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Post Info TOPIC: Heaton Park (NOT the reservoir)


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RE: Heaton Park


Well It was a no show for the Harris Hawk but never mind. :0(

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Thanx Ivan

There sure is a massive amount of rats around there it's unbelievable there so cheeky too.

I'm going to leave soon so hoping for a sighting and maybe even a photo or two. :0) fingers crossed.

Will let you no how I get on.

CC

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Not sure Colette as I have not been in for a few days. The bandstand area is/was the place to see it. It seems to ignore the squirells but feeds on the numerous rats in the area. I can't see any reason for it to leave as long as there is a food supply for it. If it has fed it will sit in a tree for hours and doesn't move much whilst digesting. Good luck.

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Does anyone no if the Harris hawk is still on the loose around heaton park. ? If so what area has he been seen.? I've heard around bandstand (where squirrels are pretty tame).?

Thanx in advance was thinking of going Tom (sunday) :0)

Cc

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6 male Pochard on boating lake
20 tufted duck
4 Mute Swan (2 ad 2 imm)
2 teal in swampy area
3 Nuthatch in swampy area trees
2 Jay
17 Greenfinch

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9.30a.m. to 11.50a.m.

Teal 7 (in swampy area behind boathouse cafe)
Tufted Duck 16
Goosander 2 (flying over in direction of reservoir)
Common Gull 3
Moorhen 6
Woodpigeon 15
Magpie 30+
Jay 3
Carrion Crow 20+
Blue Tit 10
Great Tit 4
Long-tailed Tit 13
Waxwing (one flew over calling and heading South)
Nuthatch 3 (2 more heard)
Wren 1
Starling 6
Blackbird 2
Redwing 3 (near Papal monument)
Robin 4
Pied Wagtail 9 (in Horse paddock)
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 8
plus lots of Black-headed Gulls, Canada Geese, Mallards and Coots.

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A. Flavell


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Afternoon walk

3 Drake Pochard on boating lake (5 here on 30th) tend to hide behind the islands
9 Moorhen on boating lake
8 Rook highland cow field
3 Jay in woods
41 Mallard bandstand pond
Treecreeper near tram stop entrance
Nuthatch
Great-spotted Woodpecker
10 Coal Tit
3 Goldcrest
3 Stock Dove (north end if park)
Buzzard (north end of park)

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Fri 28-Dec-12: (14:15 - 15:30). Cool and damp, with a bit of light rain towards the end of my visit.

Walked from the gate opposite Sainsburys to the boating lake and back. Very quiet as far as small birds were concerned.

- flock of Long-tailed Tits
- c4 Blackbird
- Great Spotted Woodpecker (heard)
- a single Redwing

on the lake
- 2 male Pochard
- 5 Goosander (3 males, 2 females)
- c50 Canada Goose
- 8 Greylag Goose
- 22 Tufted Duck
Plus small numbers of Coot and Moorhen and a motley assortment od Domestic Geese

At several points during my visit, the sky was filled with Gulls of various species though it was difficult in the light to make out more than that the vast majority were Black-headed. Then as dusk approached and the Crows and Jackdaws tried to assemble to roost, they too were put up by something unseen. There must have been 500+ Gulls and 200+ mixed Crows and Jackdaws in the air on these occasions.

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Marvin Lewis wrote:

Amongst the usual Gulls and Wildfowl on the lake,4 Goosander, 5 Drake Pochard and 2 Cormorant.
Flock of 10 Redwings amongsrt small group of Mistle Thrush and Goldfinch,on trees along path to Heaton Park Tram station.
Usual Nuthatches and Jays amongst the other common passerines.
Not seen the Harris Hawk escape on my last couple of visits,and I wonder if it has been reclaimed by the owner,[or it might have just not been around at the time of my visit.]





On a pathway down to The Dell, on Boxing Day, my wife & I saw enough pigeon feathers within an approximate 2m x 1m area to suggest that the Harris Hawk had quite a tasty Christmas dinner not too much earlier.

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Amongst the usual Gulls and Wildfowl on the lake,4 Goosander, 5 Drake Pochard and 2 Cormorant.
Flock of 10 Redwings amongsrt small group of Mistle Thrush and Goldfinch,on trees along path to Heaton Park Tram station.
Usual Nuthatches and Jays amongst the other common passerines.
Not seen the Harris Hawk escape on my last couple of visits,and I wonder if it has been reclaimed by the owner,[or it might have just not been around at the time of my visit.]


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Most of the ice over the lake has melted.I counted 14 Goosanders and 1 female Goldeneye amongst the Mallard,Tufted ducks and other regulars.
The Harris Hawk escapee in the Dell has become a local celebrity and had just caught a rat when I saw it this morning.

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1.00pm to 2.45pm
A quick walk round a waterlogged park.

In the woods and gardens:
Jay 4
Nuthatch 2
Long-tailed Tits 5

Round the Boating Lake:
Goosander 11 (group of males and females)
Pochard 2
Cormorant 1
Common Gull 2
plus lots of more common waterfowl and feral pigeons.

