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Post Info TOPIC: Mere Sands Wood LNR


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RE: Mere Sands Wood LNR


Morning walk in cool and largely overcast conditions. Chiffchaffs singing throughout the reserve and great spotted woodpecker drumming. Male goldeneye on Mere End Lake. 2 x little egret in the ploughed fields north of the reserve along with large numbers of shelduck.



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Morning walk in bright but cold conditions. Signs of spring though as besides the snowdrops much bird activity - singing dunnocks, nuthatch, blue and great tits, chaffinches and a pair of bullfinch. Also two separate great spotted woodpeckers drumming.

A pair of oystercatcher in fields on the edge of the wood, also 6 fieldfare. A further pair of oystercatcher on the main mere along with 6 pairs of shelduck, 4 x goosander, 8 x cormorant, good numbers of shoveler, tufted duck and mallard and smaller numbers of teal.

2 x buzzard.



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Visit in bright but bitter conditions this morning. Highlights :-

4 x little egret on the main mere, also here 4x goosander and 10 x cormorant. Large numbers of shoveler, the huge teal flocks of early winter seem to have thinned out noticeably.

2 x bullfinch on the visitor centre feeders, also much nuthatch activity in the trees around the car park.



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Thought I'd make an effort to see what's about. 44 species including a little egret in a field, 2 goldeneye, 1 wigeon (f), shoveler, 12 goosanders, fieldfare, redwing, mistle & song thrush, treecreeper, great spotted woodpecker (m), grey wagtail, and a few red legged partridge. I nipped to southport after only to see if the twite was still there and they are. Didn't feel bright eyed to pursue the reported ring billed gull etc. It was a good enough day for me though! Ta!

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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09.45-13.30

Main Mere : 2m Goosanders, 1 Kingfisher, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Great Crested Grebes+ lots of Teal and Shoveler.

Woodland : 1 Treecreeper, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Kestrel

Mere End Pool : 2 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall + lots of Teal, Shoveler, Mallard and Tufted Ducks.

No sign of any Pochard or Little Grebes throughout, but masses of Teal, with one local birder advising that he had not seen so many here for years.

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John Williams


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Late morning / lunchtime walk in cold and at times showery conditions. Sightings included :-

8 x goosander (5 x male) on the main mere along with substantial numbers of teal, smaller quantities of shoveler, tufted duck, mallard, 2x pochard. Also grey heron, 2 x cormorant and 3x Canada goose. Kingfisher flying across front of Redwing Hide.

Pheasant, 1x nuthatch, great tit and coal tit on the feeding station at the visitor centre. 2x nuthatch, 3x robin, coal tit, blue tit, great tit, chaffinch, house sparrow and dunnock on the woodland feeding station.

Great spotted woodpecker calling in the woods.



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Afternoon visit just before the rain set in. Teams of volunteers putting in some hard work with Ian in sprucing up the meadow and woods. Sightings included :-

Sparrowhawk whipping through the feeding station putting the robins, blue, great and coal tits to flight.

Three lesser black-backed gulls amongst the black-headed gulls gathering on the mere.



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Morning visit in dare-I-say-it almost autumnal conditions today 7-11am. Overnight mothtrapping had produced 17 species plus a toad, evidence of how damp things had been!

Bird highlights :-

Blackcap, chiffchaff, family groups of blue, long-tailed and great tit, coal tit on the feeding station along with robin family. 4x great spotted woodpecker, jays.

Pair of red-legged partridge and another pair with eight well-grown young on the surrounding farmland.

Shelduck, gadwall, teal and tufted duck on the mere, also well-grown young common tern testing out its wings on the raft, a lesser black-backed gull in occupation of the other raft.



