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Post Info TOPIC: Heaton Park (NOT the reservoir)


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RE: Heaton Park


Hi Bill,
A 6-digit number could be either Lithuania (Kaunas) or Iceland (Reykjavik). This would fit with being ringed above the tarsus.
Steve

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29th October.

A morning visit found 2 drake Pochard and 2 redhead Goosander on the boating lake, along with c10 Tufted Duck.

Whilst I was stood alongside the lake watching families feed bread (in this instance bagels actually!) to the wildfowl and gulls I noticed that one of the Black-headed Gulls scrabbling about and squabbling for food had a metal ring above the right "kneecap". Despite the bird being only a few feet in front of me the number wasn't that easy to read through binoculars and after 15 or so minutes of squatting down and getting down on my hands and knees (the bagel throwers must have thought I was a madman! ) I was 99% certain that the number was 493809. However, when I got home and checked the 2010 county report I noticed that most Black-headed Gulls contained in the ringing report had 7 digit ring number, sometimes a combination of letters and numerals - so I hope I haven't missed anything out after all that effort! Anyway, I've registered the sighting via the appropriate channel and will post again if anything interesting is reported back. Unless any of the GM ringers can shed any light on this ring? Many thanks.

Cheers,

Bill.


-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Monday 29th of October 2012 12:54:33 PM

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Still a group of 8 Gooosanders on the lake.They are all brown headed presumably female or juveniles.

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2 Great crested Grebe, 4 Goosander, 2 Mute Swan, 14 Moorhen and 7 Tufted Duck on the boating lake

49 Mallard on the band stand pond

22 Greenfinch, 4 Goldfinch and a Siskin feeding in a tree near the small childrens play area.

Kestrel.

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nice evening in the park.Nothing too unusual but 8 female goosanders, 2 x great crested grebe and 1 x little grebe on the boating lake.

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Nice beautiful evening, plenty of blue sky and sunshine!

1 Jay
1 Nuthatch
several singing Goldcrest heard in conifers Sheepfoot Lane carpark entrance

Lake:

2 Mute Swan
4 Tufted Ducks
1 Grey Heron


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feeding on the grass near the water works
9 Mistle Thrush
91 Meadow Pipit
30 Pied wagtail

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Pleasant autumn conditions in Manchester's favourite park this AM.

Lake - 2 Mute Swan, 2 Great Crested Grebes
Woods - 1 Willow Warbler
Conifers over reservoir end - 2 Goldcrests



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Greylag x Canada Goose hybrids occur there and may fit your goose Ben. It's best to be sure first though before suggesting the rarer species so please feel free to contact me to discuss this bird.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Hi again Ben,
I just read your reply. I do find that apparent leg colour can seemingly vary according to light conditions; this can often be tricky for instance in assessing the leg tones of gulls as well as geese, when yellow can be hard to distinguish at distance in bright light from pink (or indeed orange) on occasion.
Having said this though, you do seem to have spent some time in critically assessing the leg tones of the bird in question. (I'm not aware that Greylag can show orange legs at any age/stage).

A confusion species (also with orange legs) for Bean Goose can be White-fronted Goose (Juvenile of Greenland race) which can also show variable black on the bill/ bill tip;- the problem at Heaton Park would be that this would also rank as an equally unlikely reportable rarity.
When faced with a tricky i/d problem, it is always a good starting point to focus on the likeliest explanation and try first to eliminate the common alternatives, then if you cannot resolve the identification to your satisfaction, my suggestion would be to seek help locally and/or submit photos to Ian McKerchar for assessment. (The local birders may indeed know of a feral bird hanging around at Heaton Park, but I have not seen any mention of it of this thread before and of course live far from there myself, having only visited this site about four times ever).

Good Luck with your puzzle,
Regards,
Mike P.

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Why not?



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Hi Mike,

I took some pictures of it and was comparing it with what I've seen elsewhere. I wouldn't say i'm experienced in Goose ID and its probably a cross of some sort. i go to heaton park often and i see them often enough. they have orange feet (so not greylag or pink foot), are about the same build as the greylag but have black markings on the end of their bill. could that just be a juvenile greylag?

