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Bird Watching
Started by: orlando (47) Report abuse
Do we have any twitchers on here? I'm not obsessive like some but I'm always pleased to add a new spot to the list.

Anyone seen anything out of interest in the area?

Posted by: lizziedownunder (6063)  Report abuse


Hi Orlando...this little bird is very common in my back yard.....I have lots of pleasure watching it in our bird baths.....it is a New Holland Honeyeater, and it lives off the nectar from all the native flowers....and the odd insect........

Posted by: LindaWarrior (147)  Report abuse
Orlando, we spotted a pair of oystercatchers on Heinz roof the other day as we were entering Porters Wood from Spring Road. We've seen them a few times. Unusual to spot them so far from coast I think?

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
I've been known to bother the odd budgie :)

Have a Puffink....



Posted by: kathpressey (4259)  Report abuse
I saw an egret last week on the river, but I had to look up what it was. I like birds but don't get so many in the garden now because I'm trying to discourage the pesky pigeons.

Posted by: kathpressey (4259)  Report abuse
Canadian geese [I think] and goslings seen today on the River Lynher.not a good photo because my zoom isn't bruilliant

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
One thing I have noticed this year is the lack of Sedge Warblers. Normally there are four/six singing males behind the DW Stadium during spring, this year I have only seen one singing male. Also noticed that the number of Sand Martins seems to be lower this year

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
I haven't seen or heard a Sedgey this year yet!

Posted by: orlando (47) Report abuse
I don't think I have ever seen a sand martin or an oyster-catcher. Especially not in Wigan.

The most interesting I've seen recently are a Nuthatch and a Long Eared Owl. Oh and a Tern diving into the canal.

I was out for a walk and thought someone had put one of those hats with ears on a fence post, I only realised it was an owl when it turned round, saw me and flew off.

It's always nice to see the less common ones though. Although these days Sparrows and Starlings are a bit of a rarity, there used to be thousands when I was a kid.

Posted by: orlando (47) Report abuse
I'm sure I saw a curlew this morning, quite a large bird with a very distinctive call.

Posted by: LindaWarrior (147)  Report abuse
Went to Leighton Moss last week. I know it's not in Wigan but had a really good day. My friend and I spotted 67 different species and were lucky enough to see a red backed shrike. I can recommend this place to anyone for a good day out.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Linda been to LM many times and been lucky enough to see some "Special" birds there. I saw an Otter from the Public Hide about thirty years ago when they were quite rare and have watched the heard of Red Dear quite close to one of the hides. Also great for visiting by train and going into Silverdale village for something to eat and drink at the pub PS never seen a Red Backed Shrike there

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
red-backed Shrike is real find if seen at Leighton Moss - they only usually crop up on the East coast.

It's a strange place LM - I've been going for about 40 years and it can be either fantastic or rubbish - and rarely anywhere in between LOL.

Posted by: LindaWarrior (147)  Report abuse
Rio - there was a family of red deer near one of the hides when we were there too with a gorgeous little fawn. We stayed at a lovely B&B between Silverdale & Arnside close to Middlebarrow quarry where we saw peregrines. Brill. We took the train over to Grange across the viaduct at Arnside before having tea and a pint at The Talbot in Arnside.

Oy - the shrike caused quite a stare with the twitchers that day. It was spotted from the path to Allen hide. We just had our bins with us as we had left the scope in the car but one kindly gent let us have a look through his scope. A wonderful sight it was.

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
Aye a few folk have told me about the RB Shrike now - quite a rarity on this side of the country!

Posted by: broady (12645)   Report abuse
Oy,
I got a great photo of two Bald Headed Eagles a few months back.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Actually saw TWO Sedge Warblers near the bridge over the Douggie behind the DW. Both singing yesterday afternoon. I've also seen several toads on the road there, early morning. The Swallows have reared two families(at least) on the old Walmsleys site
A mink was on the canal bank the other day

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Saw a Raven today perched on the Mobile phone mast on top of the DW Stadium. A few years ago you would never have dreamt of seeing a Raven around Wigan yet last year saw three in the same place. Huge bird when seen close up

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
The Ravens have nested and raised chicks for the last 4 years in Wigan town centre - awesome critters!

