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Post Info TOPIC: Higher End and Bispham Hall, near Billinge Hill


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RE: Higher End and Bispham Hall, near Billinge Hill


No further sign of the Bonelli's Warbler this morning.

Birds present though included Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and Wheatear.

Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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RE: Higher End and Bispham Hall


Originally posted today by John Watson:

Missed it, sadly. Last seen at 11:10 by Damian though several others looking for the rest of the day.

Also, 30+ swallows drifting South ahead of a shower

Also, others had seen Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchat; I think someone mentioned Spotted Flycatcher too.

The site somehow appeals as a mini migration hotspot, with a few isolated patches of deciduous woodland, willow, conifer, a pool a few hedges & relatively easy access; all at the top of a hill standing out from the mosslands to the NW, W and S. Given how busy Horwich moors can get, this site is surely underwatched.


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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Originally posted yesterday by Rob Creek:

Delivering in Southport today so when the text came through, it was an opportunity not to be missed to try for the Bonelli's Warbler, seeing as though it was actually on the way back to work in Reddish.

Late afternoon in none stop heavy drizzle...
Parked on Smethurst Road, walked 0.72 miles to the suggested location, a few other birders present but the bird hadn't been seen since earlier on, judging by the post below that was you showing me your photos Damian, nice to meet you, couldn't stop any longer had to get back to work.

Birds of note however...(in the Pine trees and surrounding area)
Goldcrest - 1, moving through the trees calling
Coal Tit - 1, also moving through
Blue Tit - 1, also moving through
Chiffchaff - 3, also in the same trees, 1 of which was a dull olive colour with a greyish hue to it just to confuse matters.
Grey Wagtail - sat on side of pool in middle of the copse then flew off calling

In the hedges surrounding the copse...
Robin - 1
Chiffchaff - 1, with another 1 calling in next patch of woods.
Also 2 Wheatear and numerous Meadow Pipit around the stone walls on way back down to the car near the cattle field.

If this hangs around then I may try again at weekend.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Originally posted yesterday by Craig Higson:

I went for this bird this afternoon, shortly after news was put out. Sadly I (along with everyone else there) failed to make contact. Speaking to a couple of St Helens birders the opinion was that it had probably left the pine copse and moved along the hedges into more suitable deciduous woodland. One hedge in particular seemed to be a favourite bet, as it had a number of birds in it, and this was leading away north, deeper into GM. Great find.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Originally posted yesterday by Damian Pendlebury; note the copse referred to is actually within Greater Manchester:

I found a Bonellis warbler sp. this morning on Billinge Hill on the
public footpath between Crank Road and Smethurst Road that leads to Mountains
Farm. It was in the pine copse that's on the right.

sd519021

Cheers,

Damian

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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A flock of 20+ Whooper Swan high west over Billinge Plants at 09:02 this morning. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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Min 500 Redwing this morning over the Smethurst Road-Mountains Farm area. Some flocks dropping in briefly before moving on. Various directions involved mostly S, though some SE and one flock N. (1500+ logged from Billinge Hill, per Chris Darbyshire)
Other birds in the Smethurst Rd area inc min 124 Skylark, which included a low-flying flock of approx 85 E, 2 Corn Bunting by Mountains Farm, 6 Tree Sparrow, 7 Goldcrest, 28 Robin and 14 Dunnock. Other birds moving S inc 14 Meadow Pipit, 3 Siskin, 4 Song Thrush and 13 Chaffinch

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juvenile Redstart this morning north of Smethurst Road, in hedgerow north of Bispham Brickworks lake (actually the Greater Manchester/West Lancs boundary)
256 Meadow Pipit S to SSW in 2 hours, just 2 Swallow S, 5 Chaffinch S
In the Smethurst Rd/Bispham Brickworks vicinity 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 19 Robin, min 7 Yellowhammer and 10 Chaffinch

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Yesterday morning, an Osprey flew SW over Billinge Plantations.

