MB

  All users of this forum, please ensure you familiarise yourselves with the sticky posts at the top of each forum; posts not conforming to these guidelines and requests will be deleted.

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Newchurch Common


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:
RE: Newchurch Common


A morning walk was in dull weather today, and the autumnal feel was matched by a couple of wildfowl arrivals.

On Big Pool unexpected finds were 2 Wigeon and 3 Gadwall. maybe the Smew next?! In the ex-set-aside, which is now ploughed were a flock of 30 Lapwings which contained young birds from this year, a good sign. A Rook flew over the mosses. A Green Woodpecker was also on the mosses. Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins were all seen, otherwise not very summer-y!



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A new bird species was added to the year list for Newchurch Common this afternoon, a Hobby, one of the first birds on the list, over the entrance track. A Lapwing was over the northern fields, my first for a while. Otherwise very little to report.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

An afternoon walk in the heat produced a couple of surprises today. Both were wildfowl on Big Pool. The first was two Teal which erupted in flight from the willow spit, the speculums were seen otherwise I may have thought that a Garganey sighting had got away from me! Next out in the same area a female Gadwall drifted into view. Both these species are commoner in winter, not exactly how you would descibe the weather at present!

Otherwise the highlights were Green Woodpecker including this years young, Long-tailed Tit and a flyover Stock Dove.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Tried for a longer walk today but scuppered by my car computer coming on to say I had a puncture so I turned round and went home.

Instead we headed to the horses in my wife's car and I had another shortened walk with them! Again a Yellowhammer was at Sandy Lane. A Nuthatch called near the entrance track, not all that usual in the summer months. Other birds of note were Green Woodpecker and a single Greylag Goose again on Big Pool. I forgot to add yesterday that I had my record count of House Sparrows on site yesterday, with c.60 together on Sandy Lane.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 2nd of August 2018 11:10:41 AM

__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Todays walk was a very short one, and only done because we had taken the horses out on my patch!! Notable were a male Yellowhammer singing on Sandy Lane again and a Collared Dove on a telegraph pole in the same area. Hopefully I'll get a longer walk tomorrow!!



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A lengthy morning walk in the sunshine. Nothing outstanding but notable sightings included Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker and the first returning Common Gull, an adult on Big Pool. The Mute Swans are still being abysmal parents and have 1 cygnet left now out of the original 6, they have just left the young to fend for themselves with the predictable consequences. A Moorhen youngster joins the list of evidence of breeding on site.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Another lengthy walk, in the sunshine, so mainly for insects, but I did give birds a passing glimpse!!

A new bird for the year on patch was a Peregrine on the mosslands, this species isn't even annual here so I was very pleased to add it for 2018. Also today of note was another Rook and one Green Woodpecker. Linnet, Skylark and Reed Bunting were all again recorded on the mosslands. No sign of the Greylag Goose and only 1 Mute Swan cygnet seen on Big Pool. A family party including 7 young Long-tailed Tits continued yesterdays theme of breeding records. Also seen were young Tufted Ducks on Big Pool which in isolation looked dead ringers for Scaup, they had white face-patches, even a paler cheek and wings, one even had a pale ring round its neck a la Ring-necked Duck, oh the pleasures of fledgling ID!!



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Had my first proper walk on patch since my holiday. waking at 4.45am & not being able to sleep I was on site before 6am. It was dull, cloudy & ended in very light, fine drizzle!

Two Collared Doves were again on Sandy Lane, seems like they've moved in and won't be noteable any more on this patch. Another scarcity here, Rook, was noted twice, in different areas. Green Woodpeckers were heard in 3 locations. A Garden Warbler was alos heard. Six Linnets, probably a family party were on the mosslands where a Skylark was singing. One Greylag Goose lingered on Big Pool.

The visist was also noteworthy for breeding records, young seen included Buzzard, Coot, Mallard, Blackcap, Chiffchaff (4young), Robin, Great Crested Grebe (2 young), 2 Mute Swan cygnets (from the original 6) and a Wren was seen taking food to a nest.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Just an hour here this morning due to looking after horse duties! A Green Woodpecker was found and two male Pied Wagtails were in the paddocks. An increased number of Tufted Ducks were on Big Pool, so the Smew may not be long in returning with her carrier flock of 'Tufties'. Also on Big Pool was a lone Greylag Goose.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 20th of July 2018 10:06:49 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Had a very brief walk on part of the patch with the horses today. The male and female Yellowhammers were both seen on wires above Sandy Lane at the Dairy Farm end. Two Collared Doves were also on Sandy Lane, as rare as Yellowhammers on this patch! A Garden Warbler and a Chiffchaff sang on Shemmy Moss.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Back on patch in the hot sunshine after over a week continuously at work.

