Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Its a HOOT!

So far my birdwatching has mainly been outside my home town of Rochdale. We must not forget that our local birds are just as important, if not more, than birds seen elsewhere. We must constantly monitor our local birds, and recognise any change in trends regarding numbers and sightings. It is only recently that one particular bird the Short Eared Owl, that has become a local bird. This bird, if you are in the right place at the right time can be seen hunting the moorland which Rochdale is surrounded by. An even rarer bird, is the Hen Harrier. A stunning male performed for only a lucky few birders while waiting for the Owl to show, before dissapearing back to where it came from.

Noticable changes to the season, where the arrivals of Skylarks back to the moors. Tawny Owls are heard most nights, trying to attract a mate. Estuary birds like Curlew and Oystercatchers are now looking inland to begin nesting.

Total so far 80

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Beside the seaside..beside the sea.

Well after two, miserable weekends. It was a pleasure to take advantage of some sun this weekend. My list was defunct of shorebirds, so, it was off too Morecambe Bay. The abundant bird life and diverse marine habitats make the Bay one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe. As luck happened, I arrived well before the tide came in, always a good time here. The birds where everywhere, prodding and probing the very rich mud flats. Just about every size and shape of bill could be seen. Oystercatchers, Black Tailed Godwits, Curlews, using their long bills to reach deep into the mud, while Knot, Redshank, Dunlin worked their tiny bills through the mud like sewing machines. A fantastic spectacle of near a thousand Knot, swarming as one over the shores edge. Stunning!

Back at home, my bird table was graced with the presence of a stunning female Bullfinch while I had my camera focused on it.
Count so far 78.