Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Many happy returns

Last Friday, 23/10/2020, I was really pleased to find the German ringed Black-headed Gull (IA141745) had returned to Orrell Water Park. This bird has featured on the blog many times and its return always cheers me up. It was first sighted at Orrell Water Park on 27/10/2012 and has been recorded numerous times each winter since then, usually between late October and late February or early March. It was ringed as an adult on 29/04/2012 in northern Germany, not far from the Baltic coast and the border with Poland, and presumably breeds in that area.

IA141745 photographed 23/10/2020

A well worn and photographed ring.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Sunflower reaches new heights

  • Where do you start when you haven't posted anything on your blog for the best part of six months and the simple answer for me was when I noticed a sunflower growing out of a neighbours chimney stack (14/10/2020). It was just one of those moments where I thought I need to photograph this and share it at some point.
  • I had been walking home from Orrell Water Park, where I had been looking for returning ringed Black-headed Gulls, when I noticed the sunflower. My attention had not only been drawn by its cheerful, bright yellow colour but also by a Woodpigeon that was strutting about on the chimney before settling down to take in a few rays.

  • It wasn't just its cheerful appearance that interested me but it also begged the question of how did it get there. The answer for me was quite simple with the most likely culprit being a Coal Tit. Coal Tits cache huge numbers of seeds and they seek out all manner of nook and cranny with my hanging baskets being testimony to that. However, most seeds are placed in locations that don't give them the opportunity to germinate and grow but this chimney pot location takes the ones that do to a new height.