March 2018 Survey

Date: 21/03/2018

Attendees: Dave; Steve; Mandy; Geoff and Terry

Weather: Cold Sunny with little Wind

Birds

Species total: 33

Blackbird 24

Herring Gull 1

Blue Tit 13

House Sparrow 9

Bullfinch 4

Kestrel 1

Buzzard 3

Long-tailed Tit 15

Canada Goose 6

Magpie 37

Carrion Crow 4

Mallard 22

Chaffinch 9

Moorhen 4

Collared Dove 1

Mute Swan 2

Coot 2

Redwing 2

Cormorant 4

Reed Bunting 13

Dunnock 15

Robin 17

Gadwall 4

Shelduck 2

Goldfinch 19

Song Thrush 7

Great Crested Grebe 1

Tufted Duck 7

Great Tit 4

Woodpigeon 32

Greenfinch 15

Wren 10

Grey Heron 1

 

Bird Report

A pleasant morning's birding, with  5 more species than February. As last month the cold snap meant that several "first sightings" have turned up with two of them on the survey day.

 

March's survey highlight was undoubtedly the Shelduck which were probably visitors from the Eyes. These large attractive ducks have been seen for several days on the Mersey from transects 11 and 12. There was also a solitary Herring Gull on the river in transect 12, surprising to note that this gull has never been seen to land within the patch although several are seen regularly seen flying overhead. The return of the Great Crested Grebe was also welcome as this species has not been seen since 2016.

 

Two raptor species seen this survey; 3 Buzzard enjoying the late morning thermals and a very active Kestrel which was hunting over most transects of the Meadows.

 

 

Outside of the survey date this month has proved very productive with several interesting species sighted plus two species not seen before on the Meadows, possibly for dozens of years, namely 6 Lapwing in transect 6 on the 3rd and a Skylark in display flight and song over transect 8. Nice to see both of these Red List birds back on the Meadows.

 

Several sightings in various locations throughout the Meadows of the Skylark's cousin the Meadow Pipit were noted between the 1st and the 18th March. A solitary Fieldfare was noted in transect 8 on the 2nd. This species was not seen at all in 2017 despite the numerous Redwing that continue to be seen.

 

A solitary Great Spotted Woodpecker was logged on the 25th in transect 11 and a Graylag Goose was present with a flock of Canada Geese on the 15th March. Two Jay were seen in the hedgerow of transect 6

 

There have again been reports of several Lesser Redpoll visiting bird feeders on Larkfield Avenue (20th).

 

Also, further sightings of the Barn Owl have been reported over the Meadows in the early evening.

 

The first sighting and sound of the Chiffchaff was logged on the morning of the 28th March, thirteen days later than last year.

Mammals

4 Grey Squirrel

Butterflies

1 small Tortoiseshell

Greylag Goose

Shelduck

Male Kestrel

Lapwing

February 2018 Bird Survey

Date

20th February 2018 0900 hrs to 1215 hrs
by Steve, Amanda, Clare, Geoff, Dave and Terry

Weather

Cool, Sunny and Breezy.  

 Temperature 6°C to 9°C

 

 

BIRDS

Blackbird 18
Black-headed Gull 24
Blue Tit 14
Bullfinch 4
Buzzard 2
Canada Goose 2
Carrion Crow 3
Chaffinch 7
Collared Dove 1
Coot 3
Cormorant 1
Dunnock 10
Goldfinch 25
Great Tit 17

28 Species in all

Greenfinch 34
House Sparrow 20
Long-tailed Tit 14
Magpie 36
Mallard 10
Moorhen 2
Mute Swan 2
Redwing 1
Reed Bunting 11
Robin 22
Song Thrush 4
Tufted Duck 1
Woodpigeon 29
Wren 9

Bird Report

An unremarkable morning's birding, with one less species than the equivalent survey last year. February can be a month of few species on the Meadows, but thankfully because of the cold snap at the end of the month some "first sightings" have turned up though regrettably not on the survey day.