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Our first visit ever to this site .From 1pm to 4 pm .Very impressed
Mainly common birds seen , but plenty of them .Birds seen as follows .
Mallard 10
Wood Pigeon 6
Coot 5
Common Buzzard 1
Carrion Crow 7
House Martin 3
Magpie 4
Robin 8
Blackbird 7
Garden Warbler 1
Great Crested Grebe 4
Shelduck 10
Canada Goose 6
Blue Tit 3
Treecreeper 5
Chaffinch 3
Nuthatch 1
Long Tailed Tit 3
Common Tern 2
Moorhen 2
Black Headed Gull 2
Swallow 4



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b. hooley


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Crack-of-dawn walk round one of my favourite places. Not as much of note as recent weeks however highlights were :-

Tawny owl in the trees at the Rufford Hide. 2 x great crested grebe, 1 x shoveler and the usual mallard, shelduck and Canada goose mix on the water. 3 x common terns now on the floating platforms best viewed from Ainscough's.

Plenty of birdsong of course, great spotted woodpecker, chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap, reed warbler and whitethroat all in good voice.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 24th of May 2017 02:15:30 PM

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First visit here today, very windy, but a nice place. Bittern was last seen on Wednesday, apparently, so no joy there, but still lots to see. Highlights:

Goldcrest, wren nest building, several singing chiffchaff, coal tit, treecreeper, siskin, goldfinch, bullfinch, redwing, song thrush, mistle thrush, jay.
1 great spotted woodpecker
2 kingfisher
2 stock dove
3 red-legged partridge
Moorhen and coot displaying and mating.
c35 teal
11+ gadwall
49+ shoveler
c30 tufted duck
6 pochard
4 goldeneye
1 goosander
2 shelduck (four others over)
2 mute swan displaying
5 little grebe, a couple displaying.
6 great crested grebe, two in the early stages of nest building.
1 or 2 grey heron
29 cormorant (including one dead in a tree)
1 sparrowhawk (a fabulous male)
2 buzzard





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Not been here for a good number of years.... until now. Weather was dull and bitterly cold sat in the hides. I'm surprised I managed to reach 48 species today with 2 others heard but not seen (which were treecreeper and redpoll). Top highlight was a bittern from the Rufford hide. I was the only one to see it in the morning and several enjoyed it with me again after my walk-about. The 2nd viewing he was fluffed up in an aggressive posture and kept jumping on the spot and what I can only describe as dancing. This behaviour surprised us all in the hide as it wasn't expected (he stayed within the reeds at all times though). Other highlights were little egret, female goosander close, siskin, fieldfares, 2 shellducks, kestrel (f), kingfisher and red legged partridge. Now for home to have a much needed hot cup of tea!!

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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16.00-17.30

Canada Geese massed on the main pool. Also 5 Lapwings, 3 Little Grebes and 1 Grey Heron. In front of the Rufford Hide 2 Teal appeared cosy in front the sluice, where feathers, (Mainly Canada Geese),

about an inch deep floated on water surface. The ducks appeared to be floating on a duvet, it would of made a great photo.

A Coal Tit and a Nuthatch were on the feeders. Mere End pool held 1 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Pochards.

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John Williams


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Saturday 27th June 2015. Circuit of Mere Sands Wood after visiting Rufford Old Hall and Gardens

Sedge Warbler x 2 (next to Leeds Liverpool Canal behind Rufford Old Hall)
Common Tern, Swallows and Goldfinch (above Leeds Liverpool Canal in same spot)

Mere Sands Wood:

Adult Common Terns with at least five chicks (on two rafts)
Bullfinch (1 Female)
Chiffchaff
Kestrel being chased off by two Lapwings
Shelduck
Oystercatcher
Widgeon x 3
Sedge Warbler (heard)
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Moorhen
Coot and chicks
Canada Geese and chicks
Mallards
Grey Heron
Jackdaws
Carrion Crow
Robin
Coal Tit
Dunnock
Nuthatch
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Tufted Duck
Blackbirds
Black Headed Gulls

On way home on M62 near Birchwood - Buzzard overhead

Butterflies:
Speckled Wood x lots
Small Tortoisehell

Damselflies:
Four-spotted Chaser
Blue-Tailed Damselfly



-- Edited by Steve Judge on Saturday 27th of June 2015 11:01:09 PM

-- Edited by Steve Judge on Saturday 27th of June 2015 11:04:24 PM

-- Edited by Steve Judge on Saturday 27th of June 2015 11:13:31 PM

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Great morning yesterday in amongst the showers, with the highlight the ringing demonstration by the SW Lancs Ringers.