Info thanks to Peter Alker

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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A Wheatear this morning, just in St Helens, west of Billinge Plants, then flew (in to GM airspace!) over Bispham Hall. Pair of Ravens flew N. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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Redstart today, moved through gardens by Coppice Wood at the north end of Billinge Plants today. Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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New to forum. My house (upholland road) backs onto the fields in this area and we get lots of good sightings. 9am this morning (9th Dec) we had a Merlin sat on the shed.
Previous sittings of interest include grey partridge, fieldfare, sparrowhawk, tree sparrows, great spotted woodpecker, marsh or willow tits, willow warblers, various tits and finches - all in garden. Plus lapwings, buzzards, red legged partridge and yellowhammer in field.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 9th of December 2012 02:21:03 PM

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Sunday 21st: min 1 Crossbill NE 1402hrs and Merlin high W at 1625hrs, over Billinge Plants/Coppice Wood area, info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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a Pink-Footed Goose flock, 28 birds, was on a a stubble field off Smethurst Rd this morning
birds moving between S/SW: 241 Meadow Pipit, 44 Alba Wagtail, 19 Chaffinch, 14 Greenfinch, 13 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, 24 Jackdaw
9 Snipe circled above the farmland and moved off in to West Lancs
around Bispham Brickworks birds included 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest and 4 Yellowhammer

-- Edited by dave broome on Friday 5th of October 2012 09:09:03 PM

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Grasshopper Warbler today, flew out of vegetation at the side of the public footpath between Billinge Plants and Plane Tree Farm, which is the GM boundary - it flew a short distance in to the field on the GM side of the path! 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Swift south

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Hobby over N end of Billinge Plants this evening before flying south - info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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2 yellow wagtail (1m, 1f), 1 blackcap, 4 common whitethroat, 7 yellowhammer, 2 willow warbler all near to Mountains Farm this morning.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7856753@N02/7447632796/in/photostream

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A Red Kite flew low NE over the plantations at 11:05 this morning.

Info thanks to Chris Derbyshire (via Dave Broome)

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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1 Lapwing, 10 Yellowhammer, 200 Starling and c30 Fieldfare in stubble off Smethurst Road today; fem Peregrine just in West Lancs on the updraft west of Mountains Farm

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15 Crossbill WSW over N end of Billinge Plants 08:32 this morning
Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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14 Crossbills SW over the north end of Billinge Plantations at 08:42 this morning.

Info thanks to Chris Darbyshire

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238 Meadow Pipit S/SW this morning
also moving through were 21 Swallow, 6 House Martin, 10 Skylark, 3 Siskin, 7 Chaffinch and 4 Pied/White Wagtail

Blackbird, Blackcap and Wren mobbing a Tawny Owl in the copse at the Brickworks Pool mound

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140 Tree Sparrow feeding west of Brownlow Farm early a.m today
45 Meadow Pipit, 1 Siskin and 10 Chaffinch south/south-west in 1 hour

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111 Meadow Pipit S/SW in one hour this morning, 5 Siskin SW
Golden Plover circling fields north of the brickworks

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Along Smethurst Road and the area around the brickworks today - Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whitethroat, Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 9 Yellowhammer

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The infamous 'Billinge Rain' failed to produce hordes of grounded migrants today
1 Siskin was in the Pines west of Brownlow Farm
5 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler were around the Brickworks
1 Willow Tit at Tontine

one cow in a grazing herd had it's hind legs shackled together, never seen that before

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Early morning today: Wheatear by Mountains Farm, Willow Tit and 2 Goldcrest in Pines along footpath south of there on brow of hill
Early evening: 3 Wheatear on fence west of Brownlow Farm, 2 Spotted Flycatcher in Sycamore plantation and Pines south of Mountains Fm, approx 35 Tree Sparrow in hedge north of masts

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Tree Pipit at Smethurst Road, Higher End this morning. Flighty around the fields near brickworks pool.

