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Post Info TOPIC: Romiley


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RE: Romiley


A hobby was hunting over my garden mid-morning. Made off after a swift, which are in good number at the moment (c30 seen yesterday evening in a feeding flock).



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A hobby was hunting over Hilltop just before 4 p.m. A kestrel and a sparrowhawk were doing likewise a few minutes either side of this. 7 swallows went south in a group.



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Late visit BTO breeding bird survey today was strikingly quiet, though, what with a buzzard at the golf course and a distant willow warbler, the species total for the two visits reached 38, which is as good as it's been since 2017 (which hit 44). Still, haven't encountered a swift, house martin or even a gull for a few years now and never yet one of the parakeets that have been slowly edging North over the village (let alone a hobby, though apparently my predecessor in the square did encounter one in 1997)



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p.m. While watching a pair of blue tits visiting a nest box in a garden on Hilltop, a hobby flashed past just beyond them c20m from where I was stood. A whitethroat was singing in an adjoining field. 8 swallows were hawking insects around Hilltop wood.



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5:35 pm. I had just been to nosey at a house fire near Sunfield. As I turned to go home, the starlings and pigeons took to the air in panic. Before I could look round, a hobby barrelled in over my head from behind at about 1 x rooftop height. Just before disappearing, it folded its wings in and banked sharply downwards somewhere over the railway line at Quarry Rd. Some local action at last.



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This morning's Breeding Bird Survey around the Romiley golf course OS square was damper than I might have hoped, but did yield some nice things. The one new species for the square was, surprisingly, a very late fieldfare, but I hadn't managed to encounter either sparrowhawk or lesser redpoll on the survey for several years and both put in an appearance today.

Perhaps the most real change though was house sparrow, which has been entirely missing from the route on either visit in 3 of the last 10 years, and when present, was only ever in one out of the ten segments. Today there were multiple birds in three separate segments.



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First swift just seen going north from my bedroon window. At least a good end to a poor day's birding.



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First local swallow over Hilltop this p.m. It does not a Summer make!



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The tribe of redwings numbering 80-85, which has frequented the general area throughout the Winter, was seen at Hilltop this afternoon. I wonder for how many more days?



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Hilltop: 2 ravens came from towards Manchester heading for Werneth Low at c3:00 p.m. Unusual direction; it is normally the other way round.



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A single waxwing was seen in a tree just beyond my back garden about 45 minutes ago. It then did a circuit above my house before flying off towards Central Drive.

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A song thrush was in fairly loud voice this afternoon at Romiley common woods. If only it meant Spring was round the corner.

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c90 pink-footed geese low, over my garden, going east at 8:10 am.

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11 or 12 ring-necked parakeets were leaving the Romiley station car park area this morning as I walked down Sunfield towards it. 3 ravens (2 together + a straggler) flew across the bottom of Sunfield at 11:15; seen from my bedroom window.



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Whooper swans heard moving SE over Sunfield at 11.05 last evening. Also a tawny owl calling from an oak on the estate for 10+ minutes.

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Another flock of c150 just went west. Passed to the south of Sunfield this time.

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Obvious redwing passage overhead at home with 120 in 5 groups over the last 15 minutes, all came in from the east.

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Amazing what you can witness on a walk down the centre of Romiley, taking in the opticians and the dentists! 100+ pink-footed geese flew across Compstall road going SE at 2:30 p.m. Just after first seeing them, 4 swallows also crossed the road going S. On my (diverted) path back home, 2 ravens flew over Greave going towards Werneth Low.



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A hobby sailed around Hilltop for 4-5 minutes at 3:10 pm. It was circling, gaining height. This was explained when it dropped the remains of whatever it had been eating on the wing. It then began to move swiftly SE, but soon spotted another prey item, and swooped on that. I presume they were both large insects.



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A small piece of brightness on such a gloomy day was the sight of at least 12 swallows hawking for insects around the woods on Hilltop. This included a minimum of 7 recently fledged young, which perched on a wire fence to be counted! Great to see.



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A garden warbler in full, wonderful song on the golf course former practice area this afternoon. Easily outdid blackcaps, chiffchaff, willow warbler, goldfinches, stock dove for tune. Will have to watch out for the jays though!



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Common whitethroat back in the field to the north of Sunfield estate. A good job really, as otherwise things were pretty mundane, 2 linnet being next best.



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First swift in Sunfield's sky this year when one flew over my garden this morning.



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First singing blackcap of the Spring on the western side of Hilltop this p.m. 6 sand martins also flew through near to Sunfield.



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Red kite just directly over my garden, low, going NW.

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Astonished to just find 2 Ring Ousels feeding in the first field north of Sunfield on Hilltop. At the right hand end of the large central field. Flown into cover of Holly bush.

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2 ravens, one in hot pursuit of the other, over home C30 minutes ago. Came in from the north and veered sharply east. Great entertainment whilst eating lunch!

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Around Hilltop p.m. 4 buzzards, 3 redwings, sparrowhawk, chiffchaff etc...