February's survey highlights - no new species during the monthly survey but an extremely good day for Greenfinch (34) and House Sparrow (20) which is good news for these increasingly threatened birds.

Only one raptor species seen this survey; 2 Buzzard which were very active hunting over much of the Meadows.

Outside of the survey date this month has proved very productive with three new species sighted probably due to the frozen conditions elsewhere.

In transect 11 ( February 3rd and 13th) a pair of Willow Tit were noted plus a Pied Wagtail (13th). Also in transect 11 a solitary Goldeneye was observed for approximately a week from the 9th February; a first for this species on this stretch of the Mersey.

Other first timers have been up to 5 Shoveler ducks which have been seen regularly in various locations along the Mersey between transects 7 and 4 during the last week of the month and into March.

5 Raven with a Kestrel were seen displaying over the Meadows this month on the 22nd with two Raven regularly roosting on the Cormorant pylons on Number 4 bed of the Eyes. It is likely that these birds will be nesting by now and may be somewhere close by.

There have been reports of several Redpoll visiting bird feeders on Larkfield Avenue (17th). Also a pair of Widgeon on the New Cut Canal near Larkfield Avenue and a solitary Treecreeper near Spittal Brook on the 19th.

2 Mistle Thrush were noted in transect 2 on the 5th and 2 Snipe were seen on the 11th in transect 10.

Also further sightings of the Barn Owl have been reported over the Meadows in the late evening.

Mammals

8 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey.

Butterflies

None

Male Shoveler

 

Male Shoveler

Field Trip to Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh

On the 4th February 6 members of the New Cut Heritage and Ecology Bird Group were invited to a field trip at Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh, Southport; organised by the Carbon Landscape. A good time was had by all as can be seen by the species listed below. Thanks to Anthony De Silva of the Carbon Landscape and all concerned.

Birds seen at Marshside

KESTREL 
LINNET   
GOLDEN PLOVER   
LAPWING   
SHOVELER           
WIDGEON           
MOORHEN
TEAL                                                                              
LITTLE EGRET
MUTE SWAN
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT
SKYLARK
MEADOW PIPIT
KNOT
 

29 Species in all

GREY PLOVER
CORMORANT
REDSHANK
SHELDUCK
OYSTERCATCHER
CARRION CROW
STARLING
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE
STONECHAT    
CANADA GOOSE
MALLARD
TUFTED DUCK
COOT
BLACK-HEADED GULL
PIED WAGTAIL

Birds seen at Hesketh Out Marsh

LINNET
WIDGEON
BARN OWL
COMMON BUZZARD
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL
MUTE SWAN
REDSHANK
SPOTTED REDSHANK
LITTLE EGRET

18 Species in all

TEAL
LAPWING 
SHELDUCK
CARRION CROW
MOORHEN
CURLEW
PHEASANT
COOT
KESTREL

Mammals at Hesketh Out Marsh

Brown Hare

Little Egret

Black-Tailed Godwit

Little Egret and Black-tailed Godwit Photos Courtesy of Mike Kenwright

January 2018 Bird Survey

Date

13th January 2018, 0900 hrs to 1215 hrs
by Steve, Amanda, Mike, Geoff and Terry

Weather

Cool, dull and breezy morning but with no rain

 Temperature 6°C to 9°C

Birds

Blackbird 16
Black-headed Gull 15
Blue Tit 15
Bullfinch 10
Buzzard 3
Carrion Crow 6
Chaffinch 8 
Collared Dove 1
Coot  6
Cormorant 2
Dunnock 3
Goldfinch 49
Great Tit 20
Greenfinch 4
House Sparrow 5

Species Total – 30

Kestrel 2
Kingfisher 1
Long-tailed Tit 4
Magpie 35
Mallard 6
Moorhen 9
Mute Swan 2
Redwing 1
Reed Bunting 8
Robin 11
Song Thrush 4
Teal 2
Willow Tit 1
Woodpigeon 29
Wren 5

A reasonable morning’s birding, with one more species than the equivalent survey last year.

