Monday, 29 August 2011

A poor morning, very wet, again just a brief overview of what I saw, Grey Wagtail, 6 Pied Wagtail, 68 Tufted Duck, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Mute Swan, 100+ House Martin, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Sand Martin, Stock Dove, Bullfinch, 2 Swift and 40+ Starling.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Just a quick overview of the morning visiit due to me running out of internet allowence and having to use by mobile phone.
2 Shoveler on boating lake, on main, 70 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Mute Swans, Pochard, over lake, 100+ House Martin, 4 Swift, around rest of park, 15 Starling, 6 Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Mistle Thrush, Stock Dove, Grey Wagtail, Jay, Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

27 August 2011

A rather wet morning with rain, heavy at times, during most of the visit, temp was 13c, wind from the W, visit 06.20 til 08.00.

A Grey Heron flew off the boating lake, the first I've seen at Westport for a while, a Great Spotted Woodpecker could be heard calling nearby, on the main lake, 68 Tufted Duck was a slight drop in numbers, 1 Pochard, 3 Great Crested Grebes, Mute Swans are back to 4 and 2 Shoveler flew in later, a mix of 100+ House Martins and Swallows were over the lake with a single Swift, 7 Chiffchaffs were around the park also 3 Blackcaps, on the sewage works 2 Collared Doves, a single Jay and Buzzard, 3 Cormorants flew over the gas works which also had a single Stock Dove and Pied Wagtail, a Coal Tit was among the Tit flock in the nature reserve and along the canal side of the main lake, a Willow Tit and Willow Warbler.

Later in the morning Jeff Jones had a Shelduck on the main lake.

Friday, 26 August 2011

26 August 2011

A rainy morning at Westport very often produces something at this time of year and this morning gave us what will probably be bird of the month, almost the first bird I saw when arrived was a Black-tailed Godwit stood with the Canada Geese by the side of the boating ramp, with no sign of Nick and my camera at home panic set in that it would go before anyone else saw it, I needn't of worried as it stayed for nearly 2 hours with most of the Westport regulars getting down to see it, this is the 2nd record this year and my 2nd record at Westport, but my first on the ground as most are just flyovers, this bird was rather tatty as it's in moult and seemed very tired. The photo below is from Nick Smith it looks like the bird has a odd ring on its right leg but we think it may just be some weed/plant rapped around its leg, any thoughts?

Also present, 43 Black-headed Gulls on the playing field, 7 Swifts overhead with over 35+ Swallows over the main lake, on the main lake 4 Teal were new in, 77 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, a single Pochard and the 4 Mute Swans were joined by another adult which flew into the boating lake, a couple of Blackcaps were around the park, just 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Tits and 2 Bullfinches, a single Stock Dove on the gas works, 3 Whitethroats were on the sewage works, a Grey Wagtail flew over the top of the main lake, 3 Pied Wagtails on the playing field, 3 Mistle Thrushes by the visitor centre, as I was leaving a Common Sandpiper flew around the main lake and a Willow Warbler was singing from the canal side.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

25 August 2011

A bit of excitement at Westport this morning when one of the regulars found a Ruddy Shelduck, however disappointment was too follow when photo's revealed it has a blue band on the right leg showing it to be an escape and was then re identified as a Cape Shelduck!!

Photo's below from Westports regular photographer Pete Lunt which clinched the ID are below, note the blue band on the second photo.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

23 August 2011

News from Nick Smith & Pete Lunt fro Sunday, I should of been down there myself but was suffering from a hangover from the night before, something I'm not really use too as I don't normally drink these day's and like we all say, that will be the last time, honest!

Anyway back to Sunday's birds, from Nick, 31 Swifts was a good show of migration, 94 Tufted Duck on the main lake, Pete had, 24 Swifts, Swallows, House Martins, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 77 Tufted Duck, Bullfinch, a good count of 5 Buzzards & 3 Blackcaps, on the Butterfly front he saw, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood and one I haven't seen at Westport this year in a Small Copper.

Below are a few photo's from Pete Lunt.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

20 August 2011

A slightly warmer morning at 14c with a bit of mist over the playing field but none over the lake, very still with no wind, high cloud coverage with a good amount of sunshine, visit from 05.50 til 08.30.

