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Post Info TOPIC: BELMONT RES and MOORS


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RE: BELMONT RES and MOORS


Curlew doing the yearly gathering at Belmont before dispersing to the moors. Usually best the last hour of daylight. 48 count tonight. 2 weeks earlier than last year. 



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Did you see it? It was small and brown and flew that way.........................


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Any idea how the Black headed Gull colony is faring here?  I have only seen 1 juvenile Black headed Gull at the Grane Reservoirs so far this year  - normally by now in excess of 20 and they could have all been different ones too.  The immature Gulls at Grane most likely disperse from the Belmont colony.  



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12 Waxwing flew north calling, over Charters Moss around 10:15 today

Info thanks to Andy Makin



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10.00-14.30

Walked up to the Winter Hill masts from Ward's Reservoir, returned on circular route via Belmont and A675.

1f Wheatear (Probable Greenland), 1 Curlew, 1 Kestrel, 2 Stonechats, 1 Raven, 10 Skylarks, 1m Bullfinch and Meadow Pipits galore.







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Midday visit

On the margins of the gull colony were 1 Herring Gull, 1 Lesser Black Back and a pair of Great Black Backs, all adults.

Also on and around the reservoir were : A pair of Great Crested Grebes, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Buzzard, 11 Oystercatchers,

56 Curlew (Including a group of 45 that flew in from the South), 1 Snipe and 6 Greylag Geese.

Large numbers of Lapwings were noted on the marshy fields across the road from the reservoir, but as many of them were

often hidden behind clumps of sedge, they were impossible to count, numerous Starlings accompanied them too.



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For information purposes, BirdGuides are reporting a drake Smew at the northern end of the reservoir today.

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No further sign of the Glossy Ibis up time 12:10, though the grass is very long on the island and the other side of it cannot be viewed.

Info thanks to Andy Makin



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Mark Jarrett wrote:

For info purposes, BirdGuides showing Glossy Ibis on the island, just after 8am this morning. Also, presumed same bird flying north from Delph Reservoir earlier.


 Seen by Andy Makin



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For info purposes, BirdGuides showing Glossy Ibis on the island, just after 8am this morning. Also, presumed same bird flying north from Delph Reservoir earlier.

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19 adult Mediterranean Gulls and 35 juveniles this morning.

Info thanks to Andy Makin



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12,30pm : Just drove past a male Merlin perched on the stone wall at the side of Belmont Res and Belmont Rd. 



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23 Mediterranean Gulls present this evening, at 2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling. 6 Grasshoppers Warblers reeling along Longworth Road.

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Red Kite hunting around the fields by Belmont for at least 10 minutes at 08:55 and appeared to be hanging around.

Info thanks to Andy Makin



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18 Curlew together in a field by the reservoir this early afternoon.

Info thanks to Brian Fogg

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On the Road Bike by Longworth Rd/Stone Bank Rd 1130 this morning , Ring tail Hen Harrier moving around the moorland , quartering and soaring .. only 2nd one for me on the bike locally..



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2 Great Crested Grebes on the reservoir -5.30pm Sunday 1st March

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Barn owl hunting belmont road , 1810 tonight.

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AM

Walk from Crookfield Rd to Slatebrook, Longwith Road North and back along Belmont Road.

1 Barn Owl shadowed by a Carrion Crow over the moor West of Belmont Road.

Several small flocks of Starlings, around 30 birds in each, feeding on areas of low cropped turf, at several points along the walk to Slatebrook.

Otherwise just a few crows seen on the moor.

2 Kestrels around the radio mast by Longwith Rd.

Belmont Reservoir

84 Lapwings resting on the jetty, although around the island there were many more. These birds were very nervous, often flushed and were difficult to count.

However, at one point 300+ were in the air, not including those on the jetty. I did'nt find out what kept upsetting them though.

Also on the reservoir, 1 Cormorant, 180+ Teal (mainly at the North end), 2m pheasants on the island, plus Canada Geese and lots of Mallard.

2 more Kestrels were seen hunting West of Belmont Road, on the walk back. 3 Ravens seen throughout.





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The three Little Egrets today contained at least 2 juveniles, though they were difficult to see from the road and a wait for them to become viewable was required.

Also present were 2 Common Sandpipers and 12 Mediterranean Gull showing well from the yacht club, of which 9 were juveniles.

Info thanks to Andy Makin

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Three Little Egrets currently on Belmont Reservoir; on the smaller muddy pool.