January's Highlight - No new species but it's always special day if you see both the Kingfisher and the Willow Tit. Of particular note this month were the high numbers of Goldfinch (49)

 Two of our regular raptor species; Buzzard and Kestrel were again seen during this months survey. A pair of Kestrel were hunting over several transects of the Meadows and both were seen to be successful. There appear to be plenty of voles around this year.

A Kingfisher was seen again flying along Spittal Brook - twice (transects 1 & 12).

The Willow Tit was seen and heard in transect 2 again.

A pair of Mute Swans (unringed) appear to have taken up residence on the New Cut canal in transect 1. Not known if they're the same pair that nested there last year.

In transect 12, outside of the survey date, Gadwall and Little Grebe have been regular sightings; a Willow Tit and Kingfisher were also seen there on the 2nd.  2 Goldcrest were seen on a wet 29th one in transect 12 and one in transect 11.

 Two Redwing were noted in the old Hawthorns in transect 7 though there are no berries left to feed on. Although none was seen during the survey, Grey Heron can be regularly seen on the Meadows promenading in the water-logged fields.

 A Raven was flying very low over transect 4 seen from the New Cut on the 22nd January and had probably been on the ground.

Grey Heron

Cormorant – credit Mike Kenwright

Mute Swans – credit Mike Kenwright

Robin – credit Mike Kenwright

Grey Seal

Transect Map

December 2017 Bird Survey

Date

15th December 2017 9:00 to 12:35
by Steve, Amanda and Terry
Again a good morning's birding with one more species than last month and 8 more species than the equivalent survey last year.
There were no warblers encountered again on the survey. The Cetti's appears to have gone AWOL.

Weather

Cold and clear with a slight wind.

Temperature 1°C to 3°C

Birds

Blackbird 32
Black-headed Gull 14
Blue Tit 20
Bullfinch 13
Buzzard 3
Carrion Crow 7
Chaffinch 13
Coal Tit 1
Coot 3
Cormorant 1
Dunnock 9
Gadwall 7
Goldcrest 1
Goldfinch 14
Great Tit 19
Greenfinch 3
Grey Heron 4

33 Species in all

House Sparrow 15
Kestrel 1
Kingfisher 1
Little Grebe 1
Long-tailed Tit 21
Magpie 32
Mallard 4
Moorhen 6
Mute Swan 3
Peregrine Falcon 1
Pied Wagtail 1
Reed Bunting 5
Robin 12
Song Thrush 4
Woodpigeon 19
Wren 6

December’s Highlight

- without a doubt the male Peregrine Falcon which was hunting over transect 7. As far as I know the first ever reported sighting over the Meadows of this magnificent raptor.

No Redwing were noted throughout the survey area this month as the hedgerows are now stripped bare of berries. Of particular note this month were the high numbers of Blue Tit (20); Great Tit (19) and Long-tailed Tit (21).

For the first time on a survey date a solitary Little Grebe was seen in transect 12 and although not a rarity a Pied Wagtail was noted in transect 2 on the old basketball court.

Two of our regular raptor species; Buzzard and Kestrel were again seen during this months survey. The Buzzards especially, are particularly evident this time of year in transect 9 the Kestrel a female was seen successfully hunting over several transects of the Meadows.

A Kingfisher was seen again flying close to Spittal Brook (transect 12).

Outside of the survey date the Willow Tit has been seen regularly in transect 2.

There have been sightings of Redpoll probably Lesser in transect 2; Grey Wagtail also in transects 2 and adjacent to the New Cut Canal near to Paddington Lock. For your info: the naming of the Redpoll species has been a minefield over the last few years, current best advice is I believe that there are now three Redpolls on the official British Bird List the Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea); Lesser Redpoll (Acanthis cabaret) and Arctic Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni)

In transect 12, Tufted Duck; Gadwall and Kingfisher have been regular sightings throughout the Month.

