I didn’t travel to far this weekend with just a visit to the Quarry, Brockholes Wetland and 3 trips up to the Stags Lodge area of Cuerden Valley Park.
The Quarry was eventful as usual if not a little disturbing by the lack of Raven. The male Peregrine was on the cliff face and calling as we arrived as well as 75+ Jackdaw. Wandering down to the base of the quarry once the male departed we noted 3 Little Grebe, 1 Coot, 3 Moorhen, 4 Mallard, 2 Canada Geese and a Domestic Goose. We didn’t stop down there long with the cold wind whirling around and the Little Grebe out of shot of my camera even when fitted with the x1.4 convertor. On the way back up we noticed a large crow dead on one of the islands, Reece managed a photo of what we are hoping is a Carrion Crow and as soon as I can confirm its ID I’ll post it here. The both Peregrine returned, the male first and took residence back on the cliff face, fingers crossed they’ll be nesting soon if we’re lucky. Other sightings on our visit included Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tit, Goldfinch, Robin, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove and Black-headed Gull.
THE MALE PEREGRINE ON ONE OF ITS FAVOURITE PERCHES AMONGST THE JACKDAW, EVEN WITH A X1.4 TELECONVERTOR MY 300mm LENS STRUGLES TO PICK HIM OUT
I spend a lot of time up at Stags Lodge (Cuerden Valley Park) walking the dogs and noting the resident birds. Of late after reading several local blogs and forums I’ve been hoping for a summer migrant and on the evening of the 27th we weren’t disappointed as a Chiffchaff sat in a tree less then 3 meters from us. We took the camera up the next day in hope of seeing it again but though we heard it in the same area we couldn’t pick it out. Other recent sightings at Stags Lodge include Blue, Great & Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Mallard, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jay, Jackdaw, Song Thrush, Robin & Wren.
A brief visit to Brockholes Wetland today began with a 15 minute view over No1 pit in a very cold wind before returning to the shelter of the main pool. As I arrived I took a call from Mike (Don't forget to take a look at Mike's blog) letting me know there was a Mediterranean Gull on the island. I headed over and looked through the Black-headed Gulls finding 2 Med Gulls which certainly was an improvement over last weeks visit. Other sightings included Lesser Black-backed Gull, Oystercatcher c30, Mute Swan, Coot, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Cormorant, Canada Geese and Lapwing.
BARNACLE GOOSE DIGISCOPED WITH MY MOBILE
Back on the main pit I picked out a Barnacle Goose that seemed to have befriended one of the many Canada Geese. There were 2 Little Grebe, several Teal, Gadwall and Shoveler in small numbers as well as 2 Curlew, Tufted Duck more Black-headed Gull and a couple more Mute Swan. No sign of any Summer migrants but with the clock going back and evening visit isn’t out of the question and just maybe some Sand Martin soon.