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Post Info TOPIC: Watergrove Reservoir


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RE: Watergrove Reservoir


Managed to catch up with this long sought after GM rarity this am. Nice to meet Karen and Paul there.

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With Paul Hammond this morning

The Marsh Tit was present when we arrived at 0750 using the nyger feeder. It was constantly coming and going, but never disappearing for long and called several times in the hour or so we were present.

-- Edited by Karen Foulkes on Saturday 25th of October 2014 11:20:48 AM

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Marsh Tit still present at 8.45am, feeding constantly on the Niger seed feeder behind the wooden gate

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Long walk over and back today from Ramsbottom via AMR and Greenbooth and Healey Dell but worth the walk.. Great views of the Marsh Tit at the feeding station. 4 Twite just east of Greenbooth Res was another bonus on the walk over Rob..

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Marsh Tit seen well today (Friday) at the feeders behind the Windsurfers building from 2-15pm to 3-00pm. It was feeding on the Nyger seed for about 4 seconds then dashing for cover, but came back fairly regularly. Other birds:- Great Crested Grebe, 10 Blackbird, 12 Robin, 6 Blue Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 4 Great Tit, 6 Greenfinch, 6 Chaffinch, 12 Goldfinch and up to 50+ Redpoll in the area. 30 Black Headed Gull, 10 LBB Gull flying over. Thanks for finding the bird Steve!

Dave Ousey.

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Marsh Tit still showing well at feeders between 3 and 3:30

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Can't quite believe I'm actually going to twitch a marsh tit tomorrow. The things this hobby does to you! Anyway, I'm hoping it's still around when I get there - fingers toes and everything else crossed

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Having read Mike Passant's observations before viewing the Marsh Tit today, I was able to see the bird numerous times on the nyger feeder, sometimes staying for 3 or 4 seconds. I can only agree with the description given by Mike regarding
the diffused wing panel, which only showed occasionally at certain angles to the light.
Most of the time the wings showed a solid density of colour.
I got good views of the silky white underparts, but I did find a narrow area of beige just against the folded wing.
It is, indeed, a very sleek looking bird.

With Many thanks to finder Steve Atkins and all those who help with the feeders.



-- Edited by keith mills on Friday 24th of October 2014 04:42:20 PM

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I made no comment on "call" in my post below simply because during my observation I heard no calls, but should stress that this particular bird is readily identifiable visually.

On another aspect, (thanks to John Rayner's digital shots which he kindly "blew up" for us), for the very first time I was able to see the supposedly diagnostic white spot at the base of the upper mandible of the Watergrove bird. I have never been able to pick this up in the field with bins despite trying to see and test this over the years after having read about it.

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Marsh Tit showing regulaly to feeders after 1pm with Ian Boote here now


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Marsh Tit still present at midday today.

Info thanks to Steve Collins and Colin Moran

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Whilst I always think I can see pretty clear differences between Marsh and Willow Tit, some individuals (particularly at certain times of year, out of range or without any comparison) can practically defy separation from each other based on plumage or structure alone. Most features have a degree of overlap and some are very subjective indeed (and of little use) but their calls remain the key to their identification and thankfully the Watergrove Marsh Tit appears to have given itself well and truly away in that score biggrin

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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When I arrived on site on Wednesday the Marsh Tit obligingly flew in to the feeder within seconds and promptly shot off again, though not before I expressed satisfaction that my petrol cost was justified as it was indeed an undoubted Marsh Tit, based on its sleek build, greyer brown overall tone to the mantle, together with silky off white underparts unsullied by the buffy flanks which are so obvious on your bull-necked Pennington Willow Tits.

However, over the course of 30 minutes observation, I did note that at certain angles whilst on the feeder the bird did sometimes seem to show a barely discernible diffuse thin pale panel in the folded wing which I felt was caused by slight fading to the outer edges of the tertials, (varied perhaps by how the feathers lay at any particular visit to the feeders), whilst on other views this area appeared cleanly uniform with the mantle and rest of the folded wing as one would expect. This effect was not sufficient cause for any concerns/doubts in my mind, and I'm perhaps being a bit "picky;" - I only mention it here based on what I saw, and I mentioned this to the others present (messrs Broome, Rayner, and Rigby) as a point of interest.

Best Wishes,
-And good luck to the "weekenders" patiently waiting!

Mike P.