A Tufted Duck with 4 ducklings was the first proof of breeding for this species on Big Pool. The Mute Swans are down to 3 young from 6. Two Great Crested Grebe young were on Big Pool. Young Coal Tits were also seen. A Sparrowhawk was nice to see too and a Green Woodpecker was heard.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A bit longer walk today in the morning, always better, sunny and warm but breezy at times.

Best bird was a flyover Oystercatcher, any wader is good on my mud-free patch! A Collared Dove flew over Dairy Farm. Similar species to yesterday apart from these two, including Reed Bunting at Gull Pool and Skylark over the Mosslands. A Moorhen was seen with young on Gull Pool and a Willow Warbler was distracting me away from her nest on the Mosslands.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

An afternoon visit today produced two seperate sightings of Yellowhammer, both singing males, one on Sandy Lane and one on the mosslands. This year so far I have had abot 6 'bird days' for this species, a welcome increase. A couple of Whitethroat sightings on the mosslands included a silent female acting like she had young nearby. Also in the same area a male Reed Bunting and a Skylark were seen. A Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over the mosslands, my first on patch for a while. Again lots of insect eaters in the air over fields and pools, Swifts, Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A morning walk today started in sunshine & ended with dull weather.

The most unusual bird was a flyover Cormorant, not often seen in the summer months here. Hundreds of Swallows and Swifts were over the site too. Garden Warbler song was more evident than on recent visits.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

I managed a full length visit today but the weather was dull and cooler, still it allowed me to concentrate on birds rather than insects!

The star bird was a Yellowhammer seen by Sandy Lane, the third time recently that I have seen this species here, after only 1 record in the whole of 2017 and 1 in 2016! A family party of Jays were watched at really close quarters, a rare treat. A Kestrel was over Sandy Lane, nice to see but no Hobby records yet for 2018. 2 young Mistle Thrushes were in the paddocks. The first Bullfinch for a while was one near Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

My first visit back on patch after my recent holiday was a short afternoon visit today.

Not much of note. Birds not seen on every visit included a Kestrel and a Pied Wagtail. Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were still in full song. At least 40 Swifts were seen as well as Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins.

 



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Visits in summer don't usually produce any surprises bird-wise, but an afternoon walk yesterday (Tuesday June 5th) was the exception. A new bird for the year was seen on Sandiway Big Pool, namely Mandarin, with a female and three ducklings in East Bay keeping tucked well under the bankside vegetation. This is my second occurrence of the species on patch, having seen a female plus ducklings on Gull Pool last year. Other notable birds included a calling Cuckoo and a Green Woodpecker. A Linnet on wires above Sandy Lane was nice to see, as were Reed Bunting and Whitethroat on the mosslands. Swifts, House Martin and Sand Martin were all seen too.

__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Visited again this morning for a short walk and again quiet on the bird front.

A Green Woodpecker showed really well in the paddock by the parking area along with lots of Jackdaws and several Rooks, the latter not often seen in this particular area. A pair of Lapwings had 3 newly hatched young in horse fields by Sandy Lane. This species breeds around here and suffers high chick predation rates so I will watch this brood with interest and keep everything crossed. Also newly hatched were a brood of 6 Mute Swan cygnets on Big Pool, the same number as last year. Three of those ended up surviving, so interesting to see what the future holds for this brood. Two Stock Doves flying over were the only other birds of interest.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A long morning visit yesterday (Thursday May 31st), hot & humid with a few sunny intervals.

Not much birdnews, a Sparrowhawk was a nice sighting on Sandy Lane. Also Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Skylark, and Green Woodpecker. A flyover Cormorant was a rare summer bird here.




-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 1st of June 2018 10:20:44 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Yesterday (Monday May 28th) I had an extended walk on Newchurch Common in the hot sunshine and racked up a fair few bird species, although nothing too unusual.

The main news was as per before, namely Cuckoo and Green Woodpecker calling. A mate with me, with better hearing than me, heard Goldcrest singing in the Pine Belt too. A juvenile Mistle Thrush was nice, fully fledged and scaly and trying to be a White's Thrush!! Swifts were again seen over Big Pool and Skylarks were singing. A Reed Bunting was near Gull Pool with others on the mosslands. A Pied Wagtail was by Sandy Lane as was a Pheasant. The five usual warbler species recorded on site here were all seen.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A very brief visit this afternoon produced my first Swifts of the year here, with 6-8 birds passing through ahead of the oncoming rain and possibly storms! The only other things of note were a Green Woodpecker and a Pheasant!



