Saturday, 11 December 2010

11 December 2010

Firstly too go back a couple of days and news of 4 Whooper Swans at Westport received via RBA, I received a e-mail with photo from the finder today (thanks Paul Thompson), so mystery now solved as too were the report came from and photo included below.

Whooper Swans on main lake by Paul Thompson

News from yesterday from Nick Smith included a female Goosander and a immature male Goldeneye on the main lake.

I was looking forward to a good day out at Westport today with a visit out around Staffs for the rest of the day, sadly a very bad night at work and forgetting too set my alarm clock put paid too that (sorry Nick), news from Nick included 9 species of Duck the highlights being male Gadwall, female Goosander, 5 Teal, 2 Goldeneyes and 3 Wigeon flying around.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

09 December 2010

News came in late last night from Nick (via RBA) that 4 Whooper Swans had been seen at Westport at 11am yesterday, if anyone can shead any light on this record can you please e-mail us, this is the 2nd record this year the first coming from Kane Brides when his team of ringers were ringing the Coots at Westport the previous month.



I briefly called down too Westport this afternoon before work but all was very quiet the good news is a thaw is ongoing but I've also heard that more snow is also on the way!



Lastly received this photo from Phil Jones of a Lapwing on the ice on the main lake last week, most Lapwing records at Westport are flyovers with very few landing here although I did have one this Spring on the grass verge.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

08 December 2010

As you will see from Steve Seal's photo's a bit further on Westport is rather, white, cold and icy at the moment, still very little water on show and we really do need a thaw soon. I was down for nearly 2 hours this morning, it was very still and sunny and obviously rather cold.

Firstly news from a couple of days ago and Alan Hancock had a female Pheasant in the nature reserve, Pheasants are not very common at Westport and I think this is only the 2nd record of the year, the 1st being a male in March which was seen by myself and heard by Nick Smith, yesterday Nick had a Snipe on the stream and a couple of Teal.

Back to today, a couple of Bullfinches were near the bottom entrance and I had a couple more later by the top pool, there was very little on the boating lake except for the male Shoveler and 4 Mute Swans, at the bottom entrance to the nature reserve a pair of Teal were flushed from the stream and a bit further up another near the boardwalk bridge, a couple of Willow Tits were near the bottom entrance to the nature reserve and a couple more up by the top pool, 10 Redwings flew over followed by a single Fieldfare, a single Coal Tit by the top pool and another along the canal side of the main lake, a Grey Heron was by the bottom pool in the trees, on the main lake with just a small amount of water visible 11 Tufted Ducks, 6 Pochards, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 4 Common Gulls, very little was seen on the gas works or the sewage works but 4 Jackdaws flew over the sewage works, lastly just a single Pied Wagtail was by the visitors centre.

Later in the morning Pete Lunt had a Snipe feeding on the ice on the 1st pool, I'm gutted about this because this is what I was looking for this morning as I still need it for my Westport year list!

The following photo's by Steve Seal really do give a good idea as too how Westport is looking and faring in this very cold weather.




Monday, 6 December 2010

06 December 2010

My first visit too Westport since the 1st and it was absolutely freezing, with freezing fog all the trees were white, there was however slightly more water on the two main lakes than on the last visit.

I met up with Nick by the model boating lake which held 5 Mute Swans and not a lot else, the main lake was deserted at the bottom end with the lack of water so we walk too the top end, on the small open water there was 'Sammy' Shoveler, a single Great Crested Grebe and 2 more Mute Swans, I can't remember the exact duck counts as it was just too cold too write them down (although Nick was brave enough), Tufted Ducks counted around 10, 3 or 4 Pochards and not a lot else, a couple of Common Gulls were among the Black-headed Gulls. The nature reserve was very quiet with just a couple of Teal flushed off the stream just past the bottom gate.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

01 December 2010

The last month of the year and as work sent me home early because they didn't want too pay out anymore overtime! I decided too go straight down too Westport Lake to see if the snow had brought anything in, when I left the house it was like a blizzard with around 3 inches of snow on the ground, the main lake and boating lake were both covered in snow with both having small pockets of open water, by the end of the visit, the skies had cleared the sun was out and the temperature reached a barmy 10c!

There was nothing much among the Gulls and Ducks on the boating lake except for the family of 3 Mute Swans and the only open water on the main lake is at the top, which had another 7 Swans on it, so I went into the nature reserve first, 6 Teal were along the stream between the bottom entrance and the boardwalk bridge, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling nearby as first a Buzzard flew over being mobbed by Carrion Crows, followed by a Sparrowhawk, at the top pool a couple of Willow Tits and Jays, a couple of Jackdaws also flew over calling, on the small open water on the main lake, 6 Tufted Ducks, 7 Pochards, the male Shoveler back on his own again, a single Lesser Black-backed Gull and just 1 Great Crested Grebe, among the Black-headed Gulls were 6 Common Gulls, on the gas works I decided to make an idiot of my self and went flying over on ice under the snow, the thud was loud enough to frighten a Grey Heron from Jeff's Pool! On the sewage works at least 4 Bullfinches with around 4 Meadow Pipits flying over and a single Siskin, back at the top of the main lake and I noticed a 1st winter Med Gull with the Black-headed and Common Gulls, it was chased off by a Coot but came back and landed on the water before settling back down on the ice, tried to get a few photo's with my camera phone but was hopeless and just ended up with blurred photo's or taking the picture of a Common Gull instead of the Med Gull, I think this is the 3rd record of the year.

Below are some nice snowy picture's from my mobile.




Monday, 29 November 2010

29 November 2010

What a shocker!! just been looking through all the photo's on the slide show and they show how many views each photo has had, the most viewed picture is that of the visitors centre, what's that all about!!

Very cold around Westport this morning, the boating lake is completely frozen and only a very small pocket of water is showing on the main lake, there was also another light dusting of snow from overnight.

A Grey Heron was on the boating lake and another on the top pool in the nature reserve, very few small birds about and the duck numbers were very low due to the lack of open water, 26+ Tufted Ducks, 2 Pochards, 3 Mute Swans and 3 Shoveler were all crammed into the small open area with the Mallards, Coots and good numbers of Gulls including Common Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and lots of Black-headed Gulls. What few small birds I saw included Willow Tits and Bullfinches, the Canada Geese were all along the canal and included a couple of the ringed birds that Kane Brides had mentioned at the weekend.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

28 November 2010

It's been a horrid week both work and weather wise, I haven't been able too get down to Westport at all this week, fingers crossed this coming week will be much better but it all depends on the overtime at work!

This last weeks news.

Steve Seal was down on the 24th and provided the following shots.












Among the Ducks there were 41 Pochards and a flock of 16 Long-tailed Tits in the trees, he also called down on the 26th but didn't see much but sent me the following picture of a Common Gull from the 24th.




Nick was down as usual for his extended weekend visits and his highlight was the temperature of -9c which is colder than last winter!

Highlights bird wise over the weekend were , 3 Goosanders flying over, 3 Shovelers present, Pochard on Sunday were down to 5 from the 31 on Saturday with Tufted Ducks up to 60, 1 Teal in the nature reserve and up to 9 Common Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls, also on Saturday 12 Lapwings and 2 Meadow Pipits over.