At least 18 Swifts were flying around this morning with small numbers of Swallows and House Martins going through, probably around 30+ of each, also 2 Sand Martins went through with them, small numbers are now resting on the telephone wires on the sewage works and you can expect these to build up over the coming weeks.
3 Willow Warblers were heard singing, 1 near the bottom gate to the nature reserve and 2 along the canal side of the main lake, on the main lake, 90 Tufted Duck which are building up nicely now, just 2 Great Crested Grebe, the 4 Mute Swans and the single female Pochard, 2 Pied Wagtails were along the grass bank, someone on Birdforum recently mentioned a large increase in the numbers of Mistle Thrushes around Staffs, just 5 seen around Westport this morning with 2 near the visitor centre and 3 on the gas works, however although not Westport I did have 13 at the side of my house yesterday which is very close too Westport and a noticeable increase from the 4 that have been resident here for a while, Lesser Black-backed Gulls continue to drop in numbers with just 3 seen this morning, 6 Chiffchaffs were heard/seen around the park, 2 Stock Doves were on the gas works, around the top pool, 2 Bullfinches plus another on the sewage works and 2 Reed Warblers, on the sewage works, a Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tit and a family of 4 Whitethroats, lastly a Collared Dove flew over the boating lake as I was leaving.

Finally I took a photo of a flower at Westport the other day that I hadn't seen before, thanks to the help of Tim on Birdforum, it was identified as a plant called Mullein which apparently is common on open ground especially close the railway lines were it's spread from the moving trains, as it happens these photo's are taken about 50 yards form the main line, it's also known for a Moth called the Mullein Moth although you only normally see it's Caterpillars, I checked this morning and although the leaves are being eaten by something there was no sign of any Caterpillars. Thanks to Tim and Nick Pom for your help and info.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

18 August 2011

Ok so I've gone a bit mad with the above photo's showing that Autumn is well and truly upon us, but it really did feel very very Autumn like today, as you can see there are now plenty of berries about and the Nettles and Great Hogweed is really dying off, the latter are over 7ft tall in places, you could even see your breath this morning with the temp at 11c, wind was none existent with a light fog over the main lake first thing, visit from 06.00 til 08.50.

On the main lake 80 Tufted Duck, the family of 4 Mute Swans, new in were 6 Teal which left northbound after about an hour, 4 Great Crested Grebes, the Shoveler is still present from yesterday and the 'semi' resident Pochard was sat with the Mallards on the lake edge until the dog flushed it!

Over the main lake 12 Swifts were present with around 30+ Swallows over the lake but no House Martins today, 2 Willow Warblers were part singing today on either side of the lake, 9 Chiffchaffs were calling with a couple also part  singing, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were around the park, , 3 Willow Tits and a single Blackcap, by the top pool, a single Coal Tit and 2 Bullfinches, on the gas works the Stock Doves have increased to 2, a single Jay and 2 Collared Doves were on the sewage works, along the canal side of the main lake 4 Pied Wagtails and lastly 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls arrived on the main lake as I was leaving.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

17 August 2011

This morning Nick Smith had the following, singles of Shoveler and Pochard, on the top pool a family of Reed Warblers, a single Kingfisher and 12 Swifts over the top of the main lake.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

16 August 2011

After overnight rain it was a damp start to the morning, brightening up later after a light shower, temp a cool 15c with a light SW breeze, visit from 05.50 til 07.30.

55 Black-headed Gulls were on the playing field, the usual 4 Mistle Thrushes around the visitor centre, on the main lake, the family of 4 Mute Swans, 66 Tufted Duck and 3 Great Crested Grebes, a couple of Pied Wagtails were on the grass bank, over the trees at the top of the main lake 10 Swifts with around 50+ House Martins as the morning progressed these increased to over a 100+ with a few Swallows among them, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over the boating lake, 5 Chiffchaffs were heard around the park with just 1 Willow Warbler, a couple of Willow Tits were along the reserve side of the main lake, on the top pool a single Reed Warbler could be heard, the gas works had a single Buzzard and a single Stock Dove, a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over the sewage works with a further 2 on the main lake later, a Kestrel flew across the sewage works which also had 2 Bullfinch and 2 Collared Dove, lastly back on the main lake while looking through the House Martins I picked up 2 Yellow Wagtails flying around the main lake.

