Sparrowhawk Double

September 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Sparrowhawk14During the week not one but two male Sparrowhawks were chasing each other across the garden only a couple of feet apart. One returned on the 27th to catch a male Greenfinch which is always a sad event to witness but even raptors have to survive, preferably not in our garden. click here.

On the main road the House Martins finally fledged their young on the 28th September, being the second latest date I have ever known.

Over Hopwood this week there has been a passage of Skylarks with two still singing as they headed South West on the 22nd. Two Green Woodpeckers were present plus Chiff Chaffs and a very late male Whitethroat. After a gap of many months I located my first Long Tailed Tits but where are all the others?

Two days spent at Gleneagles watching the Ryder Cup also found birds. Thousands of PInk Footed geese were present in the surrounding fields and at the Westmorland Services on the way home fifty plus Pied Wagtails were going to roost in a single Rowan tree.


Indian Summer

September 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Autumn Croxus14
What a fabulous month September has been with high temperatures and very little rain. This extension to Summer has brought good numbers of Adders into the sunshine. One day alone I had six females enjoying the early morning warmth before their long hibernation ahead. The warmth has also triggered the best display of Autumn Crocus I have ever seen locally. The sad news, of course, is that they only stay upright for a few days before the stalks collapse and they disappear into the leaf litter. Click here
The most surprising event of the week was watching a pair of House Martins still feeding young in their nest on the 21st September. The odds of this family party not making it to their wintering grounds at this date must be considerable. I wish them well.

Moving Out

September 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm

In the hills there is now an exodus of Curlews and Lapwings as they head towards the coast. At the same time lots of Meadow Pipits are on the move together with the last Wheatears and Spotted Flycatchers. On the moorland reservoirs Great Crested Grebes now have their last brood of young following a good breeding season as a result of stable water levels.

During the week along our local canal Grey Wagtails have been present along with singing Chiff Chaffs on two mornings. Click here

Ospreys Head South

September 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm


Whilst walking around the reservoirs of Haslingden Grane this week conditions looked perfect for fishing Ospreys as they headed South to Africa. Like all birding you need an element of luck and while no Ospreys were present on the day that we were there what should turn up on the following day  –  an Osprey heading South! It reminded me of the glorious day I had filming Ospreys at the nest four years ago so I have included some of the photos in this week’s gallery . Click here

This years incredible breeding season continues and I still have two pairs of Barn Owls that have young in their nest from second broods. There can surely never be another breeding season like this one and in Greater Manchester alone more than 100 Barn Owl young will fledge this year.