Sunday, 16 November 2008


Waking up Sunday morning I realised it was about time I did some patching. Having neglected it for most of the Autumn I decided to catch up with what was showing (or not) by doing a mini daylist.
Leaving Chapel House on foot I made my way along Warrington Road through Comberbach to my usual entrance to MCP (Marbury Country Park) by the Garden Centre. Birds enroute Jackdaw, Blue Tit, Crow, Collared Dove, Redwing, Robin, Wren, Greenfinch, Canada Goose calling, Great Tit, Spuggy, Blackbird and No.13 Stock Dove.
First place I always seem to do is Bittern Hide with its feeders and views of Budworth Mere/Coward Reedbed. No Bitterns on show yet too early, they usually arrive once the first good frosts happen.
Walking down to Bittern Hide.
From the hide - Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Great Spot and on the mere - G C Grebe, Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Cormarent, Mallard, Tufty, 7 Wigeon, Grey Heron, BH Gull, Common Gull, Coot, LBB Gull. On the far side where Kidbrook enters the mere theres always birds in the fields as its the least disturbed area about, there was the usual Buzzard, Pheasent, Starling, Magpie, Woody and resident lone Curlew. From the reedbed a Water Rail squealed probably just been eaten by a Bittern.

The view from Bittern Hide.(summer)
Bird number 38 was a Mistle Thrush seen in the fields south of the mere from Maggot Danglers Path. Not one new bird added whilst walking through Big Wood (so much for the regeneration projects by the tossers otherwise known as Park Rangers) no Treecreeper or Goldcrest and as for Song Thrush well theres more chance of seeing Kate Humble's beaver.

Squelching my way around and up and over the fields between Bud Mere and Marston the so called public footpath was litteraly a mud bath separated by brand new shiny gates (pointless). The 'path' covered in cow shit, sheep shit and water traps so much for public access, get the blacktop gang out I say (ruddy farmers think they own the place) anyway back to the daylist. Birds added while crossing the Somme - Rook, Kestrel, Linnet, Goldfinch, Fieldfare, Moorhen, Lapwing, Skylark, a flock of 76 Curlew another Buteo but best of all 2 Tree Sparrow in with the local Spuggies.
Passing yet more danglers habitat Mute Swan was number 48 for the day. Arriving at the patch jewell in the crown namely Neumann's Flash I proceeded to the stupidly named (by the bearded useless Ranger) hide No.2, I mean come on hide No.2 how many brain cells did she use for that one (yes probably the only one) ....Scrapyard Hide formerly known as Fred's Hide (he's moved). Unable to see through the thicket of reeds (yes there still uncut) I stood on the fence and scanned the flash - 50 Shoveler, 250 Teal, 22 Gadwall, Shelduck, one Golden Plover, Herring Gull plus Bullfinch and L T Tit near the hide added to the list. Best of all though was 110+ Snipe flushed out of the spit reedbed by Buteo number 3.
Over at hide No.1 otherwise known to some as Haydn's pool there was buggerall except two wading bovines and peripheral species - Feral Pigeon and Jay No.59 for the day.
Then the long hike back down Marbury Lane and home the only other birds added were Goldcrest, Mipit and Grey Wag making 62 in three hours of patching. Not a bad effort plus greatly needed exercise (the beer bellies growing!!).
Looks like the patch yearlist record this year for me is unachievable, 144 sofar but need 7 more for a world chance. Theres always next year.....

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