Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Another Cheshire Lifer and a Dogs new adventure

Anyone who knows me, or has seen me on a twitch over the last 16 years knew if I was there, then Scruffy our Jack Russell woundn't be far behind.  Sadly, in June last year we had to let her go.  She was almost 17 and was poorly, she had almost gone of her legs and as heartbreaking as it was we knew it was time for her last twitch.  We took her out for the day, visiting all her favourite sites and fed her bacon butties and ice-cream, a fitting end to her time in our lives.  Vowing that we would not have another dog because it is just too hard when you lose them, I went out walking for the first time in years without a four legged companion - not going to happen !  Within 3 weeks Mani had joined our family along with Luna (Ashleys dog) and birding trips and walks were back to what we were used to.  

Last Wednesday afternoon (4th Feb) an opportunity came up for us to nip over to New Brighton where a 1st Winter Laughing Gull had been showing well for a couple of days.
A short 50 minute drive from home and the 4 of us , Me, Ash, Luna and Mani were watching the bird. It was happily sleeping amongst a couple of hundred Redshank and a few Turnstone.  As the Redshank left the roost the Gull did a short flight had a drink and a bath, then landed back on the Jetty.  A Cheshire lifer for us and a first for Luna and Mani !

Snow Buntings had been showing on and off since December of last year at the other end of the prom, so we decided to make the most of our visit and drive to see them whilst we were here.  This was, of course, also a perfect opportunity to introduce the dogs to the sand on the beach.   Niether had been on a beach before and they had a great time chasing each other around.  

Within a few minutes Ash had located the birds and we were able to enjoy them at very close quarters for 20 minutes or so.  Ashley managed to get some close up photos to share with you as well. 



 Laughing Gull amongst Redshank

 In Flight

and landed

 Laughing Gull

 Snow Bunting



 Snow Bunting

 Mani chasing Luna

 Mani 

Scruffy an me in Spain

Sunday, 8 February 2015

January Round Up

Just a quick round up for January.  In the first two weeks of the New Year we spent a week in Nerja Andalucia Spain.  The weather was warm and the birding good - full trip report to follow shortly.
  
On the home front we finally caught up with Brambling in our NNHS squares with 10 birds present at the side of Nantwich Football Ground and 2's and 3's showing along the River Weaver pathways, behind Shrewbridge Road.

We managed a sunny afternoon at Baddiley Mere near Nantwich.  We parked at Baddiley Church and walked the Public Footpaths to the Mere, adding Pink Feet, Pochard, Pintail and Jack Snipe to the NNHS year list, closing the month on 75 species.  

Some pictures from our day out are shared here. 









Thursday, 22 January 2015

What no Brambling !! To add to our Local Year list

We spent Monday morning in the NNHS squares hoping to add to our year list.  We started at a Local well known site for Peregrine Falcon and we didn't have to wait too long before a pair put in an appearance.  The weather was poor and heavy snow was falling so we didn't hang about but decided to take shelter at a site we have seen Marsh Tit and Green Woodpecker before.  The snow continued to fall and we gave it half an hour but had no joy with either species - a good excuse to come back !

Next we headed to the Cholmondeley area in the hope of Brambling.  There is a spot where a local gamekeeper has large seed hoppers in the field and is always my go to place for finches.  As soon as we arrived we could see the surrounding hedgerows were not going to let us down and we quickly added Tree Sparrow (20) Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting to the year list but no Brambling. This is unusual as in previous years we have always seen them there, but with another site a short drive away we weren't worried.   We never fail to see them at Moss Wood on the Cholmondeley Estate but again, after 2 hours trapsing around the Mosses not a Brambling to be seen.  We did record 4 Crossbill (two pair) and a flock of Siskin which had 9 Redpoll in with them, so not a total loss.  In total we added 10 species to our year list which now stands at 71.

Thanks to NNHS member Peter Atherton for the first Two Photos


 Peregrine Falcon

 Redpoll

 Crossbill

Crossbill