A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Weekend Birding

Having wanted to call in and see the local Long-eared Owl at Burton Mere and the Red-throated Diver up at Fairhaven Lake since they both arrived, but not having a free weekend to do so with trips to Paris, Cardiff and Cornwall, I finally got the chance to see them both this weekend as I had a little bit of free time on my hands.

On arriving at Fairhaven Lake on the Saturday morning, I quickly spotted the Red-throated Diver sitting on the water outside the cafĂ©, positioned in between the island and the bank, so made my way across to get some photos and a closer view. The bird showed really well, with the beautiful speckled plumage on the back and even the bright red eye visible – amazing up close views and details that you just wouldn’t see out on the sea. 
Red-throated Diver, Fairhaven Lake
I was really keen to see this bird as I always think it’s great to get good views of a species in order to really admire the features up close and see the finer details that distant views just don’t provide. I also find that these individuals stick in the memory far more than those that are far away with relatively poor views achieved.
Red-throated Diver, Fairhaven Lake

Red-throated Diver, Fairhaven Lake
Red-throated Diver is also a species that I’ve only ever seen on the sea off North Wales and at a distance before, so I was glad I took the trip up – I wouldn’t normally get these types of views and Red-throated Divers aren’t recorded inland as frequently as Great Northern or Black Throated are. With amazing views of a Great Northern Diver on Rhyl Marine Lake a few years ago feeding just a couple of metres away, I now only need great up-close views of Black Throated (and Pacific if another reservoir bird is found!) to complete the set.
Red-throated Diver, Fairhaven Lake

Red-throated Diver, Fairhaven Lake

After discovering a Black Redstart had been present on a street in Newton-le-Willows for a good week or so, and with this being just off the M6 on the way back, I called in on the way home to see if it was showing. The bird has been favouring Brookfield Street (post code WA12 9QN), in particular house 4, where it can be seen on the crown shaped chimney pot and adjoining roof – although the bird does sometimes range all along the street. However, it tends to be seen most often on the houses nearest the main road.

After walking the length of Brookfield Street and the adjacent    Street, the owner of house 4 kindly unlocked the gate to the alleyway behind the houses for me to check along – a good spot where the bird is most often seen. I checked all the houses for a good ten minutes, but no sign – until I turned around to leave through the gate only to see the bird happily perched on the roof of the building opposite! Success! I crossed over the road to get better views and the bird hopped on to the chimneys, flicking its tail in that characteristic Redstart manner! 
Black Redstart
Sunday brought with it considerable showers, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying amazingly close views of the juvenile Iceland Gull that has been hanging around Pensarn beach for the last week or so. 
Iceland Gull - Pensarn

Iceland Gull - Pensarn

Iceland Gull - Pensarn
Ranging on the pebbly shore along the seafront and around the small car park, I was lucky to get the bird on the sand, coming too close for my lens at one point as it enjoyed scoffing bread left by its admirers.
Iceland Gull - Pensarn

Iceland Gull - Pensarn

Iceland Gull - Pensarn
stop at Burton Mere Wetlands in the afternoon saw me FINALLY catch up with the Long-eared Owl, showing quite well in a thick, scraggly Hawthorn tree to the right of the bridge near Inner Marsh Farm, having moved further down the path away from the hide and towards the bridge than its previous roost spots. 
Long-eared Owl, Burton Mere

Long-eared Owl, Burton Mere
Relatively out in the open, it was great to watch this little chap winking at us as he sat calmly on his branch – probably fully aware of his admirers! Thanks to Alex for coming along on the Sunday even though he'd seen the birds already!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...