Ben :)

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Hi Ben,

Can you please clarify concerning mention of a Bean Goose (a wild one?) as that would be an important record for any site in Greater Manchester, also certainly somewhat early at this particular time of year).

Regards,
Mike P.

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Why not?



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3 cormorants on the lake this morning.
numerous greylags as well as bean goose as well.
1 yellow wagtail on the farm wall.


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Some really good vis mig this morning around the park

1164 Swallow mainly after 9.30 S/SW
260 House Martin S/SW
437 Meadow Pipit SW
4 Skylark
46 Mallard south
109 Lapwing SW
33 Siskin s/se
50 Linnet sw
40 Goldfinch s
Redpoll se
Reed Bunting 4 sw
256 Pinkfeet se
9 Song Thrush sw


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Still around 2000 Swallow and 100 Sand Martin

Skylark flew se
8 Pinkfeet west 8.55

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Hirundines still in massive numbers, with still over 2000 birds,mostly swallows, but plenty house & sands martin too. I've not that many here before either.

Several flocks of siskin around park, perhaps 60 in total, plus three.male Mandarin on the bandstand pond.

I've now seen it on most of the ponds over the last year or so, with two on one occasion.

Quite a quiet WeBS, but swans have good number of young.

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Late post for Thursday 13 sept

16 Pinkfeet east @ 8.11
400+ Meadow pipit sw
Singles of Siskin and redpoll heard
2000+ swallow present

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Pm visit

Hirundine spectacular this eve I have never seen so many - reserved estimates at

1800+ Swallow
400+ House Martin
200+ Sand Martin

think they are roosting in corn fields north of the park

Bill, in relation to the Mandarin Sean Sweeney had 2 Males a few times last year or year before.

Si

-- Edited by Simon Johnson on Tuesday 11th of September 2012 08:51:52 PM

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10th September - pm.

On/around the boating lake - 1 Grey Wagtail, a drake Wigeon, a female type Shoveler and a Kingfisher. I was able to read the rings on the respective legs of the pair of Mute Swan today - the male had a metal ring on its left leg - ZY6042 - ringed as an adult here on 12/11/11. The female a blue darvic ring with white lettering VN4 on right leg - this was one of 2 cygnets ringed at Boarshaw Clough and Lodges on 10/10/10. Many thanks to Steve Christmas for the ringing info. Finally, the numbers of Embden Geese and feral Greylags and assorted in-betweenies appears to have increased substantially here this year.

The drake Mandarin was still on the woodland pond and there was also another Kingfisher (or more likely the same one from earlier?) seen here too. I spent a bit of time chatting to the workers at the nearby Heaton Park Farm, primarily to enquire as to the number of pairs of Swallows which may have bred there this year. I mentioned the relatively tame Mandarin on the pond and enquired if it might be an escape from their menagerie of animals and birds. They said not but mentioned that they did occasionally get people bringing in birds they wished to no longer keep (which they wouldn't take anyway) and wondered if someone might have left such a bird on the woodland pond as a way of getting rid of the bird? Just one possible suggestion for the presence of this bird here? Also in the farm buildings - an adult Feral Pigeon was regurgitating food down the throats of 2 fledged juveniles near the farm - what a lovely sight!

A flock of 200+ Starling were near the farm, a single airborne flock of 17 Mistle Thrush in the same area and a mixed flock of c20 finches - only Goldfinch and Greenfinch noted. Siskin(s) could be heard but not seen. A flock of 60+ hirundines feeding over the park appeared to be mostly House Martins.

Cheers,

Bill.




-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Tuesday 11th of September 2012 07:12:50 AM

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A Tree Pipit was in bushes in the North West corner of the park - flew around abit calling before going south

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2nd September - am.

A drake Mandarin was on the small woodland pond not too far from the park farm, the one which has the bandstand adjacent to it. I'd taken some bread to feed the ducks and it appeared out of nowhere and it scrapped with the Mallards and Moorhens for what it could get. I'm officially "The Worlds Worst Photographer" but it came that close that even I was able to get two half decent photos on my mobiles camera, so it made me ponder how "wild" this bird might actually be?

