Tuesday, 31 March 2009

North Wales coast trip------of contrast

Sunday 29th was the group annual trip down the North Wales Coast. There was snow on the mountains but sun on the coast! What contrast from the weather we have had all week.

Sea watching was poorer than normally, red throated diver werent that plenty, common scoter were splash diving, great crested grebe were in summer plumage. 1 razorbill was a bit better. Waders on the point included oystercatchers, turnstones, ringed plover, 2 dunlin and 1 knot.

We travelled on to the Spinnies which held its usual little egrets and overwintering greenshanks but no kingfisher. The feeders close to the hide gave good views of chaffinch and greenfinch. We travelled back to RSPB Conwy and tried to get a coffee but it now close at 4.30 for drinks with the reserve staying open till 5.15 when they lock the gates.
A good trip as usual with 54 species seen.
Keep birding.

First cetti's for Wigan

This is a bit of a late post. This is the first cetti's warbler ringed in the Wigan area on 15th March. It turned up when me and John were after snipe!!


Wednesday, 25 March 2009


In January events were held around the UK to get more people to take part in the 30th Big Garden Birdwatch.
The figures: More than 552,000 people took part in this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch, counting over 8.5 million birds, recording 73 species in 279,000 gardens across the UK.
The facts: Blue tits made a massive comeback in the North West after we saw a worrying fall in numbers during last year’s event. In fact, in some parts of the region, more than double the number of this delightful little garden-dweller were spotted during Big Garden Birdwatch weekend.
In Merseyside – 1.99 per garden compared to 0.71 in 2008; and in Lancashire, where garden-watchers logged an average 2.25 per garden (1.45).
And the trend continued in Cheshire with a more modest increase – 2.28 compared to 1.68 last year – and Cumbria, with 3.25 this year compared to 2.64 in 2008.

Last year’s poor showing by blue tits might have been down to wet weather making the 2007 breeding season the worst ever for the garden favourite.
Heavy rain washing away caterpillars and the later emergence of these creatures are likely to have caused a food shortage for blue tits.
Matthew Capper, who helps get people involved in Big Garden Birdwatch, said: “Thank goodness we’ve seen more blue tits in our gardens this year. Big Garden Birdwatch is a great barometer of the fortunes of our garden birds and it’s always worrying when we see sharp declines in a particular kind of bird.
“But we know from years of experience – and from the information we have gathered over 30 years of Big Garden Birdwatch – that it takes a number of years’ results to see real trends emerging. It looks as though 2008 might just have been a blue tit blip.”
Matthew added: “We’re thrilled to have well over half a million people taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this year. This is a great way for people to get closer to nature and enjoy the benefits of feeding their garden birds.“
Nationally, the house sparrow retained its top spot for the sixth year running with an average of 3.70 seen per garden. The starling, which is a former number one, came in at number two with an average of 3.21 per garden. The blackbird completed the top three with 2.84 per garden.
Keep checking for the Merseyside top ten.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Package Holiday Birding

In my role of Group Leader I have always received lots of bird holiday travel brochures. I have always looked through them wishing that one day my family would be become birders but there is no hope! So I have always had to do my foriegn birding around a large popular tourist area.

So the groups next speaker Chris Galvin will be able to show me what I and you have been missing. Monday 16th March will see Chris Galvin come to the group to do his talk on Package Holiday Birding. Doors open at Mossley Hill Parish Church at 19.00 for the talk to start at 19.30. Come along to see one of the UK's best wildlife photographers.