A total of 143 species were recorded, none of which was new for the area. Nevertheless, there were plenty of good birds amongst them as a glance through the report will testify. It was a particularly good year for wader passage in terms of variety if not necessarily quantity, and much the same could be said for birds of prey and owls.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
One was seen in the Millstone corner of Lower Rivington reservoir in February
One at Cuerden Valley Park on 10th February was a good record for the site.
A pair with a chick was noted at a site in Whittle during May. Another pair is also thought to have bred at a site in Whittle.
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
A pair was nest building at Birkacre on 26th January.
The pair at Birkacre produced 4 young during May. A second pair failed to breed
Pairs also bred at Cuerden, Heapey and Lower Rivington.
Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Individuals were seen regularly on the River Douglas near Great Hanging Bridge.
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
A pair started nest building at a site in the area, but no record of breeding was received. Birds, including juveniles were recorded from all regular sites throughout the year.
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
There was an unringed bird at Anglezarke from 11th March until the end of April. Birds were often seen on the Leeds Liverpool canal at Whittle.
The pair at Birkacre laid 7 eggs of which only five hatched. Two young died on the nest, and only one cygnet survived to the end of May.
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
A pair was on Anglezarke reservoir (22nd January)
16 flew along River Douglas at Croston (24th October), and three were seen at the same site on 5th December
Pink-Footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
46 were on Croston Moss on 10th January
Five were at Belmont reservoir on 25th February, and two skeins of 150 & 120 flew west over the same site on the 8th March.
A feral bird was with Canada Geese on Anglezarke reservoir (29th August)
Skeins of 250 & 400 were seen flying east over Anglezarke & Rivington respectively (10th October)
700 were noted over Croston Moss (7th November), and 800 in several skeins were seen over the mosses on 27th December
Greylag Goose (Feral/escape) (Anser anser)
One was at Belmont on 30th August.
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Despite the population control programme, good numbers were present at Belmont in most months with a peak count in July of 141. The control programme, however, meant that only 9 young were raised by 43 breeding pairs.
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
A maximum of three birds were present at Belmont from March to June. Two females attempted to mate with male Canada Geese but failed.
Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
A single bird was at Anglezarke (7th January), and one or two were at Belmont in late February and early March.
A pair was at Withnell Fold scrapes from 21st February. This pair eventually produced 7 or 8 young
Mandarin (Escape/Feral) (Aix galericulata)
A drake was on White Coppice cricket field lodge on 16th November and on Anglezarke reservoir on 23rd & 28th November
Wigeon (Anas penelope)
13 were at Belmont (5th August)
One at Birkacre (15-22nd September) was an unusual record for the site.
Teal (Anas crecca)
26 were on Anglezarke reservoir (22nd January)
Two pairs were at Belmont in late spring, with a brood of 7 young being seen on 23rd June.
In autumn, there were 27 on Upper Rivington Reservoir on 14th September, a single bird at Birkacre from 12th - 18th September, 50 at Withnell Fold nature reserve on 18th September and 35 at Anglezarke on 30th September
In October, there were 30 at Withnell Fold nature reserve on 11th, and 35 at Anglezarke on 25th, where there were 80 on 11th November. 70 were counted on River Douglas at Bretherton on 7th November
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Six nests were located on Belmont reservoir island on 24th April.
225 were counted at Ward's reservoir on 19th December, which probably explains why there weren't many anywhere else.
Pintail (Anas acuta)
Records for the year are:
Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
One at Birkacre on 13th September was the only record.
Pochard (Aythya ferina)
A pair was on Anglezarke reservoir (29th August)
14 at Anglezarke (17th October) was a typical count for the site until the end of the year.
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Six pairs attempted to breed at Belmont but all failed due to the emergency draining of the reservoir.
12 on Anglezarke reservoir (29th August) and 8 on Anglezarke reservoir (17th October) were typical counts for a species which used to over winter in much greater numbers.
Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
The latest spring record was from Anglezarke on 24th April.
Four in Brookhouse Bay, Anglezarke reservoir, on 11th November were the first Autumn records - a rather late date.
