Thursday, 29 September 2016

WOW and Castle Espie

WOW continues to be a pleasure to be at, despite missing out on the Baird's sandpiper. Last week saw reed cutting taking place but I still managed 4 new species plus a little stint this week. The highlights were kingfisher, little egret,meadow pipit and scaup plus good numbers of ducks and waders drifting in for the winter. There are no shelduck yet and in three visits in eight days I have seen common terns with 12 present today.

Serious reed cutting machine

 This machine and a low tide meant we were not expecting much but we still logged 30+ species and four new ticks for the 2016 patch at WOW.


Castle Espie on a rising tide provided another kingfisher, 14 grey plover and 4 little egrets plus a buzzard in a pine tree right outside the cafe. Thre are good numbers of brent geese on the lough with a handful of shelduck. No sign of the whooper swans yet, too early and too warm.

Brent geese

Kingfisher (on the branch!!)
Distant grey plover
 Off to London for a long weekend and a long overdue "final" visit to Barnes, Rainham and Kensington Gardens. A chance to say farewell to sites I have had the pleasure of visiting over the last eight years when I was travelling to London regularly. Hopefully I will get the odd weekend in London, maybe once a year rather than every 8 weeks. I will update next week and see what totals I have managed on my travels.

WOW patch list:    
91 Kingfisher
92 Little egret
93 Meadow pipit
94 Scaup
95 Little stint
West Bangor patch list:
67 Manx shearwater

2016 list 
183 Scaup
184 Grey plover
185 Little stint

Friday, 16 September 2016

More from WOW

Struggling to master the new format so it was easier to do two posts. The terns are easier to see from Hide 2 before the sun moves too far West. Even around 1300 I was getting glare. Late afternoon and early evening would be a nightmare as you would only see silhouettes. The area where the waders roost is also much closer and makes ID easier. Strangely enough the 6 Koniks don't seem to annoy the birds very much. They move out of their way but rarely spook. The ponies are quite good at lifting hidden birds like snipe out of the grass as well.
Tern planks looking west

Reserve bliss

Roseate tern

Roseate tern

Roseate tern

WOW patch list:    
84 White-rumped sandpiper
85 Curlew sandpiper
86 Roseate tern
87 Shag
88 Raven
89 Skylark
90 Pochard
West Bangor patch list:
65 Razorbill
66Common tern
67 Manx shearwater

2016 list 
179White-rumped sandpiper
180 Curlew sandpiper
181 Roseate tern
182 Kingfisher

Back to birding at last

Where have you been I hear you say? Why no birding? The answer is wrapped up in family visits to Bolton, so bird free I even left the binoculars out the last time. Too busy baby minding to go anywhere with birds. WOW has also been intermittent as I have missed three Thursdays, but I got back this week and although the terns are heading off the waders are coming back. Apart from that not really a lot to report but there are some nice pictures and the lists have been updated.

Ruff, one of nine scattered about

Pair of curlew sandpiper, there were up to 8 seen