Again a report has been made of a Barn Owl being seen hunting over the Meadows at around 9.00 pm at night. NB I wrongly placed the Barn Owl on the Red List in last month's report; although locally rare, thankfully nationally, this is not the case.

Finally, on the 30th December 4 Raven were heard "procking" overhead and then seen to fly over transect 7 before perch on the pylon in transect 8 for a few minutes. They then proceeded to perform some breathtaking courtship display aerobatics; tumbling, stooping and flying upside down before flying off northwards.

Mammals and Butterflies

4 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey.

No Butterflies

Great Tit

Common Buzzard

Little Grebe

Robin

The 12 transects of the bird survey route.

November 2017 Bird Survey Report

Date

11th November 2017 0800 hrs to 1115 hrs
by Geoff, Steve, Alison, Amanda, Dave M, Mike and Terry

Weather

Cool but pleasant morning with no rain or breeze

Temperature 7C to 9C

Birds seen

Blackbird 80
Black-headed Gull 1
Blue Tit 20
Bullfinch 16
Buzzard 2
Carrion Crow 6
Chaffinch 25
Coal Tit 1
Cormorant 3
Dunnock 12
Goldcrest 4
Goldfinch 21
Great Tit 10
Greenfinch 8
Grey Heron 2
House Sparrow 24

32 Species in all

Kestrel 2

Kingfisher 1

Lesser Black-backed Gull 1

Long-tailed Tit 25

Magpie 55

Mallard 8

Mistle Thrush 1

Moorhen 1

Redwing 18

Reed Bunting 12

Robin 15

Song Thrush 4

Willow Tit 1

Woodpigeon 12

Wren 10

Yellowhammer 1

November’s Highlights

A good morning's birding with the same number of species as last month and 7 more species than the equivalent survey last year.

There were no warblers encountered again on the survey.

November's Highlights - without doubt the male Yellowhammer (which gave excellent views at close quarters in transect 4). The first ever sighting on the Meadows of this once common farmland bird, now on the BTO's red list of birds of Conservation Concern; noted for its familiar song "a little bit of bread and no cheeeeeese".

With the Hawthorn hedges almost stripped bare of berries only 18 Redwing were noted throughout the survey area, markedly down from last months 81 birds. Of particular note this month were the high numbers of Chaffinch (25); Blackbirds (80); Magpie (55) and Long-tailed Tit (25).

4 Goldcrest were seen in various locations along the New Cut and around the Meadows; a decent count of this our smallest bird species.

For the second time only on the Meadows a solitary Mistle Thrush was seen in transect 6.

Two of our regular raptor species; Buzzard and Kestrel were seen during this months survey. The Buzzards especially, are particularly evident this time of year in transect 9.

A Kingfisher was seen again flying close to Spittal Brook (transect 12).

Outside of the survey date the Willow Tit has been seen regularly in November in transects 2, 4 and 12.

A "mooch" around the survey area on a wet morning on Monday the 27th produced 2 x Willow Tits; 2 x Grey Wagtail in transect 4; 3 x Common Snipe in transect 4; a cock Pheasant in transect 7; and a pair of Gadwall and a Little Grebe in transect 12.

Reports have been provided of a Barn Owl being seen hunting over transect 5 around 7.00 pm at night. Similar reports were received last year. Hope to get to see one myself on the Meadows some day soon.

Mammals

9 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey..

Butterflies

Not unsurprisingly, no butterflies to report this month.

Willow Tit Habitat Improvement

On Sunday the 26th November under the supervision of Mik Lees - Warrington Council Ranger, seven intrepid members of the Bird Group braved the showers and took part in a Willow Tit habit improvement workshop along the "boardwalk" area of the Ecology Trail. A big thank you to all concerned.

Song Thrush

Dunnock

Common Snipe

The 12 transects of the survey route are shown here

October 2017 Bird Survey

Date

23rd October 2017 0800 hrs to 1110 hrs
by Geoff, Steve, Alison, Amanda, Dave M and Terry

Weather

Cool, cloudy, slight wind with a short heavy shower.