Goosander (Mergus merganser)
73 were on Anglezarke reservoir on 22nd January and 19 were on Lower Rivington reservoir on 22nd February. A couple of birds were still present at Anglezarke on 24th April, when birds were also recorded at Belmont and Eccleston.
A female on Anglezarke reservoir on 25th October was the first for the late winter period. 7 males and 7 females were on Yarrow reservoir on 10th December
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
One was at Birkacre on 1st & 3rd July, and two were on Anglezarke reservoir (29th August)
Two or three pairs were resident at Arley reserve, which remains the main site in the area for this species.
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
A ring-tail was seen near Peewit Hall, Anglezarke Moor (2nd January), and another (or the same bird) was seen regularly in the Belmont area until mid-April.
A ring-tail was seen flying west over Withnell Fold scrapes (21st August) and another was at Belmont on 26th September.
A ring-tail was noted over Anglezarke Moor on 19th November, and a male was there on 6th & 20th December
Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
A frequent visitor to garden feeding stations, and regularly recorded at woodland sites.
Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
One was noted over Anglezarke Moor (30th January), and another was on Croston Moss (31st January). Singles were at Belmont on 13th March and 27th August. One was observed over Lead Mines Clough (9th September)
An over-wintering bird was recorded on several dates on Croston & Mawdesley Moss throughout October, November & December
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
One at Belmont on 3rd May was being mobbed by crows
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Pairs bred at Anglezarke, Belmont (2) and Whittle. One of the pairs at Belmont is known to have fledged 5 young.
One was seen competing with Mistle Thrushes for worms in a field alongside the canal at Withnell Fold on 25th September.
Merlin (Falco columbarius)
One was seen chasing Starlings on Anglezarke Moor on 2nd January
Ones and twos seen around Belmont in all months except January and February.
One was over Anglezarke Moor on 13th March
A juvenile was noted at Belmont (30th August)
In October the species was recorded at Anglezarke (17th) & at White Coppice (30th)
One was observed at Hurst Hill, Anglezarke (23rd December)
Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)
Ones and twos seen around Belmont in all months except January.
One was noted over the moorland edge at White Coppice on 13th & 18th March
A juvenile was observed over Healey Nab on 5th August
In late April, a bird was seen engaged in battle with a Raven at Hoghton Bottoms.
As with Buzzard, an over-wintering bird was recorded on several dates on Croston & Mawdesley Moss throughout October, November & December
A bird was noted at Hoghton Bottoms on 18th December
Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus)
45 pairs estimated by gamekeeper counts on Anglezarke/Withnell moors in March.
185 plus were driven over guns on Anglezarke moor on 12th August.
18 were observed on Anglezarke Moor (19th November)
Red-Legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)
A pair was seen with a brood of 6 young at Belmont reservoir in July.
Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix)
A Covey of 24 was counted on Croston Moss in January
Three males were calling around Belmont reservoir in Spring, and pairs were seen at Charnock Richard and Mawdesley. 14 were on Anglezarke moor on 22nd October.
A total of 90 were counted on Croston Moss on 24th October
Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Plentiful in the Croston & Bretherton area where birds are released for shooting, but also present on most of the farmland in the area.
Several thousand were released around Belmont for sporting purposes in late summer.
Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)
Recorded at Birkacre on 18th and 22nd September
One was noted at Withnell Fold nature reserve on 13th October - a regular wintering site for the species, and one was observed on the canal spur at Whittle on 14th November
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Breeds in good numbers at all suitable waters in the area.
Coot (Fulica atra)
Several pairs bred at Birkacre, with ones and twos on the reservoirs and lodges.
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
One was noted in Millstone corner of Lower Rivington reservoir in February
A pair bred at Rivington, and there was also possible breeding by birds on Croston Moss, at Brindle and at Withnell. Five pairs bred at Belmont raising 7 young.
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
The first to return in spring was a single bird at Anglezarke on 30th March
Pairs bred at at least two sites in the area. Eight young were raised by five pairs at one of the sites.
An adult and a juvenile were at Withnell Fold scrapes on 24th July, and an adult and two juveniles were at Belmont and at Anglezarke (both 5th August)
Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
Two pairs attempted to breed at a site in the area but evidently failed due to unfavourable water levels.
