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Post Info TOPIC: MARTIN MERE WWT


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RE: MARTIN MERE WWT


Hi Gordon, I figured that was a decent tally for 10 this morning! Just thought I'd check....

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Hi Simon, I would presume the sightings were from Thursday as that was what was seen from Ron Barker Hide throughout the day. Mid afternoon a juvenile Whinchat was found on Vinson's Marsh from the afore mentioned hide.

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Hi Mike,

Sorry to be a bit pedantic, but was your "day of the sandpipers" today or yesterday (Friday 21st or Thursday 20th) or indeed another day?

I was going to head up to Martin Mere myself this weekend, just hoping the Wood Sandpiper is still about

Thanks

Simon

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Thursday afternoon:
Day of the sandpipers - wood, green, common.
4 little ringed plover young.
Black-tailed godwit still in breeding plumage.
Good numbers of ruff including many young.
Kingfisher very active at Ron Barkers.
6 little grebe at Harrier hide.
United Utilities hide useless owing to strimmers and diggers.


-- Edited by Mike Berry on Friday 21st of August 2015 10:14:53 AM

-- Edited by Mike Berry on Friday 21st of August 2015 02:14:08 PM

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The Bittern has not been seen since 27/07/2015, Kingfisher shows at some point during the day every day currently.

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We had fantastic views of a beautiful kingfisher right in front of us, whipped out the camera, only to discover the memory card was still in the PC at home! Oh well!!

Weather was dry and warm, highlights were: Kingfisher 1x(Ron Barker Hide), a couple of cormorant, Garganey, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Marsh Harrier x3, Grey Heron x 7 (or the same one everywhere!!), Little Egret x1, Buzzard, Kestrel, Tree Sparrow x5. No sign of the Bittern for us sadly.





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No sign of the Bitten from Wednesday, but still a few decent birds about.

1 Kingfisher
Juvenile Cuckoo
Juvenile Peregrine
8 Little ringed plover
2 Ruff
1 Common sandpiper
3 Dunlin
3 Avocet
11 Black tailed godwit
3 Kestrel
40+ Tree sparrow
2 Sedge warbler
3 Chiffchaff
Teal with 2 chicks

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The Bittern was showing exceptionally well from the lower left hand side of Ron Barker hide throughout the day. Sometimes so close under the hide as to be invisible in the vegetation. Kingfisher showed well on the branches over the sluice in front of the hide and a Cuckoo distantly in a Willow at the back of Vinson's Marsh.

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Hi Karl,

A couple of great photos by yourself on the WWT site. Well done mate. I've yet to see a Bittern so I'm pretty jealous.

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Stupidly close views of Bittern today from Ron Barker hide
Other birds of note where
Marsh Harrier (F)
Cuckoo (Juv)
Green Sandpiper

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The day spent here today.

1 goldcrest
3 whitethroat
8 tree sparrow
Swallow, house martin, sand martin (1)
Coal tit, greenfinch, goldfinch, reed bunting (singing all over), pied wagtail, stock dove, all the usuals
50+ black-tailed godwit
10+ ruff
2 avocet
3 oystercatcher
2 redshank
1 dunlin
3 (at least) little ringed plover
1 (at least) ringed plover
200+ lapwing
1 whooper swan
Good numbers of teal and shelduck, with the latter having several growing young.
1 great crested grebe
1 tufted duck
3 grey heron
1 little egret
Lots of coot and moorhen with chicks
1 buzzard

Walking from Burscough Bridge and back, the pick of the species were: whitethroat, reed bunting, yellowhammer, corn bunting, skylark and house martin.

Corn buntings were particularly conspicuous, with several heard singing, and a few giving stunning views (singing from telephone wires).

A good day, but one that might have benefited from a scope; a good proportion of the day was spent staring intently at distant plovers. :)




-- Edited by Shannon Llewellyn on Sunday 12th of July 2015 09:48:42 PM

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A happy decision to visit today with Steve Burke, based on not much more than wanting to get some value from our memberships, but by lunchtime it looked quite a good move as a Red-necked Phalarope had been spotted on Vinson's Marsh. We had great views of it feeding merrily, it was an adult female and looked very cool. I'd only seen a juvenile before.

