Dragonfly Pond & Stags Lodge - Cuerden Valley Park - 14th June 2014

With Emperor Dragonflies being reported I decided to head up to the dragonfly pond to see if they were flying locally. I counted 3 including a female oviposting,  20 four spotted chaser as well as blue tailed and azure damselfly. A single Buzzard showed overhead briefly and a Chiffchaff called near by. I only managed one butterfly in the form of a Large Skipper but picked up 1 Meadow at Wigan Lane car park and 2 Speckled Wood on Stags Lodge. A little disappointing for butterflies locally with numbers being very low (a walk around Stags Lodge tonight - 17th brought a single Meadow Brown)
A walk back through Stags Lodge brought a Greater Spotted Woodpecker near to a previous found nest site. It seemed to be excavating a fresh nest, not sure if they have a second brood but I'll be sure to keep an eye out. Another Chiffchaff (no Willow Warbler at Stags this year) and 4 Whitethroat were the only wablers and 4 young Coot on the pond, not bad since they started with seven (I did see a Grey Heron on the pond quite a bit when they first appeared). A small number of Banded Demoiselle, Male and Female were on the River Lostock as well as a young Wren by the bridge no sign of the Dipper though

 Above & below four spotted chaser

 Above Blue tailed Damselfly

Above male Emperor Dragonfly below female

 Above young Coot below Common Spotted Orchid

 Above & below Greater Spotted Woodpecker

 Above & below Large Skipper

 Above Meadow Brown below Speckled Wood

Above young Wren

Great Skua (Bonxie) - Preston Docks - 15th June 2014

About half 9 I read a Facebook post suggesting there was a Great Skua lingering about Preston Docks so with the decision made not to wash the car (my usual Sunday morning chore) I headed out. On first arrival in the car park near to Morrison's there was no sign of the bird and I was going to give up on what would be a tick but with a further trawl through Facebook I decided to head out for a further look and the word soon went out it was at the bottom end of the docks. 
The bird though looked in reasonable health was clearly not in a good way as it struggled unsuccessfully to get in to the air. As it neared to the side of the dock I noticed it was ringed and it eventually settled on some steps enabling better views of the ring - Left leg Red NZ, right leg possibly 50C with a definite ending 460 with Norway also stamped. If I get any further news I will update this post. The bird was picked up by the RSPCA at lunch time after a phone call from local birder Colin Bushell

 Above the front end of the metal ring possibly 50C, below the obvious KZ ring and the rear 460 and Norway on the metal ring

 For those interested the car was washed and polished this evening by my own fair hands

Buzzards - Cuerden Valley Park - May 2014

It wasn't long ago these large raptors were scarce across Lancashire but are now seen regularly especially around the Stags Lodge area of Cuerden Valley Park. I have seen singles in recent years but recently I have seen up to 4 both over my home and at Stags Lodge. The local area is a perfect habitat with woodland and meadow fields which contains rabbits and other small mammals which is their favoured food.

 Above a Buzzard being mobbed by a Carrion Crow Below a pair over Stags Lodge, Cuerden Valley Park