MB

  All users of this forum, please ensure you familiarise yourselves with the sticky posts at the top of each forum; posts not conforming to these guidelines and requests will be deleted.

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Newchurch Common


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:
RE: Newchurch Common


Armed with my trusty old notebook I returned to Newchurch this morning in dry, overcast conditions with the occasional glimpse of sunshine, but still quite warm.

The best sighting today was a flock of 56 Fieldfares flying over, and previously I had 8 Redwings over too. A Raven was cronking over the mosslands again. On my way in, near the entrance I had my first Goldcrest in a long time, please one day could it be a Firecrest instead!! Four Greylag Geese on Big Pool were new in. Still big numbers of Gadwall,  a female Teal, a female Shoveler and a female Wigeon, but again no Smew.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Down for a shorter walk this morning, overcast but dry.

The main highlight was a record count site of 61 Gadwall, along with a pair of Teal, 5 Wigeon and a female Shoveler. Again no sign of the Smew in another exhaustive search, think she may have gone flyabout as she does sometimes. A Cormorant also flew over Big Pool. A Lesser Redpoll flew into Finch Hedge where a Song Thrush skulked, a species not seen much recently. After yesterday a single Redwing was a disappointing tally!

One final note: my notebook, lost 3 weeks ago, was returned to me today by a kind lady dogwalker who found it & picked it up, waiting until she saw me again, having guessed that it was mine, result biggrin



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

When I was let down big time on a lift to Hornsea Mere today I felt gutted, but decided the antidote was a morning on patch and I'm so glad I went out, a cracking walk. Mainly dry and bright.

The best bird was a new species for the year at Newchurch, a female Wheatear, seen on Abbot's Moss, coincidentally another was at Burton Mere Wetlands today and three in the Moulton area yesterday, all points to a bit of movement for this species this week. In addition a Meadow Pipit was een on the adjacent Shemmy Moss and a few Linnets flew over as part of a movement of finches, most too high and distant to ID. A Green Woodpecker was also on the mosslands. 54 Redwings were counted across the whole recording area, my first here this autumn. My first Bullfinch for a long time was recorded too. A Pied Wagtail was again around the Dairy Farm farmyard.

A skein of 80 Pink-footed Geese flew NW over Gull Pool at 10.57am. On the two pools 40 Gadwall were seen and 6 Wigeon as well as a Teal, but no Smew today despite a thorough and lengthy search. At least 6 Common Gulls were on Big Pool and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over. As part of todays obvious movement at least 600, and more likely 800, Woodpigeons moved over the area. Finally into the afternoon when a couple of raptor species made an appearance, namely Sparrowhawk and Buzzard, the former being relentlessly mobbed by a Black-headed Gull!

So a day that started with disappointment ended in happiness, especially as the Hornsea mega, a White-rumped Swift, was not seen there by the hundreds who twitched it biggrin



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

managed to get out early today onto Newchurch with rain forecast later. Warm & overcast.

The notable feature of todays walk was the variety of wildfowl on the pools, a real sign of winter's onset again. The female Smew was with the Tufted Ducks as usual, but on view for the first time in 3 visits. Gadwall numbers have built up to an impressive 44 birds, but only one Wigeon was seen. My first Shoveler of the autumn was a drake and a drake Teal was also seen. On Big Pool a Snipe flew from cover near where I usually see this species. A Meadow Pipit was briefly on the wires over Sandy Lane where a Mistle Thrush was also seen. A Pied Wagtail flew over Big Pool from the north. A single Stock Dove was seen. Five Lesser Black-backed Gulls included an adult and juvenile that dropped into Big Pool where several Common Gulls are now being seen. A flock of Long-tailed Tits were nice to see near the main track. Not so nice was a dead Mute Swan near Big Pool, the state of it though made it look like a fox kill, the carcass having been nearly fully eaten.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Another of my shorter morning walks on Newchurch today, dull but not cold and dry for once.

