Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Sandbach Flash :: 28 October 2019

Visiting our youngest at Keele University for a couple of days. We woke on our first morning and looked outside - we were surprised to see a significant mist. Oh, what the hell ... we decided to head off to Sandbach Flash anyway. We had encountered several flooded roads on the previous day, including some three feet deep - today was no different. We had a couple of diversions on the way and, as we got to Clay Lane, we came across a rather large pool on the road. Not knowing where the air intake is on my car I opted for caution, taking a rather long route around and thankfully got to our destination from the other side without major incident. As we looked back we could see a BMW trapped in the middle - god that was lucky.

Due to the diversions we were running over 30 minutes later than we had planned, so we didn't have much time on-site. The mist was also against us and lay heavy on the water. A few gulls on the water but nothing of note. Wigeon, teal, mallard, Canada geese and coot moved around leisurely. The water was so high that there would be few waders wanting to show. Across the road we saw great-spotted woodpecker and as Charlotte went for a wander I watched a single goldcrest. On the opposite side of the road we set up the scope and found half a dozen curlew on the waters edge.

GoldcrestJust as we were packing our stuff back into the car, the sun started to break through - bugger. Not much you can do when the weather doesn't play nice.

More diversions and road closures on our way back to pick up Ailsa so ended up taking twice as long to get back too. Racking up the miles and the car covered in mud. It was turning into a nice day though ... off for lunch.

Sightings (27) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, canada goose, carrion crow, coot, curlew, dunnock, goldcrest, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, greenfinch, jackdaw, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, little grebe, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, mute swan, pheasant, robin, rook, teal, wigeon, woodpigeon and wren.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Blashford Lakes :: 13 October 2019

My eldest had a course to attend in Winchester so after dropping her off at 9.00am, I headed for Blashford Lakes. Not the nicest of days with rain most of the way there and flooding on the roads. Thankfully it had reduced to a light drizzle when I arrived. Nuthatch

I popped into the Tern Hide and in the gloom picked out only a few species but quite a number of Egyptian geese (I counted 10). Numbers of swallows and house martins quartered the lake, and I picked out a single sand martin. As we scanned with our scopes, one remaining chap picked out a very distant female scaup. At least the day would have some upside.

I walked round to a couple of the hides and saw nuthatches, three treecreepers, jays and the usual suspects but nothing else to tick for the year. The fungi was kicking off though.

Sightings (30) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, carrion crow, chaffinch, coal tit, coot, cormorant, egyptian goose, gadwall, goldfinch, great crested grebe, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, grey heron, herring gull, house Martin, jay, little grebe, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, nuthatch, robin, sand Martin, scaup, swallow, treecreeper, tufted duck, wigeon and woodpigeon.