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Post Info TOPIC: Highfield Moss, Lowton


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RE: Highfield Moss, Lowton


Verbs of motion - an almost infinitesimal selection. Shuffle, trundle, amble. Use them or lose them, Nick. I also like embellishing my reports. It entertains me if no-one else. Keep it up!

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Martyn Jones wrote:

Jaunt, saunter, wander, mooch ... when will he run out of verbs?





I'm glad you've noticed that Martyn. I wondered when someone might comment on it.

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Jaunt, saunter, wander, mooch ... when will he run out of verbs?

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Early morning jaunt on the moss. One singing Corn Bunting near Highfield Farm plus ten Willow Warblers singing around the moss and also a singing Blackcap. Plus all the usuals.

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Early morning saunter on the moss and plenty about.

4 Skylarks
2 Corn Buntings
9 Lapwings
9 Yellowhammers
6 Grey Partridges
1 Wheatear - female
3 Pheasants
5 Chaffinches
9 Willow Warblers
13 Reed Buntings
9 Meadow Pipits
2 Mallards
1 Kestrel
3 Tree Sparrows
1 Song Thrush
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Buzzard

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Early morning wander on the moss today. Plenty of activity around and the best sighting was a singing Corn Bunting showing at quits close range.

9 Skylarks
4 Yellowhammers
1 Corn Bunting
7 Linnets
1 Wheatear - female
5 Chaffinches
2 Oystercatchers
2 Song Thrushes
4 Willow Warblers
1 Chiffchaff
7 Reed Buntings
1 Kestrel
10 Meadow Pipits
2 Mallards
1 Pheasant
1 Moorhen



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Late afternoon mooch in very pleasant conditions. Three Wheatears (2m,1f) were in the stubble field to the north of the line and five Willow Warblers were present in and around the moss itself.

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A Curlew feeding on the airstrip was an excellent sighting late this afternoon. All my sightings of this species here are normally fly overs so this was a very welcome change. It spooked after a few minutes of watching it and re-located to the moss itself for a short time before taking flight again and heading north.

A pair of Oystercatchers were by the flood and a single Willow Warbler was present by the airstrip. Other than that the usual species were present but overall it was a little quiet mainly due to the brisk wind.

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Two singing Willow Warblers on the moss this morning plus a singing Chiffchaff. No sign of yesterday's Wheatears though.

3 Skylarks
1 Greylag over south.
7 Lapwings
12 Meadow Pipits
7 Yellowhammers
3 Mallards
8 Linnets
8 Chaffinches
1 Chiffchaff
11 Reed Buntings
1 Moorhen
2 Willow Warblers
1 Song Thrush
1 Sparrowhawk

Plus the usuals.

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Tea time mooch around the moss. Two Wheatears (m,f) were in the stubble field to the north of the line and a single Fieldfare was with them. A Chiffchaff was singing from the moss itself and a pair of Oystercatchers were on the flood near the airstrip. Plenty of Meadow Pipits and Linnets around plus all the other usual species.

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Lapwing
Skylark
Buzzard
Blackbird
Robin
Wren
Great tit
Meadow pipit
Mallard
Linnet
Carrion crow
Yellowhammer
Long tailed tit
Dunnock
Pheasant
Reed bunting
Chaffinch
Snipe (flushed from ditch)



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Female Wheatear still present on the airstrip this morning.

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Only one female Wheatear present this morning on the airstrip. Plenty other birds around though.

9 Lapwings
6 Skylarks
9 Chaffinches
c25 Linnets
7 Yellowhammers
12 Meadow Pipits
2 Mallards
5 Reed Buntings
1 Song Thrush
2 Pheasants
2 Grey Partridges
1 Wheatear - female
3 Greylags - over south
2 Fieldfares - over east


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The first Wheatears of the spring were present late this afternoon with four birds feeding on the airstrip. Elsewhere, 19 Fieldfares were noted as they still hang around the stubble field to the north of the line.