The best bird by far was my last one in the notebook, a Hobby disturbed as I was walking back through the Pine Belt, E.of Big Pool. The bird must have been sat in the pines and I heard it first, then as it took off I got really close overhead views, a real Patch moment smile A scarcity on patch was a juvenile Grey Heron on Small Pool. A species not seen all summer was a Lesser Redpoll, seen bathing in a puddle by Finch Hedge with assorted tits and a Robin. On the pools again no Smew, but 13 Gadwall, 7 Wigeon and the female Teal. Just 1 Greylag Goose was with the Canada Geese, which I dedided to count and got at least 275 confuse The only other bird of note was a Stock Dove in a small group of Wood Pigeons flying over the paddocks.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

I just had to go check the pools today to see if the Pintail had lingered, even though all previous Pintails hve been one-day birds! Dull and drizzly again on my morning walk.

Sure enough no sign of the Pintail and he was out in the open yesterday, so I reckon he's gone. No sign of the Smew too, but being elusive at the moment it's more surprising that I see her so often, not that I didn't see her today! The most noteworthy sighting was a flock of 16 Greylag Geese, beating yesterdays count and possibly being my maximum count ever on patch! Also seen 5 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon, a female Teal, a Cormorant, a Common Gull and 2 Little Grebes.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

I have had a chest infection for the past few days & it's still hanging on, but not enough to stop me nipping out to check my local patch today! Dull and drizzly too so not very welcoming, but after a few days of house rest I was dying to get out again!

So glad I did because I added a new species to the 2018 Patch List for the site, in the shape of an eclipse drake Pintail. The bird was picked up distantly with bins, initially from the E.side of Big Pool so I hurried round to confirm the ID. Then back to the car to grab my scope to get a few pics! Scope views allowed the bird to be aged as an eclipse drake due to beak, flank and undertail covert markings. A nice bird for a smallish lake so far inland in Cheshire. The winter wildfowl theme continued with the female Smew present, tucked up in vegetation on the W.side of Big Pool, being very elusive again. 13 Gadwall were distributed between the two Pools with 5 Wigeon which were all on Big Pool. Ten Greylag Geese was a high count for my patch, the flock being briefly on Big Pool. Two Common Gulls on Big Pool and a Lesser Black-backed Gull over were further winter-type sightings. Finally a Cormorant completed the end of year feel to the day. A very succesful, if a little bit damp, walk on my patch.



Attachments
__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A really nice walk in the warm sun today.

The female Smew was again present, showing well but in a pretty innaccessible area of the pool, sorry! One very notable occurrance today was two high skeins of Pink-footed Geese over the patch, the first of 70 heading NW at 10.37am, followed by a skein of 55 heading W at 11.10am. Ravens were active over the mosses, being really vocal in family groups whilst at least 6 Buzzards were up in the cloudless sky. A Teal was seen on Big Pool, in flight only and 5(4 drake) Gadwall and a Wigeon were present too. A Grey Heron flew over Big Pool, not a common species here. A Mistle Thrush was heard singing still, wierd what a sunny day can do! A Pied Wagtail was on the barn roof at Dairy Farm and finally a Green Woodpecker was on the mosses.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A while since I was down on patch so a walk today was welcome, sunny and warm, very pleasant to be out.

The female Smew was present and showed well (picture) but could be elusive at times. 6(4 drake) Gadwall were present as well as 1 drake Wigeon. Two Cormorants were another sign of the end of summer. A leucistic Tufted Duck caused me a few extra fast heartbeats until I got my scope on it! Several Rooks frequented the field by Sandy Lane again. My visit was terminated early by the loss of my notebook, so if anyone reading this finds it they know where I am!!

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 26th of September 2018 10:54:05 AM

Attachments
__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

This morning whilst out with the horses a Swallow flew over us on Sandy Lane, as it may be the late date for my patch I wanted to note it on here!



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Second and last visit this week due to work! Dull and showery, the final shower turning into a persistent rainy spell.

