Sunday, 27 November 2011

Winter Bird Walk - wigeon and willow tit star

A blustery but bright morning at Sale Water park saw six novice bird watchers assemble and set off on a walk where we saw 31 different species of bird. Not bad for the local patch. Our first look at the bird feeders outside the centre revealed a surprise. Two willow tits and a woodpecker on the feeders. I get so used to seeing blue, great and even coal tits on the feeders that the dusky pinkish flanks and the bullish head of willow tit stood out from the crowd. We rambled on ticking off some of the usual suspects such as the greedy blackbirds gobbling hawthorn berries. The bright orange chest of a bullfinch was spotted by about half of us before darting for cover.

After a little detour we arrived at Sale Water Park which was lower than normal raising promise of seeing more wading birds and wildfowl than usual. Unfortunately, no waders but lots of teal, coots, black headed gulls and most exciting of all, a small flock of wigeon were preening themselves at the west end of the lake. We even saw two wagtails; the grey and the pied (one of our number evocatively described the pied wagtail as a 'midget magpie').

The view from Broad Ees Dole didn't disappoint either. Nine herons lined the bank on one side with scruffy and spikey splendour. Three shoveler ducks pirouetted their way round the pools filtering for microscopic life in the water and a gang of teal looked resplendent in the sun. No winter thrushes though which we all put down to the mild start to winter. All in all a great morning's birdwatching in the Mersey Valley.

Black-headed gull
Blue tit
Canada goose
Carrion crow
Great crested grebe
Great spotted woodpecker
Great tit
Grey wagtail
Little grebe
Long-tailed tit
Mute swan
Pied wagtail
Willow tit
Wood pigeon

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Event tomorrow Sun 27th Nov. - Winter Bird Walk

What? Winter bird walk led by FoCM members: Richard Gardner and Julian Robinson
Where? meet at Sale Water Park Visitor Centre
When? 10.30am. Sunday 27th November 2011

Bring binoculars if you have them. Hopefully, we'll see winter migrants recently arrived from Scandinavia and Russia and also some wildfowl on the watery bits of the Mersey Valley.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Wildlife Watch - every 1st Saturday of the month

What's the event? Cheshire Wildlife Watch forms the junior branch of Cheshire Wildlife Trust - nationwide, Watch is the leading club for young budding environmentalists. It is run by trained and CRB checked volunteers and consists of environmental activities for children aged 5 - 15.

Activities are varied and could include bug hunts, butterfly spotting, pond dipping, arts and crafts and games for all ages. It’s FREE but we encourage attendees to join Wildlife Watch to get all the benefits of being a junior member, as well as supporting the work of Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Bring wellies and waterproofs in case it’s wet!

When is it? Every 1st Saturday of the month, 2-3.30pm. Next one: 3rd December
Where is it? Chorlton Water Park, Visitor Centre, Maitland Road, M21 7JJ

For more details contact: caroline.milson@hotmail.co.uk or checkout the Facebook page 'Chorlton Wildlife Watch'