Monday, 30 May 2011
Sunday, 29 May 2011
This morning was a rather dull almost dark start to the morning with heavy cloud, a strong SW breeze was blowing and despite all the cloud only a slight shower went through late on in the visit, temp was 14c, visit from 05.50 til 08.40.
Again 5 Greylag Geese were among the Canada Geese on the playing field, just 5 Tufted Ducks seen today with 2 on the boating lake and 3 on the main lake, a single Little Ringed Plover was along the old beach area, small groups of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were going through, mainly in groups of 6, 5 and 7's, along the front of the main lake 4 Pied Wagtails of which 3 were youngsters, just 4 Great Crested Grebes were on the main lake, Swifts built up slowly during the visit with around 50+ present as I left, the same numbers applied to House Martins with which 2 Sand Martins were present, a single Black-headed Gull flew over, 6 Chiffchaffs were around the park today and 5 Blackcaps, 2 parties of young Willow Tits were seen with groups of 3 and 4, the resident pair of Mute Swans were in the nature reserve, at least 2 Reed Warblers were heard on the top pool and a single Bullfinch was here, on the sewage works, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroats and 1 Garden Warbler, back by the visitor centre, a Kestrel was seen over the top of the main lake, 2 Collared Doves flew across and a Sparrowhawk was over the centre.
Thats about it for me for the next four days as I'm back at work on early's from tomorrow!
All of a sudden this afternoon my mobile goes nuts with calls and text messages of a Lesser Yellowlegs at Uttoxeter Quarry, found by patch worker Andy Barker, Phil was the first call I received and within 10 mins we were on our way, although distant good views were obtained of a Staffs first for me and I think the 3rd ever Staffs record, also present a Sanderling, plus Ringed Plovers, Little Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Goosander and Yellow Wagtail. Below is the best I could manage but at least it's a record shot.
Saturday, 28 May 2011
The first of only 2 Blackcaps was singing as I entered the park, on the playing field 5 Greylag Geese were later joined by another, a single Pied Wagtail was probably part of the family of 4 on the front of the main lake, a single Mistle Thrush was also on the playing field with another along the grass bank, a few small parties of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were going through with the largest a group of 9, 6 Tufted Duck were on the main lake with another couple on the boating lake, just 4 Great Crested Grebes were seen today, 4 Chiffchaffs were heard around the park and at least 7 Willow Tits made up of mainly young birds, around 30+ Swifts increased to around 50+ later but there were very few House Martins compared to the last few days, the resident Mute Swans were in the back and a couple of Bullfinches were around the top pool, a single Whitethroat was singing on the sewage works as was a Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler.
Friday, 27 May 2011
I'd just been back in the house about 5 minutes when I received a text from nick saying 4 Arctic Terns on the main lake seen by Jeff Jones and Alan Hancock, so I rushed straight back sadly not in enough time as they had already left, as I stood on the back a Oystercatcher flew in, it flew around the 2 lakes for a few minutes before heading off south.
A couple of Mute Swans came into the boating lake, one I managed to read the ring of which was on a blue ring number 7FBB, those that come down to Westport on a regular basis will know that there has been a unusual Coot around for a few months, it basically looks like a Coot that has been bleached, however if you look closely at it's head this is a normal black colour, see the picture below.
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Back to Westport and the highlights on the 24th were at least 4 Garden Warblers around the park, 5 Greylag Geese were on the main lake as were 9 Great Crested Grebe, a Common Sandpiper was working it's way around the edge of the lake, 3 Sparrowhawks flew over which was rather unusual, the female Pheasant returned to it's usual place on the sewage works for the first time in a month or more, on the 25th, 3 Greylag Geese were on the playing field with the Canada Geese, as well as 10 Tufted Ducks on the main lake a pair were on the top pool and a Little Ringed Plover was briefly on the old beach area, Canada Geese Goslings have gone up slightly to 39, at least 2 parties of young Blackcaps were on the sewage works.
Back to today, a couple of Garden Warblers were heard around the park, 6 Chiffchaffs, the 3 Greylag Geese remain on the playing field with the Canada Geese which also held a single Mistle Thrush, just 3 Blackcaps seen/heard today, the young Moorhens around the boating lake are down to 3, 2 Pied Wagtails were around the edge of the main lake one of which was a youngster, 2 Sand Martins went through heading south which is the first ones for a while, 2 Little Ringed Plovers were on the edge of the main lake, 8 Tufted Ducks on the main lake with 5 Great Crested Grebes, over 100+ Swifts were over the top of the main lake, we had a bit of a scare when I noticed one had a white rump, closer inspection showed it was just a partial white rump on one side and seemed to be a few feathers sticking up, also 3 Jackdaws flew over, by the top pool 10 Willow Tits went through made up of mainly youngsters, 60+ House Martins were over the main lake, 3 Reed Warblers were on the top pool, a couple of Whitethroats on the sewage works with a single Willow Warbler and Reed Bunting.
