Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Monday, 30 November 2015

Pied Wagtail

I've recently discovered a Pied Wagtail roost site in the centre of Manchester. I was aware of there being some around previously, but not where this one is situated. It's on a particularly busy road with restaurants and offices. In the mornings on my way to work I could here them but never see them. Then one morning just as the sun was coming up I counted 35 leaving the roost site. It was quite a spectacle, and noise, as they are not the quietest of birds. There may have been more, and judging by the mess on the pavement I'm sure there are. A count of around 50 has been seen since.
I managed to take a some close-up shots of one at Elton reservoir last week.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Great Northern Diver

Great Northern Divers have been popping up in good numbers around the country recently. Six were reported in one day at Carsington Waters in Derbyshire at the weekend. There had been one a bit closer to home though at Elton Reservoir in Rochdale. It's a bird I have tried many times to see, and I have been fortunate on a few occasions now. Each time though the views have been distant, and a scope has always been required. Nothing was different at Elton, as this particular bird spent a lot of time under water and once again distant. A great bird to see all the same, and I was glad to be able to add it to my year list, which has now crept up to 180.

This picture is of a previous closer encounter at Castleshaw Reservoir in Oldham a few years back.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Common Buzzard

A cool morning and clear skies often means that the Buzzards where I live will be up soaring and climbing the thermals.
They didn't disappoint at Woodford recently with a couple giving quite close fly pasts. One had been on the ground in a sheep field, while the other appeared from nowhere. The shots below are of it trying to gain height after leaving the field.
I love the call they give as they fly. It just lets you know they're around. Always a great bird to see.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Pink Feet

Pink-footed Geese are what I really look forward to seeing in the Autumn. A trip to Martin Mere in Lancashire is a highlight of this season for me. Thousands and thousands of geese and wildfowl are attracted to the habitat here. It's a real spectacle that I never tire of.
I went a little earlier this year than I normally do and I manages to see the first Whooper Swans of the Autumn come in. It was the Pink-footed Geese that really stole the show for me though.
What a sight and what a sound? They have to be seen to be fully appreciated.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Long-tailed Tit

You seldom see a Long-tailed Tit on its own. You'll usually find them in groups of at least half a dozen. Very small birds with a tail longer than it's body. They do make it easy for you to spot them though with a constant trill of noise as they restlessly work through trees and undergrowth.
I always look round to see them when I hear them. I don't know why, as they are very common here. I just have a soft spot for them. In flight they remind me a bit of a pom pom with a tail. Cute little chaps.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Bollin Valley

I've recently discovered the Bollin Valley less than a mile from my front door. It runs for 25 miles from Macclesfield to Partington, following the River Bollin and is a real wildlife hot spot. How I've not come across it in the last 3 years, I have no idea.
I've only walked a couple of miles along the route, but have seen Kingfishers, Dippers, Buzzards, Woodpeckers and Bullfinch, to name just a few species of bird. Dragonflies, insects, fungi and Longhorn cattle all add to its appeal. A stunning place that needs a lot more investigation by me and my camera.

One of the weirs in Wilmslow.

A great surprise to see this Dipper on the river.

In the very sandy banks of the river I came across this Digger Wasp.

Longhorn Cattle are free to graze.

Grey Wagtail

Monday, 2 November 2015


A nice morning walk with my daughter on my old patch at Woodford was unseasonably warm. It was the 1st November, but I should have dressed for the 1st July. A nice treat and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The birds and wildlife seemed to be enjoying it too, with lots of activity everywhere. Sometimes this place in winter can feel very lonely and devoid of all life, but yesterday it was buzzing.
Jays, Nuthatch, Pipits and Wagtails were all in evidence, as were Tree Sparrows and winter Thrushes.

I love to see birds of prey, and we were greeted by a few. Common Buzzard circled and called overhead, while a female Sparrowhawk darted out from a pine tree and enjoyed the thermals, and I enjoyed the opportunity to take some pictures.