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Hoylake Bird Observatory (1 Viewer)

Jane Turner

Well-known member
Its a frustrating story. As you may know, I can't get out birding at all at the moment. Even birding in the garden is restricted timewise. There were a lot of migrants about this am - Chiffs and Blackcaps, and even more butterflies. A clouded yellow flew clean through and a steady stream of Admirals were accumulating on the Ivy flowers. I' was trying to get a photo of 18 together when the Runner Ducks kicked off - they were all looking up to the East. I couldn't see what they were looking at until rather suddenly a Harrier came into view in the gap between my house and my neighbours. The Ducks were at the far end of the garden and had a less cluttered view. I had no bins, but did have a camera in my hand. I managed one in focus shot before the camera decided to focus on the roof/chimney instead.

I got nothing on the Harrier other than it looked rather orange. I dived into the house for bins and out into the front - where I failed to see the bird. I think it cut the corner and went up the Dee. The photo certainly looks more than promising for Pallid. (Juv fem).

Pushing the picture well beyond its limits its hard to be sure what is real and what could be artefact.


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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Hmm, does look promising but hard (for me at least) to be sure. It's a shame no one else picked it up.

Sorry to hear that you're not able to get out at the moment. I hope that changes in the near future!

Jane Turner

Well-known member
In other news there were 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps and a big increase in Blackbirds today, whilst Coal tits are everywhere

Jane Turner

Well-known member
its only 1430 days since I updated this - must do better.

I've started retraining to ring birds, and am using the garden as my ringing site. Totals so far 896 of 20 species.

Yesterday there were a few nice waders about - 2 Whimbrel and 2 Juv Curlew Sandpipers being the highlight.


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Jane Turner

Well-known member
Thanks Jon

Big tide today - plenty of waders about, inc 2-3 Curlew Sandpipers before the tide. % or so Arctic Skuas and a small skua spp that had promise for LTS based on flight, but needed to be a lot closer to see anything useful. Also a Bonxie.

Lots of variation in the waders and it looks like Sanderling and Knot have had a good breeding season, a high proportion of juveniles. Looking hard at the ringed plovers for SPP - 1st bird is the closest I got


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Jane Turner

Well-known member
3 Great Skuas, 15 Manx Shearwater a Fulmar and 5 Arctic Skuas today at sea. I missed a Leaches Petrel.

4 Curlew Sandpipers flew through before the tide.

One Bonxie was in so close it appeared to be over the garden - I only got a camera on it after it went back out to sea. I caused total panic in a huge gull flock - which up until I saw the Bonxie, I'd assumed was down to wind surfers


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Jane Turner

Well-known member
A fabulous 3 hour seawatch today produced 62 Arctic Skua and adult and subadult Pomarine Skua, 4 Great Skua and a very light and stunningly grey 1st summer Long-tailed Skua It was pleasing that the Poms and LTS were picked up on Hilbre. Also 19 Manx Shearwater, 15 Leach's Petrel a Fulmar and 2-300 Kittiwakes


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Jane Turner

Well-known member
Sound only record of Yellow-browed Warbler this morning and 10+ Chiffchaffs. It rained just before dawn. I must have been so close to hearing the YBW myself, since it called 10 seconds before I turned off the Mic.

45 birds ringed

Jane Turner

Well-known member
A great day for the garden today. Best was a flyover Richard's Pipit - the second for the house https://youtu.be/Yf3DYaccUu4

On the overnight NocMig recordings there were 65 Redwing 6 Blackbird and a record 22 Song Thrush. Also a Lapland Bunting

150 Siskin, 5 Goldcrest a Chiffchaff were about this morning, and just before dusk a very vocal Firecrest arrived - it appeared to roost in the Buckthorn
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Jane Turner

Well-known member
I use different setups depending on the circumstances.

That recording came from a second hand Roland R-07

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=roland r 05

a Sennheiser Lavelier microphone (also second hand) like this... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sennheis...642650?hash=item1f038e491a:g:MRMAAOSw4hldpDxX

and a parabolic reflector

this one [ditch the mic with it]


I also get a nice result with a Zoom HN1 one of these https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Deity-V-...527426?hash=item48c806b282:g:zAsAAOSwd5Jc2RgX

that's a powered mic that doesn't like the Roland but works fine on the zoom.

For added fun factor, during the day I feed the input through my HiFi and fill the house with outside sounds.
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Jane Turner

Well-known member
The place to spend your money on is the microphone - the expensive recorders come with much better microphones than the cheapo [£12] generic Chinese voice recorders, but a good external microphone is still better.

This below is a simultaneous test using from top to bottom the Roland with its own mics, the Zoom with its own mics, a Chinese recorder with the unpowered sennheiser and a parabolic and bottom is another Chinese recorder with the Deity condenser mic. The subject is my "tit/warber lure". Both the zoom and Roland are varying the gain and so missed the quiet Coal tit call at 51.5 secs to varying degrees. The bottom two had winduards on.

All the "clicks" are raindrops hitting the awning I was under - it was lashing down.


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