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Two same-size sparrowhawks were sparring in a not too nasty way (some calling and mock attacks) over Sunfield this afternoon. Must be where two territories overlap. 2 chiffchaffs heard around Hilltop, 2 buzzards over with a raven joining them at one point. Still not quite what I'd expect on a fairly bright, warmish Spring p.m.



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Amazed, and totally saddened to have just found a freshly dead Barn owl on the first field north of my house on Sunfield. It looks so perfect; no injury or sign of attack. A really low moment.

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A chiffchaff was in Heald Wood at the Woodley end this afternoon. Also around Hilltop; several song thrushes in song, and pairs of bullfinch and stock dove. Earlier on, 2 ring-necked parakeets flew NE close to Sunfield estate.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Sunday 19th of March 2023 09:09:16 PM

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A raven was low over the rail station this morning, being hassled by a crow.



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A couple of signs of Spring this afternoon around Hilltop. FIrstly, a song thrush flew past me carrying nesting material into a dense patch of ivy, and another was singing on the other side of the hill. A little further on, 2 pairs of great spotted woodpecker were going head-to-head at the boundary of their prospective territories. It was fascinating to watch the two males do the sky-pointing pose at each other just a few meters apart. I don't think I've seen 4 adult woodpeckers at the same time too often before.



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2 ravens low over the Sunfield estate this morning going WSW. Highlights of an afternoon hobble around Hilltop were 70-80 lapwings which flew East, 2 mistle thrushes, a singing song thrush, a goldcrest (possibly a 2nd bird too) and 31 redwings down on a field adjacent to Sunfield. Later on, what appeared to be the same group were in trees to the NE. These were joined by another 2 groups of about 20, which were closely followed by a chasing sparrowhawk!



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2 ravens over Sunfield estate (seen & heard from Hilltop) at dusk, going in a NE direction, which is not usual.



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late p.m. 2 snipe(s) flew SE over Hilltop, which were almost certainly home patch firsts, although may have had records of nocturnal birds before. A lone goldcrest was in the otherwise deathly quiet woods.



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Red Kite over Romiley Golf Course 11.40 drifted towards Werneth Low

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11.15am today approximately 40 Fieldfare briefly settled in the trees between the canal and the the train line on the west side of Hilltop, 10 minutes later another flock of Approximately 20 moved through heading south.

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Nice to be a small part of the redwing influx this afternoon. Roughly 420 were in many flocks (mostly 20-40 in each) over Hilltop in c90 minutes, most of these between 4:10 - 4:40. I'm fairly sure there was a small flock of c10 fieldfare too. Most headed south, but a few dropped down into the hedgerows nearby.



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Probably the same hobby of yesterday was seen at height over Pinfold Lane (near the golf course), flying swiftly and directly SE at 2:35 p.m. Probably the last I'll see of it until next year.



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Hobby drifted around Hilltop at 4:30 p.m. before going behind trees towards Woodley.



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About 25 goldfinches were feeding in a field just behind Sunfield estate this p.m., and a Hobby tried to take advantage, coming in like a blur from my right, then quickly out of sight. This was the second time I've seen one around Hilltop in the last 6 days. The previous one was being 'escorted' by a sparrowhawk. Can't say I've ever seen the two side-by-side before.

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A hobby - pursued by about a dozen jackdaws - flew through Sunfield estate at 10:40 a.m. It was about twice rooftop height, and c75m from my living room window from where I viewed it. I wonder if it accounts for the missing swifts as I haven't seen the 5 which have been in the area for 3-4 weeks for three days now. Fingers crossed it's a temporary thing.



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And my second BTO breeding bird survey visit today yielded several species I don't get every year (treecreeper, buzzard, raven, lapwing, mandarin).

Interestingly, there was a blue tit with a ring, by the footpath in the horse field below Low Top Farm. Is there someone ringing locally?



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Good to encounter both willow warbler and swallow this morning on BTO breeding bird survey, going down and up either side of Romiley golf course. However, the highlight for the square (not previously recorded) was a couple of siskins (contributing to a total of 31 species)



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Willow warbler singing from birches on Sunfield estate this morning. Quite a 'rarity' for here, and one more than I saw on Werneth Low in the afternoon!



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2 Swallows flew low over Hilltop, nr Heald Wood going NW at 3:10 p.m.



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Tawny owl(s) heard in hedgerow North of Sunfield estate last night 10.40 p.m. when I was out moth hunting. A good view was obtained in the beam of my torch as one sat in an oak. Then heard calling this afternoon from woods at Healdwood 'mansion'. Did an hour on Hilltop hoping for osprey, but had to be content with a peregrine continually circling low nearby in the same area of sky for 10-15 minutes. Also 5 redwing seen - must still think it's Winter.



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Chiffchaff in front garden Acer bush as I had breakfast. Also 1 redpoll yesterday, with pr bullfinches and pr nuthatches.

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A Blackcap sang quite vigorously, in a couple of shortish bursts, in the wooded area of (what I call) Romiley Common this afternoon, top of Guywood Lane..



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