On Sunday the ringing team were down and managed to ring another 16 Coots, plus they also ringed 9 Canada Geese and 2 Black-headed Gulls, they also caught 2 Canada Geese that were already ringed, don't know about Nick but I haven't seen any Canada Geese at Westport with rings on them before, lastly they also caught 2 Black-headed Gulls that were already ringed.

Just checked the live feed to see I've had a visitor from New York looking at Westport news from May 2010, Westport goes international!!!

I've made the slideshow of everyone's Westport photo's larger (well you can't miss it can you?), what does everyone think too large or about right?

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Unfortunately for me I'm currently working 12hrs days at work, which means leaving in the dark and returning home likewise, this of course means no Westport, well except when I'm walking the dog along the canal hope to hear an Owl or something.

Today at Westport, Jeff Jones had the Green Woodpecker between the top pool and the railway line at 09.40.

Bird or birds of the day came about 10mins later from Steve Seal when he had a flock of 20+ Waxwings flying over the lake calling, they went over the top end of the lake towards the housing estate by the gas works, these are new for the year list and buts the Westport list on 127 for the year.

While walking the dog in the dark this evening along the canal, a small flock of Geese flew over calling, probably Canada Geese, not heard any Redwings going over for a while now, so I guess the main migration push has now gone through.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

21 November 2010

Nick Smith had a decent morning while some of us were busy working hard! The drake Goosander from yesterday was still present, moving between the boating and main lakes, also a nice female/immature Peregrine flew low over the gas works chasing a Feral Pigeon plus a fly over Rook and a Great Black-backed Gull, the latter is the 1st record since last January.

Slightly later in the morning and Jeff Jones had a Snipe, it flew around the lake three times before diving into the nature reserve, again the first record since last winter and yet another sign that winter is well and truly upon us.

I managed a walk around the 2 main lakes this afternoon after work for just over an hour, a pair of very nervous Shoveler were on the main lake briefly before flying off south, I'm sure that the male wasn't 'Sammy' as it was acting too nervous and edgy, totally different too his normal behaviour, just a single Great Crested Grebe on the boating lake with at least another 8+ on the main lake, a Willow Tit was calling along the edge of the nature reserve side of the main lake, 25 Pochards were on the main lake although earlier this morning Nick had nearly double that, the family of 3 Mute Swans are still sticking together and looking a bit lonely now the other 30+ have left, a single female Goldeneye is still present although it can be difficult too find at times as it's diving non stop, also on the main lake, the 1st year Little Grebe remains and a rather tame Grey Heron was fishing along the bank as people walked within feet of it.

Lastly and just for you Nick as I know you worry about my poor, poorly legs and feet with my tendonitis, I found the new bench you told me about at Westport, and it was very compy thanks!



New posh bench at Westport, sadly put looking at a big tree and not the lake, but knowing the council they will probably cut the tree down instead of moving the bench!

Friday, 19 November 2010

19 November 2010

Spent around 2 hours at Westport this mid morning, dry with a kight fog, and very little breeze, will have to be a short blog today as I'm running late for work!

Just a single Great Crested Grebe and the male Shoveler on the boating lake, on the main lake, the family of 3 Mute Swans, 31 Tufted Ducks. another 3 Great Crested Grebes, a single Little Grebe, 21 Pochard and singles of Common Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

In the nature reserve, a Kingfisher on the top pool, 2 Willow Tits, 2 Siskins, 3 Bullfinch, a single Grey Heron and the same or another on Jeffs Pool on the gas works also on the gas works and the sewage works, 1 Jay, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

17 November 2010

My first proper visit to Westport in ages and the bloody weather was awful, non stop heavy rain with a strong east/southeast wind, temp 7c but felt cooler with the wind and rain, visit from 08.10 - 09.50.

The boating lake was totally deserted and didn't bode well for the rest of the visit, on the main lake the family of 3 Mute Swans which later moved onto the pools in the nature reserve, I only managed to count 29 Tufted Ducks through the rain, although there were probably more the numbers of Tufted Ducks have been dropping off over recent weeks, the male Shoveler was also on the main lake with 20 Pochards and a single Goldeneye, among the Black-headed Gulls a single Common Gull and a Jackdaw was in the trees by the old toilet block, a single male Bullfinch was by the sidings with a further 3 on the old gas works, back to the main lake and only 3 Great Crested Grebes were seen with a single Little Grebe, lastly bird of the day which made the visit all worth while was a Woodcock in the nature reserve not far from the boardwalk bridge near the stream, the dog flushed it and it flew a short distance towards the small marsh area just over the boardwalk bridge, I had a look around this area but couldn't relocate it, a Westport tick for me and made a horrid visit all worth while.

Nick had told me last week that some work had been going on in the nature reserve area, the following pictures below show some of the works carried out.

Top pool area

New fencing near the top bridge

Clearing of scrub by the boardwalk bridge.

Monday, 15 November 2010

15 November 2010

A quick look at the lakes this morning before going into work for overtime, just 20+ Tufted Ducks, 13 Pochards, , 5+ Great Crested Grebes and singles of Grey Heron and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Below is the recent Nuthatch taken at Westport by Steve Seal.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

13 November 2010

Not a good day to live in Stoke when your a Liverpool fan, oh well moving on, a couple of report s from yesterday first.

Steve Seal had a Nuthatch by the visitors centre, also 5 Mistle Thrushes and a female Goldeneye on the main lake, next report comes from Pete Lunt who had 8 Pochard as well as the Goldeneye a female Wigeon and the Shoveler, around the lake and nature reserve, Jay, Siskin, Goldfinch, 3 Willow Tits, 5 Bullfinch and a Coal Tit.

Today from Nick Smith, 4 female Goldeneye and a male Goosander flew over.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

10 November 2010

Not much news received recently, I've been busy at work doing a bit of overtime, need the extra cash with Xmas around the corner.

Yesterday Dave Kelsall had 4 female and a male Goldeneye and an couple of Teal on the main lake, a interesting report came via Birdforum were a member had a Woodcock fly from near the bridge area were the Terrapins sun themselves, this is only the second ever record for Westport with the previous one being last January.

I've since found out there have actually been other records of Woodcock at Westport, how many I'm not sure, there is no mention of them in the Westport bird report although that only runs up to 2002, however that said it's still a very good record for Westport and it's a bird that should start to increase in numbers now as the nature reserve gets more mature over the coming years.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

07 November 2010

I was only down at Westport for about 30+ mins until Nick decided to drag me off to South Staffs for the day, he'd already done a walk around the lake and surroundings and hadn't had much out the ordinary.

First thing Nick had a good flock of 17 Teal, while I was there 6 Great Crested Grebe, most on the main lake and the usual single on the boating lake, the male Shoveler was on the boating lake an then moved over to the main lake were a female Shoveler was also present, by the sidings a lone Bullfinch was calling, back on the main lake the family of 3 Mute Swans, just 25 Tufted Ducks, 9 Pochards a single Lesser Black-backed Gull a pair of Wigeon, the female Goldeneye has been joined by another and a Grey Heron was near the top end, lastly 4 Meadow Pipits flew over by the canal.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

06 November 2010

Oh dear, another missed day down at Westport after a night out last night left me getting home at 4am! and a bit of a hangover in the morning also meaning the dog suffered with only a short walk as well.

No news received from anywhere else so I take it was very quiet down at the lake today.