Birds around the reserve included
7 Sand Martin
6 Chiffchaff
Sparrowhawk
Kingfisher
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Goldcrest
Treecreeper
Nuthatch
Water Rail
most of the duck species present along with the commoner woodland birds

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Great view of 1 Water Rail next to the centre.
Goldeneye 1m 1f.
Goosander 2f.
Teal
Pochard
Tufted Duck
Gadwall
Shelduck
Mallard
Cormorant
Tree Sparrows 5
Bullfinch 1m 1f.
Song Thrush 1 on bird table.
Coal Tit 1
etc.etc.

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Phil Greenwood


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Great day here today from 11:30am - 3pm

Went round all of the hides (I never knew there were that many)

35 Species seen, the best of which were:

1 Goldcrest
3 Goldfinch
1 Tree Sparrow
1 Song Thrush
3 Buzzards
1 Shelduck
1 Cormorant
2 Little Egrets
23 Teal
15 Tufted Ducks
4 Shoveler
2 Goosander (both female)
8 Gadwall
3 Great-Crested Grebes
2 Grey Herons

Also, 2 Whooper swans in a vegetable field just outside the reserve.

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Kristian Wade


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Another part of today's bird race.
Plenty of good woodland birds, highlights being
5 Goosander ( 2m 3f)
Great views of Water Rail under the feeder on the way into the visitors centre
Pochard
Bullfinch
Goldfinch
Great Spotted Woodpecker

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First visit in well over a year yesterday, Highlights being a treecreeper, good numbers of long tailed tit, 2 great crested grebes, a little grebe and good numbers of jay all over the reserve, particularly at the rufford hide where the jays harassed a roosting tawny owl into a brief flight across the water. smile

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/86466226@N07/


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Had a 15 minute check of the reserve. Sightings included:


Kestrel
Pochard (1m)
Comorant-4
Jay-4
Tufted duck-30
little grebe



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38 species:- Robin; Jackdaw; Wood Pigeon; Pheasant; Bullfinch; Shelduck; Mallard; Teal; Moorhen; Little Grebe; Blue Tit; Reed Bunting; Dunnock; Chaffinch; Collared Dove; Great Tit; Goldfinch; Blackbird; Black Headed Gull; Magpie; Coot; Great Crested Grebe; Gadwall; Long Tailed Tit; Buzzard; Stock Dove; Pink Footed Goose; Canada Goose; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Moorhen; Oystercatcher; Shoveler; Cormorant; Carrion Crow; Nuthatch; Goosander + Great Spotted Woodpecker and Greenfinch on call.

Fungalpunk Dave - www.fungalpunknature.co.uk

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Fungalpunk/OMD - www.fungalpunknature.co.uk


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14.00-16.00

With a strong Southerly wind blowing clouds of fine soil from the mosses across the reserve the walk around the mere was difficult.

A beige cloud ripped through the reserve, and everyone I spoke to had sore eyes, thankfully the Rhododendron thickets gave some shelter, I never thought I'd be glad to see the stuff.

Despite the tumbleweed, masses of Swallows and Sand Martins were swooping across the mere, and with them 3 House Martins.

Also on the main mere were a pair of Great Crested Grebes, 4 Little Grebes, 12 Shoveler, a pair of Herring Gulls and an adult Great Black Back Gull, plus Teal, Feral Geese etc,.

By the Rufford hide 3 Willow Warblers and a Goldcrest were flitting through the low branches.

In front of the Cyril Gibbons hide amorous Common Toads were spawning in profusion, anyone with a camera could of got some stunning shots.



