at Higher Swineshaw
One pair of Stonechat, the male singing
4 Skylark singing around Lees Hill and Boar Flat
20+ Meadow Pipits
1 Raven over

We had a couple of additional sightings of the Willow Tit last weekend. If these were at the feeders, and are submitted to GMBRG, please record the site as "Brushes Road", rather than Walkerwood Reservoir, or Stalybridge Country Park, to avoid duplicity of records. If anyone wants any information about any of the recording sites (not sightings, please) for this thread, feel free to PM me.

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Monday 9th April 2018, 6.30 - 7.20am

A quick walk with the dogs, around the top half of the country park.

All Warblers are singing males

5 Chiffchaff
2 Willow Warblers
1 Blackcap, my first of the year
Also, Grey Wagtail and Willow Tit at Walkerwood Dam, plus usuals.

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12.00-13.30 with Chris Chandler

Down the valley from Higher Swinshaw Res. back into Stalybridge

2 Red Grouse above Lower Swineshaw Res.
4 Redpoll in the trees by the Scout Hut
2 singing Willow Warblers, first of the year for us
1 Willow Tit, Bullfinch pair and Nuthatch pair on the feeders at Walkerwood Res.
Numerous singing Chiffchaffs down there too

That hillside at Brushes still looks juicy for Nightjars, fingers crossed!

Also of note, we saw a pair of Dippers gathering nesting material on the river in the middle of Stalybridge earlier on in the morning

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Millbrook car park to Higher Swineshaw and back.9.45-12

Willow Tit, Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 3+ Lesser Redpoll, 2 Red Grouse, Kestrel, 2 Common Buzzard, 6 Meadow Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, Goldcrest  2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Nuthatch were the highlights .



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Sunday 8th April 2018, 8.45 - 11.45am

From Walkerwood Dam, up past the rifle ranges, then a full circuit of Wild Bank Hill, returning via Cock Wood.

Wild Bank Hill.

1 male Wheatear, my first locally of the year.
1 Ring Ouzel flew over east, calling, at 9.30.
7 singing Willow Warblers
2 singing Linnet
4 Lesser Redpoll
1 singing Skylark
2 Long-tailed Tits
50+ Meadow Pipits, displaying
2 Pied Wagtails around Shaw Farm
1 Chiffchaff singing at Flaxfield
1 female Sparrowhawk at Flaxfield

Brushes Road

20+ Meadow Pipits, many displaying
6 singing Willow Warblers
2 singing Chiffchaff
1 Nuthatch
2 Pied Wagtails at Walkerwood Dam
Pair of Bullfinch around the feeders
A Buzzard drifted down the valley, before veering off towards Millbrook.


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Saturday 7th April 2018, 6.45 - 10.15am

The full length of Brushes Valley, from Walkerwood Dam, and both sides of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, before the rain.

9 Curlew provided the highlight of the morning, particularly 5 birds, including two pairs displaying, around Swineshaw Moor, an area to which they returned last year, following moorland restoration by the estate. Three birds also around Pack Saddle, and one on Boar Flat.

The most surprising sighting was of a Woodcock, providing great views as it flew along Higher Swineshaw Dam, before veering off across Boar Flat.
Willow Warblers seem to have arrived overnight, with birds singing from the Country Park, and along the valley, as far as Lower Swineshaw
10 Reed Bunting, including a couple of pairs, and one male singing, around Higher Swineshaw
3 Stonechat, at three separate sites, with one male singing
6 Lesser Redpoll, 4 around the scout hut, 2 at Walkerwood
Pair of Pied Wagtails at Higher Swineshaw
4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A pair at Walkerwood, and two around Brushes Cottages
Usuals around the feeder, including the Willow Tit




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Three Ring Ouzel over Lower Swineshaw at 9.40, heading in the direction of Chew. 

Info thanks to David Walsh



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Friday 6th April 2018, 6.00 - 7.30am

A quick walk from Walkerwood, to Higher Swineshaw dam, before work. Hoping for my first Wheatear this year, to no avail.

4 Curlew, 3 around Pack Saddle, with one displaying. The other at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.
5 Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut
1 Stonechat
4 Song Thrush singing in the valley
1 Nuthatch at Brushes Cottages
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming around Brushes Cottages
Greenfinch singing
Coal Tit singing
Several Mistle Thrush
1 Chiffchaff singing at Brushes Cottages

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Thursday 5th April 2018, 10.30am - 12.30pm.