Friday, 5 November 2010

05 November 2010

No news from Westport today, I did manage to see a Brambling flying over this morning just along the canal, sadly it wasn't close enough to Westport as I need it for my Westport year list, oh well there's always tomorrow!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

04 November 2010

Another very cloudy and dull afternoon, although not at wet as the previous few days it was still very damp with the odd shower, a fairly strong west/southwest breeze meaning it was a pleasant 17c.

As I entered the bottom of the park a small party of 5 House Sparrows were in the hedgerow, although we see them every month they are only ever in small numbers, on the boating lake the 2 1st year Mute Swans from yesterday with the family of 3 being on the top pool today, a single Great Crested Grebe was on the boating lake with another 7 on the main lake, while on the grass bank a party of 20 Starlings few over north, back to the main lake and 6 Pochards and the female Goldeneye, on the bottom pool in the nature reserve the male Shoveler and also here earlier Nick had seen a Little Grebe, just 41 Tufted Ducks were counted on the main lake today along with a Grey Heron by Ted Heath Rock.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

03 November 2010

Managed to get down to Westport today for the last hour or so of light after work, it rained for the whole visit and was very dull although not especially cold.

A couple of new 1st year Mute Swans were on the boating lake, along with a 1st year Great Crested Grebe and 'Sammy' Shoveler, on the main lake, another 6+ Great Crested Grebes, 53 Tufted Ducks, 7 Pochards, the single Goldeneye is still present and the family of three Mute Swans there was very little else seen of note.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

02 November 2010

Managed a very quick scan of the lake this afternoon in the pouring rain, there were large numbers of Black-headed Gulls on the main lake one of which still had it's black head, also among the Black-headed Gulls a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls a single adult Common Gull and a single 1st year Herring Gull, I saw nothing else and didn't count the Tufted Ducks etc due too the heavy rain.

Monday, 1 November 2010

01 November 2010

Just to go back to yesterday and whilst on the way to Cornwall I happened to mention to Nick that we would probably miss something at Westport today as thing have a habit of turning up when people leave the local patch, sure enough whilst Kane Brides was down ringing the Coots he came across a party of Whopper Swans on the main lake, made up of 5 adults and 3 juveniles, not only a Westport year tick for me but also a Westport lifer!


Back to today and Nick smith had probably the bird of the month already when a Swallow flew over, heading north! Just a single Pochard is left on the main lake and a flock of at least 9 Bramblings with a Goldfinch flock and a few Siskins in the trees by the visitor centre, as I've already mentioned Kane Brides and team were down at Westport ringing Coots again and today Nick managed to to count 18 ringed Coots including one that was ringed in Cheshire sometime previously.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

31 October 2010

Most of the Westport crew went on a day trip today, to Cornwall, a great day was had by all as we started off at 2am and returned home at 6pm with both, American Bittern and Green Heron added to our lists, although the Green Heron was only a tick for me, it was well worth the £10 admission fee to the Gardens.


Back at Westport and Phil Jones had the place to himself, highlights were adding Fieldfare to his Westport year list and a probable Tawny Owl being mobbed by a large number of birds on the sewage works, it flew out the back of the bushes and he was unable to relocate it. I've heard Tawny Owls calling several times at night and early morning over recent months, so there is a good chance of this being one, next time hey Phil!!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

30 October 2010

After a late night to bed I eventually managed to get down to Westport at 14.00ish, rather warm and cloudy with a southerly breeze, the odd sunny intervals.

On the boating lake the rather tame Grey Heron was still present sat on a tree stump on the Island until a photographer tried to get a bit too close with his lens and tripod and flushed the Heron, also on here a single 1st year Great Crested Grebe, a couple of Pied Wagtails were on the grass bank and I was expecting too see a lot more, but never saw another one the whole visit, on the main lake another 7 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Common Gulls with the Black-headed Gulls, on the Duck front, 74 Tufted Ducks, 15 Pochard and the male Shoveler, just 3 Mute Swans were present which is the family from the top pool, the female Goldeneye was still on the main lake although difficult too see as it was constantly diving, as I walked along the nature reserve side of the main lake a flock of 45+ Goldfinches landed in the top of the tall trees and at the top pool in a large Tit flock, 1 each of Willow Tit, Coal Tit and a Goldcrest, finally back on the main lake a 2 Little Grebes were at the top of the lake.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

28 October 2010

A much warmer and drier walk around the 2 lakes and top pool this morning, very little sign of any vis migration, hardly heard or saw a thing flying over.

On the boating lake a rather tame Grey Heron which was allowing people too walked right up to it and at one stage was surrounded by 6 people taking photo's with cameras and camera phones, also on here a single Great Crested Grebe with another 8 Grebes on the main lake, also on the main lake, 59 Tufted Ducks, 12 Pochards, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls a single winter plumage adult Common Gull and the female Goldeneye is still present, around the top pool just a single Great Spotted Woodpecker and a single Willow Tit.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

26 October 2010

Absolutely chucking it down this morning, both the poor dog and me were soaked, just made it around the 2 main lakes and the top pool in the nature reserve, by which time I'd had enough of the rain and headed for home.

On the main lake 12 Pochard, 6 Great Crested Grebes with another 2 on the boating lake, just 46 Tufted Ducks there were probably more but it was a bit difficult too count them in the pouring rain, a single adult Lesser Black-backed Gull on the ramp posts, just 5 Mute Swans present with one of each on the two main lakes and the family of 3 on the middle pool in the nature reserve, the female Goldeneye is still on the main lake as was the male Shoveler, new in were 7 Wigeon in the middle of the main lake and one of the ringed Coots was noticed which was red over black, lastly in the nature reserve a Willow Tit by the top pool.

Congratulations to Phil Jones, who at last has managed to catch up with Goldcrest at Westport yesterday afternoon, giving him another year tick for Westport and now just 2 shy of the magic 100 mark for the year!

Later this afternoon Nick Smith called to check my Duck counts! and had the following, 16 Pochards and the 7 Wigeon were still present, nothing else of note, well nothing we can talk about anyway as it's all MI5, secret service stuff, and yes I'm rambling so I will leave it at that!

Monday, 25 October 2010

25 October 2010

Very cold with a white out from a heavy ground frost, 2c, very misty over the lakes making it difficult to count the Ducks.

8 Pochard on the main lake with 8 Great Crested Grebes, another 2 Grebes were on the boating lake with a Little Grebe, only managed to see 40+ Tufted Ducks, also present a adult Lesser Black-backed Gull the female Goldeneye and 'Sammy' Shoveler, the family of 3 Mute Swans were on the main lake and another 3 on the boating lake, but no sign of the family of 6 from the marina at Festival Park that I'd seen along the canal late last night as I walked the dog.

Not much else seemed to be happening, a few Redwings went over and good numbers of Goldfinches.

Later in the morning Jeff Jones had the bird of the day if not the month when he flushed a Jack Snipe from the top of the top pool in the nature reserve.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

23 October 2010

After finishing work at 3pm and waiting what felt like 2 years to catch a couple of buses home I eventually managed to get down to Westport for the last hour or so of light, I just walked around the main lake and the boating lake.

It was absolutely freezing with a strong northwest breeze and I was regretting leaving my gloves and hat at home, as I stood counting the Ducks I had tears running down my cheek, it was that cold, what did surprise me was when nearly home I checked the temp on the Steelite clock and it said 9c so must of been a strong wind chill factor because it felt a lot colder than that.

