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Zim Girl's (very tiny) Big Year 2018


Zim Girl

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TonyQ

And you are right, it is a Black-headed Gull (which has a brown head!)

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We get Sparrowhawks in the garden fairly regularly.  This one was flying around the bushes chasing a small bird.  It didn't get it and landed for a minute.  Just managed to get these but he was jumpin

12.  Robin       Marton Mere, Blackpool  -  06/03/18

Now the big draw to this particular Reserve is the chance to see Marsh Harriers, and Spring is the best time to see them flying low over the reedbeds. This was the absolute highlight of the visit

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Zim Girl

Just had 2 partridge land in the back garden.  Often see these in the back field but first time I have noticed them in the garden. (Taken through the window).

 

25.  Red-legged Partridge

P1020105c.jpg.f44d5fa98cffa89fbfc295feef0a1e35.jpg

 

P1020110c.jpg.40ea65eaed5540460a806e1d8095efd0.jpg

Back garden  -  27/03/18

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Dave Williams

I need that Partridge, may be a knock on the door when we are up your way!

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Zim Girl
19 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

I need that Partridge, may be a knock on the door when we are up your way!

 

Any time :)

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elefromoz

@Zim Girl, the Sparrowhawk in your garden is great, although I hope it doesn't frighten off everything else,  quite menacing to other little Birds I imagine. The Black Headed Gull is a pretty Gull.

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Zim Girl
20 hours ago, elefromoz said:

@Zim Girl, the Sparrowhawk in your garden is great, although I hope it doesn't frighten off everything else,  quite menacing to other little Birds I imagine. The Black Headed Gull is a pretty Gull.

 

He certainly causes a bit of commotion when he comes in.  I was out in the garden a couple of days ago, there was an explosion of birds from the bushes then I saw the Sparrowhawk land on the ground a few metres in front of me.  He hadn't caught anything and just took a few seconds to compose himself before flying off.

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PeterHG

What a treat, that Red-legged Partridge! We only have the Grey Partridge and it's become so rare that it has been some years since I last saw one. Good photos!

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Zim Girl

Finally, finally, I have managed to get a picture of a Dipper.  They can be seen fairly consistently on a stretch of river in the Forest of Bowland not too far away from where we live, but it has been very tricky to actually get a picture. So after a concerted effort on Saturday morning I finally got this, not the best quality but I was really pleased none the less.

 

26.  Dipper

P1020132c.jpg.87bc394f786314d4600bc02eeb069ef7.jpg

River Brock, Forest of Bowland  -  31/03/2018

 

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TonyQ

Well done with the Dipper!

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Zim Girl

So chugging slowly onwards.

 

27.  Magpie

P1010854c.jpg.4b8f42aeb186121789af8ff3e644f4be.jpg

Marton Mere  -  20/03/18

 

P1010826c.jpg.8a4ad543917e5857a49df13c890291e0.jpg

Marton Mere  -  19/03/18

 

Is this a juvenile below?

P1020293c.jpg.33cafe58563eff19d5d7182f7b241ab6.jpg

Marton Mere  -  09/04/18

Edited by Zim Girl
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Zim Girl

There is a small Heronry at our local park, situated on an island at one end of the lake. On this particular day there was a lot of activity with nesting in full swing. Many of the pairs were sitting on the nests with others constantly winging in and out.

 

The first picture shows one of several trees with nests and I counted 10 heron in this one alone.

 

28.  Grey Heron

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These two were snoozing in the (unusually) warm sun.

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Not for long though - now on alert.

P1020023c.jpg.b1eee65d2b226296af4a911a52e91f0b.jpg

 

My first BIF

P1020026.JPG.d7a0279ec4407acd5598f620571e84bd.JPG

 

Quite something to see them manage to land in amongst the branches with those big wings.

P1020036c.jpg.2ba4347c8867bdede27adeb32671a1a2.jpg

 

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These two had just seen off the one on the left who had trespassed into their nest.

P1020049c.jpg.9c6c6adad46ebf26749325355a73c169.jpg

 

These last two taken of a Heron on the island contemplating a bit of fishing.

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P1020053c.thumb.jpg.84133bb71d305e7e907e46d2422a3099.jpg

Stanley Park  -  26/03/18

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Zim Girl

I am taking a chance on this being what I think it is and not another feral pigeon - the iridescent green band can just be seen on the back of the neck.

Let me know if you disagree.

 

29.  Stock Dove

P1020309c.jpg.8daff19933ee559edadeea33f1ef17b8.jpg

Stanley Park  -  11/04/18

 

 

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TonyQ

I think the black wing spots and the pale beak suggest a Stock Dove

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Galana

I would have liked a bit more pinkish blush on the breast but as @TonyQ it's fairly close and in a tree not Blackpool promenade.

