Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Masters of Camouflage

Ring-Necked Duck, Marton Mere Ring-Necked Duck, Marton MereMet up with Mike "the cockney" Brown yesterday and took a trip up to Marton Mere, Blackpool to catch up with the male Ring Necked Duck, didn't have much trouble with that as there was only one area of the mere unfrozen, and what luck directly opposite the hide adjacent to the camp site. The only trouble was that it hardly ever woke up, as the photo shows! Still a really nice bird and it was good to catch up with one as I haven't seen one for a few years now.

Whilst watching the Ring Necked Duck we where lucky enough to have a Bittern fly past the hide and out of sight in the reeds to the right, what was even more bizarre is that Mike actually spotted it along with a possible Cettis Warbler!

Long-Eared Owl, Marton Mere Long-Eared Owl, Marton MereWith or without the Ring Necked Duck and Bittern, Marton Mere deserves to be visited for its roosting Long-Eared Owls, we took a walk around to the Northern end of the reserve to find 6 birds roosting no more than 30 feet away! It was a real privilege to get so close to these birds as they have become much rarer over recent years, with regular roosts in North Liverpool and Pennington Flash becoming very unreliable. Check out the pictures to understand the post title!

Long-Eared Owl, Marton Mere Long-Eared Owl, Marton MereAfter leaving Marton Mere we headed up to Leighton Moss and we where delighted to find 2 separate flocks of Waxwings (yes Waxwings again) with at least 30 birds involved, unfortunately the weather had taken a turn for the worst and had become the most murky afternoon imaginable, not very good for Waxwing photography! Bullfinches, Marsh Tits and Nuthatches around the feeding station. We headed up to the Lower Hide (a regular pilgrimage for Otter watching), unfortunately the gloom was against us and no Otters appeared, however Water Rails and Bearded Tits showed and Roe Deer could be heard barking away, a great end to a great day.
Waxwing, Leighton Moss Waxwing, Leighton Moss


Gill said...

Hi Danny

I found your great blog while Googling. We are in the South Liverpool area near Brodie Avenue and IM Marsh Campus. I feed the birds in my garden and I canme to a standstill after watching one in paerticular. I cannot identify it, the nearest identification is woodpecker but I am not sure. The bird was blackbird/thrush size with more of a neck. The feathers where black with white and grey feathers and had what appeared to be red stripes on the ends of the wings. I have seen this bird before, last year in the IM Marsh campus and even then I could not identify him. If you could help us we would be very grateful. We are keen wildlife watchers in the southe Liverpool area and in our garden alone we have seen foxes, hedgehogs, grey squirrels and frogs as well as all the lovely birds we encourage into the garden. We also enjoy visiting the bat colony by Sudley House in the Summer. I love the blog and will be subscribing - looking forward to more posts and also looking out for the waxwings in Allerton Road! Best wishes - Gill

Danny Foy said...

Hi Gill

The bird in question does indeed sound unusual, have got any photos? Maybe some sort of escaped Starling species? Would be interested to hear if you see it again. Do you have Foxes regularily in your garden/ during the daytime? Would love to get some decent snaps. Thanks for commenting on the blog, would look forward to hearing about any other sightings. One wildlife group I am eager to learn more about is Bats, do they have Bat walks at Sudley?

Happy New Year


Gill said...

Hi Danny
This bird is driving me cazy now! He has not been back and the last time I saw it was about a year ago in IM Marsh grounds, near to the swimming pool (if you have not had a walk round there I reccommend it and don't forget to include Holt Field and also Sudley House grounds.

I have had a roam around the internet to find an image but I still cannot find one, I guess that the nearest bird to it would be a greater spotted woodpecker: http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greatspottedwoodpecker/index.aspxalthough I am convinced that the red markings were on the wings and the feathers on the chest were a grey/beige(?) he was on my bird feeder as in the link above and as scale goes he certainly matches the woodpecker for size and shape. I did go to take a picture but the batteries had died!!

Fox - i have not personally seen it in the daytime but my neighbour did, it was in her garden on Christmas Eve - she did comment it was a decent size too! My husband has seen the fox wandering aroud the neighbourhood although this is at night time. I shall take a photo if I can.
Bats: we say them at dusk in the summer on the Holt Field side of the road in the trees near to Mossley Hill Church. I could not tell you exactly what type they were, but we checked the BCT website http://www.bats.org.uk/ and we reckon they were Pipistrelles. I am not sure if they do bat walks - if they do we would join in so let me know if you hear of any.

I am shopping in Allerton Road tomorrow and I hope to see the waxwings!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it could possibly be a wryneck....similar to woodpeckers...

ankitadheeman said...

great blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!