The female Smew was on Big Pool, over on the far western shore, very difficult to pick out with bins, hence she was the 39th species seen today! A Grey Wagtail was on a muddy patch on Gull Pool, viewed from the Whitegate Way bench. A Pied Wagtail flew over too. A passage of Meadow Pipits was noted with 10 in total in three groups of 8, 1 and 1. A Kestrel was on Abbot's Moss. Three Green Woodpeckers were noted. Winter representation was 3 Wigeon, 2 on Small Pool, and a pair of Gadwall. The Greylag Goose was still with the large Canada Goose flock. The first Stock Dove for a while was seen, over Shemmy Moss. Summer representation was 10 House Martins over Gull Pool and 8 Swallows scattered over the site, including one down over the surface of Big Pool in the rain. A strange mixed flock was on Abbot's Moss: 9 Starlings and a lone Mistle Thrush, flying around & perching togather! Two Rooks were in fields by Sandy Lane.

All in all an excellent day with lots of species not seen regularly here but on the down side I got soaked biggrin



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

After a fortnight away from my patch on holiday in Cornwall it was a no-brainer to head down there at the first opportunity this morning. Dull, but quite warm weatherwise.

The female Smew was out in the centre of Big Pool, viewable from just aboit every vantage point going! Remember to try to use pegs not in use by fishermen when visiting. Other winter wildfowl today were 3(1 drake) Gadwall on Big Pool, a female Teal on Big Pool and 3(2 drake) Wigeon on Small Pool. Big numbers of Tufted Ducks and Canada Geese were noted, a Greylag Goose was still in with the latter species. An adult Common Gull was also on Big Pool. In contrast there were still signs of summer with a single Swallow over Big Pool and a Chiffchaff in one of the meadows.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

 

An early walk in mainly dull, colder conditions.

Star bird waa a Hobby seen darting over Abbot's Moss. The female Smew was still present, with also on Big Pool 8(3 drake) Gadwall and a Teal. A Common Gull also made it feel more winter-y! However Sand Martin , House Martin and Swallow fed over Big Pool and a Blackcap was near Small Pool. Other noteworthy sightings for the patch included a Rook and a Pheasant.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A very brief visit to Newchurch didn't produce much. The favoured areas of the female Smew were all occupied by fishermen, so no sign. Thursdays are often a day that fishermen arrive for a weekend stay (they are allowed 3 nights on Big Pool, so Thurs, Fri & Sat are favoured ones). On Big Pool there were 5 Greylag Geese amongst the Canada Goose flock, a big number for here. In the former setaside field there were 14 Lapwings still.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Another morning at Newchurch Common, and the usual suite of sightings as per the last few visits.

The female Smew was on Big Pool and elusive today. Two Gadwall were seen and three Common Gulls with two Lesser Black-backed Gulls over. A Sparrowhawk over was a nice addition to the August list. The Greylag Goose was with the Canada Geese again. Swallow, Sand Martin and House Martin were all seen and Green Woodpecker was again present.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

The main bird today was a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, my first of the year, on Sandiway Big Pool, but a bird that is annual on my patch. The female Smew was again on Big Pool with now 60 Tufted Ducks and 4 Gadwall. Over 150 Canada Geese were on the pool with the single Greylag Goose again. I was on patch earlier than usual today as I received a call before 8am from a local saying that an injured Canada Goose was on grass by the pool and she wanted me to check it out. On arrival only 1 Canada Goose was present and that was out on the water showing no signs of distress, but could well have been the bird in question. Later the 150 strong flock arrived and that was that! Two Common Gulls were also on the pool and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over. The male Yellowhammer was again on wires above Sandy Lane. 11 Lapwings were still in the former set-aside field. Sand Martins, Swallows and Chiffchaffs were all present still as were a couple of Green Woodpeckers.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Again the star bird was the female Smew on Big Pool, showing well both am and pm when I was there, and over 50 Tufted Ducks are now present, the reason she is back! Three Gadwall were also seen, probably the same as seen the other day. A massive arrival of 60 Canada Geese, with 1 Greylag Goose. A couple of Green Woodpeckers were present too. 12 Lapwings were still in the ex-set-aside, now looking to be planted with winter wheat. One Rook flew over. A couple of summer throwbacks were singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A late report for Thursday 16th August (yesterday). Had a short walk with a person I was guiding but lack of his mobility limited our range, concentrating solely on Big Pool and the surrounds.