Posted by: lizziedownunder (6063)  Report abuse
We have ravens around.....they usually forecast rain if there is a lot of them together.....an "unkindness of ravens" and a "murder of crows".....as collections go....😕

Posted by: retep1949 (366) Report abuse
Saw a dipper in the river duggie when looking over the bridge near the Mercure Hotel.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Believe it or not about 5 O'Clock this afternoon I was watching 5/6 House Martins flying around near St Paul's Goose Green, I was amazed.
retep, first saw Dippers on the Dougie about twenty years ago. A great little bird to find around Wigan

Posted by: orlando (47) Report abuse
I think I saw some housemartins yesterday they were quite high up so I couldn't be certain.

I've never seen a dipper but I did see a ring ouzel on the Dougie a while back.

As regards ravens I'm not sure of the difference between them and crows and rooks, do we get all of them round here?

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
You'll know a Raven if you see one - they're huge! About half as big again from a crow.

And they sound totally different from crows and rooks - a very loud and low pitched "Cronk Cronk" rather than "Caw Caw" noise.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Seen another 7/8 HM's(not easy to count) behind the DW Stadium this afternoon. I will make a note of the date because I honestly thought they would all have gone by now apart from say an odd straggler

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Hope I am not boring anyone with this but this afternoon there were at least 15 feeding behind the DW. All I can think of is the late spring has delayed the young ones and they are stocking up late for their trip to Africa
Hope they all manage to get there

Posted by: orlando (47) Report abuse
I was in Haigh Hall plantations this morning and saw a load of magpies mobbing a bird of prey. Shortly afterwards saw a biggish bird carrying off what looked like a magpie hotly pursued by about 4 or 5 maggies.

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
Sounds like Mr Buzzard got an easy lunch!

Posted by: orlando (47) Report abuse
In the plantations again this morning, I saw a wood pigeon just sitting on the ground looking very sorry for itself. Then about 1/2 a mile further on there was another exactly the same.

Usually they fly away as soon as they see you but these two just stayed put. Almost as though they were waiting to die.

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
'appen they were stuff full of seed off someone's bird table.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Walking from the canal towards the douggie behind the DW Stadium this afternoon, I noticed a flock of pigeons as well as quite a few Black Headed Gulls take to the air(in a bit of a rush) I looked up to see what had startled them only to be more startled myself to see TWO Peregrine falcons in hot pursuit. I stood there in amazement for about three minutes watching them unsuccessfully attack the pigeons and then a Herring Gull decided he was going to have a go at one of them. Eventually one flew off towards Beech Hill and the other departed towards Poolstock both flying off into the distance. Just wish I had had my camera with me as this is the first time I have seen a(2) Peregrine in Wigan

Posted by: staffbullterrier (2224) Report abuse
rio
2 pairs of peregrines nested in the wigan area this year

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Remember donkeys years ago as a young member of the YOC dreaming of seeing a Peregrine or an Avocet. I think the only bird that I have not seen from my distant dreams is the Andean Cock of the Rock which was one of the birds in the Brooke Bond album that first got me interested in birds. Also recall being in the Conway Valley as a kid and my mum pointing to a Hawk with a swallow-tail, I realised that it was a Red Kite through hours of browsing through my Observer Book of Birds. Never saw another for eons and yet travelling along the M40 last Sunday, must have seen at least a dozen. How times change

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
I was in the YOC - and the Goslings before that The bird that I always wanted to see was an Osprey. Still haven't seen one close up.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
oy, seen them on three continents First time I saw one local was 6th Sept(my birthday) about twenty years ago.I was at Pennington watching the Spit when all the waders took flight, I walked out of the hide, looked up expecting to see a Kessy or Sparrowhawk and was amazed to see an Osprey. Watched it for about 45 mins, even seeing it dive for but miss a fish. Then several years later I was over Scotmans Flash and saw a large bird land on the pylon, close to the graveyard. After crossing Moss Bridge I walked along the canal towards Poolstock and then got a shock to see an Osprey still sat on the pylon. It sat there for a while then went fishing and actually caught a fish and returned to the same pylon to enjoy it's catch. When I looked at my watch I had been observing this truly majestic creature for nearly two hours but what a day

Posted by: retep1949 (366) Report abuse
Still have my observers book of birds and one on birds egg, both from the 1950'

Posted by: greenfingers (896)  Report abuse
i saw 3 peregrines all sat on fence post waiting for dinner time when there body weight drops to acertain level up they go to catch dinner all at martin mere

Posted by: pisolivadi (1811)  Report abuse
I still have my Observer's book from the 60's redtop, too.

