So where did 2012 go i ask myself and as we all have done,?
I don't want to turn this page into a Moore Nature reserve Blog, but could easily do so as i live on the doorstep, which is so handy just to pop out on the spare of the moment when precipitation stops (as a weatherman would say) but to you and me, .... that typical "four" letter word that describes deluge and depression which we have been experiencing over the past months, that we call "rain" or some other swear words to that effect. I can feel my Tourettes bubbling over here ;-)
I was late getting out of the house yesterday, to which you can't afford to do if you want to catch the early bird "that gathers no moss" (as the famous Irish saying goes and to be sure;-)
So the first thing that anyone should do on arrival of their chosen destination, is to not only ask a Policeman (in fact, more chance of seeing a Smew) but better off asking a local twitcher, ............
"Is there anything interesting to see here today." ?
The reply to my question was a Kingfisher, Water Rail, Shoveler, Cormorants, Grey Herons, Teal and last but not least a Smew ... only 30 minutes ago, honest and i will cross my Ladybird bird watchers book on that. The Smew we didn't see on our last RSPB outing there a few weeks ago, while assisting Ann to obtain one of her three remaining species to get her grand total of 200 before the end of the year.
Since then she has managed to do that, so well done Ann.
When i arrived at the Eastern reed bed of course most of the birds had typically shut up shop with it being half day closing and nowhere to be seen Grrrrr! So after a while made my way to the well stocked feeding station. As you are always guaranteed that there will be smaller birds constantly feeding there.
I have been out of the country for the best part of my "Bucket List" year and missed all of our ... sorry! ... your so called "damp" summer and since i visited Moore last May, was very surprised to see how flooded the whole of the low lying parts of the reserve have become, even more so over the past few months. As the excess rain water just cannot drain away fast enough with the area being waterlogged and therefore the Old Latchford canal .... pre Manchester ship canal era, that runs through the site was half full (or half empty depending upon your view) of its 1804 working depth and wouldn't have be surprised to have seen a old carthorse pulling a coal barge along it again. Sections of the old canal bed have been made into a (dry) walkway which is a nice feature, as you can see the original sandstone block wall lining on either side and can imagine how it use to be in the industrial revolution days of hard and dirty graft with little pay for the working classes, as it was these ordinary people like the Irish Navvy's that contributed to us to becoming a great nation of development and enterprise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runcorn_to_Latchford_Canal
I digress ..... I did however manage to get some quite nice close up photo's of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker with its needle sharp talons gripping or was it hugging ;-) ?? a near by tree as it probed for grubs etc.
Just for interest ....The Cheshire Government have provided a wonderful comprehensive twin map website. Zoom in to a specific area using the central slider and left click and grab on either map and move to a specific location to your choice, as they will move simultaneously and then you can differentiate between the landscapes around the whole of Cheshire (fringing on the edges of Liverpool) As you can set one map on black & white aerial photography views of the 1970s and select the opposite twin map to either a Tithe, OS 1875 or OS 1910 maps
You can actually see the Moore nature reserve area being developed and parts of the remaining old Latchford canal which still had water trapped in it. Also you will notice there is very little tree growth around the area at that time, which obviously over the past 40 years has grown to what it is today. http://maps.cheshire.gov.uk/tithemaps/TwinMaps.aspx
I have written to the Liverpool website asking them to do likewise on their site. As it would be so interesting to see how things have changed around the Liverpool area and to bring back many memories of that era, but sadly i have had no response as yet to my request.
It was nice to see the long-tailed tits all jostling for a decent perch closer to the fat ball or plant pot in this case. As they darted on and off in an instant when being disturbed by others
Does my bum look big in this long tail ?
Panto Cormorant "There's a crow behind you"
If you ever venture to the far reaches of the eastern reed bed then take some bread, as in time a cheeky little Robin will fly in to the open hide and will mug you for food.
The light was fading but the setting sun lit up the high clouds which reflected onto Lapwing lake and silhouetted a Coot.
Regards Neil ....
PS. At this time of year, please have a kind thought for those poor photographers and film makers in Borneo. Who are sick to the back teeth of taking boring everyday photographs of endangered Birds of Paradise that surrounds them and then in frustration, making a new years resolution to get back to the UK ASAP and to take photo's of our endangered Liverpool House Sparrows.
So does that put everything into perspective. ? Then in this case, does the well known phrase ....
"Be careful to what you wish for" come to mind here ... ?
"Be careful to what you wish for" come to mind here ... ?
PPS. Ann, Start off this year's bird list with an endangered Liverpool House Sparrow and forget those Paradise street, birds ;-)
Happy New Year to you all ... just remember that this year only lasts for twelve months, so get out there and enjoy our wildlife.