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Paul Heaton wrote:

Was still present at 15.00 the most annoying little beast, spent milli seconds on the feeder, so photo opportunity was not good, then hid behind foliage to feed, nice bird, thank you Mr Atkins, I trust you will be mentioning the bird at your talk on 26th November biggrin

Keep Birding





Hi Paul,

I'm delighted that you and so many other GM birders have finally been able to see the "mythical Manchester Marsh Tit" to quote your words, or should that be "mythical Rochdale Marsh Tit". It was a stroke of luck that it flew across the windsurfers' car park as I was walking to the hide and perched obligingly in a bare tree just long enough for me to get my bins on to it." It was David Walsh who gave me the idea of putting up a feeder, as he'd recently told me that is how he managed to obtain regular views of a Willow Tit in Tameside. I was really pleased when Mark Rigby texted me on Wed to say the Marsh Tit was on the feeder.

A couple of birders who can't get up there until the weekend have asked me to keep the feeder topped up. Thanks to Alan Nuttall for doing so yesterday and adding a couple of his own and ensuring the bird has a varied diet. I thought it was only Twite in Rochdale that came to nyger seed biggrin

As for my talk it's about the Breeding Birds of Greater Manchester: Winners and Losers comparing the changes in distribution between Bird Atlas 2007-11 and BBGM 1979-83. Willow Tit is mentioned but I will have to amend the script now and stop telling people that Marsh Tits don't occur in Greater Manchester. smile

Steve

-- Edited by Steve Atkins on Friday 24th of October 2014 08:19:59 AM

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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I was on my own watchimg it from 10 to 11am in the drizzle. It called twice when I arrived but not after that. Alan Nuttall arrived (nice to meet you) with more feed and two more feeders. The bird was in on the Niger seed before Alan even closed the gate. We were treated to the best views of the Marsh Tit when it spent time picking insects amongst the lichen on small branches. The bird showed no sign of any wing panel and was sullied white below and about the neck. There was some gloss on the cap but not majorly so. Another GM lifer if confirmed by the Rarities Committee

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Was still present at 15.00 the most annoying little beast, spent milli seconds on the feeder, so photo opportunity was not good, then hid behind foliage to feed, nice bird, thank you Mr Atkins, I trust you will be mentioning the bird at your talk on 26th November biggrin

Keep Birding

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Marsh Tit showing well till 12-30 at least, on feeders behind Wooden Gate at rear of windsurfing club.

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Got here at 1st light this a.m. and after 90 mins was about to give up when I heard it call overhead, it gave me approx 4 second view before flying off through the treesbiggrin. GM tick 210.
Cheers Ian

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Marsh Tit still present behind the windsurfers club this morning.

Info thanks to Ian Campbell

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Also this morning a flock of at least 75 mixed Goldfinch and Redpoll, very mobile and on the relatively brief views never really got to grip with how many of each species made up the flock
1 Bullfinch

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marsh tit was showing very well at the small feeder just beyond the timber field gate at the windsurfers club from 5pm, feeding & storing food up until 5.40pm then disappeared, it also called on a few occasions.
blue, great, coal & long tailed tits also feeding there, lets hope someone tops the feeder up as it was nearly empty.
4 goldcrest
8 siskin
2 redpoll
1 greenfinch
2 chaffinch
3 song thrush
1 great crested grebe
several redwings flying out of the trees.
tawny owl heard calling around 5.45pm

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saburke


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-Arrived back home from Watergrove at 17.45.

I watched the Marsh Tit for some 30 mins on and off, with Dave Broome, Alan Nuttall, (nice to meet you both), Mark Rigby, John Rayner and John Tromans, nearly all obtaining a good selection of photos.

The 5 Whoopers (2 adults 3 Juvs) departed to the north at approx. 12.50, by which time the weather was rather squally; nevertheless before departing myself, I checked through the gulls on the islet: 1 Lesser Black-backed, 2 Common, the rest Black-headed.

-Excellent that a feeding station has been set up, (thanks for that), and good luck if you have yet to visit.

Regards,
Mike

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Marsh Tit showing very well on the feeder behind the wooden gate next to windsurfers club from 5pm.

Info thanks to Steven Burke

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Marsh Tit making regular visits to a feeder behind a timber field gate at the entrance to the windsurfers club to 10:30
Adult and first-winter Whooper Swan flew south from reservoir at 09:57 with 2 more adult remaining on the the water

When the two remaining adult Whoopers swam in to full view they were accompanied by 3 first-winter birds

-- Edited by dave broome on Wednesday 22nd of October 2014 02:08:15 PM

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Marsh Tit showing and calling at 7.45 am this morning; 100 yards up from start of cobbled road from car park.

Info thanks to Simon Warford

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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marsh tit still present at 1305, same area.

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A Marsh Tit was feeding with a flock of Long-tailed and other tits by the windsurfers' club house at 08:40 hrs. It was showing really well at less than 20 metres in a sheltered area on the edge of the plantation by the 5 bar metal gate into the windurfers' car park. The bird was heard calling several times and last seen just after 10am.

