Thursday19th April

A really warm start to the day, and Brian’s sheep are starting to lamb.
Willow Warblers are singing everywhere, a few Grasshopper Warblers are also singing in the usual places in the area of the new paths and on top of the tip.

The Stonechat males can be seen on the top of the bushes, while the females are already sitting on eggs.

At the feeders, the goldfinch are devouring the niger, both male and female Bullfinch are still visiting, the jays have not been for a while but we have a drake Mallard that comes every day, it’s mate also used to visit but must now be sitting somewhere near.

Bob and Bri

Cow damage

Only six days after repairing the seat and erecting a new display board, one of the cows with large horns has severely damaged the display and seat, and in addition one or more have walked the narrow bridge, causing some of the cross members to split, see photos. We have had damage caused in the past with them rubbing against the table and seats, one of the reasons for a metal table, so without fencing the area off to prevent access, which has been requested in the past but turned down, the facility will slowly fall into disrepair.

Bob and Bri

Swans have started building

The local pair of swans have started building a nest on a raised dyke between two wet areas at the west side of the fishing pond, previously used two years ago. It is a good quiet area and they should go undisturbed but the problem occurs when moving the brood to the long pond, with a gate, fence and fox den to clear, without losing any.

A pair of Greylag geese are also looking to nest in the same location, caught resting at the fishing pond this morning.

We have spotted a few swallows passing through and one Wheatear at the car park and Chris reported this morning, hearing Willow Warblers in the area just after the field on the front.

Bob and Bri

New seat layout

We have replaced the rotten planks on the seat and also moved the display from the table to the back of the seat, allowing more room for the coffee and sandwiches.

Bob and Bri

Goldfinch versus Bullfinch

When is it going to dry out, today was a one out of the blue but the ground is going to require a lot more of these before it recovers.

The ponds are quite full and we have been monitoring a couple which contained frog spawn, and as can be seen from the attached shots, it has not survived very well, leeches have had their fill.

Goldfinches at the feeders are always squabbling between themselves but today they met there match in the form of a male Bullfinch, it stood no nonsense and soon chased them off.

Bob and Bri

Monday 26th March

Another sunny morning and the tide just onto the stones at Earnsy Bay, an ideal time to catch the waders resting, see photos, Turnstone, Curlew, Oystercatchers, and Little Stints.

Slylarks are now mating and the old BAE tip is a good place to watch close up.

Bob and Bri

Coastal Path

Work appears to have started on the new coastal path, scrub has been cleared, starting at gate 4 and running along the airfield fence towards the channel, see photos. The path is supposed to open in the summer of this year, the above part is the only section of the agreed route that was not already a path, so now we await the new sign posts etc.

The number of Songthrush has on our daily route has doubled this year, normally it is only 3 or 4, they are one of the first to start the year off singing.

Another early singer is the Dunnock, see attached photo.

Bob and Bri

Snowy day 28th February

Only a small amount has fallen on Walney compared to other parts of the country and even the hills have been bypassed, see attached photos.

There were 6 Robins at the feeders this morning and one in the snow has to be included.

There were two Mistle Thrush following us around the walk and even managed to find the feeders, but unfortunately were camera shy.

Three small flocks of Fieldfare were also looking for a place to find food.

Bob and Bri

25th February

We have not reported in for some time as the reserve has been very quiet.

Today there was a little bit more activity, 20 Whooper swans passed over flying north.
Stonechats have been seen around the area before the tip, normally they perch on the highest branch on their own but today we spotted a pair on top of a gorse bush, see photo.

The resident swans were back today, still with three cygnets on tow, it will not be long before they also are given notice.

Bob and Bri