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John Williams


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Great close-up views to be had of cormorants, herons, GC grebes, Goldeneye and female red-breasted mergansers around the lakes at the moment. GS woodpeckers, nuthatches and treecreepers in the woods. Reed Buntings, Bullfinches, various tits an and a water rail around the feeders at the back of the visitors centre.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/76345032@N04/



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 19th of March 2013 07:52:12 PM

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re:


Water rail giving prolonged views again today at the hide behind the visitors center

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


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RE: Mere Sands Wood LNR


Mere sands today was all the usual, water rail showing well again, plus c12 fieldfare behing rufford hide

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A rather grey day at MSW but at last I got a good view and photos of a Water Rail. Here's today's list:

Water Rail - superb views for photographs from Lancaster Hide
Brambling - only a brief glimpse at the visitor centre
Reed Bunting - great to see lots of them in the reed beds
Jay
Nuthatch
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Chaffinch
Bullfinch
Greenfinch
Tree Sparrow
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Dunnock
Robin - loads of them being very aggressive with each other
Starling
Woodpigeon - a good few thousand in a single flock
Blackbird
Magpie
Carrion Crow
Teal - a good few hundred on the frozen water - never seen so many
Goosander - five or six males circling the water, landing and taking off again
Cormorant
Great Crested Grebe
Mallard
Coot
Moorhen
Pheasant
Kestrel - over nearby field
3 rats
1 rabbit
1 grey squirrel

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Cracking afternoon at MSW today - full-on views of the Water Rail from Lancaster hide and massive photo-ops.

Wanted to see one properly for such a long time - apart from a brief glimpse at Leighton Moss, nil till today. Well chuffed!

Otherwise not so much on view, but a glorious late Autumn day.



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Paul


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What birds are you likely to get at the feeder?
Also, are the birds close enough (e.g. tree sparrows) for a 150mm - or will I need a 300mm?

Thanks in advance,
Adam (aged 13)

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Have to work on my ironic comment icon or remember question mark

-- Edited by Frank Whitney on Sunday 29th of April 2012 12:19:42 AM

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Frank


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08.45-11.00

5 Swallows and a single Sand Martin over main mere.

3prs GC Grebe, 1pr + 1 L.grebe ( both sp. feasting on sticklebacks)

1pr Oystercatcher, 4 Lapwing, 1pr Teal, 3 broods Mallard.

Lots of Canada Geese & 6 Greylags.

Steady passage of LBB Gulls northward.

Feeding Station

6 Tree Sparrow & Moorhen with 4 tiny young.

Only squirrels were Greys

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John Williams


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Frank Whitney wrote:

Not a fan of Mere Sands Wood

Frank

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sleipnerofasgard/


Yep, know what you mean Frank, as I said I'm not a big fan either

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Not a fan of Mere Sands Wood

Frank

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sleipnerofasgard/

-- Edited by Frank Whitney on Wednesday 7th of March 2012 08:42:49 PM

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Frank


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Like Sid got good views of the Water Rail and one of the Bitterns.
Also 30+ Tree Sparrows round the feeders near Lancaster Hide,
Nuthatches on the feeding table near Redwing Hide Plus 9 Goosander on main lake.

The cold didn't seem to have detered the birds but had put off the Photographers - most hides empty and only 3 people in Rufford Hide so managed to get immediate views of the Bittern.

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Never been a big fan of Mere Sands Wood but, like other forum members, had really good views this afternoon of two of the Bitterns and a Water Rail as well as a perched female Sparrowhawk.

Plenty of Reed Buntings, House and Tree Sparrows around the reception area feeding station.



-- Edited by sid ashton on Thursday 8th of March 2012 03:57:28 PM

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Return visit today 11:00-14:00...
Beautiful sunny day,a bit on the chilly side though.
Water rails still showing unbelievably well,regularly coming to seed tray in front of Lancaster hide.
Bitterns also showing really well from the Rufford hide,very busy though,full of mostly polite and considerate photographers
Good numbers of shelduck,shovellers,gadwall etc.
At least two pairs of displaying great crested grebe,plus little grebes.
Plenty of reed bunting,bullfinch and tree sparrows at feeding station.
Large numbers( 150+) of pied wagtails,feeding on adjacent fields.