It didn't feed by swimming in circles, so nothing I can add to that discussion, but it was pecking dynamically from side-to-side as it fed. I assumed it was swimming to start with, but logically the pecking must have been into mud as it was so quick it seemed impossible to be grabbing food from the water. I think it might have been wading in a few inches of water instead, and the pecks were through into the mud. It was certainly on the fringes of the standing water most of the time. Lovely bird.

Also over there in Langley's Brook was a male Garganey associating with some male Teal. It was a handsome thing but Steve noticed its right wing was not fully intact, it looked to be missing most of its primary feathers. It was also preening that wing incredibly vigorously. We weren't sure if it might be in moult or if it had been damaged. The bird was squabbling with the Teal over one of 'their' females, perhaps one of them had managed to hurt it. I hope its OK...

Other notable birds seen were:
outside the reserve in the fields
Corn Bunting
Grey Partridge
Red-legged Partridge
Skylark
Stock Dove

Around 150 House Martin over the sewage works, the most I've ever seen by miles, not sure Steve had seen that many together either, there were only a handful of Swifts and Swallows with them. A nice soundtrack of Whitethroats and Blackcaps singing

On the reserve:
Black-tailed Godwit
Ringed Plover
Common Tern
Red-legged Partridge
Avocet
Ruff

The Ruff was a summer plumage male, which was displaying or threatening to in front of Lapwings and Oystercatchers, in lieu of any other Ruff. Another new plumage for me.

I got 64 on my daylist; considering people associate the reserve with winter wildfowl, I didn't think that was bad for a June day











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Late post for Tuesday 2nd - spent the afternoon on the reserve. Weather was very blustery, with a couple of heavy showers.

The most interesting birds reported on the day were Little Gull (either 1st or 2nd summer, according to differing reports) and Curlew Sandpiper - I didn't see either species myself, unfortunately. Did see

Avocets sitting on nests and with chicks out and about feeding
Black-tailed Godwits (100+, per Andy Bunting)
1 Ringed Plover
1 Mediterranean Gull - adult, summer plumage. Luckily, it was loafing half-asleep plum in front of Raines Observatory, so even a duffer like me couldn't miss it.
2 Tree Sparrows on the feeders at Janet Kear Hide
3 Stock Doves
A Lesser Black-backed Gull successfully stealing a chick from Black-headed Gull colony, despite determined defensive mobbing.

On the walk up from New Lane station, a Common Whitethroat and back at the station after, a Sparrowhawk just over my head, sending the local Blackbirds crazy, with barred tail fully spread out as it crashed by with the wind behind it. My favourite moment of the whole day.



-- Edited by Ollie Wright on Friday 5th of June 2015 11:15:02 PM

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Rob Creek wrote:

Many thanks Ivan and Ian,
We were fairly confident with Merlin as the plumage colour, size and shape, and it's fast flight low over the ground all seemed to fit nicely. Your comments strengthen that sighting so I'll stick with Merlin.
Cheers guys!





Why could it not have been a first Summer Hobby ,they are mainly Brown? small,fast fly low and the males can be tiny ,That's the problem with not being sure in the main it could have been anything. one that got away :)


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Many thanks Ivan and Ian,
We were fairly confident with Merlin as the plumage colour, size and shape, and it's fast flight low over the ground all seemed to fit nicely. Your comments strengthen that sighting so I'll stick with Merlin.
Cheers guys!

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Quotes from the RSPB website Merlins in the UK

When to see them
All year round. Birds leave their upland breeding areas between August and october, when N European birds also arrive here. They return again in April and May.

Where to see them
The UK breeding population is at the south-west extremity of the merlin's European range, and is thinly scattered across upland moorland from south-west England north to Shetland. In winter birds leave upland areas and come down to inland lowland and coastal areas. They can be seen in almost any open country but are often found near coasts. They can be found at roosts in reedbeds, bogs and on heaths, often with hen harriers.

In winter the UK population increases as most of the Icelandic breeding birds migrate to our warmer climate. Although recovering from a population crash in the late 20th century it is still on the Amber List.

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Rob, could well have been a merlin. The overheard expert would surely have poo pooed the temmincks stint or the red throated pipit or the hoopoe in Oldham, as they cant be here at this time of year.!! But obvioulsy are/were. Birds can turn up any time any place as we all know.

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Monday 25th May with Simon Gough.

Of note...
Curlew Lane area proved fruitful before even getting on the reserve.

