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

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.