Crossbill Success

April 22, 2023 at 7:23 pm

With a return visit to Rivercatcher I was treated to some more prolonged observations on the forest Crossbills.
The bird books will tell you that the breeding male Crossbills are red and the pair nest in January and February. So in late March you might expect to see a pair accompanied by fledged young. This is exactly what I was treated to but the male orange not red! To confuse matters even further I watched a female Crossbill collecting nesting material accompanied by a male that was yellow/green. And yes it was a male as I witnessed them copulating!! So what were they doing nest-building in late March – this should have happened in January!
Clearly there is a lot to clarify so another visit to Rivercatcher will be required!

Siskin Delight

April 16, 2023 at 1:25 pm

Another short visit to Rivercatcher and the delights of the Welsh forests. A recent gale had dislodged Alder cones that now carpeted the forest floor. Over a hundred Siskins were on the ground gobbling up the masses of seeds that had fallen out of the cones. What a photographic bonus.

You Beauty

April 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

Regular readers of the blog will know that two months ago I was predicting that we were not going to see local Waxwings this winter. Two days later an immaculate male turned up in a Bolton garden and fed on the same berry laden tree for more than a month! I could not resist going to see my favourite bird on more than one occasion and was duly rewarded.


Late Redwings

April 2, 2023 at 4:46 pm

 During the late snow and frost of last month I came across a small party of Redwings that were feeding on the woodland floor. They were very hungry and as a result I was able to film them from as close as 15 feet without having to hide away. You never turn down the

opportunity to film Redwings!!

Garden Bonanza

March 26, 2023 at 7:44 pm

A couple of weeks ago we had the return of snow and frost which brought an influx of birds back into the garden.
Our star species in the garden is the Reed Bunting and we had at least seven visiting some days.In addition four Redpolls and five Robins were also coming daily to what is a very small garden. The secret of course is providing a multitude of feeders and having lots of cover nearby to hide in when the Sparrowhawk visit.

All Fired Up

March 19, 2023 at 9:36 pm

When you have been filming birds for more than 55years there are not many local ones that you have not captured on film. However, last week one of our smallest birds called a Firecrest turned up in a Manchester park. I visited several times and eventually obtained several shots of what was one of the fastest moving birds I have ever seen – it just never paused in its frantic feeding. It would be good to go back for better quality photos but as Firecrests only breed in southern Britain our bird will soon be heading back south.