Saturday, 10 May 2008

Know Your Farmland birds

Today the group walk was around Tarbock looking at farmland species. We parked up by the now closed Brickwall pub and were greeted to a singing yellowhammer, swallows, swifts and woodpigeon. The idea of these walks to look at birds in their habitat and learn and understand more of the pressures they face. We headed off along the Netherley Rd towards Ox Lane and the new housing development of the old farm.

We seem to have walked into the yellowhammer capital as eventually I counted possibly 8 pairs holding territory in this small area. Whitethroat, willow warbler chiffchaff and skylark were all singing away as was a single lapwing we noted in the centre of a autumn sown crop. Farmland birds have been declining over the last 30 years due to the changes in farmland production. My favourite butterfly the orangetip was also showing its self to the group. We soon added linnet, goldfinch, robin, pied wagtail, kestrel but were have the tree sparrows gone! Further down the road we found blackcap, sedge warbler and grey wagtail. On the way back to the cars we watched a single buzzard and found just one tree sparrow close to one of the yellowhammers area. I have to say the best bit of the day was watching the swallows collecting nesting material.
Keep birding.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Know your farmland birds

The groups next field trip is Saturday 10th May. It is the 'know your farmland birds' walk at Tarbock just on the farm edge of south Liverpool. Meet at the Brickwall pub on the Netherley rd at 9.30am.
See you there.

Monday, 5 May 2008


I have walked up Pendle Hill a few times but normally in good weather and I know how strenuous it can be. As a group of birders it is famous as a stopping off point for Dotterel and this was the target get species for the group outing.

Unfortunately being a Bank holiday the weather turned wet and nasty. There had been 7 birds the day before but they had left by 12.30. 6 of us started the accent at 10.45 and reached the split in the path or base camp. At this point Bren decided that the chest infection she picked up travelling back from Belize made the walk a bit too much. 5 of us pushed on to the summit and started the search. Meadow pipits, skylarks, wheatears were seen easily the song of curlews were also noted. We got to the wall and started looking for dotterel. I quickly found 1 then 2 more and a golden plover. As we all got on the birds were started to count and ended up with 6 of these wonderful birds.

A long walk down and a trip into Barley village helped us added a number of species such as woodland birds, warblers, ducks. A female blackcap was fly catching on the stream and a robin held about 10 flies in its beak on its way to feed its young.
We carried on checking the stream looking for the other D bird of the day. I quickly found the Dipper and got the rest of the group on to these smart birds.
A good outing for the group.
Keep birding