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 March 2022

Patch Birding

A walk around my local patch serves to remind me that there is always something to see. Any bird of prey always gets me looking more than twice. Kestrels are common in my area, but it's always nice to see them and watch where they go and see what they do. It was a bit gloomy, but the colour came out ok.


There have been a pair of over-wintering Stonechats on a nearby golf course, Some days I can be looking for 10 minutes and not see them. Other days they are there in front of me for some time. Just shows that you never know what you'll see and just because they aren't seen one day, doesn't mean they are not still around. 

Male Stonechat

Not a common bird any more, but there is a good flock of Tree Sparrows around near me. Lovely birds to see, just not an easy find these days.

Friday 18 March 2022

Red-throated Diver Watergrove Reservoir

There has been a Red-throated Diver on a reservoir in Greater Manchester since before Christmas, and nothing but laziness (and the cold wet weather) has stopped me from venturing out to go and see it. Usually seen around the coasts of the UK, it's quite unusual for one to stay so long in land. My usual sightings of these birds are through a scope whilst sea watching on the East coast, so it was really nice to be able to see one at very close quarters and for a prolonged period of time. I would usually see a Great Northern Diver in these parts at this time of year, but the Red-throated is quite unusual. 

The weather last weekend was good, so I made the 30 mile trip round to Watergrove reservoir in Rochdale. A place I have been on many occasions, and more often than not it is windy and very wet underfoot. Initially I spotted the bird on the far side, and walked along the wall in hope that it would make it's way across to me at some point. I watched it dive and waited for a good few minutes before it resurfaced. Much to my delight, it was only about 30 metres from me now, and there it stayed without diving for almost half an hour. What an absolute treat to watch this bird so close, and it even meant the camera got an outing too.

Thursday 10 March 2022

Sunny Times

The sun has returned in recent weeks, and even better than that, at the weekend. Woo hoo! Being able to go for a walk without covering up your binoculars from the rain, and even getting the camera out of the car is a nice feeling.

I took a few local walks last weekend to Redesmere and Chelford. There were good numbers of birds about enjoying the sunshine too. Birds that I have noticed an awful lot this winter have been Siskins. They seem to be around on most of my walks and in places I'd not come across them before. There was a large flock of 50+ at Redesmere and within that flock were around a dozen Lesser Redpolls. Both of these birds are quite small and flighty, and also like to feed at the top of trees. If they are not making their calls they can be easily overlooked. I managed to track them down and once seen, they were happy to keep feeding and doing acrobatics. Both these birds like to feed upside down and it can look quite comical at times.

In Chelford the long staying over-wintering pair of Smews were still in attendance. They are usually a telescope view away, and tucked under the over hanging vegetation, but on this occasion both were out in the open and in the sunshine. A great opportunity for a record shot.


Lesser Redpoll