Monday, 17 September 2012

Happy Osprey to Me!

We had a great afternoon on Saturday, a real Birthday treat for me, we finally got time to get down to Upton to see the Osprey that has been delighting the crowds!

We went to the Moor Pools first, only to have just missed him fishing, so we went around to the flashes, where he perches to have his lunch!

We had great views from the Avocet hide. It's brilliant to see such a magnificent bird on our patch. We have had great views up in Scotland in the past (Loch Insh) but to see one on your own doorstep is fantastic!

He never got really close, so the photos are all from a distance, but I'm happy!

A little bit indulgent with all those, but it's not every day...........

So that was the Osprey, others worth mentioning, were the Snipe:

Green Sandpiper:
Performing Lapwings:

Magnificent Curlew:

In addition a Pintail was also a first for us at Upton. A Hobby did a quick fly past the hide, I might get a photo one day!

Sadly we missed the Redstart that had been around the hide just before we got there, never mind!

We went back on Sunday, in the hope of seeing the Osprey fishing, but that didn't come off for various reasons, though we did add a Dunlin to the weekend list.

We popped around to the Water Rail hide hoping for the Kingfisher, but alas he was being shy today! Although just before we left at 5:30 the Canada Geese and the few Greylags gave us a great show by leaving in dribs and drabs then coming back enmasse, we just love that noise:

Our UK year list is creeping up, add 1 for the Osprey!
So our full list for the weekend:

Black-headed Gull
Blue Tit
Canada Goose
Carrion Crow
Common Sandpiper
Great Crested Grebe
Great Tit
Green Sandpiper
Grey Heron
Greylag Goose
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Mute Swan
Pied Wagtail
Reed Bunting
Rock Dove
Tufted Duck

Bye for now.
We'll be off the air for a couple of weeks.. Going to Sri Lanka tomorrow night!! So hope to add a fair number to our life list!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Planes, Birds and a Party (Or An Afternoon at Martin Mere)

Well after a very quiet August where we didn't get to do much wildlife watching and only clocked 42 species of birds for the whole month, September is looking better already, over a busy weekend, we have passed August and stand on 43! But out of those 1 is a lifer and we've had a first (observed) visit into our garden by a Great Spotted Woodpecker this morning! Brilliant.

So what have we been up to, firstly on Saturday it was off up to Cheshire for my Great Nephews joint 18th and 21st birthday party, hence the party of the title, a very merry time was had by all. But where do the planes come in the title........... you'll have to wait!

Back to the Saturday, it's always a joy going up to my sister in law's for many reasons, one of them being the birds. As I've probably mentioned in previous posts, she lives by the River Weaver, so gets a great variety of visitors to her feeders, (back window) and from the front window views over the river. Highlight on the feeders this weekend was a Nuthatch, brilliant to see them so close.

We had decided that as we were staying over and had never been to Martin Mere (and are members) that instead of heading home Sunday we would go and visit. We knew it wouldn't be spectacular as it can be fairly quiet this time of year, but as it happens it was. Here comes the planes bit, what we didn't know was that it was Southport Airshow, so from the Ron Barker hide we had birds and planes, the best of the heavy metal was the Vulcan!
So back to birds, we had a great afternoon in the Ron Baker hide, we just stayed in there as there was so much going on and chatted to a very nice like minded couple for the majority of the time in there.

The lifer for us were the Ruff, it would have been nice to see them in Summer plumage but a lifer none the less, beggars can't be choosers.

We had brilliant displays from the raptors: Buzzards, Kestrel and 3 Marsh Harriers (2 Female, 1 Male)

There were plenty of Greylag and Pink Footed Geese about:

We just love the noise of flocks of Geese coming in and can't wait to go to Norfolk in November to see them in their thousands!

Another plus were 3 Whooper Swans:

The only draw back was that the waders were staying well away from the hide and with the sun in our eyes and the hazy conditions it was tough to identify them for sure, we did confirm Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwit , Redshank and of course hundreds of Lapwing.
Apart from Mallard, the only confirmed Ducks were Teal and a solitary Shelduck flying past. We apparently missed the Kingfisher by minutes and it didn't come back, oh well will have to go to Upton or down Haden Hill Park. (On the Upton Note, anyone know if the Osprey is still about?)

So a lovely afternoon out:
Birds of a feather:
Black Headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull,
Black Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Dunlin, Lapwing, Redshank, Grey Heron,
Coot, Moorhen,
Mallard, Teal, Shelduck,
Buzzard, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier,
Crow, Starling, Robin, Woodpigeon,
Cormorant, Whooper Swan,
Greylag, Pink Footed Goose.

Birds of Metal: (of Note)
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster, Hurricane & Spitfire)
Avro Vulcan B.2
Panavia Tornado GR4
Westland Lynx
plus many more

8 Days to Sri Lanka..............