A single bird was at Anglezarke on 22nd September
Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Three pairs bred on the moors around Belmont.
A flock of 40 was at Belmont on 20th October.
A single bird was noted flying over Mawdesley Moss on 9th November
Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
A flock of 15 was at Belmont on 28th February
Pairs were seen with chicks on Gale Moss, Chorley during May
28 pairs bred around Belmont reservoir but it is thought that no young fledged. A post-breeding flock of 145 birds at Belmont on 18th June contained only approximately 10% juveniles. However, a post-breeding flock of 100 birds was noted at Withnell Fold on 28th June and one of 150 birds at Gale Moss on 29th June with good numbers of juvenile birds.
A flock of 63 was on Croston Moss on 5th September
Sanderling (Calidris alba)
A single bird at Belmont reservoir on 24th May was joined by two others on the 26th.
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Two birds in summer plumage were at Withnell Fold scrapes on 27th June. One of the birds appeared to have a damaged leg.
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
A juvenile bird was at Withnell Fold scrapes on 18th September.
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
A single bird was back at Belmont on 26th February with 11 there between 24th & 26th June including singing and mating birds. 4/5 pairs were located on the moors above Belmont in May and June.
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
A male, female and juvenile were at Withnell Fold scrapes on 21st September. A single bird was at Belmont on 5th December and two were there on the 15th.
Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Up to 5 were noted at Birkacre during February, and birds were seen displaying at the E-shaped ponds, Bretherton, in April.
Three pairs bred at Belmont.
Three were seen at Withnell Fold scrapes on 20th July, 4 at Belmont on 22nd August, 4 at Birkacre on 25th September and 10 at Withnell Fold scrapes on 21st September
Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)
Roding birds were again a regular sight at Roddlesworth during Spring and early Summer.
A dozen were flushed by Pheasant beaters at Belmont on 27th December.
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)
Six birds in summer plumage at Belmont reservoir on 5th April was only the second record for the site.
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
One was noted at Ellerbeck on 30th April
Up to 10 birds were at Belmont reservoir between 11th and 22nd May, feeding on adjacent pastures during the day and roosting at the reservoir at night. A returning bird was at Belmont on 11th September.
Curlew (Numenius arquata)
Three at Withnell Fold scrapes on 21st February were the first sign of birds moving back to their breeding sites from the coast. A further 15 were at Belmont on 28th February. The roost at Belmont reached a maximum of 202 on 17th March. This was the highest count since 1988.
Breeding was probable along the River Yarrow between Euxton and Eccleston, and at sites in the Brindle, Charnock Richard, Croston and Mawdesley areas. 16 pairs were located on the moors above Belmont in May and June. Some very late broods were noted at Belmont with broods of 1 & 2 flightless juveniles still present on 30th August.
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
A juvenile was at Withnell Fold scrapes on 12th September
Redshank (Tringa totanus)
The first returning bird at Belmont in Spring was on 27th February, increasing to 16 by 5th May. 6 pairs bred at Belmont.
Birds were also resident at Withnell Fold in Spring but no records of breeding were received.
Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
A single bird was at Withnell Fold scrapes from 19th-24th July. A single bird flew south over Belmont on 5th September.
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
One was in the Millstone corner of Lower Rivington reservoir in February. One was noted at Ulnes Walton on 1st April, and another was on the River Douglas at Bretherton on 24th July. Single birds were at Belmont on 12th & 25th July. A single bird was flushed at Anglezarke on 5th September
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
A single bird at Belmont reservoir on 28th July was only the fifth record for the site.
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
The first bird back in spring was at Rivington on 6th April. A record six pairs attempted to breed at Belmont but success was limited because of the emergency draining of the reservoir. However, a pair bred successfully on one of the reservoirs in the Rivington system
A pair, presumably on passage, was at Eccleston Delph on 10th July, and a single bird was seen along Leeds Liverpool canal at Withnell (22nd July). The latest was one on Lower Rivington reservoir on 10th October
Black-Headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
70 pairs had nests on Belmont reservoir island in late May, but gullery was abandoned in late June, as it became accessible to predators following draining of the reservoir.
Common Gull (Larus canus)
Good numbers were present in the gull roost on Lower Rivington reservoir.
Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
Two birds were seen at Birkacre on 4th November after stormy weather and one was later picked up dead.
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Well represented in the gull roost at Lower Rivington
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
A sprinkling of the species could usually be found in the Lower Rivington gull roost.
Lesser Black-Backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
Well represented in the gull roost and one or two usually present on the reservoirs throughout the year.
Large Gulls Roost (Laridae spp.)
No formal counts were made of the gull roost at Lower Rivington.
No record of Terns was received this year. If anyone has any, please could they send them in?
Stock Dove (Columba oenas)
Several records of breeding were received including pairs using nest boxes. Small numbers were present on Croston Moss and in the Brindle/Withnell area during the winter months.
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
500 on Croston Moss in January was the largest single flock noted. Very common as a breeding species, it is also visiting garden feeding stations more regularly.
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Still a regular visitor to garden feeding stations, although anecdotal evidence suggests that numbers were less than in previous years.
Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus )
First was at Rivington on 22nd April
Latest record was from White Coppice on 4th July
The White Coppice area remains the best site for this species, but records were also received from Bretherton, Hic Bibi, and Withnell Fold nature reserve.
Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
Two or three pairs are thought to have bred in the Ulnes Walton, Bretherton and Croston areas
Birds were also seen in the Cuerden area (13th & 22nd December)
Little Owl (Athene noctua)
Juvenile birds were seen at two or three sites along the moorland edge during June
Birds were also recorded at Hoghton, Coppull and Bretherton
Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)
A pair again used a regular nesting site in the White Coppice area.
Long-Eared Owl (Asio otus)
A roost of 3 or 4 birds was discovered at a site in the Bretherton area in the early winter period
One was heard calling at Birkacre (6th October) and another was at Belmont on 24th November.
Short-Eared Owl (Asio flammeus)
One was at Belmont on 23rd February. Birds were seen regularly on the moors where pairs are thought to have bred.
Swift (Apus apus)
The first in Spring were seen at three sites - Rivington, Hoghton Bottoms and Withnell Fold on 3rd May.
Breeding is known to have occurred at a site in Coppull.
The latest record was of several seen flying over Erskine Road, Chorley, on 24th August.
Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Records were received in Spring from Anderton, Birkacre, Cuerden, Withnell Fold, Hoghton Bottoms and White Coppice
A pair was seen at Birkacre on several dates in June, and the species was recorded in July at Birkacre, Cuerden, Heapey Lodges and Withnell Fold nature reserve
It was recorded in September at Birkacre, Rivington, Whittle and Withnell Fold, and in November at Birkacre (6th), Heapey No.2 lodge (23rd), Canal spur at Whittle (14th) and Withnell Fold nature reserve throughout
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Records suggesting that the species is recovering locally after a period of decline were received as follows:-
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major)
A regular visitor to several garden feeding stations and our commonest woodpecker.
Pairs bred at Rivington, Birkacre, Astley Park, Dam Wood Charnock Richard, and most suitable wooded areas.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus minor)
Our most elusive woodpecker, but probably present in most woodlands along the River Yarrow corridor.
One at Denham Springs Whittle on 10th February was at a new site for the species, at least as far as records go, and an exception to the last statement! Seen and heard regularly during March at Birkacre with two together on 28th.
Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
The species continues to be well represented on moorland and mossland but less so on pasture. Winter flocks recorded from the mosses included the following:-
An estimated 140 singing birds were noted on two moorland tetrads in May/June. Singing birds were also recorded at Charnock Richard, Brindle, Withnell, Eccleston and Mawdesley.
Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
The first record of a spring migrant was at Birkacre on 30th March
There was again a breeding colony on the River Yarrow at Eccleston, although at some considerable distance from the previous year's colony.
Several on return passage at Birkacre on 13th September, and two at Hoghton Bottoms on 20th September were the latest records for the year.
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
The first record for the year was at Whittle on 28th March, a relatively early date by recent standards.
The species continues to breed in good numbers on farms in the area, as the numbers which gather on telephone wires in late summer will testify.
11 over White Coppice on 12th October were the last records for the year.