As part of a Willow Tit Survey, on behalf of GMEU.

From Walkerwood Dam, and around the wet woodland of the valley bottom.

1 Willow Tit no
1 Woodcock, flushed from the valley bottom
4 singing Chiffchaffs, my first of the year at this site
4 Chaffinch
2 Goldfinch
2 Lesser Redpoll
12 Great Tits
12 Blue Tits
2 Long-tailed Tits
4 Coal Tits
2 Song Thrush
1 Nuthatch
1 male Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeder



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Monday 2nd April 2018, 9.00 - 11.00am

From Walkerwood to Higher Swineshaw, in awful conditions, ranging from driving rain, sleet, then snow, as I climbed the valley. Unsurprisingly, not a lot to report.

3 Goosander on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir (2 males, 1 female)
4 Mistle Thrush feeding on the dam banking at Lower Swineshaw
1 pair of Kestrel
1 Jay destroying the peanut feeder.

A drake Tufted Duck was on Walkerwood Reservoir at dusk on Friday. Not often seen in this area.

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Friday 30th March 2018, 9.30 - 11.30am

From Walkerwood Dam, up past the rifle ranges, and onto Wild Bank Hill.

Wild Bank Hill.

4 Linnet, with two males singing lustily, were a welcome sight and sound. Plumage still fresh, and the males looked particularly drab, but still good to see.
9 Lesser Redpoll, was my best count, in and out of the birch trees - like counting dust!
1 Curlew
1 Buzzard
1 Raven
20+ Meadow Pipits
1 Skylark singing

Walkerwood

A pair of Goosander flew off the reservoir at 9.30
1 pair of Grey Wagtails



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Thursday 29th March 2018, 8.30 - 11.30am

From Walkerwood Dam, up Brushes Valley, as far as Lees Hill.

3 Cormorant circled over Higher Swineshaw, then headed west
2 Curlew at Higher Swineshaw; more calling from Pack Saddle and Cock Knarr
2 pairs of Stonechat, at Higher Swineshaw, and Lower Swineshaw. The male at Lower Swineshaw was singing, another sound of springtime.
3 Kestrel - a pair at Lower Swineshaw, and a male at Brushes Road
Pair of Goosander on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
4+ Lesser Redpoll along Brushes Valley
2 Nuthatch on the feeders at Walkerwood, along with the usual Willow Tit, and a couple of Jays.
Pair of Grey Wagtail at Walkerwood
20+ Meadow Pipit around the top of the valley, with some displaying
2 Treecreepers
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker at Brushes Cottages
A pair of Great and Blue Tits seemed to be disputing ownership of one of our nest boxes!


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Saturday 24th March 2018, 7.00 - 11.00am

From Walkerwood Dam, up to Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, then back along the opposite side of the valley, as far as Pack Saddle.

The first sighting of the morning was the most unexpected, in the form of a Woodcock flying, in broad daylight, over the country park, along Wild Bank, and into Cock Wood. Possibly flushed out of the country park, but they don't usually fly so far or high as a rule?

Walkerwood area:

1 Willow Tit
1 Nuthatch
3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, in an identical situation to one I witnessed the other week. One male was drumming, with a female close by, then another male arrived, causing a commotion which resulted in all three birds flying noisily away.
1 Lesser Redpoll over
1 Grey Wagtail
Pair of Pied Wagtails

Brushes Valley:

A Tawny Owl hooting at 10.45am, on my way back down, was a surprise.
2 Curlew between Cock Knarr and Lower Swineshaw
6 Lesser Redpoll
2 Goldfinch
Raven over Cock Knarr

Around the Swineshaws:

Pair of Stonechat
6 Reed Bunting, all except one being female.
2 Raven over, towards Boar Flat
1 Buzzard
1 Linnet
3 Goosander (1m, 2f), on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
6 pairs of Canada Geese on Higher Swineshaw
15+ Meadow Pipits
1 Skylark

Around Pack Saddle:

5 Curlew
4 Grey Partridge
2 Pied Wagtails
20+ Meadow Pipits
4 Skylark
Lapwing visible in the fields past Ogden Brook, in Derbyshire.
A flock of Golden Plover were in the area midweek, but no sign for me today.