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Zim Girl

Thank you @TonyQ and @Galana.  I am fairly happy with that as I know the local bird club has listed them as being seen in the park, and no, it's not anywhere near the promenade :)

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Tdgraves

@Zim Girl looks exactly the same as the ones I get in my garden in the spring (See BY 2017 - have not attempted photos this year yet)

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Geoff

some very cool backyard birds.

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Kitsafari

I enjoyed that series of the grey herons. :)

 

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Zim Girl

So at the beginning of this thread I said you would have to put up with the ramblings of a novice birder.  I am not going to disappoint and would like to bring you with me on my first visit to a 'proper' bird reserve.  I say 'proper' because I had to part with cash to get in it!

The reserve in question is RSPB Leighton Moss.  It has the largest reed bed in North West England and also incorporates parts of the Morecambe Bay estuary which is one of the largest estuarine systems in the UK.  Best of all it is only 40 minutes up the road from where we live.

Adrian was keen to see if we could spot the Marsh Harriers that should be there, so with our new birders 'hats' on off we went.

 

I was a bit apprehensive about going in the hides with just a little bridge camera, expecting it to be full of very experienced birding types with 'stuff off' big camera equipment but I needn't have worried, everyone was super friendly and very keen to point out the different species.  I lost count of the number of times some chap would ask me if I wanted to look through his scope.  (Or is that some sort of birding chat up line?:blink:).

 

We started at the coastal hides first and in amongst a colony of extremely noisy black headed gulls were one of the reserve's star species and also emblem of the RSPB.  

 

30.  Avocet

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The next 2 pictures were taken much later in the afternoon when the sun decided to make an appearance.

 

P1020717c.jpg.0a072bf94fc87cf25c84c49dcd314118.jpg

 

P1020750c.jpg.c93f40e6de64250d49993c9562a62f2c.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  20/04/18

 

 

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Zim Girl

In the distance there was a small island with many birds crammed on it.  I was told that they were all Knots who apparently are long distance migrants and due to leave very soon.  I have included a cropped (well more cropped than usual) close up but they really were almost out of reach of my camera.

 

31.  Knot

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P1020491d.jpg.5cb8067be82595ed38a8d434be25d9ff.jpg

 

Not sure if the sun makes them any easier to see.

P1020741c.jpg.f0d49dba52bd62c280b214e6b7b1f828.jpg

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Zim Girl

There were plenty of other birds in the estuary but the sky was really overcast and most of them were too distant for me to get.  So we drove up to the main reserve. Armed with a map of all the hides, we set off to explore.

 

Found this little chap along one of the trails.

 

32. Coal Tit

P1020598c.jpg.fee9a58e5b967fc058d272d08b85cfef.jpg

 

P1020593c.jpg.4e9f31b5749993f6510909d30f9c0d71.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  20/04/18

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Zim Girl

Now this guy played a bit of hide and seek around a tree and then very kindly came out and posed for me.

 

33.  Chaffinch

P1020631c.thumb.jpg.5d86dc2ef91f3a537c562a29dc6be479.jpg

 

P1020638c.thumb.jpg.aa6b0a0a00795c62e7cadee12eeb864e.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  20/04/18

 

And here is a female found on the previous day's walk to go with him.

P1020432c.jpg.127047028072f275d66ccfecd91c6230.jpg

Brockside, Forest of Bowland  -  19/04/18

 

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Zim Girl

Next up, a duck.

 

34.  Gadwall

P1020620c.jpg.db2f4b2db5e4b24656c6f17699bc970b.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  20/04/18

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Dave Williams

Thanks to your skill using it your "little bridge camera" takes excellent photographs so no need to feel in the slightest bit inferior to someone who has all the kit but doesn't do it justice. 

 

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Zim Girl

Now when we were at the visitor centre paying to get in, one of the staff was telling people to keep an eye out for the Garganey!!  Having no idea what that was we asked and found out it was a lone male duck who was hiding out in the reedbeds.  Apparently it is our only summer migrant duck and everybody seemed quite excited by it. This was borne out by the fact that whenever we entered a hide the first thing anyone said was 'have you seen the Garganey?'

Well we didn't think too much about it, not expecting to find something that seemed to be doing it's best to remain hidden. Then while we were in the big family hide nearest to the visitor centre I was watching a Little Egret in the distance when out popped a duck much closer to me.  I quickly took a picture not particularly recognising it.  On looking at my camera to see what it was, I saw the big white eye stripe and thought wow, this is it.  I looked up. no one seemed to have seen it.  I showed Adrian and he pointed it out to someone for confirmation, this caused a bit of commotion. Unfortunately for them, by this time he had swum over to a far off bank and was huddled down with some other ducks.  

Good fun this bird spotting lark!!

 

35.  Garganey

P1020663c.jpg.182486bfd78c5334690dff98b74a1bf3.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  20/04/18

 

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