House Martin (Delichon urbica)
The first record was at Withnell Fold on 24th April, a site which is particularly good for the species. Breeding tends to occur on older properties in the town and villages, with little interest being shown in the newer estates. Numbers of active nests in Belmont were down from 41 to 29 over last year.
A pair fledged two young at a site in Coppull on the rather late date of 29th September. One over Brinscall on 13th October was the last record received for the year, so it would be interesting to know what happened to the Coppull youngsters.
Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
The first record was from Lead Mines Clough on 18th April - one of the most reliable sites for the species. Also recorded at Rivington, Anglezarke and Belmont.
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Flocks of over 100 birds were recorded at Belmont reservoir in both late March and late August. The species is probably the main host species for the Cuckoo in our area.
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
A pair nested along the old canal spur at Whittle, and two pairs bred at Belmont including one using a nestbox. A pair was seen with young along the River Yarrow at Pincock, Euxton. The species was also recorded at Arley, Birkacre, Cuerden, Duxbury, Rivington and White Coppice.
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Breeding occurred at Rivington, White Coppice, Belmont and no doubt many other sites. Good numbers continued to be noted at the town centre roost.
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba)
One was noted on passage at Belmont on 7th April.
Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)
Breeding was noted at Anglezarke, and records were received during the breeding season from traditional sites at Birkacre, White Coppice and Whittle.
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
For some reason this is now called Winter Wren under the new nomenclature. I am not sure why because it is a species which suffers in hard winters, but, following a series of mild winters, it is doing quite well at the moment.
Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
A common species in gardens but surprisingly elusive on Bird Races!
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Maintaining a position near the top of the charts in the Garden Bird Survey.
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
A recently fledged juvenile at Belmont was present from 16th to 19th August. There have now been 8 records from Belmont since 1993.
Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
The first bird back in spring was at Rivington on 12th April. The species continues to breed in good numbers along the Brinscall to Rivington corridor.
First was at Pippin Street, Brindle on 1st May, and another was at Birkacre on 2nd May. Two pairs bred at Belmont with one fledging three young.
Five on Croston Moss (1st August) was an interesting record. One on Anglezarke Moor on 30th September was the latest record for the year.
Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)
Two family parties of two adults and two juveniles and two adults and one juvenile seen on Anglezarke Moor on 30th September. A Male was on Anglezarke moor (9th October). In December records were received of a pair at Drinkwaters (26th & 28th), at Ratten Clough, Anglezarke Moor (29th) and a male at Belmont from Boxing Day to the end of the year.
Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
First in Spring was at Belmont on 17th March, where the maximum count was 19 birds on 2nd May. A bird of the Greenland race leucorhoa was noted on 30th April. The last record from the site was on 4th October.
Elsewhere, a female at Birkacre on 1st May was an interesting record, as was the adult and juvenile on Croston Moss on 11th July. These were followed by an adult bird on the shore of Anglezarke reservoir (1st August), and a juvenile bird on Croston Moss (same day).
Twelve birds were noted by Solomons Temple, Anglezarke Moor on 26th August.
Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)
The only Spring records were males at Belmont on 24th March and 10th April. Return passage included 7 near the Terraced Gardens, Rivington on 27th September, and 4 by White Coppice cricket field lodge on 30th September
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Top of the charts in the Garden Bird Survey. Birds were noted flying into rhododendrons and 'chinking' (roost call) at Belmont during the partial (90%) eclipse of the sun on 11th August.
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
First winter period flocks included 70 plus at Anglezarke on 2nd January, and 20 at Heapey No. 6 lodge on 8th February. One on Anglezarke moor on 30th April, and one at Dean Wood Rivington on 1st May were relatively late records.
A flock of 17 by canal at Withnell on 6th October was the first autumn record. Large movement was noted on 14th, 15th, & 16th including 50+ at Hoghton Bottoms, 48 over Chorley, and several flocks arriving from the east over Rivington & Anglezarke, the largest of which was 100+ at Siddow Fold. A flock of 150+ was seen at Brinscall. However the largest number recorded at a single site was 2410 flying south over Belmont on 16th.
120 in Lead Mines Clough on 23rd November was the largest resident winter flock record.