1 Corn Bunting - was on a power line then dropped down and started singing on top of a low hedge of a ploughed field
2 Yellow Wagtail - in same area, presumably 1m 1f as one was very bright yellow, the other a lot duller and browner
1 Oystercatcher
1 Shelduck

Main reserve.

-Few Tree Sparrows in usual spot around Kingfisher Hide and feeders
-No luck with the Tawny Owl

-TEMMINCK'S STINT - a Lifer for me, viewed out in Woodend Marsh from UU Hide.
Absolutely tiny and even gave a comparison view against a Ringed Plover, appearing probably around half the size. Very quick indeed, running around from one end of a spit to the other in between other Waders, Shelduck and Shoveler, then flying to another spit, we had a right job picking it up again as once in the air it was lost against matching background scenery. But we did notice however despite its speed running, it was a little slower feeding compared to Little Stint, which we've seen at Burton Mere and Frodsham Tanks.
A great little bird to watch.

-a single Dunlin
-Plenty of Avocet about
-Black-tailed Godwit - 2
-Lapwing
-Ringed Plover - at least 8 possibly more
-Oystercatcher
-Redshank
-Whooper Swan - still a couple remaining
-Pink-footed Goose - 3 (injured so we were told so assuming the Whoopers were too)
-few Greylag Goose
-1 Drake Wigeon
-1 Drake Pintail
-quite a few Shoveler about
-plenty of Gadwall
-Lots of Shelduck about
-1 gorgeous Barn Owl quartering over the large branch piles
-1 Kestrel
-1 distant Common Buzzard
-2 Goldcrest showing well near Janet Kier hide
-nothing on JK feeders apart from an acrobatic Brown Rat
-couple of Reed Bunting
-few Skylark
-1 House Martin
-couple of Sand Martin
-Swallow
Lots of usuals around including Gulls, Waterbirds, and Song Birds

Other sightings of note...

On leaving the reserve we pulled up at the side of the field literally 100yds away and there was a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull with some Black-headed Gulls. Good fairly close views and easily separable from the others.

Whilst watching the Temminck's Stint a fellow birder on the top tier picked up a small Raptor flying low over the marsh towards the farm and we looked at each other and both suggested Merlin as it appeared to be a darkish grey-brown with a falcon appearance about it. We settled for that but a birder downstairs must've overheard us and was heard saying there was no chance of Merlin round there as they're all up in the higher ground, breeding.
Any help on this would be appreciated as that's certainly what it looked like, and don't Merlin breed in bog-land or marshy fenland too?

A great few hours here!



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 26th of May 2015 11:06:52 PM

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Worth checking out the dung heap on Curlew Lane just outside Martin Mere. This morning it held
3 Yellow Wagtail (2 male 1 Female)
Corn Bunting
Tree Sparrow
Pied Wagtail
Male Wheatear
Male Whinchat

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Golden Oriole has been found in the enclosures in the past!

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Thanks Simon, Rob and Patrick for your replies.

I heard that there were Corn Buntings on the reserve but sadly did not have time to check yesterday. I was only curious about the birds' status as I did not see Gadwall or Pintail on the mere yet saw them from the visitors centre. Sadly I do not get the train (which in one way is a good thing because it's quite a long walk to the reserve from the train station) but I have seen that quite a few good farmland birds are seen around there. I think I might have a look next time I go. I'm not really that surprised at the sightings of a Cuckoo as there is some good habitat in the duck enclosures and I'm sure some good birds must turn up once in a while.

Thanks,
Kristian

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Kristian Wade wrote:
Also, on the lake next to the Visitor's Centre (Swan Lake I believe it's called) there were several Gadwall, Pochard and Pintail. Are these wild birds because I know that the Mallards and Shelducks are wild, but the Swan and some of the Geese are captive?

Kristian,
As a general rule they are usually captive birds on that side of the reserve including the lake outside the visitor centre. But you do get Teal in there that are genuinely wild, I've seen them take off from there and fly out onto the main reserve mere. I don't see any reason why you couldn't get Gadwall or Mallard for example in there too. The larger birds like the Geese and Swans would need a lot of room to do the running take off and there just isn't that room there I don't think.
I've also seen a Ruff in one of the sections too, and if I remember correctly a Cuckoo was heard calling from one of the Duck enclosures a couple of years ago.
Cheers
Rob

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No need to leave the reserve for Corn Bunting now. 10 seen along hedges along the Reedbed Walk yesterday.

