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Post Info TOPIC: Watergrove Reservoir


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RE: Watergrove Resr


9 Dotterel ( 3 f., 5m. & a very pale bird, possibly 1st summer m.) feeding on the lower slopes of Brown Wardle Hill. Still present at 14:00 hrs. Very confiding, especially if you sit down, they came within 20-30 metres.
The birds were in Rossendale when I first arrived with Simon Hitchen at 12:30 hrs (i.e. to the west of SD 8970 1834) and were then flushed by a dog walker back into Rochdale (if only all dog walkers were so considerate biggrin.gif).
We then moved position and were sitting right on the border at SD 8965 1832, with the birds feeding to the south and east of this point (i.e. in Rochdale). At one point 2 sat down on the ground as if they were on a nest, but that was definitely wishful thinking on our part.
Mark wasn't the only person suffering from oxygen deprivation. We met Gavin in the car park and by the time we were half way up Brown Wardle he was gasping for breath!
After many hours spent searching for Dotterel on the hills around Watergrove it was great to finally connect with these stunning birds. All thanks to Bob Turner. Well done Bob handshake.gif

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Ian McKerchar wrote:

Now 10 Dotterel present!

Info thanks to Mark Rigby






Confirmed as definately only 9 Dotterel.

Clearly Mr. Rigby is now suffering from a lack of oxygen at those altitudes and should start to descend to base camp immediately before he grows another finger on each hand or something

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Now 10 Dotterel present!

Info thanks to Mark Rigby

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Confirmed that 8 Dotterel are present. Due to the awkward viewing of the birds as they keep low in the grass there may yet well be more!

Info thanks to Mark Rigby

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Dotterel still present this morning on the southern slope of Brown Wardle Hill. Probably also 8 birds present in total.

Inof thanks to Mark Rigby

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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6 Dotterel (2f. + 4 m.) were seen by Bob Turner at 10:00 hrs today, sheltering from the wind on the south facing slope of Brown Wardle (to the west of Watergrove). The birds were very confiding, seen down to approx. 50 feet.
Sorry for the late post, only got the news from Bob about an hour ago.
To access the area walk west along the dam from Trap Farm car park (at bottom of dam), go through kissing gate at end of dam and over bridge by resr overflow. Turn immediately left across area of open ground to north of WTW. On far side go through another kissing gate, and follow track north towards a group of mature trees. Brown Wardle is straight ahead. When you reach the base of the hill about half way along the track there is a path that leads up to the summit. Take this path and then follow another track that veers off to the right. The birds were about 2/3rds of the way up the hillside. Approx. grid ref is SD897184.

-- Edited by Steve Atkins on Friday 7th of May 2010 08:36:38 PM

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Another Whimbrel calling loudly an circling high up over the resr at 07:20 hrs, before flying north. Yesterday the first Whitethroat of the spring here.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A Whimbrel, calling loudly, flew north-west over the resr at 07:10 hrs. Aprox 10 mins later it, or another, was circling and calling before heading in the same direction. My first April record here, previous earliest was 1st May 1995.



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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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I try not to take things too seriously Steve, although I'm not sure I always succeed.
That 0.5 C could mean the difference between the polar ice caps melting or remaining intactyawn.gif
It's interesting to compare the arrival dates of migrants with the temperature. There is evidently a link between air temperature and the arrival dates of Swifts although I can't remember where I read this.
No sooner had I posted about a lack of Swallows at Watergrove, 4 turned up on Sunday. They obviously read the forum too.biggrin.gif

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Recording the temperature to the nearest half a degree, Steve?
You're taking this site recording business a bit too seriously methinks smile.gifsmile.gif

Steve

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The first Stonechat of the year (a male) was seen this evening. It's great to know that they are still hanging on in the Rochdale area despite the bad winter.
A male Wheatear in immaculate spring plumage singing and fanning its tail with female nearby.
A pair of Oystercatchers mobbing a female Sparrowhawk as it flew low over the resr this a.m.
Curlew - 1
Willow Warbler - 9 singing
Reed Bunting - 1 singing
Wren - 3 singing
Lesser Redpoll - 1
A pair of Teal
A pair of Coot
2 pairs of Tufted Duck
Great Crested Grebe - 1
Still no sign of any Swallows or other migrants although the temperature was a balmy 13.5 C at 17:40 hrs.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Spring migrants starting to move in & through now:
1st arrival dates:
Willow Warbler - 3rd April (3 singing today)
Wheatear - 2 on 4th April
Sand Martin - 5th April
A pair of Pintail - 7th April + Chiffchaff singing
5 Wigeon - present at 07:00 hrs and still resting on resr at 19:00 hrs. No wind = no windsurfersbiggrin.gif
3 Oystercatcher this a.m.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Steve Suttill wrote:

Another (or the same) was reported on the canal next to Tesco in Stalybridge a short while ago.