Cheers Chris

-- Edited by Chris Greene on Monday 5th of March 2012 06:44:50 PM

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Eric Finch wrote:

Visited the reserve for the first time in quite a while - enjoyed the walk around and anticipation of possibly seeing a bittern and maybe even photographing one. The excitement of seeing one out in the open, within seconds of entering the hide was soon diminished by the realisation that I could not get anywhere near a position to photograph it, as that section of the hide was already "busy" with some other guys with serious camera kit.

Fair enough, I thought to myself, and opted to wait close to an hour, in the hope space may present itself. For most of this time, one of the photographers seemed intent on keeping his back to the bird, which had continued to move further away from the hide over the period I was there. I wasn't alone in waiting, but maybe less patient than others - how long should you have ot wait?!

Came away chuffed at good views, but no real decent opportunity to rest my lens up and snap a few clean, albeit distant shots.




Its a shame that and has a photographer,i would not have left anyone waiting for an hour,everyone should be a bit more thoughtfull and work out how long is fair,in the situation at mere sands id say they should rotate every 30 mins at least to allow others,but as we all know some will not give up thier place as a better picture is more important to them than being bothered about others,its a selfish thing to do,it is becoming an issue when stuff like these bitterns pop up close to hides. Its shamefull really,better luck if you go again

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Tuesday 28th of February 2012 08:50:43 PM

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Visited the reserve for the first time in quite a while - enjoyed the walk around and anticipation of possibly seeing a bittern and maybe even photographing one. The excitement of seeing one out in the open, within seconds of entering the hide was soon diminished by the realisation that I could not get anywhere near a position to photograph it, as that section of the hide was already "busy" with some other guys with serious camera kit.

Fair enough, I thought to myself, and opted to wait close to an hour, in the hope space may present itself. For most of this time, one of the photographers seemed intent on keeping his back to the bird, which had continued to move further away from the hide over the period I was there. I wasn't alone in waiting, but maybe less patient than others - how long should you have ot wait?!

Came away chuffed at good views, but no real decent opportunity to rest my lens up and snap a few clean, albeit distant shots.

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Flying visit this afternoon,
Best views ever of water rails,regularly coming to the seed tray,directly in front of the hide near the visitor centre...
Didn't have time to look for the bitterns,but was informed that there are probably three birds present.
Also, plenty of shelduck,G.C.grebes displaying,and usual waterfowl.

Cheers Chris

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Two Bitterns showing ridiculously well from two sides of Rufford hide giving a all a proper show this morning. Also 10 Goosanders, Jay on front of the hide and 2 Herons being severely mobbed by BH Gulls.

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Bittern showing well for most of the afternoon, Great Crested Grebes displaying,Little Grebe plenty of Goosanders one Snipe ,Jay ,Grey Heron, Wigeon ,Teal, Shoveler , Shelduck , Goldeneye plus all the usual common woodland birds and Short Eared Owls just around the corner

Frank
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sleipnerofasgard/

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 18th of February 2012 11:16:11 PM

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Frank


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Bittern showing directly in front of the Rufford hide up to 4.45. Was informed by those gents who were there before me that there are definitely two still about although I was happy to see just the one

-- Edited by Jon Bowen on Friday 17th of February 2012 06:06:42 PM

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Bittern showing from the rufford hide around 1pm today

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2 bitterns today

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RE: mere sands wood


Originally posted by Sean Sweeney today:

Can't seem to reply to the older threads previously set up for this lovely nature reserve, so thought I set a new one up. Apologies if I've missed a reason for this Ian, but I'm sure you'll put it right if it needs be. The reserve is such a lovely place and to be fair, if it were in GM it would certainly get its own thread and I certainly plan to go back again soon.

Anyway, I've not been for over 15 years, so was nice to have a morning to stroll around in the brief sunshine that was about yesterday between about 9am and midday to get away from a busy couple of weeks in the office. Only thing about visiting on a Friday is the visitor centre is closed, so no access to the scrape hide or the feeders, but managed to see lots of the feeder birds in surrounding trees and scrub.