By concentrating on Big Pool the best sighting of the day was achieved, and it was one I forecast on my previous visit - the female Smew!! After an arrival of a couple of wildfowl species more associated with winter on the pools on my last visit, and with Tufted Duck numbers on the increase it was odds on that the Smew would appear, returning with her carrier Tufted Duck group no doubt. A Common Gull on Big Pools was also a more autumnal/winter sign and a complete lack of summer migrants completed the picture. The Smew,as always when she first comes back, was very elusive and disappeared almost as soon as we'd found her, in fact I only just got my visitor onto her before she swam off into cover. It's nice to know that she hasn't been shot by wildfowlers in her summer quarters and she may now stay for her 4th consecutive winter (that I know of) smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 17th of August 2018 10:11:18 AM

__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A morning walk was in dull weather today, and the autumnal feel was matched by a couple of wildfowl arrivals.

On Big Pool unexpected finds were 2 Wigeon and 3 Gadwall. maybe the Smew next?! In the ex-set-aside, which is now ploughed were a flock of 30 Lapwings which contained young birds from this year, a good sign. A Rook flew over the mosses. A Green Woodpecker was also on the mosses. Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins were all seen, otherwise not very summer-y!



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A new bird species was added to the year list for Newchurch Common this afternoon, a Hobby, one of the first birds on the list, over the entrance track. A Lapwing was over the northern fields, my first for a while. Otherwise very little to report.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

An afternoon walk in the heat produced a couple of surprises today. Both were wildfowl on Big Pool. The first was two Teal which erupted in flight from the willow spit, the speculums were seen otherwise I may have thought that a Garganey sighting had got away from me! Next out in the same area a female Gadwall drifted into view. Both these species are commoner in winter, not exactly how you would descibe the weather at present!

Otherwise the highlights were Green Woodpecker including this years young, Long-tailed Tit and a flyover Stock Dove.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Tried for a longer walk today but scuppered by my car computer coming on to say I had a puncture so I turned round and went home.

Instead we headed to the horses in my wife's car and I had another shortened walk with them! Again a Yellowhammer was at Sandy Lane. A Nuthatch called near the entrance track, not all that usual in the summer months. Other birds of note were Green Woodpecker and a single Greylag Goose again on Big Pool. I forgot to add yesterday that I had my record count of House Sparrows on site yesterday, with c.60 together on Sandy Lane.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 2nd of August 2018 11:10:41 AM

__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Todays walk was a very short one, and only done because we had taken the horses out on my patch!! Notable were a male Yellowhammer singing on Sandy Lane again and a Collared Dove on a telegraph pole in the same area. Hopefully I'll get a longer walk tomorrow!!



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A lengthy morning walk in the sunshine. Nothing outstanding but notable sightings included Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker and the first returning Common Gull, an adult on Big Pool. The Mute Swans are still being abysmal parents and have 1 cygnet left now out of the original 6, they have just left the young to fend for themselves with the predictable consequences. A Moorhen youngster joins the list of evidence of breeding on site.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Another lengthy walk, in the sunshine, so mainly for insects, but I did give birds a passing glimpse!!