Thanks to Alan Nuttall for arriving so quickly and helping me to confirm the ID. This record is of course subject to acceptance by the GM Rarities Committee.

The last known Rochdale sighting of Marsh Tit was at Healey Dell from 20th Nov 2000 to 7th Jan 2001.





-- Edited by Steve Atkins on Tuesday 21st of October 2014 12:53:58 PM

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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After many fruitless searches, I have at last caught up with the mythical October Hen harrier!!!
Seemingly endless trips to the high ground produced zilch...But as most birders know birds turn up when you are not really looking for them.A superb Ringtail past close over the low banking accompanied by a panic of Lapwings.
1 Female Hen Harrier (my 4th for Rochdale.
Cheers Alan

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A male Common Scoter on the reservoir at 9am. It took flight as two Black-headed Gulls hovered directly overhead and landed on the water again. Still present just before 10am despite being flushed at least once by a windsurfer. As I left more windsurfers were arriving, so I'm not sure how much longer it will hang around.



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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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10 Common Scoters on the reservoir at 19.30 hrs. 8 males and two female/immatures. Perhaps brought down by the late afternoon thunder storm.

The birds were bathing and standing up out of the water, wing flapping. They took flight at 19:50 hrs and probably flew off in a westerly/north-westerly direction but were lost to view behind the trees.



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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A female/immature Common Scoter was on the reservoir this evening. Preening itself and looking settled.

3 juvenile willow Warblers in the willows by the hide.

a pair of Great Crested Grebes displaying.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A Spotted Flycatcher hawking from trees along Higher Slack Brook this morning. The location is to the north of the reservoir. Follow the boardwalk between the ponds and the bird was in the trees next to the footpath, just before the kissing gate, grid reference SD908186. Only the second spring record for the site.

Female mallard with 9 ducklings just a few days old
pair of Moorhens with 4 chicks of similar age
Great Crested Grebe - pair

6 Skylarks singing

14 Willow Warblers singing
Whitethroat singing
Grasshopper Warbler heard reeling

8 Wrens singing
Song Thrush singing

8 Chaffinches singing
Lesser Redpoll - minimum 5 in display flight
2 Reed Buntings singing

No sign of the Cuckoos




-- Edited by Steve Atkins on Thursday 15th of May 2014 01:59:34 PM

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A calling Cuckoo was seen here and photographed by Deon Meadowcroft on 24th April and was calling again on 1st and 11th May. Assuming it's the same bird, it's clearly been on territory. This morning at approx. 9.45 I heard a Cuckoo calling in the distance, probably in the mature sycamores on the side of Middle Hill. The bird then flew in and landed in a tree close to the steps down to Higher Slack Brook (to the north of the reservoir) and then flew further downstream and was heard but not visible.

Walking up the track from Higher Slack Brook towards Steward Barn I relocated the Cuckoo perched in the trees on the moorland side of Rotary Plantation. Setting up my scope, I was amazed to find that there were in fact two Cuckoos perched in the same beech. The other bird was a grey female, slightly smaller, of duller plumage than the male and silent. The pair were being mobbed by 2 Meadow Pipits.

The male Cuckoo continued calling and fanning its tail perched horizontally on a branch. I watched the birds through my scope for a good half an hour at a distance of approx. 200 metres. Eventually the female flew off into the trees followed by the male. There was no sign of a satellite tag on either bird smile

Quite a red letter day, as it's the first time I've seen a pair of Cuckoos in GM.

Also seen
Pair of Great Crested Grebes displaying
A Curlew displaying over the moors
male Kestrel
Chiffchaff - 1 singing
Willow Warbler - 14 singing (not a full site count)
Whitethroat - 2 singing
Reed Bunting - 2 singing
Lesser Redpoll - 3





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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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5th May 2014

8.50am to 10.50

A good couple of hours spent wandering around the area this morning.

Carrion Crow
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Feral Pigeon
Goldcrest
Goldfinch
Great Tit
Kestrel
Lapwing
Magpie
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Reed Bunting
Robin
Skylark
Starling
Swallow
Wheatear
Willow Warbler
Woodpigeon

Regards

Dave


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Dave C (Life list - 131, 2014 - 117)



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28 Willow Warblers were singing from the plantations around the reservoir this morning during a full site count with just one singing Chiffchaff trying its best not to let the side down. This will probably be the peak count here for this spring, although there is still time for a few more arrivals to boost the numbers. It's remarkable how consistent the timing of the peak migration for Willow Warbler is at Watergrove.

Previous years maxima are as follows:
2013 - 21 singing on 20th April
2012 - 31 singing on 21st April. An all time site record.
2011 - 28 singing on 16th April
2010 - 24 singing on 24th April

A large number of these birds will just be moving through with smaller numbers staying on to breed.

