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Post Info TOPIC: Big Moor


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Big Moor


Extinct as breeders Rob, There is odd records (near annual?) from the Eastern moors, but they are often confirmed as Linnet (I suspect possibly Juveniles).

As Simon says, one of our ringing sites is 15 miles West of Big Moor, in Derbyshire. This population seem to do better than the group in the Pennines in that we often have two peaks of post-breeding birds, heavily suggesting that two broods are common here. We also know that the Derbyshire sites are important passage sites to other groups moving through, probably due to the availability of Colts foot in that area, but we are probably still fractionally early for that.
With all that in mind, Twite aren't far from home here. It would have been a really valuable record to read off any colour rings, I'd bet they're pink!

Cheers!

-- Edited by JamieDunning on Wednesday 14th of September 2016 09:50:50 AM

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-J


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Thanks Simon, and that group of 14 birds I didn't post as we weren't sure at the time as they didn't make any call like you say, but the streaking you mentioned was evident and I too felt they weren't Linnet. I think we had our sneaky suspicions of Twite. Seems they're not extinct in that area anymore.
wink

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Regarding Twite, the other thing was, we had the small group that flew over us heading south west, which were audible, but then within seconds a group of 14 finches flew back over us heading north east. We weren't sure what they were, they looked a wee bit bigger and they weren't calling. I assumed that the 4-5 had joined this bigger group. I looked as hard as I could at them as they flew over, and my gut feeling was not Linnet, as I couldn't see white patches on the wings, and they were streaked dark over light on the chest and flanks, and in the bright sun looked sandy brown on top. I couldn't see a pink rump on any as we could only see the underside really. Clearly not Pipits or garden type finches, so we might even have seen 14 Twite...

We met a guy from Sheffield called David Wood who records for the Sheffield Bird Study Group; he was also very surprised by the Twite sighting. If we hadn't heard them then I would have been unsure on the ID. We discussed if the birds that breed further west could have been moving as a small flock in a post-breeding dispersal context. I thought they headed east to winter on the Wash or somewhere like that, but is this the right time? In any event I submitted the sighting to SBSG and will complete a form if asked to. If the local guys don't accept the sighting so be it, but I was happy that the calling/song that we heard was correct for Twite.

I thought one of the distant raptors was a Red Kite, but all we knew for certain was none of them was a Pallid Harrier...

Great to meet and chat to various folk during the day, some forum members and other birders I've met on my travels and some new acquaintances.

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JamieDunning wrote:

Twite is the rarest bird (that you saw!) on your list for that area Rob - They have been extinct as breeders on the Eastern moors for a number of years.





I've replied to your Twitter request for info Jamie, I heard them calling and saw 3 maybe 4 together fly over, Simon managed 4 and Steve assured us there was 5, it was bright sunlight so a lot of birds were silhouettes going directly over, but these were 100% Twite as Steve brought up the call on his phone to confirm it. Hope this means good news Jamie!!

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Twite is the rarest bird (that you saw!) on your list for that area Rob - They have been extinct as breeders on the Eastern moors for a number of years.

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Yep Rob, John Barber and myself also had a frustrating morning on Big Moor with no sign of the Pallid Harrier.  As you say  plenty of other raptor activity and like yourselves we were not sure of the  ID of all of the birds we saw.



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Big Moor near Barbrook Reservoir in Derbyshire today...8.30am - approx 6pm
The plan was to visit Hatfield Moors first for a Wader Lifer then come here, but it didn't pan out that way!

Steve Burke and Simon Gough turned up a little later and nice to see Chris and Vicky Harper.

- Pallid Harrier, no sign all day from the A621 lay-by or the A6054 lay-by looking down to the reservoir.
- Common Buzzard 4
- Peregrine 1
- Kestrel everywhere 15+, possible duplicates
- Raven 2
- Meadow Pipit big numbers over early on, plenty seen during the day
- Whinchat 2 over
- Twite 5 over calling of which I saw 3 of them
- Reed Bunting 2
- Linnets over
- Goldfinches over
- Skylarks over
- Swallow and House Martin moving through all day

...and I wasn't going to post these but 2 other Raptors were seen and they are sightings so I'll try to describe as best I can.

The first one I saw was being harassed by a group of small birds low over the small trees opposite the moor. It was basically Buzzard like, appeared to have a greyish tone to it and I think the tail appeared quite long. My first thought was Honey Buzzard and another local birder heard me mention it and said they do see them in this area.

The second bird we all saw and although it was distant there was a particular feature I mentioned to Steve and Simon in that it appeared to have a distinct bow in the wings as it circled before flying out of sight. Steve thought it could've been an Osprey and I'm inclined to agree.

A frustrating day missing the Pallid Harrier and not trying for the Baird's Sandpiper but some good birds seen nevertheless!


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