Temperature 10C to 13C

Birds

Blackbird 69
Black-headed Gull 30
Blue Tit 13
Bullfinch 17
Buzzard 1
Carrion Crow 8
Chaffinch 4
Collared Dove 1
Coot 1
Cormorant 2
Dunnock 8
Goldcrest 7
Goldfinch 19
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Great Tit 13
Greenfinch 3

32 Species

Grey Heron 2

House Sparrow 14

Kestrel 1

Kingfisher 1

Long-tailed Tit 5

Magpie 23

Mallard 10

Moorhen 4

Redwing 81

Reed Bunting 6

Robin 26

Song Thrush 8

Sparrowhawk 2

Willow Tit 1

Woodpigeon 17

Wren 5

A cool morning with a forecast of rain which only materialised for one short downpour at 10.00am.

All in all an exceptional mornings birding with 11 more species than the equivalent survey last year.

There were no warblers encountered on the survey.

The 12 transects of the survey route are shown here

October’s Highlights –

1 Willow Tit showing well at the end of the boardwalk nearest to Larkfield Avenue. Nice to see this threatened bird making an appearance on a survey morning especially for those members of the group who hadn't seen one before.

81 Redwing were noted throughout the survey area; a welcome return to these winter visitors from Northern Europe enjoying berries on the hawthorn hedges on the Meadows.

7 Goldcrest seen in various locations along the New Cut and around the Meadows a record for a single day as its normal to see only one or two of this species.

The Mute Swans in transect 1 have moved from the Cut onto the River Mersey and were not seen during the survey.

All three regular raptor species; Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were all seen during this months survey.

A Kingfisher was seen flying along Spittal Brook in transect 12.

Outside of the survey date a Stonechat was photographed by Philip Lewis on the 8th October in transect 4 a rare visitor to the Meadows. Well done Philip!

Kingfisher have been seen regularly along the river bank in transect 12 and Common Snipe were seen for the first time this Autumn in transect 7.

The Cetti's Warbler has been heard again on occasion during the early part of the month though not recently; last heard on the 7th October in transect 11.

A solitary Swallow was feeding over transect 8 on the 2nd October; this is last sighting of this year, so I was wrong in my prediction last month.

The first Redwing were seen on the 17th of the month, if anyone saw them any earlier on the Meadows please let me know.

Mammals

9 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey, plus one Common Shrew darted across the footpath in transect 8.

Butterflies

No butterflies save one Red Admiral were seen during the survey in transect 12.

Stonechat in Transect 4 courtesy of Philip Lewis

Kingfisher on river bank in transect 12

Mute Swan in “full sail” in transect 12

Juvenile Cormorant drying wings on river bank in transect 12

Redwing amongst the Haw berries in transect 4

September 2017 Bird Survey

Date

10th September 2017,   0700 hrs to 1055 hrs

by Geoff, Steve, Liz and Terry

 

Weather

Cool and cloudy, little wind.
Temperature 11C to 14C

Birds

Blackbird 12

Blackcap 2

Black-headed Gull 4

Blue Tit 6

Bullfinch 2

Carrion Crow 4

Chiffchaff 2

Collared Dove 10

Cormorant 1

Dunnock 2

Goldfinch 84

Great Tit 2

Greenfinch 1

Grey Heron 2

28 Species in all

House Sparrow 8

Jay 2

Linnet 2

Magpie 18

Mallard 18

Mistle Thrush 11

Mute Swan 2 (1 pair with 2 cygnets)

Reed Bunting 7

Robin 19

Song Thrush 1

Starling 2

Swallow 7

Woodpigeon 41

Wren 13

 

 

A cool morning with a constant threat of rain which thankfully didn't materialise.

Several less species than in August with few warblers remaining; Blackcap and Chiffchaff being the only long-stayers. Robins and Wrens are now conspicuous in nearly every transect.

September's Highlights - 11 Mistle Thrush seen in the hedgerow and on the nearby pylon in transect 6. These thrushes although not rare are both a first recorded sighting for the Meadows since surveys were started and a red list species because of their declining population.