Also 3 Cormorant and 3 Teal on the Boating Lake. A small flock of c15 Siskin were in the trees near the lake. I've heard small numbers flying over in various parts of GM for a good few weeks now but this is the first flock I have come across "down" recently. c25 Starling, c70 Swallow and c10 House Martin were feeding and resting near the farm.

A display of vintage buses, cars and utility vehicles - the Trans Lancs Vehicle Rally - was on in the park. It was really interesting to talk to some of the people who had travelled good distances to look at these vehicles. Some of the old buses looked quite immaculate and were stunning and it made me feel quite nostalgic. It also made me realise that other people are as obsessive about their hobby as we birders are about ours!

Cheers,

Bill.


-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Sunday 2nd of September 2012 12:40:00 PM

-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Sunday 2nd of September 2012 12:40:53 PM

-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Sunday 2nd of September 2012 12:43:41 PM

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am and pm visits

16 Swift south this morning, also 300+ House Martin and 200+ Sand Martin - sky was full of them at the north end of the park.

Single Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear field by BT tower.

5 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap bushes near NW wall.

PM visit
700+ Swallow looked like went to roost in the corn field between park and Simister

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The most North west corner of Park bordering res

lots of birds in the bushes around here

Spotted Flycatcher
Whitethroat
3 Blackcap
20+ Willow Warbler
8+ Chiffchaff
20+ Long-tailed tit
3 Coal tit
6 Linnet
17 Goldfinch

Buzzard flew over

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North part of the park

Ad Hobby flew through south
2 juvenile Peregrine
Sparrowhawk
3 Swift

-- Edited by Simon Johnson on Sunday 19th of August 2012 07:33:19 PM

-- Edited by Simon Johnson on Sunday 19th of August 2012 08:06:49 PM

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7 Drake Greater Scaup showing well on res in bay near the School

Permit only site usual viewing from BT Tower in park or from pump house

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late post from yesterday 24th

Peregrine and Buzzard over childrens play area at about 5pm

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Hobby seen over from the park heading towards Simister

Good numbers of House martin and Swift around the colonys 100 Swift and 50+ House Martin.

Curlew SW


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16/07/2012 - 8.00-9.20pm at the res with Phil Owen:

24 Common Scoters - still present but sheltering over on the far side from the park throughout
c60 Tufted Ducks
1 Curlew
1 Herring Gull
7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c50 Black-headed Gulls - all the gulls left when it got darker, no roost apparent
1 Sand Martin
6 Common Swifts

-- Edited by Henry Cook on Monday 16th of July 2012 10:18:29 PM

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24 Common Scoter currently on res might be worth checking other waters

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1 Black necked Grebe - spent a long time tucked in the bay on the Bury side of the spit, but eventually headed out into the middle - to Manchester borough :)

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14/07/2012 - Quick scan of the res. with Phil Owen:

1 Black-necked Grebe - adult
2 Oystercatchers

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Currently on res
15 drake Common Scoter
3 Black necked Grebe

This is a permit only site but viewing can be made off the pumping station on Heywood Road from outside the perimeter fence

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Quick hour round the North bit of the Park before the crowds decend again for the Stone Roses concert

2 Little ringed plover flew se
7 Tufted duck flew south into park
Jay
Whitethroat singing
Blackcap singing

50+ House Martin with smaller numbers of Sand Martin and Swallow with the odd Swift.

110 Woodpigeons feeding in field by the school

2 Herring Gulls moved through with the Lesser black-backed gulls

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4 Tufted Ducks
1 Great Crested Grebe
Many Canada goslings

Chiffchaff and Blackcaps singing in different places

Today.

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Evening wander round the boating lake

155 Canada Geese (pair had small goslings)
2 Great crested grebe
3 pairs moorhen with young
2 well grown coot chicks
Mute swan
6 tufted duck

2 sand Martin, 10 house Martin & 10 Swift hawking insects over lake

2 chiffchaff and several Blackcap singing
2 nuthatch
Goldcrest singing near band stand pond
Several Mallards in unusual spots in large puddles including kids play ground

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It was like Blackpool beach here today, what with the fair on and stuff

The best of the birds was a Pied Wagtail feeding a juvenile in the paddock inside farm (containing a goat)
2 Tufted Ducks on the lake
Blackcaps ands Chifchaffs heard
Nuthatch seen
Loads of Jackdaws

plus the usuals

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Family party of 5 Treecreeper - adults feeding youngsters (up the hill from tram stop entrance)

.....................................................