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I always assume the birds by the Visitors Centre are captive, but there are normally dozens of Pintail and plenty of Gadwall and Pochard on the main mere or in other parts of the reserve over the winter, so you might have just missed the Pintails and Gadwall.

On the assumption that you might not know this, so apologies if you do, but one other thing is that the fields to the east of the reserve heading back towards Burscough are a top place to find Corn Bunting, so its always worth heading over there to have a look if you get a chance. There is a footpath that is signposted from the entrance that will take you through a big field and you can see and hear them with Skylarks and Yellowhammers. If like me you go by train you walk that way from Burscough Bridge station. Last time I went over there I had some great views of a few perched on the telegraph wires.

Hope this helps

Simon

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A great day out here yesterday from 11:00am - 3:30pm with some great birds and some even greater weather.

Whooper Swan - Only 1 on the mere but a further 4 from the Ron Barker Hide.
Canada Goose - 11 in total, most from Harrier Hide.
Greylag Goose - 17 around the site with some from each hide.
Mallard - Loads, 165 including ones in the captive bird enclosures.
Shelduck - Masses invading the captive enclosures and others dotted about the reserve, at least 146 in total.
Wigeon - A few around on the mere and from Ron Barker Hide. 8 in total.
Shoveler - 3 from the Harrier Hide.
Teal - Several small groups made about 28 altogether.
Pochard - 5 from the Harrier Hide.
Tufted Duck - 8 from the Harrier Hide.
Cormorant - 2 at the back of the mere.
Grey Heron - 1 in the channel at the front of the Ron Barker Hide.
Little Egret - 1 flew low over Harrier Hide and landed in the reeds.
Moorhen - A few on the mere plus loads in the captive enclosures with several on nests. 50+
Coot - Several in the captive enclosures (one on a nest) plus groups from most other hides. 33 in total.
Lapwing - 68 on the mere plus 2 from Harrier Hide and a further 16 from the Ron Barker Hide.
Black-Tailed Godwit - 41 on the mere.
Oystercatcher - 13 on the mere, probably more.
Avocet - LIFER - 1 at the back of Vinson's Marsh.
Redshank - 1 on the mere plus 3 from the Ron Barker Hide.
Pheasant - 1 seen, more heard.
Chiffchaff - 1 seen, 3 more heard.
Robin - Quite a few around.
Dunnock - At least 2 seen.
Wren - 2 Seen, more heard.
Usual Blue & Great Tits plus Coal and Long Tailed.
Blackbirds - A few dotted around.
Black-Headed Gull - Well over 200. 140 on the mere with 10+ on nests. Large group of 50+ on Vinson's Marsh plus others dotted around.
Lesser Black-Backed Gull - Only 1 picked out, probably more around.
Goldcrest - One seen near Ron Barker Hide plus more heard.
Tawny Owl - LIFER - Hidden in an Ivy covered tree near Kingfisher Hide.
Goldfinch and Greenfinch - A few from Janet Kear Hide plus others dotted around.
Chaffinch - Everywhere. 5+ from Janet Kear plus at least 6 other singing males and 2 other females seen.
Magpie & Carrion Crow - Dotted around.
Pied Wagtail - On fence post from the Ron Barker Hide.
Tree Sparrow - 1 from the Janet Kear Hide plus 5+ around nest boxes near Hale Hide.
Woodpigeon - Several.
Feral Pigeon - Large groups around.
Reed Bunting - 5 from Janet Kear Hide plus singles elsewhere.

1 Red-Legged Partridge across the road from the entrance.

A total of 45 species but sadly missed the Common Sandpiper and the Raptors. Possibly had some Ruff but too far away to tell for sure.

Also, on the lake next to the Visitor's Centre (Swan Lake I believe it's called) there were several Gadwall, Pochard and Pintail. Are these wild birds because I know that the Mallards and Shelducks are wild, but the Swan and some of the Geese are captive?


