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

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

Friday 25 October 2013


One of the lovely dabbling ducks that multiply in numbers during the autumn and winter months is the Teal. The male has a lovely chestnut head and green eye patches, while the female is a little less exciting with a mottled brown colouration. Always a pleasure to see, although be warned they are quite flighty, so getting close is difficult.


Friday 18 October 2013

Glossy Ibis

A few weeks ago there was a bit of an influx of Glossy Ibis into the country, and of particular interest to me were four birds that had made themselves at home close to the Horwich moors.
I'd managed to see my first Glossy Ibis last year at Sandbach, but it stayed distant. This time, these guys made it very easy to see them and they seemed almost oblivious to mine and the other birders present. I thought my luck was out at first, as I'd gone to High Rid reservoir first, where they had been the previous day, only for them to not be there. Fortunately, the wonders of modern technology alerted me to them being in a field less than a mile away. Fantastic birds to see.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Lesser Scaup

Last Sunday I managed to continue my Manchester rarities catch up. Another of the long stayers was at Pennington Flash in the form of a drake Lesser Scaup. The day I caught up with it, was it's 5th week on the Flash. Having seen photos of it in severe moult, it is no wonder it has stayed around. It was going nowhere without the ability to fly. The Lesser Scaup is from North America and tends to stay within America, migrating further South but rarely across the Atlantic to Britain. This bird must have blown off course by quite some distance. Still, it's great to see a bird like this at such close proximity. Yet another lifer for me, in a very productive few weeks.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Great Skua

I managed to get out at the weekend with the intention of going to see some Manchester rarities, that luckily for me have stayed around for a while. The first to go and see was a Great Skua that had managed to find it's way inland and to a reservoir and seemed to have made itself comfortable. I'd been put off twice, as weather and traffic had meant I'd arrived too late to see anything. So, out early on Saturday, and as luck would have it, the sun was shining too.
A cracking bird to see, and not one I'm likely to ever get this close to again.

Saturday 5 October 2013

Cley - Norfolk

When I visit Norfolk, Cley is a must as a place to visit. In fact you can't really go to Norfolk and not go to Cley. It is like a Mecca to British birders. Freshwater marsh, saltwater marsh, pools, reed beds, plus the North Sea and a shingle beach. So much to attract a whole variety of birds, and it does. Quite regularly they are birds they are not often seen here in the UK. Or if they are, it's exactly in this place that they do turn up. Having said all that, there was nothing really out of the ordinary when we went a few weeks ago. Still it's always a lovely place to spend a few hours. I can also recommend the cake selection in the visitor centre.


The iconic Cley windmill, that was such a feature of my childhood summer holidays.

Black-tailed Godwits on the move.

The lovely looking Wigeon were building in numbers.