BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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ALDCLIFFE MARSH HIGH TIDE. PETE WOODRUFF.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Thursday Part 2.

Ridiculously belated news, but here goes....

I think the Aldcliffe bug has bitten me as I made my second visit there this month last Thursday when I went following three hours on the Lune Estuary. I had an hour there, going along the top path from Aldcliffe Hall Lane to the Wildfowlers Pool, to return via the bottom path.


Willow Warbler Richard Pegler 

I found my first Willow Warbler here, with 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Bunting, and 4 Goldfinch noted. On the flood I found 6 Little Ringed Plover, with the Greenshank seen on the marsh again. On the Wildfowlers Pool 5 Gadwall included some in flight chasing between two drake and a female. Thanks for the Willow Warbler Richard, albeit a little out of context on a Scillies beach.


Snipe. Pete Woodruff.

Four Snipe out in the open seemed unconcerned about the busy cycle way and footpath which runs parallel the full length now that some serious hedge-laying has been completed. 

The Garden Siskin.


At least one pair of Siskin - two males together one day - are visiting our garden at the moment several times per day, with five birds being the peak count on Sunday 13 March. I've also had phone calls to tell me of numbers of Siskin in gardens at Bailrigg, Brookhouse, Halton, and seen many reports on websites, all indicating an influx of these attractive finches. Phil Woollen had ringed 51 Siskin in his garden on the Wirral by mid-January. At locations in Lancashire many of the reports of Siskin at garden feeders are in excess in number of many of the counts of birds on passage made during this period in the county in 2015.

Siskin. Mike Atkinson.

Mike Atkinson got in touch to tell me of at least 30 Siskin over the past two days in his Lancaster garden just around the corner from us. Thanks to Mike for his excellent image of one of the males in his garden.

Most commonly know as a late winter early spring visitor to gardens, many of the Siskin are of native origin, though birds from continental Europe also visit and pass through Britain in large but varying numbers. It's interesting to note, during the winters of 1994/95 and 19978/98, a survey showed that almost 40% of participating gardens recorded Siskin. High numbers of garden Siskin feeding on supplement foods are influenced by poor cone crops, especially in the early morning, or on wet and overcast days, as the Siskin is unable to feed on unopened cones.

Of interest is the fastest recorded movement of a Siskin which went from Shropshire to the Highland Region of Scotland in three days at an average of 118 miles per day.


Siskin. Pete Woodruff. 

I made an attempt to photograph this female Siskin in our garden, but it stuck it's head into the feeder as the shutter fired....Still, I suppose it would have made a 'name the bird' shot in a quiz.

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