26/06/2013 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Common Tern:  Today I took a quick trip down to BMW and enjoyed a catch up with the staff who are  always working hard.

(this image was taken through the window)

The highlight though has to be the show the Common Terns put on for us, right in front of the reception hide.

There was one Tern who had caught quite a big fish and was getting chased by the resident hoodies , the Black Headed Gulls.

After flying around and evading its annoying neighbors the Tern landed and with a blink of an eye the Tern had gulped down the fish whole!
Spotted Redshank: Although the Terns were a delight to see spotting half a dozen Spotted Reds in nearly full black summer plumage was also a treat.

25/06/2013 Frodsham Marsh

Whitethroat: After my brilliant trip to Raby Mere I decided to shoot down the motorway to Frodsham Marsh.

The highlights incuded a male Marsh Harrier over the Weaver Bend and about 50 Black-tailed Godwit   a few Redshank and one Dunlin on the small pool tank no.6, oh and this Whitethroat.

25/06/2013 Raby Mere

Mandarin Duck: I have finally bagged my bogey bird!

OK don't laugh or throw me a strange look, but ya that's right I have never seen Mandarin Duck in the wild before, until now.
I have been out targeting Mandarin several times down to the banks of the River Dee and Eccleston, along the River Weaver and I have been to Raby Mere a few times, all without seeing any Mandarin.

Theses duck are really smart birds even without their  very fancy breeding plumage. When I first arrived I spotted five birds on the far side of the bank and then they within several minuets they came off the bank in to the water and closer towards me.

They are charming little birds.

There was not much else on the Mere apart from a dozen or so Mallard and the usual mixed breed domestic ducks and two Grey Wagtail that flew in to a overflow pipe in the side of the wall.

21/06/2013 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Bee Orchid: A quick trip to BMW to add a Pectoral Sandpiper to my year list (: This was showing well from the visitor reception mid afternoon.

Now on 174!

But it was Mel who pointed me in the direction of these Orchids. There is half a dozen or so blooming  on the bank next to the bunker hide.
These have to be one of the most stunning and strange British wild flowers and one of my favorites.
Burton Mere is also home to the Northern Marsh Orchid which are in bloom all over the reverse.

Other highlights included a female Marsh Harrier, two Common Tern and bumping in to a few old regulars.

20/06/2013 Martin Mere WWT

White-spotted Bluethroat: To think I had no proper plans today when I woke up! And in the end  it is filled up with a trip to Martin Mere to see my first WS Bluethroat, BRILLIANT.

I got pretty lucky going early, I arrived just after the doors opened and this payed off as the bird showed better in the morning than the afternoon, giving me some great views of it singing and preening.

A needle in a haystack never had more meaning, for such a striking bird with some very vivid colour on its breast it is well camouflaged in the pile of brash.

It was  Chris Tomlinson who found the bird yesterday evening way out on the reserve and he showed me where it was.

The guys from Martin Mere were very helpful and I am grateful they let us birders go out on to part of the reserve which is usually out of bounds, cheers guys.

14/06/2013 Turton Golf Course, Bolton

Greenish Warbler: This was one twitch I won't forget, I was unable to go yesterday after seeing the bird on birdguides so I decided to go first thing this morning.

I parked on Cox Green Road and ambled down past the golf course, where the bird had been reported to be.

And it was here I was waved over by Anthony Wainwright, the groundsman who found the bird, he offered me a lift in his golf buggy trailer thing. What a very nice man!

This was one white knuckle ride as I held on for dear life, clutching my camera while we bounced across the golf course!

The bird was constantly singing and showed really well for most of the time that I was there, I also met Jason Atkinson who took some awesome photos, check his blog out here  http://at2h.blogspot.co.uk/

08/06/2013 Frodsham Marsh

Spindle Ermine Moth: These prolific caterpillars or McDonald's for birds have once again taken over the bushes of tank no.5  
The bushes are infested with thousands of caterpillars stripping them of all their leaves and only leaving behind a white silk sheet which covers the twigs the fences and drips down on to the pathway, AWESOME.

Whitethroat: I decided to pay  a visit straight from work but I didn't see all that much although I didn't spend much time there.

I did spot a family of Whitethroat flying around tank no.5 which was delightful, I often find Whitethroat very wary birds but these juvenile birds seemed a little bit more approachable.

07/06/2013 Marbury Country Park

Spotted Flycatcher: After yesterdays successful  evenings trip to Marbury I decided I had to go back again today and improve on my images.
After a fruitless two hour wait in the same area I saw the birds last night I decided to take a wonder deeper in to Big Wood were I stumbled upon a pair fly-catching form a perch.
Suddenly one bird started to take a lot of interest in a nearby Birch Tree and then climbed inside an almost invisible hole!

The nest is awesome but seemed very small as the female always had her little head pocking out and had build up the entrance from mosses, but she was happy enough sitting there while the male came to feed her.

06/06/2013 Marbury Country Park

Spotted Flycatcher: A big THANKS to Mark Payne who was kind enough to show me the Spot Flys at Marbury.

After only a short time searching Mark and I spotted one bird in Big Wood but could hear another calling from the tops of the trees.

Another life tick and along with Garden Warbler a good tick for the year list! Cheers again Mark. I will be back soon, tomorrow perhaps as this picture maybe a contender for the worst Spot Fly pic ever!

06/06/2013 Llyn Brenig

Redstart: (female) After reading Bucko's Birding Blog, which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good birding blog and wildlife pics, I decided to try my luck at the stunning  Llyn Brenig. 

The reservoir and visitor centre is set in 920 acres of stunning moorland and huge coniferous forest but I spent most of my time in the car park!
This was because there were a pair of Redstart nesting here and as soon as I left my car I spotted the breathtaking male, but only briefly before he flew off and I didn't see him again.
The female on the other hand was showing incredibly well not just for me, as I was snapping away with my camera, but for a lucky few sitting in their car eating ice creams as she flew among the trees right in front of the cars.....now that's my kind birding!
I also spotted a handful of Siskin and Redpoll fluttering around the treetops all from the car park.

Its a great place and with such stunning weather I had a great day, check out Michael Buckley 'Buckos' blog;