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Incorporating Bolton, Bury, Warrington and Wigan Areas. Cattle Egret – Jack Critchley www.leighos.org.uk Registered Charity Number 504889 This is the Society’s 36th Annual Report. The Society‟s Conservation Committee has been particularly busy during 2007, the Sports Village has taken up valuable wildlife habitat and it has been difficult to keep an eye on the project which was supposed to allow for wildlife mitigation areas, at the moment this has not been adhered to. The plans and drawings for Bickershaw North have changed several times and efforts spent in negotiations seem wasted, but the Conservation Committee will not be deterred and will press on protecting wildlife wherever possible. The Councils decision to allow D.E.F.R.A. to cull Ruddy Ducks on all Wigan Waters was strongly opposed by me and the Committee; it has led to the species being almost eradicated from our recording area; I have to say though that some respected members were not in agreement the committee‟s stance on the matter. The Society funded winter bird food at Pennington Country Park as it has for many years. We will also hand over much needed bird boxes shortly; the old boxes were destroyed during the storms of January 07. A feeding station at Astley Moss was set up and has been successful; the project has attracted and sustained many bird species during winter months. Members also erected Tree Sparrow boxes in the location. Delegates from the membership represented the Society on various outside bodies, namely Pennington Flash User Group (Joan and Jim Disley), Wigan Wildlife Advisory Group (Charles Owen) and Environment & Transport Network Alliance (Dave Wilson, Tony Bishop, Tony Middlehurst, Charles Owen, Eddie King and myself). The A.G.M. was again well attended; the Society's accounts and affairs were found to be in order. Officers and committee wishing to be re-elected were retained by a block vote and additional people were elected by proposal and vote - we welcome Helen Jones, Les Evans & John McFarlane. The committee met on 8 occasions to deal with items connected with the general running of the Society, together with conservation and local planning issues that affect wildlife habitat. Leigh Sports Village, Bickershaw North and the “Greenheart” concept were the main issues of attention. The Society is indebted to J D Wilson and the Bickershaw Conservation Group for its contribution regarding the above projects. The Chair thanked its sponsors M.P.I. Property Care Limited and Leigh Painting Company Limited; he also thanked various members for sponsoring individual lectures, namely Jack & Doris Critchley, Jean Gallimore, Derek Gordon, Doris Speakman and anonymous donators. We published six bi-monthly newsletters numbers 212 to 217 and an Annual Report for members - thanks to Jack Critchley for his front cover sketch of a Cattle Egret, a first record for us. The 12 entertaining and informative Derby Room meetings with slide shows were favourably received by those attending, and the members‟ social evening held at Leigh Rugby Union Club was well supported. Many members generously donated items to be given as prizes for the raffle. Field trips were organised, again in the main by Eddie King; next year Joe Doherty will be the field trip officer. Input to the web-site would be welcomed - if there‟s an addition you would like to see on it please contact me to discuss. Should you wish to become involved in committee work and or running a section e.g. Derby room meetings, please ask for details. My thanks to the membership for your loyal and continued support, to the officers and committee for your unstinting help and service, and to the friends of the Society for records and donations. Special thanks for many years of accurate book keeping to Eileen Ball who retires from the post of treasurer at the end of this term. David Shallcross, Chairman. 2 SPECIES REPORT FOR 2007 Compiled by E KING REFERENCES Leigh Ornithological Society Newsletters and Records (1971-2007) Leigh Ornithological Society Annual Reports (1971-2006) SUBMISSIONS Records from which the 2007 report has been compiled were kindly submitted by the under- mentioned members and other birdwatchers their contributions are gratefully acknowledged on behalf of the Society, viz.:- S Almond, M Arundel, S Atherton, J Ball, M Baron, A Bate, D Beetham, P Berry, K Brides, D Broome, J M Butterworth, M Champion, J & D Critchley, J & J Disley, J Doherty, T & A Fayle, J Gallimore, P Hilton, J Hurst, A Little, S J Martin, D S Martin, J Meadows, R Meredith, J McFarlane, I McKerchar, M McManus, E Munro, C Owen, A & J Prosser, R W. Rhodes, B Rigby, D & A Shallcross, A J Smith, D Stewart, G Tonge, J Tymon, J D Wilson, I Woosey, Pennington Flash Ranger Service. The Society also acknowledges the contribution from the following member groups: S J Martin, R W Rhodes and D S Martin for their Lancashire records list for 2007. Manchester Birding.com for their records over the past 12 months. A J Smith and the Mosslands Barn Owl Conservation Group for their report. All of which were of great assistance in compiling this report. This year there was a total of 187 species recorded in the Leigh Ornithological Society recording area including 3 new species: Desert Wheatear, Cattle Egret and Cetti‟s Warbler. Officers and Committee A Bate. E Ball. (Treasurer) T Bishop. (Vice-chairman) J Critchley. (Programme Secretary) J Disley. (Editor) J Doherty. L Evans. H Jones. E King. (Recorder) J McFarlane. R Meredith. (General Secretary) E Munro. C Owen. (Conservation) D Shallcross. (Chairman) D Speakman. Conservation sub-committee T Bishop. J Disley. T Middlehurst. C Owen. D Shallcross. J D Wilson Pennington Flash User Group Representatives J & J Disley Rarities Panel E King. C Owen. J Doherty. Auditor D Critchley The Society also delegated representatives to the following forums: Environment & Transport Network Alliance, Leigh & District Sports Development Partnership, Bickershaw Conservation Group. 3 The Systematic List Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 20 12 31 24 33 92 62 67 63 41 46 12 Moses Gate Country Park 78 85 54 96 124 130 88 103 68 62 72 Elton Reservoir 3 5 8 10 25 23 23 Houghton Green Pool 2 2 9 3 12 18 15 8 Breeding was confirmed at many sites including Pennington Country Park, Hope Carr Reserve, Fir Tree Flash, Diggles Flash, Worthington Lakes and Mesnes Park the first breeding record known there. Also birds bred at Amberswood Lake, Horrocks Flash and Vicars Hall Lane Boothstown. Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus columbianus) Rare Visitor. On 24th February a flock of 16 birds were seen at Rumworth Lodge but they left the following day. Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) Uncommon Winter Visitor. Early in the year 4th February a group of 4 were present on Belmont Reservoir and a flock of 20 flew over on 4th March a single was reported at Horrocks Flash on 11th April. Late winter birds were more encouraging with Pennington Country Park recording a single on 12th, 4 on 15th, 2 on 17th and 22nd a juvenile appeared on 23rd and 8 on 30th all in October. During November 6 were in the Dingle - Wards area from 2nd to 10th, a juvenile bird was still at Pennington Country Park and 10 birds were seen on 24th, 8 over Turton Heights flying west on 22nd a single was at Belmont Reservoir on 24th. In December a pair was seen in the Astley and Leigh area. Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) Common Passage Winter Visitor. During January a total of just over 2,000 birds were recorded mainly moving towards the Lancashire coast and a nocturnal movement was recorded over Belmont on 30th. February saw a total of 710 birds in 6 skeins with a single bird at Rumworth Lodge on 4th March; April recorded a pair at Horrocks Flash and on the Wigan Flashes; a single was at Belmont during May. Late winter movements mainly westerly included 800 in September, over 5,000 in October then November was a blank month; 1,000 birds in various groups were recorded during December. Greylag Goose (Anser anser) Uncommon Resident. As in previous years breeding took place at Horrocks Flash when up to 10 young were seen there in May and up to 20 adult birds were recorded during the year. Elsewhere maximum numbers were 20 on 21st August at Pennington Country Park, 4 on 28th March at Rumworth Lodge, 3 on 18th February at Fan Lodge, 4 on 28th March at Wayoh Reservoir and 2 in June at Houghton Green Pool. Singles were recorded at Moses Gate Country Park in January and at Jumbles Reservoir in April, May and July. I received no records of these birds between September and December. 4 Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 180 130 147 40+ 30 410 300 300 300 200 75 120 Houghton Green Pool 20 44 45 35 Rumworth Lodge 85 109 77 40 50 98 82 237 Belmont Reservoir 10 29 43 64 64 66 38 35 9 9 15 Entwistle Reservoir 15 2 15 87 13 2 Jumbles Reservoir 12 17 24 26 8 20 38 106 42 115 19 Moses Gate Country Park 172 189 149 107 80 131 111 107 208 148 126 144 Worthington Lakes 70 47 46 8 39 54 257 26 72 37 On 27th April 50 eggs from 8 nests were “oiled” at Hope Carr Reserve. In the West Pennine Moors nests were controlled by “pricking” on 25 United Utilities reservoirs and water bodies resulting in 48 nests totalling 237 eggs controlled between 26th April and 22nd May. At Belmont Reservoir 23 pairs bred raising only 10 young due to licensed control of pricking eggs or birds shot. The moulting flock there in late June contained just 36 birds the lowest since 1981. Pairs again bred on the moorland plateaux at up to 375m above sea level on the West Pennine Moors. The above figures illustrate that it is possible to keep numbers of this species at a manageable level, although only locally and when a range of control and disturbance techniques are available. Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) Uncommon Visitor. A flock of 44 birds put in an appearance at Pennington Country Park on 14th February in company with a Red-breasted Goose the general consensus is that the Barnacle Goose and Red-breasted Goose are feral birds from the Lancashire area. A single Barnacle Goose was recorded over Risley Moss Reserve on 13th February 8 were on the pools on 15th February and 2 birds were seen over on 7th March. Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) Scarce breeder. Records came from 7 sites including Pennington Country Park with 13 birds in January, 15 in February, 12 in March, 11 in April then 4 in May a pair in June and a single in August. There were 3 on 8th September at Pennington Country Park and singles in November and December. Rumworth Lodge recorded a single in March and 3 in April plus 4 in July. At Belmont Reservoir a single appeared in February and April and a pair with 5 young in August. Lightshaw Flash saw 4 birds in February and March. On the Abram Flashes up to 8 birds were seen during the year, singles and pairs were at Elton Reservoir and Dover Lock. Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) Uncommon Resident. The majority of sightings came from the Wigan area with a maximum of 16 at Mesnes Park on 11th November. These appeared to have been a group of juveniles and adults, the birds having bred in the area, up to 7 juveniles were seen. A single one was at Delph on 13th March. Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) Winter Visitor. Again this year Houghton Green Pool recorded the largest flocks with a maximum of 136 birds in January and 114 in March. Late winter flocks there reached a maximum of 79 birds in December. Pennington Country Park recorded birds all year round with a maximum of 23 in March and a pair 5 remained in the area all summer. Late winter records at the site saw a maximum of 24 birds in October. Other places with less numbers included Rumworth Lodge, singles in February and a maximum of 14 in October. Other maximum counts were 20 on the Wigan Flashes, 15 on the Abram Flashes and 9 at Elton Reservoir all in September. Other sites that recorded small numbers were Hope Carr Reserve, Ringley ETW, Belmont Reservoir and Lightshaw Flash. Gadwall (Anas strepera) Uncommon Resident. JAN FEB MAR APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 42 30 30 36 25 48 22 42 52 33 71 Other sites produced the following maximum counts, Hope Carr Reserve 95 in October and 150 in November. Ringley ETW 10 in January, 22 on Pearson‟s Flash in August and 53 in September on the Abram Flashes. Evidence of breeding came from Hope Carr Reserve, Pennington Country Park, Horrocks Flash and Ringley ETW. A pair was at Belmont Reservoir on 17th November, the first Belmont record since 1985 and a single female was shot by a gamekeeper near Belmont in December. Common Teal (Anas crecca) Common Winter Visitor. At Pennington Country Park this bird was recorded each month of the year with the winter months holding up to a maximum of 200 birds, pairs were seen in May, June and July. There were flocks of up to 50 birds recorded during the winter months at Red Seas, Ringley ETW, Rumworth Lodge Horrocks Flash and Risley Moss Reserve. Other records included 110 birds at Lightshaw Flash in September, 80 on the landfill pond at Astley in January, 83 on the Wigan Flashes in December and small numbers were seen at Wayoh Reservoir in February and October. In the West Pennine Moors this bird is declining as a breeding bird I received no records this year of breeding pairs at Belmont Reservoir although records of wintering birds increased with 50 in February, 95 in October and 45 in December. There were no records submitted to me of breeding in any other areas. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 155 68 117 50+ 40+ 100+ 100+ 100+ 100+ 300 240 120 Houghton Green Pool 55 24 45 65 87 56 45 92 Worthington Lakes 80 43 35 26 39 60 73 50 97 80 120 Jumbles Reservoir 40 26 12 24 40 25 52 250 64 30 Wayoh Reservoir 20 9 16 13 129 66 65 30 28 Entwistle Reservoir 28 22 42 36 77 65 44 58 57 Other records included Belmont Reservoir with 120 in February, 134 in October, 165 in December and up to 350 were attracted to a nearby pond during hard weather in late December encouraged by artificial feeding by game keepers. In January Wards recorded 105 birds. There was evidence of breeding at all sites. