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Old Wednesday 14th January 2009, 20:55   #51
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Hi Neil

The walk was great and got some good pointers. The guides pointed out Bittern (to be honest I wouldn't record it as a spot, all that I could see was the reeds moving). Saw kingfisher diving for fish, water rail, Buzzard, Treecreeper but to name a few.

The "spot" of the day was an Iceland Gull - the guides said they had not been reported at Potteric for the last 18 years so that satisfied all levels.

Cant say I was too excited about the Iceland Gull - the gulls all look the same to me - but still put it on my life list!!!

Im still at the stage where I enjoy seeing the more "colourful" stuff.

I would dearly love to see an "owl" so thats what im aiming for.

Where do you do most of your birding, local patch or at a reserve?

I can concur your comments about wishing you'd starting watching the wildlife earlier. My interest was born from the feeding the birds in the garden and realising they were all different, so bought a book, then some little binos, then walking round my local park etc.

My husband kindly bought me my pass for Potteric Carr and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust last year and topped it up for this year together with a new set of binos for Christmas.

Going back to your original tread, it is an addictive hobby, what starts out as just a walk in the park with the binos, turns into something very different. I now find myself looking at every tree, every bush and thats just on my walk round to the local supermarket.

I'd even got my scope fixed on the local pub roof this morning watching sparrows going in and out of the eaves. Can see me being interviewed by the local police shortly for being a peeping tom!!

Happy Birding
Caroline
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Old Thursday 15th January 2009, 21:54   #52
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Where do you do most of your birding, local patch or at a reserve?

Mainly I do the WWT reserve, Martin Mere when I get the chance... but I sort of birdwatch whilst walking my dogs... the canal and 'Wigan Flashes' (reclaimed area that's great for birding), also '3 Sisters' - a recreational area that has a feeding station/screen hide. There's also 'Pennington Flash' not too far away that has hides - but I'm not often that way... I do lie the place though, it's great for seeing Bullfinches and you're practically guaranteed to see them at the feeding station there!

As for your walk - some great ones there... out of your list, the Treecreeper is a particular favourite of mine.

As for Owls... I have to admit, I have NEVER seen one... now when I do I'll be made up... but that's something for the future... I'm happy to see ANY bird for the time being... each time I see a Blackbird is a joy I have to say and I NEVER get bored of seeing them.

Great hobby - started by me late maybe... but better late than never.

:)

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Old Wednesday 21st January 2009, 19:15   #53
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I love wandering into this thread. Delight in birding for the sake of birding and chalking up the ticks as they come is what drives me as well and it's great to feed on the enthusiasm by you, Neil. Long may you continue in this vein.
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Old Wednesday 21st January 2009, 22:12   #54
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I love wandering into this thread. Delight in birding for the sake of birding and chalking up the ticks as they come is what drives me as well and it's great to feed on the enthusiasm by you, Neil. Long may you continue in this vein.
Cheers Mikfoz - I love sharing the joy this hobby gives me - if that comes across, then I'm happy!

I'll keep posting here with anything I find worthy of commenting... I'm a 'Beginner' and I'm happy to be one forever... you can neve learn too much eh?

All the best!

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Old Thursday 22nd January 2009, 17:16   #55
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By the way, I saw your comments on owls.

You're in Wigan so it's a short hop to Martin Mere (you lucky thing) where most days see the Barn Owls out hunting over the fields towards dusk, it seems. You're bound to strike it lucky eventually. I saw them there just the other week.

If you're mobile enough, give me a shout via PM if you can get up to Marton Mere on a weekend and give me an ETA and I'll most likely be up there, especially in the morning. I'll show you where the roosting Long-ears are as they've not moved for weeks.
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Old Saturday 24th January 2009, 18:42   #56
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Hi Neil

Not had much chance to get on the web site this week. Well Ive joined the RSPB today whilst I was looking round their Old Moor Reserve. Lots of "novices" walking round, it was free to get in because of the Big Garden Bird Survey Weekend, so I was feeling less "novice" than usual! New spots for me today was goosander and 2 X green woodpecker. Needed the scope to see the woodies but still good clear views. Loads of tree sparrows and bull finches. On the "yorkshire patch" thread, someone has photo'd little owl there today. Must try harder eh!!!
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Old Monday 26th January 2009, 09:21   #57
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On the "yorkshire patch" thread, someone has photo'd little owl there today. Must try harder eh!!!
It's tucked away in the education garden that doesn't normally have public access, so it's not one to feel bad about!
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Old Monday 26th January 2009, 15:49   #58
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It's tucked away in the education garden that doesn't normally have public access, so it's not one to feel bad about!
Thanks for the info

It was my first visit to Old Moor and I did enjoy it. A different feel than my usual site (Potteric Carr). Old Moor seemed more family friendly. So joined the RSPB not just for me but it will be a great place for my husband's young son to visit too. The hides were really comfortable and a real meeting place for people!!! (they certainly weren't sat in silence which makes a change). The site also felt "very safe" for the "female birdwatcher". My husband is not into birdwatching and occassionly tags along for the walk therefore I mainly birdwatch on my own. Big thumbs up for breakfast too!!!!!!