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Friday 23rd March 2018, 6.30 - 8.00pm

5 Tawny Owls in Brushes Valley; 2 males and 3 females
Curlew calling after dark
9 Woodcock flypasts. At least 3 males.

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Tuesday 20th March 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am

Around Walkerwood.

1 drake Mandarin swimming with Mallard
1 Lesser Redpoll around Brushes Cottages
1 Pied Wagtail on Walkerwood Dam
1 Grey Wagtail in the overflow
1 Willow Tit
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming in the country park
Plenty of singing this morning, notably Song Thrush.

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Sunday 11th March 2018, 9.00 - 11.30am

Brushes Valley, from Walkerwood to the far end of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, on a beautiful spring morning.

1 Curlew, the target species for the morning, dropped onto Lower Swineshaw dam at 11.00am, delivering one of the sounds of springtime. My first of the year.
5 Stonechat. 2 males and a female chasing each other around the rough grass above Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, and a pair around Higher Swineshaw Reservoir. One of the Lower Swineshaw males was singing on my way back down.
5 Reed Bunting, including a pair at Higher Swineshaw.
4 Skylark, with one singing over Boar Flat.
1 pair of Goosander on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.
3 Meadow Pipit.
Buzzard seen in the valley below Lower Swineshaw, and also over moor at Higher Swineshaw, but could have been the same bird.
3 Ravens around Higher Swineshaw.
Nuthatch at Brushes Cottages.



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Saturday 10th March, 1.30pm.

An hour spent cleaning out nest boxes in Brushes Valley. Every box, including those not used last year, showed signs of being used for shelter over the winter, in the form of droppings on the floor.

8 Coal Tits were calling over a distance of just 400 yards on the way down. A lot of agitated sounding Great and Blue Tits suggested that perhaps a little prospecting had already taken place.

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Monday 5th March 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am

Walkerwood Dam, and the length of the reservoir.

1 Cormorant
1 Mandarin drake, swimming with Mallard
1 Grey Wagtail on the dam shoreline
1 female Sparrowhawk patrolling Harridge
4 Song Thrush singing
4 Mistle Thrush
8+ Chaffinch
Several Bullfinch
1 Willow Tit on the feeder, calling loudly this morning
The other four expected Tit species were present
2 Jay, one after the peanuts
1 Moorhen

Yesterday, a Nuthatch was on the peanut feeder.

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Note to self, Roger. "Next time, add buying a packet of seed to errand list".
.............................................................................................................................
Typical callous remark of youth ........ picking on an old age pensioner ... If I could afford seed I would be able to use it to make some gruel !!

Roger.

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Roger Baker 3 wrote:

Tuesday 27th February 12.00 - 12.20 hrs.

Just nipped up after my errands ..... seed feeder virtually empty





Note to self, Roger. "Next time, add buying a packet of seed to errand list". That squirrel will starve!

I had a wander up to Walkerwood Dam this evening, after the snow had subsided, between 7.00 and 8.00pm. A pair of Tawny Owls were hooting and calling from just inside the country park, upsetting a couple of Magpies.



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Tuesday 27th February 12.00 - 12.20 hrs.

Just nipped up after my errands ..... seed feeder virtually empty but there was a big fat grey squirrel joining in the fun !

Dunnock.
Great, Blue and Willow Tit.
Nuthatch on the Peanut feeder.
Cock and hen Pheasant under the feeders.

Grey Wagtail (F) feeding in the overflow channel.

I arrived in sunshine ... left in a blizzard 20 mins later !!

Roger.

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Tuesday 27th February 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am

A quick stop off at Walkerwood Dam, mainly to fill the feeders. The snow cover meant there was a queue forming as I refilled.

A lot of birds straight onto them, including up to ten Long-tailed Tits, a species that doesn't often use the feeders. Also plenty of Bullfinch, and the single Willow Tit.

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Friday 23rd February 2018, 9.00 - 11.45am

From Walkerwood Dam, up on to Wild Bank Hill, past the trig point, to Hollingworthall Moor. A fine, icy morning, but the bitter easterly wind, once out the shelter of Wild Bank, made it almost impossible to stand still. Consequently, nothing at all seen or heard past the 1,000ft contour.

Wild Bank Hill.

Pair of Little Owl at a regular site
2 Red Grouse
1 Dunnock singing at Shaw Farm
6 Starlings
4 Wren
1 Kestrel struggling in the wind over Hollingworthall Moor
Other than a handful of Woodpigeon and Magpies, that really was it for Wild Bank.

