February 2020 Sightings

Details of February sightings  compiled by John Thompson will appear on the Monthly Sightings page.


  1. John
    29th February 2020

    Tawny Owl in Quakers Coppice.
    Bill and I had just arrived in the woods this morning to clean out the nest boxes when we bumped into a gent with two dogs. He mentioned that he sometimes walks there at about 05:30 and described hearing, recently, the calls of both male and female Tawny Owl.
    Not long after, Bill was up the ladders checking one of the larger boxes used by Stock Dove when he ‘jerked’ backwards. Seconds later a Tawny Owl flew out of the nest box; I saw it fly just above Bills head as he ducked. It flew into and perched in a nearby tree – she had been sitting on three eggs! Bill said that he first caught sight of the head and back of the bird as he got eye-level with the box opening before he took evasive action.

    I am reminded of Bryan and Colin’s account of a fledgling Tawny Owl encounter in the SECOS 2003 Bird Report.

  2. John
    29th February 2020

    Robin in my garden – picking up and flying off with damp leaves, presumably for nesting material.
    Love is in the air despite Storm Jorge!

  3. Colin Lythgoe
    28th February 2020

    At Doddington yesterday afternoon I managed a brief visit in strong wind and most birds were sheltering under the bankside trees but I did get a good count of tufted with a total of 139 and despite the weather a pair of great crested grebes were displaying on Lemon Pool.

  4. John
    24th February 2020

    17 – 23 Feb
    EHF/PHF: Gadwall, Goosander, Water Rail, L & GC Grebe, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Redshank, Kumlien’s Gull, GW & L Egret, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Peregrine
    MGT/RF: Gadwall, Snipe, Common, Kumlien’s & Y-l Gull, GW Egret, Barn & L Owl, Peregrine, Raven, Skylark, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit
    CF: Oystercatcher
    Astbury Mere: Goosander, Common Gull, Siskin
    Checkley Ln: R-l Partridge, Skylark, Reed Bunting
    Doddington: Shoveler, Gadwall, Pintail, Pochard, Goldeneye, L Grebe, Oystercatcher, Kestrel
    Elworth: Peregrine
    Lawton Lake: Dipper
    Lea Forge: Raven, Goldcrest, Reed Bunting
    Rode Heath: Barn Owl
    Scholar Green: Green Woodpecker, Linnet, Yellowhammer
    Smallwood: Peregrine
    Swettenham: Egyptian Goose
    Wall Hill: Curlew, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Yellowhammer

  5. Mike&Andy
    22nd February 2020

    Oystercatchers up to 7 at Doddington this morning and still at least 18 Goldeneyes.Also Gadwall,Teal,Shoveler,Little Grebes and a Kestrel scything through the trees like a Sparrowhawk!!

  6. Mike& Andy
    19th February 2020

    A male and female Pintail at Doddington this morning ,also 11 female and 7 male Goldeneyes,10 Shovelers,2 Wigeon,Pochard,6 Oystercatchers and Stock Doves.At Lea Forge,Goldcrest , Raven,180 Lapwings,Reed Bunting and G.S. Woodpecker .Checkley Lane very quiet with just Skylark,Reed Bunting,Song Thrush and Red- legged Partridge worth a mention .

  7. Andy Brown
    18th February 2020

    Swettenham – three Egyptian Geese in a field on the south side of the Arboretum.

  8. John
    17th February 2020

    10 – 16 Feb
    EHF/PHF: Shoveler, Gadwall, Pintail, Goosander, Water Rail, GC Grebe, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Common & Y-l Gull, L Egret, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Raven
    MGT/RF: Kumlien’s & Y-l Gull, L & GW Egret, Peregrine, Skylark, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit
    Rookery Br / towpath: Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Brambling, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
    Astbury Mere: Pochard, Goosander, Stock Dove, Tawny Owl, GS Woodpecker
    Congleton: Dipper, Goosander, Grey Wagtail
    Doddington: Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Goldeneye, GC Grebe, Oystercatcher

  9. John
    15th February 2020

    Yesterday morning on Macon Meadows:
    Water Rail calling.
    Also Song Thrush, Dunnock and Greenfinch singing plus 10+ Moorhen in the very wet vegetation.

  10. Colin Lythgoe
    14th February 2020

    very early signs of spring approaching at Doddington this morning with 5 oystercatchers chasing about and a pair of great crested grebes displaying. Also 117 tufted duck but just 3 shoveler, 2 teal and 2 pochard to add to Mike and Andy’s goldeneye count.