Info thanks to Dave Broome

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Spotted Flycatcher this am along Smethurst Road, opposite the derelict brickworks.

Info thanks to Dave Broome

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3 Wheatear in field next to Plane Tree Farm, Crank Road early morning

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11 Lesser Redpoll feeding in Pines west of Brownlow Farm this morning

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This morning in the Brownlow Lane/Crank Road area: 3 Wheatear, 11 Fieldfare, 2 Swallow, 1 Siskin

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2 House Martins this morning near to Billinge Plants and Chiffchaff in Coppice Wood - info per Chris Darbyshire

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Chiffchaff in the clump of Willows by the Brickworks Pool this morning, silent at first, but feeding actively. After a bit of nosebag it tried a bit of song; also Goldcrest in the same Willows

A light Meadow Pipit passage, with 19 N/NE

Curlew went low SW

2 Oystercatcher

3 Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming in Bispham Woods

As usual lots of movement of large gulls - in two hours 1014 Lesser Black-Backed logged moving between SSE and SW, from both the directions of the Lancashire fells and the Ribble Marshes, with just 33 Herring Gulls. Later there were birds moving back northwards.

Buzzards in the area, also Bullfinch, Tree Sparrow, Linnet, Siskin and Yellowhammer

-- Edited by dave broome on Saturday 19th of March 2011 12:55:36 PM

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Curlew heard over this morning
singles of Teal and Tufted Duck on the Brickworks
Siskin north
16 Skylark and a Reed Bunting on stubble off Smethurst Road

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A Short-Eared Owl was being mobbed by Magpies and Crows low over Pimbo Bushes (just in to West Lancs) at 10:50 this morning. It then drifted in to GM airspace and spent a while hovering at height over the derelict brickworks, as a Magpie still harassed it. It finally drifted slowly over Smethurst Road and Bispham Wood, rising to a great height.

Also in the Smethurst Road area - Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 1 Grey Partridge, 1 Tree Sparrow, Willow Tit, 10+ Skylark and several Yellowhammer

A total of 300 Fieldfare moved SW in three flocks; others (or the same?) were generally drifting around the area and dropping in to hedgerows

only small numbers of Redwing about

Five Siskin flocks, totalling 88, flew NE confuse.gif

A total of 9 Greenfinch and a flock of 21 Jackdaws flew SW and 25 Starling west

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a single Crossbill flew west near the north end of Billinge Plants at 10:42 on Sunday morning

info per Chris Darbyshire

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About 90 minutes this morning, from Brownlow Farm, via Crank Road, to Mountains Farm and back was fairly quiet on the ground - 300+ Woodpigeon out of Bispham Wood, 1 Goldcrest, 18 Mistle Thrush on the masts, 1 Redwing and the highlight - 35+ Tree Sparrow in hedgerows along the public footpath west of Brownlow Farm

A light southerly passage consisted of 31 Meadow Pipits, 11 Skylarks, 3 Cormorant high up plus one high west and a small number of Chaffinch; a flock of 14 Greenfinch were in a Hawthorn at Mountains Farm before flying strongly south; a flock of approx 30 finches (about 50:50 Linnets and Goldfinch) were picked up flying south over Pimbo and eventually passed Mountains Farm, then a couple of minutes later another flock of approx 20 Linnets flew rapidly south. The Hilbre Bird Observatory website mentions a passage of Linnet yesterday.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker must have fancied a wander, as it arrived quite high up, flying south from the Pimbo/Ashurst Beacon direction, before dropping in to Bispham Wood

About 180 Canada Geeses came off fields near to the Brickworks, but no sign of Rob's Barnacle Goose. It must have returned to Caerlaverock wink.gif, or gone back to feeding on bread at Knowsley Safari Parksmile.gif

There was blatant cross-border acorn smuggling going on, as several Jays moved back and forth from Bispham Woods, down the slopes in to St Helens....