Steve






the male mandarin was near tesco in stalybridge from around christmas untill mid january

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4 Shoveler on the resr (2 pairs) found by Simon Hitchen this a.m. were still present this evening at 18:45 hrs. The first here since April 2008.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Another (or the same) was reported on the canal next to Tesco in Stalybridge a short while ago.

Steve

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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On the canal at Uppermill, according to Gary Crowder, with 2 Canadas, on 25th March!

-- Edited by Judith Smith on Friday 26th of March 2010 09:59:09 PM

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I think it has put in appearances at Cowm Res Steve, Rose has been seeing one when she has been walking the dog.

Dave

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A male Mandarin on the resr yesterday evening just out from the club house, looking really smart. It was displaying to a Canada Goose! I just hope they don't produce a hybrid. Presumably the same bird that was around from August to November last year. Wonder where it's been for the past 4 months?
Also seen
Robin - 8 singing
Snipe - 1
Goosander - 4
Tufted Duck - 4

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Many thanks to Stephen Jones, U.U. Ranger for the Rochdale area, for organising the refurbishment of the hide and providing the massive new white board, which is probably big enough to fit a year's sightings on.biggrin.gif There was certainly enough space to put this website's address on, as well as ManchesterWildlife.com.
The seats aren't actually new Bill, just the old ones clad in metal, to prevent some of the local intelligentsia from setting fire to them when they hold their summer barbecues in the hide. Whilst fire proof they are somewhat cold to sit on in the winterbleh.gif
You may have noticed the padlock box fitted to the hide door. The intention is to lock the hide of an evening to prevent a repeat of the events of summer 2008. So if any one would like a key, please drop me a p.m. Unfortunately my financial resources don't stretch to providing all local (or not so local) birders with a free key, so there will be a charge for getting them cut.
John - you will be waiting a long time on that bench. I've been going up to Watergrove for 15 years and not seen one there yet.

-- Edited by Steve Atkins on Friday 12th of March 2010 07:12:53 PM

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Had a walk round with Rayner and Chorley.

Only birds of note

7 Goosander
3 Coot
Redpoll

Mr.Rayner sat on a bench and said " I am waiting here 'till a Red Kite Flies over!"hmm.gif

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8th March.

Quick visit 10.00 - 11.00 am.

14 (8 males) Goosander, 27 Common Gull, 2 Coot and 3 Snipe. Plus 2 Coal Tit, 2 Jay, 1 Reed Bunting called, 1 Bullfinch sang and singles of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll flew over calling.

Since I last visited some time ago the hide has benefited from a nice new coat of paint and what looks like some new metallic seats - the whole hide looked very smart indeed with an up-to-date sightings board and hopefully now it is completely vandal-proof!

Cheers,

Bill.

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Sun 20/2 15:00 - 18:15
Goosander 9 )4 M + 5 F)
Tufted 1 M (reserve)
Teal 2 pair (reserve) - D(isplay)
Coot 2+1 (reserve)
Moorhen 1+ (reserve)
Canada Goose c. 80 (60 flew in after dusk from moors to W)
Pink footed Goose 1 (with 16 Candas feeding on moorland hill top - flew to res 16:30
Lapwing 4
Skylark 2 on moorland / (Hades) hill top - subsong
Tawny Owl (Heard) fatre dusk E & N of res

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Despite the supposed thaw the resr was still 95% frozen over during the WeBS count this morning. A small area of water (probably the deepest part of the resr) has remained unfrozen.
9 Goosander flew south at dawn, probably heading towards the Roch to feed
14 Teal standing on the ice
Coot - 2
Moorhen - 2
a Tawny Owl
Amazingly 2 Skylark flew west over the dam - the earliest ever record here (the previous earliest being 5th Feb.) It would appear that global warming is alive and well.biggrin.gif
22 Fieldfare flew north (Redwing heard calling in the flock)
Meadow Pipit - 1



-- Edited by Steve Atkins on Sunday 17th of January 2010 10:23:14 AM

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Tues 29/12 09:40 - 12:40. Snow / ice on ground. Cloudy, low cloud. Bitter NE wind.

