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Post Info TOPIC: Piethorne Valley.


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Piethorne Valley.


On a binocular - less run round Ogden this morning, lots of meadow pipits and skylarks singing/displaying over the rough pasture and a chiffchaff singing by Paddy Greenhalgh's.

Regards, Chris J-B

-- Edited by C Brown on Sunday 5th of April 2015 12:37:16 PM

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raptor day today in the Piethorne valley.
beautiful view of common buzzard flying low over Norman Hill res. He was a lovely rusty brown colour.
Pair of peregrine falcons flying low over Piethorne res: one with talons down. I was alerted to them by the cry of a terrified curlew (who got away).
Pair of kestrel northern edge of Kitchliffe Res being mobbed by 3 pied wagtails.

Also got stonechat and reed bunting at Norman Hill res, dipper at outflow of Norman hey res.

Treecreeper and nuthatch in garden of house next to the treatment works.

Gillian




-- Edited by gillian notheis on Sunday 5th of April 2015 12:53:31 PM

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In a fresh northerly wind, a good day for springtime denizens, and appropriately on the equinox:

two male wheatears, in the hill-field, below where Norman Hill Farm stood,
a curlew, above Hanging Lees,
a dipper, at the top end of Piethorne Res'
six goosander on Piethorne,
great crested grebe on Kitcliffe Res'
oystercatcher pair, by Ogden Res'
a few meadow pipits dotted about and
a green woodpecker, on the northern side of Ogden Res'.

I also saw a large fox, near Jig Brew Quarry.

Regards, Chris J-B


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Good day for me today

Not sure where Springholes is. The little owl that I saw today was in quarry high up on the south side of the valley.

Also 20 curlews arrived, circled for a bit and then dropped onto banks of Ogden res (next to oystercatchers) with a fanfare.

Oddly only one skylark and that was one I flushed- no singing today.

dipper was in shallows at head of Piethorne res.

flock of over 20 fieldfare still- moving with about 100 starlings.

goldcrest and coal tit in grounds of old homestead.


Gillian



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A pretty quiet walk into the upper reaches of the valley, with a cold east wind blowing down from the moors, yielded the following:

oystercatcher pair, by Ogden Res',
two pheasants,
three goosander, on Piethorne Res',
treecreeper and typically confiding goldcrest, in Bluebell Wood and
a cluster of fieldfares, above Town Hill Holes.

As per usual, I looked for the Springholes little owls, without success. I think it was last summer the last time I saw one/them.

Regards, Chris J - Brown.

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A pair of oystercatchers back up Ogden this evening.

Regards, Chris J-B.

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late post for yesterday morning:

skylarks are back. at least 10 singing and displaying despite it being so overcast all morning.
Also 4 goosander on Piethorne res and plenty of pied and grey wagtails about.

gillian

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Thanks Bill. Great to hear from you.
I really do think it was a curlew but I am now wondering if it was on a piece of drift wood or something because it was right out in deep water. Either way it stopped me in my tracks. It was just not something you would expect to see. I have searched web page after web page of images looking for something it might be but I couldn't even get close to anything else except the curlew or Whimbrel.

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Geoff Eldridge wrote:

I have just seen a bird so rare that I cannot identify it . . . Or a phenomenon that I can find no reference to.

Imagine a curlew - swimming like a duck - in the middle of Ogden Reservoir. Today at 13.00. The bill was long and slender and definitely curving down. It had brownish upper parts , paler underneath. A darker bar across the underside of its tail

After 2 minutes of observation at about 200mtr it lifted of from the water and flew towards Hollingsworth Lake.

I was not dreaming. At first I thought it was a cormorant struggling with an eel but when it flew right over me head I ruled that out. Completely the wrong shape and flight style.

I can't get past that curlew look.





Hi Geoff,

Are you querying whether it is possible for a Curlew to swim? From my limited knowledge (and I stand to be corrected!) there are some waders (possibly most, if not all?) that are able to swim. I suspect that it is not a particularly well seen or documented behaviour but can be done if needs be? I've seen Oystercatchers swimming on Kitcliffe Reservoir on one occasion in the past so have some first hand practical experience for that particular species. There is a photo of a Curlew swimming at the following link http://shropshirebirder.co.uk/curlew.html

My apologies if I've misunderstood your post.