The charm of Goldfinch, which fluctuates between 40 to 150 strong, is still resident within transect 7.

The Mute Swans in transect 1 still have two cygnets on the New Cut and these are almost fully grown.

No raptor species were seen during this months survey, though Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard have been seen on several dates during other dates during the month.

Outside of the survey date  Willow Tit (5th September) was seen and heard in transect 2 along the boardwalk. A Kingfisher was seen on the 1st and 21st in transects 12 and 7 near the missing kissing gate. Goldcrest were seen along the board walk on the 9th September and Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Willow Tit have been visiting birdfeeders on Larkfield Avenue.

100 + House Martin were feeding over transects 5 and 6 on the 11th September on passage south.

A welcome return during the month for the Cetti's Warbler which has been heard on several occasions during the month, the most recent being the 29th at its normal haunt  in transect 12.

A bank of 9 Mute Swans was on the Mersey in transect 11 on the 28th and on the same day 3 Swallows were feeding over transect 8; possibly the last sightings of this year.

Mammals

Only 4 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey.

 

Butterflies

No butterflies save one Speckled Wood were seen during the survey. On more pleasant days this month, however, and there have been are plenty of Red Admirals currently passing through the Meadows.

Trees, Wildflowers and Fungi

Most wildflowers are on the wane now with the exception of the ubiquitous Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera). Lets hope the recent "rust" released by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences has the desired affect and biologically controls this rampant invasive species.

 

Fine examples of Shaggy Inkcap (Coprinus comatus) have been fruiting in transect 11 by the canal. The popcorn like fruits of the Spindle trees are also fruiting in transect 7. Warning these are toxic to humans - the berries have a laxative effect and were once used when baked and powdered to treat head lice!

 

One of the ancient Hawthorn trees for which Paddington Meadows is famous, has succumbed to the ravages of time and the recent high winds and lies prostrate on the perimeter footpath in transect 6.

 

Nuthatch on bird feeders transect 2 – Larkfield Avenue

Fallen ancient Hawthorn in transect 6

Shaggy Inkcaps – transect 11

 

Spindle tree in fruit – transect 7

August 2017 Bird Survey

Date

13th August 2017
by Amanda, Geoff, Dave M, Steve, Terry

0700 hrs to 1055 hrs

Weather

A cool, calm and sunny morning
Temperature 10 C to 17 C

Bird Count

Blackbird 23
Blackcap 5
Blue Tit 14
Bullfinch 7
Buzzard (Common) 2
Carrion Crow 9
Chaffinch 3
Chiffchaff 6
Collared Dove 1
Coot 2
Dunnock 3
Goldfinch 138
Great Tit 5
Greenfinch 3
Grey Heron 1
House Martin 4
House Sparrow 21

34 Species in all

Lesser Black-backed Gull 1

Lesser Whitethroat 1

Linnet 5

Long-tailed Tit 7

Magpie 24

Mallard 14

Meadow Pipit 3

Moorhen 2

Mute Swan 4 (2 pair; 1 pair with 2 cygnets)

Reed Bunting 11

Robin 15

Song Thrush 2

Sparrowhawk 1

Swallow 2

Whitethroat 6

Woodpigeon 30

Wren 8

 

 

August’s Highlights

3 Meadow Pipits in transect 8, which although not rare are an infrequent visitor to the Meadows.
A cool summers morning which had you wandering how many layers to wear. Too many by the end of the survey!

August begins the changing of the guard as summer migrants begin to leave for warmer climes or start putting on bulk by gorging on the summer fruits. Hence the hedgerows in transects 3 and 8, heavy with black and elder berries, were the most prolific areas, busy with Blackbirds, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

Not to be out done, a massive charm (approx 125) of Goldfinch were harvesting the plentiful seed heads of the wildflower meadow (transect 7).

Still no Cetti's Warbler or Willow Warbler this month, but nice that a Lesser Whitethroat and a family of Long-tailed Tits showed this month.

