Birthday Birding - 21st February 2011

 This is the 3rd year running I've taken the day off work and headed out with Reece on or around my birthday in the hope of a good days birding. Well 2 out of 3 aint bad as the song goes. First stop was Sizergh Castle with the hope of seing the Hawfinch but half an hour of scanning the trees brought nothing but a Robin, Nuthatch, several Chaffinch and a small flock of Fieldfare. On to Ambleside with better results as I spotted a female Long Tailed Duck feeding in the marina, a tick for both of us. Jackdaw, Starlings and Mallards in abundance as well as a Wren and Robin were the other birds of note.
Next we headed south calling into Conder Creek which was totally flooded due to the high tide as was Pilling with a few Redshank and the odd Curlew patrolling the waters edge.
Next stop was Bradshaw Lane but with no feed down there was very little about apart from a dozen Whooper Swan nearby with several Geese which I was unable to identify as I couldn't pull to get a better look.

Back yard feeders have been busy with the local Starlings loving the fat balls, Goldfinch a plenty on the nyjer and the odd Greenfinch calling in for good measure. We had a rare visitor over the weekend when a male and female House Sparrow called in to feed, there is a small flock resident 500 yards from the house but it's very rare we get a visit.

The number of birds I've seen at Stags Lodge has increased oer the past week or so with Greenfinch and Bullfinch both showing as well as the return of the pair of Coot that bred on the pond last year. The only raptor I've seen was the fly over of a Buzzard last weekend though the Tawny Owl was calling again on tonights visit.

Walton Park - 13th February 2011

Thanks to Russ for the information about the Waxwings at Walton Park. I recieved an email about the comment just after the comment was posted and decided to head down in the rain as I'd missed the flock that had frequented the Brownedge Road area of Bamber Bridge, though they are probably the same flock. I pulled up in the Spar car park at 16.00 just in time to see c15 Waxwing fly over out of sight. I stayed for a further 20 minutes hoping they would return but no such luck and a quick trawl around the area brought no sign of them either. There are plenty of berries on the trees next to the car park so I imagine they will return at some point. I'd post a token photo but my external hard drive containing all the photographs I've taken over the last 2 and a half years has packed in!! Cheers again Russ.

Cuerden Valley Park - 12th February 2011

I've covered pretty much all of CVP today at some point starting this morning with a 4 mile walk with the dogs, a few hours this afternoon in search of a Dipper at Kem Mill and then to the local patch of Stags Lodge this evening before sun down.
The morning walk brought the usual woodland birds in the form of Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Robin, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, mixed Tit flocks, Blackbird, Jay, Magpie, Goldfinch, and Chaffinch. The usual Mallard were on the lake though I didn't walk around to see if anything else was about plus c15 Canada Geese in front of the Sue Ryder home. A Buzzard and Bullfinch were a good adition to the Stags Lodge list as I walked to and from the park.
I've heard Dipper are present along the Kem Mill section of the river Lostock so I took a walk up this afternoon with the hope of getting some photos. No such look on this occasion though the azure flash of a Kingfisher as it flew downstream more than made up for the lack of Dipper. A Treecreeper obliged for the camera as did a Mistle Thrush that was calling from the top of a tree. Again a mix of Tits plus c12 Redwing, Chaffinch and most of the Corvid species could be seen at this end of the park.
Several Song Thrush were calling this evening at Stags Lodge as were Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock and Blue & Great Tit.