Info thanks to Andy Makin

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Simon Warford wrote:

10/10/2013

4 ARCTIC SKUA's flew south west this morning and no doubt into Greater Manchester, probably past Winter Hill!

Info thanks to Bill Aspin (sighting Steve Martin)

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Thursday 10th of October 2013 11:07:02 PM





The sighting was actually last Saturday (5th), unless another 4 flew over yesterday!wink


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10/10/2013

4 ARCTIC SKUA's flew south west this morning and no doubt into Greater Manchester, probably past Winter Hill!

Info thanks to Bill Aspin (sighting Steve Martin)

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Thursday 10th of October 2013 11:07:02 PM

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Main Reservoir
8 Mediterranean Gulls (5 adults, 2 x 2nd summers, 1 x 1st summer)
2 Common Sandpiper

Moor to the north
2 Curlew

Small Reservoirs
2 Common Sandpiper

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Cuckoo heard and seen in plantation at junction of Scout Road and Belmont Road. Good views from hill overlooking.

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10.00 to 13.15 around Belmont Reservoir, Wards Reservoir/Wards Brook, and the village.
Birds on list are from Belmont Reservoir area unless stated differently.

1 Great Crested Grebe
9 Canada Geese
15 Mallards
1 Buzzard
2 Moorhens
6 Oystercatchers
15 Lapwings
1 Snipe
3 Curlews
4 Redshanks
5 Common Sandpipers at Belmont Reservoir + 2 at Wards Reservoir
Black-headed Gulls
Mediterranean Gull heard
4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
4 Collared Doves in a village tree
2 Skylarks
3 House Martins in the village
6 Swallows
6 Meadow Pipits
1 Pied Wagtail
Pair of Stonechats along Wards Brook
4 Wheatears
1 Mistle Thrush
4 Willow Warblers at Belmont Reservoir & 8 more around Wards
1 Jay in the village
1 Jackdaw on the island with the gulls
2 Carrion Crows
Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Siskins, & Lesser Redpolls in the village
2 Linnets at Belmont Reservoir & 2 up Wards Brook
3 Reed Buntings around Wards area & a male in the village
Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, & Buff-tailed Bumble Bees
Numerous Rabbits & a dead Brown Hare


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9.00am to 11.10am.

2 Great Crested Grebes
12 Canada Geese
1 Greylag
14 Mallards
1 Buzzard, flushed from the ground only about 10 yards away. Won't get a much better view.
1 Kestrel
5 Pheasants
1 Moorhen
5 Oystercatchers
2 Little Ringed Plovers
1 Ringed Plover
17 Lapwings
2 Snipe
7 Curlews
2 Redshanks
2 Common Sandpipers
Black-headed Gulls
3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Stock Dove
3 Skylarks
1 Swallow
6 Meadow Pipits
1 Grey Wagtail
2 Pied Wagtails
1 Dunnock
2 Wheatears
2 Willow Warblers
6 Carrion Crows
7 Starlings
2 Chaffinches
1 Reed Bunting


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Full circuit from 10.20am to 12.50pm in a fairly strong and cool wind.

2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
21 Canada Geese
20+ Mallards
1 Buzzard
7 Pheasants
3 Moorhens
3 Oystercatchers
1 Little Ringed Plover
16 Lapwings
2 Snipe
5 Curlews
3 Redshanks
1 Common Sandpiper
Thousands of Black-headed Gulls
1 Mediterranean Gull seen flying past the sailing club after it's call gave it away
6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
4 Herring Gulls
4 Stock Doves
6 Woodpigeons
4 Skylarks
1 Swallow
10 Meadow Pipits
3 Pied Wagtails
2 Wrens
3 Robins
2 Wheatears
1 Blackbird
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler
1 Coal Tit
3 Great Tits
1 Magpie
7 Carrion Crows
3 Starlings
5 Chaffinches
3 Goldfinches


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10.15am to 12.45pm. Started off around the village and Wards's Reservoir before doing a full circuit of Belmont Reservoir.