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) Uncommon Winter Visitor. Early winter sightings in January saw 2 on 2nd and 3 on 15th, 28th at Pennington Country Park and 6 a single in flooded fields at Bryn. Lightshaw Flash recorded 5 birds on 15th February and 4 at Pennington Country Park on 20th of that month. In March pairs were at Lightshaw Flash and Pennington Country Park between 12th and 26th. A single bird stayed at Scotman‟s Flash during April and May. During the month of September singles were recorded at Worthington Lakes, Abram Flashes and Hope Carr Reserve, 2 were at Pennington Country Park on 20th and a bird over Risley Moss Reserve on 1st. During October there were 6 birds at Hope Carr Reserve on 17th, singles and pairs at Pennington Country Park, a single at Horrocks Flash, Wards Reservoir and Three Sisters. November saw a single at Three Sisters, 3 were at Pennington Country Park on 12th and a single on 13th in December. Garganey (Anas querquedula) Scarce Summer Visitor. The majority of records came from Pennington Country Park; however, other sightings from Dover Basin, Hope Carr Reserve and Pearson‟s Flash could possibly be the same birds at Pennington Country Park moving from one reserve to another. The first record was of a pair at Pennington Country Park on 19th April and they were seen up to 25th then a single on 30th. Then in May a pair was present for most of the month and 2 birds were at Dover Basin on 9th of that month. A pair was still at Pennington Country Park in June with up to 3 birds there on occasions. During August, singles were recorded at Pennington Country Park, Pearson‟s Flash and Hope Carr Reserve. September records saw a single up to 10th also 2 on 11th and 23rd at Pennington Country Park. Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) Uncommon Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 28 38 42 28 4 2 3 12 275 155 38 14 During the month of September there were very high numbers at Pennington Country Park of 128 on 13th, 102 on 18th and 275 on 25th. There was also a large count on 7th October of 155 birds. Records also came from Abram Flashes of 18 in September, 15 at Rixton Clay Pits in November and on the Wigan Flashes 70 at Pearson‟s Flash on 16th December. The only record of breeding received was that of a family party of 6 in July at the Dover Basin. Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) Rare Visitor usually escapees. A single bird was recorded on the Wigan Flashes during the months of January to March. Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) Scarce Breeder. Winter Visitor. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 16 14 6 6 11 11 20 24 20 50+ 39 Houghton Green Pool 15 1 44 9 12 8 9 18 30 Male Pearson‟s Flash 18 10 10 Sightings of less than 5 birds throughout the year came from Diggles Flash, Worthington Lakes, Wayoh Reservoir and Rumworth Lodge, a breeding pair was at Horrocks Flash and they produced 5 young in May, the brood were down to 2 in June, a flock of 8 birds were present in December. 7 Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) Uncommon Breeder. Winter Visitor. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Houghton Green Pool 18 42 30 8 14 72 68 60 54 68 92 Pennington Country Park 96 103 110 62 25 66 235 410 320 134 180 420 Wigan Flashes 78 175 116 212 48 Rumworth Lodge 7 15 10 19 13 5 4 Diggles Flash 16 6 14 18 6 12 Other records came from Whitley Reservoir, 14 in December, Hope Carr Reserve, Elton Reservoir 53 in November, Crompton Lodges 22 in December, Wayoh Reservoir 6 in January and November, and Mesnes Park 5 in December. Records of breeding birds were from Pennington Country Park, Hope Carr Reserve, Elton Reservoir, Ringley ETW, Lightshaw Flash and Boothstown. One or two pairs were unsuccessful breeders at Belmont Reservoir and pairs at Delph and Springs Reservoirs were also unsuccessful. Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) Uncommon Winter Visitor. Early winter records were, Pennington Country Park singles on 6th, 7th, 20th and 27th, a single at Hope Carr Reserve on 14th, at Astley Landfill Lake on 18th 2 at Houghton Green Pool all month and a bird was seen over Risley on 25th. Single birds were noted at Pennington Country Park on 29th March and at Houghton Green Pool on 17th March. During the month of September a female was on Pennington Country Park in October 2 were at Elton Reservoir on 6th and a female at Ringley on 30th. Long Tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) Rare Visitor. A male was at Pennington Country Park on 26th October and a female was on High Rid Reservoir from 28th November to the end of the year. Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) Uncommon Winter Visitor. Numbers were somewhat down on last year, a lonely drake was at Pennington Country Park on 17th, 29th March. During the month of July there was an influx of birds with 14, of which 11 were drakes on 8th at Wigan Flashes, 2 at Elton Reservoir on 13th, and again during the month of July at Pennington Country Park 7 were recorded on 5th, 4 on 7th and 5 on 11th and a single at Houghton Green Pool, this being the second year of recording the species at the Houghton Green Pool. Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) Common Winter Visitor. JAN FEB MAR APRIL MAY SEPT OCT DEC Pennington Country Park 22 18 29 22 1 Female 6 16 10 on 1st On the Wigan Flashes there were 8 in January, 33 in March, 20 in April an immature bird was at Pearson‟s Flash during August. High Rid Reservoir recorded up to 14 birds during the winter months. There was a count of 18 on 14th March at Rumworth Lodge and small numbers were recorded at Diggles Flash, Wayoh Reservoir, Jumbles Reservoir, Ringley ETW, Elton Reservoir and Houghton Green Pool. 8 Smew (Mergellus albellus) Uncommon Winter Visitor. On 2nd January a bird was recorded at Pennington Country Park and was probably the same bird that appeared on Horrocks Flash and remained in the area of the Wigan Flashes until March 23rd. Goosander (Mergus merganser) Common Winter Visitor. JAN FEB MAR APRIL SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 30 30 26 12 5 50 34 Maximum Delph Reservoir 32 44 12 7 1 2 13 25 During May there was a single bird at Pennington Country Park and on the River Glaze at Glazebury which was seen there on occasions during the month, a brood of 11 young were on the River Irwell at Springside and 2 birds at Rumworth Lodge on 20th of that month. During August 13 birds were recorded on the River Irwell near to Moses Gate Country Park. Elsewhere there was a maximum of 18 at Red Seas Crooke in January, 15 at Wayoh Reservoir in February and 22 at Elton Reservoir in December. Singles and pairs were recorded at Dover Lock during March and April and a single was at Houghton Green Pool in September. Three males were present near Belmont in April and May with a hint of possible breeding. Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) Uncommon Resident. All records of this bird may be requested from the Leigh Ornithological Society Recorder. Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus) Resident Declining. Gamekeepers on Darwen Moor estimated the breeding population there at 120 pairs, however the breeding season was particularly poor due to the wet weather and only approximately 300 were present during the shoot on 6th September. In the Winter Hill - Rivington Moor area 6 pairs were on territory there were estimates of 10 territorial pairs on Haslingden - Oswaldtwistle Moors and 3 pairs on Wet Moss - Musden Moor. There were over 45 birds on Winter Hill - Belmont Moor on 18th August during a shoot. Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) Resident. Introduced. The majority of sightings are birds released for shooting purposes although a small amount do escape the guns and perhaps are able to breed. At Belmont up to 100 birds were released in January again for shooting purposes, a bird was found inside a farm house, probably to escape the guns. There was no repeat of the 2006 breeding successes around Belmont due to the wet summer. In early September there were 300+ on Darwen Moor due to releases and 45+ birds were at Belmont Reservoir on 30th September also following releases. Other sites recorded very small numbers, up to 10 were seen in the Standish Wood Lane area in August then 6 in September. In the Astley area singles and pairs were seen throughout the year at Rindle and around the Peat Works area. Chat Moss saw small numbers as did the Houghton Green Pool area. Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) Resident Declining. Red List. The records for this year were similar to the past few years with no obvious decline in the numbers. These birds were recorded on most agricultural land in our area. The largest numbers came from the Winwick area, Houghton Green Pool and the fields around Bedford where up to 26 birds were seen in the winter months. The ruck at Bickershaw also provided good numbers 18 were seen in October. I have no doubt that there are large numbers on Chat and Irlam mosses but their records were not available to me. Other sites where fewer than 10 birds were recorded are Risley Moss Reserve, Standish Wood Lane, Pennington Country Park, Worthington area, Lightshaw, Shackerley 9 fields at Tyldesley and Giants Hall. At Belmont there was an estimate of 9 pairs around in the spring up to 325m above sea level. However in contrast to 2006 the breeding season was a disaster due to wet conditions with the result that the species was much scarcer at the end of the year only 3 pairs - coveys were reported. Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) Common Resident. As in past years small numbers were recorded at many sites throughout the recording area with birds released for shooting amounting to over 100 at Rindle, Astley in September. In the Belmont area the usual release of several thousand in parts of the West Pennine Moors resulted in 200+ near Belmont Reservoir on 17th November. There was an estimate of 25 males on territory in approximately 1 km square of in-bye and woodland edges near to Belmont in April a nest containing an unusual clutch size of 22 eggs was found in that area. Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 8 8 8 3 5 6 8 14 15 12 8 Houghton Green Pool 1 2 3 7 19 31 20 15 5 Maximum counts for other sites included Ringley ETW of 24 in August and 26 birds in September. The Wigan Flashes saw a maximum of 13 in September there was a count of 8 at High Rid Reservoir in December and 6 at Whitley in October. Smaller numbers were recorded at Worthington Lakes, Rumworth Lodge, Dover Basin, Bradley, Shore Top, Vicars Hall Lane, Risley Moss Reserve and Worsley filter beds. Breeding was confirmed at most sites. Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 72 31 45 46 38 54 67 62 75 47 67 63 Wigan Flashes 10+ 7 10+ Houghton Green Pool 2 2 1 1 4 7 9 9 5 2 Elton Reservoir 2 8 7 15 39 40 Jumbles Reservoir - Wayoh Reservoir 2-2 2-1 2-3 2-1 2 3-1 3 2 Rumworth Lodge 1 2 8 9 11 10 1 8 8 Breeding was confirmed at over 20 sites although the high water levels at most waters greatly reduced numbers and many nests were washed out. Two pairs bred at Belmont Reservoir fledging one young and a pair at Springs Reservoir again fledging one young. Pairs were unsuccessful at Dingle and Delph Reservoirs. Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) Rare Winter Visitor. There was just one record this year and that was a single at Pennington Country Park on 30 th December. Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) Scarce Breeder. There were five sites where this uncommon grebe was recorded this year but no noticeable increases 10 in sightings in our area. Houghton Green Pool again saw the highest numbers with singles in March then pairs in April and May. There was a maximum of 7 there in July and up to 5 in August, a single stayed on the pool up to 23rd September. Elsewhere singles were on Scotman‟s Flash from the 19th to 24th March and again singles on 1st and 21st April. Pennington Country Park recorded birds in March when singles and a pair were present up to 3 birds were seen in April and singles in June and 27th September. A single was at Elton Reservoir on 24th August and a single on Hope Carr Reserve on 21st September. Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) Common winter visitor. JAN FEB MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 47 42 40 27 4 4 10 18 25 25 40 Other sites where these birds were recorded included the Wigan Flashes with 12 in March, Rumworth Lodge with 18 in December, there were 11 at Elton Reservoir in December and smaller numbers were seen at Jumbles Reservoir, Moses Gate Country Park, Houghton Green Pool and Wayoh Reservoir. There were again up to 4 adults present in the breeding season in potential nesting trees at a site in the West Pennine Moors. There were 13 birds at Belmont Reservoir in September and 12 roosted at Delph Reservoir on 17th October which was a site record. Bittern (Botaurus stellaris). Rare winter visitor. I was surprised when I checked the records for this bird submitted for this year and found only 6 sightings, all in the Wigan area. During 2006 sightings covered 8 months of the year with numerous records from the Wigan Flashes and singles at Belmont and Pennington Country Park. The only records this year came from Bryn Marsh with sightings there on 6th and 25th November and a single in Pearson‟s Flash area recorded on 4 days in December. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) Rare visitor. There were just two records this year a single was seen in the stream below Elton Reservoir on 28 th August and 2 birds were over on 4th September. Cattle Egret (Ardea ibis) Rare Visitor. A single bird was recorded at Pennington Country Park on 2nd December. This was the first recorded sighting of this bird in the recording area. The bird was first noted on the golf course at Pennington and when disturbed flew off but remained within the boundary of the park for a short while. However the bird was not seen after that date. During that month there was a small influx of these birds in the Country. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea). Common Resident. The Entwistle heronry has remained remarkably consistent over the last 5 years and despite some loss of nesting trees in the January 2007 gales, held 41 occupied nests this year. Success there was unprecedented with all nests later showing signs of containing young. A pair prospected at Delph Reservoir and 7 birds roosted there in October. The heronry at Botany Bay Wood held 110 nests although I received no numbers of fledglings. Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) Rare Vagrant. There was just one record of a single bird over Risley Moss Reserve on 13th May (P Hilton). 11 Red Kite (Milvus milvus) Rare Visitor. Records of single birds came from three locations including Egerton on 24th February, over Lilford Wood on 7th April and at Risley Moss Reserve on 18th April and 8th of June. Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) Uncommon Passage Migrant. The majority of records came from Risley Moss Reserve with a total of 14 sightings this is due to the efforts of a small team of dedicated bird watchers. January saw a female on 7th then there was a break until April when there were 4 sightings, again of a female. Two records in May of females then in June a male appeared on 19th a female was seen on 2nd and 5th. There were singles in July and August then a further absence of birds until December when a single female was briefly seen on 17th. Elsewhere records came from Astley in April and May. Singles were observed over the Wigan Flashes in May and July and a single was over Pennington Country Park on 24th August. Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Uncommon Migrant. In all there were 15 sightings in the recording area commencing with a ringtail seen over Astley and Risley Moss Reserve on 20th January and a male at Egerton on 24th. Risley Moss Reserve recorded a female on 19th February and a male on 5th March then a female over on 5th and a male on 24th both during May. Risley Moss Reserve saw a break from sightings until a young male was there on 22nd November and was seen well into December and that was followed by a female on 7 th which stayed around until 24th December. Further north in the West Pennine moors area a male was present as per last year from January until late March. A female was also recorded in suitable breeding habitat in the West Pennine Moors area from late May and throughout July and was observed to carry off a moorhen at Belmont Reservoir in July. Also in that area a female or immature was at Belmont on several dates in late September and a male was there throughout October. Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) Rare Visitor. There was just one record of this rare raptor, a single over Risley Moss Reserve on 30th September (D Stewart). Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) Common Resident. Again this year was very similar to the past few years with over a hundred sightings in the recording area with a good numbers coming from member‟s gardens. At Risley Moss Reserve 3 birds were seen together in May and 5 were together over Delph Plantations in September. Breeding was confirmed at 5 sites within our area. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) Common Resident. Nationally this bird is increasing and this year there were hundreds of sightings in the recording area with maximums as follows. Risley Moss Reserve recorded 18 birds all viewed at the same time in September then 12 in October. On the Lowton Winwick border 12 were observed in August. On 5th September 9 were seen over Blackrod and in the Rindle Astley area 8 were there in March and 5 over nearby Chat Moss in June. Two pairs bred in the Belmont area for the first time then family groups of 3 and 4 were present in late August and 6 were seen roosting in a plantation near Belmont in November. Other breeding sites included Risley Moss Reserve and Windy Bank Glazebury with evidence of breeding in the Hulton area and a pair possible bred at Roddlesworth. Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) Rare Visitor. There was a bird of this description recorded at Houghton Green Pool on 3rd October. (M Baron). 12 Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Rare Passage Migrant. There were 9 records all of single birds; the first was recorded over Astley on 14 th March. Also during the month a bird was seen over Wigan on 15th and at Ringley on 24th. The month of April saw 3 sightings of birds over Ringley, Pennington Country Park and Wigan. There was a single sighting over Pennington Country Park in May and an unconfirmed bird at Wigan in August. Risley Moss Reserve recorded a single on 26th September. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) Common Resident. This bird was recorded throughout the year at all sites within the recording area and can still be classified as a common breeding bird. Breeding took place at Gin Pit Astley with 6 young and Rindle Astley with 5 young. Also a pair bred at Martland Mill, Hope Carr area of Leigh and in the Elton area and 3 pairs bred in the Belmont area. I have no doubt that several other pairs bred in the area. Merlin (Falco columbarius) Uncommon Winter Visitor. Two traditional breeding sites in the West Pennine Moors area were unoccupied this year, one due to moorland fires and the second for reasons unknown. Further south sightings were recorded throughout the year with the exception of July. Risley Moss Reserve again recorded the greatest number of sightings with male and female in January, a male in February and 2 sightings in March. There were 2 sightings there during April and May then a break until August when there were 3 sightings. From September to the end of the year male and female birds were seen on a regular basis. In the Astley area singles were observed during January, February and March with an unusual sighting of a bird on Moss Lane during June. A single was present on Chat Moss in February and November; singles were recorded at Pennington Country Park in February and December and at Winwick and Rumworth Lodge also in December. Hobby (Falco subbuteo) Uncommon Summer Visitor. The majority of sightings again this year came from Risley Moss Reserve, Chat Moss and Astley. The first spring arrival was seen on 22nd April near to the Astley sand quarry. On 23rd an adult appeared at Risley Moss Reserve then there was a sighting at Astley on 27th and a bird at Risley on 28th. The following month of May saw 2 birds at Risley on 1st and 3 there on 24th, singles were seen near to the Astley Landfill on 11th and 15th. During June Risley Moss Reserve saw singles and pairs on 6 occasions and a bird was seen over Chat Moss. There were a total of 14 sightings at Risley Moss Reserve in August; singles were seen at Astley Chat Moss and Hope Carr Reserve during that month. August records included 10 sightings over Risley Moss Reserve with singles again in the Astley and Chat Moss areas. September records included singles and pairs at Risley Moss Reserve on 6 occasions and in October singles were there on 6 occasions, the last bird was recorded on 12th of that month. Elsewhere Pennington Country Park recorded singles in May, June, July and September. A single was at Three Sisters in June and 2 in September and singles were reported from Elton Reservoir and Ringley in September and another single over Belmont on 3rd October. Although Risley Moss Reserve recorded up to 8 different birds last year on the whole the sightings of singles and pairs has increased and the number of sites has also increased. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Uncommon Resident. This year saw an increase in sightings again I received over 75 reports of birds in the reporting area. Risley Moss Reserve was closely monitored and birds were recorded throughout the year with sightings up to 6 days in the month. Pennington Country Park recorded birds during 5 months of the year with up to 5 sightings in one month. Other sites where birds were recorded were Chat Moss, Billinge, Bickershaw, Houghton Green Pool, Bolton Town Centre, Elton Reservoir, Atherton, and Standish. Breeding was confirmed, although no young were seen at a site in the West Pennine Moors not used since 1995. A juvenile bird was seen repeatedly trying to catch adult rabbits at Belmont in August and October. 13 Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) Uncommon Resident. Winter Visitor. Most records of this secretive bird came during the winter months of up to 3 at Pennington Country Park in February and 5 in November. Other sites where up to 3 birds were seen included The Wigan Flashes, Risley Moss Reserve, Orrell Water Park, Lightshaw Flash and Rumworth Lodge; there were 3 territories on the Abram Flashes in April and one territory at Tinker Joes Bickershaw again in April. Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). Common Resident. The following are maximum counts at each location. Pennington Country Park 67 in November, Mesnes Park 25 in December, Belmont Reservoir 27 in February, Red Seas 17 in January, Firs Park 11 in November, Diggles Flash 8 in December, Worthington Lakes 7 in December and Fan Lodge 4 again in December. Pairs bred at all locations with good numbers of young seen. At Belmont Reservoir a record 11 pairs bred including 5 pairs enjoying good success within the gull colony where the adults regularly predate unguarded black-headed gull nests. Coot (Fulica atra). Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 60 97 60 45 40 200 300 390 330 238 Houghton Green Pool 100 38 33 6 16 42 71 82 78 67 78 Worthington Lakes 21 28 30 7 11 11 9 8 12 16 Diggles Flash 14 14 10 12 10 10 Fan Lodge 4 6 6 2 6 2 6 Rumworth Lodge recorded 70 in August and 25 were recorded at Rixton Clay Pits in December. Breeding was confirmed at all sites and 2 pairs bred at the Ornamental Reservoir at Belmont for the first time since 2000. Common Crane (Grus grus). Very Rare Passage. A single bird was observed over Risley Moss Reserve on 3rd April and was again seen over the Astley area later that day. (P Hilton and D Stewart). Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) Uncommon Visitor. Records for this bird were from January to September the first bird recorded was at Pennington Country Park on 5th January then 2 on 28th. A single was back at Belmont Reservoir on 14th and at Rumworth Lodge that same day. February saw maximums of 16 at Belmont Reservoir and 11 at Pennington Country Park. During March 22 were at Pennington Country Park, 18 at Belmont Reservoir, 10 at Rumworth Lodge and smaller numbers at other waters. In April 12 were at Pennington Country Park, 8 at Rumworth Lodge and pairs at Red Seas and Glazebury. Between the months of May and August most waters recorded pairs, 8 were at Pennington Country Park in July. Breeding was confirmed at Rumworth Lodge where 3 young were seen, at Belmont Reservoir 4 pairs bred, only 2 pairs were successful, fledging 2 young and 1 young; at Delph Reservoir 2 pairs bred but only 1 young fledged and at Springs Reservoir 1 pair had only 1 young. Although birds were present at Hope Carr Reserve I received no record of breeding. The last bird recorded was at Belmont Reservoir on 15th September. 14 Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta). Rare passage. There was just one record received this year that of a single with a group of Curlew at Belmont Reservoir on 28th February. Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) Uncommon Summer Visitor. Records were received from 10 sites between March and September. The first record received was a single at Astley Peat Pools on 11th March then 2 on 17th of that month and a maximum of 9 by the end of April. I received no records since April from Astley Peat Pools, where birds bred successfully last year, perhaps this is partly due to disturbance by the peat workings. Records during April saw a maximum of 6 at Pennington Country Park and Rumworth Lodge, 5 at Belmont Reservoir with pairs at Worthington Lakes, Wigan Flashes and a single at Elton Reservoir. In May there was a count of 9 at Pennington Country Park during the first 2 weeks and 4 to the end of the month and 3 birds at Belmont Reservoir. Three birds were at Rumworth Lodge that month and 3 were seen at Risley Moss Reserve. Pennington Country Park recorded 6 birds during June; a pair was at Horrocks Flash and a single at Risley Moss Reserve and Wards Reservoir. In July Hope Carr Reserve recorded up to 8 birds pairs were seen at Pennington Country Park, Rumworth Lodge, Risley Moss Reserve and Horrocks Flash. High water levels this year caused breeding problems for these birds however 1 pair bred successfully at Belmont Reservoir despite having to have 2 attempts. The last bird recorded was a single at Belmont Reservoir on 8th September. Great Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) Migrant Scarce Breeder. Early winter records commenced with a single at Pennington Country Park on 3rd February then 3 in March and April, 4 in May, 3 in June and singles in July and August; a pair bred there in April. Belmont Reservoir recorded singles in April, May and August. There was a pair on the Astley Peat Pools in April and up to 4 birds at Horrocks Flash in July. Risley Moss Reserve recorded birds over the reserve in March, April and 3 over in July. Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) Common Winter Visitor. Early winter records saw a flock of 50 near to Astley Village on 15th January this increased to 70 in March and by April the flock had reached some 300 birds. There was a small group of 6 on the moors above Belmont on 4th February, 23 birds flew over Risley on 13th of that month and a single was at Pennington Country Park then 3 there in March. On 12th April a flock of 60 was recorded in a ploughed field near to Fan Lodge at Bickershaw. A similar number of birds were seen over Risley on 5th April during bad weather. Breeding was confirmed at Belmont where 4 pairs bred although one nest was destroyed by a moorland fire in early May. There were 2 pairs on territory on Haslingden - Oswaldtwistle Moor and 3 pairs on Wet Moss - Musden Head Moor during the breeding season. Late winter records included 2 on the Horwich moors and up to 4 at Pennington Country Park in October. Singles and pairs were at Pennington Country Park in November and 2 were over Risley Moss Reserve on 11th of that month. During December a flock of 100+ was seen over fields at Winwick Lane Lowton, 35 roosted on roofs in Blackburn Road Bolton, 20 were seen over Risley and 18 at Winwick on 22nd of that month. Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) Common Resident. JAN FEB MARC APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 120 200 305 50 370 500 600 400 200 100+ Houghton Green Pool 45 10 48 90 Belmont Reservoir 80 370 200 300 150 24 260 40 Rumworth Lodge 180 300 70 60 80 90 200 15 Pennington Country Park again produced some good numbers of wintering roosting flocks of around 500 birds. Smaller wintering numbers were at Rumworth Lodge, Houghton Green Pool and in the Risley area. Birds using warehouse roofs as winter roost saw 120+ in the Bolton area and 140 in the Wigan area. During April there were numerous records of birds on territory throughout the recording area but due to the wet conditions there were very few records of chicks. Further north in the Belmont area the numbers around Belmont Reservoir were more or less stable with an estimated 34 pairs but only 3 pairs bred – unsuccessfully - on the island. Four pairs bred on Winter Hill above 425m above sea level and 10 pairs settled on territories on burnt areas of Belmont moor within a week of the fire. Red Knot (Calidris canutus) Rare Migrant. There was just one record of a single at Elton Reservoir on 14th September. Sanderling (Calidris alba) Rare Migrant. Pennington Country Park recorded singles on 8th, 9th and 17th April then 2 on 24th May. Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) Rare Migrant. There was just one record of a single seen at Pennington Country Park on 12th May. Dunlin (Calidris alpina) Common Passage Migrant. JAN FEB MAR APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV Pennington Country Park Single Single Single 7 16 4 5 Singles Single Singles Single on 3 on 3 on 3 Maximum Maximum Maximum Maximum on 5 on 3 and days days days days days 1 pair Other records included Lightshaw of a single in March, Risley Moss Reserve singles in July and September, Rumworth Lodge singles in April and 3 in May, Elton Reservoir a single in May and 6 over Houghton Green Pool also in May. Further north at least 1 pair bred above Belmont the highest count there was 9 on 19th May. Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) Uncommon Visitor. There were 7 recorded sightings this year commencing with singles at the Wigan Flashes on 27 th April and a single at Pennington Country Park the following day. In June 2 birds were seen over Risley Moss Reserve on 18th followed by a small group of 6 over Risley on 21st July. During August 2 birds were recorded at Pennington Country Park on 13th and on 25th 8 flew over Risley Moss Reserve. The last record was a group of 5 over Risley Moss Reserve on 19th September. Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus) Uncommon Winter Visitor. JAN FEB MARCH APRIL SEPT OCT NOV DEC Risley Moss Reserve 3 on 13th 1 on 1st 3 on 17th. 1 on 13th 3 on 26th 1 on 3 days 2 on 3 days 1 on 7th. 1 on 29th 2 on 30th Other records were as follows. Bickershaw 14 on 16th January, a single on 6th November and 13th December. Three were at Astley Peat Pools on 11th March. A single was at Rumworth Lodge on 22nd October and single at Belmont on 23rd March and 21st December. 16 Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 14 8 6 7 1 8 34 55 17 10 Risley Moss Reserve 23 89 40 1 1 20 45 69 73 34 Records from other sites included Bickershaw 22 in January, Astley Peat Pools 30 in March, Chat Moss 28 in November, Elton Reservoir 23 in September, and Cranberry Moss 30+ in October, 20 in fields near Belmont in October with smaller numbers were seen on the Wigan Flashes, Abram Flashes and Red Seas. In the Belmont area 5 pairs bred around Belmont Reservoir and a further 22 “drummers” were recorded around Belmont indicating a healthy breeding population in the West Pennine Moors Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) Uncommon Visitor - Resident. During January beaters flushed 25+ birds from Rhododendrons on 24th and 30+ from bracken on 27th at Belmont. A single was on the moors at 373m above sea level at Belmont on 26 th October and 12+ were flushed by beaters on 12th December. Breeding was confirmed at Belmont at 2 sites one at the early date of 26th April with one young and a nest with 3+ was found on 26th June. Risley Moss Reserve recorded singles and pairs each month during the winter months of January to March and October to December. There was an unconfirmed record of 40+ birds flushed by shooters on Bedford Moss in November. Single sightings also came from Pennington Country Park in February and December and Jumbles Reservoir and Giants Hall in November. Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) Uncommon Passage Migrant. MARCH APRIL JUNE JULY AUG SEPT NOV Pennington Country Park 2 on 3 days. 5 on 1st. 1 on 12th. 1 on 5 days. 1 on 1st 2 on 30th 1 on 1st 3 on 28th 6 on 9th. 14on 24th 2 on 24th 2 on 11th 18 on 12th Other sites where birds were recorded are perhaps the same birds seen at Pennington Country Park including, Lightshaw Flash with 4 in March, up to 9 in April and a single in July. Rumworth Lodge recorded 3 birds in April. Horrocks Flash saw singles during the months of April, June and July. Eight birds were seen over Risley Moss Reserve in July. In the Belmont area 5 were recorded at Belmont Reservoir on 16th April and singles on 30th June and 1st July. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) Rare Passage Migrant. Early winter passage commenced in April with a sighting of 3 over Horwich on 12th followed by singles at Belmont Reservoir on 13th and a bird was over Hope Carr Reserve that day. Also that month a single was over Pennington Country Park on 22nd and 5 were over on 26th. The following month of May saw a single at Delph on 3rd and 2 on 7th. Again during May 3 were at Pennington Country Park on 4th a single over on 24th, then 4 on 8th at Risley Moss Reserve. The largest group recorded was 10 at Belmont Reservoir on 12th May, 2 on 14th and a single on 16th of that month. During the months of July, September and November singles were recorded over Pennington Country Park each month. Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) Common Passage Breeder - Migrant. The largest concentration of birds recorded in our area came from Belmont Reservoir area, 2 birds returned on 17th February. The roost held 52 birds on 25th February this rose to a maximum of 132 birds by 6th March and was down to 49 birds by 22nd March. Two pairs with young were at Belmont Reservoir in early July. There was an estimated 6+ pairs bred on Hoddlesden - Aushaw Mosses and a similar number of pairs bred on Haslingden - Oswaldtwistle Moors during the season. 17 The last bird recorded at Belmont Reservoir was seen on 27th August. Further south Pennington Country Park recorded small groups of up to 3 birds passing over between February and July. During those months other small groups of between 1 and 3 birds were seen over Astley, Rumworth Lodge, Bickershaw, Boothstown and Risley with the largest group being 8 birds at Rindle Astley on 14th March. Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JUL AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Pennington Country Park 1 on 3 on 14 8 8 5 1 to 1 to Singles 3 1 Singles 5th 25th Maximum Maximum Maximum Maximum 2 2 Maximum to 2 Houghton Green Pool 2 2 2 1 2 1 to 1 3 4 Maximum 2 Other records received included up to 8 at Astley Peat Pools, 6 at Lightshaw Flash, pairs at Ringley ETW, Rumworth Lodge and Boothstown in March. There were 6 birds at Lightshaw Flash in April and a pair at Worthington Lakes. It was a good year on the West Pennine Moors with 6 pairs breeding around Belmont Reservoir and a further 4 pairs on nearby moorland. Breeding was also confirmed at Risley Moss Reserve and Abram Flashes. Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularius) Uncommon Migrant. There were 8 records of this uncommon migrant a single at Astley Peat Pools on 14th and 29th April, singles were at Horrocks Flash on 11th and Risley Moss Reserve on 15th July. During August singles were at Pennington Country Park on 1st, Risley Moss Reserve on 12th with 3 over on 13th. A single was at Belmont Reservoir on 15th September. Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) Uncommon Passage Migrant. Winter Visitor. This bird was recorded each month of the year with the exception of May. The largest group was at Hope Carr Reserve of 6 in July and September and up to 3 birds during the recorded months. Other recorded sightings including Risley Moss Reserve, Ringley ETW, Pennington Country Park, Abram Flashes, Rumworth Lodge, Glazebury, Horrocks Flash and Belmont where either singles or pairs were seen during the year. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) Rare Migrant. Two sites recorded this rare migrant; a single over Risley Moss Reserve on 29th April followed by singles at Pennington Country Park on 14th, 22nd and 23rd April. A single was at Risley Moss Reserve on 30th June. Pennington Country Park recorded 2 on 21st July and a single was recorded at Risley Moss Reserve on 20th August. Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) Uncommon Summer Visitor. The first to return to the recording area was a single at Wards Reservoir on 7th April and 20+ birds were around Belmont on 26th of that month. Rumworth Lodge recorded a single on 11th April and 3 at the end of the month. At Pennington Country Park birds arrived on 12th of a pair, increasing to 7 birds by 24th. The only records that I received for May and June included up to 2 birds at Pennington Country Park. In July Pennington Country Park saw up to 5 birds singles were at Doffcocker Lodge, Hope Carr Reserve and pairs at Horrocks Flash and Pearson‟s Flash and up to 3 at Elton Reservoir. Birds remained until August there were 3 at Rumworth Lodge and a pair at Pennington Country Park, the last bird at Belmont Reservoir was recorded on 18th August. 18 Breeding was confirmed at Belmont Reservoir with 5 pairs having bred, 4 or 5 pairs bred at Delph, 2 pairs bred at Springs and one pair bred at Wards. I received no record of breeding birds in the south of the recording area. Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) Uncommon Passage Migrant. Pennington Country Park recorded single birds on 11th and 12th May and a single on 14th June. Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) Rare Vagrant. A juvenile bird was recorded at Pennington Country Park on 17th and 18th September. Grey Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) Rare Vagrant. A single bird was recorded at Hope Carr Reserve on 18th to 21st September. Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus) Rare visitor. A single bird was found at Pennington Country Park on 6th September but unfortunately died even though it had been taken into care. Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus) Rare Visitor. Belmont Reservoir is now of considerable national importance for this species as the site held some 7.4% of the British population in 2007. In 2006 at least 12 birds were present at Belmont this has increased this year to a minimum of 20 birds, 8 and a possible 9 nests were located and at least 14 young seen, 8 young were ringed (5 black on yellow coloured rings). Amongst the young that were ringed in 2006 one was found near Madrid Spain in April this year and another located in the Azores during November 2006 and again in March and November in 2007. During the year there were 3 sightings of singles at Rumworth Lodge; singles were seen at Pennington Country Park, Scotman‟s Flash and Astley Peat Pools. Little Gull (Larus minutus) Uncommon Visitor. Pennington Country Park sightings included 13 on 17th March, 4 on 16th April singles and pairs up to 23rd of that month and a single on 7th September. Single birds were also at Astley and Houghton Green Pool on 15th April. Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) Common Resident. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Delph Reservoir (Roosts) 1,200 1,100 200 650 550 700 1,200 900 Pennington Country Park (Roosts) 6,300 500 500 500 5,000 6,000+ 5,000 Houghton Green Pool 375 45 75 250 234 120 Jumbles Reservoir - Wayoh Reservoir 50/40 80/15 96 56 16/61 55/34 70 21/16 This year there was some serious monitoring of the roost at Pennington Country Park and my thanks goes to J Tymon and others for their hard work. Birds returning to breed at Belmont Reservoir had reached 1,000 on 18th February with numbers rising to 2,200 on 25th February, up to 5,000 by 10th March and to over 7,000 by 4th April. Productivity was excellent at Belmont Reservoir with a minimum of 5,000 juveniles fledging. 19 Over the last 13 years the number of breeding pairs at Belmont Reservoir has gone from just 3 in 1995 to a huge 3,540 pairs this year. I received one other record of breeding that of 100 pairs having bred around the Wigan Flashes with a count of 61 chicks in June. Numbers using the Delph Reservoir roost are now less than 50% of a decade ago. Common Gull (Larus canus) Common Winter Visitor. Pennington Country Park recorded a total of 200 birds roosting in January, less than 10 birds were seen during the rest of the winter months. Again in January Delph Reservoir saw a count of 50 up to 5 birds were seen on many waters. The only other noticeable number was a count of 43 at Gidlow in December. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) Common Winter Visitor. Due to the roost at Pennington Country Park being better monitored counts for the latter part of the year saw 100 in October and up to 500 birds during November and December. Peak counts at Belmont Reservoir were 86 in June and 84 in October, a southerly passage over Belmont on 23rd September had counts of 30 per hour. Two pairs held territory on the periphery of the Black-headed Gull colony at Belmont Reservoir and one pair are thought to have bred successfully. The maximums for other sites were, 32 at Worthington Lakes in March, 300 at Chat Moss, 134 over Houghton Green Pool in June and 210 over Risley Moss Reserve in October. The majority of the smaller waters saw counts of up to 10 birds during the year. Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) Common Winter Visitor. Maximum counts at Pennington Country Park included 50 in January, 20 in March, 40 in October, 400 in November and 500 in December. Houghton Green Pool saw counts of 85 in October and 374 in November. At Boothstown (near to Astley Landfill) there was a count of 200 in February and 70 in September. There was a steady passage of approximately 20 per hour over Belmont of birds flying south and 8 flying southeast on 10th, 11th February. Despite the presence of small numbers of adults around the gullery at Belmont Reservoir throughout the breeding season there was no indication of breeding. Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) Uncommon Winter Visitor. One record was submitted that of a 2nd winter bird at Pennington Country Park on 30th December. Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans) Rare Visitor. There was a report of a single at Pennington Country Park on 27th May and 31st December. Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) Uncommon Winter Visitor. The highest count was of 24 birds seen on Houghton Green Pool on 23rd December. At Delph Reservoir 15 birds roosted on 30th January. Pennington Country Park recorded 4 in January, 6 in March, 6 in October and 5 in November. At Belmont Reservoir 2 immature birds were present throughout the breeding season on the periphery of the gullery where they predated Black-headed Gull eggs, young and juveniles. Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) Uncommon Visitor. Pennington Country Park recorded singles on 3rd April and 17th, 18th August. 20 Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis) Scarce Passage Migrant. Pennington Country Park recorded single birds on 21st April and 8th August. Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) Uncommon Summer Visitor. Breeder. The first spring sightings came from Pennington Country Park and Rumworth Lodge of singles on 12th April. By the end of that month there were 23 on Horrocks Flash, 8 at Pennington Country Park, 5 at Doffcocker Lodge and 6 at Rumworth Lodge. Further north 2 birds were back at their breeding site on Delph Reservoir on 3rd May. During May Horrocks Flash recorded 23 birds up to 9 were at Pennington Country Park, 4 pairs were at Doffcocker Lodge and 3 were seen at Rumworth Lodge. Breeding birds in June were successful at Horrocks Flash where between 30 to 35 pairs bred most of which reared young. At Pennington Country Park 3 young were seen that month although I have no report of birds nesting perhaps due to the takeover of Black-headed Gull on the tern platforms. At Doffcocker Lodge 6 pairs bred that month and 2 pairs bred successfully at Delph Reservoir a total of 9 chicks were ringed. Rumworth Lodge nests were abandoned due to high water levels in May and it‟s not known if the birds made a second attempt. Other sites where birds were recorded included Elton Reservoir, Jumbles Reservoir and Wayoh Reservoir. Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisea) Uncommon Passage Visitor. During May Pennington Country Park recorded 5 birds on 1st then a huge group of 35 appeared on 2nd singles on 5th and 7th and a single was at Dover Lock on 10th of that month. On 23rd July 2 birds were reported over Astley. Little Tern (Sterna albifrons) Rare Visitor. There were 2 records both of a single bird at Pennington Country Park on 23rd April and another on 9th May. Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) Uncommon Passage Migrant. On 1st May there were 3 birds recorded at Pennington Country Park and 2 birds at Scotman‟s Flash on 2nd of that month. A single turned up at Rumworth Lodge on 23rd July. During August Pennington Country Park recorded a juvenile present on 15th, 16th and 17th, 2 adults were present on 23rd and 4 birds on 25th. Stock Dove (Columba oenas) Uncommon Resident. There appears to be a steady increase in the numbers recorded with early winter records of 60 at Belmont, 13 on Chat Moss and 14 at Lowton in January and 18 at Rindle in February. Later winter flocks included 13 near to Astley Landfill in September, 23 at Rumworth Lodge in October, 18 at Lowton in November, a large flock of 60 again at Belmont and a flock of up to 100 birds in the Astley Moss area in December. Smaller groups were recorded at Risley Moss Reserve, Pennington Country Park, Windy Bank Glazebury, Lilford Wood, Houghton Green Pool, Standish Hall Lane and Worthington. Breeding was confirmed with 4 pairs around Belmont Reservoir and 17 young fledged. Windy Bank Glazebury 2 pairs bred, in Lilford and Atherton Woods up to 3 pairs bred. Wood Pigeon (Columba plumbs) Common Resident. During the early winter months the largest flocks were recorded at Roddlesworth Plantations of 1,000+ in January, Pennington Country Park 450 in January and Houghton Green Pool 400 in January. A small flock of 45+ birds were seen feeding on whinberries on Winter Hill in June and July. Risley Moss Reserve recorded between 1,000 and 1,200 birds during September. There was a southerly passage over the Belmont area in the autumn with approximately 50 birds per hour on 30th September, 65 per hour on 6th October and 500 per hour on 20th October. 21 Again there was a flock of 1,000+ in Roddlesworth Plantations in October whilst at Risley Moss Reserve the flocks there held up to 400 in November then a steady rise from 650 on 1 st December to over 1,000 birds on 14th then a massive 2,600 birds was recorded on 27th December. Also during December there were flocks of 1,000 birds over Birley Wood, 500 at Rindle and 1,000 at Houghton Green Pool. Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) Common Resident. The counts of birds in the Belmont area are slightly lower than last year with 32 in January and 24+ in October, compared with 42 in October last year. Other maximum counts for gardens further south were also slightly down on last years totals with 26 at Winwick, 20 at Bedford and 13 at Tyldesley, 10 in Ellenbrook, 10 at Edgworth, 10 at Bromley Cross, 11 in Bickershaw and a flock of 33 on Astley Moss in March. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) Scarce Resident. There were a few sightings this year all singles at Risley Moss Reserve on 5th February, on the Astley Allotments on 17th May and on Scotman‟s Flash on 17th August. There were a number of sightings at the end of the year in Leverhulme Park Bolton. Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) Uncommon Summer Visitor. The first record I received was a bird at Lever Park Avenue Horwich on 8th April the next record was on 15th at Astley Peat Pools. Birds were then heard at Chat Moss, Bickershaw and Risley Moss Reserve, Pennington Country Park and Belmont towards the end of April. In the West Pennine Moors area of Belmont there were sightings and calls at 7 sites but only one female was confirmed in the area. Further south sightings of single birds continued through May, June and July with the last recorded on 20th August that of a juvenile bird in the Risley Moss Reserve area. Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Uncommon Resident. This year was an excellent year for this bird due to a bumper year for its main prey, voles, and the excellent work carried out by various people in the form of erecting boxes and monitoring etc. There were at least 20 pairs that bred in the recording area by far the largest total yet and this is borne out by the large number of individuals seen throughout the year many during the daylight hours. In the northern region of our area 2 pairs bred at Belmont eventually fledging 5 young at one nest which were rung in August and the second nest raised only one young on the first attempt and then went on to raise another brood of 5 but this went down to 1 young by October. Little Owl (Athene noctua) Uncommon Resident. Records were similar to last year with singles and pairs seen at over 14 sites which included Timperley Lane, Leigh, Astley Village, Rindle Astley, Elton Reservoir, Shore Top, Windy Bank Glazebury, Winwick Lane, Walker Fold, Belmont, Woods Farm, A580 Leigh, and Lightshaw Flash area, Chat Moss, Rumworth Lodge, Moss Lane Astley and Risley Moss Reserve. There was evidence of breeding at many of the sites with juvenile birds reported. Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) Uncommon Resident. There were a total of 16 sites where this bird was recorded with most records coming in the months January to March and September to November. Locations of sightings included Astley area, Lilford and or Atherton Woods, Lostock, Birley Village, Botany Bay Wood, Borsdane Wood, Walker Fold, Bedford, Marsland Green, Frodsham Wood, Winwick, Belmont and Burnt Edge. Breeding was confirmed at Belmont with 4+ pairs, Atherton and or Lilford Woods, Atherton Cemetery and Borsdane Wood. 22 Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) Uncommon Resident. A pair bred successfully in the Belmont area fledging 4 young which were ringed in June. An adult bird was unfortunately found dead near Belmont in September. In the southern part of our recording area there were 15 sightings most of them from the mosslands and an occasional bird roosting at Pennington Country Park. Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) Scarce Winter Visitor. Breeder. Early winter records included sightings of a single at Risley Moss Reserve on 24th January, 13th February and 7th March. Singles were also on Chat Moss on 15th January and 15th February and a single was seen near to the landfill at Astley on 8th February. Birds were noted around Belmont from 9th January to 23rd August and after one nest was burnt out by a moorland fire a second attempt most probably produced at least one young in August. Late winter sightings further south saw singles at Risley Moss Reserve on 6th November and 16th December. Common Swift (Apus apus) Common Summer Visitor. The first returning bird was recorded at the Wigan Flashes on 18th April and a single at Pennington Country Park the following day. Further north the first bird around Belmont appeared on 29th April. The highest concentration of birds was at Pennington Country Park in May when it was estimated there were 3,000 birds on 4th down to 2,000 on 11th of that month. Breeding was confirmed at council estates at Hope Carr Reserve, Carr Bank Street Atherton and Plank Lane Leigh. Flocks containing up to 50 birds were regularly seen over Houghton Green Pool, Rumworth Lodge, Elton Reservoir and the Wigan Flashes between May and July. The last bird at Belmont was there on 11 th August birds were seen at Risley Moss Reserve and Houghton Green Pool on 29th of that month. Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) Uncommon Resident. Records were very similar to recent years with reports from over 20 sites the only record of confirmed breeding was on the River Glaze at Glazebury in June; there was some evidence of breeding on Bedford Brook Leigh. The highest record was of 2 pairs at Pennington Country Park in July and Mesnes Park earlier on in the year during March. Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) Uncommon Resident. The majority of records were submitted between January and April from 12 different sites and only a handful of sightings during the rest of the year. Single records came from Moses Gate Country Park, Pennington Country Park, Risley Moss Reserve, Atherton Wood, Haigh, Doffcocker, Red Seas, Standish Hall Lane, Wayoh Reservoir, Wigan Flashes, Abram Flashes and Atherton Cemetery and 2 birds were seen in Borsdane Wood in February. There were 8 single recorded sightings between May and November from Aspull, Lilford Wood, Astley Village area and Gidlow. I received no records of any breeding from the previously mentioned sites. Resident pairs were noted in the Belmont area 4 young were seen in one nest in June and juveniles at another site in July. Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major) Common Resident. There were a total of 25 sites where these birds were recorded during the year; breeding was confirmed at Lilford Wood where 3 pairs bred and Borsdane Wood where 4 pairs bred. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus minor) Scarce Resident. There was a male drumming at Risley Moss Reserve on 5th, 13th and 18th February a single was there on 2nd March and a juvenile bird on the moss on 30th June. Elsewhere a single was recorded at Crooke Wood on 23rd March. 23 Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis) Common Resident. Early winter records at Risley Moss Reserve saw a count of 130+ birds on a regular basis along the eastern boundary; autumn records were of 139 in September, 75 maximum in October, 100 in November and 36 in December. The only other noticeable early winter records were 35 near to the landfill at Astley and 15 at Pennington Country Park during January. Between 10 and 20 birds were present during the breeding season at Pennington Country Park, Colliers Wood, Moss Lane Astley and Bedford fields, Houghton Green Pool, Martland Mill, Howe Bridge and Winwick with good numbers seen on Chat Moss. A survey on Darwen Moor produced 8 singing males in April in a 1km sq BTO-BBS with the first song noted at Belmont on 12th February. Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) Common Summer Visitor. The first migrants to arrive were seen as singles on 13th March at Pennington Country Park and Elton Reservoir. Wigan Flashes recorded 8 birds on the following day. Numbers increased to 50 at Pennington Country Park by the end of March and 20 were at Elton Reservoir. During the following month of April 150 were seen on the Wigan Flashes on 6th, 100 on 10th at Houghton Green Pool and 50 over Pennington Country Park. There was a group of 20 at Prestolee Aqueduct and smaller number around other waters. In June there was up to 80 nests at a sand quarry at Tyldesley and 22 nests on the River Irwell at Ratcliffe. The last sighting was of a single bird over Pennington Country Park on 26th September. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) Common Summer Visitor. The earliest bird to arrive was recorded over Pennington Country Park on 11th March and sightings at Risley Moss Reserve on 29th and Rumworth Lodge on 30th. Further north the first to return to the Belmont area was seen on 10th April; there was a moderate northerly passage over Belmont on 12 th May averaging approximately 50 birds per hour. Flocks of up to 50 birds were seen over many sites during May including Pennington Country Park, Rumworth Lodge, Wigan Flashes and Risley Moss Reserve. In July a total of 35 young were raised on a farm at Atherton and there was evidence of breeding at many mossland farms. A pair bred in the TV transmitter building at 440m above sea level on Winter Hill, 7 pairs bred at a farm at Roddlesworth and 6 at Belmont. August sightings included 200 over Risley Moss Reserve, 100 at Elton Reservoir and Houghton Green Pool and 400 roosting on Bryn Marsh on 27th. There was a heavy passage over Belmont on 23rd September when an estimate of 300 birds per hour were passing south during the morning. Smaller groups were recorded during October the last bird seen over Delph Reservoir was on 4th November. House Martin (Delichon urbica) Common Summer Visitor. There was a single sighting over Risley Moss Reserve on 31st March this being the earliest arrival. The only records for April was a single at Pennington Country Park on 9th and up to 13 birds at Rumworth Lodge on 20th; the first to return to the Belmont area was a group of 3 on 21st of that month. Flocks increased the following month with 600 over Pennington Country Park on 4th, 30 over Rumworth Lodge that same day and 200 were seen at Houghton Green Pool on 28th. The only sizeable group for June was a record of 50 at Risley. The following are sites where birds nested although no exact numbers of nests is available. Leigh area: Bold Street, Windermere Road, Glebe Street, The Avenue, Orchard Lane, Twist Lane, Manchester Road and Edale Road, Walmsley Road. Astley area: up to 10 nest in Blackmoor Village. Tyldesley area: Tyldesley College and Manchester Road Tyldesley. Atherton area: Small Brook Lane and Elizabeth Street Atherton. The colony at Belmont Village held a total of 17 nests a welcome increase to last year‟s meagre result. Other recorded nest sites were Gidlow at Wigan, Slag Lane at Lowton, Standish High School and the Queens at Bickershaw. September records saw 200+ over Elton Reservoir and 30+ over Belmont Village when the last bird seen was on 30th September. Elton Reservoir recorded 200 on 1st October the last record came from Risley Moss Reserve of 3 birds on 4th October. 