A new bird for the year on patch was a Peregrine on the mosslands, this species isn't even annual here so I was very pleased to add it for 2018. Also today of note was another Rook and one Green Woodpecker. Linnet, Skylark and Reed Bunting were all again recorded on the mosslands. No sign of the Greylag Goose and only 1 Mute Swan cygnet seen on Big Pool. A family party including 7 young Long-tailed Tits continued yesterdays theme of breeding records. Also seen were young Tufted Ducks on Big Pool which in isolation looked dead ringers for Scaup, they had white face-patches, even a paler cheek and wings, one even had a pale ring round its neck a la Ring-necked Duck, oh the pleasures of fledgling ID!!



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Had my first proper walk on patch since my holiday. waking at 4.45am & not being able to sleep I was on site before 6am. It was dull, cloudy & ended in very light, fine drizzle!

Two Collared Doves were again on Sandy Lane, seems like they've moved in and won't be noteable any more on this patch. Another scarcity here, Rook, was noted twice, in different areas. Green Woodpeckers were heard in 3 locations. A Garden Warbler was alos heard. Six Linnets, probably a family party were on the mosslands where a Skylark was singing. One Greylag Goose lingered on Big Pool.

The visist was also noteworthy for breeding records, young seen included Buzzard, Coot, Mallard, Blackcap, Chiffchaff (4young), Robin, Great Crested Grebe (2 young), 2 Mute Swan cygnets (from the original 6) and a Wren was seen taking food to a nest.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Just an hour here this morning due to looking after horse duties! A Green Woodpecker was found and two male Pied Wagtails were in the paddocks. An increased number of Tufted Ducks were on Big Pool, so the Smew may not be long in returning with her carrier flock of 'Tufties'. Also on Big Pool was a lone Greylag Goose.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 20th of July 2018 10:06:49 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Had a very brief walk on part of the patch with the horses today. The male and female Yellowhammers were both seen on wires above Sandy Lane at the Dairy Farm end. Two Collared Doves were also on Sandy Lane, as rare as Yellowhammers on this patch! A Garden Warbler and a Chiffchaff sang on Shemmy Moss.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Back on patch in the hot sunshine after over a week continuously at work.

A Tufted Duck with 4 ducklings was the first proof of breeding for this species on Big Pool. The Mute Swans are down to 3 young from 6. Two Great Crested Grebe young were on Big Pool. Young Coal Tits were also seen. A Sparrowhawk was nice to see too and a Green Woodpecker was heard.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A bit longer walk today in the morning, always better, sunny and warm but breezy at times.

Best bird was a flyover Oystercatcher, any wader is good on my mud-free patch! A Collared Dove flew over Dairy Farm. Similar species to yesterday apart from these two, including Reed Bunting at Gull Pool and Skylark over the Mosslands. A Moorhen was seen with young on Gull Pool and a Willow Warbler was distracting me away from her nest on the Mosslands.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

An afternoon visit today produced two seperate sightings of Yellowhammer, both singing males, one on Sandy Lane and one on the mosslands. This year so far I have had abot 6 'bird days' for this species, a welcome increase. A couple of Whitethroat sightings on the mosslands included a silent female acting like she had young nearby. Also in the same area a male Reed Bunting and a Skylark were seen. A Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over the mosslands, my first on patch for a while. Again lots of insect eaters in the air over fields and pools, Swifts, Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A morning walk today started in sunshine & ended with dull weather.

The most unusual bird was a flyover Cormorant, not often seen in the summer months here. Hundreds of Swallows and Swifts were over the site too. Garden Warbler song was more evident than on recent visits.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

I managed a full length visit today but the weather was dull and cooler, still it allowed me to concentrate on birds rather than insects!

The star bird was a Yellowhammer seen by Sandy Lane, the third time recently that I have seen this species here, after only 1 record in the whole of 2017 and 1 in 2016! A family party of Jays were watched at really close quarters, a rare treat. A Kestrel was over Sandy Lane, nice to see but no Hobby records yet for 2018. 2 young Mistle Thrushes were in the paddocks. The first Bullfinch for a while was one near Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

My first visit back on patch after my recent holiday was a short afternoon visit today.