B hd Gull c. 60
C Gull 12
Goosander M + 4 F
Coot 2

B Tit 6
G Tit 3
Wren 4
L tld Tit 3
Blackbird 5
C Crow 4+2+2
Magpie 4+2

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The male Mandarin flew in this morning with a couple of Mallard and landed on the resr close into the west shore. It could be seen from the top of the dam and obviously wanted a starring role in this morning's WeBS count. The first sighting since 30th Oct.
Also seen:
Teal - 17
Mallard - 37
Great Crested Grebe
Snipe - 8
Tawny Owl
A chiffchaff feeding with tit flock in plantation. Only my 2nd winter sighting here. The previous one was a possible Tristis in Nov 2006, but that was rejected by the GM rarities committeebleh.gif

Late post from 6th Nov. 20 Whooper Swans were seen on the resr early pm by Alan Nuttall and Alan Cross. Unfortunately they were flushed by one of my favourite people (a windsurfer)furious.gif befroe I got the chance to see them.

Brian Fielding and another birder (sorry didn't get your name) were looking for the Great Northern Diver which had taken off from Hollingworth Lake (before 9 am), climbed high into the sky and flown in the direction of Watergrove. I'd been hoping that it would take a day trip here. Probably flew right over my head while I was watching the Mandarin and may well have been heading for the Lancashire coast.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Another mooch up here with Simon Warford for an hour this afternoon

Few ducks on res included 2 Wigeon, 15 teal, Goldeneye, also Cormorant and 43 Lapwing.

Few mipits still on the moor about 100+, Goldcrest was heard, 60+ Fieldfare, few redwing and a flock of 32 redpoll was very still up here today. cracking place!

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Spent several hours here this morning searching for harriers and was rewarded with close views of a ringtail Hen Harrier in the area around ClayPots Hill. Also 2 Ravens, 2 Stonechat, 4 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff and 7 Wigeon and no shortage of Mipits. Missed the Barwit though.

Watergrove is one of the few areas in GM where you can truly get away from all the nonsense of 21st century living, which is why I feel so gutted that the government in their target-driven wisdom have overturned the decision by Rochdale council to reject the windfarm development here - a sobering thought that in the exact area where I was watching Hen Harrier today there'll be 12 giant wind turbines in the next few years waiting to chop them up- give me global warming any day!



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A Bar-tailed Godwit in winter plumage flew in this morning at 08:10 hrs and was on the spit on the east side of the resr for about 30 minutes before being flushed and flying off high up to the west. It called once as it flew away.
This afternoon a Woodcock flew towards me over the track between Higher Slack Brook and Steward Barn, and then veered off, flying north over the moors. It was probably flushed from Rotary Plantation above the brook by my Springer Spaniel.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Mon 12/10 10:15 - 11:45 Sunny, clear (high cloud), still, sunny / warm

From dam wall scanning 'natural ampitheartre' and moor with bins and scope - no sign of Harriers this morning

TEal 8
Goosander 3 F
G C Grebe
C Gull 5 (ad) + 1 (2Y)
L Bb Gull
Jay 2+
G S Woodp 1
M Thrush
Skylark 2 over to S
Redpoll
L OWl (H) below res



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Hi Simon,

I'm pleased you and Simon J were able to see the male Hen Harrier. I must admit when watching it yesterday through my scope, in good light conditions, at approx. 200yds distance I didn't notice any brown on the upper body. It makes me wonder how many Hen Harriers there are in the area at the moment. confuse.gif
Well done on finding the Ring Ouzels. I've not seen any here so far this year, but was expecting them through at any time. Never seen more than two together here, although Ian holds the record with 8 birds in April 2007.

Cheers

Steve

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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We had excellent views of the Male Hen Harrier quartering above the ridge east along the Shore path, had abit of brown in the upper plumage both me and Simon thought it was a 2nd winter male. Also a Peregrine flying above the east side of the valley with 2 raven, after we watched the Harrier we picked up 3 distant thrushes coming in from the east and flew down into the valley, 3 nice Ring Ouzels which was a nice bonus, they seemed to drop towards the trees north of the reservior but were lost to view. A nice couple of hourssmile.gif

Thanks for the info Steve.

