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.