Not much of note. Birds not seen on every visit included a Kestrel and a Pied Wagtail. Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were still in full song. At least 40 Swifts were seen as well as Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins.

 



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Visits in summer don't usually produce any surprises bird-wise, but an afternoon walk yesterday (Tuesday June 5th) was the exception. A new bird for the year was seen on Sandiway Big Pool, namely Mandarin, with a female and three ducklings in East Bay keeping tucked well under the bankside vegetation. This is my second occurrence of the species on patch, having seen a female plus ducklings on Gull Pool last year. Other notable birds included a calling Cuckoo and a Green Woodpecker. A Linnet on wires above Sandy Lane was nice to see, as were Reed Bunting and Whitethroat on the mosslands. Swifts, House Martin and Sand Martin were all seen too.

__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Visited again this morning for a short walk and again quiet on the bird front.

A Green Woodpecker showed really well in the paddock by the parking area along with lots of Jackdaws and several Rooks, the latter not often seen in this particular area. A pair of Lapwings had 3 newly hatched young in horse fields by Sandy Lane. This species breeds around here and suffers high chick predation rates so I will watch this brood with interest and keep everything crossed. Also newly hatched were a brood of 6 Mute Swan cygnets on Big Pool, the same number as last year. Three of those ended up surviving, so interesting to see what the future holds for this brood. Two Stock Doves flying over were the only other birds of interest.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A long morning visit yesterday (Thursday May 31st), hot & humid with a few sunny intervals.

Not much birdnews, a Sparrowhawk was a nice sighting on Sandy Lane. Also Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Skylark, and Green Woodpecker. A flyover Cormorant was a rare summer bird here.




-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 1st of June 2018 10:20:44 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Yesterday (Monday May 28th) I had an extended walk on Newchurch Common in the hot sunshine and racked up a fair few bird species, although nothing too unusual.

The main news was as per before, namely Cuckoo and Green Woodpecker calling. A mate with me, with better hearing than me, heard Goldcrest singing in the Pine Belt too. A juvenile Mistle Thrush was nice, fully fledged and scaly and trying to be a White's Thrush!! Swifts were again seen over Big Pool and Skylarks were singing. A Reed Bunting was near Gull Pool with others on the mosslands. A Pied Wagtail was by Sandy Lane as was a Pheasant. The five usual warbler species recorded on site here were all seen.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A very brief visit this afternoon produced my first Swifts of the year here, with 6-8 birds passing through ahead of the oncoming rain and possibly storms! The only other things of note were a Green Woodpecker and a Pheasant!



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A short walk on Newchurch in the sunshine this afternoon produced very little the bird front. I heard a Cuckoo over on the mosslands and a couple of visiting birders said that they had heard two birds, but I couldn't confirm that. Otherwise just a Green Woodpecker calling and several Garden Warblers as usual.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 20th of May 2018 09:45:31 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Had another recuperative walk on Newchurch yesterday (17th May) in the sunshine am.

The most surprising find, albeit not totally out of the ordinary, was the return to Sandiway Big Pool of the female Smew. She always leaves the pool in the summer to be with the breeding Tufted Ducks, her carrier flock, and will occasionally return as she isn't actually breeding as they are! She was very elusive tucked up under the island and the flew over the willow spit and I couldn't relocate her.

The other main news was the Cuckoo still being around. He was initially on Abbots Moss and then seen flying to land in trees near Small Pool and was very vocal in both locations. Otherwise 8+Garden Warblers singing, a couple showing well, and Green Woodpecker heard again.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 18th of May 2018 02:56:45 PM

__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Suffering from a crippling back spasm again I managed a therapeutic walk on Newchurch (Mon 14th) for a couple of hours in the afternoon sun.