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A short walk on Newchurch in the sunshine this afternoon produced very little the bird front. I heard a Cuckoo over on the mosslands and a couple of visiting birders said that they had heard two birds, but I couldn't confirm that. Otherwise just a Green Woodpecker calling and several Garden Warblers as usual.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 20th of May 2018 09:45:31 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Had another recuperative walk on Newchurch yesterday (17th May) in the sunshine am.

The most surprising find, albeit not totally out of the ordinary, was the return to Sandiway Big Pool of the female Smew. She always leaves the pool in the summer to be with the breeding Tufted Ducks, her carrier flock, and will occasionally return as she isn't actually breeding as they are! She was very elusive tucked up under the island and the flew over the willow spit and I couldn't relocate her.

The other main news was the Cuckoo still being around. He was initially on Abbots Moss and then seen flying to land in trees near Small Pool and was very vocal in both locations. Otherwise 8+Garden Warblers singing, a couple showing well, and Green Woodpecker heard again.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 18th of May 2018 02:56:45 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Suffering from a crippling back spasm again I managed a therapeutic walk on Newchurch (Mon 14th) for a couple of hours in the afternoon sun.

Highlights were few, but a couple of species not seen regularly were recorded, namely Collared Dove at Dairy Farm and a Grey Heron near the Whitegate Way. Common Whitethroats were on the mosslands and at least 5 Garden Warblers sang across the site. Green Woodpeckers are very vocal at the moment too. First Canada Goose goslings were seen with 9 on Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Another shorter walk today, I usually avoid weekends due to the site being really busy, but the scorching weather had me on looking more for invertebrates but keeping an eye out for birds!

The highlight was the first Cuckoo, heard at first and then seen on the top of a dead tree over on the mosslands section of my patch. Always great to see this species return, knowing how they are in decline and fearing that one year I may draw a blank on my patch. Luckily 2018 has started off with at least one male back! Also noteworthy was an increase in singing Garden Warblers with at least 4 birds on territory, one showing extremely well. Other than that Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing everywhere. My first brood of Coots were seen, 5 young on Small Pool and another brood of Mallards were present. A Lapwing was near the field pool by the entrance track.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Another afternoon walk yesterday, 2nd May, more as an afterthought that a full walk! Sunny but breezy.

Headline was a new bird for patch for 2018, Lesser Whitethroat. A bird was picked up singing in the area that I had my first ever patch Lesser Whitethroat last year. It isn't ideal habitat and last year it was just a one-day bird, passing through, I await my next visit to check. Another really nice sighting was a White Wagtail in the ploughed former set-aside, along with a mini-fall of 8 Pied Wagtails, presumably passage birds as this species isn't that common on my patch. Other than that the main event of note was 50 House Martins over Big Pool, again this happened last year, with an incredible number of this, usually my rarest hirundine, on just a couple of day early in the season. They were joined by 50 Sand Martins and 20 Swallows. I still await several migrants that I haven't picked up yet, maybe the good weather over the weekend will bring more smile



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

An afternoon walk to get the May sightings going on Newchurch, mainly sunny but a few cloudy spells too, breezy at times.

Very uneventful really, a Green Woodpecker showing well again in the same paddock was nice, especially as I had a person with me that I showed round (mainly for insects hence less of a birdy walk!). A single Swallow was over Big Pool. A Cormorant flew over - rare for May, and a Grey Heron was in the field pool by the entrance track. Two Stock Doves were in a ploughed field, the first I've seen here for a while.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A bit of a gap since I was last out, my back pain has relapsed, so not easy at the moment. A morning walk to free it up, dry, bright & ended up sunny & q.warm.

Two new birds for the year, both for me and for my patch, both pretty much expected but nice to get them, all the same! Over on the mosslands I first opivked up a singing Garden Warbler and very soon afterwards a Common Whitethroat, which I later watched in display flight. Later another Whitethroat made it 2 of that species for the day. The other warblers that are already in were all in reasonable numbers too, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap, that is. Over Big Pool there were large numbers of hirundines but try as I might no Swift! Final tallies were 80 Sand Martins, 35 Swallows and 20 House Martins. No Smew either and reduced numbers of Tufted Ducks.

A Green Woodpecker showed very well on the ground in one of the paddocks. A Reed Bunting called from Gull Pool and a Skylark was up over the tree nurseries as usual. A Kestrel hunted Abbot's Moss and a Linnet flew over there calling.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Late post (sorry) for my next visit to Newchurch which was on Friday 20th April, a lovely warm and sunny day.

