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Post Info TOPIC: John Rayner, Hazel Grove (COVID-19 garden lockdown)


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Not posted on here for a while. Since last post on 7th Aug I had a group of 4 Curlew over calling. (#33) But today a first for the garden. A small silvery-underwing butterfly visited my everlasting pea flowers. I couldnt believe it - a Purple Hairstreak miles from any oaks (well a good distance anyway). I was far too slow for a photograph but the record sits nicely with the Green Hairstreak from earlier in the year. Cheers John.

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Well its been a long time since a new garden bird (almost 2 months) but tonight I heard an Oystercatcher calling as I was attending my moth trap. Number 32.

Cheers, John

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A crazy 5 minutes this evening.

On the phone and staring out of the back bedroom window I noticed a raptor. Not the usual Sparrowhawk this time but russet-backed, an obvious male Kestrel. Excellent, lock down tick 30.

A few minutes later and still on the phone a raptor returned. By now I had picked up an old pair of bins and was amazed to see a Peregrine. Not only a lock down tick (31) but the first ever over my house.

Cheers John

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Hi Richard,
You may not have run your trap for a while but you've not lost it! I had that pug confirmed by an ex-county recorder. Freyer's it is smile (It was a new moth for me).

Whilst waiting for the local Superheroes (Spiderman and Captain America) to make an appearance a Swallow flew north (#29). I wanted a photo for my grandson - Heroes not the Swallow.

More moths: A couple of nights ago was a good trapping night: Another new moth was Spruce Carpet and I also got a couple of May Highflyers.

Cheers John



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John been a while since I used to run a moth trap. Take it it was quite large. Personally I don't think the black spot in the wing is distinct enough for Brindled. When I opened the jpeg my first impression was Freyers Pug. They were the commonest Pug in my Royton garden. Only a suggestion though and happy to be guided by others. Cheers

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2 Swifts fiew rapidly south at 10.40. My first new garden bird since April 17th (# 28).
A Buzzard drifted by and a Sparrowhawk circled overhead yesterday. If it wasn't for the displaying Dunnocks and nest building Woodpigeons my garden itself would be completely birdless. As birdless as my moth trap is mothless, after many days of continuous catches of zero I caught this pug last night. I think it is Brindled Pug, anyone confirm?

Cheers John

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Absolutely nothing new in the garden for ages and many of the old favourites seem to have gone missing as well. Today I did enjoy watching a Dunnock fluffing up and sunning to cleanse its feathers. Presumably this disturbed feather mites as it then spent some time picking through and preeming its feathers. The moth trap continues to disappoint. The only alternative to the continual thin stream of Hebrew Characters being a single Early Thorn.

Cheers John

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I was emptying the moth trap (nothing but Hebrew Characters for days now), when I heard a familiar song out front. Rushed round to catch a glimpse of my first Willow Warbler of the year in silver birches over the road. Excellent! (#27).

Cheers John




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A very quiet day bird-wise. Only thing worth mentioning was my first Speckled Wood of the year, which flew straight through the garden without stopping. Cheers John.

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Another bird addition when a Grey Heron (#26) flew past the house no doubt looking for a garden pond. Later a circling Buzzard was mobbed by a Carrion Crow. I don't expect many more additions to the garden list now. Swallow, Swift & Chiffchaff expected but anything else would be quite unusual.

The moth trapping was poor as well last night - just 3 Hebrew Characters. I had my first fly-through Orange Tips this afternoon.

Cheers John

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Not a lot to report today after yesterday's excitement. All I could manage was to upgrade Greenfinch from heard to seen, as one sang from the top of next door's Alder.

The moth trap only produced 2 micros. Twenty-plume Moth and Achystola acroxantha (Ruddy Streak). Latter attached.

Cheers John

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Thanks John, probably flew past my van!! I was working in Bugsworth up until 11.30 and drove past Hazel Grove Golf Course at noon.



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Tony,

Mostly resting on Penstemon and Hebe. I am told it has probably been blown off the moors and that the nearest breeding colony is about 3 miles away.

Cheers, John

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Great find John, is it resting on Oleander ?



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Fantastic garden record John! smile

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The Green Hairstreak is still present 90 mins later and seeing off all intruders. Im chuffed to bits with it

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A Greenfinch (#25) was briefly wheezing away early morning but heard only, I couldnt see the blighter over the tall shrubs that surround the garden. The Robin doesnt like the pair on Dunnocks feeding on the lawn. Repeatedly swooping down to drive them away. Loads of Goldfinches around as always, the commonest finch by a mile.

Then in the afternoon an absolute highlight and a garden tick to boot. A stonking male Green Hairstreak visited the front garden. It rested for quite a while only moving to chase off a Small Tortoiseshell.

The only moth in the trap last night was a micro Diurnea fagella (March Dagger)

Cheers John.

