Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Biggest Twitch Ever

Thought we couldnt let this pass with out a comment. Alan Davies was the site manager for RSPB Conwy and Ruth Miller worked for RSPB as well. We at Liverpool wish them every success, although Ste Menzie did say that if we won the lottery we would have a go at their new record.
The Biggest Idea
To see more bird species in a calendar year than anyone has ever done before!
We, Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, are two British birders living in North Wales.
We have set ourselves the target of seeing over 3,662 different species of birds in twelve months, from 1st January to 31st December 2008.
We have given up our jobs and are dedicating a whole year to travelling around the world to set a new world record by seeing more birds in a single year than ever achieved before.
We will be visiting every type of habitat on earth: desert, rainforest, high altitude, open seas, and sweeping savannah.
And as we go, we'll experience all the weather conditions that nature can throw at us: intense heat, cold and wet, snow and ice, pre-dawn starts and night vigils.
The current world record for species recorded in a calendar year stands at 3,662.

You can follow Alan & Ruth's progress on their website


Sunday, 23 December 2007

'So who told you wearing these silly hats guarantees us a chunk of Christmas cake?'

Don't forget to give your birds their Christmas dinner, leftover roast spuds go down a treat!!


Saturday, 22 December 2007

Angels with Dirty Faces!!

A very early ringing session at Ravenmoels before work saw use catching a few goldfinch's and siskins. The birds are feeding on alders and you can see the residue that it leaves on the beaks of this goldfinchs and the siskins.


Monday, 17 December 2007

Time to look back on the year

As it must have been the coldest day today, It got me thinging about warmer weather and sunshine birds. Earlier this year I travelled around the West Indies and stopped in Antigua for a day. I walked through Antigua's town centre looking for birds in peoples gardens, bit like looking on peoples bird table and found these wonderful bananaquit's feeding on sugar. It was quickly followed by the dark bird in picture 2. A lesser antillean bullfinch. Not bad!

OOh for the warm weather of West Indies.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Birthday Treat part1

Well the mighty Liverpool won 4-0! Awesome.

But what about the black redstart would it still be in Ainsdale. I had charged up my batteries and the camera was out.

Yes it was still there so please enjoy it.


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Birthday Treats

Today is my birthday and as I was in work all day the only thing to look forward to was the match later,.......Cmon you REDMEN!!
But at around 9.30 this morning all this changed when a bird looking like a small wheatear was in front of the depot that I work out. I jumped out of my land rover and walked towards the bird, when I got to 25feet away the bird flew along the path, showing off its tail. The red in its tail and the grey body, a juv or female black redstart. Excellent! Get your bins, no get your camera. The birds in the centre, the lights great, time to press the button....OH no my batteries are dead and ive got no spares.
Well I hope its there tomorrow just to get a picture and show you all.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

From David Holland:

Last week (27.11.07) I encountered a huge pied wagtail roost in town. Coming to the end of a shopping foray I was walking up Parker Street from Church Street towards Clayton Square at about 5.30 and became aware of bird noises aloft. Looking up into the tops of the three trees in the centre of Parker Street I saw a vast number of pied wagtails swirling around. They were impossible to count but I arrived at a minimum count of 200+. Two days later I was back in town again (glutton for punishment!) and going up Parker Street, but just 15 - 30 minutes later. By that time they had all settled down to roost for the night and were somewhat easier to count. I was confident in reaching 300+. Several communications later with the guys who know about these things I learned from Steve White that this is a regular occurrence, although the location seems to move around a bit. A count of 267 was recorded in 2006 in Church Street by Paul Slater. A more precise count would be interesting this year.
Other stories:- Calderstones Park on Wednesday 28.11.07 produced two grey herons on the big island and . . . a cormorant fishing at less than 20 m from me. Has anyone ever seen a cormorant here before?

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Next Indoor Meeting

Monday 3rd December

Monday night is RSPB night at Mossley Hill Parish Church. For our Christmas meet we have invited Sheffield bird photographer Paul Hobson, who will help us discover the beauty of the Peak District's birds and wildlife. Doors open at 19.00, Talk start's 19.30.
There is a small admission charge and tea and coffee is free, oh and as a special treat mince pies & chocs...well it is Christmas. Laura will be there with our bird seed your birds to survive this winter....why not buy some sunflower hearts, suet cakes, table/feeder mix and of course live & dried mealworm. Don't forget to buy a raffle ticket...who know's what delights Howard has kept back for Chrimbo!! And don't forget to sign up to the 85 club with Laura while your there.

See you all there.

Mad dogs and Englishmen

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, but the lunatic birdwatchers of Liverpool RSPB go out in the eye of the storm, or so it seemed as the icy sea spray lashed us as we battled on Ainsdale beach; But then once our target was sighted we were glad we'd made the effort, for there where the beautful Snow Buntings searching the strandline alongside several Turnstones, a parcel (where do they get these collective names from) of Linnets and a party of 4 Skylarks ....this was to be the highlight of our visit to Marshside, (that and the little gull flying off the beach..well as best as he could in the gale!). Earlier.....

Bracing, Dreich, Gloomy, Blustery, Wet...just a few weathery adjectives to give you the idea.

A trek round the sandplant and a scan out to sea showed up lots of gulls, Black tailed Godwits, Cormorant, Reed Buntings, Robin, Starlings, Magpie, Wood pigeon and a solitary little Egret. The disused sandplant grounds are crying out to be put to good can just picture a nice cosy Reserve visitor centre with shop and cafe nestled in it's sandy arms........

Still Sandgrounders hide was dry and the volunteers had made a sterling effort with free mince pies for their visitors, well it is Christmas after all.

Pies ate, we all (there were 6 hardy adventurers out today) settled down to peruse the marsh...Pintail ....everywhere..lots and lots of the handsome ducks seemed happy enough to sit out the inclement weather. Other duck family members were present, striking Widgeon, Pochard, Mallard, Teal and Shoveller as where the perpetual Coot and Moorhen. Of the Goose family (those that has not been tempted by Martin Mere's meals on wheels):Greylag, Pink foots and Canadian's . What else was there: A Heron being mobbed by crows, Curlew meticulously probing the mud, lots of wheeling Lapwings, a couple of snipe over head, a Blackbird munching on berries close to the hide, more Godwits, a Kestrel hovering over the road, brooding greater Black backs with their cousins lesser Black back, Herring and Black headed Gulls. Did I mention little Grebe, oh! and a mammal, our loping Mad March Brown Hare.

So all in all not a bad little trip despite being soaked to the skin. Hope you enjoyed your day out Carol. Thanks to Chris for trooping us round.....he got his reward.. Liverpool won 4-0 today.