The female Smew was on Big Pool in her now favoured spot by the submerged willow spit, around 60 Tufted Ducks are now back on, her carrier flock must be amongst them. A single Greylag Goose flew over Small Pool too. On Small Pool 5 adult Mute Swans was unusual.

A male Reed Bunting was at Gull Pool and a Skylark still sang over the nursery fields by the mosslands. A Collared Dove was in The Paddocks estate. A Pied Wagtail was in the former set-aside field.

A visit two days later for half an hour on Sunday 22nd allowed the Smew to be confirmed as present still.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

After a short break it was back to local patching again yesterday (Weds 18th)on a dull dry morning.

As it always seems to be after going to see a rarity (the Black-headed Wagtail) it was pretty quiet on patch. A few things stood out, like a male Kestrel over the mosslands as well as a Reed Bunting and a couple of Linnets there and an Oystercatcher over, but heard only. A large bird in the distance with long, slightly bowed wings and a slow languid wing beat had my heart racing before I lifted my bins, could it be an Osprey or maybe just a Heron? No, but still totally unexpected it was a Great Black-backed Gull, over inland Cheshire in mid/late April, definitely a strange record. My first brood of Mallards were 7 ducklings on the flooded field pool by the entrance track. A Goldcrest was nice to see, my first for April 2018 and 2 Coal Tits were also in the pines. A single Swallow was over Big Pool and the common 3 warbler species were numerous. A Lapwing was sitting in an area in which they bred last year. Again Green Woodpecker was recorded as well as 45 Tufted Ducks, but no Smew.

A walk today (19th) after work to take advantage of a bright, warm, sunny evening saw the female Smew back on Big Pool. A decrease in the numbers of fishermen and an increase in Tufted Duck numbers suggested that with less disturbance the ducks were less skulky or that some had returned from other pools in the area, along with the Smew.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

I only had a couple of hours in the afternoon today to dedicate to Newchurch Common, but again it was well worth it. Dull, but dry today and warmer than of late.

The highlight was provided pretty early on when I stopped to check the ploughed fields along Sandy Lane. Instead of anything in the fields it was two birds flying over Dairy Farm that caught my eye and when they landed in a roadside bush I was amazed to see that they were two Yellowhammers, a male and a female. Since in previous years I have only had one sighting per annum of a single bird each time this was a very notable sighting and a 2018 patch tick. Later on another very noteworthy sighting was a pristine male White Wagtail in the ploughed, former set-aside field, showing very well close to the fenceline. Two Green Woodpeckers were heard on the east side of Big Pool and a Rook was near Small Pool. Many Blackcaps were singing and today showing much better than yesterday. Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were noted too but no hirundines today.

On the pools there was no sign of the Smew, but as usual around the weekend there were many more fishermen present and she is so skittish that their presence often means she isn't seen as well when the pool is busy. Whether she has flown onto another pool or just in cover is unknown, or even if she has left with her group of Tufted Ducks to head off to their breeding pools, only time will tell. The highlight over the pools was an Oystercatcher which I watched flying and calling as it headed over the Pine Belt and then over Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Headed down earlier than usual to try to see if any early migrants were around that may be gone later in the day. A dull, cold, dreary day, with a cool breeze and occasional rain showers, not Spring-like at all!

In spite of the weather a great day on patch, it always is when you add a Patch Lifer to your list and that's what I did today, albeit a common bird elsewhere. With no wader habitat on my patch this group of birds is scarce and I've only ever recorded a handful, but today I picked up a Redshank standing on the submerged willow spit out in Sandiway Big Pool. This is where I've often had Snipe too, but it's hard having to rely on waders perching in trees to add them to the patchlist! Also on Big Pool was the female Smew again, near the submerged willow spit as usual, but elusive, with a small group of Tufted Ducks, which are now down to only about 25 birds. A Cormorant flew over, now it's spring sightings of this species will be rare. There were much greater numbers of Herring & Lesser Black-backed Gulls around, both over and on Big Pool. Two Greylag Geese flew in too.

The passerine highlight was the first Blackcaps of 2018 here, with 3 singing males noted. Also present were 2 Willow Warblers and 6+Chiffchaffs. Two male Reed Buntings were noted, a good count for here. Over Big Pool a good sized hirundine flock contained 40 Sand Martins, 20 Swallows and 2 House Martins. Other notable birds seen were Pied Wagtail, Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit. A Green Woodpecker was present east of Big Pool again.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 11th of April 2018 06:51:11 PM

Attachments
__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Another short morning walk and the weather couldn't have been more different, cold, breezy and overcast.