Belmont Reservoir & moorland :-
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Cormorant
13 Canada Geese
18 Mallards
6 Pheasants
6 Oystercatchers
2 Little Ringed Plovers
1 Ringed Plover
18 Lapwings
At least 4 Snipe. Birds heard calling from the field across the road, A couple of them flew up and started drumming.
3 Curlews
2 Redshanks
2 Common Sandpipers
Thousands of Black-headed Gulls
5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Herring Gull
1 Stock Dove
4 Woodpigeons
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker in the embankment trees
5 Skylarks
3 Swallows
9 Meadow Pipits
4 Pied Wagtails
1 Wren at the wall with the Wheatears
1 Dunnock
13 Wheatears. Pair at the reservoir edge and a flock of 11 all in a line on a dry stone wall.
5 Starlings
1 Goldfinch
1 Reed Bunting

Village & Ward's :-
Mallards, Kestrel, Pheasants, Stock Dove calling from Hill Top Wood, Collared Doves, Woodpigeons, Wrens, Dunnocks, Robins, Blackbirds, Mistle Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warblers, Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Nuthatch, Magpies, Carrion Crows, Starlings, House Sparrows, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Siskins, Lesser Redpolls, Reed Buntings.


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11.25 to 13.00. Full circuit but no sign of any Wheatears.

2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
17 Canada Geese
19 Mallards
2 pairs of Teal
1 Sparrowhawk, very high above the reservoir.
3 Pheasants
8 Oystercatchers
1 Little Ringed Plover
c25 Lapwings
1 Curlew
3 Redshanks
Island full of Black-headed Gulls
3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 of them intermedius, very black upperwings and very bright yellow legs.
2 Herring Gulls
1 Feral Pigeon
5 Skylarks
17 Meadow Pipits
3 Pied Wagtails
2 Dunnocks
1 Robin
1 Blackbird
1 Magpie
4 Carrion Crows
3 Chaffinches
1 Peacock butterfly & a few Rabbits


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8.30am to 10.15am. Full circuit around the reservoir, not much on the moorland track in a strong icy wind.

1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Cormorants
30 Canada Geese
Numerous Mallards spread around the reservoir & fields
1m Teal
1 Buzzard
1 Pheasant
3 Oystercatchers
36 Lapwings
4 Snipe
9 Curlews
Thousands of Black-headed Gulls
4 Herring Gulls
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
5 Skylarks
9 Meadow Pipits
3 Pied Wagtails
2 Dunnocks
19 Starlings


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9.55am to noon. I know I finished at noon as I was watching a Treecreeper at St Peter's Church whilst waiting for The Black Dog to open. Treecreeper meets Pubcreeper I can imagine some of you thinking.
I did a full circuit, but the only birds along the track overlooking the reservoir were a couple of flyover Carrion Crows. Still waiting for the return of moorland birds along here.

1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Cormorant
14 Canada Geese
30+ Mallards
1 Buzzard, chased away quickly by gulls and Oystercatchers.
4 Pheasants
1 Moorhen
11 Oystercatchers
16 Lapwings
1 Jack Snipe, Flushed from the side of the track to Bromiley.
1 Curlew
Black-headed Gulls all over the island. Only carrying binoculars I am unable to scan for Mediterranean Gulls properly. Picked them up last year from their calls in flight.
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
2 Skylarks
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Grey Wagtail
2 Blackbirds
3 Mistle Thrushes in the village
1 Chiffchaff at the sailing club with Blue Tits and Chaffinches. I thought I heard one a couple of weeks ago in the conifers by the embankment, but could not see it.
1 Magpie
6 Carrion Crows


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The gull colony is up and running again. At least a thousand on the island.

Far too much traffic on Belmont Road for comfotable birding so I scanned about from the end of Longworth Road. Only picked out the usual Canada Geese, Mallards, Oystercatchers, and Lapwings.


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Forgot to mention there was a Greylag with the Canada Geese today

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9.45am to 11.15am at reservoir & sailing club.

1 Great Crested Grebe
25 Canada Geese
48 Mallards
1 Buzzard
4 Pheasants
1 Moorhen
3 Oystercatchers
58 Lapwings
c800 Black-headed Gulls on the water when I arrived. All of them had flown off by the time I left
4 Feral Pigeons
1 Skylark
2 Dunnocks
2 Robins
1 Mistle Thrush
2 Long-tailed Tits
1 Coal Tit
2 Great Tits
4 Blue Tits
2 Magpies
1 Carrion Crow
18 Starlings
2 Chaffinches
2 Goldfinches
1 Siskin


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10.50am to 12.10pm.

1 Great Crested Grebe
22 Canada Geese
16 Mallards
8 Oystercatchers. All together on the far bank opposite the sailing club.
31 Lapwings
2 Black-headed Gulls


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Late morning visit starting at Ward's Reservoir where I only saw Mallards and Black-headed Gulls. No birds up Ward's Brook/Rivington Road. A mooch around the village was met by only expected common species.