Nice sighting that Simon ....... A lot would have missed a simple pleasure.

Roger.

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Family party of 5 Treecreeper - adults feeding youngsters (up the hill from tram stop entrance)

Great spotted Woodpecker
Sparrowhawk
Male Bullfinch
100+ Swift

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4 Yellow Wagtail - all female
9 Stock Dove
60 Magpie
80 House Martin

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Had a stroll round yesterday evening and then completed my BBS this morning. Saw my first local swift last night on the Bury Old Road side, plus a Garden Warbler in trees near the boating lake cafe about 7pm last night, a first for me in the park .

This morning I had a dozen Swallows, a treecreeper, GS Woodpeckers, Willow Warblers, Blackcap and Lapwing all holding territories along my transects, whilst a few Common Sandpiper flitted about near the top end. No sign of the usual wealth of Grey or Pied Wags though, not sure where they were hiding!?

Overall from the last few weeks walking about the park a number of species appear to be having bumper years, with at least 7 pairs of GS Woodpeckers, possibly up to 9 pairs of Nuthatch, 4 pairs of Treecreeper and more pairs of Chaffinch than usual. Greenfinch seem to have been hit a little, possibly due to the disease throughout this species in recent years, but Bullfinch are still hanging in their with at least one pair around.

Of the migrants, Blackcap are up from normal years, with at least 10 singing males around the park, with 4 Chiffchaff about average, but Willow Warbler are up on normal, unless they are just passing through, but at least 6 singing males have been in similar spots for the best part of two weeks now, so more than usual one or two birds!?

Look forward to a bit more sunshine to bring in some more migrants though, as no sign of Common Whitethroats yet, but until then there is always something of interest in the park .





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Mid Morning

7 Yellow Wagtail and 10 Wheatear were the highest counts ive had here for both species.

2 Arctic Tern NE
Linnet
White Wagtail
3 Stock Dove
30 Swift
Kestrel


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A leucistic House Martin tonight - all white body with black wings and tail

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2 visits this eve 4.15-5.45 and 7.30 -8.30

Best was an Adult Hobby which flew SE past the BT tower across the park

11 Dunlin (in breeding plumage) flew north
2 Shelduck flew off SW

Also present

Swift
10+ House Martin
250 Swallow
50 Sand Martin

but all had gone on 2nd visit

several Blackcap singing

Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and 50+ Starling feed on flooded bowling green

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5.45 -6.45

53 Arctic Tern in total all moved ENE by time I left
single Common Tern in amongst

also

Swift
6 House Martin
350 Swallow
200 Sand Martin

-- Edited by Simon Johnson on Wednesday 25th of April 2012 10:45:41 PM

-- Edited by Simon Johnson on Thursday 26th of April 2012 08:56:13 PM

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Arctic Tern through NE

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Swift
8 House Marin
2 Sparrowhawk

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Few hours round the north end of the park - 3-6pm

2 Swift - first of year
300 Swallow
200 Sand Martin
7 House Martin -

all the above passing through between showers

in the stubble field
48 Linnet - a noisey flock in surrounding trees
10 Lapwing
single oystercatcher
3 Stock Dove
60 Black-headed Gull
3 Common Gull

Peregrine, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk over

White Wagtail, 2 Blackcap and several Willow Warbler.

A female Goosander also made several attempts at landing on the BT tower - which was odd

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Took my school's Wildlife Explorers club to bandstand pond 29th, before our holidays. We saw treecreeper, nuthatch and GS woodpecker, but never seen LS woodpecker. Where can they be seen? Which horse paddock?

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Happily caught up with Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers today, two males and one female

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Some good passage north this morning

Rock Pipit NW calling
255 Meadow Pipit NW (biggest groups 30 and 40)
4 Pied Wagtails nw
45 Redwing north
Dunlin north
Cormorant west
7 Sand Martin north
6 Swallow north
2 Siskin nw

Several Nuthatch calling and 2 Stock Dove

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