  11. Mike&Andy
    13th February 2020

    A Great Egret dropped in at Railway Flash this morning and a Peregrine was on the pylons.Along the canal at the back of E.H.F. Yellowhammer,Tree Sparrow and at least 5 Reed Buntings.

  12. John
    10th February 2020

    3 – 9 Feb
    EHF/PHF: Shelduck, Pintail, Gadwall, Goosander, Water Rail, L & GC Grebe, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Common & Y-l Gull, GW & L Egret, Sparrowhawk, Raven
    MGT/RF: Snipe, L & GW Egret, Stonechat (Oaktree Flash)
    Canal/Fodens: Redpoll
    Rookery Br / towpath: Tree Sparrow, Brambling, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
    WLF: GC Grebe
    Astbury Mere: Pochard, Goldeneye, GC Grebe, Common Gull, Peregrine, Grey Wagtail
    Borrow Pit M: Goosander, Bullfinch
    Bradwall: Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
    Congleton: Dipper, Grey Wagtail
    Doddington: Shelduck, Shoveler, Goldeneye
    Lawton Lake: Goosander, Dipper, Grey Wagtail
    Rode Pool: L Egret
    Also 2 x Barn Owl ( see Peter’s post – 9th )

  13. Peter
    9th February 2020

    BARN OWL on the A51 by Mile Lane just past the sand quarry at Wybunbury and then ANOTHER along the fence line at Doddington, 10.45 pm this evening

  14. Nigel Henderson
    8th February 2020

    Congleton downstream from the Rood Hill road bridge. Dipper x 2; Grey Wagtail

  15. John
    6th February 2020

    Meremoor Moss this lunchtime
    A beautiful day to be out birding. Reminiscent of this time last year, in the same area, when I had a Red Admiral & Brimstone ( 15th Feb ). Highlights today were Sparrowhawk – 3 views of a female in flight, 2 Oystercatchers back on neighbouring Mere Moor Fisheries, a Kingfisher in silhouette, a female Kestrel hunting, a passing Peregrine flew by perhaps was perched on the pylons before I spotted it? 3 Raven flew, calling, from the direction of Crewe Hall. Minutes later 2 flew back again – were they escorting a interloper off their territory?
    A feeding flock of over 60 Fieldfare with one or two Redwing and Song Thrush amongst them, a pair of distant Stonechat, a Grey Wagtail, a Bullfinch. Also, great to see small numbers of Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch and Linnet – between 5 and 10 in each flock. A pair of Reed Bunting and I thought I hear a partial call/song of a Yellowhammer but, sadly, it didn’t call again to confirm.

  16. Mike&Andy
    4th February 2020

    Our best count of Goldeneye for this winter period was 11 females and 5 males. Also at Doddington 1 Shelduck and only 3 Shovelers.

  17. Graham
    3rd February 2020

    Barn Owl eastwards on Parker’s Road one downside of bridge near kennels 6.30pm

  18. John
    3rd February 2020

    27 Jan- 2 Feb
    EHF/PHF: Pintail, Gadwall, Goosander, L & GC Grebe, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Y-l Gull, GW & L Egret, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Peregrine, Raven
    MGT/RF: L Grebe, L & GW Egret
    Clay Ln: L Owl
    Dragons Ln: Barn Owl
    FF: L Grebe, Kingfisher, Siskin
    Green Ln: mixed finch flock
    Rookery Br / towpath: Brambling, Reed Bunting
    WLF: Water Rail
    Astbury Mere: Pochard, Goldeneye, L Grebe, Common Gull, Kestrel, Peregrine
    Bagmere: Peregrine, Starling murmuration
    Borrow Pit M: Goosander, Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch
    The Cloud: Raven
    Doddington: Pintail, Goldeneye, L Grebe, Oystercatcher,
    Lawton Lake: Mandarin, Dipper, Grey Wagtail
    Mow Cop: Woodcock, Snipe
    Rode Heath & Scholar Green: L Egret

  19. Colin Lythgoe
    2nd February 2020

    Highlights of a SWaBBS visit to Borrow Pit Meadows yesterday were three bullfinches looking really colourful in the sunshine. Also a male goosander but no tawny owls; usually one or occasionally two but they have not been seen for the past two weeks.

  20. John
    2nd February 2020

    Macon Meadows this morning
    The highlight was a small group of finches in a tree near Macon Way turned out to be seven Greenfinch!
    Also notable was a Water Rail calling and a duet of Song Thrushes

  21. Mike&Andy
    2nd February 2020

    2 Oystercatchers at Doddington yesterday,Saturday the 1st.

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