Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Another work trip brings it's birding rewards

Two days "up north" for a work related conference and as always I try to break the journey with a little birding on the way. My first stop was about half way up the M1 as I pulled into the small parking area by the signs for Kelham Bridge. I walked to the first hide and plotted up to watch the feeders. A Brown Rat took advantage as Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits enjoyed the fatballs provided. Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Wren, Chaffinch and Song Thrush visited before the target bird arrived. A single Willow Tit had it's fill then sat calling in the nearby tree which helped me nail the ID (I grabbed a poor record shot of the target but as the bird was directly between me and the bright sun the quality of the shot isn't great)

Willow Tit at Kelham Bridge
Long-tailed Tit
On the walk back a pair of Buzzard displayed noisily overhead allowing a couple of shots before I continued north towards Preston. I took the short detour to New Brighton to take a second look at the Laughing Gull and enjoyed a couple of hours watching it on the Marine Lake. The pontoon held nine roosting Purple Sandpipers, a single Dunlin with good numbers of Turnstone and Redshank.

Common Buzzard at Kelham Bridge
Laughing Gull
Pontoon Roost 
On the way into Preston I took a quick detour to the Moors where Red Grouse were present but in small numbers and stayed elusive. Again the Buzzards performed and the fields are now full of Curlew, Lapwing and Oystercatchers as they set up on breeding grounds.

Red Grouse Yorkshire
Common Buzzard
A visit to Bolton Abbey before this mornings meeting produced good views of a pair of Dippers as the went about building their nest. Grey Wagtails were nesting in the same tree and Mandarin and Goosander battled in the fast moving water.

Goosander at Bolton Abbey
Dipper and the nest they've built on the branch
Overall a good "work do" Oh and had a team talk from Mark Webber (Ex F1 Driver) too which was quite good. He flew in and out in his helicopter.....tough at the top!

As I approached home I stopped to let traffic pass in Englands Lane and with the window down heard my first Tawny Owl of the year as it Kivvick'd away in a tree by the road side.

Year list now 164


  1. You managed to fit in some great birds to the working week, Brian. I love that Dipper shot - such a startling sense of scale and I've never seen a Dipper nest. Great stuff, Lucy

  2. thanks Lucy, It does break up the journey a little for me. I've seen a few Dipper nests but usually tucked away a little better than this one.