Thanks again for the owl tip ..... and if you can give me any further pointers for the site, that would be greatly appreciated.

Hoping to get back to Old Moor on Wednesday ... weather permitting of course.

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Old Monday 26th January 2009, 15:55   #59
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Thanks for the info

Hoping to get back to Old Moor on Wednesday ... weather permitting of course.
It's quite quiet at the moment bird-wise, but it's worth checking the lawns near the car park for green woodpeckers, and waxwings have been seen on the berries by the car park but sadly not for a week or so. A female garganey keeps showing its face on the Mere (although it seems to have gone now). Keep your eyes open on the skies for peregrines, and it's worth a visit to the reed beds at dusk or early morning for a possible glimpse of barn owl or bittern (although you'll get much better views of the latter at Potteric).
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Old Monday 26th January 2009, 16:58   #60
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Thanks again .....

I always seem to forget the carparks at reserves, Im always to eager to get out there!

I did notch up thirty-six different sightings on saturday so I was more than happy. The green woodpecker was a good tick for me .... just because it keeps things nice and tidy on my list .... GSW LSW and now the green!

Was at Potteric on Sunday but only walked as far as Piper Marsh Hide, didnt get up as far as the Hex hide, and although the bittern had been showing well earlier in the day, I didnt see it. Had a real good views of the Kingfisher tho perched under the bridge. On previous visits I had always been looking down the mother drain for the fishers, however after being on the "bird watchers for beginners walk" they said they often perched under there, and yep it does!

Its quite difficult for the beginner to know where to start looking for birds on reserves (apart from the obvious) however I have found in many instances people are only too pleased to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

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Old Monday 2nd February 2009, 22:11   #61
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By the way, I saw your comments on owls.

You're in Wigan so it's a short hop to Martin Mere (you lucky thing) where most days see the Barn Owls out hunting over the fields towards dusk, it seems. You're bound to strike it lucky eventually. I saw them there just the other week.

If you're mobile enough, give me a shout via PM if you can get up to Marton Mere on a weekend and give me an ETA and I'll most likely be up there, especially in the morning. I'll show you where the roosting Long-ears are as they've not moved for weeks.

Mobile yep - but certain restrictions on time mean I don't get too far I'm afraid - cheers for the offer though, very much appreciated.

I usually fit Martin Mere in for a couple of hours, but then it's back to get the dinner on (Gawd, I hate being a 'Modern Man' eh?)... plus I've two dogs that need walking, so them b*ggers take my time up too!

Ah well - maybe when I retire eh? Only got another 30-odd years to go!

Neil.
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Old Monday 2nd February 2009, 22:17   #62
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Thanks again .....

Its quite difficult for the beginner to know where to start looking for birds on reserves (apart from the obvious) however I have found in many instances people are only too pleased to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Caroline
I've found that too - and I don't mind admitting if I don't know anything when asking for advice - plus, there are times when being colourblnd can affect how I 'see' certain birds, so I need a second opinion too.

I have on one or two occasions however heard some of the more experienced Birders refer to birds as "Onlies" - as in:

"What's that over there... I've not seen a bird like that before?"

"Oh that - it's only a Cormorant".

Now luckily, these b*ggers are few and far between because:

1. It trivialises the other person's question... almost as if the answer is synonymous with "Oh... EVERONE knows that"

and

2. No matter how common - no bird is an 'Only' - from a Feral Pigeon to the 'Chav' of the Bird World - the Starling... each have their own character and charm and should therefore NEVER be seen to be an 'only'.

It's always great to see an Avocet - but I never fail to feel chuffed to see a Blackbird either - long may that remain!



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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 20:38   #63
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Hi Neil

I never think "its only a ........." The delight is being able to see and identify a bird.

I now take my binos out on every "dog" walk. I walk daily on a very small part of the trans-penine cycle route and it does offer great habitat for the wildlife and its at the end of my road! I now see daily the bullfinches, longtailed tits, great and blue tits, dunnocks, sparrows, a kestrel was here for a couple of weeks but has now gone to pastures new. Was delighted the other day to see greenfinch .... they seem so scarce this year.

Gosh, colourblindness, I'd never considered the implications of that and birdwatching!

Well im back at Potteric Carr this weekend on an "organised bittern walk". Ive only had fleeting glimpses of them so far, not long enough to see them with any get clarity or detail, so hopefully fingers crossed I may get lucky.

Keep you's posted ....