4 Mistle Thrushes
1 Buzzard
19 Fieldfares
c20 Linnets
7 Chaffinches
5 Lapwings
2 Oystercatchers
1 Pied Wagtail
2 Reed Buntings
2 Meadow Pipits
4 Wheatears - 3m,1f
3 Snipe
4 Mallards
1 Song Thrush
3 Skylarks

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Despite a biting breeze this morning there was loads of activity on the moss. A good number of Meadow Pipits were new in as well as a pair of Oystercatchers on the flood by the airstrip. Reed Bunting and Skylark numbers were up as well. There were still good numbers of Fieldfares around too with many of them feeding in the stubble field to the north of the railway line.

8 Skylarks
c35 Fieldfares
2 Mistle Thrushes
2 Grey Partridges
2 Song Thrushes
9 Reed Buntings
9 Chaffinches
5 Mallards
c30 Linnets - mostly in one flock.
2 Oystercatchers
8 Lapwings
1 Jay
10 Meadow Pipits
1 Cormorant over west.
8 Yellowhammers
1 Moorhen
3 Tree Sparrows
2 Long Tailed Tits
1 Kestrel

Plus all the usuals.

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Late afternoon visit to the moss in quite a biting wind. Needless to say it was fairly quiet bird wise. Nine Fieldfares over east plus another sixteen flushed from the quarry were about the only highlight.

2 Mallards
25 Fieldfares
3 Chaffinches
1 Yellowhammer
3 Buzzards
4 Linnets
1 Reed Bunting
1 Grey Heron over south.

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On the Moss from 3.30pm - 4.30pm

1 Fieldfare
2 Tree Sparrow
1 Greenfinch
1 Meadow pipit
1 yellowhammer
2 Jays
2 Mallards
1 Reed Bunting
5 Buzzards

-- Edited by Lawrence Hindley on Wednesday 12th of March 2014 06:25:46 PM

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Sightings from early morning on 8/3/14. Nice to see birds now returning to the moss.

c50 Fieldfares
5 Skylarks
9 Yellowhammers
4 Lapwings
8 Redwings
7 Chaffinches
4 Long Tailed Tits
5 Reed Buntings
3 Mallards
2 Meadow Pipits
1 Moorhen
2 Stock Doves


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Peregrine just south of the airstrip this morning others plenty flocks of fieldfare and lapwings at least a dozen buzzards (including round Kenyon where there was loads) and two kestrels.

Also saw quite a few goldfinch about

One other thing saw what looked to be a recently fledged song thrush this being so they must have been nesting in January I kid you not

-- Edited by Pete Astles on Wednesday 26th of February 2014 04:04:26 PM

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On a Spring-like morning Em and I walked down Barrow Lane, around Highfield Moss and back. The birding was excellent with a male Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and 6 Buzzards hunting the arable fields between the Lane and the Moss. There was plenty of potential prey, too, with 1 Corn Bunting, 5 Grey Partridges, 107 Lapwings, 200 Starlings, 10 Linnets, 2 Tree Sparrows, 20 House Sparrows, 75 Fieldfares, 8 Mistle Thrushes and 1 Song Thrush spread across the fields. Also nice to see were 16 Skylarks, all singing so high they were almost out of sight. Then we ended with little squall and the sight of Winter Hill framed by a rainbowsmile

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First visit down here for about a month and the first signs of spring are now starting to show. The gorse is now beginning to flower and several species of bird are now in full song. The moss itself is wetter than I've ever seen it and LWT have now constructed a small bridge over the ditch part of the way down on the eastern side. I imagine this has been done to divert the footpath away from the impending sluice that they are proposing to construct to aid the re-wetting of the moss.