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
A species which is generally regarded to be in decline, and although it is unobtrusive outside the breeding season, there are still plenty of singing birds in Spring.
Redwing (Turdus iliacus)
Flocks in the first winter period included around 50 in field at Whittle on 17th January, 100 at Whittle on 5th February, 120 in Sheephouse Lane Rivington on 7th February and 80 at Abbey Village on 24th February. The latest was on 5th April at Birkacre
First in autumn were 4 at Belmont on 7th October, followed by a small flock by the canal at Withnell on 13th October. 40 were at Brinscall Hall on 27th November.
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)
Twenty were with Fieldfares at Belmont on 16th October.
Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia)
The first in Spring was at Croston on 26th April. Two were singing at Birkacre at the beginning of May, and single birds sang briefly at two sites near Belmont in May and June.
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
The first was at Croston on 25th April, and up to 5 singing birds were at Birkacre by the end of May, where breeding took place.
3 on Mawdesley Moss on 5th September were the latest records.
Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Singing birds were noted at sites in Croston and Bretherton in Spring
Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca)
The first was at Bretherton on 25th April. It was also recorded at Anderton, Bretherton, Eccleston and Hic Bibi during June
Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
The first was at Bretherton on 25th April. Breeding records were received from Birkacre and Whittle. The species is still very common in its favoured scrubland habitat, with smaller numbers in farmland.
Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)
The first was at Bretherton on 24th April. Singing birds were also located at Heapey lodges.
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
First in song was at Birkacre on 28th March. Several pairs bred at Withnell Fold nature reserve
Over-wintering records included a male in a Rivington garden (14th & 18th October), a male in an Astley Village garden on 13th November and birds in three Chorley gardens during December
Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix)
The only records received this year were as follows:-
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
First record for the year was of singing birds at E-shaped pond and Bank Hall Lane, Bretherton on 14th March. The species was also singing at several locations at end of September, and one was in song at Birkacre from 1st-6th October. The latest record was one at Withnell nature reserve on 29th October, which may well have been an over-wintering bird.
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
First record for the year was at Birkacre on 2nd April. Good numbers were present in its favoured locations such as the White Coppice area. The last record for the year was of 8 at Withnell Fold nature reserve on 3rd October
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
A pair bred at Belmont. Good numbers could be found with tit flocks from autumn onwards, and occasionally they appear in gardens.
Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus)
One by the canal at Withnell Fold (22nd October) was the second record from that locality in recent years.
|Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa
The first was at Anglezarke on 10th May. A pair bred in a garden at Whittle and is thought to have had two broods. A pair also bred in Belmont village.
Recorded at Anglezarke (22nd July) and Withnell Fold nature reserve (31st July).
One in a garden at Rivington (7th September) was the latest record for the year.
Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)
The first was at Anglezarke on 22nd April. Breeding pairs recorded at five sites. A pair which bred at Belmont included a male which was colour ringed as a pullus at Anglezarke in 1998.
Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Flocks of this species can be seen in all parts of the area, including, increasingly, suburban gardens. It would be interesting to know how it compares, in terms of population, with Blue and Great Tits.
Willow Tit (Parus montanus)
Records for the year were as follows:-
Coal Tit (Parus ater)
Regular visitor to garden feeding stations in good numbers
Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)
No pulli were ringed this year because of our resident ringer's other commitments. Still a common garden visitor but perhaps dominated by finches at the feeding station.
Great Tit (Parus major)
Comments as for Blue Tit.
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Very vocal in early spring whilst looking for a mate and establishing a territory. Recorded at Rivington, Anglezarke, Astley Park, Burgh Hall, Copperwood, Duxbury, Roddlesworth and Withnell Fold nature reserve in Spring and again throughout September, when they again become vocal.
Treecreeper (Certhis familiaris)
Pairs bred at Anglezarke and Whittle and no doubt at all other suitable wooded areas.
Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
Breeding was noted at Birkacre. The species is resident in all suitable woodland.
Magpie (Pica pica)
Public enemy number one and still very evident in gardens especially during the breeding season.
Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
800 were counted on Croston Moss in January and a similar number at the opposite end of the year in December. The species seems to be increasing in the area as a whole.
Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
200 noted with Jackdaws on Croston Moss in December. The annual rookery census shows that several of the sites in the area continue to expand, particularly the one at Croston.
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
The most common of the Crow family in the Rivington area.
Raven (Corvus corax)
A pair once again occupied a breeding site but no records of breeding were received. Recorded at Belmont on 5th August and over Anglezarke Moor on 23rd August. Pairs noted over Wheelton & Anglezarke Moors (7th & 13th October)
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Post-breeding flocks in the Brindle area in June contained good numbers of juvenile birds. 3000 were counted at Belmont on 7th November.
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
This species is said to be in serious decline, and certainly it does not appear to be as numerous in gardens as in the past. Where it is present, however, it is still abundant.
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
In contrast to the House Sparrow, this species appears to be staging a recovery in the area. It is now fairly widespread as the following records indicate:-
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Still our commonest finch and a regular visitor to garden feeding stations.
Brambling (Fringilla montrifringilla)
A flock of 45 birds was at Brook House plantation, Anglezarke, on 14th January, and 6 were at Belmont on 25th April.
One in a Chorley garden on December 25th was the only record for the second winter period away from Belmont, where there were 20 on Boxing Day.
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)
Flocks of over 100 birds were counted on Croston Moss on 17th October and 7th November.
The species is a regularly visitor to garden feeding stations and is usually still present and vocal in the vicinity until well into June.
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Another species which is increasingly visiting garden feeding stations, especially in late winter and early spring when natural food is in shortest supply.
A flock of over 50 was at Belmont on 28th August.
Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
A ringed bird was killed by a cat in a Chorley garden on 14th January. Details are included in the ringing report. This was the only record for the species until garden records for February and March.
Records for the second winter period included the following:-
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
A flock of over 60 was at Belmont on 28th August. Birds were noted on territory in the Brindle area during the breeding season.
Twite (Carduelis flavirostris)
A flock of 15 was at Belmont on 23rd February and a flock of 8 was at the same site on 27th July.
Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)
Eight pairs were on territory in moorland plantations during May and June. The following winter flocks were also noted:-
Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
12 were noted in Anglezarke Moor plantation on 17th December with at least 4 there the next day
Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Good numbers noted feeding on heather seeds at Belmont and Anglezarke during the first winter period. Resident at Anglezarke, Birkacre and Withnell Fold nature reserve.
|Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax
One was noted near the summit of Great Hill on 18th November.
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
Good numbers of singing birds were located in the Bretherton, Coppull moor, Charnock Richard, Croston, Eccleston and Mawdesley areas in May and June. The species does, however, appear to have disappeared from the White Coppice area for no apparent reason.
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
A species which is in decline nationally, it still seems to be fairly common locally in suitable habitat.
Pairs bred at Belmont, Birkacre, Healey Nab, Croston Moss, E-shaped pond, Bretherton and White Coppice. A count of over 45 at Belmont on 5th December was the highest for the site since 1976.
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra)
A species which is in serious decline nationally, it is only recorded at Croston and Mawdesley moss in our area.
Breeding was noted on Croston Moss. In addition good sized flocks were noted outside the breeding season as follows:-
Chinese Goose (Anser cygnoides)
Two were regularly seen on Lower Rivington Reservoir throughout the year
Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)
One at Cuerden on 23rd April and one in the Rivington area on 6th July.
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS FOR BIRD REPORT
Thanks to the following for submitting records for possible inclusion in this report:-
D.Allen, D.Barker, D.Beattie, A.Blacklidge, J.Burgoine, M.Churcher, T.Darbyshire,. K.Green, N.Hancock, E.Howarth, R.Hoyle, A.Johnson, Mrs C.Johnson, Mrs C.Kellett, P.Kirk, A.Leach, A.K.Leach, P.Leach, G.Leather, P.Marsden, S.Martin, C.Rae, Mrs.J.Riley, P.Ross, C.Smith, S.Settle, N.Southworth, Mrs C.Stones, A.Stott, D.Tucker, Mrs H.Walker, I Walker, D.Weir, T.Werrell, Mrs N.West, J.Whiteside and P.Young. Apologies to anyone whom I may have missed out.
Neil Southworth (Records Secretary)
Back to Home