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The swifts have taken a bit of a battering in the last few days but those with live nests have put in an extra shift visiting. In stormy winds it is a dangerous activity making the nest entrance. Watching swifts this morning in calmer weather around 8.30am I was rewarded by an unusual sight. Firstly a buzzard wheeling over Freehold then a second appearing from height in a full speed dive on a tar
Male sparrowhawk(s) are pretty much a daily sighting over Lancaster, often given away by a flight of pigeons or shoaling starlings in winter. In summer swifts and hirundines harry them. Female sparrowhawks are a rare spot. We had both a male and female this morning over Freehold and the centre of the city, wheeling and screaming at each other and making spectacular swoops. The female was especial
For the record the first clutch of swallows fledged yesterday and were flying inside the machine shed at Torrisholme CC. The ground has softened a little bringing chafer grubs and leatherjackets to the surface allowing up to 80 starlings. 5 mistle thrushes, crows, blackbirds and others to take advantage. I keep looking through the starlings but nothing unusual so far...
No the image won't upload. Unfortunately Andrew a 200kB limit is almost unworkable these days. Is it possible that the site could be uprated or is there a programming or cost issue that limits things? No criticism, just an observation of how many images are being missed out on. Cheers :-)
I hope the image below uploads. On my kitchen window this morning. Released early am. Later a second different adult, redder wingtips on an outhouse window. I'm guessing currant clearwing by the count of yellow abdominal rings plus the two yellow thoracic lines. Can an expert confirm?
The nest in the roof cavity next door, which has been used annually for the last 20 years at least, fledged last night. Two carrion crows have been watching it closely and moved in immediately. The parents went mad, calling and chasing. This prompted about 30 local jackdaws to descend on the crows en masse. They attacked and chased the interlopers off very efficiently but for a minute or so the n
Most years passing house martins are attracted in Freehold to next door's imposing 4 storey flats but are easily bullied away by resident swifts. At Torrisholme CC our machine shed has pied wagtail, house sparrow and swallow nesting. The latter, with eggshells on the floor indicate a first clutch of swallows has just hatches about Monday.
S/P knot or curlew sandpiper? Those are the two candidates I agree. I have seen knot in partial red plumage in the past and they always strike me as more orange than this bird. I may be wrong. As they were darting all over the place in a strong wind and not landing I couldn't get a better view.
From Teal Bay at high tide over about 90 mins..
Gannet 5 adults, 1 diving twice ; Manx shearwater 2 ; auk spp. 1 unidentified in ; eider on breakwater 2 m 1 f ; 30 odd oystercatcher roosting ; a flight of about 25 ringed plover plus 3 dunlin and another similar sized but different bird unidentified, very red chestnut neck and chest. Curlew sandpiper??
Also 2 greenfinch, 6 starling, singing
Nice one Jeff. The first birds are on the usual expected sites in Lancaster too. Some call them the 'advance party' , the experienced and older birds from the colony. The main breeders will arrive in the next 10 days. We have had 5 regulars over our part of Freehold since the 25th April. The best time to count a local colony is on clear sunny evenings about 30 minutes before and after sunset. The
Had a valuable telephone call tonight from farming friends. They have been expecting an arrival of whimbrel this week during lambing and sure enough they arrived today. In excess of 80 birds reported around 1pm at I think SD527575 on the Eastern side of Damas Gill reservoir. This is an annual and noteworthy location and the landowner keeps records. All credit to them.
I would say that's exactly what the sparrows are doing ... insecting... perhaps disturbed midges or small flies. I've seen them catch butterflies in flight from a perch. Waxwings insect like this too, though rare in midwinter, I have seen it.
Just finishing 4 hours mowing at Torrisholme CC and cleaning the machines. A swallow arrived back in my machine shed as I was locking up, then did several circuits of the field. Nice to see a positive.
Just my personal opinion here but is it sensible to open the hides? As the reserve attracts people from all over the country there is a possibility of potential widespread distribution of this virus. I'm not intending to scaremonger, it just doesn't seem to be compatible with government advice.
...and to add to that 6 pintail close inshore from Teal Bay at the same time. If your 40 knot weren't the same flock, there were about 40-50 knot roosting on the big storm defence rocks right by the entrance road to Teal Bay. Checked for any ringed individuals but none on show. They were within 20 feet of the car.
Occasionally, especially at this time of year when it's dark and driving rain is beating on your windows you turn to reading. I came across this amazing if brief study which some bright spark decided to write up after a few chance conversations with workers in a fish processing plant in what has to be one of the most God forsaken places to live on Earth. Years ago on finding a wreck of dead ganne
In any other context the kingfishers are an excellent spot. They are, however, trumped quite easily by a green woodpecker....that is a remarkable find although that area has form for unusual records before.
Lunchtime. Peregrine, smallish, followed the main road from Hest Bank to Teal Bay, so I followed it, went into the car park and stopped to watch. It was circling over the golf course for a short while so I pointed it out to another birder parked up. He turned a 180 with his bins and we followed it round over the road, put up a few crows on the rocks, then down to the channel on the low tide where
The 'new' pond on Folly Lane just N of the bypass/railway bridge has at least 4 coots, 3 moorhen, and handful of mallard ... and recently an influx of about half a dozen teal. The coots are presumably some from their successful breeding this Spring. I haven't recorded teal on this pond before.
For the record Google Maps has the wrong plan for the road. To access the pond, travel under the rail
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