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Nicely timed boys

Posted by on January 3, 2010 5:59 PM | 


Just starting off on the morning round down the southern edge of the Marina at Crosby today, when I got a text from Chris Bridge, Jason et al, who were watching a Black Necked Grebe from the other side of the water.
As instructed, I looked to my right, and there the bubble-headed little critter was, steaming around, partially obscured by the mussel booms from my position.
Very nice - thanks for the tip off lads!
Especially timely as today was my last day working down at Crosby for a few weeks - there are chores to be done further up the coast again from tomorrow.
Went back at lunchtime and watched the bird a bit more as it cruised about at some speed in the south east corner of the lake.


bnga3110.jpg bngb3110.jpg

Occasionally it was hassled by Black Headed Gulls, but it just looked indignant as only a Black Necked Grebe can, crash dived and surfaced to whizz about on the calm water again....Black Necks always look a bit crazed to me.


Stuck around even after a flotilla of yachts took to the water in the fine winter weather.
Aside from the grebe there were still plenty of Tufties and Goldeneye on the lake early doors, with 3 Red Breasted Mergs, 2 male Scaup, 2 Little Grebes and about 20 Pochard. golda3110.jpgThe Goldeneye are displaying fairly frequently now, which is always good to watch. Down on the beach the Skylarks were still trundling round the high tide line, and in the crisp cold air small groups of Fieldfare headed south.
Just to be contrary, a flock of 100 odd Pinkies pushed north up the coast.
Still two Shag about this morning, one feeding along the eastern side in the shallows, and the other taking a breather on the mussel booms in the south east corner - the best place to look for 'em in my book, unless you fancy walking all round the lake (not such a bad idea in glorious conditions like today).


The Black Necked Grebe was still parading up and down the lake as the light faded late afternoon, here's hoping it sticks around...
A flock of 16 Pied Wags bounding along south at dusk was interesting, wondered if they could be birds heading to the roost in Liverpool city centre?
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...


Yesterday afternoon around 3.30 there were 35+ Pied Wags whizzing around on the edge of the marina. Great sight as some came within 20 feet or so.

And so it begins first tick/lifer of the year thanks to Marshside's finest many thanks Bazzo.
Two Greenland White Fronted Geese out on Crossens also 6 Short Eared Owl showing well fom 3pm onwards and the male Hen Harrier was also doing the circuit while Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk were all making the most of the highish afternoon tide in glorious sun. Another great sunday spent at Marshside - isn't life good!

Black Necked Grebe still on Crosby Marina today, and a new colour-ringed Sanderling on the beach:
Left leg: White over Green
Right leg: Green flag over Red

Children and teachers in Lancashire are being urged to turn their classrooms into hides and take part in the world’s biggest bird survey, the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch.
Running from 18 January – 1 February, the annual survey encourages children and their teachers to look for and count the birds that share their school environment.
Emma Reed, the RSPB’s education officer for the northern England region said: “The Big Schools’ Birdwatch provides an opportunity for thousands of children to join in and discover more about the birds visiting their schools. The activity is suitable for children of all ages and it also appeals to teachers because it’s fun, easy and simple to set up.
“Feeding birds is an easy way to start teaching children about wildlife. Providing food and water brings them closer for us to marvel at their exciting behaviour and wonderful colours. Teachers have also commented that they have been amazed at how fascinated children are by the simple activity of observing the differences in the ways birds hop, peck, waddle and swoop around birdfeeders.”
Nationally, almost 90,000 children and teachers from over 2,000 schools took part in the survey last year. Of these over 1,400 participants were from Lancashire.
Last year’s survey revealed that the most common bird in Lancashire was the starling with an average of 6.44 seen per school. The blackbird and the carrion crow completed the top three, with an average of 4.53 and 4.13 per school respectively.
A host of curriculum-linked learning can flow from the survey. Some schools make the activity the centrepiece of a whole week devoted to learning about wild birds while other schools hold birdwatch breakfasts and after school wildlife clubs.
All you need to do to take part is watch and count the birds in your school grounds for one hour, then send one set of results back to the RSPB telling us what you saw. We then put together all the results and create an overview of which birds are making the most of school grounds across North Yorkshire and the UK. This also contributes to valuable conservation data.
Emma added: “Whether you have seen several exotic species or just a few of the commonest birds, it doesn’t matter – all sightings are useful to us! Our online results form can be used as a fun data-handling class activity allowing you to build your choice of graphs and charts using your results.”
No birdwatching expertise is necessary for teachers, helpers or children and the RSPB has produced a free schools pack containing everything a teacher will need. The emphasis is on having fun and joining in. The pack includes guidance notes, a full colour bird identification poster, counting chart and survey form.
For further information about Big Schools’ Birdwatch, visit the RSPB website or ring 0300 456 8340 (calls charged at standard rate) for a free teacher’s pack. The hotline number will be operational until 28 January 2010.

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