Monday, 26 March 2012

Kite Country

The Sandstone Trail - Peckforton
Red Kite, Peckforton, Cheshire - 25th March 2012

Wood Anenome, Beeston, Cheshire - 25th March 2012
The great recent weather lured me out for a decent walk yesterday; I decided to head for the sandstone trail around Beeston, Peckforton, and Bulkeley in North Cheshire for a eleven mile circular route around the Peckforton estate. The walk was a real pleasure with Spring certainly in full swing, the woodlands surrounding Peckforton and Beeston Castles were swarming with Wood Anemones (in fact I have never seen such a display of this species), other woodland plants included Lesser Celladine, Aquilega, flowering Cow Parsley, and fern fronds starting to emerge, Butterflies included 5 Small Copper, Brimstone, 13 Small Tortershell, 7 Peacocks, and 1 Comma, also the biggest Badger set I have ever seen!
Lesser Celladine, Peckforton, Cheshire - 25th March 2012
Migrants included at least 35 singing male Chiff Chaffs, and 2 Blackcaps, other birdlife included 50+ Lesser Redpolls, 1 Crossbill, 7 Nuthatch, 6 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 20+ Siskins, 2 Bullfinches, 1 Yellowhammer, 12+ Common Buzzards, 3 Raven, 2 Peregrine.

Last but not least a RED KITE which appeared over the Peckforton Hills being mobbed by a flock of Crows and Jackdaws and a pair of Peregrines! The bird was viewable for a couple of minutes and enough time for a couple of passers by to get on it before it drifted North.

Bulkeley Hill, Cheshire - 25th March 2012
I managed a few dodgy looking into the sun snaps of the bird which obviously drew most of my attention, but later when back at home looking at the photos of the Kite being mobbed by the Crows there appears to be two birds present one definitely a Red Kite but the other I am not so sure about, does anyone have an opinion? The two birds can be seen in the flock below (you may have to zoom in) and the mystery bird with a lone crow, I know the photos are not the best!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

And They're Off

Spring has certainly sprung in the local area with a Chiff Chaff singing in Greenbank park on Tuesday starting it off, also on Tuesday I found my first reptile of the year in the form Red Eared Terrapin, 2 pairs of nesting Coot, drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Nuthatch, 2 Pied and 2 Grey Wagtails, Ring Necked Parakeet, and a Treecreeper, the pair of Mute Swans nest building,and the odd sight of the resident Farm Goose mating with a Canada Goose! In Sefton Park 3 Nuthatch, Ring Necked Parakeet, 3 Peacock butterflies, flowering wild Primroses.
On Wednesday a Chiff Chaff was singing again in Greenbank Park and a great record of a very early fly-over Yellow Wagtail
On Thursday my first Swallow of the year heralded spring calling over my house.
On Friday 7 White Wagtails were among over 30 Pied Wagtails in Wavertree Mystery and an escaped Budgerigar was an odd sight. In the afternoon a Peregrine flew low over Smithdown Road, and I disturbed a Peregrine with its Woodpigeon prey in the University of Liverpool. A Grey Heron and a Ring Necked Parakeet in Greenbank Park.
Around the area Lesser Cellandine, Colts-Foot, Bluebells, Primroses, are all in flower at many sites.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Odds and Sods

Apologies for the recent lack of posts but I have been under the weather with a bout of chicken pocks (very embarrassing at thirty years of age!), anyway see a summary of recent sightings below.

Saturday 3rd - Sefton Park - a Buzzard appeared above the island on the main lake, it slowly gained height and drifted off towards the east; being aggressively 'helped along' by a Peregrine. A flock of 50 Pink-Footed Geese headed high west; probably towards the Dee marshes where growing numbers now winter. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in the wooded area behind the lakeside main cave together with a singing male Nuthatch. On the lake ten Little Grebes could be seen, ten Mute Swans plus the resident pair in the higher lake. A Raven flew south over the main lake. Around the Palm House a Ring Necked Parakeet and large numbers of common Finch species, the dell held a further three Ring Necked Parakeets and singing Goldcrests and Coal Tits.

Sunday 4th - Hoylake/West Kirby - Starting the walk at Hoylake station we crossed the Golf Course where a Little Egret was on one of the pools and Common Frogs could be seen spawning in a ditch next to the footpath. At Gilroy Nature Reserve 19 Black Tailed Godwits, 3 Redshanks, 2 Lapwings, 11 Teals, 25 Greylag Geese, 50+ Goldfinches could be seen,  and a male Kestrel was hunting up at the top of Grange Hill. Down on the shore a distant flock of 160+ Pale Bellied Brent Geese could be seen, together with 200+ Shelduck and a fine adult Yellow Legged Gull and 3 Goldeneye on the Marine Lake. 

Monday 5th - Greenbank Drive Woodland - Had a walk through the woodland that is sandwiched between Greenbank Drive and the allotments, spring was certainly in the air with many species including Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Song Thrush all in song. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming away on its chosen tree and a Buzzard drifted over heading south-east. Primroses where in flower, as was Scilla and the leaves of Ramsons now carpet the floor ready and waiting to flower as the days lengthen. A vixen Fox rounded it off nicely.

Wednesday 7th - Golden Plover on the cricket pitch off Penny Lane, 3 Redwing, Buff Tailed Bumblebee, Mistletoe, and flowering Blackthorn on Penny Lane too.

Thursday  8th - Small Tortershell - Elmbank Road

Monday 12th - 2 Ring Necked Parakeets, 2 singing Nuthatches and a nesting pair of Coot - Greenbank Park, and a Buzzard perched in trees next to the gaelic football pitch.

Tuesday 13th - 4 Siskin north-east over the house

Wednesday 14th - 30+ Siskin and 10+ Meadow Pipits over Penny Lane. Calling Great Spotted Woodpecker in Greenbank Park where the pair of Mute Swans are rapidly driving the Canada Geese off for the summer.
Thursday 15th - 13 Redwing - Cricket Pitch off Penny Lane, drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers at Penny Lane railway bridge and Greenbank Park, 5 Meadow Pipits north east over Greenbank Road