-- Edited by Kristian Wade on Friday 10th of April 2015 11:36:05 AM

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Day spent here today. Some of the highlights:

4 sand martin (great views of them zipping around from the Ron Barker hide)
2 pied wagtail
c10 tree sparrow, several of whom were entering and leaving next boxes
10+ reed bunting
3 goldcrest (one singing)
chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch, coal tit, great tit, blue tit, blackbird, robin, dunnock, wren
Lots of lapwing, plenty displaying
Lots of oystercatcher
11 avocet
c20 black-tailed godwit
10 or so redshank
4 ruff
18 whooper swan
teal (loads), wigeon, pintail, shoveler (though only one seen), gadwall (2), tufted duck (4), pochard (3)
1 kingfisher (stunning view)
5+ stock dove
Loads of black-headed gulls, lots displaying, one pair mating
1 Mediterranean gull
1 little gull, a juvenile, and also the first time I've seen one
2 buzzard (possibly more)
2 kestrel
1 tawny owl

Skylark and chiffchaff heard

2 brown hare, 1 stoat (giving a fantastic view from the Ron Barker hide)

Also several corn bunting (one singing, which alerted me to them) and another stoat whilst waiting at New Lane train station to go home. A good day. :)


-- Edited by Shannon Llewellyn on Monday 6th of April 2015 11:01:34 PM

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A better afternoon after a disappointing morning at marshside. Main highlights was a tawny owl that was found in an ivy covered tree near the kingfisher hide just as It was reported on their website, (he was in almost full view a little later on), and a pair of Mediterranean gulls was also seen from thr Ron barker hide and from the main mere was a pair of great black backed gulls with a few ruffs and black tailed godwits. Also about was a goldcrest, a common buzzard and 2 common kestrels. i've noticed an increase of tree sparrows since my last visit too which was nice to see.

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Thursday 2nd of April 2015 07:01:23 PM

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11.00 to 14:45 Weds 25th March

Avocet - 10 on marsh from Ron Barker hide
Curlew - 8 on marsh from Ron Barker hide
Ruff - several from Swan Link, good photo opportunity
Black-Tailed Godwit - several dotted around reserve, photos as per Ruff
Pink-Footed Geese - around 100 from Ron Barker hide in afternoon
Tawny Owl - roosting in tree beside walkway
Tree Sparrow - lots around feeders
Mediterranean Gull - pair moving around reserve

Several Buzzard and Sparrowhawk overhead, plus pair of Kestrels mating.

Usual woodland birds, ducks, Whooper Swans, Lapwings, etc


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Originally posted today by Mike Berry:

36 Avocets present today on the northern side of The Mere. Good views from the United Utilities Hide.


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About 3 hours this afternoon. Went looking for the tawny owl, a bird I haven't seen in a while. Fortunately, se birders had already found it in the trees before the kingfisher hide

Other highlights included a group of 7 early avocets, at least 20 ruff in front of Raines observatory (with a few more by the swan link), a marsh harrier, 3 buzzard, 2 kestrel, 1000+ whooper swan, 2000+ pink footed geese, a few black tailed godwit and all the winter waders and wildfowl

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3 hours today from 1:30 to 4:30. Lovely conditions and some good birds around.

Highlight was a very showy Tawny Owl near Kingfisher Hide - sunning itself and glaring at those peering at it

Also, along with the usual wildfowl and woodland birds, there were a couple of Little Egrets around Ron Barker Hide, where 3 Red Legged Partridge were also about. Raptors were represented by a couple of hunting Kestrels and 3 or 4 Common Buzzards, and waders by Lapwing, Ruff, a couple of Black Tailed Godwits and a single Redshank.

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A quiet but enjoyable day. Nothing out of the ordinary really, with all the usual suspects present. Didn't manage the roosting Tawny Owls but made up for it with great views of Water Rail and Marsh Harrier. Usual fantastic showing of wildfowl on the Mere and there were also plenty Ruff around. Quite a few Pink Feet present but in the fields and distant and difficult to count or check for anything rarer. Found out that the single Golden Plover I saw from the Ron Barker Hide was the first for the year for the site ....which was nice.

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Ian McKerchar wrote:

I think it's fair to say that the 'almost' caveat can be removed from the Bar-headed Goose escape likelihoodhmmsmile





Cheers Ian, a fine specimen nonetheless and a very interesting email regarding the plumage.

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I think it's fair to say that the 'almost' caveat can be removed from the Bar-headed Goose escape likelihoodhmmsmile

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JOHN TYMON wrote:

Rob Creek wrote:

A great day in the company of Steve Burke and Simon Gough.

50 species of bird seen, many in mass numbers, 1 Mammal, and some interesting sights throughout the day!