Highlights were few, but a couple of species not seen regularly were recorded, namely Collared Dove at Dairy Farm and a Grey Heron near the Whitegate Way. Common Whitethroats were on the mosslands and at least 5 Garden Warblers sang across the site. Green Woodpeckers are very vocal at the moment too. First Canada Goose goslings were seen with 9 on Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Another shorter walk today, I usually avoid weekends due to the site being really busy, but the scorching weather had me on looking more for invertebrates but keeping an eye out for birds!

The highlight was the first Cuckoo, heard at first and then seen on the top of a dead tree over on the mosslands section of my patch. Always great to see this species return, knowing how they are in decline and fearing that one year I may draw a blank on my patch. Luckily 2018 has started off with at least one male back! Also noteworthy was an increase in singing Garden Warblers with at least 4 birds on territory, one showing extremely well. Other than that Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing everywhere. My first brood of Coots were seen, 5 young on Small Pool and another brood of Mallards were present. A Lapwing was near the field pool by the entrance track.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Another afternoon walk yesterday, 2nd May, more as an afterthought that a full walk! Sunny but breezy.

Headline was a new bird for patch for 2018, Lesser Whitethroat. A bird was picked up singing in the area that I had my first ever patch Lesser Whitethroat last year. It isn't ideal habitat and last year it was just a one-day bird, passing through, I await my next visit to check. Another really nice sighting was a White Wagtail in the ploughed former set-aside, along with a mini-fall of 8 Pied Wagtails, presumably passage birds as this species isn't that common on my patch. Other than that the main event of note was 50 House Martins over Big Pool, again this happened last year, with an incredible number of this, usually my rarest hirundine, on just a couple of day early in the season. They were joined by 50 Sand Martins and 20 Swallows. I still await several migrants that I haven't picked up yet, maybe the good weather over the weekend will bring more smile



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

An afternoon walk to get the May sightings going on Newchurch, mainly sunny but a few cloudy spells too, breezy at times.

Very uneventful really, a Green Woodpecker showing well again in the same paddock was nice, especially as I had a person with me that I showed round (mainly for insects hence less of a birdy walk!). A single Swallow was over Big Pool. A Cormorant flew over - rare for May, and a Grey Heron was in the field pool by the entrance track. Two Stock Doves were in a ploughed field, the first I've seen here for a while.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

A bit of a gap since I was last out, my back pain has relapsed, so not easy at the moment. A morning walk to free it up, dry, bright & ended up sunny & q.warm.

Two new birds for the year, both for me and for my patch, both pretty much expected but nice to get them, all the same! Over on the mosslands I first opivked up a singing Garden Warbler and very soon afterwards a Common Whitethroat, which I later watched in display flight. Later another Whitethroat made it 2 of that species for the day. The other warblers that are already in were all in reasonable numbers too, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap, that is. Over Big Pool there were large numbers of hirundines but try as I might no Swift! Final tallies were 80 Sand Martins, 35 Swallows and 20 House Martins. No Smew either and reduced numbers of Tufted Ducks.

A Green Woodpecker showed very well on the ground in one of the paddocks. A Reed Bunting called from Gull Pool and a Skylark was up over the tree nurseries as usual. A Kestrel hunted Abbot's Moss and a Linnet flew over there calling.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Late post (sorry) for my next visit to Newchurch which was on Friday 20th April, a lovely warm and sunny day.

The female Smew was on Big Pool in her now favoured spot by the submerged willow spit, around 60 Tufted Ducks are now back on, her carrier flock must be amongst them. A single Greylag Goose flew over Small Pool too. On Small Pool 5 adult Mute Swans was unusual.

A male Reed Bunting was at Gull Pool and a Skylark still sang over the nursery fields by the mosslands. A Collared Dove was in The Paddocks estate. A Pied Wagtail was in the former set-aside field.

A visit two days later for half an hour on Sunday 22nd allowed the Smew to be confirmed as present still.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

After a short break it was back to local patching again yesterday (Weds 18th)on a dull dry morning.