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Sunday 11th of October 2009 05:04:16 PM

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Male Hen Harrier still present and showing at 3pm for the two Simons of Warford and Johnson.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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The adult male Hen Harrier was quartering over the moor to the north of the Shore path, east of Ramsden Rd at 12:50 hrs. Seen from the west side of the valley, so views were distant. In 2006, the last time a Harrier was in the area, the bird was seen on several occasions between 7th and 24th Oct. So, hopefully these will hang around and give other peole the chance to catch up with them.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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The ring-tailed Hen Harrier was hunting along the side of Dobbin Hill to the east of the resr at 08:50 hrs this morning. Viewed from the top of the dam, it was mobbed by a crow and turned back, disappearing from view behind the mature Beech trees to the north of the Shore path.
Seen on WeBS count:
Mandarin - 1
Snipe -2
Mallard - 74
Teal - 7
Chiffchaff - 2 (1 singing)
The first Redwing of the autumn here - 3 flew south, others head calling overhead.


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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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After two blank years in 2007 & 2008, my 4th moorland watch of this autumn at Watergrove finally produced the goods. At 13:50 hrs a flock of Meadow Pipits appeared over Dobbin Hill. Suspecting they had been flushed by something out of view on the other side of the hill, a Carrion Crow then began diving at something. A few seconds later a stunning male Hen Harrier appeared above the hill and was watched for several minutes as it flew north up the east side of the valley pursued by the crow. It eventually disappeared over the eastern ridge before reappearing about 10 minutes later. It was hunting low over the moor about 200yds to the south of my view point, and dropped to the ground at one point, before heading south and being lost to view.
I decided to walk back across the moor and reaching the Shore path at about 15:00 hrs heard a Meadow Pipit alarming. I couldn't believe my luck when a ring-tailed Hen Harrier appeared over the moor approx. 100 yds to the north of the Shore path. It was hunting and moving very fast, flying north-east across the moor, before turning south where it was lost to view behind Dobbin Hill. Probably an imm. male based on its size, pale fringes to upper wing coverts and orange tint to underparts.
This must rank as one of my best afternoon's ever at Watergrove. The first time I've seen two Hen Harriers here on the same day and only the second time I've seen a ring-tail here.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A walk around the res. with Dave Winnard this morning. Dave picked up 3 Pintail flying SE away from the res. These had probably been feeding off the north shore, where 2-3 have been seen almost daily over the past two weeks. A dog walker was walking along the shoreline, and had probably flushed them, along with all the other duck, which are normally present here first thing in the morning. It's strange how some people prefer to walk through mud,causing maximum distrubance to birds, rather than sticking to the nice footpaths that United Utilities have spent so much money on upgrading.disbelief.gif

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06:50 - 07:40 hrs
3 Pintail (2 f./imm. & an eclipse male) out from the north shore. All 3 may have been new birds as none seen over the weekend. A single f./imm. was present last Friday 25/09.
Mandarin - 1
Canada Geese - 149. the flock roosts over night and flies off south at dawn, presumably to feed on the surrounding farmland.
Chiffchaff - 1 in sub-song
Teal - 21
Lapwing -23

This evening - a Little Owl heard calling below car park at 19:15 hrs.




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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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2 f. /imm Pintail were in with the Mallard flock this morning just out from the north shore, by the footpath to the hide.
Also with them 21+ Teal - the largest flock here for 5 years.
This evening a site record count of 125 Mallard. Don't laugh, with the exception of Goosander on AMR, it's pretty rare to get large flocks of duck on any of the Rochdale Resrs!
The low water levels this year at Watergrove have resulted in the shoreline being colonised by plants. The dabbling ducks are presumably feeding on the seeds of the plants which have dropped into the water as the levels have risen over the last couple of weeks.
Also seen today:
Wheatear - 1 imm. standing on a picnic bench next to the resr. confuse.gifNot the normal location for this species which is usually up on the moors.
Kestel - 1
Cormorant - 2
Little Owl - 1 heard & 1 seen at the entrance to a burrow on the hillside. The first time I've seen one here using an underground home.
Raven - 1
Snipe -1


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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Not quite a mega, a female/imm. Mandarin Duck on the reservoir early this morning, with the Mallard flock, was a new species for the site, taking the site total to 156 species.
Also seen:
Chiffchaff - 2 singing
Lesser Redpoll - 6
A pair of Ravens

