News archive

May 2008

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Sedge warbler perched on phragmites

To Pickerings Pasture LNR and beyond.....

Arriving at Pickerings pastures LNR in the grip of a thunderstorm, with the wind and heavy rain crashing in off the river Mersey, it was clearly going to be a challenging mornings birding. This was doubly so when we met two very wet bird watchers who had been at the reserve for the past half hour and seen nothing. A meeting was quickly called and we decided to go to Neumann's Flash where we could make use of the hides to shelter from the wind and rain ..... not to mention trying to see the Black winged Stilt that had been there for the last week ! On arriving, and artfully dodging the next band of rain, we piled into a hide only to find ourselves at the wrong end of the Flash for the stilts. However, all was not lost. Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Reed Bunting and Willow Warbler provided us with a post dawn chorus ! The garden Warbler even came out of its hidden singing post to sit at the top of a bush, giving excellent views to us all. Tufted Duck, 1 Ruddy Duck and Goldeneye all provided something to look at out on the water. With the rain coming down so heavily on the roof of the hide that it drowned out all sounds a decision was made to dash to the other hide during the next lull in the rain. Our moment arrived and we set out at a brisk pace to reach the other hide before the dark clouds, already looming on the horizon, reached us. After a short, and for Stan Davies, agonising wait 2 Stilts came into view around 250 yards away. Both birds then stayed in view for about a hour as we watched them feed. For a brief moment the calm of the flash was broken when a Raven flying over incurred the wrath of the local Black headed gulls and Lapwings. We all went home happy with our mornings birding, with Stan adding another bird to his list. That's a pint you owe us all, Stan !

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Sedge warbler perched on phragmites

Pickerings Pasture LNR and beyond ......

Arriving at Pickerings Pasture LNR in the middle of a thunder storm with a howling wind and heavy rain was not an auspicious start to a mornings birding. Add to this the two soaked birders we meet in the car park who had been at the reserve for 30 minutes without seeing a bird, so it is not surprising we decided to vote with our feet and instead head to Neumann's Flash outside Northwich. After initially going to the wrong hide we finally managed to find the 2 black winged stilt which have been at the flash for about a week. All around us we could hear sedge warbler and whitethroat singing, even in the rain. The odd willow warbler, blackcap and chiffchaff could also be heard. A lovely garden warbler provided the group with spectacular views when it abandoned its usual hidden singing perch to come into the open at the top of a bush. A Raven passing over caused some consternation amongst the gulls and lapwing around the flash. Whilst we may not have ended up where we expected to be and despite the continuing rain / thunder storms, we all thoroughly enjoyed the morning.