1 Bar-headed Goose - a Lifer for me, unringed, immaculate plumage, a lovely looking bird. This was literally a wild goose chase as we tried different hides to get a good view having spotted it distantly from previous hides, but as we got to the appropriate hide, it had flown back towards the hide we'd come from or disappeared into the channels. But we were rewarded with excellent fairly close up views eventually.





John Tymon Wrote

The Bar headed goose has been at the mere a while and is almost 100 % an escape we have had them many times at Pennington flash without rings, and probably no better than the ones in the collection at Martin mere although that bird is particularly immaculate and arrived with the greylag geese originally. There is a small breeding population in parts of the uk that originated from feral stock.

:)




-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Friday 2nd of January 2015 07:22:19 AM



Many thanks for that John, yeah I was aware it's almost without doubt an escape, being a high altitude Asian bird, and it's plumage was absolutely pristine, a lovely looking specimen.

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Rob Creek wrote:

A great day in the company of Steve Burke and Simon Gough.

50 species of bird seen, many in mass numbers, 1 Mammal, and some interesting sights throughout the day!

1 Bar-headed Goose - a Lifer for me, unringed, immaculate plumage, a lovely looking bird. This was literally a wild goose chase as we tried different hides to get a good view having spotted it distantly from previous hides, but as we got to the appropriate hide, it had flown back towards the hide we'd come from or disappeared into the channels. But we were rewarded with excellent fairly close up views eventually.





John Tymon Wrote

The Bar headed goose has been at the mere a while and is almost 100 % an escape we have had them many times at Pennington flash without rings, and probably no better than the ones in the collection at Martin mere although that bird is particularly immaculate and arrived with the greylag geese originally. There is a small breeding population in parts of the uk that originated from feral stock.

:)




-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Friday 2nd of January 2015 07:22:19 AM

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Rob Creek wrote:

A great day in the company of Steve Burke and Simon Gough.

50 species of bird seen, many in mass numbers, 1 Mammal, and some interesting sights throughout the day!

1 Bar-headed Goose - a Lifer for me, unringed, immaculate plumage, a lovely looking bird. This was literally a wild goose chase as we tried different hides to get a good view having spotted it distantly from previous hides, but as we got to the appropriate hide, it had flown back towards the hide we'd come from or disappeared into the channels. But we were rewarded with excellent fairly close up views eventually.

Whooper Swan - large numbers
Mute Swan - a few
Greylag Goose - lots
Pink-footed Goose - quite a few around, more arriving as we left
Pintail - large numbers
Wigeon - large numbers
Teal - large numbers
Mallard - large numbers including a white individual
Shelduck - big numbers
Pochard - quite a lot around
Tufted Duck - small groups at Harrier hide
Shoveler - small groups at UU hide
Gadwall - not many
Coot - lots
Moorhen
Cormorant
Ruff - in various plumages, seemed to be everywhere
Lapwing - well over 600
Oystercatcher - 1
Common Snipe - 1
TAWNY OWL - 1 near Kingfisher hide, this was brilliantly picked out Steve!
Sparrowhawk - 1
Common Buzzard - at least 5
Kestrel - at least 2
Tree Sparrow - a few around on feeders and in bushes
Chaffinch
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Great Black-backed Gull - 3 or 4 around plus 1 Juv
Lesser Black-backed Gull - not many
Black-headed Gull - big numbers
Redwing - small flock over main path
Song Thrush - 1 next to the Snipe
Blackbirds - quite a few around
Robin - many about
Goldcrest - up close in hedge near Swanlink hide
Wren - 1 seen, many heard
Starling - various sized flocks about
Great, Blue and Coal Tits about
Woodpigeon - lots
Stock Dove - approx 6
Feral Pigeon
Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and Magpie - lots around
Grey Heron - at least 5
Pheasant - 3 (2 up a tree)

Also Water Vole under feeders at Janet Kear hide - definite Vole, longish tail was noted, it was a very dark colour

Also noted today were 3 Whooper Swans of poor health. 1 was in a sitting position with wings flopped down and neck in a curved position but head slumped into the floor. Didn't move whilst we were in the hide.
Another 2 at Swanlink hide with badly damaged wings, you could see bone sticking out on part of the wing with obvious damage to the wing structure on 1 of the birds, the other bird not as bad.

Just found out Steve also had 50 species, but he had Long-tailed Tit (I heard them only) but he missed the Gadwall. Obviously Simon is at that figure too?