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Steve Atkins wrote:

Yes Steve it certainly is an amazing coincidence. As I read your email I thought to myself "There's not much chance of me seeing an Osprey at Watergrove", especially as my one and only previous sighting here was in 1995! It's been a long wait, but certainly worth it.
The Osprey was circling over East Hill and was in view for about a minute from the track by the SE corner of the resr. I lost sight of it as it drifted over the top of the hill, probably heading south or south-east.
Do you want to place a bet Steve on a Marsh Sandpiper turning up. Go on, I dare you. biggrin.gif






Marsh Sandpiper - even I'm not that foolhardy no.gif

However, I didn't see any Ospreys on Speyside (the RSPB centre had closed down completely, so the birds must have left several weeks ago) but neither did I see any Crested Tits - now that would be a "mega" for Watergrove biggrin.gif

Steve

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There appears to have been a movement of Spotted Flycatchers today, at least in the north-east of the county. As well as the 4 or 5 at Crompton Moor, 2 were seen on the edge of Million Tree Wood (the plantation below the dam and car park) this evening. They gave good views as they hawked for insects from a Hawthorn.
A pair of Ravens flew south over the car park. These have been seen on an almost daily basis over the past month and appear to have taken up residence in the area.

Early a.m
Teal - 5
Mallard - 43
Mistle Thrush - 3
Blackcap - 1
Linnet -12
Lapwing - 15
Lesser Redpoll - 1
Reed Bunting -3

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Yes Steve it certainly is an amazing coincidence. As I read your email I thought to myself "There's not much chance of me seeing an Osprey at Watergrove", especially as my one and only previous sighting here was in 1995! It's been a long wait, but certainly worth it.
The Osprey was circling over East Hill and was in view for about a minute from the track by the SE corner of the resr. I lost sight of it as it drifted over the top of the hill, probably heading south or south-east.
Do you want to place a bet Steve on a Marsh Sandpiper turning up. Go on, I dare you. biggrin.gif

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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Only 2 days ago I told Steve Atkins that I was going up to Speyside, but that he was more likely to see an Osprey at Watergrove! What were the odds on that? Why did I not go down to the bookies and place a bet on it? no.gif

Steve

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Osprey over south-east at 07:05 this morning

info thanks to Steve Atkins with more details from the man later on no doubt

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2 Spotted Flycatchers this evening hawking from a Hawthorn off the bridleway to the west of the reservoir. I may have saved their bacon as whilst trying to get a closer view I flushed them. Moments later a Sparrwowhawk flew past close to where I was standing.
Also a Curlew down on the reservoir.

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A Lesser Whitethroat showed really well in the hedgerow between the club house and the hide this morning. A new species for Watergrove.
Also 3 juv. Willow Warblers looking really smart with lemon-yellow underparts.

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A Whimbrel high up calling, flew south this morning. Surprisingly the first of the year here. Despite the appalling weather and low water level, there were no waders down on the resr today.
A Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling by the hide. Green Woodpecker on the ground by footpath to hide.
This evening 2 Ravens flying north and 2 juv Wheatears.
A Green Sandpiper was showing well along the east shoreline on Friday.


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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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A Sanderling here this morning - also 1 LRP

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A Ruddy Shelduck was in with the Canada Goose flock this morning. Assumed to be a female as it had no neck ring. If it was countable it would be a new species for Watergrovebleh.gif Possibly the same bird that according to Dave Ousey has been present at Cowm Resr and in the Whitworth area for the last few years and not seen for about six months.
Also seen:
Lapwing - 30
Sedge Warbler -1
Whitethroat - 1
Chiffchaff - 1 singing (presumably a migrant as none have been present here during the breeding season).

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The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


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No sooner have we got past midsummer's day and autumn migration is under way, or so it would appear. A Green Sandpiper was on the old Ramsden Rd causeway, in front of the windsurfer's club house, this morning at 06:00 hrs and flew off calling, high up to the south. The first ever June record here. Apart from one May sighting, all previous records have been in July and August.
Also singing this morning - Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler.
The Garden Warbler was singing and showing well yesterday evening along the bridleway to the west of the resr. It's the first one that has been on territory here since 2004. At the time of BBGM (1979-83) none of these Warblers were recorded at Watergrove. So it's good to see that some species are actually increasing in the area.


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