The main event was a fall of hirundines onto Big Pool, the air above it was teeming with them skimming low over the surface. There were c.70 Sand Martins in the flock which alos contained 5 Swallows and 1 House Martin, so all three species ticked off in one go, not what I usually do! I was a little hypnotised watching them but managed to spend a few minutes checking the rest of the pool. The female Smew was actually hauled out under dense vegetation on the island, incredibly hard to see. There were a lot more fishermen on today and they were on pegs adjacent to all her favoured spots so I think she had been totally displaced. two drake Shovelers lurked in the submerged willow spit on Big Pool and my first Gadwall for ages was a drake on Small Pool. The Cormorant was still on Big Pool too. Three Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over the former set-aside.

Two Collared Doves were in 'The Paddocks' estate, a sscarcity on patch. Three Fieldfares were in trees north of Big Pool. A Long-tailed Tit was collecting nest material in the Pine Belt. Two Stock Doves flew over the north side too.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

My first visit in April this morning in gorgeous sunny weather, cold at first but pretty warm by midday.

The female Smew was on Big Pool again, still favouring the area near the submerged willow spit, her new favoured spot now that more anglers are on the pools and East Bay has become quite disturbed. The only other wildfowl of note was a female Shoveler in the same area. The lone Cormorant was still perched in the willows too.

Passerine highlight was my first Willow Warbler of the year over on the mosslands, 4+Chiffchaffs were also around the site. A male Reed Bunting, an infrequent sight, was seen near Big Pool. Also noteworthy were a Treecreeper near Small Pool along with a Coal Tit in the same pines. The only Green Woodpecker was on the mosslands as was a singing Skylark. Two Rooks flew over Big Pool and a Stock Dove was over ploughed fields on the east side of the site. Single Pied Wagtails were seen in 2 locations, near Sandy Lane and near Gull Pool. A lone Redwing was seen near Big Pool and a Linnet was back in a breeding area, rather than in winter flocks as it would have been just a few weeks ago.

50 species were seen, without the winter wildfowl which departed at the end of March and without any other summer visitors bar the 2 warbler species!



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Down to Newchurch am, weather dull & dreary!

The first notable find was that the female Smew was back on Sandiway Big Pool after not being seen on my last two visits, but as she is mobile and elusive at the moment it's a matter of luck catching her on each visit. The other main highlight was the discovery of two White Wagtails on passage in the field that keeps on giving - the, now ploughed, set-aside.
 
The rest of the walk was interspersed with good birds amongst the usual fare. At least three Chiffchaffs sang bravely in the cold & gloomy weather, the only summer migrants to have made it to my local patch so far. In contrast to a sign of the advent of summer, three Redwings and a Fieldfare were a hangover from winter. A Coal Tit was near 'Finch Hedge' and a Skylark sang its uplifting song over on the Mosslands, where a Rook, not seen often on patch, also flew over. A few Lapwings were in their breeding fields, taking to the air to vociferously defend their territory whenever a corvid flew over.


__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Horrid weather am so popped over to Newchurch pm today, dull & windy and not very warm!

A female Brambling was still on the north side of Big Pool with only about 7 Chaffinches. A nice Lesser Redpoll was again in Finch Hedge with the Bullfinches and Goldfinches. Two Fieldfares were still in the fields near the parking area and a Pied Wagtail (seen only 1 in 5 visits at the mo) was by a pool by Sandy Lane. A Treecreeper was again in the Pine Belt. Four Lapwings were in their breeding field. Just one Green Woodpecker today.

The pools were dead, only Tufted Ducks and Mallards of the duck species seen, and no Smew again. Both Lesser Black-backed & Herring Gulls were seen.

 



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Spent the morning in the warm sunshine, so warm at times I was too hot in my usual birding garb, but I'll heed the warning to 'ne'er cast a clout til May be out', so the coat stays on.... for now.

A female Brambling was seen on the east side of Big Pool, on her own & first picked up on call, there may be more lingering but I didn't check the Chaffinch flocks on the north side today. A Chiffchaff showed ridiculously well, coming to within 12 feet of me as it fed unconcerned in the gorse by Big Pool. Another new bird for me for patch was a Skylark over farm fields towards the western patch boundary. Three different Green Woodpeckers were seen today, scattered across site and I lost count of the numbers of Jays! A few Fieldfares were still around in the field by the parking area, but seemed much more unsettled today. Two Siskins were also seen.