Lower down.

3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the country park. One male was drumming, with a female close by, then another male flew in and noisily mobbed the first. All three could be seen (and heard!) flying around the area over the following fifteen minutes, as I was making my way up towards the rifle ranges.
1 female Grey Wagtail in Walkerwood overflow
The usual suspects around the feeders, including the Willow Tit
Yesterday, a drake Mandarin was on Walkerwood Reservoir

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Tuesday 20th February 2018, 5.30 - 6.30pm.

A slow wander up Brushes Valley in the hour around dusk produced three Woodcock.

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Sunday 18th February 2018, 8.00 - 11.00am

The length of Brushes Valley, with an hour spent on the moor around Turf Pits.

Top of the valley.

4 Skylark calling from the moor around Turf Pits, my first of the year locally
1 Kestrel
24 Red Grouse - but it is a grouse moor.
11 Reed Bunting around the scout hut

1 Willow Tit on the Walkerwood feeder

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Thursday 15th February 2018, 8.30 - 10.00am.

Around Walkerwood, with a feel of springtime in the air.

15+ Chaffinch, mainly males, with a lot of posturing going on. Many in sub-song, including five perched in a hawthorn within feet of each other.
6 Raven over south, in three pairs.
1 Willow Tit
3 Coal Tits
1 Jay on the feeder
Nuthatch calling
1 Treecreeper in the Country Park

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Wednesday 14th February 2018, 6.15 - 7.15am

1 Woodcock back into the woods at 6.54am, much lower down the valley from those of yesterday, in the area of Brushes SBI (alongside Brushes Reservoir).
12 Canada Geese on Walkerwood Reservoir.



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Tuesday 13th February 2018, 6.15 - 7.30am

Brushes Valley, as far as Lower Swineshaw scout hut.

2 Woodcock, one flushed from the moor before first light, below Lower Swineshaw. The second was flying back into the woods at 7.00am.
3 Tawny Owls calling, from the scout hut, and the woods on both sides of Brushes Reservoir. Last night, a pair were calling from the woods between Brushes and Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, at 8.00pm.

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Friday 9th February 2018, the length of Brushes Reservoir.

At least one Woodcock flew over Brushes Reservoir, then circled above the woods several times, before plummeting down into the trees on the Harridge side, at 7.05am.

Tawny Owls calling further down the valley, around Walkerwood, but none any higher up this morning.

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David Walsh wrote:



I usually count the valley and the country park in sections, and there is also at least one pair in the woods at Grove Road. You can do the light duties around Roe Cross, Roger. All we need now is someone to do Cowbury Dale - doesn't Steve Suttill like wandering around up there after dark?

I can see it now. "Owls of Stalybridge". Do you think anyone would want to read it? wink



Nothing I like better, David hmm but, as you know, my hearing isn't half as good as yours!

I well remember covering quite a few local sites for a BTO Tawny Owl survey a few years ago. Didn't hear a single hoot whilst in the right place at the specified times, but then I'd drive home, get out of the car, and they'd be calling everywhere furious

I would buy the book though. I'd even print it for you!

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Roger Baker 3 wrote:

I had 3 male Tawny Owls calling within hearing distance, all at the same time, late on Sunday night David.

Good to hear them as I didn't have a single hoot during October or November when I expected to hear them calling and answering from Cheethams Park and Bower Fold.

Roger.





It was unusually quiet last Autumn in the valley, but they have made up for it in the past month. I quite regularly see them flying around before dawn.

I usually count the valley and the country park in sections, and there is also at least one pair in the woods at Grove Road. You can do the light duties around Roe Cross, Roger. All we need now is someone to do Cowbury Dale - doesn't Steve Suttill like wandering around up there after dark?

I can see it now. "Owls of Stalybridge". Do you think anyone would want to read it? wink

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I had 3 male Tawny Owls calling within hearing distance, all at the same time, late on Sunday night David.

Good to hear them as I didn't have a single hoot during October or November when I expected to hear them calling and answering from Cheethams Park and Bower Fold.

Roger.

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Tuesday 6th February 2018, 6.30 - 7.20am

At least 4, probably 5 Tawny Owls around Walkerwood this morning.