12 Chaffinches - all males with many in full song.
4 Mistle Thrushes
c150 Fieldfares mixed in with c80 Starlings. All feeding to the west and north of the moss.
1 Corn Bunting - heard only in amongst the Fieldfares.
8 Redwings
1 Jay
4 Skylarks - all in full song.
1 Buzzard
2 Yellowhammers
18 Snipe
5 Linnets
1 Song Thrush
1 Mallard - male on the pond.
1 Meadow Pipit



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Over 200 Fieldfares present in one big flock on the fields on the eastern side at dusk today. Everywhere you looked you could see them feeding. At one point the whole flock lifted and flew around, it was quite a sight. Mixed in with them were about 40 Redwings and 40 Linnets plus a smattering of Starlings.

It was pretty quiet elsewhere though with only the following noted.

1 Chaffinch
2 Jays
1 Reed Bunting
2 Yellowhammers
1 Kestrel

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What started as a typical sort of winters day on the moss ended up being fairly good. Snipe winter on the moss in varying numbers but due to the nature of the ground it's very difficult to get a true impression of numbers. During my walk around this morning something unseen flushed what was probably all the Snipe currently present and they then spent the next ten minutes circling around in one big flock. This gave me ample opportunity to count them a few times and my best count made 52 birds. 

1 Song Thrush

4 Chaffinches

1 Sparrowhawk

1 Pheasant - male

52 Common Snipe

2 Kestrels - males

2 Linnets

 

 



-- Edited by Nick Isherwood on Saturday 4th of January 2014 09:19:22 PM

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Pretty quiet on the moss this morning but still a few good birds around. The best of these being two Jack Snipe and a Willow Tit. Strangely no Fieldfares today either.

2 Pied Wagtails
2 Mistle Thrushes
1 Willow Tit
14 Chaffinches
1 Yellowhammer
1 Jay
2 Jack Snipe
4 Common Snipe
1 Reed Bunting
1 Buzzard
1 Meadow Pipit


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After a typical Christmas Day of eating too much a prolonged walk was what was required today. The walk started by visiting Highfield Moss but I then ventured onto Lowton Heath and onto Mount Tabor with a view to avoiding the many dog walkers around.

On the moss it was fairly quiet but there was some activity over at the western end with the best being six Corn Buntings soaking up the morning sunshine at the top of a tree near the railway line. They didn't stay long as they departed with a flock of Fieldfares.

1 Buzzard
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
7 Yellowhammers
2 Chaffinches
6 Corn Buntings
32 Fieldfares
3 Redwings
4 Mistle Thrushes
1 Kestrel
11 Linnets

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Fresh and bright this morning with a notable movement of Pink footed Geese early on. Otherwise just the usual species on offer.

2 Mistle Thrushes
2 Song Thrushes
c40 Fieldfares
c165 Pink footed Geese - 45,45,25,50 all heading SE.
c25 Linnets over the cropped corn field.
16 Redwings
9 Chaffinches
2 Pheasants
2 Jays
1 Buzzard
2 Reed Buntings
1 Kestrel
3 Skylarks
1 Meadow Pipit

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A quick mooch around just before dusk tonight.

1 Song Thrush
2 Kestrels - m,f
3 Mistle Thrushes
43 Pink footed Geese over NW.
11 Grey Partridges - coveys of 7 and 4.
4 Pheasants - 2m,2f
3 Jays
c50 Fieldfares
2 Yellowhammers
1 Chaffinch


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A couple of hours down here this morning. Quiet at first but picked up a bit towards the end.

2 Kestrels - one male at the west end and a female at the east end.
c42 Fieldfares - one flock of c30 feeding in the stubble field to the east plus a few stragglers.
c28 Linnets - c20 in with the Fieldfares plus a few extra ones here and there.
8 Pheasants - two males plus six females.
2 Reed Buntings
1 Yellowhammer
1 Sparrowhawk - female
9 Snipe
2 Chaffinches
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Mistle Thrushes
21 Redwings
1 Song Thrush - in fine song.


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A couple of hours down here this morning from 7.30 in cold but bright and crisp conditions.