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After moaning about their continued absence, both Buzzard (23) and Great Tit (24) fell in quick succession this morning. My Sparrowhawk put in another appearance and 2 Canada Geese flew over advancing them from heard to seen.

I have located my old homemade moth trap during the greenhouse clear out. Not used it since 1987 but tried it last night and it worked first time. Only 1 moth caught - a Hebrew Character.

Cheers John

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Not a lot happening in the garden, very poor in fact with only 8 species all day. Frequent Goldfinches and a couple of Coal Tits but the highlight, I suppose, were 2 House sparrows.

Cheers John

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An al fresco breakfast didnt produce any of the desired raptors (like Osprey) but the Sparrowhawk put in a couple of appearances to keep me entertained until it was seen off rapidly by a crow.
Later, with a brew in the last of the garden sunshine, I noted a Black-headed Gull high overhead (#22). Buzzard and Great Tit still surprising omissions.

Cheers John.

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In the garden this morning a nice female Sparrowhawk circled (#21). This evening 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over noisily. Otherwise the usual fare. Still no Great Tit or Buzzard.

Cheers John

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Nice - I was listening around 21:00 but still a bit of traffic noise. Had a Pipistrelle bat though.



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2nd April: Approx 21.20-22.00.

Another spell in the garden with fleece and brew. What sounded like a single Common Scoter flew over calling at 21.35.

3rd April:
A pair of Robins engaged in courtship feeding


Cheers John


-- Edited by John Rayner on Friday 3rd of April 2020 01:15:31 PM

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2nd April:

A male House Sparrow (#20) was chirruping away and collecting nesting material in the garden this morning. They are becoming quite scarce as a garden bird round my way. Next door but one is empty at the moment and a pair of Jackdaws were prospecting for nest sites down their chimney. Trouble ahead.

Cheers John

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01 April. 22.00.

After Ian's Manchester Birding 'of interest' Alert I went into the garden and within a few minutes heard a small flock of Common Scoter giving their distinctive 'pew' calls, probably a flock in single figures.

No. 19 for the garden lockdown list (and I still haven't seen Great Tit or House Sparrow)

Cheers John.

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30th March:

Four additions today. A Collared Dove was calling from my neighbour's TV aerial. A few Starlings flew over and, more distantly, pairs of Mallard and Canada Geese brought the total up to 18.

Cheers John

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Not much to add. The usual Robin turned up today (No. 14)

Cheers John

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28 Mar: A change in the weather today but I popped a fleece on and went through my routine of breakfast outdoors.

Meagre pickings. A total of 5 species in 30 mins! Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Coal Tit and Wood Pigeon hmm

Then some Feral Pigeons flew over and a LBB Gull saved the day smile

12. Feral Pigeon
13. Lesser Black-backed Gull

Cheers, John

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27 Mar:

Nothing new today. I thought I might have had a fleeting view of an overflying Bullfinch but failed to pin it down. I keep hearing a distant Great Spot drumming but cant locate it. - driving me daft.

Cheers John.

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26th March:

Breakfast in the garden today produced a further 3 species.

9. Jackdaw
10. Carrion Crow
11. Wren

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..... just needs a few ducks! A fantastic list there John, more variety than my garden. Love the way the garden is organised and taken care of too. Ta!

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Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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I initially just looked at the photo without first reading the post John and couldn't believe how big your pond was, it just wasn't the impression you'd given me in our recent chats  biggrin

 



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My Hazel Grove garden lies right in the middle of a housing estate which, in turn, lies on the edge of green belt. Hazel Grove Golf Course is nearby but the view from my house is essentially a typical suburban garden - a 12x20 yard rectangle. I have mature conifers and shrubs around the perimeter to act as a screen from my neighbours (in my garden, not theirs thus narrowing my garden considerably) and a small pond given over to wildlife. There is a tall Alder tree in next doors garden and a couple of mature Silver Birches next door but one. And essentially that is it. Near neighbours have no interest in wildlife and it is a challenge to attract birds to the 12 feeders I have put up. The only photo I can find is when it was flooded last year.

I have lived here since 1975 and over the years have had some pretty decent sightings. For example: Whimbrel fly over (1985), Curlews fly over (1992), Oystercatchers fly over (2005), Waxwings in neighbours Alder (2005), Lesser Whitethroat family party (1999), Treecreeper (2009) and Tree Sparrow (1979). My current garden list stands at 63. 

Today I started a Garden Lock Down List over my breakfast cornflakes and saw:

1. Coal tit singing away
2. Dunnock singing and collecting nesting material
3. Wood Pigeon singing and collecting nesting material
4. Magpie fly over
5. Blue Tit feeding on Birch catkins
6. Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming (first time I can recall hearing this from garden)
7. Long-tailed Tit feeding on Birch
8. Goldfinches

Cheers, John

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