It offers a different type of habitat to the surrounding flat agricultural and fairly treeless landscape, with mature stands of both deciduous and conifer trees with open understory, large and small areas of open water, some with reed fringed edges and mossy/peaty patches with islands and suitable hide aways for the shyer species.

Around the visitor centre;
Brambling 8
Siskin 40+
Redpoll 20+
Tree Sparrow 20+
Bullfinch 2
Redwing 2

Other Forested areas;
GS Woodpecker 2
Treecreeper 1
Nuthatch 6+
Jay 3
Red-legged Partridge (in neighbouring field)
Coal Tit 4
Buzzard 3

Water Bodies:
Little Grebe 2
GC Grebe 14+
Wigoen 8
Teal 100+
Tufted Duck 50+
Shoveller 1 (male)
Gadwall 14+
Goosander 1 (female)
Cormarant 20+
Goldeneye 2+

All in all a lovely place to have a stroll with very few people about and only one other person in any of the 7-8 hides I popped in to. I look forward to another visit in a month or so when the woods are full of the songs from the arriving migrants and the scrape might produce a few waders on passage! biggrin.gif.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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saturday

couldnt resist having another go for the crossbills and wasnt disappointed 4 showing very well 1 male 3 female. look for the falling cones down the meadow trail also a first for me on this site was a little owl kindly pointed out by one of the local birders. 6 red legged partidge in farmers field with 1 mistle thrush. highlight for me was watching a sparrow hawk chasing a green sandpiper which managed to escape and flew off high towards martin mere.Also from the marshall hide 6 goosander,shoveller,teal, little grebe,great crested grebe,4 goldeneye 3 male 1 female doing some head throwing.
on the feeders managed 1 siskin ,tree sparrows,green bull and chaffinch + all the usual tits.


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THE GREAT THING ABOUT BIRDING ISNT JUST THE BIRDS


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quick visit this afternoon 2 siskin 20+ tree sparrows,3 great spotted woodpeckers 2 nuthatch,red legged partridge and redwings in the fields but best of all 4 crossbill 1 stonking male but only viewed for about a minute as the birds flew deeper into the pines , didnt go chasing after them so as not to alarm them but well worth the sore neck and a lifer for me ,tickety tickbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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THE GREAT THING ABOUT BIRDING ISNT JUST THE BIRDS


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Last Thursday I reported having seen 3 Crossbills at Meresands Wood on the Martin Mere/Marshside thread - the wardens reported having had 6 earlier in the week. The ones I saw were high in the pines and very hard to spot eh Ms Oxley?

Nevertheless it's worth paying Meresands a visit for a wander round and a stiff neck!!!!. There's usually a fair selection and who knows we may even get another Night Heron.

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Tues 25 march.

Pair of Garganey from Lancaster hide(the one behind the visitor centre)

Usual other stuff, and found a Treecreepers nest.

Cheers Dean.

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Infact the use of the extent of white on the forehead of Hoactli as a seperating feature is unreliable due to overlap with our European Night Heron, more useful seems to be the colour of the base of the bare parts (in breeding plumage) with Hoactli having duller bare parts (salmon-pink) and our European Night Heron reddish legs and lores in the peak of it's breeding season.

Though I have to say it isn't an area of expertise for me wink.gif




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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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dave broome wrote:

I hear that the Night Heron is considered to be an American-race bird?






To quote `The Handbook Of Bird Identification` (Beaman & Madge) ;-

"N.American race (hoactli) suspected to occur as a vagrant, and a small feral population of this race established at Edinburgh Zoo ; adults may be distinguished by having more extensive white patch on forehead and a shorter and thinner white supercillium."

Strangely `The North American Bird Guide` (Sibley) does not refer to hoactli at all, just giving the scientific name as the same as `ours`, ie - Nycticorax nycticorax (nominate race)

Chris Galvin, among others, has taken some decent shots of the bird (posted on Surfbirds) so, take a look and then decide ! wink.gif

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