Two raptor species were seen during this months survey with 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk making the most of the thermals in the late morning as the air temperatures rose over transect 11.

The Mute Swans in transect 1 still have two cygnets which are now two thirds grown.

Outside of the survey date a Willow Tit (2nd August) and Treecreeper (7th August) were seen in transect 12 in the large willows at the confluence of the Spittal Brook and The River Mersey and a Kingfisher was seen slightly further down river having a spot of late evening fishing (2nd August).

A young Little Grebe was noted on the river from the promintary of the river bank in transect 11 (7th August).

Two Nuthatch has been regularly visiting bird feeders on Larkfield Avenue and one was heard on the boardwalk in transect 2 (21st August); a first for the survey area.

A further Willow Tit was seen and heard in the corner of transect 7 (the wild flower meadow) in the trees on on the banks of the river near the missing kissing gate on the 30th August.

Mammals and Meteors

10 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey.

On the previous evening to the bird survey, 48 intrepid souls braved the annual bat walk round the New Cut Canal and Paddington meadows.

Numerous bats were seen at dusk or located on the bat detectors as the light faded, with a total of three different bat species being identified namely Common Pipistrelle Bat; Soprano Pipistrelle Bat; and Noctule Bat.

A big thanks again to Harold "Batman" Green and his colleague plus Tony Da Silva and Michael of Lancashire Wildlife Trust for again organising an enjoyable and informative insight into the fascinating world of bats and for the loan of their bat detectors.

Several meteors were seen streaking across the clear night sky during the walk, as it was the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

Butterflies, Moths and Flies

The amount of butterflies remains at its peak.

The Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns have finally been joined by Peacocks and Painted Ladies.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers abound this month especially along the New Cut canal bank with Purple-loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) amongst the many wildflowers currently in evidence.

Harold “Batman” Green in full flow prior to the bat walk

Common Pipistrelle Bat

Noctule Bat

Painted Lady Butterfly

Pair of Mute Swans with their Cygnets

 
 
 

July 2017 Bird Survey

Date: 10th July 2017
by Amanda, Geoff, Kevin, Mike, Clare, Dave M, Alison, Steve, Terry

0700 hrs to 1030 hrs

Weather : A very warm, calm and sunny morning
Temperature 18C to 22C

Birds

Blackbird 27
Blackcap 4
Blue Tit 8
Bullfinch 7
Buzzard 2
Carrion Crow 4
Chaffinch 2
Chiffchaff 10
Collared Dove 3
Cormorant 1
Dunnock 4
Goldfinch 47
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2
Great Tit 10
Greenfinch 18

30 species in all

Grey Heron 2

House Sparrow 26

Linnet 4

Magpie 16

Mallard 7

Moorhen 4

Mute Swan 2 (1 pair with 2 cygnets)

Reed Bunting 14

Reed Warbler 1

Robin 7

Song Thrush 8

Swift 19

Whitethroat 12

Woodpigeon 22

Wren 7

July’s Highlights

Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers in transect and a family of Linnet in transect 7.

A gloriously warm summers morning on the Meadows with an excellent turn out.

July is traditionally a quite month for birds; it marks the start of the summer doldrums when adult birds rest up after their nesting activities and moult, recouping their energies for winter or migration if they are summer visitors.

Several of our rarer species have left us or are in hiding; so no Cetti's Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat or Willow Warbler this month and strangely enough there were no Long-tailed tits seen or heard.

There was only one raptor seen during this months survey with a Buzzard again circling over transect 11 and one over transect 4.

Transects 2 and 7 proved the most rewarding this month with new families of Goldfinch and Whitethroat in evidence.

The Mute Swans in transect 1 still have two cygnets which are now half grown.

Mammals

6 Grey Squirrels seen during this month's survey.

Butterflies, Moths and Flies

If it has been a quite month for birds then the amount of butterflies is at its peak.

