Moore Nature Reserve 16.05.17

Damp and warm, but the rain held off and there was even a little brightness later

Ever the optimists, a good number of the Team made it to the rendezvous despite heavy rain and pretty awful (for many) driving conditions en route. Optimism was rewarded, however, as the rain ceased as if by magic just before 10am, and having spotted a Greater Spotted Woodpecker feeding in the field opposite and seen Swifts wheeling around high above us and a pair of Heron flying majestically past, we set off on our usual route round the Reserve.

Our first stop at Lapwing Hide brought immediate rewards. Almost as soon as we had arrived, we were greeted by the sound and then by the sight of a pair of Little Grebes, one of whom proceeded to catch and devour, not without a little difficulty, a plump perch (as identified subsequently by one of our number whose interests obviously go beyond the purely avian). And while we were still taking in that spectacle, movement amongst the reeds just in front of the hide attracted our attention and we were soon enjoying the sight of one or more Reed Warblers which were singing and flitting about, just two or three metres away, and affording everyone the chance to get a good sighting.

Buoyed up by these early treats, we pressed on through the dripping woods, to the accompaniment of plentiful and varied birdsong, although sightings and identification were difficult. However, there was no mistaking first the yaffle of a Green Woodpecker, and then the joyous sound of a distant Cuckoo, the first this season for me, and I think for many, if not all of the group.

At the Feeding Station hide we had good views of both a male and female Greater Spotted Woodpecker who were taking turns to feed on the peanuts that seemed in plentiful supply, but few other birds were in evidence, apart from a number of Blue tits and a lone Nuthatch that made a brief appearance. Birchwood Pool was unusually quiet. Gulls seem to have abandoned this site – indeed, few were noted on our previous visit this year – and there was little to see, save for a Great Crested Grebe bending back its neck in display to no one in particular (there was no female nearby as far as could be seen) and a female Mallard that was leading her brood of four or five duckings across the water close to the shore. At Birch strip hide, a few of the group caught a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher speeding over the water, but the rest had to content themselves with the less dramatic, but nonetheless interesting sight of a Great Crested Grebe resting on its not very substantial nest amongst the saplings and reeds on the edge of the island opposite. Pump House Pool produced no new sightings save for a Shelduck that took flight as we arrived and an unusually solitary Black-headed Gull on the far side of the water.

Conscious now of the time and the threat of one or two black clouds above us, it was decided to head back to the cars, pausing occasionally to try to make out the birds that were still singing and calling loudly from the trees and undergrowth around us. Although largely unsuccessful, these efforts were eventually rewarded by the sight of a Whitethroat that perched briefly on top of a post, before carrying on with its nest-building activities in the thick undergrowth. A Buzzard, high up and far off, eluded most of the group, but easier to see were some Carrion Crow and a group of four or five Mistle Thrushes that dropped into the field and began to feed on the ground, just as we approached the car park.

Bird List (MH)

  1. Canada goose
  2. Shelduck
  3. Mallard
  4. Gadwall
  5. Tufted duck
  6. Pheasant
  7. Great crested grebe
  8. Little grebe
  9. Grey heron
  10. Common buzzard
  11. Moorhen
  12. Coot
  13. Black-headed gull
  14. Lesser black-backed gull
  15. Wood pigeon
  16. Feral pigeon
  17. Swift
  18. Great Spotted woodpecker
  19. Wren
  20. Dunnock
  21. Robin
  22. Blackbird
  23. Song thrush
  24. Mistle thrush
  25. Reed warbler
  26. Whitethroat
  27. Long-tailed tit
  28. Blue tit
  29. Great tit
  30. Nuthatch
  31. Jay
  32. Magpie
  33. Carrion crow
  34. Chaffinch
  35. Kingfisher

Photos  JH, DC and CG


One thought on “Moore Nature Reserve 16.05.17

  1. Excellent report as usual! I saw a pair of parakeets at Urmston Cemetary today – looks like they are continuing to spread along the Mersey.


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