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A. Flavell


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Goosanders showing particularly well at present,as the lake is partially frozen!
Nice group of Siskins amongst the Goldfinches and other finches/tits,in the trees adjoining the Lake car park.

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Yeah, I had a great morning out with Alan Flavell at Heaton Park - highlights were the four or five Jays feeding in the woods with views down to 3 metres and the escaped Harris Hawk sitting on a dead rat (or squirrel) in a tree near the Dell. Also distant views of the Goosanders on the main boating lake. I'll be back for more of this!

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11.30a.m. near the Dell with Martyn Jones.

Escaped Harris Hawk seen eating a Rat.

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A. Flavell


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The Goosander count on the lake is increasing.I counted 19 this morning.
Also seen were several Grey Herons and Cormorants ,a Drake Pochard and a Grey Wagtail,[along wiith the regular inhabitants]

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A stroll this morning in cold windy and showery conditions.Aside from the regular birds,highlights were:
Goosander x 13 including 3 Drakes in adult plumage
Drake Pochard x 2
A flock of Siskins high up amongst the birches at the far end of the lake,near to the car park.[Hard to count exact numbers;?15-20]
I also noticed a small group of immature larger Gulls amongst the usual Black-headeds and Commons,on the Papal monument field.I decided that they were most likely to be 1st.winter Herring Gulls,rather than Lesser Black=backed,but am not adept at Gull identification,and would welcome anyone else's views.I haven't noticed these Gulls there before.

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Thanks for that Jason. I'll be heading over there one day next week!

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Best place at Moore Vicky is the small group of trees right next to the car park, that's the lesser by the way.
cheers Jay

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Okay Moore nature reserve and Dunham Massey are my next port of call! I WILL find one!

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Having birded meticulously (why I'm not so sure, we reach for the nearest thing sometimes, I guess) I would say Heaton Park as being a difficult site to see Green and Lesser-Spotted Woodpeckers. The Lessers were around in Springtime and were still elusive, and I only recall Green once or twice them being reported via the Heaton Park thread - I know I'm echoing what Bill said here to an extent.

All add conclusively, but in order to assist I'd say that there's only a small chance of finding this Green here. I'd say Green is a difficult bird to see in Heaton Park given I've never seen or heard one even though I've been in there at every time of the year once, twice or thrice a month. Of course nothing is impossible and you really never know, but it isn't a stronghold or a place where they're regularly recently seen.

The best place in the county is Dunham Massey Park or Green Woodpeckers, although I'm not sure at this time of the year and I have had no hide nor hair on two or three previous recent visits - out of county, Moore nature reserve in Warrington is even easier - Phoenix Hide at Warrington end the views I had of this species were ridiculously good, and they didn't even have to yaffle they were just flaunting.

Cheers





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Yes I did go look down there with no luck. That was where I heard the bird sounding like a 'squeeky toy' (I'm not sure enough to say what it could have been. I'm going to download a bird app when I get my new phone which might help with identification. I've spent all day searching every corner of the park from dawn till dusk. A few locals have said they see them regularly at Blakeley Park so I'm going to have a look there. I'll be back checking Heaton Park too!

Thanks

Vicky

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Vicky,

I live quite close to Heaton Park. Although I have never seen one there myself, I was told by one local that the best place to see a green woodpecker is from the pathway at the back of the boating lake, i.e. opposite side to the cafe. Is this where you were looking?

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I searched every corner of the park today with the hope of seeing Green/Lesser Spotted Woodpecker with no luck. I heard a bird calling from high up in the canopy which sounded like a 'squeeky toy'. No sign of anything significant though. Locals told me the best place to see Green Woodpecker so I'll try again this week

Birds seen:

8 Redwing
Numerous Blackbird
8 Thrush (not sure which though)
12 Goldfinch
High in the trees birds with tails about the same length of a long-tailed tit, finch appearance. Couldn't see them clearly enough through my bins.
3 Goldcrest
The usual Tit flocks
1 Nuthatch
3 Treecreeper chasing each other around the tree trunk
Numerous Jay
Usual tit flocks
5 Goosander
Tufted ducks

At one point I felt like the Pied Piper with my bag full of peanuts. I turned around and was being followed by numerous squirrels, magpie and Jay. I was joined by a peacock which finished all the nuts off!




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Hello
Are Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers still being seen? Could anyone give me a more accurate location, there's lits of paddock and lots of trees. Would be a lifetime first to see one I'm just not sure I'm looking in the right places. Would be so grateful if someone could advise. Please.

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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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Hi Steve,

Many thanks for coming back with that very interesting information. It's appreciated. I've reported the bird and its ring details today via the BTO/Euring website and await further details on its ringing origins, which I'll post on this thread on receipt.

Best wishes,

Bill.

-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Monday 29th of October 2012 04:17:18 PM

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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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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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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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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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