Quite an enjoyable and productive trip to England with some birding squeezed in between family comittments. We managed a quick trip to Cresswell and Druridge Pools in Northumberland, a couple of hours at Leighton Moss RSPB near Lancaster , a quick round of Martin Mere WWT in Lancs and a few walks in Leverhulme, Tonge and Elton Reservoir around the Bolton/Bury area. The weather was kind and the 2020 list crawled up. The local lists have not changed despite a couple of local walks and a quick trip to WOW.
Richard's garden in Bolton gave a good variety of birds including nuthatch as a regular visitor. He has had a great spotted woodpecker but not while I was there. Here's a selection taken whilst waiting to see if the nuthatch would drop in - it did - but only briefly and the shots are what we poor photographers call "record shots". I have nicknamed him "Lightning" as he is in and out in a flash. Hopefully the regular food supply will attract both nuthatch and woodpecker regularly over the winter. Bolton also provided a calling tawny owl on more than one occasion and an early walk at Elton finally added great spotted woodpecker to the list and I also learned to listen for the contact call.
|There is rainwater in the gutter, so it's bathtime. |
|Lightning the nuthatch|
|Goldfinch are regular, up to six at a time, greenfinch a bit rarer|
|Long-tailed tits were also regular at the sunflower hearts as well as the fat feeder.|
|Great tit trying to get peanuts which were wedged in the bark to attract the nuthatch. |
Druridge and Cresswell added avocet, barnacle goose, whimbrel and sedge warbler. There was also a nice ruff which had me thinking mega wader!
|Lapwing, ruff and dunlin|
|Common sandpiper, ruff and dunlin|
|Ruff and common sandpiper|
Leighton Moss added hobby and marsh tit, two birds which are virtually impossible to get at home, so all in all it was a good trip. I managed to get back in time to find the spotted sandpiper at Castle Espie - a five mnute sighting in a two and a half hour wait, plus an earlier one and a half hour no show. I suppose that 4 hours is worth it for getting a lifer. Unfortunately I could not get a shot of it but there are quite a few on the NI Birds website. Also managed a lucky wheatear in the Antrim Hills, it flew across the road in front of the car!!
I have borrowed a trailcamera to see what happens in the garden as I have posted a couple of photos of hedgehogs previously. Here we have hedgehog cam showing two hogs, one on the grass and one at the back near the edging. I am now experimenting with different foods. Unfortunately the bird-killing cat seems to think that the food is for him.