Monday, 25 October 2010

Grey Wagtail.

A smart Grey Wagtail was at the outflow recently. It was probably the bird that I had rung earlier in the year. Grey Wagtails are classed as uncommon resident breeders and winter visitors in the county. They regularly breed at Thornton and recently I had a count of 6 birds at the dam. They are definitely one of my favourite birds.

Visitors from the East!!

Two rare migrants were on T.R.W.P. recently in the form of an adult winter plumage Head of the Hungarian ringing scheme and an adult, slightly younger , Head of the Hungarian Great Bustard project. Check the tee shirt. Both migrated back east to their breeding grounds in central Hungary.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Lesser Redpolls.

Small groups of Lesser Redpolls have been around the church aswell as afew Siskins. A single juvenile Ruddy duck was present on 11th. Other birds of note include Little Owl, Peregrine, Kingfisher, 9 Wigeon and a Shoveler. The warm sunshine on the 17th had a Small Copper and a Comma butterfly on the wing. Finally, 4 Ravens flew over at 10 am. on the 22nd.

The photo shows a first winter male Lesser Redpoll that I trapped and rung. Males have pink breasts in the spring ,but this bird has only the odd pink feather.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


I counted at least 800 Redwings heading south over Thornton in about one hour this morning. 8 Skylarks and 5 Swallows were also moving through. The only new year tick was a single Golden Plover. A first winter Stonechat was by the poney field at 1630.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

More W.W.B.Tern photos. Thanks Dave.

No sign of any terns on Monday. All had departed over night.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Thornton W.W.B.T.

Braving the foul weather I walked down to the dam hoping for a storm driven migrant. As I scanned the central area of the lake I immediately saw 3 Black Terns. This was good, but not a year tick. As I watched the terns I noted that one bird seemed to have a darker mantle and paler wings. This encouraged me to move to the centre of the dam and get closer views. I was also then able to see that the bird had a white rump and that it seemed slightly smaller than the 2 Black Terns. I realised that it was now worth returning home to check the Collins guide. I did this and also contacted R.M. Returning to the lake we now checked to see if the bird lacked a dark breast patch. Again it seemed to fit all the requirements . I decided to contact S.L. and by 11.20 he had seen and confirmed the bird as a juvenile White Winged Black Tern. A county, Thornton and year tick for me and a lifer for some of the 30 or so birders who came to enjoy some very close views. The right hand image shows the W.W.B. as the closer bird and a Black Tern behind. The lack of a dark breast patch is clear in both photos. My poor quality photos were taken with a hand held Panasonic DMC-TZ10, cropped and zoomed, so you get some idea of how close the bird was.

A third Black Tern joined the group later. While watching them at about 17.15 in the company of A.F. a Peregrine spooked the terns and they flew off high. At first we thought they were leaving , but they returned and were still present when I left at 18.00.

My second Thornton tick for the day was a Grey Plover. A.F. identified it on call and we both had clear views of the black armpit patches as it flew over and disappeared to the east.

Friday, 1 October 2010

More year ticks.

Dispite my ringing effort on Sunday there was no repeat of the Rosefinch weekend. Never mind. Compensation was in the form a juvenile Arctic tern late on Sunday and on 30th a first winter Mediterranean gull was near to the outflow.(Main car park) This brings my site year total to 115. Wildfowl numbers are building up with a count of 492 Canada geese on the 28th.