Rio,
I'm not as keen as yourself, but do take a passing interest. A year or so ago, a couple mates, keen birders, claimed they spotted a sole peregrine over a period of a few weeks in the vicinity of Heinz and roosting on one of the factory signs up past Wincanton. I thought you might have seen it yourself over that way.

That area over the 'gant' is still good for birding as you know, but it was much better before the JJB and Robin Park was developed. eg, All them lappies buggered off to roost one summer to a single story factory roof in Wallgate!

My claim to fame was spotting a stray parakeet about ten years ago in the field behind the houses on Martland Mill Lane. It was around for few short weeks. I still stick to my guns even though often ridiculed when this tale gets and airing in the pub.

Of course, parakeets are two -a- penny where I was lucky enough to stay recently in Burleigh Heads, on the Queensland Gold Coast. Thousands swoop in at dusk from the hinterland to roost in a clump of coastal fir trees, just like sheppies used to in our cities.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
piso, probably a Ring-necked Parakeet, they have been breeding in the UK for quite a while. There was one seen at Pennington about ten years ago and the nearest "Flock" lived around Poynton but they vanished a while ago?
Was in Queensland(Cairns) about 15yrs since and the wildlife is truly epic. Apart from being surprised by a Croc! my own particular favourites were the huge Flights of Fruit Bats as soon as the Sun went down. Barrier Reef not too shabby either

Posted by: greenfingers (896)  Report abuse
all them lappies have gone from wallgate now you could get realy close to them they were every were round there none now , watched a heron in next doors garden at the weekend eating afrog in december must the mild weather made me laugh because it was sat next to one of them plastic ones ment to keep them away , fish will be gone next

Posted by: pisolivadi (1811)  Report abuse
I'm frickie of them fruit-bats; bloody enormous.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
A decent evening roost for Sheppies and Sparrows has been destroyed
The bushes along the side of Asda facing Wickes had been attracting quite a few Starlings along with a couple of dozen House Sparrows for a month or so, went passed today only to see they had been cut back to the bare minimum offering no protection whatsoever. Don't know who sanctioned this but it is no wonder our once common birds are disappearing fast for the sake of aesthetics

Posted by: Anne (3107)  Report abuse
Watched several crows bombing a buzzard about ten twelve feet from my kitchen window earlier this morning. Lasted about thirty seconds, don't know what about. Buzzards are big aren't they. Never seen one as close up before.

Posted by: Oganeil (129) Report abuse


I spotted this in Akwa Ibom State Eastern Nigeria. I believe it is a Kite of some sort?

Posted by: MarieM (4743) Report abuse
Oganeil Brilliant photo

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Oganeil, not sure if it is a Black Kite or a Yellow Billed Kite, both of which are found in Africa. I would probably opt for Black Kite

Posted by: Oganeil (129) Report abuse
Thanks Marie, taken with a Nokia 'phone!

Rio, thanks also to you. I had it in my mind that it was a Red Kite, but the tail seemed too forked.

Posted by: phred (320)   Report abuse
Yellow billed kite,the most common raptor in the world,I see them every day in summer over my garden.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Crossing the footbridge over the canal this afternoon I was surprised to see a male and female Goosander I have seen them on the Duggy before but not the canal. Also a Raven was on one of the large arches above the DW Stadium

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
phred, not sure if they are the commonest raptor in the world but I've never seen one in Wigan

Posted by: phred (320)   Report abuse
rio,I think they only get as far north as Italy when they migrate from the southern hemisphere winter.

Posted by: linma (2364) Report abuse
Did any of you see the news about the Sand Eagle which had escaped in Yorkshire. It was hand reared and was out on a 'free flight' when it took off. Must be an awesome sight to see it in flight, it has an 8' wing span. It can only fly in a straight line it can't fly round corners!