Returning past Brownlow Farm, the usual collection of Wood Duck were on the pond, along with Ringed Teal and a fine drake Cinnamon Teal. Then as I scanned through a Collared Dove flock, an unfamiliar call behind me turned out to be a outside aviary which I hadn't seen before, containing Waxbills...........



-- Edited by dave broome on Saturday 2nd of October 2010 04:02:28 PM

-- Edited by dave broome on Saturday 2nd of October 2010 04:07:44 PM

-- Edited by dave broome on Saturday 2nd of October 2010 04:10:40 PM

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Thursday 30 September 2010
late morning

1 Barnacle Goose on the brickworks pool
1 Blackcap near the brickworks
1 Chiffchaff at Mountains Farm
1 Tree Sparrow over
4 Yellowhammer
many Meadow Pipit over

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33 Meadow Pipit and 51 Swallow south in 1 hour early a.m.
also around Smethurst Road-Mountains Fm - 1 Wheatear, juv Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Siskin, 11 Yellowhammer

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Friday 17 September 2010

1 Blackcap and a very brief view of a phylloscopus warbler, looked like a Willow Warbler, with a tit-flock near the brickworks this evening.

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A quick walk today produced 1 Whitethroat (nr Mountains Farm), 1 Chiffchaff (Bispham Hall-Smethurst Road), 1 Corn Bunting (by Brickworks pool) and a small Chaffinch-Yellowhammer flock feeding on stubble

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Tree Pipit around mid-day, called overhead immediately north of the demolished brickworks off Smethurst Lane. 2 Pipits circled and landed together at the north end of a stubble field, but I couldn't relocate them.

Other birds seen included several Yellowhammers, 1 Tree Sparrow by the brickworks pool, 1 Blackcap, Jay, Kestrel and 2 Pheasant broods

-- Edited by dave broome on Saturday 28th of August 2010 01:44:47 PM

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4 Crossbill flew south over Brownlow Farm at 0955hrs today.

They were not much above the height of the tree canopy, but I don't know whether they came out of Bispham Hall Wood or were just passing through. They flew on past the masts at Crank Road and towards the south end of Billinge Plants, but again I don't know whether they just continued southwards.

Several Tree Sparrows were in and around Brownlow Lane and I managed to confirm breeding for the tetrad

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24/4/10 (06:00 - 08:00)

Sightings with Mr Thorpe:

4 Corn Buntings near Mountains Farm
3+ Yellowhammer
3 Lapwing
1 Kestrel
1 Fieldfare
10+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls (over)
1 Goldcrest (heard singing)

Found a great duck pond at Brownlow Farm, with such exotics as Wood Duck, Mandarin & Ringed Teal present...ashamed.gif

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Osprey today at 1700hrs, circling for 3 minutes, before heading NW

Info per C Darbyshire

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Monday 12 April 2010

Birding on the edge! (of Wigan) this evening:
2 Buzzard
1 Oystercatcher in field between Brickworks & Mountains Farm
1 Lapwing over
loads of Lesser Black-backed Gulls heading NW
loads of Woodpigeon in to Bispam Wood
1 Pied Wagtail along stone wall near Mountains Farm
1 Goldcrest in conifer plantation
1 Willow Warbler at Brickworks


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a small movement of Meadow Pipits this morning, 12 counted flying north in 2 hours, also a flock of 11 feeding around the brickworks pool car park

most activity centred on a bare field, ploughed some weeks ago, between the brickworks and Mountains Farm, which held Wheatear, 38 Yellowhammer, 15 Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, 64 Carrion Crow, 2 Stock Dove and a Pheasant

also seen were several Buzzard, 2 Linnet and a Peregrine which flew west and stooped in to West Lancs

-- Edited by dave broome on Saturday 27th of March 2010 12:51:26 PM

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10 Yellowhammers by horse paddocks on Smethurst Road today

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4/11/09 Midday

1 Peregrine over the brickworks pool heading NE
18+ Skylark
1 Little Grebe on the pool.

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