Saturday, 1 May 2010

Good Game! Good Game! Good Game!

Let's 'ave a look at the old scoreboard......2010 List: 157 (Davy Tee, calm down!)

Was excellently chapperoned around the far SW of the county this morning by Stewart J. from Birdforum.  A bit of a theme developed in terms of birds seen, hence the title.  Game Bird No. 1 was a Red-legged Partridge, and several were seen throughout what was a damp at best and wet at worst four or so hours.  Next was Red Grouse, and like the RLP, seen one, seen many.  No. 3 was the Black Grouse.  We toured several leks and at one stage, a Greyhen was sitting on a wall not four yards from car.  Quite brilliant!  Blackcocks were seen in 1s or 3s and at distances from ten yards to several hundred.  The closest single male was a stunner and very obliging.

At Sipton Burn, a male Ring Ouzel took only seconds to show.  In addition, the place was heaving with Snipe, Curlew, Wheatear and Lapwing, and also seen were Oystercatcher, BHG, LBBG, Mistle Thrush, Stock Dove and Willow Warbler.  Precipitation clearly affected the migrants, unfortunately, as nothing more than the WW was heard or seen.

Nonetheless, a grand day out!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Beautiful Plumage

In this case, the Ring-necked Parakeet I saw this morning at Prestwick.  I have only ever seen one once before, many, many years ago near Horton Grange before I was infected with Ornithophilia!  But today the little fella was at Prestwick feeding on newly opened sycamore buds.  Yummy, yummy!

I then went for a walk up the Carrs for half an hour before work.  Travelling north from Mayfair House towards the sentry box was a joy.  It was sunny, still and cool, with Yellowhammer and Willow Warbler to my right, then Sedge Warbler followed by Grasshopper Warbler reeling.  Further down before the gate, Common Whitethroat in the hedge to my left, with cracking views, and in the horse field behind, at least 15 Wheatears (they were very mobile and I couldn't get my right sock and shoe off quick enough to allow me to count upto 20!).

And this evening, an hour at Blyth opposite the mouth of Sleek Burn was very pleasant and productive.  The mudflats had hods of Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank and Oytercatcher.  There were a few common Gulls, Shelduck and Curlew.  And the most rewarding find was a Greenshank, plus a Common Whitethroat on the track leading to the boat yard.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Out For A Duck

Thought I'd make an early call for the Mandarin at the Beehive Flash, so got there at 7:00 am or so to be met by a Crow, a Lapwing and a Redshank.  Even with my eyesight, neither could be confused for the intended quarry.  And as I stood, looking over the Flash, from my right, the sound of geese.  And as they neared, like the Battle of Britain flight on HRH's birthday, there they were.  Two Greylags, flanking a duck, coming in low (start the music here) and as they past, I was almost so emotional I was motivated to take the salute!  If it wasn't for those Greylags, and the Mandarin between, this great country would be ruled by Nazi waterfowl and we would not know freedom!

Enough of the pseudo-humour, onwards and upwards to this evening and a Bothal visit that did not provide bott all (what a pun!) but did add Green Sandpiper to the year and then northbound to East Chev.  Two Wimbrel in and over the South Pool, Sandwich Terns on the North and more Hirundines than I have ever seen, more like a swarm of flies than a flock of birds but no Swifts unfortunately.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

One Four Seven

In honour of Steve 'Interesting' Davis and his recent geriatric success at The Crucible, I made a 147 this afternoon.  Determined to get one of my all-time favourites, I took Mrs Liverbirder up the embankment (oooo-errrrr!) at Bolam (scene of last year's big Nightingale dip) and in an hour had up to four Roe Deer, four million rabbits, Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer, Willow Warbler by the bucket full, Linnet by the ton, Tree Sparrow, Pheasant, Common Whitethroat (No. 146) and best of all, a male Common Redstart (No. 147).  Now to pay hommage to Jocky Wilson!

Boring But True

Just got in from 70 minutes of foot patrol accompanied by Her Royal Beagle-ship, checking all of last year's Whitethroat territories within half a mile or so of Chez Moi!  Not a peep, and none at Arcot yesterday either.

Of significant interest to me, and lesser to others no doubt, was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler on Horton Burn just south of Heswall Road; a rural bird in a very urban area.

Edit: Lesser Whitethroat on the track leading between the back of Beaconhill to Arcot, in the hawthorns near the junction with the road leading to the horse farm.