Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Local Patch Cholmondeley

The Cholmondeley Estate is one of my Local Patches, and we are lucky enough to have had access to the estate for about 13 years as Lady Cholmondeley is the Patron of the Nantwich Natural History Society.

Yesterdays visit with Ashley and Alex was unplanned and as often happens it turned out to be one of the best visits we've had for bird sightings in a long while.

Deer Park Mere was quiet so we headed off on foot to the Hide on Chapel Mere.  En-route we met the Estate Manager, James Hall, who usually has plenty of information on any wildlife sightings on the Estate.  Todays subject was snakes and slow worm, and just how many are on the Estate.  As we continued our walk to Chapel Mere we noticed some good numbers of House Martin feeding for a short time and then moving on.  Other birds seen included Raven, Buzzard and Kestrel.

At Chapel Mere the reed beds still held plenty of Reed Warblers and we even had a Sedge Warbler. Dragonflies were everywhere, which could explain our next sighting, a pair of Hobby feeding around the Mere.  The Hobby is a good record for the estate and we watched them for around forty minutes and managed a few photos.  Butterfiles were abundant and I got some good clear photographs of them too.  As we were leaving this part of the estate, I found a Spotted Flycatcher - another good bird for the estate record book. 

Back at Deer Park Mere, whilst trying to photograph a second Spotted Flycatcher off the Bridge. I spotted a Flock of Waders heading towards us - 38 Lapwing 3 Ruff and 6 Dunlin.  Unfortunately they didn't land, but again all good birds for this Estate. 

A great few hours out and just a few miles from home.   


Cholmondeley Castle showing Dear Park Mere 
(library picture)

 Small Tortoiseshell

 Common Darter

 Peacock

 Hobby
 Hobby

 Spotted Flycatcher

 Spotted Flycatcher

 Speckled Wood

 Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Unusual Local Breeding records

Last Week an email from Jason Mossman was circulated around the Nantwich Natural History Society, informing members that he had seen a Goosander on the River Weaver with 10 chicks.  As this is a brilliant breeding record for Cheshire I headed off to try and get some photos for the blog.  It was difficult to get close to them without disturbing the birds, but I did manage a few snaps, the best of which you can see here.  I recorded 1 Adult with 8 Chicks and a Kingfisher, who was very happy to pose for photographs. 

A second record well worth a mention is an adult male Grasshopper Warbler holding territory in suitable habitat within the breeding season.  This would suggest breeding has occurred or at least been attempted this year, again on the River Weaver in Nantwich.  (Library pic)

Goosander

Grasshopper Warbler - Library picture

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Summer catch up

Just a few photographs from the last few weeks covering what has been a busy time doing survey work.  Sadly we haven't had a lot of spare time for leisure birding.

We did manage a weekend in North Wales at the Tern Colony on Anglesey at Cemlyn and The Little Tern Colony at Gronant.  Also a few visits to the New RSPB reserve Burton Mere Wetlands on the Wirral (this is the former Inner Marsh Farm site).  The RSPB have done a great job with the site and you could comfortable spend a whole afternoon there. 


 Speckled Wood

 Buzzard

 Buzzard

 Gatekeeper

 Little Grebe with chicks

 Reed Warbler

 Little Egret now a common site at Burton Mere RSPB

 Black tailed Godwit

 Common Whitethroat

 Swallows

 Sandwich Tern

 Sandwich Tern

 Oystercatcher

 Common Blue

 Little Tern

 Little Tern

Great black-backed Gull 

 Common Blue

 Dark Green Fritillary

 Dark Green Fritillary

 Dark Green Fritillary

 Dark Green Fritillary

Meadow Pipit