Best wishes,

Bill.

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I have just seen a bird so rare that I cannot identify it . . . Or a phenomenon that I can find no reference to.

Imagine a curlew - swimming like a duck - in the middle of Ogden Reservoir. Today at 13.00. The bill was long and slender and definitely curving down. It had brownish upper parts , paler underneath. A darker bar across the underside of its tail

After 2 minutes of observation at about 200mtr it lifted of from the water and flew towards Hollingsworth Lake.

I was not dreaming. At first I thought it was a cormorant struggling with an eel but when it flew right over me head I ruled that out. Completely the wrong shape and flight style.

I can't get past that curlew look.

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Thick blanket of snow today.
Valley beautiful with snow still on trees.
highlight was:
1woodcock feeding in mud by pond in woods on northerly edge of Piethorne Res.
also
6 teal and 6 goosander on Ogden Res
reed bunting and great spotted woodpecker in gardens by Ogden Res.



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A pleasing, snowy walk, taking in Raghole, Springholes, Piethorne Res' and Spring Mill yielded:

two (possibly three) woodcock, above Raghole,
kestrel, above Town Hill Holes,
stonechat pair, between Springholes and Piethorne Res', with
a single male goosander on Ogden and two females on Piethorne.

Regards, Chris J - B

-- Edited by C Brown on Saturday 17th of January 2015 06:54:07 PM

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glorious day today.
spent 5 hours in the valley. 37 on my list today.
2 goldcrest in rough bank plantation
4 teal and 1 great crested grebe on Ogden res
flock of fieldfare with starlings moving around valley
I flushed up 8 grey partridge on invisible bridlepath skirting turf hill (thought I'd try out one of your 'upper valley' walks)
little owl in old quarry just west of Rooden res

many birds changing their calls to 'spring time mode'. Tits not so much in mixed flocks today, more same species groups and pairs.




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12 Goosander Rooden Res. late afternoon and a singing Dipper Hanging Lees on the white inlet pipe viewable from the dam at dusk.

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On a rather uninspiring walk into the upper valley, as far as the Rooden Catchwater, I saw the following:

great crested grebe on Ogden
four goosander on Kitcliffe Res'
a few common gulls and lapwings by Rooden Res',
a snipe flushed from the mooredge above Norman Hill Res',
fifty plus fieldfares and a jay by Springholes and
a great spotted woodpecker at Higher Ogden.

Regards, Chris J-B





-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 3rd of January 2015 03:39:45 PM

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very blowy walk over lunch yesterday.
little about except one or two good sights.

A hardy stonechat at edge of piethorne res, adjacent to hanging lees res. It was really blowy at that point.

Also 3 good sights of a male Merlin around the terrace of houses next to Ogden res. He flew just over the gate a few feet in front of me into the large garden with the feeders then about 10 mins later out from the back of the public loos, flying away from me just below wall height following the wall right to the end of the field behind the pub and then a few mins later flew from there towards geenhalgh's end of the graveyard.

-- Edited by gillian notheis on Saturday 3rd of January 2015 12:41:11 PM

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On a late afternoon stroll I saw the following: four goosander on Kitcliffe and another two on Piethorne, grey wagtail in Piethorne overflow channel, a couple of meadow pipits over, ten fieldfares by Springholes and a lone kestrel below Town Hill. Regards, Chris J - B.

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I was there late afternoon today, all pretty quiet still with ground frozen and layer of snow. Only 20 on my list today (had 31 yesterday).

best moment was 2 stonechat on the same pond as on 5th Dec and this time there was a reed bunting with them. The only thrushes today were the usual resident mistle thrushes.

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On a morning walk, with frozen snow underfoot, all seemed rather quiet:

several cormorants and a great crested grebe on Ogden Res',
goosander pair on Kitcliffe Res',
six fieldfare flew out of Knowsley Plantation,
a few unseasonal meadow pipits over and
a bullfinch in Rough Bank Plantation.

Merry Christmas, C. Jepson-Brown

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not seen the lesser redpoll for 2 weeks. Best sights today were flock of about 150 fieldfare irritating resident mistle thrush. They were moving with a similar sized flock of starlings. Greater variety of gulls than usual (probably confused by tip closure). Now I'm no expert on Gulls, but there were at least lesser black-backed and common gulls in addition to the black-headed and they weren't just flying over. Also got house sparrow today.