Anyway in the morning Nick Smith recorded 12 Pochard, a single female Goldeneye and a Blackcap on the sewage works.

This afternoon I saw, 11 Pochard the missing one from this morning was the tame female that's been around for a while, Nick had this on the boating lake, but this afternoon it could possibly of been in the nature reserve on one of the small pools, there was a good count of 13 Great Crested Grebes which includes one on the model boating lake, this is the highest count for a while, also on the main lake 71 Tufted Ducks, 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the Black-headed Gull pre-roost, a single Grey Heron was on the boating lake with 2 Mute Swans and another 4 Mute Swans were on the main lake, finally a single Little Grebe was on the main lake.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

23 October 2010

As usual just prior too starting work at 5am I took the dog for a quick walk along the canal and up through the playing field at Westport, no Redwings going over this morning, and again no Tawny Owls so I've given up on these now, think they have definitely moved on, a few Robins, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were singing in the dark.

Nick Smith was down later in the morning and although he saw 8 Pochard, there was very little else of note. On the ringed Coots front Nick has now noted 16 with different rings of which he saw 14 today.

After work I again took the dog down for a walk around the main lake, although I counted only 5 Pochard thought there were more, also on the main lake 9 Great Crested Grebes, 64 Tufted Ducks and a single adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Friday, 22 October 2010

22 October 2010

Nick Smith trundled down to Westport to give us the news that 4 female Goldeneyes were on the main lake, probably the largest count of the year also present 8 Pochards which is definitely the largest count of the Autumn/Winter so far and a single Chiffchaff was on the sewage works.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

21 October 2010

After a visit to the doctors today and getting loaded up with a carrier bag of pills, I decided to nip down Westport and take the dog for a quick walk, although the doctors told me too stay off my feet as much as possible, it's a bit difficult when you have a dog too walk and a job which means your on your feet 9 hours a day.

Anyway enough of the boring stuff and back to the boring stuff at Westport, on the boating lake, a single Great Crested Grebe, Pochard and Mute Swan, also one of the colour ringed Coots which was pink over dark blue, on the main lake I managed to count another 8 Great Crested Grebes, 3 'Mick Balls' , another 3 Mute Swans and I was up to 67 in the Tufted Ducks when a work colleague collared me and decided to walk around the lake with me, playing with the dog and talking about stuff, like you do, so I've had to estimate the Tufted Ducks at 80+, I also had another ringed Coot on the main lake but couldn't see it's colours.

No other news received from Westport today, so very quiet I guess.

23.00 Just taken the dog for a quick walk along the canal and along the playing field at Westport, several Redwings were heard going over as usual these day's. Why do you never hear Fieldfare's going over at night? Also no Tawny Owls heard again so maybe they have moved on now after at least 2 months in the area.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

20 October 2010

No news from Westport for the last few day's, I've been poorly in bed for a few day's after being sent home from work with'man flu' aaawww.

Last news in was from Steve Seal of 13 Wigeon flying around the main lake on the 18th, he did send me a picture showing them in flight, later on he also noticed another 2 Wigeon on the main lake, 3 Pochard and 3 'Mick Balls'.

And that's all the news in from the last few day's, hopefully things will pick up over the weekend, but the bad news for me is I'm in work all weekend, if I'm over the 'man flu' off course!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

17 October 2010

Westport Part 2, after a totally s**t football result this afternoon I thought, calm down, calm down (that might be a clue as too who I support), go for a short walk to Westport and stand on the grass verge for 30 mins or so, 2hrs and 20 mins later I got home having done my usual morning stroll again, it was a bit cloudier than this morning with a warmer 13c, the downside was hundreds of people walking around, model boaters on the small lake and 2 men fishing on a small boat in the middle of the main lake.

Tufted Ducks had increased to 94, I'm convinced that a evening roost takes place from other areas, 2 Teal were also in the middle and later flew onto the bottom pool in the nature reserve, the same numbers of all other ducks from this morning were still present except for the Wigeon which had departed, 7 Great Crested Grebes were on with 2 of them dodging the model boats on the small lake, a Kingfisher was flying around the main lake from tree to tree, a good number of Black-headed Gulls were on the main lake with 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a 1st year Herring Gull, I noticed a couple of the ringed Coots on the old beach area, 1st one had red over blue and the 2nd one had pink over light blue, a Grey Heron was flying around the main lake, these seemed to have been a bit thin on the ground recently and a single Collared Dove flew across the main lake, the first one I've seen this month, finally Starlings although seen monthly at Westport are never the less only seen in small numbers although larger flocks are normally seen at this time of year, as the sun was going down small flocks of Starlings kept going over mostly heading south to roost, in total I saw 145+ going through.

Sunset over the Main Lake this evening

A very bright cloud free morning, very cold with a ground frost in sheltered areas and a light mist over the water, temp 6c, no real wind of note, visit from 07.25 - 10.00.

Just a single Mute Swan on the boating lake and the family of 3 again on the main lake, later in the visit they did a complete swap, a single Teal was on the main lake and later while covering the gas works and sewage works Dave Kelsall had 3 Teal, a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the main lake and 3 Wigeon were sat in the middle, Nick Smith had at least 8 Mistle Thrushes around the visitors centre and later I had 3/4 along the canal side of the main lake, while walking around the boating lake 7 Linnets flew across, also on the boating lake a single Great Crested Grebe with just another 5 on the main lake, 5 Pied Wagtails were seen around the park today but I think there were probably a lot more than this in the area, 4 Jackdaws went over in two groups of 2, back on the main lake 3 male Pochards were new in, the female type Goldeneye is still present, while watching the main lake a flock of 31 Woodpigeons flew over quite high heading west, Tufted Ducks totalled 64, a single Coal Tit was heard along the nature reserve side of the main lake and later at the top pool an amazing record of 8!! flew over Nick and myself calling, also here at least 3 Willow Tits, on the gas works a single Stock Dove flew through north and a single Bullfinch was on here with another female on the sewage works, 30+ Starlings flew over the gas works with a couple of singles going over as well, birds of the day for me was a single Skylark followed by another 2 flying low over the main lake giving me a much needed year tick and putting me on 108 for the year, just 3 behind Nick now (and he's getting worried), finally the male Shoveler was by Ted Heath Rocks.

A nice picture of 'Sammy' Shoveler by Steve Seal today

Saturday, 16 October 2010

16 October 2010

A bright sunny morning but rather cold with temp at 7c, very little wind of note, visit from 07.30 - 10.15.