On the pools wildfowl numbers were again down with the only noteworthy count being 5 Shoveler. The lone Cormorant was still on Big Pool and singles of Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull joined the myriad Black-headed Gulls and 18 Common Gulls. No sign of the Smew today but with only about 20 Tufted Ducks on the pools, she may be on another local pool with her favoured group.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 1203
Date:

We called in here on the way back from North Wales this afternoon. The female Smew was again in the area of the willow spit showing nicely from time to time, mainly in the little bay running in behind the willows. No Wigeon or Cormorant for us but 33 Tufted Ducks, including one 'Scaup-faced' female, at least 7 Shoveler which all flew off together, 2 Gadwall, mainly behind the willows, and 2 Little Grebes over by the pegs on the north side of Big Pool. Nice chat with one of the fishermen about the Smew and luckily we got the chance to give him a good view of her as she worked her way along the front of the willows. He reckons the north pegs are a good place to see Grass Snakes swimming past later in the year.

First Chiffchaff of the year heard but not seen on the west side of Big Pool; Siskin, Robin, Blue Tit, Chaffinch along the main path, with a couple of Mistle Thrushes having a fight near the paddocks and a Lapwing in the ploughed field viewed from the parking place.

__________________
You don't HAVE to be mad to go birding but :-D


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Another day at Newchurch, another guided walk, one to one this time with my old PhD supervisor! Cold & windy at times but dry, and still really dry underfoot!

The female Smew was again near the willow spit on the east side of Big Pool, showing well at times for a change. However there had been a movement of wildfowl off the pools with only 8 Wigeon, no Gadwall, and 6 Shoveler seen. Still quite a few Tufted Ducks though. One Mute Swan is now on the nest, with just the adult pair left on the pools. A lone Cormorant was again on Big Pool.

One Brambling was again seen in Chaffinch flocks on the north side of Big Pool and here and elsewhere lots of winter thrushes were moving around and feeding, an estimated 120 Fieldfares and 140 Redwings. Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard were all seen. Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers were again heard. Four Lapwings were again in the breeding field which has now been ploughed. The set-aside has now been planted with a potato crop.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A bit late this morning but another pleasant walk in the sunshine. Met up with a previous aquaintance who had brought a birding group for a day at Newchurch so spent the morning guiding them round, very pleasant, really enjoyed it and all seemed pleased with the tour too smile

The female Smew was on the east side of Big Pool again, a lifer for a couple of those present. Around 10 Shovelers and a pair of Teal were again on the pool. The first Cormorant for a while was on the willow spit.

A single Brambling was seen, with Chaffinches on the north side of Big Pool. 50 Fieldfares and 12 Redwings were mobile, mostly seen in flight in at least 3 flocks. A pair of Treecreepers was watched in display in the Pine Belt, a mesmerising sight as the spiralled around the trees, with a Coal Tit in the same vicinity. A couple of Green Woodpeckers were heard yaffling. Lapwings were again in the maize stubble by the Pine Belt. A Kestrel flew over the north side of Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

My first visit to Newchurch in a while, fine and dry but breezy at times.

The female Smew was again on Sandiway Big Pool, out in the centre feeding and pretty elusive. 20(7fem) Shovelers equalled my highest count and a pair of Teal were still present. Winter wildfowl numbers were down with only 6 Gadwall and 32 Wigeon (20 on Big Pool, 12 on Small Pool). Good news (one one hand) from DEFRA today, the dead Mute Swan was not a victim of Bird Flu but was severely emaciated with a high gut parasite load and succumbed during the freezing weather of the 'Beast from the East'.

The set-aside is now fully ploughed and there were no finches in that area at all, the end of the Brambling bonanza for this winter I'm afraid. A Green Woodpecker was present though and a nice Siskin showed well in Finch Hedge with the usual Bullfinches. A Raven flew over cronking again and a couple of Lapwings were in fields to the easty of Pine Belt.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Headed down to Newchurch a wee bit earlier today and had a longer walk, cold & breezy but dry.

The female Smew was loafing about in her usual East Bay haunt on Big Pool, I headed there first in case she decided to hide away again later! Around 7 Shoveler were on view and a single Teal flew over. Gadwall numbers are definitely decreasing but Tufted Duck and Wigeon numbers seem more or less stable for now. A sign of Spring, at least before the cold snap this weekend was a Coot sitting on a nest on Small Pool. 7 Mute Swans were on the 2 pools, mainly adults, possibly prospecting pre-breeding season. Cormorants have been scarce recently but one was on Big Pool.