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lesser redpoll still there: 12 of them today.

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blinking cold day today. not much about.
lesser redpoll (in silver birch by waterboard buildings)
goosander
kestrel were best of it.

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Mind blowing 2 hours around Ogden Reservoir today! This is the best of it...

first winter female stonechat feeding on flying insects at the fenced off pond next to the lower level bridle path above Ogden reservoir.

flock of 10 linnet near there.

In pine plantation next to Ogden Reservoir was a goldcrest with long-tailed tit flock. (yesterday I saw a treecreeper with goldcrest and a blue tit and coal tit flock there)

2 female great spotted woodpecker

about 10 fieldfare

22 cormorants

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Tuesday PM to evening. Best of the day.
Grey partridges
Fieldfares
Treecreeper
Redwing
And a dozen or so Scandanavian blackbirds.



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3 female goosander on Kitcliffe res this morning

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Some days are better than others. (High level circuit of the valley.)

Two minutes from home I saw a minimum of three but possibly five dippers on the Woodmill Brook below the dye works. I was watching one when two more, squabbling, flew over it downstream. A minute later looking upstream I saw two more. Now they could have flown back while I was distracted by other birds calls in the trees above but if that was the case then they had returned silently right under my nose.

As I left the buildings and cover of Higher Ogden to access the rough open pastures above I saw a bird of prey sitting on the drystone wall. It turned out to be a sparrowhawk. I have not seen one in such open country before and it had baffled me until it took off and darted through the clumps of cotton grass and thistles to try and take a meadow pipit. (Missed)

Next I had lunch with a short-eared owl. I put it up in one of the groughs and it flew to roost on a fence post about 40 metres away. It just sat there so I did as well. I left before it did. That was superb.

I also had close encounters with 2 stonechats, a kestrel an 2 waders that I am reluctant to name. (I want to say that wood sandpipers seem to be the closest match but I don't think I could have had that much luck in one day.)



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On a binocular-less jog round the valley this morning, I encountered the following:

kingfisher, on Sammy's Lodge,
three siskin (and one or two bullfinch), near the Water Board headquarters,
a snipe (can't remember the last one I saw up Ogden), flushed from rough grassland near Raghole,
multiple goldcrests calling in Rough Bank Plantation and
a few meadow pipits milling about.

Regards, Chris



-- Edited by C Brown on Saturday 4th of October 2014 04:45:30 PM

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I didn't see this particular bird Chris but you've got the jist of what I mean, and it looks like you may have seen something others haven't, just not 100% could've been the difference, although other times when it looks as though there's something really wrong but all of a sudden they take off and prove they're fighting fit...
Case in point, the Audenshaw Great Skua. Looked as though it had an injured wing and was acting ridiculously tame, but then took out a couple of Lesser Black-backed's for lunch during its stay and almost had a farm type Goose infront of me on the res and didn't look injured then one bit.
Would be interesting to find out cause if anyone does a PM on it, ie Toxicology tests and the like
Cheers
Rob

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Friday 3rd of October 2014 08:13:44 PM

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What a great shame, and whilst I am surprised on one level, when I watched it trying to fly off the surface of the res', sometimes its efforts struck me as a little feeble and it did once, fleetingly, cross my mind that it wasn't quite 100 per-cent. cry

Regards, Chris J-B

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Geoff Eldridge wrote:

The shag is dead.
One of the Springmill residents found it this morning and told me where she had put it because she was not certain whether it was the rare visitor or a resident cormorant. I have had a look, and taken a couple of photos, and while not an expert I would have to say it is the shag. Probably dead about a day because the carrion scavengers have yet to find it. I could not begin to guess a cause. Of death either.






...Geoff what a shame if indeed it is the juvenile Shag. By all accounts and posts, this bird 'SEEMED' to be healthy enough, feeding well and favouring what I thought would've been a good location to rest / preen / sun itself etc on the water tower.
Obviously not jumping to conclusions and the fact that natural causes can always be a factor...(as you can't always tell if anything is wrong with animals just because appearance and behaviour seems normal)...but do you think foul play could come into it?
Or is anyone (a group or body) doing a post mortem on a Greater Manchester county rarity?
Just wondered.
Cheers
Rob

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The shag is dead.
One of the Springmill residents found it this morning and told me where she had put it because she was not certain whether it was the rare visitor or a resident cormorant. I have had a look, and taken a couple of photos, and while not an expert I would have to say it is the shag. Probably dead about a day because the carrion scavengers have yet to find it. I could not begin to guess a cause. Of death either.