Caroline
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Old Wednesday 4th February 2009, 03:16   #64
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Hi Neil

I never think "its only a ........." The delight is being able to see and identify a bird.

I now take my binos out on every "dog" walk. I walk daily on a very small part of the trans-penine cycle route and it does offer great habitat for the wildlife and its at the end of my road! I now see daily the bullfinches, longtailed tits, great and blue tits, dunnocks, sparrows, a kestrel was here for a couple of weeks but has now gone to pastures new. Was delighted the other day to see greenfinch .... they seem so scarce this year.

Gosh, colourblindness, I'd never considered the implications of that and birdwatching!

Well im back at Potteric Carr this weekend on an "organised bittern walk". Ive only had fleeting glimpses of them so far, not long enough to see them with any get clarity or detail, so hopefully fingers crossed I may get lucky.

Keep you's posted ....

Caroline
Yep - the "only" thing - ye never heard:

"Is it a bird... is it a plane? Ah no... it's only Superman!"

Ahem - anyhow - just 'happening' to take the bins. out on a dogwalk... I do that... I'm off out with hat, coat, leads, bottle of water and bowl for the doggies, nappy bags (to scoop the poop) and well, bless me... how DID the bins. get around my neck? A coincidence surely(!)

Good luck for the weekend walk - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.




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Old Wednesday 4th February 2009, 10:35   #65
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The local "dog walk" is providing me with lots of birdwatching/spotting opportunities. That said tho my dog does need to be on his lead, so trying to focus the binos holding the dog lead it an art all on its own!

Ive posted to your "local patch" thread.

Im really enjoying the website now .......
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Old Wednesday 4th February 2009, 21:42   #66
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The local "dog walk" is providing me with lots of birdwatching/spotting opportunities. That said tho my dog does need to be on his lead, so trying to focus the binos holding the dog lead it an art all on its own!

Ive posted to your "local patch" thread.

Im really enjoying the website now .......
Many thanks there Caroline - glad you're enjoying the stuff I'm doing.

As to binos and dog lead... aha - wait until ye can do it with a JOINT dog lead like I have for my two - mund you, I do have a Black Belt in that!




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Old Thursday 5th February 2009, 16:29   #67
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Im laughing!!!!

Hey ive yet to get to grips with the scope and the dog!!!!

Ive left the binos behind this afternoon ......... snow/dog lead/bino ..... not a good combo!!!!
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Old Thursday 5th February 2009, 22:26   #68
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I tried with the 'scope and tripod AND dogs on one occasion when down the canal (Red-throated Diver made a guest appearance, so we HAD to see it) - not easy I have to say... dogs getting all over the place - off the lead mooching about and mithering some of the other birders... on the lead - getting wrapped around the tripod!

And then the bird itself, the b*gger came pretty close in so I didn't even need the 'scope - the bins were good enough!

Ruddy conspiracy... all the animals are plotting against me... it's like Macbeth, only with paws and feathers!



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Old Friday 6th February 2009, 17:24   #69
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Here's hoping them bitterns are not conspiring against me tomorrow .......

Married to a yorkshire man ..... "you better see em - youve paid 15 quid"!!!!!

Not been out in daylight with the dog ..... work today ..... it does interfer with a good hobby!!
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Old Friday 6th February 2009, 23:59   #70
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Married to a yorkshire man ..... "you better see em - youve paid 15 quid"!!!!!



Like it! And a fair and very Yorks. comment too!



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Old Saturday 7th February 2009, 10:03   #71
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I have "How to be a bad bird watcher" and it is very funny. I think the author concludes that you let the birds come to you rather than the other way round.
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Old Monday 9th February 2009, 05:10   #72
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I have "How to be a bad bird watcher" and it is very funny. I think the author concludes that you let the birds come to you rather than the other way round.

Yep - it's an excellent book

I can also highly recommend 'A Bad Birdwatcher's Companion' - well worth a read - AND you can usually get it very cheapy on 'Amazon Marketplace'.



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Old Monday 9th February 2009, 06:05   #73
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Here's hoping them bitterns are not conspiring against me tomorrow .......
Neil

got a text saturday morning from the reserve management "due to illness the event has been cancelled".

No conspiracy there then .....
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Old Monday 9th February 2009, 22:09   #74
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Neil

got a text saturday morning from the reserve management "due to illness the event has been cancelled".

No conspiracy there then .....
I reckit's been intercepted by the Bitterns!!!

They'll all have gone out for the day!



Neil.

P.S. Seriously though - what a b*gger eh?
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Old Tuesday 10th February 2009, 18:05   #75
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P.S. Seriously though - what a b*gger eh?
I had a gut feeling it was going to be cancelled. Just a smudge disappointed, im sure they will rearrange it. Going there tomorrow, so will see what they say.

Other than that no birding news to report.

Hows your birding going?
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