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Post Info TOPIC: Compstall area


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RE: Compstall area


Not something I should have to say, but a group of 15 house martins over the old Libarary building this p.m. was a surprise. 



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This morning there was a mixed flock about 50, mainly house martins and swallows with a couple of sand martins, but no pied wagtails. I did see 11 grey wagtails on my wander by the Goyt and Etherow.



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p.m. Water treatment works and surriunding fields:-

20 swallows, 6 or so sand martins, 2-3 house martins, 50+ pied wagtails of which a few were 'white'. 1 willow warbler singing in Redbrow Woods.

An interesting bird was seen at distance over Ernocroft. Looked like a heron/stork sp., but after circling for a couple of minutes at height, it disappeared into the clouds!! The only bird I've ever seen do this before was a spoonbill. One that got away.



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p.m. 27th Feb. Water treatment works. Over 100 pied wagtails on the filter beds and adjacent fields, signs that at least something is on the move. Also a minimum of 12 grey wagtails and 4-5 meadow pipits, otherwise quiet.



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p.m. The water treatment works had a good count of grey wagtails - 12, which equalled my best there; but with comings and goings, and not all areas visable, I would say there were at least 15 present. Pieds were c60, which is about normal for recent years, but way down on the past (100+). Also 2-3 meadow pipits, 1 grey heron and the usual jackdaws and black-headed gulls. Redbrow wood was quiet, but did have 3 goldcrests, 1 treecreeper and 1-2 nuthatches. 500+ jackdaws flew down the valley towards the S-W at dusk, again a mere relict of past numbers.



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Looking back on my previous posts around this time, it makes for painful reading. Today the water treatment area held zero (that's as in nothing, nada, zip) hirundines or swifts (or anything else other than corvids). I know the weather was none too bad, but in the past at least the local breeders were usually to be seen. Later, I saw one house martin and one swallow on my walk through Brabyns Park. I'm hoping that perhaps the main arrival of swallows/martins/swifts is yet to come, but somehow I think I'm going to be disappointed. There was a single garden warbler singing amongst the 4 or so blackcaps in the grounds of Compstall Hall.



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70-80 house martins around the water treatment works and adjoining farmland was a relief to see; only a few swallows and sand martins, less so. On a joyless, almost songless p.m. walk (hopefully down more to the temperature and time of day than a genuine paucity of migrant warblers, but I wouldn't bet on it), the most outstanding incident was a crow robbing the nest of a pair of jays (one egg seen taken). Just shows how everything would look after itself if Mr. Gamekeeper would just push off and leave things to nature.



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Somewhere between 55-60 pied wagtails on the ETW's this afternoon is ridiculous for this time of year. All but the odd swallow and house martin hung on from the weekend, and these disappeared as things closed in. 



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The water treatment works had a blizzard of birds this p.m. No less than 140 swallows was a record for here, c25 house martins and less than 10 sand martins which, when all in flight over a small area of the works, made quite a sight. Luckily, many of the swallows rested on wires at one point which made the counting task a bit easier. Also there: at least three white wagtails, with about 20 pieds and a single grey. 4 stock doves in nearby fields,



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A flock of 20+ siskins, plus three separate stragglers seen in Brabyns Park. A sizeable tit flock on Rollins Lane held chiffchaff and goldcrest.

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A really good afternoon.

At least 100 martins and swallows around the water treatment works attracted a hunting hobby. This was seen at close range as it didn't see me below the bankside tree canopy and flew directly over at about 15 meters. Buzzard and sparrowhawk seen just after this. The other highlight was a spotted flycatcher flycatching (as you'd guess) by the iron bridge in Brabyns Park. Also seen was stuff like mandarin duck, dipper, chiffchaff etc.. Hardly a dull moment in two and a half hours.

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