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
linma, I think it was a Stellers Sea Eagle
Saw the male Goosander again today on the canal, behind the old Walmsleys factory.

Posted by: phil.c (417) Report abuse
The Sea Eagle as been located and caught in Poulton-le-Fylde,report on BBC website in Lancashire news.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Saw the Kingfisher on the Douggie this afternoon, behind the DW. First time I've seen it this year. Also heard an overwintering? Chiffchaff last week in the same area

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Just been looking at the date last year about the lack of Sedge Warblers. Heard my first one on friday morn, this afternoon saw four as well as two Blackcaps and a whitethroat all around the bridge over the Douggie behind the DW Stadium. Hope the forecast cold in the next day or two has no adverse effect

Posted by: stars (346)  Report abuse
hi rio, in 1950 i was eight and we used to go down the gant, and sedge warblers (chatterbox)as we called them built there nests at the bottom of the pylons, in the nettles,and near white bridge on the side were B&Q is now,there was bullrushes and blackcaps redcaps all kinds of birds used to be over there feeding..lads diving of the white bridge into the cut.yhem were the days

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
stars, I remember the path down past the sewage farm. As long as your sinuses were blocked there were loads of good birds in the summer months. One bird which was common in those days was the Yellow Wagtail, I've not seen one in Wigan for about fifteen years

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Saw the Kingfisher this morning and also an Oystercatcher flew over which I saw again this afternoon

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
I live in Newtown and just before nine o'clock tonight watched a Peregrine fly over being harassed by a Crow

Posted by: stars (346)  Report abuse
good info rio, and very interesting posts

Posted by: Anne (3107)  Report abuse
Nothing more interesting than several pairs of mallards visiting my patch recently. Just over the garden wall there is a large puddle which they seem to have adopted.
The woodpeckers seem to be very busy, expect chicks again later.

Posted by: pisolivadi (1811)  Report abuse
Must've been a treat seeing the peregrine, Rio.

Last summer sat outside the Crown at Worthington watching two swallows chase off a sparrow hawk.

Saw a kingfisher couple of weeks back on the canal in New Springs/Top Lock. It was a good day for spotting wildlife. On my way up to the canal, FOUR deer walked across Hall Lane not more than 40 yards in front of me from Mable's Wood side to the alms-houses field.

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
saw a large bird today. I was in Home bargains the car park Platt bridge it was circling on the rising current air over the near by woods quite low. It was being harassed by seagulls. Then went very high out of sight.
It wasn't a hawk it was much larger and had fingers on the end of its wings and had light patches under the wings. The wings were very big. Some kind of Buzzard or eagle. Anyone else see it.

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
Common buzzard

Posted by: lizziedownunder (6063)  Report abuse


Australian Magpie at the birdbath in the garden...😊

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
lizzie, Aussie Magpies are very similar to our Jackdaws in their mannerisms but they are a very striking looking bird

Posted by: lizziedownunder (6063)  Report abuse
Thank you Rio...they are real characters in the garden...this one just flew in for a drink and was quite happy to have his picture taken... 😊

Posted by: bravo (2345) Report abuse
just drove pass santa pola about 4-500 flamingos feeding in the salt lakes,lovely to watch.

Posted by: momac (8244)  Report abuse
Oh why wasn't I there..I bet was a sight to behold Vince.

Posted by: bravo (2345) Report abuse
it was and its a pity you we,rnt their also.

Posted by: momac (8244)  Report abuse
We go and visit someone that used to be known as Owd Dave on
W.W..he has so many sparrows in his garden it's unbelievable..
sitting in his garden is a treat..they're flying around all the time and when he whistles they fly up from wherever they
are..it's brilliant to watch.

Posted by: bravo (2345) Report abuse
when we lived in Portsmouth,we had a fish pond,got up one morning and behold we had a heron with its head over the pond,beautiful bird,watched it for about 20 mins,lots of fish in pond,no problem losing a few.

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
I don't know if this of any interest but I saw a pair of Fieldfares yesterday in Abram near kingsdown flash.