The first birds of note where the groups of Fieldfares going over most of the morning, the first group contained just 4 with a single Redwing but by the end of the visit a total 65 had been seen all heading north west, Mute Swans are down to just 4 with a single on the boating lake and the family of 3 on the main lake, Tufted Ducks stand at a disappointing 67 with no Pochards which is unusual for this time of year, at last I managed to catch up with some of the ringed Coots seeing 5/6 of them, all the Great Crested Grebes were on the main lake with 8, just 3 Pied Wagtails were on the grass verge area, a female type Goldeneye is the first in of the winter, it was seen yesterday by Nick Smith and was still present this morning, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the main lake, 6 Jackdaws flew over in two groups of 3 but nothing like the count of 80+ earlier in the week by Dave Kelsall, a single Starling was in one of the Fieldfare flocks over the old gas works and a single Grey Wagtail flew over here, a single Mistle Thrush was on the canal side of the main lake, back on the main lake and the 3 'Mick Balls' are still present, on the sewage works a single Bullfinch was heard as was a Willow Tit and finally at the top corner of the main lake near the top pool 1 possibly 2 Kingfishers and a Siskin was heard flying over.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

14 October 2010

Not much news today, I overslept for work so the dog got chucked in the yard while I ran around getting ready for work, when I got home it was already nearly dark (hate it when you go too work in the dark and come home to the same) anyway I rushed down to Westport for the last sliver of light but it wasn't much good as I could hardly see a thing, a couple of Mute Swans and a Great Crested Grebe were on the model boating lake while on the main lake I could just about make out 'Sammy' Shoveler, some Tufted Ducks and another couple of Mute Swans, again Redwings could be heard flying over in small numbers.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

13 October 2010

Another 05.00 walk along the canal with the dog prior to work and as usual now Redwings could be heard going over, sadly I haven't heard any Tawny Owls for a few day now.

The only other news today was from Nick Smith with 4 Pochard and another 8 colour ringed Coots, taking us up to 13 individual birds now, although I've not seen a one of them as yet, and that's your lot!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

12 October 2010

I wasn't able to get down to Westport today, well apart from at 05.00 when I was walking the dog in the dark before work, I did hear Redwings going over again as I was walking along the canal next to Westport.

Dave Kelsall had a good moning at Westport, I think he was mainly doing a vis migration watch and not sure were he saw the 4 Goldcrest, but I guess the rest of his sightings were flyovers and on the main lake, they were as follows, a single Grey Plover over at 08.25 which is a Westport year tick, a Rock Pipit also flew over, this is the second record of the year both in the last month and both found by Dave, on the main lake, 2 Teal and 2 Common Gulls, back to the flyovers and 82 Jackdaw is a massive total, 1 Skylark, 18 Meadow Pipits, 15 Redwing and finally 6 Cormorants.

Dave, you don't half know when too be in the right place at the right time mate, cracking morning.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Brent Goose Photo's from Dave Kelsall







Some more excellent photo's of the Brent Goose from last Saturday, this time from Dave Kelsall, there was no sign of the bird the next day after a full day's rest.

Colour Ringed Coots!!

I keep forgetting to bring this up on the blog but I've just seen an e mail from Nick regarding the subject and thought better late than never, so here goes.

About a week ago Dave Kelsall noticed a colour ringed Coot while feeding the Black-headed Gulls (trying to find ringed ones) after making a few enquiries it came to light that someone possibly from the BTO had been down the previous week and caught a number of Coots which were then colour ringed, how many were done were not sure but so far 5 have been found, the rings consists of three colours and the 5 found were of the following combinations.

1 - Green, green, green
2 - Pink, yellow, yellow
3 - Pink, blue, yellow
4 - Pink, green, yellow and lastly
5 - Red, white, yellow

Now this is if I've read the colour combinations correct on Nick's e mail, but if anyone does find any Coots with rings on them, even if we already have them on the list, then please e mail at the usual address please www.westportlake@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks in advance for your help.

11 October 2010

No news from yesterday, but whilst walking the down along the canal at 05.20 this morning prior to work I heard Redwings flying over and again Tawny Owl calling from the small wood area near the bottom entrance to Westport.

Some late news I'm just catching up on from Saturday (Brent Day) and also from Nick, Saturday 9th - 0720hrs to 1045hrs! saw plenty of migration overhead with ten Pied Wagtails, at least 16 Mipits over, one Brambling on the gas works and a possible six over later (quite a few small flocks of "silent, non-calling" finches over today), the first 21 Woodpigeon over of the autumn, two Redwing, a Lapwing, a Jackdaw, four Siskin, a Skylark and a Jay. Also two 1w Common Gulls thru, and a Brent Goose!

Back to today and I called down late afternoon from 17.30 - 18.30, very clear sky, slight east breeze felt cool.

Everything I saw was on the main lake except for 3 Mute Swans on the boating lake with the other 3 on the main plus a Goldcrest in the Tit flock on the top pool, my first of the Autumn, back to the main lake, 58 Tufted Ducks is a bit of a drop they really have been up and down over the last few months, were they are going to and from who knows!! 8 Great Crested Grebes, a pair of Pochard, the usual 3 'Mick Balls' (glad you took it in the fun it was intended Mick, pity a few other people couldn't be like that), a single adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and 3 Pied Wagtails along the grass verge and bank.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Steve Seal's Photo's







As promised some photo's of today's Brent Goose at Westport Lake, thanks one again Steve.

09 October 2010

Nick Smith found the bird of the week if not the month this morning, first seen flying over at about 08.30 a Brent Goose then came into land at Westport on the main lake it's currently still present as I write this blog, a few thousand Brent's have recently arrived along the East coast and this has probably got separated from the flock, another single bird has also been found at Carsington Res in Derbys this morning.

I'm told this is the first Brent Goose at Westport for about 10 years, it spends most of it's time close to a Canada Goose on the edge of the boating ramp and near the old beach area, it was very wary and several times wanted to leave the water but wouldn't eventually it briefly went on the boating ramp and no rings where present and later it left the water near the beach area for a few minutes until some walkers passing pushed it back into the water again.

Photo's to follow shortly.

Also at Westport this morning, Nick also had a Brambling flying over.

Had a longer visit to Westport this afternoon from 15.00 - 16.55, weather was cloudy with sunny intervals with a pleasant 17c, quite a brisk easterly breeze.

A lone Tufted Duck was on the boating lake and another 60 on the main lake, the Brent Goose is still present at first it was down in the bottom left corner and later after a phone call from Nick saying someone else couldn't find it, I relocated it on the concrete feeding platform at the side of the boating ramp it then got back into the water and swam towards Ted Heath Rocks.





Just a quick photo of the Brent Goose taken with my basic digital camera, some more to follow soon from the photographers!

At least 120+ Black-headed Gulls were between the two lakes and 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the main lake, the 3 'Mick Balls' as we now call them (sorry Mick no offence) are still present, one is possibly a 1st year male, just 6 Great Crested Grebes on the main lake, a single female Pochard was amongst the Tufted Ducks and 6 Mute Swans are split between the two lakes elsewhere a Little Grebe is still on the top pool in the nature reserve and a Kestrel flew over the old gas works, other than that it was very quiet with no Warblers seen or heard !

Friday, 8 October 2010

08 October 2010

Very quiet couple of days down at the 'pond', Mute Swan numbers remainstable at 6, Tufted Ducks continue to vary with 76 on the main lake today. also on here 3 Ruddy Duck, 2 Pochard and 'Sammy' Shoveler, a Chiffchaff was calling along the nature reserve side of the main lake and a Coal Tit on the canal side.

Yesterday Nick Smith had a Siskin flying over.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

06 October 2010

Another bright sunny day but wet underfoot after heavy overnight rain, very little wind of note, temp 13c but felt warmer in the sun, visit from 07.50 - 10.00.