One other bird all 3 of us saw was what we thought at the time, a Marsh Harrier over near UU hide being harassed by a Crow but despite us all thinking it was one, it was just too far away for a truly positive ID and as a result we haven't counted it.
A top day!













nice write up rob, don't know how I missed the gadwall after spotting the tawny owl hmm
a good start to the year despite the weather, thanks again for the invite much appreciated smile

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saburke


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A great day in the company of Steve Burke and Simon Gough.

50 species of bird seen, many in mass numbers, 1 Mammal, and some interesting sights throughout the day!

1 Bar-headed Goose - a Lifer for me, unringed, immaculate plumage, a lovely looking bird. This was literally a wild goose chase as we tried different hides to get a good view having spotted it distantly from previous hides, but as we got to the appropriate hide, it had flown back towards the hide we'd come from or disappeared into the channels. But we were rewarded with excellent fairly close up views eventually.

Whooper Swan - large numbers
Mute Swan - a few
Greylag Goose - lots
Pink-footed Goose - quite a few around, more arriving as we left
Pintail - large numbers
Wigeon - large numbers
Teal - large numbers
Mallard - large numbers including a white individual
Shelduck - big numbers
Pochard - quite a lot around
Tufted Duck - small groups at Harrier hide
Shoveler - small groups at UU hide
Gadwall - not many
Coot - lots
Moorhen
Cormorant
Ruff - in various plumages, seemed to be everywhere
Lapwing - well over 600
Oystercatcher - 1
Common Snipe - 1
TAWNY OWL - 1 near Kingfisher hide, this was brilliantly picked out Steve!
Sparrowhawk - 1
Common Buzzard - at least 5
Kestrel - at least 2
Tree Sparrow - a few around on feeders and in bushes
Chaffinch
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Great Black-backed Gull - 3 or 4 around plus 1 Juv
Lesser Black-backed Gull - not many
Black-headed Gull - big numbers
Redwing - small flock over main path
Song Thrush - 1 next to the Snipe
Blackbirds - quite a few around
Robin - many about
Goldcrest - up close in hedge near Swanlink hide
Wren - 1 seen, many heard
Starling - various sized flocks about
Great, Blue and Coal Tits about
Woodpigeon - lots
Stock Dove - approx 6
Feral Pigeon
Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and Magpie - lots around
Grey Heron - at least 5
Pheasant - 3 (2 up a tree)

Also Water Vole under feeders at Janet Kear hide - definite Vole, longish tail was noted, it was a very dark colour

Also noted today were 3 Whooper Swans of poor health. 1 was in a sitting position with wings flopped down and neck in a curved position but head slumped into the floor. Didn't move whilst we were in the hide.
Another 2 at Swanlink hide with badly damaged wings, you could see bone sticking out on part of the wing with obvious damage to the wing structure on 1 of the birds, the other bird not as bad.

Just found out Steve also had 50 species, but he had Long-tailed Tit (I heard them only) but he missed the Gadwall. Obviously Simon is at that figure too?

One other bird all 3 of us saw was what we thought at the time, a Marsh Harrier over near UU hide being harassed by a Crow but despite us all thinking it was one, it was just too far away for a truly positive ID and as a result we haven't counted it.
A top day!











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Day out from 11:30 to 3:30. About 40 species seen of which the best were at least 8 Reed Buntings, 14 Ruff, a Pheasant, 60 Teal, 800 Mallards, 500 Shelduck, 70 Pintail, 15 Tufted Duck, 20 Wigeon, 10 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, 500 Whooper Swans, 150 Greylag Geese. Going through the captive duck enclosures I counted over 100 Moorhen and near that in Coots.

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9:30 - 4pm. Birds of note out of 48 species include; At least 50+ tree sparrows, 1 black tailed godwit, several ruff, 100's of lapwings (landing in front of the swanlink hide as well as an immature grey heron!), 2 great spotted woodpeckers, about a dozen reed buntings at the feeding station, 1 stock dove, 1 goldcrest, a few buzzards, a couple of fieldfare and redwings. Also now upto 1000 whooper swans with lots of common teal, pintail, wigeon, mallard and shelducks with smaller numbers of pochard, gadwall and tufted ducks. (Just thought I'd add to this sightings log that a stoat and a red fox was found too). All in all, a great day out...