Monday, 23 May 2011
By the top entrance the first of 4 Blackcaps, a single Greylag Goose was on the boating lake, on the main lake, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Tufted Ducks and the resident male Mute Swan with this partner in the nature reserve as usual, around 70+ Swifts were over the top of the main lake, a couple of small groups of Lesser Black-backed Gulls went through, the first held 5 birds and the second held 7, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard calling and later was seen feeding young. early on there were just a few House Martins over the main lake but closer to leaving and at least 70+ were over the lake, the Canada Geese Goslings remain at 37 and with no others seeming to be on the way it looks like we are down on last years count by about 10 Goslings, a couple of Collared Doves were at the top pool along with at least 4 Reed Warblers and a Willow Tit was calling nearby as was the first of 5 Chiffchaffs, along the gas works the first of 2 Willow Warblers, a Grey Heron was sat on the railings at Jeffs Pool.
On the sewage works a Garden Warbler was singing and another was along the 'Avenue', a Kestrel was again hunting over the sewage works, along the canal side of the main lake a family party of young Great Tits were going along the lake edge and a young Pied Wagtail was being fed by it's parent.
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Friday, 20 May 2011
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
A couple of Blackcaps were singing as I entered the park with 6 seen in total, 9 Tufted Ducks were on the main lake and Great Crested Grebes up to 9, also the resident male Mute Swan was on the lake with his partner still in the back, it was during my first scan of the main lake I picked up 3 Geese just to the left side of the lake, quite a surprise as they were Pink-footed Geese, not sure were they have come from but they were rather wary, every time they tried to make there way to the bank they got spooked and went back to the middle, eventually they reached the bank but flew off as someone walked along the edge, they landed on the playing field feeding with around 30 Canada Geese but still rather wary, below is a rather poor digi-binned shot of one of the Pink-feets.
A single Little Ringed Plover was flushed from the old beach area and went over to the boating lake, good numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls going through this morning with over 80+ seen, Swifts were at 70+ all over the top of the main lake, Canada Geese Goslings remain at 37, the second strange record of the day came as a Snipe flew over the main lake towards the nature reserve, sadly it was a all too brief view and couldn't be relocated but its a first for the year at Westport, at least 3 Reed Warblers were on the top pool, a couple of Bullfinches flew over the gas works and a single Stock Dove was on the railway gantry, on the sewage works 2 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler and 2 Jackdaws flew over, back on the main lake and a Herring Gull landed briefly with a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls as did a single Black-headed Gull, a Kestrel was again hunting over the top of the sewage works and lastly a couple of House Martins went through with the Swifts.
Below is a much better picture of the three Pink-footed Geese together on the playing field taken by Pete Lunt this afternoon.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Monday, 16 May 2011
Below is a couple of photo's of what I'm told is called Grannies Bonnet which I found in the nature reserve.
Friday, 13 May 2011
So on too today, weather was very mixed with a south west light breeze a bit of sunshine, quite a lot of cloud and the threat of rain, visit from 06.00 - 08.30.
No sign of the Black-necked Grebes from yesterday, although they were briefly claimed, these turned out too be Great Crested Grebes, Mute Swans were all over the place today, a adult and 1st year were displaying on the boating lake another pair on the main lake while the resident male was missing although he was probably in the back near this partner although we never saw him, Canada Goose Goslings remain at 31 with a few more due to hatch over the next few days no doubt, just 5 Blackcaps were seen around the park and 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Great Crested Grebes were on the main lake and 7 Tufted Ducks, over 30+ Swifts were flying around the top end of the lake, just a single Pied Wagtail was along the grass verge, 2 Willow Tits were seen around the park, a Shelduck briefly arrived on the main lake but it didn't stay very long before departing off to the north, Treecreeper was seen feeding young for the second year in a row, in all 3 were seen together, 2 Reed Warblers were on the top pool and a single Bullfinch flew over, a single Stock Dove was on the gas works and 2 Willow Warblers on the sewage works with at least 4 Garden Warblers, 3 Whitethroats and a Reed Bunting, a couple of House Martins were mixed in the Swift flock.
Below some of yesterdays photo's of the Black-necked Grebes.
Thursday, 12 May 2011
First I need to catch up with last weekend although Saturday and Sunday were rather disappointing after perfect weather conditions we did manage a couple of decent birds, on Saturday we had our 2nd Yellow Wagtail of the year although this one just flew right over our heads calling as it went, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were feeding young, 3 Willow Tits were seen, a single Treecreeper, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, a couple of Linnets flew over as did a Lapwing and lastly the Grasshopper Warbler was still reeling away. On Sunday things were pretty similar, the Canada Goose Goslings were up to 31, a good count of 10 Great Crested Grebes on the main lake, good numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were going through with over 45+ going through during the visit, 2 Common Sandpipers were around the boating lake just before I left as were 4 Moorhen chicks.
