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Crook O' Lune & local area forays.

Posted by Steve Graham 
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
October 15, 2018 04:16PM
15/10 - A good passage morning as predicted. Best birds were 2+4 Crossbills all flying E around 08:50. First record here for 2/3 years.

Supporting cast included more Redwings, Skylark, Siskin and single Curlew, my first for a couple of months here. Not yet had Lesser Redpoll over this Autumn unusually.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
October 19, 2018 07:58AM
18/10 - A single Fieldfare was on the estate briefly along with 20 Redwing again. Fieldfare is surprisingly scarce here and less than annual.

19/10 - Early morning walk produced 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Little Grebe and a Kingfisher.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
October 24, 2018 02:24PM
24/10 - c50 Fieldfare West over cycle path at Caton late morning.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
October 26, 2018 03:02PM
26/10 - More evidence of Winter visitors with, unusually, 10 Fieldfare on the estate, 20 Redwing and at least 2 Brambling calling and a female seen. A few more Siskin around and mid-afternoon a female Sparrowhawk was mobbed by 3 Pied Wagtails and a Grey. Good Autumn stuff! Also 2 Ravens S this morning.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
December 05, 2018 07:56AM
Typical late Nov/early December here. A pair of Mistle Thrush back and around 20 Redwing still present. Most of the finches have moved on but there are still a few Siskin present. Another 'singing' House Sparrow last Sunday morning was the third record this year. That is equivalent to the same number recorded in the last 5 years. Will they eventually colonise the area as they breed very close in both the Halton & Caton directions.

A couple of Dipper sightings recently and still Little Grebe about. No sighting of wintering Goldeneye here so far.

Merry Christmas
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
December 06, 2018 04:12PM
6/12 - Drake Goldeneye finally arrived back at the Crook today. Somewhat later than last year, 19/11.

Otherwise, as we were rain, drizzle, rain!

Merry Christmas
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
December 17, 2018 10:26PM
Not too much to report at the Crook recently. I find December my quietest month of the year here in terms of species count.

The single drake Goldeneye has been joined by another along with 4 redheads. Little Egret regularly feeding at the eastern inlet.

Other than that Grey Wagtail and 2 Pied Wagtails along with a couple of Siskin today.

Merry Christmas
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
December 22, 2018 03:57PM
21/12 - A Moorhen in the garden pond was a first here for me. It spent most of the morning in the pond and appeared to be finding plenty to eat. Another 4 seen around the Crook. Not a common bird here and the biggest count for me to date.

22/12 - Adult Herring Gull flying upstream, surprisingly scarce here. c6 Siskin coming to the feeders along with a few Goldfinch and Greenfinch. All useful for NYD!

Merry Christmas
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
December 23, 2018 03:45PM
23/12 - Siskins doubled overnight with at least 11 coming to the feeders this morning. A Stoat was a nice surprise and only my second record here.

Hermitage Estate, Crook O' Lune 2018 Sightings summary:

Birds: 79sp so far this year, (86sp in 2017). At least 25 species bred on the estate including several red-listed species. Highlight was a pair of Starlings breeding for the first time. Another pair bred at Hermitage Lodge also for the first time and a pair bred near the eastern picnic site in a tree, all fledged. Other breeders included Bullfinch - 2 pairs, Song Thrush 4-6 pairs, Spotted Flycatcher - just one pair here this year. Siskin bred again and 3 pairs of Great Tit and 7 pairs of Blue Tits were successful in nest boxes.

Butterflies: Garden produced a record 18 species included the first egg-laying Common Blue. WLH was recorded whilst I was away at Hermitage Lodge and believed to be the first record for the Lune Valley.

Dragons & Damsels: A record 11 species recorded including 3 new ones: Golden-ringed, BB Chaser and Banded Demoiselle. Southern Hawker, Azure Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly all oviposited in garden pond.

At least 30 spikes of Broad-leaved Helliborine appeared, many in different places to last year's discovery. Perhaps the best site around Lancaster away from the Limestones.