Monday, 15 August 2011

15 August 2011

Some late news for Saturday and also a bit of a surprise count from today, on Saturday Nick Smith had another Gadwall this time on the boating lake, that's 10 so far this month, not bad a a 'puddle' hey.

Today Nick had 15 Swifts this morning, but Pete Lunt had a massive count of 70+ later in the day showing good numbers moving south at the moment, he also saw Bullfinch, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Willow Tits, 72 Tufted Duck and Song Thrush.

Finally a big Get Well Soon to George Smith (Nick's Pop's) who took a bit of a tumble while rocking away to the Bloodstock festival at the same time as birding at one of our regular Saturday 'local' Staffs sites. How this guy gets about like he does at 77 is beyond me and he puts most of us too shame, get well soon George.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

11 August 2011

After a long day at work an then watching Liverpool throw it away against Sunderland I decided to try an cheer myself up with a quick stroll around Westport, I don't normally go down much in a afternoon and especially on a weekend when large numbers of people descend on the park with kids, kites, bikes, barbeque's and whatever else takes there fancy, so as  you can imagine it's not an ideal time to visit, and today was no exception I'm afraid.

The weather was pleasantly warm with a temp of 22c, very sunny with plenty of cloud coverage around but never came around the park, wind was a steady NW, visit from 17.35 til 18.45.

I really didn't see very much at all showing how the mornings really are the best time too visit, the exception to this can be winter and when it rains, anyway, a good count of 77 Tufted Duck on the main lake along with 3 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 3 of which were juveniles and the usual 4 Mute Swans, 2 Pied Wagtails were on the grass bank, only 3 Chiffchaffs were heard/seen, 2 by the top pool and 1 on the gas works, a single Swift was over the gas works and another 3 over the main lake, also on the gas works a couple of Peacock Butterflies, a Buzzard could be heard calling high up but I couldn't locate it, also on the sewage works what I presume was a Brown Hawker Dragonfly but I don't know very much about Dragonflies and the likes, lastly 4 Mistle Thrushes were again by the visitor centre.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

11 August 2011

I didn't make it down this morning but luckily missed very little according to Nick, instead I decided to pay a visit this afternoon complete with my camera too see if I could find any Butterflies, sadly the weather wasn't good, although it was warm at 21c, there were frequent showers of light drizzle, wind was a steady westerly, visit from 14.25 til 16.20.

7 Pied Wagtails were on the playing field with a single on the gas works, on the main lake 3 juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 adults, 11 Swifts were over the main lake with a handful of Swallows but no House or Sand Martins, a single female Pochard was with 68 Tufted Duck, also the 4 Mute Swans and 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Mistle Thrushes were around the visitor centre and a Sparrowhawk flew over the boating lake, 9 Chiffchaffs were around the park today which has remained pretty much the same all week, a Peacock Butterfly was in the nature reserve which is the first I've seen at Westport this year, that said we don't see many butterflies at 6am!

There were good numbers of juvenile Black-headed Gulls on the lake today with around 15 present, one of which was looking rather poorly along the reserve side of the main lake.

2 Bullfinches were near the top pool and the young Moorhen chick was on the pool along with another on Jeff's Pool which is on the gas works, also on the gas works a Stock Dove again, on the sewage works a Coal Tit was in a small Tit flock, plus along the path several Gatekeeper & Speckled Wood Butterflies, these are hard to get a picture of when you have a dog around your feet wondering what your doing!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

10 August 2011

A cloudy morning with light drizzle at times, a steady SW wind with temp of 14c, visit from 06.25 - 08.20.

Another slight drop in Canada Geese numbers with all but one of the 174 on the playing field, on the main lake, 4 Mute Swans, 63 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a nice surprise was another 4 Gadwall this time including a male, Nick had also had a Little Grebe earlier on, over the lake, 5 Swift plus 1 over the gas works, 5 Sand Martins and 50+ House Martins, 3 Pied Wagtails were on the grass bank, 3 Mistle Thrushes still by the visitor centre, a single Bullfinch was by the boardwalk bridge, near the top pool, 1 Blackcap plus 1 Coal Tit, 1 of 3 Willow Tits seen around the park, the first of 7 Chiffchaffs, and the first of 3 Willow Warblers, the Moorhen chick is still on the top pool, lastly on the gas works a single Stock Dove which is the first one I've seen on there since all the Birch trees were cut down.