Posted by: staffbullterrier (2224) Report abuse
here for the autumn flourish of berries Derek, altho a little early. wonder if that's a bad sign of things to come?

saw a blue budgie there last week!

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Been watching the Swallows this week, won't be long before they make their long trek back to Africa or their first trip for this seasons young. I am lucky because where I work we have several outbuildings and every year we have numerous pairs nesting and watching the young grow up is a true pleasure. Last years cold Spring was not good at all and some of the young perished but this year has been perfect so hopefully we should have a lot more Summer visitors of all species to grace our skies

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
I also have been watching swallows flying around the garden and over the trees. About 30 birds giving a super display of aerobatics', when it was windy their speed and change of direction was incredible.
On a different subject, I was in Israel a few weeks ago ( the week before the trouble ) and we were visiting the baptising pool on the river Jordon and saw a bright blue bird flying up and down the river obviously fishing. It was about the size of a blackbird any idea what it might be.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
derek, not sure but could well have been a White Throated Kingfisher?

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
Had a look at the white throated kingfisher and It looks like that what is was.
I took a photo of a Jay on the garden fence a few years ago.
The photo is on WW somewhere.

Posted by: MarieM (4743) Report abuse
We have noticed that we hardly see any small birds today. We always had blackbirds nesting in our hedge but not seen any for ages or any sparrows but loads of big birds.

Posted by: i-spy (13374)  Report abuse
the big fat pigeons are taking over.

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
saw a kingfisher today while I was fishing at kingsdown flash. Fist time I have seen one around here.

Posted by: Anne (3107)  Report abuse
Got my second batch of wood peckers all with their little red caps.

Posted by: --oy-- (1004)  Report abuse
If anyone wants to see Kingfishers they are showing VERY well at the Ramsdale Hide at Pennington Flash at the moment.

See Photo a day for 27th Aug for a pic!

Posted by: Anne (3107)  Report abuse
Is this odd behaviour from six or seven young pheasants?
A dead mouse on the lawn was being tossed in the air, pulled about and generally played with exactly as a cat would do.
Couldn't get pics. These pheasants are quite timid as yet.

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
Just come back from holiday in Porthmadog Wales and have been watching herring gulls catching and swallowing eels live. The eels were at least 12 inch long. At the same place saw three otters fishing and eating on the river bank.

Posted by: rio caroni (5077)  Report abuse
Well, I have not seen a Swallow all week so it is safe to assume that they have all departed for warmer climes. Hope they have better luck than one of the Loch Garten Osprey chicks which perished over the Bay of Biscay
derek, about twenty years ago I was at Seaforth watching Cormorants eating Eels, with great difficulty. One managed to swallow one and I watched it wriggling inside the bird for a good fifteen minutes before it eventually succumbed

Posted by: PeterP (6112) Report abuse
Round here there are nothing but groups of starlings making a mess every where Glad to see the back of them

Posted by: pisolivadi (1811)  Report abuse
Sure some people know , but for those who don't the Chinese use cormorants for fishing by lasso-ing their neck to prevent the catch being swallowed!

Posted by: Anne (3107)  Report abuse
Nine o clock this morning a buzzard took a pigeon on my lawn. Couldn't take a piccy, it was too near the window for any movement from me. Did get a good close up view. It killed and tried to drag its meal to another part of the garden. Something then spooked it. Now crows, magpies and jays enjoying pickings. Buzzards easily as big if not slightly bigger than cock pheasants in body size.

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
just been watching country file on the telly about birds around wigan flashes. They were talking about the willow tit.
I saw a willow tit in my garden about 2 months ago. I didn't know they were rare, I knew I hadn't seen one before so I looked on the net to identify it.

Posted by: dave b (1206)  Report abuse
The Buzzard showed up on Saturday while I was waiting for the Vulcan Bomber to fly over [The Avro Vulcan on general]

Posted by: priscus (6012) Report abuse
In my garden I have a blackbird with a white head: rare according to google.

As we are well into December, I guess it is overwintering in situ.

Posted by: MarieM (4743) Report abuse
We have not seen one sparrow this year.

Posted by: derek (295)   Report abuse
I have been watching a magpie nest building today. I didn't thing any birds would be nest building at this time of year.

 
 
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