Mute Swans are back to 6 after the extra 2 that flew in last night have now disappeared again, Pied Wagtail numbers are still increasing slowly with 9 seen around the park today with 6 together near the car park, the male Shoveler was on the boating lake with a female Wigeon which later went onto the main lake, also on the main lake 57 Tufted Duck, just 6 Great Crested Grebes a pair of Pochard and a pair of Ruddy Duck, a Chiffchaff was singing along the nature reserve side of the main lake and another 3 were on the old sewage works, 6 Bullfinches were seen today with 2 by the top pool in the nature reserve, 2 on the gas works and 2 males on the sewage works, a single Willow Tit was in the nature reserve and 2 Redwings flew over the sewage works as did 2 Mistle Thrushes.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

05 October 2010

Called in Westport this afternoon for about an hour, weather was bright with slight cloud coverage, temp felt a bit cool as the sun dropped, breeze was light possibly from the south.

The two lakes were very quiet, Mute Swans have increased from 6 to 8 but couldn't see if the new ones were ringed or not, speaking of rings I noticed a Black-headed Gull on the post by the boating ramp with a metal ring but again couldn't get close enough to read it. Tufted Ducks were at 58, Great Crested Grebes 8, the 3 Ruddy Ducks are still present and 2 male Pochards so 1 of these is new in as well, while sat at the grass verge 8 Pied Wagtails flew over heading south, and that was about all I saw, I did meet up with Phil Jones who had been having a look along the stream in the nature reserve for Dipper after yesterdays unusual record of one at Berryhill, but no joy on that or much else sadly.

Oh well there's always tomorrow hey Nick!

Anybody any idea on this large Mushroom/Toadstool taken in the Nature Reserve at Westport close too a small marsh area, it's about 5-6'' across, cheers.


Monday, 4 October 2010

04 October 2010

After a busy period at work and getting use to long hours on my feet and then no Internet connection followed by a 2 day power cut in my street, I'M BACK.

Got a lot of catching up to do and apologies to all those who regularly read this blog I promise to try and keep back up to date in the future, I will start with today's news and then over the coming days try and add on previous weeks news.

It was a bright sunny start with very little cloud, breeze was moderate from the south, temp was 10c but felt a bit warmer in the sun, visit from 08.20 - 10.35.

Good numbers of Pied Wagtails were on the playing field and on the grass bank with 8 in total, a single Mistle Thrush was on the berries by the boating lake and car park, in total about 6 Meadow Pipits flew over while I was walking around, 6 Mute Swans were on both lakes, on the main lake, 3 Shovelers, 64 Tufted Duck, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Ruddy Ducks and a single male Pochard, a couple of Chiffchaffs were singing, one near the top pool and one on the old sewage works, a couple of Chaffinches flew over the old gas works and 2 Jays flew across here, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over high north, a single female Blackcap was feeding on berries on the sewage works, also on here 2 Bullfinches and 3 Rooks flew over which is a Westport year tick for me.

Below are a couple of pictures taken by Dave Kelsall of the female Common Scoter on the main lake a week last Sunday.




Saturday, 25 September 2010

25 September 2010

Very different weather conditions today, very cold felt much colder than the 6c the clock was saying, there was a ground frost in places, bright sunshine no wind of note, visit from 07.00 - 09.00.

As I entered the park a Chiffchaff was calling in the nearby trees, in total 9 were seen during the morning all around the park with a couple singing, 2 Grey Herons flew over the boating lake and headed off north, 102 Tufted Ducks on the main lake and a single one on the boating lake, 2 Kingfishers were seen all around the boating and main lake, still just 5 Mute Swans remain and only 5 Great Crested Grebes were noted today, a single Treecreeper was in the trees along the nature reserve side of the main lake, 2 male Pochards on the main lake with the 3 Ruddy Ducks, on the top pool a Little Grebe along the edge of the reeds, on the old gas works 5 Geese Sp flew over high at a distance and 3 Jays, another Jay was seen on the old sewage works and one near the visitor centre, just 3 Mistle Thrushes were seen today, 6 Blackcaps were seen, 2 near the top pool and 4 on the sewage works, a few Meadow Pipits could be heard flying over high but couldn't be seen, a Willow Tit was on the sewage works and a Coal Tit along the canal side of the main lake.

Also Phil Jones and Dave Kelsall had 5 Cormorants and 2 Redwings flying over from the grass bank, and yesterday Phil had a Raven over the distant hill at the back of the sewage works.

Friday, 24 September 2010

24 September 2010

At last 3 days off work and after that 2 noon shifts so gives me 5 full visits to Westport, after very heavy overnight rain it was a cool 12c with heavy cloud coverage with the odd light shower, wind was strong north/northeast, visit from 07.30 - 09.40.

Despite a good long visit there wasn't much to see, the small birds were keeping low due to the high winds, so very few Warblers etc were seen, 83 Tufted Ducks were on the main lake with 8 Great Crested Grebes and 5 Mute Swans, on the playing field 6 Pied Wagtails and another 5 on the grass verge and bank, a single Teal was on the boating lake and later went onto the main lake, just a single Mistle Thrush was still on the berries by the car park and the boating lake, a single Willow Tit was in the Tit flock by the top pool with a Bullfinch and a Chiffchaff, also single Chiffchaffs were on the gas works and along the canal side of the main lake, back on the main lake a single male Pochard and the pair of Ruddy Duck, a single Swallow was on the old gas works and a Blackcap on the old sewage works, a Treecreeper was in the trees at the top of the main lake and lastly a Feral Pigeon had me thinking it was something else when I found it having a swim in the middle of the canal.

Nipped back down Westport this afternoon, conditions pretty similar but not quite as windy, 121 Canada Geese on the playing field, Ruddy Ducks have increased to 2 females and 1 male and Great Crested Grebes 10, a Jay flew across the boating lake and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls are on the main lake, a Sparrowhawk flew over the top of the main lake and Nick had a couple of House Martins along the canal side of the main lake.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

22 September 2010

Roll on Friday when I'm off work and can get back down to Westport, after having 'sit down' job's for the last 20 years, staying on my feet none stop for 9 hours a day has come as a bit of a shock, anyway as per Nick managed a quick 20 minute visit this morning, as the mornings close in and get darker he's losing time and his visits are getting shorter until the clocks change.

2 male and 1 female Wigeon, 96 Tufted Duck, 6 Mute Swans, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 'Sammy' Shoveler, a single Grey Heron, Coal Tit, female Ruddy Duck and male and female Pochard.

At approx 10.25 Jeff Jones had a Hobby flying along the housing estate near the canal.

21 September 2010

Again at work so another report from the pen of Nick.

Kingfisher 1, Great Crested Grebe 9, Grey Heron, pair of Ruddy Duck, Teal 2, Tufted Duck 98, Shoveler, Grey Wagtail, Mute Swans 6, Meadow Pipit 4, Chaffinch 4, Chiffchaff 3, a single Blackcap, Willow Tit 3, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush 8,

Then a bird flew over sewage works, heard it call, I thought I know that call, Twite? Lapland? Tree Pipit, took me 5 mins to think and then

Reed Bunting - 1 over! (first one since Spring/early Summer)

Finally the following great photo's are by Dave Kelsall of last weeks Med Gull.


Monday, 20 September 2010

20 September 2010

Nick had to cope on his own this morning as I was on early shift at work, so his highlights are as follows.