24 Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) Uncommon Summer Visitor. The first to return to the area was a single at Belmont on 30th April. There are no details of any breeding records for this bird. Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) Common Resident. Pennington Country Park recorded flocks of up to 30 birds during the year and 60 in September. Risley Moss Reserve saw a roost of 60 birds in February, 34 in March and 45 in October. Rumworth Lodge recorded 30 in February and September and 20 in October. Other sites where up to 30 birds were seen included Boothstown, Haigh, Martland Mill, Wigan Flashes, Elton Reservoir, Jumbles Reservoir and Colliers Wood Leigh where small numbers bred. Breeding sites further north recorded 19 in April and 22 in May in a 1kmsq BTO-BBS on Darwin Moor, compared with 17 and 32 in April and June 2006. On 26th August there were approximately 60 at Belmont Reservoir, passage birds were noted going south at approximately 50 per hour on 23rd and 30th September and 20th October then 80 per hour on 6th October. Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus). Scarce Visitor. The only record this year came from Elton Reservoir of a single bird on 27th October. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) Uncommon Summer Visitor. Returning single birds were noted on 26th April at Worthington Lakes and on 28th of that month in the horse pasture at Astley. The Chat Moss area saw some good numbers this year with 8 birds on 9th May and there was evidence of breeding in that area in June. In July a total of 17 birds were recorded which included 13 juveniles this increased to 21 birds in August again most were juvenile birds. At Houghton Green Pool a resident pair returned and breeding was confirmed. Risley Moss Reserve recorded singles on 2nd May, 7th June, 9th August and a bird over on 4th September. Other recorded sightings included singles at Pennington Country Park on 1st and 11th May. Elton Reservoir saw 2 in August, 3 on 2nd and 3rd September and a single up to 15th of that month. A pair was on the Worsley Filter beds in July and a pair on Little Woolden Moss in September, 4 juvenile birds were seen on the Astley SSSI on 22nd September. Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) Common Resident. This bird was recorded at over 20 sites mainly single and pairs; there was a count of 8 birds at Pennington Country Park in August. There was evidence of breeding at Pennington Country Park, Elton Reservoir and at many other sites and 9 pairs bred in the Belmont area. Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba) Common Resident. There were numerous sightings of this common bird from all locations. The largest gathering was 200+ in a Wigan Town centre roost in January, up to a 100 birds were on the Hope Carr sewage beds during the winter months. In August 52 were recorded in a field on Chat Moss, 30+ roosted at Belmont Reservoir when16 were caught and rung, 19 were at Elton Reservoir. September groups included 19 at Marsland Green, 30 at Gidlow and 10 at Astley. There was a roost of over 100 birds in Bolton Centre in November with up to 150 the following month. Birds bred at most sites. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba). Uncommon Migrant. During the month of April 6 birds were at Astley, 4 at Pennington Country Park and a single at Boothstown and another single at Astley Peat Pools during March. A single was recorded later in the year at Belmont Reservoir on 28th August. 25 Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) Irregular Winter Visitor. There was just one record of 6 birds seen over Holden Clough at Bolton towards Horwich on 19 th December. Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) Uncommon Resident. There was an increase in sightings this year with birds recorded at their usual river locations. Singles and pairs were recorded throughout the year on the streams and rivers at Jumbles and Wayoh Reservoirs, Worthington Lakes and Haigh and on the River Douglas, Barrow Bridge and Walker Fold, Moses Gate Country Park and the River Irwell to Ratcliffe and at Summerseat with evidence of breeding at most sites. In July 4 birds were recorded at Darcy Lever Bridge. In the Belmont area there was a total of 4 pairs that bred. Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) Common Resident. There were no unusual records regarding this bird which still remains a common resident. Hedge Accentor (Dunnock) (Prunella modularis) Common Resident. Records indicate this is still a common resident with no variations in numbers. Robin (Erithacus rubecula) Common Resident. This remains a very common resident bird in the recording area with no reported large concentrations. Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochrurus) Rare Visitor. There was just one recorded sighting of a female at Risley Moss Reserve on 9th March. Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) Uncommon Passage Migrant. Birds were recorded at 2 sites the first was a bird singing at Barrow Bridge on 1st August and 2 at Elton that month. Again at Elton Reservoir a female and an immature bird were there on 2nd and 8th September then a pair on 6th of that month. Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) Uncommon Passage Migrant. This bird arrived late this year probably due to the wet and cold weather we experienced in early spring. The first record I received was a male at Risley Moss Reserve on 12th May a female was seen at Rumworth Lodge the following day. At Belmont the first to appear did so as a pair on 24th May. A pair was recorded on the moors above Horwich on 6th June and singles at the end of July at Rumworth Lodge and Chat Moss. A single was at Rumworth Lodge from 1st to 10th August and a bird was seen at Elton Reservoir at the end of that month. In the Belmont area a juvenile was recorded on 26th August and 2 juveniles on 9th September. Also during September a single was at Horwich and Risley Moss Reserve on 3rd and again a bird at Rumworth Lodge from 1st to 16th of that month. There was an unseasonable record of 2 juveniles at Dover Basin on 31st October. Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) Uncommon Resident. Sightings of singles and pairs outside the breeding season came from Windy Bank Glazebury, Hope Carr Reserve, Marsland Green, Rumworth Lodge, Risley Moss Reserve, Astley - Boothstown, Chat Moss, Abram and Houghton Green Pool. 26 Records were received throughout the year and breeding areas included Rindle Astley where 3 juveniles were seen, Bickershaw area, Elton Reservoir, West Pennine Moors at Horwich and up to 6 pairs bred around the Belmont area, a count of 16+ birds came from around Belmont Reservoir on 7th October. In October 6 birds were seen at Risley Moss Reserve and 5 at Rumworth Lodge in October and November. Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) Common Summer Visitor. The first to arrival were 2 birds at Belmont on 24th March singles were seen at Risley Moss Reserve on 25th and Rumworth Lodge on 28th, 3 more passed through Belmont that month. During the month of April 44 passed through Belmont and singles and pairs went through Astley and Rumworth Lodge, 3 were at Pennington Country Park, 4 at Burnt Edge and 9 through the Chat Moss area. During May 21 were seen passing through Belmont, 6 on Moss Lane Astley on 5th, singles were at Pennington Country Park and singles and pairs through Chat Moss. A single was at Pennington Country Park in June and also a bird was recorded at Burnt Edge that month. Up to 11 passed through Belmont during August, a pair was at Burnt Edge a single at Pennington Country Park and 2 adults and 2 juveniles in the Standish Wood Lane area. Singles were recorded in October at Burnt Edge and on 7th of that month at Belmont. There was a reliable but unusual sighting of a bird described as a wheatear seen on 22nd December on the turf at Reebok stadium during a match, it was definitely a wheatear but the species was hard to determine due to the brief sighting. Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti). Very Rare Migrant. This was the first ever record of this bird in the recording area. The bird was first seen on 8th March in a field on Irlam Moss and stayed until the following day. Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) Rare Summer Visitor. This was an excellent year for sightings of this bird, remarkably a male was with Fieldfare at Belmont on 10th January, there was also a bird recorded nearby on 9th November 2006. The first returning bird was a single at Windy Bank Glazebury on 11th April, also that month at Belmont 5 were seen on 18th, 4 on 22nd and a single on 26th and 4 at Holcombe on 29th. These birds were well monitored in the Burnt Edge area during April, 5 on 14th, 19 on 18th, 15 on 21st and 12+ on 22nd. In September there was a single at Burnt Edge and at Standish Wood Lane. Good numbers also passed through in October with singles at Belmont on 3rd, 6th and 29th and 4 at Burnt Edge on 5th, a single at Wilderswood on 10th and a pair in that area on 21st. Blackbird (Turdus merula) Common Resident. Early winter records for the area saw small parties of up to 10 birds at most locations. Late winter records indicated an influx of birds to the area with October records of 200 at Elton, 67 at Hope Carr Reserve, 25 at Pennington Country Park and good numbers at many sites. November records were 30 at Elton Reservoir, 20+ at Belmont, Marsland Green and Martland Mill and double figures at many sites. December records included double figures at many locations. Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) Common Winter Visitor. Early winter flocks in the area for January included 90+ at Belmont, 60 to 80 in the Astley area, 60 at Bickershaw and 50 on the Risley Moss Reserve. Records were somewhat higher in February with 500+ in fields at Bedford, 100 to 180 at Risley Moss Reserve, 150 at Lightshaw, 100+ at Rumworth Lodge and 30+ birds at many sites. March records saw 500 going northeast over Elton Reservoir, 300 at Belmont, 200 in the Astley area, 60+ at Standish and Risley Moss Reserve and 30+ at Rumworth Lodge. There was a flock of 90 on 2nd April in Belmont and a pair on 14th of that month, the last record at Risley Moss Reserve was on 17th April. Returning late winter birds included a single at Elton Reservoir on 4th October with flocks building up to around 50 birds by the end of that 27 month. There was a passage south over Belmont on 20th October with approximately 50 per hour on that morning. Flocks of around 50 birds were recorded during November at Pennington Country Park, Risley Moss Reserve, Rumworth Lodge and Houghton Green Pool and 300 at Belmont on 26 th. December saw a similar pattern to November with 120 in Holcroft Lane and flocks of 20 at many sites. A bird with a white head, throat and white speckled wings and flanks was at Belmont during December amongst a flock of 50 normal plumaged birds. Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) Common Resident Red List. This thrush was recorded at most sites throughout the year albeit in very small numbers usually as singles or pairs. During October there was an influx of 39 birds recorded at Hope Carr Reserve and 12 at Pennington Country Park that month. November saw records of groups of 12 at Three Sisters, 7 at Elton Reservoir and similar numbers at Houghton Green Pool and Bickershaw in December. Redwing (Turdus iliacus) Common Winter Visitor. Early winter records for January were flocks of 100+ birds at Risley Moss Reserve, Giants Hall, Worthington, Pennington Country Park and Lilford there were flocks of 50+ at Astley and Houghton Green Pool. February records included 150 at Marsland Green, 30+ at Risley, Rindle Astley and Rumworth Lodge and a bird was in song at Belmont on 24th of that month. During March a flock of 200 was seen at Rindle Astley, 40 at Risley and 80+ was still at Belmont on 7th. Risley Moss Reserve recorded a flock of 30 on 3rd April that being the last early record. The 27th September appears to be the date when birds returned from their breeding grounds small numbers were seen at Belmont, Pennington Country Park, Risley and a flock of 100 over the Wigan Flashes that same day. In October there were a large number of records with 50+ flocks at many sites and a nocturnal passage over Belmont on 13th and 14th of that month; there was a day time passage of 120 birds per hour on 20th again in November. Flocks of up to 50 birds were recorded in December at many locations. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) Common Resident. Records were similar to past years with pairs seen throughout the year at most sites. During June family groups were noted and up to 18 birds were seen at some sites. During July groups of 25 were at Standish, 23 on Chat Moss and 16 at Windy Bank Glazebury. Noticeable flocks in September were 30 at Pennington Country Park, 26 at Elton Reservoir and 20 at Belmont. The only recorded breeding was at Belmont where 5+ pairs bred. Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia) Uncommon Summer Visitor. This bird appears to be increasing in the recording area albeit only slightly. In the West Pennine Moors area it has increased and bred in juncus-beds, 12 were “reeling” in the Belmont area including 3 around the reservoir. The first to return to our area was recorded at Belmont on 14th April sightings came from Hope Carr Reserve on 15th of that month followed by 2 at Wigan on 17th. By 21st birds were singing at Risley Moss Reserve and Giants Hall and on 22nd at Pennington Country Park, birds were seen after that date at Lightshaw Flash, Turton and Martland Mill. May appeared to be a silent month for this bird then in June, July and August sightings came from most suitable areas. The last record I received was of a single at Belmont on 1st September. Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) Common Summer Visitor. First arrivals were 2 birds at Pearson‟s Flash and 2 at Astley on 16th April. Also during the month sightings came from Pennington Country Park on 21st, Risley Moss Reserve on 27th and 6 birds were recorded at Martland Mill on 29th. During May 7 birds were counted around Elton, 3 at Rumworth Lodge and Pennington Country Park and a bird was in song around Belmont. June appeared to be a quiet month but there were sightings in July from Rumworth Lodge, Boothstown, Pennington Country Park and the filter beds at Worsley. Records during September were singles at Hope Carr Reserve on 21st and singles at Belmont and the Wigan Flashes on 23rd this being the last date for sightings. 