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11.15-5.00:
Stunning male Marsh Harrier robbed prey off a Greater Black Backed Gull
Pair of Stonechat
Peregrine
Merlin
2 Sparrowhawk
2 Kestrel
5 Common Buzzard
30 Ruff
hybrid American Wigeon
Reed Bunting
100's of Whooper Swan, Pink Footed Geese,Teal,Wigeon Lapwing and Shelduck.
8 Pintail
50 Shoveler
Great Spotted Woodpecker
4 Tree Sparrow
2 Skylark
Stock Dove

Also Mike Dilger.

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9.30- 4.45pm. 60 species seen, but include birds seen on route from the train station.

on the way to martin mere, at least 12 corn bunting around the fields, lots of skylarks over & only 4 fieldfare, 1 redwing.

5-6 buzzards
1 sparrowhawk
2 kestrel
1 barn owl
2 peregrine falcon, inc 1 juvenile which caught a small bird in front of the harrier hide.
several pink footed geese around until dusk when they arrived in the thousands.
hundreds of whooper swans.
huge numbers of lapwings around.
25+ ruff
2 black tailed godwit
several snipe all around
lots of teal all over, no luck trying to find the green winged teal from Thursday.
wigeon, pintail, shoveler, shelduck & pochard
1 little grebe on the mere
2 kingfisher
1 stonechat
2 great spotted woodpecker
along the reed bed walk... 3 chiffchaff, 1 female bullfinch & lots of reed bunting & 1 stoat.

smile

-- Edited by steven burke on Saturday 15th of November 2014 09:43:45 PM

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saburke


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Date:

Cracking views of three Marsh Harriers (2 juvs and an adults male) from Ron Barker hide this afternoon in the sunshine. The Kingfisher also put in an appearance too.

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Adam Jones wrote:

A few hours from midday

c2000 Pink-footed Geese (I assume the majority were out and about feeding)





Or flying east - there have been a lot over this week

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Date:

A few hours from midday

Highlights included:
3 Marsh Harrier
1 Common Buzzard
1 Tree Sparrow
c300 Whooper Swans
c2000 Pink-footed Geese (I assume the majority were out and about feeding)
1 Snipe
4 Ruff
Lots of Pintail
Plus all the usuals

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A great few hours today:

20000 pink footed geese
60-70 whooper swans
50 greylag geese
2 raven
1 kingfisher
2 marsh harrier
1 peregrine
1 sparrow hawk
3 kestrel
2 buzzard
5 tree sparrow

1 stoat


Also a group of 6 red legged partridge on the side of the road leading up to the reserve
smile

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Thousands of Pink-footed Geese
Around 100 Greylag Geese
4 Whooper Swans (2 over-summered)
2 Mute Swans
Good numbers of Teal, Wigeon and Pintail

2 or 3 Ruff with the Lapwings

2 Marsh Harriers
3 Buzzards
1 Kestrel

1 Grey Wagtail


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late post for yesterday 27th.

spectacular sight of the many of thousands of pink footed goose on & off the reserve throughout the day, an estimated 20,000 +, within them I did manage to get a single barnacle goose & 3 partial leucistic pink footed goose, one of them looking pretty smart with a white band across its belly & up its sides smile
hundreds of greylag goose around also.
wigeon & pintail starting to build up
2-3 marsh harrier
1 peregrine falcon
5 buzzard
3 kestrel
1 raven
70-80 ruff
20+ snipe
1 kingfisher
11 swallow over south
3 jay
2 treecreeper
1 chiffchaff
1 goldcrest
lots of meadow pipit & skylark over the reserve & off the reserve
1 stonechat just of the reserve, in field opposite the reed bed walk.


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saburke


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A visit today from late morning to early afternoon. Birds seen include:

2 marsh harrier
1 kingfisher
3 yellow wagtails
10 ruff
10 Dunlin
2 little ringed plover
1 ringed plover
1 female blackcap
5 tree sparrow
30 teal
2 kestrel
3 buzzards
smile

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9.30 to 3pm yesterday. Very similar to Stephen's sightings, the highlight being the Wood Sandpiper which eventually showed from Ron Barker Hide having been shifted around by a flock of Lapwing. I can add:

2 juvenile Peregrine
1 Sparrowhawk
A larger flock of Ruff and Dunlin which came in around 2pm - estimate 20 Ruff and 5-10 Dunlin

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