Monday, 23 November 2015

weekend birdwatch challenge

At the weekend was the North West bird festival. Unfortunately I couldn't go, but I managed to get out and do some of my own birding. On Saturday I watched my football team, undeservedly, get beaten by Blackburn Rovers 2-1 boo! However, I got over it (so I say) with two great games of bowling and arcade games. Sunday was supposed to be a day out in Yorkshire, but was unfortunately cancelled. So I set off out with dad to do some birding at Newton Marsh.
We spent about two hours there and in that time a few birders came and headed off. The first bird I saw was the usual Kestrel perched on the phone wires, looking very chuffed with itself. The bankings were full of Wigeon, calling to one another. Most of them were sleeping or preening, they soon became more lively when the Kestrel flew overhead.

The odd Teal was dotted about within the group of Wigeon, along with Mallards. It was nice to see six Shovellors dreaming away on the sides, which didn't really move the whole time I was there. What was even better to see were three Gadwall which were calmly paddling about around the centre.

A small group of Canada Geese were in the field to the left and another flock of geese flew right inland. Whilst dad was in the car warming up, I went on a little wonder down the road, just to see if anything was there. I didn't see much on the way down but coming back up, I accidently flushed thirteen Common Snipe which I didn't even notice. There was also a pile of feathers, an unlucky Redshank. When I got back to the car, one last look across the marsh, showed a Hare running through the sheep.

Whilst the sun was still unusually shining, Ryan asked if I would like to do an hour Birdwatch and compare results. So at 1:30 we put food out, sat back and waited. By five minutes he had had  thirteen House Sparrows and I had had one Sparrow and one Dunnock. The species and numbers started increasing, but not by many, and before we knew it, time was up. By 2:30 these were our results...
Ryan                                  Me
1 Blackbird                      2 Blackbird
1 Dunnock                        3 Dunnock 
2 Woodpigeon                  1 Woodpigeon
2 Blue Tit                         2 Blue Tit     
1 Robin                             1 Robin
14 House Sparrow           4 House Sparrow
1 Magpie                         2 Magpie
6 Starling                       3 Great Tit           
1 Collared Dove                1 Wren

total 29                              total 19

It was very good fun and a competitive challenge which for both of us ended in a cuppa. Same again next weekend!

Ryan's view from window

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