1 Buzzard
65 Fieldfares in several flocks
46 Linnets
2 Pied Wagtails
2 Jays
1 Yellowhammer
7 Grey Partridges
19 Pink footed Geese through east.
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel - female.
6 Chaffinches
12 Reed Buntings
1 Willow Tit
4 Pheasants
1 Sparrowhawk - female.
3 Skylarks
12 Mistle Thrushes - one flock all feeding on hawthorn berries.

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On what was otherwise a run of the mill sort of day on the moss a couple of highlights were 39 Pink Footed Geese that flew in from the west and landed in the field on the eastern side. They remained for an hour before flying off southwards. The other highlight was a magnificent female Merlin that put on a cracking display as it tried to catch a Skylark. I watched the action for over five minutes before the Skylark escaped and the Merlin flew off southwards.

7 Meadow Pipits
24 Linnets
2 Mistle Thrushes
14 Chaffinches
2 Jays
39 Pink Footed Geese
1 Pheasant
3 Yellowhammers
9 Reed Buntings
1 Redwing
1 Kestrel
8 Skylarks - all going mental when the Merlin arrived.
1 Merlin - female.
1 Buzzard
12 Grey Partridge - all in one covey.

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A quick scoot around this morning.

c270 Pink footed Geese - 220 south east (150,70), also 100 east but out of county.
4 Redwings
1 Grey Wagtail over south.
9 Yellowhammers
11 Chaffinches
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Jay
14 Reed Buntings
1 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit


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These are fly over birds Colin and are either Pied or White wagtails.

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Nick Isherwood wrote:

.......
1 Alba Wagtail
..........





Hi Nick,
Sorry, this is probably a daft question, but when you refer to "alba" wagtail, do you mean white wagtail? I've noticed people on other blogs and websites also referring to alba wagtails recently, but I'm not sure why. I feel like I've missed something confuse

Thanks

Colin

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Two hours this morning in cold and frosty conditions.

1 Alba Wagtail
9 Chaffinches
4 Meadow Pipits
17 Linnets
4 Skylarks
5 Jays
11 Reed Buntings
4 Yellowhammers
2 Pheasants - m,f
c65 Fieldfares - c30 east, c35 south.
1 Kestrel
2 Goldfinches
c20 Redwings over east
c120 Mixed Corvids

A huge flock of finches by Highfield farm to the south, probably in excess of a hundred birds.


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Two and half hours on the moss this morning and some really good birds about too.

1 Sparrowhawk - female.
c60 Linnets - one large flock of c50 over the cropped maize field.
1 Siskin over south.
6 Goosander over south. All females.
c68 Fieldfares over east. One flock of 28 plus another c40. As I was leaving a flock of c200 was visible to the east of Winwick Lane.
2 Redwings
1 Collared Dove
5 Mistle Thrushes
3 Meadow Pipits
1 Kestrel - female.
6 Yellowhammers
3 Chaffinches
1 Goldcrest
4 Pheasants - 3 females and a male.
1 Buzzard
8 Reed Buntings
1 Grey Wagtail over east.
3 Jays
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Little Owl - just out of county to the south.
1 Alba Wagtail over north.
1 Merlin - flew through southwards right by me at a range of only 20 metres. Fem/imm type.
5 Skylark over south.
1 Goldfinch
1 Peregrine - juvenile attempting to take a Black Headed Gull.

Plus the usuals.

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A brief foray onto the moss this morning before the rain came.

14 Redwings in the quarry
1 Chaffinch
2 Jays
4 Skylarks over south
4 Yellowhammers
7 Meadow Pipits
c45 Fieldfares moving around in two separate flocks.