Dark, damp, dreary (and that was just his mood) saw 6 Mistle Thrush, 82 Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Shoveler, 6 Mute Swan, 9 Great Crested Grebe, pair Ruddy Duck, male Pochard, 7 Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail, 2 Bullfinch, 5 House Martins, 2 Blackcap, 2 Meadow Pipit, 7 Starling, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull and lastly 5 Swallows.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

18 September 2010

Cool 11c, slight northerly breeze, cloudy with sunny intervals visit from 06.40 - 08.45.

Mute Swans continue to drop slowly with just 7 seen, Tufted Ducks are up to 97 and the pair of Ruddy Ducks remain on the main lake, the only new bird in today is a single Wigeon, Nick was so excited at hearing about the Wigeon he got himself a bit stuck and needed a bit of help to get free!

1o Great Crested Grebes were on the main lake and boating lake with 4 being 1st year birds, Pied Wagtails have increased slowly this week with at least 10+ around the park and flying over, a couple of Bullfinches were near the sidings and a Kingfisher was flying between both lakes at regular intervals, about 7+ House Martins were seen flying around and about 5+ Swallows, 3 Grey Wagtails were also seen flying around, back on the main lake just a single male Pochard, there seems to have been a bit of a clear out on the Warbler front with only 5 Chiffchaffs around and 2 Blackcaps, a couple of Meadow Pipits were seen flying over with at least 5+ more heard flying over as well, lastly the Green Woodpecker was flushed along the old railway tracks on the gas works.

The below pictures are of the many fungus that are around at this time of year, I haven't got a clue what any of them are so if you can help then please let me know, cheers.











Friday, 17 September 2010

17 September 2010

First day off work so was able to spend a good 3hrs around Westport this morning, was down from 06.25 - 09.35, weather was very cool at 10c with a real nip in the air, bye bye summer, very slight northwest breeze at first picking up later on, good clear skies with very little cloud,

After last nights Med Gull I was hoping it would still be around this morning, as I was entering the park around 150+ Black-headed Gulls were going over in groups of around 50 all heading towards the lake, Nick text me to say the Med Gull was on the main lake and as I scanned the main lake there was no sign, I then noticed it on the grass bank at the side of me, it then flew off towards the A500 and then headed south never to be seen again.

Four Lesser Black-backed Gull also went through most were 1st years with one adult, 2 first year Great Crested Grebes were on the boating lake with another 2 on the main lake with 8 adults, Mute Swans continue to drop daily with just 8 today, a Kingfisher was on the boating lake with our usual male Shoveler, on the main lake 78 Tufted Ducks the pair of Ruddy Ducks and a single male Pochard.

Both Swallow and House Martin numbers have taken a huge drop going from 3 figures too low double figures, just 8+ Swallows were seen and 6+ House Martins, a few more Chiffchaffs were around with the sunny weather a few were on the top pool in the nature reserve but the rest (12) were on the old sewage works, also on the top pool a couple of Blackcaps and 1 on the sewage works, 2 Willow Tits were also on the top pool, a single Jackdaw flew over calling there and later another 2 flew over by the top of the main lake, a single Whitethroat was on the sewage works were a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over with another later on at the bottom of the nature reserve, back to the sewage works and a couple of Meadow Pipits flew over I heard a few more going over while around the main lake but couldn't see them, along the canal side of the main lake 7 Mistle Thrushes were near the housing estate with at least another 8+ in the trees by the boating lake and car park.


Back at the top pool and a single Coal Tit in the Tit flock and a Grey Wagtail flew over, a Sparrowhawk was chasing a Swallow on the sewage works and a Bullfinch was on here, as I was leaving a Cormorant flew over the main lake heading north and then as I was watching the Mistle Thrushes I mentioned earlier by the car park I picked up a nice Spotted Flycatcher among them, a couple of the lads were down and managed to get onto it with Steve Seal taking this and the Mistle Thrush photo.


Thursday, 16 September 2010

16 September 2010

Managed to get down to Westport for a quick hour this morning before work, it was just a quick walk around the main lake and a look on the old sewage near the main lake end, weather was cold with a heavy shower late on, although the temp was 13c it felt colder with the moderate northwest breeze.

Not very much to note really I didn't do any counts with it being so short, but 13 Mute Swans were noted at least 3 Pochard with the usual Tufted Ducks, Great Crested Grebes seemed about normal and the couple of Ruddy Duck still remain, Chiffchaff numbers have dropped slowly with only around 8+ seen/heard and a couple of Blackcaps on the old sewage works, also dropping off slowly are the House Martins and Swallows with around 15+ of each and I'm pretty sure a single Sand Martin which is a bit more unusual at this time of year.

Things warmed up a lot by mid afternoon when Dave Kelsell found a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull on the main lake not far from the front edge near the boat ramp, unfortunately I was at work when the news came in and it was a frantic few hours before I could finish and get down, luckily it was the first Gull I looked at when I arrived exactly were I was told it would be, it then flew towards the Black-headed Gull flock and settled down on one of the plastic pipes sticking out the water, I did try to get a couple of photo's but I was shaking due the the cold and wind plus the light was fading rapidly so sadly none came out 'gutted', hopefully it will still be around in the morning and I'll have another go.

Also seen earlier in the afternoon was a Raven flying over the lake but quite high up, this was seen by Bill Low who himself is a bit of a rarity at Westport these days, these two species (that's the Med Gull and Raven not Bill!!) put Westport on 123 species for the year and with 3 and a bit months still to go fingers crossed we can make 130+, with the Med Gull it puts myself on 102 for the year at Westport.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

15 September 2010

Work commitments have stopped me from getting down to Westport so far this week, hope to get down tomorrow and definetly on Friday because that's my first day off.


Nick has kindly kept me up to date and today's records are as follows, Ruddy Duck still the usual pair, 6 Mistle Thrushes, 13 Mute Swans, Shoveler, 5 Chiffchaffs, Pied Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, 90 Tufted Ducks, Pochard, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 40 House Martins and Swallows, Meadow Pipit, Kingfisher, Treecreeper and Willow Tit.

Monday, 13 September 2010

13 September 2010

As it was my first day in my new job, I thought I'd better not go down to Westport this morning and turn up on time for my new job, luckily Nick didn't manage to find a new Westport tick!

'Sammy' Shoveler still present, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 9 Mistle Thrushes, 71 Tufted Ducks is another drop the numbers have been really up and down over the last few weeks, a single Kingfisher, 2 Grey Wagtails, the pair of Ruddy Ducks are still present (oh sorry they left last week), 3 Willow Tits, 12 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps, and singles of Grey Heron, Linnet, Pochard and Meadow Pipit flying over.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

12 September 2010

The forecast wasn't quite to plan, it had forecast a nice day, but with sunny intervals the odd rain shower and a rainbow it wasn't what I had expected, wind was medium north/northwest, temp 14c, visit from 06.30 - 09.00.

Rainbow over Westport

So far September has been quite quiet, esp compared to August which was a great month, things weren't to change today with very little happening, the Mute Swans continue to drop slowly with 5 on the boating lake and 8 on the main lake, Tufted Ducks are also down with 74 on the main lake and a single on the boating lake, also on the main lake the pair of Ruddy Duck are back after disappearing for a day or two, 10 Great Crested Grebes of which 4 are juveniles, back on the boating lake a single Pochard and 'Sammy' Shoveler.

