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Post Info TOPIC: Ian McKerchar, Astley (COVID GARDEN LOCKDOWN 2)


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RE: Ian McKerchar, Astley (COVID GARDEN LOCKDOWN 2)
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Blackbird nest building in the garden today.



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Small Tortoiseshell in the garden today.



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2 pairs of Buzzard from the garden this afternoon, one of which were displaying right over the garden and field!

Chaffinch and Greenfinch singing and still a good sized (50+) flock of Black-headed Gulls (not able to check for any other species due to distance and such bright sunlight but I’m not complaining!) but now south of the east Lancs road.



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Just walked into the garden from being across at Colliers Wood (which is across the road from me) and the 2 Mediterranean Gulls which were drifting over there were circling very vocally directly over the house with 4 Black-headed Gulls for around 2 minutes before drifting slowly off E/SE.

First Chiffchaff of the year for the garden singing from the field edges too.



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c130 House Sparrows on and under the garden feeders and waiting their turn sat in the brambles mid-afternoon today, the highest count for a while!



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Still at least 500 Black-headed Gulls wheeling over the fields seemingly off Moss Lane/Morleys area this afternoon.

Also an Oystercatcher low over the house (just above rooftop level!) heading north and 4 soaring Buzzards.



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Wonderful late morning and early afternoon in the sun, mainly just for the sun it has to be said!

Nevertheless, a pair of Mediterranean Gulls were very vocally flying around just south of the garden by Morleys Hall just before midday, heading off leisurely east.

It then became apparent that there were large numbers of Black-headed Gulls in the area of Morleys/Tyldesley Sewage Works, possibly due to muck spreading/ploughing or just some form of insect hatch, but flocks of gulls wheeled in the air (often really high) and came and west, numbering at one point around 500 strong!

Loads of bird noise around the garden with the constant chatter of House Sparrows, singing Dunnock, Robin, Mistle Thrush (actually singing in the garden), Blue and Great Tit.

A Coal Tit visited the feeders, a Jay was around the field and at least 3 Buzzards soared around the area.

Also, a Peacock butterfly flew through.



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The House Sparrow flocks feeding in the garden peaked at c120 in at any one time today, practically bending the feeding pole with over a dozen hanging off every fat ball feeding cage, 40+ on the ground at any one time and the brambles always full of birds waiting their turn!

A Skylark also flew low south over the garden, only just over rooftop height calling away.



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Not had much opportunity to watch the garden of late but a Grey Wagtail around the rooftops today was nice, a pair of Buzzards have been getting a little 'frisky' in the field behind the house, the House Sparrows still number anywhere up to 80 or so at any one time, 4 Dunnocks feed at the same time and a couple or Robins also make the most of the spilt seed and bits of fat balls.



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Late news for yesterday when a morning‘s zoom meeting at least meant I could keep a close eye on the comings and going’s in the garden for a couple of hours!

A female Great Spotted Woodpecker on the fat balls was best of all but there was a supporting cast of up to 80 House Sparrows in at any one time, 4 Dunnocks, 2 Robins, a Jay briefly and 2 Blue Tits together.



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Highlight today, aside from the usual coming and goings of the 80+ House Sparrows were a very low Grey Wagtail over south early morning and 2 Jays in the hedges.



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House Sparrows were up to a maximum of c130 on and around the feeders at any one time today, also the flock of Long-tailed Tits numbered 17, with 12 of them on the fat ball feeders at one time while the rest hung around in the tall shrubs.



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13 Long-tailed Tits crammed onto the bat balls feeders currently!



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4 Dunnocks in the garden (a new record, small things these days...) with 60+ House Sparrow, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Robins and a Jay whilst I attend a Teams meeting on my laptop this morning biggrin



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80 House Sparrows was the largest single feeding flock in today and 17 Long-tailed Tits on the fat ball feeders at once was a good highlight. A Sparrowhawk flashed across the field in the afternoon but didn't come near the garden and a single Coal Tit was calling from the trees along the edge of the field.



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c300 Jackdaw heading west in a single flock at 4:25pm this evening, no doubt towards the roost at Pennington Flash.



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At least 70 House Sparrows feeding in the garden today, with 3 Blackbirds, the female of which was very dominant over the two males, 2 Robins, 2 Dunnocks, upto 3 Woodpigeons and a couple of Magpies.

Didn't venture outside other than the feed them though, the long days sat out on the decking in the warmth during the first lockdown in spring 2020 seems a long time ago now...



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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar.