Thursday, 28 May 2009


I should have posted an entry over the weekend, but it was a pretty hectic one! Firstly, the new job role has given me longer days, but earlier finishes, allowing me to shoot off and find Moxey at the Sewage Farm. An unusual way to wind down after a hard week at work, for most people anyway!

We're now upto 56 Swifts ringed, 9 retraps - at least one pre-2002. (Moxey: "Interesting to note that some of the retraps have been retrapped within a day of the date they were originally ringed"), 1 House Martin and 3 Swallows. Realistically, we have done well to catch this many so far, we've had sustained strong winds over the past couple of weeks, making catching conditions less than ideal.

Friday evening soon swept through and the start of the Crosby Music Festival 2009 - Hope Not Hate. Yours truly opened up the proceedings at Cads Bar, with an evening of funk, soul and hip hop! Quite a crowd came along to get their wiggle on and a top night was had by all!

Saturday morning and I was off bright and breezy to Edge Hill for another day in the classroom, at least I'm getting paid! Saturday/Sunday and Monday evening was spent in the bar, behind it, serving the crowds of the festival.

And so with the winds either too high, ruling out days at the Sewage Farm, or mistnetting at The Woodhams....I've resorted to making a start on the decorating at the new gaff. Kevin 'Bloody' Grundy, of Pannyfants fame came up with the name 'Casa Growler' for the digs...I'm quite fond of 'Worcester Farm'....any ideas? Leave them as a comment - the more amusing the better!

And so to tonight, Moxey reminded me that we needed to get a groove on with a brood of Kestrels that should have been ready...of we car fully decked out with Everton flag flying out the window....and we got a brood of four. Whilst we were there we checked the Tito's, with at least two young, probably about a day old and a couple of unhatched for a few weeks! Here is some of the pictures.

It's unlikely I'll get much done this weekend...something to do with a coach, some tickets, a place called Wembley and possibly the best football team in the world! Come On You Blues!!! for the reds: If Carlsberg made Kopites, they'd probably be the biggest Gobshites in the world!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Spring is in the air but quickly blown away!!!

A quiet week from me on the bird front, the new job and the new house (completed last Friday) have consumed far too much of my time. I did however manage to get in the brood of Blue Tits in the parental garden nest box as well as popping in at the group CES at Woodvale.

On the hirundine front, my contribution to the efforts, again hampered by work/new house/study etc. haven't been helped by the strong winds we have had over the past week or so. Moxey however, being a man of leisure, has managed to get out to Fazackerly once or twice and has so far done 26 new, 2 retrap Swifts (one pre-2002), 2 Swallows and a House Martin.

Hopefully my new hours, and the return of my weekends will give me more time to really get stuck into the Swifts before the Barn Owl campaign kicks in!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Picking up chicks with Peter and Moxey...

Kane's latest post on his blog, in which he ringed his 1000th bird (well done chief!) that happened to be Tawny Owl, reminded the Great Moxey that we needed to revisit one of our boxes that had three eggs about a month ago. Low and behold, after much manoeuvrage of the ladder, I got my arm down to the bottom of the pellet laden box and scooped up these two chicks.

It's been quite a busy week on the bird front, on Tuesday me and Moxey went to check out the Dotterel on Plex Moss, we counted seven, there had been more earlier in the day but as described by one departing birder 'these bloody flash birders with their flash tripods shouting their mouths off.....' - 'nuff said.

Wednesday was the Liverpool Ornithologist Club AGM during which I was formally inducted as a member, on the condition that I gave a talk at one of the indoor meetings about my time in Canada. Deal!

Here's hoping for a miserable, damp, cool and windless weekend. May the Swifts be plentiful!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Peter and Moxey's Bank Holiday Adventures!

A much welcome break from the shackles of working life came in the form of a Bank Holiday weekend! Sunday was spent scoping out the Grey Heron colonies, with no real change in numbers from last year, if only we had a decent climber to get to the nests - I have the co-ordination of a drunken orangutan with two hands tied behind its back! Spent a while watching a dozing Tawny Owl get pestered by a pair of Chaffinches whilst a Chiffchaff called away.
With a 4pm curfew (Sunderland vs. Everton), we stopped by a stubble field in Altcar to speculatively pick up a few chicks....Lapwing chicks....only managed the one! And then a good evening watching the Steven Pienaar show!

And so with some miserable weather making its way in on the Monday morning, we avoided the hoards of shoppers going to B&Q and headed to the Sewage Farm. The drizzle was persistant, which is usually optimal, however the wind was too strong and the swifts and hirundines weren't as plentiful as we'd hoped. We did end up with a bunch of Starlings, a Wren and a Whitethroat. Not what you would expect when the target species were Swifts, House Martins and Swallows. Either way, we scoped some decent sites for next time.

On the way home (car fitted with roof mounted binoculars, courtesy of Moxey) Moxey wanted to check out the Palid Swift at Seaforth. My response was muted, not being a fan of twitchers, especially watching them trample through the bushes to get to the fence, when it would have been just as easy to go around. Anyhow, rant over, the Palid Swift was showing well.

Moxey doing a spot of Hi-Vis Birding.