Moore 30.01.18

Cold but sunny

Despite the seasonal January chill, Team Tuesday were greeted at the car park by a bright blue sky which promised good visibility and hopefully excellent spotting for the morning. We were also greeted by countryside wardens with the depressing news that recent wanton acts of vandalism had necessitated the rebuilding of the Phoenix Hide and work under way to rebuild Colin’s Hide (a case of calculated arson involving an accelerant!). Encouraged by the speedy financial investment and rebuilding response, we set off in the direction of the Eastern Reedbeds picking out both song and mistle thrushes immediately to the east of the car park. A sparrowhawk sped overhead clearly focussed on some mission to the north, and then we were entertained by the sight of a buzzard immediately overhead being mobbed by jackdaws and a carrion crow who were obviously upset by its presence.

A stop in Birch Strip Hide enabled spectacular views across Birchwood Pool to the island, the birch thicket brightly illuminated by the sunshine – pochard, teal, little grebe, great crested grebe, grey heron, coot and moorhen were spotted. And then the ultimate reward of a kingfisher flying across into the birch trees and perching in plain sight, the bright sunshine showing off its plumage and helping identification as a female.

Continuing the walk through the woodland, we were frustrated by the tapping of a woodpecker which was reluctant to reveal itself.  Pump House Hide allowed fine sunlit views across Pump House Pool showing teal, gadwall and tufted duck, and a large group of black-headed gull revealed a single common gull and two oystercatchers

in their midst. Oblique views across the Pool as we continued our walk showed up shoveler and mute swan, and a nuthatch and various titmice were spotted along the track by members of the group.

A quick foray along the track to Colin’s Hide to observe green woodpecker and thrushes proved disappointing, but we finally settled in the newly refurbished Phoenix Hide. This proved productive as the lagoon sheltered teal, tufted duck, mallard and a great crested grebe, and the Eastern Reedbeds revealed little grebe, mute swan, coot and, hiding in a central reed island, two common snipe.

Returning to Grebe Hide for different views across Birchwood Pool, cloud cover began to spread from the west but good views were still obtained of little grebe, cormorant, pochard and tufted duck and then the excitement of a second kingfisher darting across the Pool and perching again in plain sight, this time identified as a male. We continued from there through Middle Moss Wood along the route of the former Runcorn Latchford Canal picking up sightings of a single redwing, chaffinch and various tits, but alas no lesser spotted woodpecker which had been observed by others in recent weeks. A very brief sighting of a great spotted woodpecker in the treetops was followed by the brief appearance of two as we reached the feeding station. These were followed by a good mix of great tit, blue tit, long-tailed tit, chaffinch, wren, robin and coal tit taking advantage of the food on offer.

Returning along Lapwing Lane to the car park, a quick visit to Lapwing Lane Hide happily yielded mallard, teal, Canada geese and a generous number of wigeon whistling loudly to ensure we did not miss them.

A lovely morning which promised and delivered much! (SC)

Bird list (BP)

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Great Crested Grebe
  3. Cormorant
  4. Grey Heron
  5. Mute Swan
  6. Canada Goose
  7. Wigeon
  8. Gadwall
  9. Teal
  10. Mallard
  11. Shoveler
  12. Pochard
  13. Tufted Duck
  14. Sparrowhawk
  15. Buzzard
  16. Moorhen
  17. Coot
  18. Oystercatcher
  19. Snipe
  20. Black-headed Gull
  21. Common Gull
  22. Herring Gull
  23. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  24. Feral Pigeon
  25. Stock Dove
  26. Wood Pigeon
  27. Kingfisher
  28. Wren
  29. Robin
  30. Blackbird
  31. Song Thrush
  32. Mistle Thrush
  33. Redwing
  34. Long-tailed Tit
  35. Coal Tit
  36. Great Tit
  37. Blue Tit
  38. Nuthatch
  39. Magpie
  40. Jackdaw
  41. Jay
  42. Carrion Crow
  43. Chaffinch
  44. Goldfinch
  45. Siskin

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