As it always seems to be after going to see a rarity (the Black-headed Wagtail) it was pretty quiet on patch. A few things stood out, like a male Kestrel over the mosslands as well as a Reed Bunting and a couple of Linnets there and an Oystercatcher over, but heard only. A large bird in the distance with long, slightly bowed wings and a slow languid wing beat had my heart racing before I lifted my bins, could it be an Osprey or maybe just a Heron? No, but still totally unexpected it was a Great Black-backed Gull, over inland Cheshire in mid/late April, definitely a strange record. My first brood of Mallards were 7 ducklings on the flooded field pool by the entrance track. A Goldcrest was nice to see, my first for April 2018 and 2 Coal Tits were also in the pines. A single Swallow was over Big Pool and the common 3 warbler species were numerous. A Lapwing was sitting in an area in which they bred last year. Again Green Woodpecker was recorded as well as 45 Tufted Ducks, but no Smew.

A walk today (19th) after work to take advantage of a bright, warm, sunny evening saw the female Smew back on Big Pool. A decrease in the numbers of fishermen and an increase in Tufted Duck numbers suggested that with less disturbance the ducks were less skulky or that some had returned from other pools in the area, along with the Smew.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

I only had a couple of hours in the afternoon today to dedicate to Newchurch Common, but again it was well worth it. Dull, but dry today and warmer than of late.

The highlight was provided pretty early on when I stopped to check the ploughed fields along Sandy Lane. Instead of anything in the fields it was two birds flying over Dairy Farm that caught my eye and when they landed in a roadside bush I was amazed to see that they were two Yellowhammers, a male and a female. Since in previous years I have only had one sighting per annum of a single bird each time this was a very notable sighting and a 2018 patch tick. Later on another very noteworthy sighting was a pristine male White Wagtail in the ploughed, former set-aside field, showing very well close to the fenceline. Two Green Woodpeckers were heard on the east side of Big Pool and a Rook was near Small Pool. Many Blackcaps were singing and today showing much better than yesterday. Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were noted too but no hirundines today.

On the pools there was no sign of the Smew, but as usual around the weekend there were many more fishermen present and she is so skittish that their presence often means she isn't seen as well when the pool is busy. Whether she has flown onto another pool or just in cover is unknown, or even if she has left with her group of Tufted Ducks to head off to their breeding pools, only time will tell. The highlight over the pools was an Oystercatcher which I watched flying and calling as it headed over the Pine Belt and then over Big Pool.



__________________
facebook


Status: Online
Posts: 2087
Date:

Headed down earlier than usual to try to see if any early migrants were around that may be gone later in the day. A dull, cold, dreary day, with a cool breeze and occasional rain showers, not Spring-like at all!

In spite of the weather a great day on patch, it always is when you add a Patch Lifer to your list and that's what I did today, albeit a common bird elsewhere. With no wader habitat on my patch this group of birds is scarce and I've only ever recorded a handful, but today I picked up a Redshank standing on the submerged willow spit out in Sandiway Big Pool. This is where I've often had Snipe too, but it's hard having to rely on waders perching in trees to add them to the patchlist! Also on Big Pool was the female Smew again, near the submerged willow spit as usual, but elusive, with a small group of Tufted Ducks, which are now down to only about 25 birds. A Cormorant flew over, now it's spring sightings of this species will be rare. There were much greater numbers of Herring & Lesser Black-backed Gulls around, both over and on Big Pool. Two Greylag Geese flew in too.

The passerine highlight was the first Blackcaps of 2018 here, with 3 singing males noted. Also present were 2 Willow Warblers and 6+Chiffchaffs. Two male Reed Buntings were noted, a good count for here. Over Big Pool a good sized hirundine flock contained 40 Sand Martins, 20 Swallows and 2 House Martins. Other notable birds seen were Pied Wagtail, Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit. A Green Woodpecker was present east of Big Pool again.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 11th of April 2018 06:51:11 PM

Attachments
__________________
facebook
1 2 39  >  Last»  | Page of 9  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

RODIS

 

This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.