And so to the last 4 days Nick had a pretty uneventful start with the first two days but things really started to warm up yesterday and today, before that Jeff Jones had a Hobby on Tuesday over the gas works for 2mins, this is the first this year for Westport, on Wedsnesday Nick had a Barnacle Goose fly through with a small Canada Goose and so to this morning, you just know when you have a look at your mobile at break time at work and you have 4 text messages from Nick that something has been seen at Westport, this morning he managed to find 2 adult summer plumaged Black-necked Grebes, this is the 1st pair at Westport since 1998 when two were seen on the 10th and 11th of April, despite everyone telling me they will stay I spent the entire shift worrying if I would miss them, I managed to get down to Westport for about 15.30 and yes they were still there, alot of faces there I haven't seen before so obviously they had drawn quite a crowd, below are a couple of photo's Steve Seal had managed to get in the morning.
Friday, 6 May 2011
Now this morning I was hoping for something special, at last we had some rain and with south easterly winds to boot everything was set for something new, the temp had picked up to 13c and the visit was from 06.00 til 08.15.
As I entered the park a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling by the small wood, the playing field held 31 Starlings, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 25 Canada Geese with a total of 19 Goslings now about and the Domestic Geese with 8 young, I think this is the most I've ever seen on here although I've seen more exciting stuff in the past, on the boating lake a pair of Tufted Duck with another 6 on the main lake and 5 Mute Swans, the resident pair were in the nature reserve, a couple of Pied Wagtails were on the grass bank and another couple on the gas works, sadly the only highlight of the day was a single Common Sandpiper feeding near Ted Heath Rocks before flying to the top end of the main lake, a good count of Great Crested Grebes with 8 on the main lake, quite a few Swallows were going through in small groups and small numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were flying over as well as 2 Black-headed Gulls with another single going through later, Warbler numbers have dropped slightly as they enter there breeding phase, 5 Chiffchaffs, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, just 2 Blackcaps, 6 Whitethroats a single Willow Warbler and the Grasshopper Warbler still reeling were the total numbers, a good count of 18 Swifts were over the main lake later, a single Collared Dove on the sewage works, a few House Martins went over the main lake later and as I was leaving I noticed a couple of Moorhen chicks feeding along the edge of the boating lake.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
So, highlights today were, a single Great Spotted Woodpecker near the boating lake, 3 Little Ringed Plovers with one of them again on the playing field, 8 Tufted Duck, just 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Buzzards flying over the distant hills, 16 Starlings feeding on the playing field, good numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins went through with 11 Swifts and a few Sand Martins, a single Reed Warbler on the top pool, a Jay from the gas works and a single Stock Dove, 2 Willow Warblers, 5 Whitethroats and a Grasshopper Warbler all on the sewage works.
Monday, 2 May 2011
As I entered by the bottom gate a quick scan of the playing fields produced 3 Mistle Thrushes, onto the boating lake were 5 Mute Swans were present, 1 adult and 4 1st years, along the far back the Canada Geese were feeding with 9 Goslings as were the Domestic Geese with 8 young, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were flying around the main lake, a single Pied Wagtail was along the grass verge and another was seen later on the old gas works, 3 Starlings were feeding along the grass verge with a further 10 on the playing field later, 3 Greylag Geese were on the boating ramp with 4 male Tufted Ducks nearby and a single female on the boating lake, 5 Great Crested Grebes on the main lake and 3 Little Ringed Plovers with 2 around the old beach area and 1 on the playing field later, a single Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over the canal side were I had a male Reed Bunting singing from a tree by Ted Heath Rocks, the first 3 Mallard Ducklings I've seen this year were on the boating lake, in the small wood at the back of the boating lake a couple of Blackcaps were singing with just a couple more around the park, the first of 6 Chiffchaffs was singing along the 'Avenue', 2 Collared Doves flew over near the top pool were a single Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler were singing, a couple of Willow Warblers were singing 1 along the edge of the old gas works and old sewage works and the other on the old sewage works, a Bullfinch was heard on the gas works and another on the sewage works, 2 Stock Doves on the old gas works, a Kestrel also flew across here, at least 8 Whitethroats on the sewage works but no sign of yesterdays Grasshopper Warbler, a couple of Black-headed Gulls flew over here.
As we got back to the main lake I just happened to look onto the main lake at what was a Great Crested Grebe, a yellow bird flew across my view and landed near the bottom entrance to the nature reserve, I managed to get Nick onto it and it then flew a bit further up the main lake, there was no mistaking it was a Yellow Wagtail, another Westport life and year tick, it was flushed again by people passing and then landed on the grass verge, we started walking along the canal side of the lake to get better views from the visitor centre, but when we got down there we couldn't relocate it, we met up with Pete Lunt who was photographing Little Ringed Plovers but he hadn't seen it, we walked around the area trying to relocate it but to no avail, a bit of luck had gone our way as it had moved on, also seen at this time a Sparrowhawk flew over, a House Martin went through as did around 10 Swifts and a few Sand Martins, a Buzzard was drifting over the distant hills.
Sunday, 1 May 2011
Had a quick look around the main lake there were about 10+ Swifts over the top of the main lake and 5 Greylag Geese on the main lake but not much else, earlier in his visit Nick had also seen 3 Little Ringed Plovers and 7 Cormorants.