All records submitted to the appropriate recorders.

Hopefully getting something right with the management of the place!

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019.
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
December 27, 2018 07:23PM
27/12 - 5 redhead and 1 drake Goldeneye this afternoon along with a single redhead Goosander.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
February 02, 2019 05:18PM
Good to be back after a month of sailing to the Caribbean and back. A real bonus were two staff from the Orca charity which meant a lot of time on deck looking for Whales and Dolphins. Birds sadly during both crossings were rather thin on the ground. Far more productive crossing the Atlantic in September. A couple of Storm Petrels got on board and were successfully released after a rest. Sadly no camera with me on either occasion!

A very respectable 25 species of Cetacean were recorded including several new ones for me and the two staff.

Back home and back to winter weather but glorious today.

Notable increase in singing birds at the Crook this morning compared to early Jan. A Dipper was in full song by the road bridge. 5 Goldeneye dropped in mid-morning including an adult male. There was also a pair of Goosander feeding close to them.

A pair of Common Buzzard took advantage of the lunchtime sunshine and were doing some tentative display.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
February 02, 2019 06:45PM
Hot off the press. Garden Mega - At 17:22 just as the last light faded a Barn Owl flew past the garden being chased by a Crow. Wow!

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
February 11, 2019 05:58PM
11/2 - Plenty of birdsong here today including Mistle Thrush in full song and a couple of Song Thrushes. Bullfinches have been more active and regularly calling at the moment. c20 Greenfinch E early morning was a good winter count for here.

An Oystercatcher calling overhead was my first of the year here, spring is on the way! Also flushed a Woodcock which is just about annual here and always a pleasant surprise to come across one.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
March 04, 2019 05:42PM
A record 57 species recorded here in February despite no Redwings and just a single Fieldfare. Been very scarce in recent weeks.

1/3 - A Little Egret flying upriver was my first here this year.

2/3 - A single Lesser Redpoll, my first here this year, was on the feeder today. Along with up to 30 Siskins which have increased recently during the wet weather.

3/3 - Up to 50 Whooper Swans dropped into the fields just upstream of the Crook. Seen by my neighbour not myself and didn't stay long. Possibly the Melling birds?

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
March 14, 2019 03:20PM
14/3 - Chiffchaff intermittently singing at the picnic site by Woodies car park. Already my second singing bird this year.

River been high yesterday and today so not much birdlife on the river here.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
March 20, 2019 09:44AM
20/03 - Early morning bike ride to Bull Beck in the mist produced the following:

Goosander 2m, Little Egret, Kingfisher, Canada Geese 3 pairs, Greylag Geese 7 pairs, Curlew singing, Redshank 1 pair, Oystercatcher 7 pairs and a further 11 birds South.

No sign of any Sand Martins or LRP.

Hopefully, the floodgates should open in the next few days for summer migrants!

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
March 21, 2019 05:56PM
21/3 - Chiffchaff back singing on estate this morning. Same arrival date as last year following the Beast from the East last year. About a week later than average here but what is average anymore!?

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
March 24, 2019 08:27AM
24/03 - Finally my first Sand Martin at the Crook this morning. Chiffchaff still around and some geese movement. 20 Canadas N are surprisingly uncommon here despite the 'Goose Fields' just upriver at Bull Beck.

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
April 03, 2019 07:21AM
03/04 - A Blackcap sang briefly and 2 singing Chiffchaffs now around. 2 redhead Goldeneye lingering but little else of note at the moment.

Certainly doesn't seem like British summer time this morning!

Cheers
Steve
Re: Crook O' Lune & local area forays.
April 11, 2019 09:37PM
10/04 - 5 Sand Martin N.

11/04 - Redshank called today, surprisingly scarce here. Woodcock flushed on the estate. 2 Chiffchaff & 2 Blackcap singing. 2 Little Egrets landed on the estate briefly at teatime before flying downstream. Still no Swallows or Willow Warblers here yet.

Cheers
Steve
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