The Meadows are alive with Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Small Skippers. The occasional Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell and a solitary Painted Lady was seen.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers abound this month on the Meadows and along the New Cut canal bank, with Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), Musk-mallow (Malva moschata ), Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Purple-loosestrife
(Lythrum salicaria) and Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) amongst the many wildflowers currently in evidence, especially transects 1 and 7.

The wildflower meadow transect 7 which started the month as a sea of feathery white Meadowsweet has turned to purple as the Common Knapweed (Centarea nigra) holds sway.

Photos 1, 3 & 4 below courtesy of Mike Kenwright.

Photos 1 Meadow Brown

Photo 2 Common Knapweed

Photo 3 Common Chicory and (Honey Bee?)

Photo 4 Gatekeeper

May 2017 Bird Survey

Date:  14th May 2017 7:00

by Amanda, Geoff, Dave M and Terry

Weather

A warm sunny but cloudy morning
Temperature 9c to 13c

Bird Count

Blackbird 36

Blackcap 5

Blue Tit 6

Bullfinch 5

Buzzard 1

Carrion Crow 2

Cetti's Warbler 1

Chaffinch 10

Chiffchaff 11

Collared Dove 1

Dunnock 16

Goldfinch 20

Grasshopper Warbler 1

Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 (first sighting of year)

Great Tit 8

Greenfinch 15

Grey Heron 1

Grey Partridge 2

 

38 species in total

Grey Wagtail 1
House Sparrow 22
Linnet 2
Long-tailed Tit 23
Magpie 15
Mallard 4
Moorhen 3
Mute Swan 3 (1 nesting pair with 3 cygnets)
Reed Bunting 11
Reed Warbler 2
Robin 15
Sedge Warbler 1
Song Thrush 12
Spotted Flycatcher 1 (first sighting)
Swallow 2
Swift 15
Whitethroat 14
Willow Warbler 2
Woodpigeon 27
Wren 14

May’s Highlights – 8 Warblers and a Spotted Flycatcher

A pleasant enough spring morning on the Meadows, cloudy with a threat of rain which never materialised.

One new sighting for this year and one totally new species seen during the survey.

New summer arrivals seen during the survey were Common Whitethroat plus a patch first sighting of a Spotted Flycatcher. This red list summer visitor was seen in transect 4 in the corner of the Meadow nearest to Paddington Bank and gave excellent views for several minutes.

The Grasshopper Warbler was heard briefly in transect 4, but not seen; it is likely that currently we have at least 3 Grasshopper Warblers territories on the Meadows.

Welcome returnees were a Great Spotted Woodpecker and the resident pair of Grey Partridge.

The Cetti's Warbler was seen and heard again and is still in situ in transect 12. Furthermore, a Cetti's Warbler has also been heard in transect 11, so there is a possibility that we have a second bird or our resident bird is starting to wander.

There was only one raptor evident on this morning's survey with a Buzzard circling over transect 11.

Birds were found consistently around most of the survey area this month. A special mention of our Blackbird population with at least one Blackbird logged in every transect.

On the 31st May a Lesser Whitethroat was heard and seen in the hedgerow between transects 8 and 10 after a months absence and has been heard there every day since.

Good news! The Mute Swans in transect 1 have 3 newly hatched cygnets.

Mammals

10 Grey Squirrels seen during this month's survey plus a report of a stoat on the path between transects 8 and 10.

Butterflies

1 Red Admiral was seen in transect 5 on the morning of the bird survey as the day warmed up.

Wildflowers

The area adjacent to the New Cut near to the picnic benches (transect 1) is currently a mass of wildflowers with Yellow Rattle (rhinanthus minor), Bladder Campion (silene vulgaris), Field Poppy (papaver rhoeas), Meadow Crane's-bill (geranium pratense) and Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) amongst the grasses and plantains.

The fragrance of the Hedgerow Rose (rosa multiflora) can be appreciated at its heady best at present especially in transect 10.

Meadow Crane's-bill Geranium pratense

Red Admiral

Whitethroat

Swans & Cygnets