In the strip of mown set-aside I counted 90 Bramblings today but again they were mobile and could be elusive. 150 Redwings were in the ploughed fields by Sandy Lane with a single Fieldfare. 12 Lapwings were in the fields by the Pine Belt. Finch Hedge held Bullfinches as usual and again one Lesser Redpoll. Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard made it a three raptor walk. A Coal Tit in alders near the island cut was a nice addition to the list.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A very sad day today, after an x-ray revealed a bad fracture in our horses leg we had to say goodbye early this morning before the vet came. To blow a few cobwebs away I had a walk on Newchurch but with little enthusiasm I'm afraid.

On Big Pool 7 Shovelers and a pair of Teal were the only real interest, no sign of the Smew in an extensive search. Small Pool was equally quiet. Great Crested Grebes were displaying today however.

In the small strip of mown set-aside that is left I counted 110 Bramblings as they flew up and perched in the trees of Gull Pool Wood, 3 Linnets were here too. A Green Woodpecker showed well perched on a dead tree on Shemmy Moss and nearby a Lapwing was in the nursery fields. 40 Redwings fed in fields by the Whitegate Way with a few Starlings.

 



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Dropped in today as I was contacted by DEFRA this morning. They wanted to collect the dead juvenile Mute Swan that I found last week to analyse it for signs of Avian Influenza. I arranged to meet the DEFRA guy and took him to get the swan. It was taken immediately to a lab in Shrewsbury and I will be informed of the results of analysis, hopefully within a week. I had literally 5 minutes by Big Pool and a quick 2 minute scan revealed the female Smew still in East Bay, as usual, and at least 10 Shovelers hanging around the submerged willows with more hidden within them. I am hoping to get back on for a proper walk tomorrow morning, and also hope to be able to see the remaining juvenile Mute Swan, which I didn't see today in a quick sweep of the pool.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 12th of March 2018 04:59:33 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Up early to give the horse antibiotics and painkiller so started earlier than usual on Newchurch. A Beautiful sunny & warm Spring morning, perfect to be out.

Coming in along Sandy Lane which is one of the boundaries of my patch I stopped to check a small flooded area in one of the fields and had a nice surprise with my first Grey Wagtail of the year, both for the patch and my main yearlist (I don't get out much these days!). I set up my camera and scope but just as I was about to press the shutter it flew over a hedge and disappeared! Checking the fields futher down I found a Pied Wagtail and a big flock of winter thrushes with at least 120 Redwings and 75 Fieldfares. These fields look good for Wheatears and hopefully with one reported on The Wirral today it won't be long before they pass through. The set-aside hadn't been ploughed any more and in the strip at the edge there were 90 Bramblings and 30 Linnets with a good number of Chaffinches. Lapwings called in fields near the Pine Belt, as I've said before this was their old breeding habitat before maize was grown there last year. A Raven was again over Big Pool.

The female Smew was again in East Bay, Big Pool, even though there were large areas of ice on Big Pool and even more on Small Pool. Teal and Shoveler remained mostly hidden in the submerged willows, although 9 of the latter did venture out. The lone redhead Goosander was still on Small Pool. Two new Mute Swans were in an adult with a subadult bird, maybe a pair that will stay to breed, given that the resident pair from last year are not here at present.

The dead Mute Swan found yesterday has been reported to DEFRA, so it is in their hands on what to do next.

 



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Our horse is seriously injured so much of our time taken up with him, but had to get down to Newchurch this afternoon to check on the ploughing of the set-aside.

The female Smew was in her usual haunt of East Bay, mooching around with the Tufted Ducks and out in the middle of Big Pool a count of 20(7 female) Shoveler was a record count for here. Teal were heard on Big Pool and for the second visit running a redhead Goosander was sat out on the side of Small Pool. A dead Mute Swan in the shallows on Big Pool was a worry, especially as careful examination without handling it revealed no injuries or fishing line, I am hoping to contact DEFRA as a precaution with Bird Flu a consideration.

On checking the set-aside, or should I say the now former set-aside, I found that it was 90% ploughed in with the inevitable results for the feeding finch flock. Where hundreds of finches once fed there were just a few in the field margin near Gull Pool Wood. These numbered 35 Brambling, 30 Chaffinch and 5 Linnets. This was always going to happen at some time and it has been a fabulous resource for the finches over winter, I hope that this is repeated next year but knowing why the field was planted like it was I doubt it. But, even though the finches were gone the newly ploughed field attracted over 30 gulls, all of which were Lesser Black-backed Gulls except one paler bird, with a mantle a shade darker than a Common Gull, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, possibly the one I had in the roost a few days ago. Every cloud as they say biggrin The birds were constantly on the move, flying low over the field so try as I might I couldn't digiscope this individual.