Much better at Belmont Reservoir in a cold northerly wind.
1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Cormorants
17 Canada Geese
40+ Mallards
16 Teal
1 Moorhen
1 Oystercatcher
24 Lapwings
28 Black-headed Gulls
2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Pied Wagtail
4 Fieldfares


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John Williams wrote:

11.30-14.30

Walk from Tockholes Road, along the edge of the moor, around Belmont Reservoir and back along the main road.





There are usually Grasshopper Warbler both where the track starts at the Tockholes Road corner and also just north of the car park where the very southern edge of Roddlesworth Woods starts. Just further in to the woods is/was a reliable Tree Pipit spot although I failed to locate the single pair last year.

Whinchat, Stonechat and Redstart have been seen in this general area and in the autumn I had Crossbill in Conyries Plantation adjacent to the corner.

Hen Harrier are sometimes seen in winter and up on the tops you may encounter the species David mentions along with Red Grouse and possible Golden Plover especially on the upper plateau just south of Cadshaw Valley. Peregrine and to a lesser degree Merlin are seen from time to time in the Darwen/Belmont Moors area. Short eared Owl numbers increase in autumn with arrivals from the continent, some years can be very good whilst this winter I have only had a few sightings. A handfull of sightings of Ring Ouzel are noted on spring and autumn passage.







-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 15th of February 2013 09:10:41 PM

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The track from Tockholes Road across the back of the reservoir is good for Skylarks and Meadow Pipits as you suggest John. Also excellent in spring for Wheatears. I had them in double figures last year. Other likely birds include Buzzards, Ravens, Stonechats, and Reed Buntings. Brown Hares also possible.

A favourite spot for Wheatears is around the stiles as you go to Higher Pasture House. Also worth looking on the wet fields past the stile, behind the farm, for waders. Redshanks and Oystercatchers are likely, with the possibility of something more unusual.

I have yet to see Dippers on the stream you mention, but Grey Wagtails are likely around the reservoir.


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I missed the owl by a few hours Phil, it was early pm when I was there

The moorland here looks pretty bleak, mainly sedge and very short sheep nibbled grass, apart from the odd crow and a single Kestrel it appears devoid of wildlife.

It may well be full of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks in the spring, but it's nowhere near as rich fauna wise as heather moorland.

The marshy area at the northern end of reservoir though looks like it could attract a passing harrier, especially if there's juicy gull chicks nearby.

It's a pleasant walk from Tockholes Road, today was a "recky" for me, if I can I'll return in spring, and as David suggests try and pick out a Med gull amongst the Black Heads.

I thought perhaps today I'd find Dipper or Grey Wagtail on one of the feeder streams, alas no such luck, the brook that flows under the main road just north of the reservoir

looks good for them though, perhaps next time.

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I generally park on the car park on the Tockholes road so it sounds like the same one. Anyway, this morning on the way to our offices in Blackburn I decided to drive via Belmont. Just at the north end of the res on the opposite side of the main road I got a great view of a barn owl gliding over the moorland about 20 feet away from the road. It turned a pretty poor start to the week round. Life's good again Chers, Phil

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11.30-14.30

Walk from Tockholes Road, along the edge of the moor, around Belmont Reservoir and back along the main road.

1 male Kestrel hunting along the moorland edge.

60+ Starlings on pasture by the SE corner of the reservoir.

On the reservoir were 1 Cormorant, 14 Cananda Geese, 46 Teal (probably more hidden amongst the sedge on the island) and a nervous flock of 24 Lapwings.

Lots of Mallard on the reservoir and on Wards Brook by Rivington Road.

I've been meaning to have a mooch around this reservoir for years, but have always found parking difficult in Belmont.

I parked in the Crookfield Road parking area and the reservoir is about 30 minutes walk away.

The best views are from the main road, it will be very much worth another visit when the gull colony is occupied again.



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Hi John, glad you made it up there, it must have been blowing a gale today. You seem to have had similar birds to me last weekend. I can probably help with a few ideas.

I do not drive myself but I would imagine you could park somewhere in the village, possibly at the side of the Belmont Bull pub. Only 5 minutes walk from there.

As you say the best views are from the main road. The pool across the road from the main reservoir (not too far up from the sailing club) can be good for ducks and waders.
It is also well worth a walk up the track a little higher up. It has a public footpath sign, so just go through the metal gate and view the fields from the track.

Good luck finding the Mediterranean Gulls with the thousands of Black-headed Gulls.


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 6th of February 2013 07:43:18 PM

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9.15am to 10.45am

Walked over along Longworth Road seeing nothing until I saw about 5 Bullfinches at Higher Whittaker Farm with a couple of Dunnocks also there.