Skylark - 5 singing (S)
Wren - 10 (S)
male Blackbird with a beak full of worms (FF)
Robin - 6 (S)
Wheatear - 2 on the fields to the east of Steward Barn
Dunnock - 3 (S)
Chaffinch - 4 (S)

male and female Teal on the hide pool but not associating with one another hmm

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A male Ring Ouzel was perched in the hawthorn hedge along Ramsden Rd to the north of Little Town at 09:15 hrs

11 Willow Warblers singing between SE corner of resr and the hide, so a full site count would have almost certainly been double this number.

13 Lesser Redpolls feeding in alder in windsurfers' car park - the birds were calling continuously and some displaying in flight

2 pairs of Reed Buntings

A pair of Linnet

Tufted Duck - 2 pairs

Teal - a pair

2 Canada Geese sitting on nests

No sign of the shrike either from the hide, around the memorial garden or at Little Town.



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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Mike Passant wrote:


Hi All,

Any updates therefore, (especially on Thursday evening) would as usual be really appreciated please.

Best Wishes,
Mike P.





Hi Mike,

It was good to meet you last Friday at Watergrove. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get up there tomorrow (Thursday) and am not sure whether anyone else will be going up to unlock the hide.

Good luck if you do decide to try for the shrike.

Steve

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Late evening visit and no sign of the Great Grey Shrike from the hide until dusk.

An Osprey flew NW over the moors to the north of the reservoir at 7.35 PM



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No sign of Great Grey Shrike between 9am and 3pm.

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Hi All,

As we're travelling down to Liverpool this weekend, we have the option to go a day early and spend Friday trying for the Watergrove Shrike if it should still be around for another 48 hours.

Any updates therefore, (especially on Thursday evening) would as usual be really appreciated please.

Best Wishes,
Mike P.

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Great Grey Shrike still present this am; just south of the memorial garden at 06:45.

Info thanks to Simon Hitchen

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Having spent over an hour scanning the plantations on the west side of the reservoir from the hillside above, I reached the hide just before 8pm. There was no sign initially and then the Great Grey Shrike suddenly appeared at the top of a birch approx. 100 metres to the north of the hide biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

It took flight and landed in the birch just 50 metres to the north of the hide and perched for about a minute. A Reed Bunting started mobbing it and it flew towards the dry stone wall and disappeared from view.

Simon Hitchen will be opening the hide up tomorrow morning at about 6.30 and it will be left open until about 8pm.

Good luck Simon. You certainly deserve to see this bird after so many fruitless visits

Steve


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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Dave Colton wrote:

Any word on Great Grey Shrike sightings today, I was thinking of driving over this Evening?





Other than the post below your original request Dave, no.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Any word on Great Grey Shrike sightings today, I was thinking of driving over this Evening?

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Just an old Punk Rocker


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No sign of the Great Grey Shrike so far this morning.

Info thanks to John Doherty

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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The hide at Watergrove is now open this morning.

Info thanks to Steve Atkins/Alan Nuttall

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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great grey shrike (another lifer, 2 in 2 days) was showing well this morning, in the hour I watched it, it had caught & eaten 2 bumble bees.

nice to meet dave ousey also.

on a wonder around afterwards as I went in search of any ring ouzels but none seen unfortunately, other birds around...

several lesser redpoll inc a lovely male just outside the entrance of the hide.
1 willow warbler
1 chiffchaff
1 bullfinch
1 stonechat
3 jays
1 kestrel
2 coal tits
lots of meadow pipits & few skylarks
plus usuals around.


-- Edited by steven burke on Sunday 6th of April 2014 07:12:13 PM

smilesmile

-- Edited by steven burke on Sunday 6th of April 2014 08:10:18 PM


-- Edited by steven burke on Sunday 6th of April 2014 08:11:29 PM

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saburke


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2.45 - 6.30pm
Met some nice people today including Chris Chandler.
The Great Grey Shrike was picked up in a tree in front of the hide by another birder, I take it that was you Mark. It didn't hang about for a photo and it flew off to the other side of the res.
Another birder and his son located it with a scope on the far side. We had a walk round but what looked like the Shrike flew back over towards the hide.
I didn't see it again whilst I was there.

Other sightings include:

Meadow Pipits
Buzzard
Peregrine
Raven
Jay
Chiffchaff
Willow Warbler ( heard )
Curlew ( heard )
and of note... a Roe Deer in the open field next to Little Town. It got spooked and bounded off into the wooded area.



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Great Grey Shrike showing well on and off from the hide between 1430-1555 but does go missing for periods. As we left, it had flown over to the far side of the reservoir to the left of the hide.

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Thanks very much Steve, I'm on site now after dipping on the Two-Barred Crossbill at Binn Green AGAIN !

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