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Juv Shag still on Ogden Reservoir this morning along the dam wall, well worth the couple of hundred mile twitch to the old local patch!

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Shag still moving around feeding near dam and twenty metres in front of fishermen who were asking what it was and whether any more were on their way.

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Shag feeding at top of reservoir at 6pm.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 15th of September 2014 08:35:11 PM

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I guess the anglers spooked it on Sunday

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Juv Shag still present on Ogden Res'r

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11 Cormorants & 2 Great Crested Grebe on middle reservoir. Fishermen all round Ogden. No sign of Shag 11:00

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Shag still present at 7.30am feeding at the end furthest from the footpath, then flew and perched on the side of the tower.

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The Shag still showing well on it's usual perch at 18:20. Cheers

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Sept 12th.

Also a Kingfisher flew across the lodge below the dam-head at 11.30 hrs.

Roger.

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Shag still present at 1250 fishing near south bank then flew to its favorite perch on the water tower to preen.

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Shag still present this morning info thanks Mike Passant

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The shag was on the tower this evening.

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pm visit
as i arrived just after 1pm i was pretty sure the shag was on the stones at the bottom of the bank 30yds up from several cormorant and a grey heron unfortunately before i could get my scope set a walker down on the bank ( possibly going to the anglers near the tower) frightened all the birds the cormorant all went into the water and the heron and possible shag flew off the possible shag flew over the farmhouse and behind the trees and out of site, it was a much darker bird than the others although most of the cormorant seemed to be juvenile and pretty lightish anyway, i hung around for an hour or so but got no further sighting, i honestly think it was the shag but didn't see enough to be 100% sure,

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It was not there when I walked past at 0900 this morning. I think it flew up the valley as I walked past the tower at 0700 but I cannot say that it was a positive siting because of the cormorants. However when I returned later an angler had placed himself at the normal cormorant roost and had upset everything. I live local and may wander up there again this evening and will keep an eye open for it.

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Any updates re the Shag would be helpful please as we may be able to get to Ogden Res on Thursday night if our homeward flight is on time (normally it isn´t of course!); otherwise it would have to be a case of booking an overnight stay in Manchester and having a go on Friday morning.

Regards,
Mike and Barb

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Why not?



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Tim Wilcox wrote:

Another great GM lifer! 5-7.30pm with Steve Burke. We walked up to Piethorne and back and also saw:

Grey Heron 2
Great Crested Grebe 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 and 1 heard
Meadow Pipit 2
Grey Wagtail 1
Pied Wagtail 2
Jay 2
Cormorants 8
Canada Geese 31
Woodpigeon 20+
Jackdaws 100+
Swallows 40+
House Martin 4

Lots of good stone walls for migrants but none late in the day

Good spot and our first visits both





when I first arrived the shag was on the far bank opposite the tower, but shortly after tim arrived it flew right onto the tower right in front of us smile
nice to have a chat & a wonder around with you tim & I should of took the offer of a lift home, there was a problem with the trams at cornbrook so when it got into town everybody had to get of & get a bus, 8.55pm when I got home no

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Another great GM lifer! 5-7.30pm with Steve Burke. We walked up to Piethorne and back and also saw:

Grey Heron 2
Great Crested Grebe 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 and 1 heard
Meadow Pipit 2
Grey Wagtail 1
Pied Wagtail 2
Jay 2
Cormorants 8
Canada Geese 31
Woodpigeon 20+
Jackdaws 100+
Swallows 40+
House Martin 4

Lots of good stone walls for migrants but none late in the day

Good spot and our first visits both

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Shag still present this evening up to 7.30
Perched on tower for all my 30 minute observation, preened and defecated.
Good to meet local birder...Peter Sutton who had observed the bird flying
around this afternoon.
County Life ticksmile
Thanks to finder C. J-B
Hope it's still there on Friday, Mike....



-- Edited by keith mills on Wednesday 10th of September 2014 08:43:49 PM

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Shag still present currently, perched on water tower.

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