On the field just before the reservoir 11 Fieldfares were mixed with 31 Starlings.

Around the reservoir :-
1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Cormorants
14 Canada Geese
Approx 150 Mallards
30+ Teal
20 Lapwings
6 Black-headed Gulls
2 Pheasants
2 Meadow Pipits
1 Wren
1 Dunnock
1 Robin
2 Blue Tits
2 Magpies
7 Carrion Crows
3 Chaffinches
3 Goldfinches

Around the village the usual suspects included a Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrushes, and a few of Siskins. A Reed Bunting was using a tree on the edge of the village and flying into gardens.


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Hardly any birds in open country and only Mallards on the reservoir so I had a mooch around Belmont village where all the birds seemed to be.
Village species list :-

Black-headed Gull
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Wren
Dunnock
Robin
Blackbird
Mistle Thrush
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Magpie
Rook
Carrion Crow
Starling
House Sparrow
Chaffinch (25+)
Brambling (3)
Greenfinch (4)
Goldfinch (25+)
Siskin


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12.20 to 13.30

1 Cormorant
21 Canada Geese
58 Mallards
54 Lapwings stayed on the reservoir throughout. Another 60+ flew off as I arrived, returning as I was leaving.
2 Black-headed Gulls
1 Merlin flew low across the road, reservoir, and island. If I had missed any birds I am sure this bird would have flushed them, as it did with the Lapwings. A few days earlier one had flown across the Sailing Club according to one of the members I was talking to. He said nothing else of note had been around recently.
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Wrens
1 Dunnock
1 Robin
2 Magpies
2 Chaffinches
1 Greenfinch
5 Goldfinches




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10.40am to 12.20pm

1 Cormorant
2 Canada Geese
60 Mallards
1 Buzzard
1 Kestrel
Lots of Pheasants
55+ Lapwings
8 Black-headed Gulls
2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
6 Meadow Pipits
2 Grey Wagtails
1 Pied Wagtail
4 Wrens
1 Dunnock
1 Robin
2 female Stonechats
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Blue Tit
8 Magpies
10 Carrion Crows
42 Starlings
4 Chaffinches
2 Goldfinches




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10.45am to 11.55am

2 Cormorants
16 Mallards
1 Buzzard
1 Kestrel
Lots of introduced Pheasants
49 Lapwings
6 Snipe
3 Black-headed Gulls
4 Meadow Pipits
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
3 Wrens
1 Robin
5 Redwings
A flock of a few Blue Tits/Great Tits
1 Jay
9 Magpies
1 Carrion Crow
6 Starlings
5 Chaffinches
4 Goldfinches

A few Carp were showing, including one that was rising vertically out of the water after flies.




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10.40am to 11.50am. Reservoir from roadside.

2 Cormorants
2 Canada Geese
63 Mallards + another 47 on Ward's Reservoir
1 Buzzard
4 Pheasants
34 Lapwings
An unusual looking gull. I have sent a photo to Lancs county recorder Steve White for help.
2 Woodpigeons
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
8 Meadow Pipits
1 Robin
A mixed tit flock including Long-tailed Tits
3 Magpies
9 Carrion Crows
6 Starlings
1 Greenfinch
17 Goldfinches



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10.45am to 12.20pm

2 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
25 Mallards
1 Kestrel
3 Pheasants
100+ Lapwings
2 Snipe
5 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
3 Collared Doves (in village)
40 House Martins (before lunch around the bleachworks, after lunch feeding over Hill Top Wood)
8 Swallows
5 Meadow Pipits
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Robin
1 Blackbird
9 Mistle Thrushes
1 Magpie
25 Starlings
1 Chaffinch
2 Greenfinches (village)
1 Goldfinch
1 Siskin (village)



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10.30am to 11.50am

1 Cormorant
45 Canada Geese
37 Mallards
2 Teal
1 Osprey (Seen as it landed on a fence post at the back of the reservoir. I checked the wading birds whilst hoping it may come closer, but when I looked across again it had gone, presumably heading south into GM. It left about 11am)
1 Buzzard at Hill Top (usual area)
130 Lapwings
2 Snipe
4 Black-headed Gulls
2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Woodpigeon
12 Swallows
1 Skylark
11 Meadow Pipits
9 Pied Wagtails (3 along embankment + 6 on island)
1 Wren
1 Robin
1 Magpie
40+ Carrion Crows on fields south of Belmont by the main road
14 Starlings
1 Chaffinch
50 Goldfinches





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