28 Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti). Rare Visitor. On 29th November a single bird was identified on the Wigan Flashes (D Broome). The bird was seen there at regular dates throughout the rest of the year and was still present in 2008. This is the first recorded sighting in our area. Nationally this bird‟s territory is increasing and the birds appear to be slowly moving north birds have been recorded at Woolston Eyes and in the Lancashire area. Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) Common Summer Visitor. The first record I received was of 4 birds at Pennington Country Park on 23rd April, 14 were recorded on the Wigan Flashes on 27th and 2 were near the landfill at Astley on 28th. Pennington Country Park recorded up to 12 birds throughout the breeding season the last being sighted on 25th September. There was evidence of breeding at Pennington Country Park, Tinker Joes and on the Wigan Flashes where in excess of 100 pairs have been recorded in recent years. Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) Uncommon Summer Visitor. A single bird was at Lightshaw Flash on 23rd April followed by singles at Pennington Country Park on 25th at the end of the month birds were seen at Giants Hall and in Edge Green Lane Golborne. During May there were singing birds recorded at Pennington Country Park, Edge Green Lane, Wigan Flashes, Chaddock Lane and the landfill site at Astley. Records for August included a single at Pennington Country Park on 24th and there was a report of 8 passing through Elton during the last week of that month. September saw 2 at Elton Reservoir on 3rd and singles on 6th and 8th. There was an unusual report of a bird sighted at Pennington Country Park on 20th December. Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) Common Summer Visitor. The first sighting came from Pennington Country Park on 18th April; birds were in Colliers Wood on 23rd, 2 were at Rindle on 22nd, 2 at Risley Moss Reserve on 26th and 5 in the Astley area on 28th. The following month‟s numbers increased up to 7 at Pennington Country Park and similar numbers were at many sites in the area. The first bird to return to the Belmont area was seen on 7th May a singing male was there during June and passage birds were recorded during August. The last record was received from Standish Hall Farm on 1st September. Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) Uncommon Summer Visitor. A single was recorded at Pennington Country Park on 22nd April this being the first sighting. There were up to 3 birds there during May and singles and pairs in June and July. In May birds were recorded at Ashton Road Golborne, Wigan Flashes, Giants Hall and a bird returned to the Belmont area on 7th of that month. There was a sighting of a single in June and July at Risley Moss Reserve the last recorded sighting came from Elton Reservoir on 2nd September. Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) Common Summer Visitor. Some over winter. There were a total of 5 sightings of over wintering birds, a male at Tyldesley and a pair in Birley Street Leigh in January. In February and March a single was seen in Holden Brook Close Leigh and a bird was singing at Risley Moss Reserve on 31st March. The majority of summer migrants landed during April with good numbers from all locations including a count of 20 at Pennington Country Park on 14th and 4 at Belmont Reservoir on 25th. Between May and September there was good numbers recorded at many sites included 5 at Pennington Country Park in July and 7 at Elton Reservoir in September. During the months of October and November the only record was of a single at Pennington Country Park. There is an obvious decline in the numbers of over wintering birds. Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus). Rare Winter Visitor. A bird of this description was recorded at Pennington Country Park on 14th May. 29 Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) Scarce Summer Visitor. There were 2 records this year, a single at Pennington Country Park on 29th May and a single at Dunscar Golf Club at Egerton on 14th May. Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) Common Summer Visitor. There was very few over wintering records a single was on the Astley allotments in January and a single at Pennington Country Park during February. During March double figures appeared at many sites and by 16th there was a count of 14 birds at Pennington Country Park, the first to return to Belmont was recorded on 27th March. In April Pennington Country Park recorded 22, 8 birds were at Aspull and good numbers were seen at all sites through to September. During October birds were still being recorded, singles at Risley Moss Reserve and Standish Wood Farm, 2 at Pennington Country Park and the last bird at Belmont was recorded on 2nd of that month. During the months of November and December singles were recorded at Hope Carr Reserve, Pennington Country Park, Risley Moss Reserve and the Wigan Flashes. Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) Common Summer Visitor. The first summer visitor was recorded at Belmont on 31st March, which was early for Belmont, the majority of migrants appeared the following month with a single at Astley on 10th followed by 20 at Pennington Country Park on 21st, 23 at Wigan Flashes and 12 at Astley on 28th. There were good numbers recorded during May at all locations, there was a count of 31 pairs at Risley Moss Reserve. Throughout the months of June, July and August Pennington Country Park recorded up to 7 birds. At Belmont there was a count of 10+ birds in a moorland bracken-bed on 1st August. The last sighting was of 2 birds at Rumworth Lodge on 2nd October. Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) Uncommon Breeder. Winter Visitor. Throughout the months of January and February there were numerous sightings from over 20 locations although there were no sizeable groups. During March fewer records were submitted as birds began to move north although a bird was heard singing in the Pennington area. On 25th April a pair was recorded in Borsdane Wood and in May 3 birds were singing in the Billinge area. By June there appeared to be an increase in the breeding pairs, 4 males were in Pennington gardens, 2 were singing at Gale Brook Plantations at Horwich and a bird was singing in a Bedford garden in Leigh. August records included singles at Rumworth, Worthington and 2 at Giants Hall. A pair bred at Belmont Reservoir where a family party was seen on 23rd September. Again during September 15+ were seen in Delph Plantations, 5 at Elton and 4 at Crompton Lodges. October saw an increase in sightings as birds returned for the winter, 14 at Hope Carr Reserve on 14th and 5 at Astley. During November and December good numbers were seen at all locations and 2 birds were heard singing in a Pennington garden that month. Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus) Rare Visitor. The only early winter record was a single seen during January and February in the Astley area near to the old colliery site. Later on in the year the sightings increased with an exceptional autumn which included a single at Pickley Green Leigh on 20th October followed by sightings nearby on Long Lane Hindley on 1st and 2nd November. Singles were later seen at Wigan Flashes on 4th December, at Elton on 15th and at Pennington Country Park on 31st. Spotted Flycatcher (Musicapa striata) Uncommon Summer Visitor. This year, as 2006, was an excellent year for sightings with a total of 16 individual records. The first to return was a pair at Barrow Bridge on 4th May then a single at Risley Moss Reserve on 5th. On 14th of that month a single was at Dunscar Golf Club, a pair was on Chat Moss and a single at Leverhulme Park on 31st. On 30th July a bird was on Risley Moss Reserve, 4 birds were seen on Chat Moss in August, breeding was confirmed on near by Irlam Moss. 30 At Belmont 2 pairs bred at the reservoir, one pair successfully fledging 4 young. Again in August 3 birds were at Elton Reservoir singles were seen at Pennington Country Park, Risley Moss Reserve and Horrocks Flash the last bird at Belmont was there on 23rd. September records included 3 birds on the Horwich moors on 7th, a single at Pennington Country Park on 7th and a bird at Elton Reservoir on 8th. Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) Scarce Summer Visitor. A bird was recorded on Bedford Moss on 5th May and a male bird returned to the Belmont area on that date. A pair bred at Belmont and 6 young were ringed on 4th June. Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) Common Resident. This bird is still a very common resident with winter flocks at many locations in excess of 20 birds. Although a very wet spring this bird bred successfully. Marsh Tit (Parus palustris) Rare Visitor. Again this year the only sighting was of a single bird at Risley Moss Reserve on 5th February. Willow Tit (Parus montanus) Uncommon Resident. This is still a scarce resident with its main stronghold being at Pennington Country Park where there are up to 5 birds all year and the Wigan Flashes with up to 6 birds throughout the year. Other sites where birds were recorded as singles and pairs regularly were, Horrocks Flash, Astley and Rindle, Orrell, Lowton, Borsdane Wood, Boothstown, Red Seas, Risley, Bickershaw, Giants Hall, Ringley and a single at Belmont in October the first record there since 2002. Coal Tit (Parus ater) Common Resident. There were numerous records from over 20 locations of this bird most of which were from members gardens of singles and or pairs. The only noticeable record was a flock of 20+ with goldcrests in Delph Plantations on 23rd September. Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) Common Resident. There were a huge number of sightings submitted re this common bird including a pair that nested in the base of an old Carrion Crow nest near Belmont. Great Tit (Parus major) Common Resident. This bird is still a very common resident. There was a record of 40 passing south through Belmont in the first hour of daylight on 6th October. European Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) Uncommon Resident. There were records submitted from a total of 25 sites where this bird is a potential breeder. The main breeding areas this year were 6+ pairs at Haigh Plantations, 3 pairs at Borsdane Wood and 4 pairs in Lilford - Atherton Woods. At least 2 pairs bred near Belmont, but several areas of seemingly suitable woodland remain un-colonised. Other sites where this bird was recorded and possible bred were Worthington Lakes, Pennington Country Park, Moses Gate Country Park, Newton Park, Leigh Golf Club and Astley in the old hospital grounds, Jumbles Wood, Lostock and Crooke. Sightings also came from Rindle Astley, Bradshaw, Bromley Cross, Winwick, Turton, Horwich and Crooke. 31 Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) Common Resident. This elusive bird can be seen in most suitable woodland although in small numbers. Records were submitted from 16 sites mainly of single and or pairs. Breeding was confirmed at Borsdane Wood where up to 5 birds were seen during the year. A family of 4 was at Giants Hall in September and breeding was confirmed at Pennington Country Park although the nest was predated. Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) Common Resident. This common woodland bird was recorded at most woodland locations with numerous sightings of birds commuting in winter in search of acorns etc. The highest groups came from Belmont of 20+ immigrants in October, 7 in April at Pennington Country Park, 7 in September at Atherton Wood and 6 in September at Windy Bank Glazebury. Magpie (Pica pica) Common Resident. This is still a very common bird within the recording area predating on many small birds, mammals and eggs, gamekeepers at Belmont reported shooting or trapping 108 birds during the year. Group sightings were as follows, during March there were 13 at Risley and 37 near to Atherton Wood. In April 12 were seen at Pennington Country Park and 17 in July. September saw 14 in an Ellenbrook garden and in November there was a roost at Rumworth Lodge containing 50 birds. In December there was a large roost at Egerton of 180+ birds with smaller groups of 17 at Doffcocker and 10 at Risley. Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) Common Resident. This bird has increased as a breeding bird in the area and pairs can be seen at many locations in most towns with numerous reports of breeding birds. Many winter flocks were recorded on a daily basis as they commuted to different sites; these groups consisted of anything from 20 to 150 birds. There was a roost of 1,000+ birds in January and 400 in October just over the recording areas boundary at Upper Rivington. Rook (Corvus frugilegus) Common Resident. Early winter flocks included 40 – 60 at Tyldesley, 80 at Worthington Lakes, 2 locations just outside our recording area that of Roddlesworth Plantations of 250 and 400 at Upper Rivington all in the month of January. The following are nest counts at various rookeries, 122 at Haigh Plantations, 58 at Worthington Lakes, 3 rookeries with 50 nests at Houghton Green Pool, 3 rookeries with 50 nests at Turton - Edgworth, 40 in Tyldesley cemetery, 35 at Golborne and 35 in Horwich, 32 at Haydock, 22 at Culcheth, 13 in Winwick, 6 at Dale Road Newton and 4 at Smithills. Late winter flocks saw 70 over Risley Moss Reserve and 60 at Houghton Green Pool in November with similar numbers there in December. In October there was a roost of 150 at Upper Rivington and a similar number in Smithills Hall Wood and 100 roosted in Entwistle Plantations in November. Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) Common Resident. Early winter roost included 150 at Delph Plantations in January - February, 300 at Upper Rivington, 300 at Smithills Hall and 300 at Roddlesworth Plantations all in January; Risley Moss Reserve recorded 100+ birds on a daily basis throughout the early winter months. By March many birds were nesting throughout the recording area. In July there were records of 300 at Risley Moss Reserve and 100 near the canal at Boothstown. There were roosts of 200 at Entwistle in November and 250 at Delph Plantations that month and a roost of 350 at Delph in December. At Risley Moss Reserve the flocks increased by November when 230 were present and 200 in December. Gamekeepers in the Belmont area shot or trapped 171 birds in 2007. 