Two males hooting at either end of the reservoir, on the Wild Bank side, plus a female calling.
Also very good views of a bird flying around the trees on the Harridge side, which then started a very squeaky hoot. Another bird was seen higher up, towards the gamekeeper's cottage, which started a more confident, mature sounding hoot. Didn't sound like the same bird to me.

These males seem very close together, possibly youngsters involved in trying to lay down territories. I have it in my head that Tawny Owls can have territories as small as 12 hectares, which, using a piece of rudimentary arithmetic, gives a circle of radius approximately 200 metres.

-- Edited by David Walsh on Tuesday 6th of February 2018 01:40:52 PM

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Saturday 3rd February 2018, 8.30 - 11.00am.

Brushes Valley, from Walkerwood to Higher Swineshaw, in moderately heavy snow around the Swineshaws.

Walkerwood area.

3 Goosander (2 males), on the reservoir
1 Grey Wagtail around the dam
1 Willow Tit
3 Bullfinch
Chaffinch in sub-song
Song and Mistle Thrush singing this week at dawn

The only signs of life further up were five Reed Bunting, calling from the vegetation, including one in the valley below Lower Swineshaw, and a handful of Red Grouse.




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Saturday 13th January 2018, 9.30am - 12.00pm.

Brushes Valley, and around Higher Swineshaw.

Another quiet morning, with a strong, cold wind from Lower Swineshaw up. I've lost track of the last time I was up here and the weather wasn't either snowing, foggy, or blowing a gale.

A pair of Stonechat feeding at Lees Hill
3 Ravens at Higher Swineshaw
1 Buzzard over Swineshaw Moor
Male Kestrel struggling with the wind over Lees Hill

Lower down.

2 Treecreeper
Male Great Spotted Woodpecker

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To be honest, I didn't really expect to see Woodcock at that time of day, or Stonechat given the foggy conditions. If I'd remembered to bring some seed, I might have attracted the Willow Tit. The latter must be getting on a bit - BTO Birdfacts gives 3 years as typical lifespan.

As for texting you before 6am... Roger was right about dealing with madmen smile

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Steve Suttill wrote:

Walkerwood Dam to Higher Swineshaw and back, mainly in thick fog (chance to test low-light capabilities of new binoculars confuse)

No sign of any of Mr Walsh's Stonechats, Woodcock or Willow Tit!




Steve

The image burned indelibly in your memory is partly my fault; I forgot to forewarn you of that suit on the evening in question.

With regards the three species you didn't see yesterday:

Willow Tit - hardy ever seen away from the feeders. Either text me before 6.00am next time you're visiting, and I will make sure the feeders are filled, or bring a handful of black sunflower seeds with you.

Stonechat - hit and miss. They feed over a wide area at this time of year, on both sides of the valley, and can lie low for long periods.

Woodcock - winter sightings are very fleeting, and crepuscular. Dawn is still breaking a little late for my routine, but I have had several excellent views of Tawny Owls flying around the trees at 7.00am recently, to compensate. Alternatively, you could engage the services of my Springer Spaniel - she may improve your chances of seeing a Woodcock later in the day.

This morning's visit started inauspiciously, at 10.00am, when I realised I had forgotten my binoculars, so had to use my emergency pair from the car boot, with only one functioning lens. So all sightings are courtesy of my left eye only.

Most of the action at this time of year is around the woods, particularly at Brushes Cottages.

8 Coal Tits, very vocal, and a little singing going on.
2 Lesser Redpoll over.
The usuals around the feeder, including the Willow Tit smile

Almost four years after the first sighting, the Willow Tit has only ever been seen singly. There is a prize on offer for anyone recording two birds, in the shape of a bespoke anti mosquito suit (slightly worn). biggrinbiggrin

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Roger Baker 3 wrote:

I thought that you would have realised that you were dealing with madmen when we had you up there at midnight ... although it was noted how quickly you produced a sick-note when you received your next invite. biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Roger.



The memory of your good self emerging from the heather, clad from head to foot in your anti-mosquito suit will live with me forever - worthy of any Hammer horror film biggrin

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No sign of any of Mr Walsh's Stonechats, Woodcock or Willow Tit!
.................................................................................................................

Be careful what you wish for Steve otherwise you may find yourself being dragged round the circuit at 05.00 hrs.
I thought that you would have realised that you were dealing with madmen when we had you up there at midnight ... although it was noted how quickly you produced a sick-note when you received your next invite. biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Roger.

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