A female Green Woodpecker showed well on the meadow near the Pine Belt. Finch Hedge lived up to its name with a nice Lesser Redpoll, several Bullfinch and Chaffinches feeding in there. In the field near the parking area again 15 Redwings were feeding with a single Fieldfare.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

I feared that once the ploughing started the finch flock would decline, but it was good whilst it lasted, glad you saw a three-figure flock with your friend down though, Mark, and that you found the field OK smile The Smew is always more tucked away in the afternoons so I suspect she was there, just not playing ball cry



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 636
Date:

Spent a couple of hours here early afternoon. Started off at the setaside field where there were reduced numbers of Brambling, around 100 with a few Chaffinch thrown in for luck. There was a tractor in the upper part of the field afronting the track from Cassia Green Lane and several strips had been ploughed.

Next on to Big Pool where we searched in vain for the female Smew. No sign in her usual East Bay spot, nor anywhere else out on the Pool. If she has not gone on to pastures new, she was very well hidden. Amongst others on the Pool were 18 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 1 Little Grebe and numerous Tufted Duck.

__________________
https://flickr.com/photos/44931335@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

A morning walk post-chiropractor today, fine and much warmer than of late.

The female Smew was showing really well in East Bay on Big Pool again with her Tufted Duck buddies. Also on this pool were 7(5drk) Shoveler and Teal (heard only). On Small Pool there was a female Pochard and a redhead Goosander. An undoubted highlight was a patch yeartick when an Oystercatcher flew from the direction of Big Pool over the Pine Belt calling. Another wader (and I get very few) was a Lapwing in damp fields east of the Pine Belt.

300 Bramblings were still in the set-aside but today at the west end, with Chaffinches but no Linnets. A nice flock of 25 Redwings fed in the field by the car parking area with 2 Fieldfares, my first of this species for ages, and Song Thrushes and Mistle Thrushes. Great Spotted Woodpeckers were everywhere and drumming actively. A nice flock of Long-tailed Tits and Goldfinches fed together at the west end of the track past Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Offline
Posts: 2021
Date:

Had the great pleasure of taking Martyn Jones around my patch today to show him where the differently named areas actually are! Certainly a memorable day with 4 patch yearticks and 2 patch lifers smile Fine but cold with a brisk wind at times and part of the ponds frozen.

We headed first for the east side of Big Pool to look for the Smew, especially as a redhead had been seen at Astley Mere this morning, was it the Newchurch one or a second bird? As we arrived at East Bay I looked out over the pool and a few expletives were uttered as a large flock of big white birds floated into view in the NW corner of the lake. A first for the patch in the shape of 37 Whooper Swans (36 adults) was down of the pool and later whilst watching them I realised that a lone Pink-footed Goose was with them too. This was my first of this species actually on the pool rather than flying over. Also out from 'Beach Peg' I counted 19(12 drake) Shoveler, a patch record count, but so far no Smew! We rattled off lots of shots and then headed back round the pool towards West Bay. A stop at a point that the willow arm, where many ducks take shelter, was better viewed proved successful as I picked up the female Smew, head tucked on her back at first. She only stayed in view a short time before heading deep into the submerged willows not to be seen again all day by us. A redhead Goosander was also seen on the pool, favouring the west side. Other birds on the pool in the morning were a Greylag Goose and 4 Teal.

We then headed to the set-aside where at least 300 Bramblings and 300 Chaffinches whirled around in one massive flock giving a spectacular display. Only 1 Linnet was seen amongst them this time. A Stock Dove was also over these fields.

Because of the success in the morning and wanting to check on the swans, I returned late afternoon. This allowed me to see the winter gull roost for the first time this year, and again I fell lucky. 320 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 60 Herring Gulls in the roost gave me hope of something rarer. My first find were 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls sitting on the water together, a patch yeartick. Even better was to come when I found an adult Yellow-legged Gull in the roost, another patch lifer. The light and distance beat me on any pictures of any gulls, my poor little Contax suffering for battery life in the cold too, but seeing them was the main thing. A lone Cormorant was new on the pool in the evening but the swans had all departed, right place, right time this morning, that's local patching for you!!

A fabulous day with great company, and all under 3 miles from my house, result biggrin



__________________
facebook
1 2 39  >  Last»  | Page of 9  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

RODIS

 

This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.