Sunday, 26 May 2013

An Exciting Week Ahead

Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I won't be blogging for at least a week, because I will be at my Grandma's in North wales for half term. I will hopefully be getting some great footage of Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers. I will have plenty of good stuff to blog about when I get back.

See you then!!! 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Summer Migrants and Tawny Owl Chicks

On Sunday I finally got to go back to ringing after SATs and this time I was at Brook vale; a new sight for me. This picture below is a male Blackcap with a Spanish ring on. It was really exciting for me because it was the first species of bird I have held from abroad.

In this picture you might roughly be able to make out the words MADRID, this is where the ring was made.

Today me and Dan also got a few new species of bird. First up was a Reed Warbler (my second favorite warbler in this country. 

You may of guessed my first favorite warbler is the Sedge, I love the males thick eye-brow and the way it blends into the reed colour (I got to ring one of these).

I think it is quite obvious Peters favorite warbler is the Raisin Filled Pastry warbler all the way from a local habitat called ASDA!

After my session at Brook Vale we went on to ring some chicks, I think young Jackdaws (below) are so cute. 

This a picture of me and Peter holding the chicks, at this age they were ringable.

I couldn't wait to go and ring the young Tawny owls, but they could wait for me...

These little fellers are cute but ruthless! if one of their talons get into your skin you are going to be in quite a bit of pain. As you can see I am completely and utterly focused on the talons.

What a brilliant day. You can read Scouse Ringer's blog here.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Good Question 10

Quiz Night Tuesday is back!

And tonights question is:

I was lucky enough to ring these lovely chicks on Sunday, but the question is, what sort of birds are they?

If you click on the picture it does go bigger.

I will post the answer tomorrow. 

I have switched the moderation thing on so you can all have a go without giving away the answers.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Thank you to everyone who had a go and lots of really good guesses.

The answer was baby Jackdaws.

Monday, 20 May 2013

SATS Tests, My Local Patch, Some Nest Recording & Woody Update


I have not been able to blog or go birding for a while because of my SATs tests which were pretty tough but I hope I have done ok.

 However, I am now out and about again and had a session after school with Alan Garner who kindly invited me to do some nest recording of Swallows nests on my local patch. We started off searching for nests and as soon as we got into the garage (where the farmer keeps his car) we found nests; however they did not have eggs. As we continued to search we decided to check a nest box with Blue Tits nesting in it. As we checked we found that the female Blue Tit wasn't sitting on her nine eggs, but they were still warm from when she had last been brooding them. 
In the air the Swallows were quite busy, but when we were checking each and every nest we found it was a whole different story, hardly any of the Swallows had young or even eggs. So we are going to check again soon hopefully later this week.  Thank you to my younger brother Harley for letting me use his brilliant Swallow picture:


You might of known that I have Great Spotted Woodpeckers nesting beside my feeding station in secret wood, and a few days ago I went to put my remote camera up to see what was going on, and  as I got there I heard this trilling noise coming directly from the hole, I then knew the woodpeckers had chicks!!!
As I slowly backed away a flash of white and black caught my eye, the male woodpecker was approaching the nest with loads of insects in it's beak. As it was just about to go in the female flew out and the male went in and didn't come out, which gives me a big clue that they have just hatched and still need to be kept warm by the parents.

As me and my dad came away, I saw a Treecreeper with something in it's mouth, I followed it and then watched with disbelief as it went into a crack in the bark with nesting material, I had found a Treecreepers nest. 

As I watched them building the nest I kept glancing back at the woody hole, but I noticed an earlier hole that had been chiseled out also appeared to have something in it. Something was shining in it, I think it was an eye reflection of a bird. I don't know if maybe it is another woody nest. I am 99 percent sure it was brooding eggs or very, very young chicks although it surprises me that two pairs of woodpeckers would be nesting so close to each other.

By the way I want to say I have a special ringing blog coming up for you very soon and a great "guess the bird" quiz for Tuesday night......  

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Garganey At Haydns Pool

This morning I went to my feeding station, because it had been at least a week since I last checked and visited; the woodpeckers were about, but I didn't see them visit the nest hole. On the way back I got a nice surprise, a female Wheatear was in one of the fields.  After the feeding station me, Harley and my dad visited Haydn's Pool and once again I got a nice surprise, the Garganey.

This was a male, so it looked stunning. They are very busy birds and it made me laugh quite a lot. 

It was the first  time I had seen a Garganey . They are an Amber status bird on the RSPB's conservation importance list as there are only 23 - 115 breeding pairs in the UK

I need to say a big thank you to some body I met who pointed the Garganey out to me. I would also like to say thank you to Harley for taking all the photographs of today and letting me use them.

Other Good Stuff

I heard my first Cuckoo of the year today, and saw Oyster Catcher, Black Headed Gull, Shellduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Pied Wagtail, Raven, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Feral Pigeon, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swift and Great Spotted Woodpecker .

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Feeding Station Update

As you know, all the birds are starting to pair up now, including the Great Spotted Woodpeckers. This species of woodpecker is my favorite, and they have a nest not far from my new feeding station. 

 As you can see, it is in the back of the wood, so it makes it rather difficult to see, however I can quite easily manage. I have just arrived back and once again the woodpeckers were right by the hole, however I didn't have time to stay and watch to see if they went in (that doesn't matter really anyway because I have seen them go in plenty of time before).

This was another hole that the woodies had made, however they don't use this one.

Other birds I saw today included: Willow Warbler, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Buzzard, Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Swallows and House Martins.

My little brother has now started a blog to share his brilliant photos. Have a look if you get chance:

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Happy Birthday to Frodsham Marsh Blog

I wanted to write about Frodsham Marsh tonight to help Bill Morton celebrate 1 year of his Frodsham Marsh Blog. Bill knows everything about the marsh and is so knowledgeable whenever I meet him there; although I did teach him about the “unkindness of Ravens”! He updates the Frodsham Marsh blog everyday with all the sightings visitors have seen and some stories from the olden days.

Frodsham Marsh is an amazing place where you can find anything from a Redshank to a Hooded Crow or from a rabbit to a badger. Frodsham Marshes isn’t an official nature reserve, it is just land owned by farmers and the Manchester Ship Canal, which is great because it isn’t busy which means there is always birds about. 

Everything about the Marshes is so enticing, it is always offering me and probably everyone else that visits so much wildlife to see and listen to; I like it that much that I can’t go bird watching there and not enjoy myself. 

The main bits of the marsh me and my family visit are number six tank, number five tank, number three tank and Lordship Marsh. The tanks that I have mentioned to you are basically a big area of land which is filled with silt and mud from the Mersey Estuary and the Manchester Ship Canal. Number six tank is currently the only one being used; due to the other five have already been filled and are no longer usable; however all these tanks are a bird heaven not only for Waders but for Geese, Pipit Species and raptors.

Talking of Raptors, the area of land is filled with miles of reed bed and marsh which is great for Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier which I have both seen myself.

Now that sunny weather is approaching at Frodsham Marshes I am starting to see most of our summer visitors, so far at the Marshes I have seen Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wheater, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Swifts and Swallows; however all these fantastic birds I have seen were not all spotted by me, so I would really like to thank Bill for all the help he has given me whenever I see him at the marsh.

My brother Harley really enjoys it there too, as he is enjoying taking pictures. This is his picture of the first Bluebell to come up at the marsh.

If you get a chance, you really should visit it, you will probably bump into Bill because he just about lives there.

This is a brilliant photo that Bill put together for me.