Monday, 8 August 2011

08 August 2011

Very autumn feel to the morning, steady NW wind caused a drop in temp too 12c, heavy cloud cover with the odd light rain shower, visit from 06.00 - 07.50.

Nearly all the Canada Geese were on the playing field making it easy to count them, total was 189 which is well down on last month, 4 Pied Wagtails were along the front edge of the main lake, on the main lake, 2 young Little Grebe were new in, also present the usual family of 4 Mute Swans, 68 Tufted Duck, 4 Great Crested Grebe & 4 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls, along the edge of the boating lake the first of 5 Blackcaps, a Bullfinch was along the sidings, along the edge of the reserve side of the main lake 2 Treecreepers and the first of 7 Chiffchaffs, 40+ House Martins were over the main lake with 4 Swifts, on the top pool the single Moorhen chick is still present plus Reed Warbler with a poss family party calling in the reeds, on the sewage works a single Collared Dove, Willow Tit, 2 Garden Warblers a Willow Warbler plus another along the canal side of the main lake, the gas works held a Buzzard which was constantly calling and lastly 3 Mistle Thrushes are still present by the visitor centre.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

06 August 2011

A pretty quiet couple of days around the Lake, yesterday was cloudy and dry with a steady southerly wind, temp 15c, visit from 06.05 til 08.25.

A good count of 8 Pied Wagtails were on the playing field, on the main lake the family of 4 Mute Swans, 63 Tufted Duck and 4 Great Crested Grebes a single Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over, 3 Mistle Thrushes were by the visitor centre and a single on the gas works, a Willow Warbler was singing by the boating lake with another on the sewage works, also around the boating lake the first of 5 Blackcaps and a single Treecreeper was calling, a Willow Tit was along the sidings with another by the top entrance to the lake, at least 9 Chiffchaffs were heard calling around the Lake with the majority being on the sewage works as usual, Bullfinches were in good numbers this morning with 5 seen, a single Whitethroat was on the sewage works and 15 Swifts were flying high over here.

This morning I was beaten down to the lake by Nick due to oversleeping, in my rush I forgot my notebook (yes some of us still us them) so I might miss or forget a few things esp numbers, Nick had already picked up 5 Gadwall on the main lake which turned out to be the highlight of the visit, with heavy cloud and light drizzle I'd hoped we might have a wader or two, besides the Gadwall, 68 Tufted Ducks, 4 Mute Swans and 4 Great Crested Grebes on the main lake, a single Willow Warbler was singing near the top entrance, also a Willow Tit nearby, Chiffchaff numbers remain steady, 1 Whitethroat on the sewage works, just 3 Swifts around today but around 70+ House Martins over the main lake with a Sand Martin.

Friday, 5 August 2011

05 August 2011

A cloudy start to the morning with the occasional break in the clouds, temp 16c, a steady breeze from the West, visit from 06.05 til 08.45.

Managed a count of 236 Canada Geese helped by the fact that most were on the playing field, the 'Canlag' is still present along with 3 Greylag Geese which were joined by another 2 that flew in from the North over the gas works and were later on the main lake, 60 Tufted Duck were present on the main lake with 4 Great Crested Grebes, the family of 4 Mute Swans, 2 Dunlin flew through heading North at 06.40, if my memory serves me correct these are the 3rd records of the year for this species, a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull flew through as did a single Sand Martin, around 70+ House Martins were flying around with 7 Swifts still present, by the boating lake a Willow Warbler was singing along with another along the reserve side of the main lake, at least 9 Chiffchaffs were present most being on the sewage works which also had 4 Blackcaps one of which had a bald head!, 2 Whitethroats a single Garden Warbler plus a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over as did 2 Mistle Thrushes, a further 3 Mistle Thrushes were by the visitor centre later on, by the top pool 2 Treecreepers and singles of Reed Warbler and Bullfinch, lastly a single Collared Dove was by the gas works.

05 August 2011

30th July Nick Smith had a Dunlin fly around at 06.35 before heading north.

31st July, Nick Smith had 2 Egyptian Geese briefly before they flew off at 06.20, this is only the 3rd ever record for Westport and the second one this year following on from the single we had briefly in April, also the 1st juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull of the year, 69 Tufted Duck were present which is a record count for July.

4th August, Jeff Jones and Pete Lunt had 6 Common Terns fly through at 10.00.