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The first Brambling of the winter showed quite well this morning with around thirty Chaffinches in the recently cropped maize field near the line. Also, a massive movement of Pink Footed Geese passing over eastwards along with Skylarks trickling through southwards during the morning.

c950 Pink Footed Geese through eastwards.
4 Alba Wagtails southwards.
1 Buzzard
15 Meadow Pipits
46 Skylarks southwards.
1 Kestrel
c30 Chaffinches
1 Brambling - male.
11 Lapwings
6 Snipe
2 Jays
13 Yellowhammers
8 Reed Buntings
4 Lesser Redpolls
10 Greenfinches
2 Goldfinches
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Willow Tit
1 Collared Dove - south. Not often seen down here.
c60 Lesser Blacked Gulls resting up by Highfield Farm plus another c30 on the other side of the line.


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After years of trying to score a Coal Tit on the moss I've now had two in the space of a month. This particular bird was a loner and I picked it up on its call as it flit around the bushes on the north side of the moss. Other than this it was pretty quiet elsewhere.

3 Redwings
1 Coal Tit
1 Goldcrest
2 Meadow Pipit
c40 Pink Footed Geese over west.
1 Snipe
2 Kestrels
2 Pheasants - females.
1 Jay
1 Reed Bunting




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A bit windier this morning so not as much about as yesterday.

2 Kestrels
2 Mistle Thrushes
22 Skylarks through south in dribs and drabs.
2 Goldcrests with tit flocks.
3 Chaffinches
4 Reed Buntings
5 Meadow Pipits
2 Jays
c50 Pink Footed Geese through east.
6 Yellowhammers
3 Alba Wagtails over south.
4 Linnets


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Plenty of birds around this morning to keep the binoculars busy. Mostly stuff migrating through but a few birds present on the moss itself.

5 Redwing through southwards.
8 Alba Wagtails over southwards.
1 Pheasant - male.
20 Meadow Pipits - most of them from roost on the moss.
4 Chaffinches
2 Goldcrests.
29 Linnets
2 Reed Buntings
1 Snipe
3 Yellowhammers
36 Skylarks - mostly southwards.
30 Fieldfares - two separate flocks both southwards.
15 Lesser Redpolls - two flocks of 8,7 southwards.
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Jays
5 Mistle Thrushes southwards.
1 Buzzard
2 Kestrels - males.
1 Willow Tit
80+ Woodpigeons through east.


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Not much viz mig going on this morning but a cracking male Stonechat made up for it as it braved the wind on the gorse near the pond.

1 Sparrowhawk
23 Meadow Pipit - most of which came out of roost on the moss.
6 Reed Buntings
2 Kestrels - one female.
10 Alba Wagtails - 9 over south and one north.
2 Redwings - eastwards.
1 Linnet
1 Stonechat - male.
2 Snipe
2 Pheasants - females.
8 Skylarks - southwards.
2 Jays
6 Lesser Redpolls - southwards.
8 Chaffinches


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Had another go this morning for the possible Cetti's warbler. Unfortunately no sight or sound but I did manage a Redwing and a Goldcrest in what was a very brief visit.

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Two days and two possibles!

A possible Cetti's Warbler was present this morning with a tit flock near the north eastern corner. I heard several short loud blasts of song over the space of about ten minutes but despite much searching I never got a view of this bird. It seemed to disappear after this but I heard it again a little while later further down the airstrip. I am quite familiar with Cetti's but this bird despite being quite loud and explosive didn't sound quite right which is why I've only described it as a possible. I'm hoping to re- visit tomorrow to check again.

17 Chaffinches - numbers appear to be building up now.
36 Meadow Pipits - most coming from roost on the moss. Not many passing over.
10 Grey Partridges
4 Alba Wagtails over south.
30 Linnets
10 Yellowhammers
3 Jays
2 Sparrowhawks - both birds together harrying each other.
3 Goldcrests - with tit flocks. The first of autumn.
1 Buzzard
30 Lapwings
10 Reed Buntings
3 Goldfinches
5 Pheasants - females
19 Skylarks - southwards.
1 Grey Heron - north.
1 Tree Sparrow
1 Kestrel
Golden Plovers heard in flight to the south.
c50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the ploughed field at dawn.


