17 Jan 2010

Moore local birding.

Moore nature reserve is one of the most reliable places in Cheshire to see Willow Tit (apart from Woolston but you need a permit for there and its a bit off the beaten track.............) as they come to a well stocked feeding station. Great little birds but hyperactive and not easy to photograph. To many E numbers in the sunflower seeds I reckon!  Still, a quick visit at the tail end of last week as it was getting dark was rewarded with great views of these and other woodland species.

Now the snow is melting birds are beginning to return to the stubble fields with Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer still present amongst greatly reduced numbers of finches. Star find though was a Raven  feeding on a Wood Pigeon corpse before flying west towards N Wales 'cronking' as it went.

Saturday morning saw Steve and me on a very blustery Hilbre. With the island virtually to ourselves apart from the Ranger it was a great place to destress after an eventful week at work. Following on from my opservations of birds returning locally the theme of the day was passage - loads of Skylarks passing overhead and some hugging the wave tops to try and keep out of the wind. A seawatch produced good numbers of Red-throated Divers, Great-crested Grebes and Common Scoter whilst a flock of 39 Scaup were the most I've seen together for many years. As usual the Brents and Purple Sandpipers put on a good show with the first Dark-bellied brent of the winter being found between Middle Eye & Hilbre as the tide forced all the geese together in one flock.

With a lunch of beans on toast followed by a whole packet of chocolate fingers the stress levels certainly dropped although the cholesterol levels probably rose a bit but sod it who cares.

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