Quite a few Pied Wagtails seem to be going through today and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over, a single Blackcap was calling from near the top pool with at least another 3 on the old sewage works, a couple of Willow Tits were along the nature reserve side of the main lake with a Coal Tit, 12 House Martins went over the main lake, Chiffchaff numbers have dropped off with just 8 around the park, a Kingfisher was seen on the main lake and heard around several places in the park with possibly two being present, 3 Meadow Pipits flew over the old gas works and 11 Swallows were on here and the sewage works, at least 3 Grey Wagtails were on the gas works, along the canal side of the main lake a Jay flew across, 5 Mistle Thrushes were on the housing estate with about 35+ Starlings and 2 Grey Herons flew over.

Received a call from Steve Seal late afternoon to say the Common Sandpiper was still present on the main lake, it had been seen earlier in the morning by one of the park staff and I presume it's the same one from last night.

Also Phil Jones had a Garden Warbler on the sewage works.

Late news from yesterday, Dave Kelsell had 3 Shoveler on the main lake.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

11 September 2010

Didn't get down to Westport this morning as Nick, George and myself headed to Norfolk to see Arctic Warbler, Red-necked Phalarope, Wryneck, Spoonbill & Lapland Bunting.

Got home just before the last of the light faded and took the dog for a quick walk down to Westport, as we passed the old beach area a Common Sandpiper flew along the edge of the main lake, so we will see if it's still about in the morning.

Again no news was received from anyone else so don't think anyone got down there today.

Friday, 10 September 2010

10 September 2010

Very wet underfoot after overnight rain, breeze was light, poor light at first with heavy cloud coverage, temp a pleasant 15c, visit form 06.10 - 08.00.

As I walked along the back of the boating lake I noticed a large group of Black-headed Gulls on the grass bank which totalled at least 350+, 3 Tufted Ducks were on the boating lake and 101 on the main lake, a couple of Grey Herons were flying around between the two lakes, the 2 first year Great Crested Grebes were on the boating lake and on the main lake 2 juveniles and at least 6 adults, 3 Mute Swans on the boating lake and another 11 on the main lake, also on the main lake, 3 Pochards, 1 Shoveler and 1 Little Grebe.

The Green Woodpecker was calling from the nature reserve, by the top pool at least 5 Chiffchaffs with another 7 around the park, around the old sewage works, 1 Coal Tit and singles of Blackcap and Whitethroat, a small number of House Martins and Swallows went through, along the canal side of the main lake at least 30+ Goldfinches were feeding on the thistles, 4 Mistle Thrushes over the housing estate and a single Treecreeper going down the tree line.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

08 September 2010

A bright sunny day once the sun came up, there was a heavy dew and mist over the lakes, it was rather cool at 12c, no real wind of note, visit from 06.20 - 08.30.

Had good news today with a job offer, the downside is less visits to Westport Lake, but fingers crossed it shouldn't affect things to much and if I can get down in the morning then a afternoon visit should be ok, depending on the new shift pattern I will be on.

Anyway on the more interesting things like the birds of today, although not as many Black-headed Gulls on the playing field as yesterday there were still 40+ on this morning, among them a adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, on the boating lake 107 Canada Geese, a single Mute Swan was again on here with the other 13 being on the main lake, as I went around the boating lake towards Price's field I heard at least 2 Tawny Owls calling from the tree line, I contacted Nick who came down too meet me and again we heard them calling, we had a good look around the trees but were unable to locate them, back on the boating lake a single 1st year Great Crested Grebe and 8 on the main lake with 2 being juveniles, Tufted Ducks are back on the up with 104 on the main lake with the pair of Ruddy Duck and 5 Pochard.

At least 3 Willow Tits were heard around the park and 10+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps were on the old sewage works were at least 3 Meadow Pipits flew over, 2 Jays were along the trees between the gas works and sewage works, finally a Kestrel flew quite high south over the main lake.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

07 September 2010


After the gale force winds and heavy rain overnight it was quite calm this morning, dry with cloud and the odd sunny interval, there were small branches and leaves everywhere from the storm, temp was 14c, visit from 06.15 - 07.45.

As I came in through the bottom entrance a 135 Black-headed Gulls were on the playing field, on the boating lake 2 first year Great Crested Grebes and 6 on the main lake 2 of which are juveniles, the Little Grebe was also on the boating lake as 5 Teal flew over looking like they had just come off the main lake, they gained height and headed off south, a single Mute Swan was on the boating lake with another 20 on the main lake, a single Common Sandpiper flew along the edge of the grass verge and was later seen flying along the top of the main lake, a Grey Heron also flew across the main lake, also on here 96 Tufted Duck and 5 Pochard with about 60+ House Martins and 40+ Swallows.

The wooded areas were very quiet as was the top pool, gas and sewage works, only a couple of Chiffchaffs were seen, a Great Spotted Woodpecker along the nature reserve side of the main lake and a couple of Mistle Thrushes in the trees by the visitor centre.

Late afternoon I received a call from Steve Seal telling me he had seen 3 Common Terns and a Arctic Tern at Knypersley Res and they had flown off towards Westport, I grabbed the dog and my bins and headed off in hope, although there was no sign of the Terns I noticed there seemed to be a good numbers of Tufted Ducks, this was confirmed with a count of 128, the pair of Ruddy Duck were also on the main lake and I flushed the 1st year Little Grebe from the lake edge (see above photo), a single Swift was among the Swallows and House Martins.

Monday, 6 September 2010

06 September 2010

A very quiet day at Westport with Nick recording, 2 Swifts, the pair of Ruddy Ducks still present, and a single Teal and Shoveler.

Called down to Westport late afternoon, very strong south/southeast breeze with the odd heavy shower, not many small birds about due to the high winds and branches were falling off the trees all around the lake, managed to count 103 Tufted Ducks, 21 Mute Swans, the pair of Ruddy Duck still present, 10 Great Crested Grebes of which 4 are 1st years, 5 Pochard, there was a good size Gull roost with 200+ Black-headed Gulls, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a 1st year Common Gull, which is the first of the autumn.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

05 September 2010

A bit cooler and windier, heavy cloud coverage with occasional sunny intervals, wind was south/southeast, temp 16c but felt cooler, visit from 06.20 - 08.30.

A Grey Heron was as usual on the boating lake and then on the post of the boating ramp on the main lake, the 2 first year Great Crested Grebes were still on the boating lake and 7 on the main lake 2 of which are juveniles, also on the boating lake the eclipse male Shoveler and a single Teal, on the main lake Tufted Ducks have jumped up to 108 and Pochard to 7, a pair of Ruddy Ducks are still present, Mute Swans have dropped to 19, a couple of Pied Wagtails were on the grass verge. Swallow and House Martins have dropped off over the last week, only 30+ House Martins and about the same in Swallows were present, a single Swift was over the top of the trees on the main lake.

A single Chaffinch was by Ted Heath Rock, with a small Tit flock, back on the main lake and a 1st year Little Grebe was by the boating ramp, only 7 Chiffchaffs were seen around the park but the windy conditions probably didn't help, a couple of Grey Wagtails went over 1 on the gas works and 1 on the sewage works, a Kestrel went over the gas works and a couple of Bullfinches were on here also the Green Woodpecker was heard on here.

Later in the morning and Pete Lunt had a Avocet going over heading south, one was also seen at Belvide later in the afternoon, so possibly the same bird, he also had 5 Wigeon and 2 Swifts. The Avocet was a first for the year at Westport and puts us on 120 for the year.