32 Common Raven (Corvus corax) Scarce Resident. Pairs again bred at a minimum of 2 sites in the West Pennine Moors, one fledging 3 young, there were groups of 6 and 3 birds and several singles in the Belmont area during July and August, a record sized group of 18 birds was near Belmont on 5th November. Further south sightings of singles and or pairs were regularly seen at Risley Moss Reserve and Chat Moss where a family of 6 was seen on 24th June. There were also sightings at Astley, Wigan Flashes, Giants Hall, Glazebury and Winwick and on the moors near to Horwich. Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Common Resident. Early winter flocks saw a count of 400 on 10th March with smaller flocks at many sites. The first juveniles were seen at Belmont on 20th May. In July there was a flock of 300+ in Belmont Village. On 24th August a large roosting flock of 1,500 was recorded at Bryn Marsh. Windy Bank Glazebury recorded 500 in October and during the following month there was an estimated 7,000 roosting at Pennington Country Park, 3,000 at Risley Moss Reserve and many smaller flocks were seen at many sites. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Common Resident. The following are maximum numbers recorded; between 30 and 45 in a Tyldesley garden, between 30 and 50 at Marsland Green, 20 in a Bedford garden, 30+ in a Belmont garden, between 10 and 30 in a Winwick garden and 40 in July at Houghton Green Pool, 12 at Thanet Grove, between 6 and 8 in a Grange Street garden, 12 in a Birley Street garden, 20+ in a Pownall Street garden and Astley allotments and village where there was an unknown significant decline in numbers and between 2 and 6 in an Ellenbrook garden. Although there was a decline in numbers in the Astley area elsewhere numbers remained steady. Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) Uncommon Resident. Counts and breeding areas were similar to last year‟s records. The flock at Rindle Astley which is maintained at a feeding station by the Society saw counts in winter of up to 40 birds possible breeding took place in the nest boxes erected in nearby Rindle Wood by the Society. On the Astley allotments flocks of up to 40 were counted in the winter months, 6 young were seen in May and good numbers of juvenile birds in August, although it is not known where they breed. A visit to Red House Farm in the Glazebury area in November saw a flock of 30+ birds which presumable breed there. Pear Tree Farm on Chat Moss still maintains a breeding flock there is a small flock near to the A580 at Leigh, but no numbers were available. Other sightings included small numbers at Winwick where juveniles were seen and at Pendlebury Lane Haigh. Good numbers bred at Malkins Wood Farm Chat Moss last year however no records were available for that site. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) Common Resident. Winter flocks in the Belmont area saw 100 in January and 150 in February roosting in Rhododendrons, 80 were there on 11th March. A further flock in that area, a conifer plantation, held 1,000+ finches, mainly Chaffinch on 3rd March, 350+ on 10th and 50+ on 17th March. Further south smaller flocks were recorded during January and February of 150 at Chat Moss, up to 30 at Moss Lane Astley, 25+ in Astley Hall Drive, up to 15 birds at Pennington Country Park, Lilford Wood, Dillon‟s Wood Leigh and Boothstown. On 7th July there were approximately 30 birds, mainly juveniles, in a Belmont garden. Late winter sightings included a southerly passage over Belmont on 6th October of 60 per hour then 100 per hour on 20th of that month. Other flocks were 55 at Belmont in November, 20 at Elton Reservoir that month, 45 in December at Pennington Country Park and 25 at Risley and Winwick. Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) Uncommon Winter Visitor. The large roost in Rhododendrons at Belmont that has held large numbers in previous years 33 continued into this year with 750 on 1st January, 50 on 4th February, 30+ on 25th of that month and 150 on 11th March. Another roost in conifer plantation saw 20+ on 3rd, 10th and 17th March. There were approximately 100 in Roddlesworth Plantations on 16th February and the last bird in the Belmont area was seen on 23rd April. In the southern region of our area single birds were seen in the Astley area and at Pennington Country Park during January to March. In 2006 flocks of up to 40 birds were seen in the southern half of the recording area. Late winter records included a southerly passage over Belmont of 110 per hour in the first half of the morning of 20th October. Birds returned to the Rhododendron roost at Belmont in November, 40 were there on 11th increasing to 170 on 25th of that month and 15 in December. There were 3 birds in a Belmont garden in late December and small numbers were seen around Astley, Pennington and Wigan in December. Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) Common Resident. Winter flocks between January and March saw Pennington Country Park with the highest flock of up to 40 birds, 25 were on an Atherton farm, 14 at Standish Wood Lane and smaller flocks at many locations. During August the highest groups came from Pennington Country Park and Belmont Reservoir with 30+ birds. During September the flock at Pennington Country Park increased to over 60 birds, 15 were on the Astley allotments and 9 in an Ellenbrook garden. There was a southerly passage over Belmont on the morning of 6th October of 50 birds per hour. Pennington Country Park saw a count of 30 in November, 12 were on the Astley allotments and smaller groups at many sites. December records were down when small flocks of fewer than 20 birds were recorded at all sites. Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Common Resident. During the early winter months flocks of up to 40 birds were common at many sites. There was evidence of breeding in all areas. Birds commenced flocking by August there were 150 at Belmont and 100 at Risley Moss Reserve. September saw some large flocks also of 110 at Belmont, 80 at Crompton Lodges, 90 at Houghton Green Pool, 50 at Windy Bank Glazebury, 35 at Pennington Country Park and 30 on the Wigan Flashes. During the months of October to the end of the year flocks of up to 40 birds were common throughout the area. Siskin (Carduelis spinus) Uncommon Winter Visitor. Early winter records reflected the small numbers seen at the end of the year in 2006 with very few records in January then an increase in February to 60 at Wayoh Reservoir and 25+ at Delph. During March the only record was of 50 in Belmont Plantations. Only one pair was thought to have bred at Belmont. September records included 9 at Springfield Wigan and 3 birds at Bryn. By October more birds had arrived with 3 flocks passing through Belmont totalling 60 birds on 6th, 25 were at Wilderswood and a similar flock at Risley on 17th. November recorded 30 at Pennington Country Park, 20 at Colliers Wood Leigh and less then 10 birds elsewhere. There was somewhat of an increase during December with 100 on the Wigan Flashes, 50 at Crompton Lodges, 60 at Pennington Country Park and flocks of 20 at Three Sisters and Risley Moss Reserve. Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) Common Resident. Early winter flocks in January numbered 80+ on Chat Moss, 30 at Risley Moss Reserve, 20+ near the Astley allotments and small numbers near the landfill site. During February there was a huge flock on Chat Moss of over 300 birds, 60 were in a field at Astley near the canal and 26 on the allotments. The only noticeable recorded flock for March was 28 on 12th at Lightshaw Flash. Between April and June small numbers were seen at many sites with breeding in evidence and 3 pairs bred at Belmont Reservoir. Flocks began to appear by July of 30 at Standish Wood Lane and up to 20 at Burnt Edge. August recorded 100 at Risley Moss Reserve 50+ at Houghton Green Pool and small numbers at Irlam Moss and in the Bedford fields. Flocks of 50+ were seen in September at Winwick, Giants Hall and Houghton Green Pool and in the following month there were 200 at Houghton Green Pool and 25+ at Belmont. The flock at Houghton Green Pool continued to be monitored throughout November and December of up to 130 birds. 34 Twite (Carduelis flavirostris). Scarce Visitor. On 22nd and 23rd January 5 birds were seen feeding on ground disturbed by pheasants above Belmont. There was one bird seen on Darwen Moor on 21st April. Whether the West Pennine Moors still have a breeding population is, at best debatable. Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret). Uncommon Resident. January records included 35+ at Boothstown on 1st, 12 at Astley and Bickershaw and smaller numbers at Risley Moss Reserve, Giants Hall and Pennington Country Park. There were no large flocks reported in either February or March apart from flocks of up to 20 birds at 8 sites. During the breeding season there was a pair at Risley Moss Reserve and a pair was collecting nest material on Chat Moss. In the Belmont area 4+ pairs bred in one moorland conifer plantation at 325m above sea level. During the months of August to October records were down to 2 to 3 birds at a few sites. The months of November and December recorded a flock on the Wigan Flashes of 100 birds whilst elsewhere 20 were seen at Pennington Country Park, 12 at Giants Hall and small numbers at Glazebury, Elton and Risley during November. Up to 3 birds fed regularly from a nyger feeder in a Belmont garden throughout the year. Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) Uncommon Visitor. Two birds were recorded at the Wigan Flashes in November amongst a flock of Lesser Redpoll, 4 were at Aspull on 11th December and 3 at Fairhurst Reclamation site Standish on 13th December. Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Rare Visitor. All records were from the West Pennine Moors area where up to 13 were birds recorded from October onwards in the Wilderswood - Walker Fold area. There was also a flock of 11+ birds seen in Belmont Plantations on 31st November. Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) Common Resident. During the year I received records from over 30 different locations with Pennington Country Park recording the highest total of 20 birds at the feeding station during the months of February and December. Other records were 10 at Giants Hall, 8 at Hope Carr Reserve, 7 on the Wigan Flashes and 6 at Boothstown and Belmont. At least 5 pairs bred in the Belmont area. Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) Fairly Common Resident. Red List. The winter feeding stations at Millers Lane Atherton produced up to 70 birds and a similar feeding station at Rindle Astley had up to 30 birds during the colder months. Altogether there were records from over 20 locations within the recording area including Risley Moss Reserve of 40 in January on the reserve boundary, Chat Moss and Winwick with flocks of over 20 birds, 17 in the Standish Wood Lane area and 13 in the Worthington area; these were mainly during the winter months. Sites with less than 5 birds recorded were Hand Lane Leigh, Aspull, Winwick, Ashton Road Golborne and Bickershaw. Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) Fairly Common Resident. Red List. Records came from over 20 sites with the largest concentration being at Pennington Country Park in February of over 30 birds and at Belmont Reservoir on 11th to 17th November with a similar flock. Other reasonable flocks recorded during the winter months included 20+ at Elton Reservoir in September, 13 on the Astley allotments in February, 12 on the Atherton feeding station and 10 on the Astley Landfill site both in January and 8 at Amberswood Lake, Lightshaw Flash, Risley Moss Reserve, Walmsley Pool and the Wigan Flashes. Other sightings came from Bickershaw, Houghton Green Pool, Boothstown and Rumworth Lodge. 35 Up to 9 pairs bred around Belmont Reservoir and another 3 pairs bred in a moorland conifer plantation above Belmont at 325m above sea level. Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra) Uncommon Resident. Red List. The majority of sightings for this nationally declining species came from the Chat Moss and the outlying moss‟s area. During January a flock of 31 was recorded on the northwest boundary at Risley Moss Reserve and up to 20 birds were in a flock on Chat Moss. During the months between March and June records included up to 5 pairs on Holcroft Lane Culcheth, a pair at Houghton Green Pool, up to 5 birds in the Winwick Lane area with evidence of breeding. On 22nd December a small flock of 11 was seen near to the feeding station at Rindle Astley. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Species not on the British List, being either feral or escaped: - Embden Goose There were a total of 48 eggs „oiled‟ from nest‟s at Hope Carr Reserve on 27th April. Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) On 17th December a single, not wearing jesses, was over Risley Moss Reserve. Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) A single bird was reported at Pennington Country Park, Wigan Flashes and Moses Gate Country Park during the year. Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) A female was at Delph Reservoir from January to June up to 9 were reported from autumn to the end of the year following releases near Belmont. Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens) A bird of this description was at the Astley Landfill Lake in February. Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) A single was at Risley Moss Reserve in April. Helmeted Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris) Two were seen at Delph Reservoir during the year. Blue - Gold Macaw (Ara ararauna) A single was at Belmont Reservoir on 29th August. North American Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) Four birds, 1 male and 3 females, from 2006, were with pheasants in Belmont Plantations 4 nest were found by gamekeepers between June to September, one of which contained 28+ eggs. One nest was successful and 9 young were seen in September. An estimated 10 adults and juveniles were at large at the end of the year. Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) A single was at Pennington Country Park on 14th September. 36 Barnacle Goose (Branta beucopsis) A single was at Risley Moss Reserve in September. Orange Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus) This member of the parrot family was at Pennington Country Park in September. Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Risley Moss Reserve recorded a single in October. 37 LEIGH ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY RECORDING AREA St. Helen’s Canal ======================== M6 ___________________________ A580 38
"Incorporating Bolton_ Bury_ Warrington and Wigan Areas. Cattle "