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Besides the visible migration going on this morning I also heard a possible Green Woodpecker. Down at the western corner I definitely heard what I thought was some yaffling. Unfortunately it only happened once and I was unable to locate the bird. I have seen them down here before on a couple of occasions but not for a few years now so it would be really nice to see one again.

14 Alba Wagtails over south.
2 Redwings over south. First of the autumn.
57 Meadow Pipits - many coming out of roost from the moss and heading southwards.
10 Chaffinches
8 Reed Buntings
16 Yellowhammers
17 Grey Partridges - 10,7
3 Greenfinches
1 Kestrel
4 Jays
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
46 Skylarks over southwards.
c60 Linnets
14 Pink Footed Geese over north then five minutes later they went over south.
2 Pheasants
c40 Lapwings over south.





-- Edited by Nick Isherwood on Saturday 5th of October 2013 07:48:40 PM

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Late afternoon mooch and a bit of visible migration going on too.

33 Skylarks over south.
4 Mistle Thrushes
3 Yellowhammers
21 Meadow Pipits over south.
5 Pheasants
22 Lapwings
12 Linnets
1 Reed Bunting
23 Alba Wagtails over south.
2 Jays
1 Kestrel

The path up the eastern side has been cut now as well though I tend not to use it these days as it cuts through the trees and bushes. Better to walk up the airstrip and view from that side.

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Very quiet on the moss this afternoon due to the stiff breeze. Only birds of note were a flyover Grey Wagtail and a Snipe.

Interestingly though two contractors were on site and had just finished strimming a 1.5metre path along the southern boundary. When I spoke to them they said they doing it for Wigan MBC. They also said they were going to strim a path up the eastern side too but they were unable to ascertain the existing path due the density of the bracken.

It's nice to see a little management down there. I just hope these better footpaths don't start attracting off road biking etc.

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Two and half hours down on't moss this morning. Plenty vis-mig going on but fairly quiet on the moss itself.

24 Alba Wagtails - south.
10 Grey Partridges
59 Meadow Pipits - over south.
1 Grey Heron - through south.
1 Kestrel
10 Goldfinches
11 Chaffinches
9 Yellowhammers
10 Reed Buntings
3 Jays
29 Swallows - over south.
6 Skylarks - mostly over south.
20 Lapwings
34 Linnets - some migrating and some resident birds.
4 Snipe - three flew in from the west and looked like they were going to land but decided against it at the last second and flew off south.
3 Grey Wagtails - one north east the others south.
1 Pheasant
1 Hobby - flew through east following the Swallows.
1 Willow Tit - heard only.
1 Sparrowhawk - female.
Good numbers of gulls on the bare fields too. Greater numbers of Lesser Black backed gulls than usual.

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7.00 till 9.00 this morning and lovely bright conditions. Quite a bit of visible migration going on for the first hour or so but as it was a clear sky most of the birds moved through at height.

70 Meadow Pipits over southwards.
29 Alba Wagtails over south.
3 Mistle Thrushes
2 Jays
12 Chaffinches
13 Yellowhammers
16 Reed Buntings
9 Linnets
25 Lapwings over east.
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
4 Snipe - two flew off north after roosting on the moss then later two over south - may have been the same birds though.
2 Kestrels
7 Goldfinches
14 Skylarks - over south.
5 Song Thrushes
13 Swallows over south
c120 Assorted gulls on the ploughed field to the north. Around 100 Black-headed gulls plus about 20 Lesser black backed and a single Herring gull.

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Thanks for the support. Patching definitely throws up the odd good bird occasionally.

Went back today with the camera looking for the odd looking Pipit but no sign.

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Here here Dennis, patch workers deserve massive recognition, I share Nick's enthusiasm, I had the good fortune to find the first record of Coal Tit for Salford Docklands last autumn

That Pipit sounds quite interesting, I wonder what else is out there on the Mosses

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