29th August 2015 – a rare North American visitor to Pennington Flash

This isn’t about some rare bird species but a visit from Professor Heather Bateman, field ecologist at Arizona State University, Phoenix, USA. Heather was over in Britain for a week attending an ecology conference in Manchester. She had spontaneously contacted Joan Disley, LOS Editor, via the LOS website and asked if it would be possible to meet with some members for a day’s birdwatching. Joan arranged it all from this end; she collected Heather from Leigh Bus Station and brought her along to Pennington Flash shortly before 9.00 a.m. to be joined by Dave Wilson and myself (George Pike).

A leisurely tour of the hides gave us 43 species including a Common Tern, one Common Sandpiper, two Willow Tits and a pair of Blackcaps. There was a very brief glimpse of a Cetti’s Warbler at Tom Edmondson’s hide and fine views of a colourful Kingfisher. Dave’s excellent knowledge of American birds helped Heather compare all these somewhat strange British birds with related species in the States.

Dave left us shortly after midday and then, after lunch, we were joined by Angela Pike to go to Risley Moss. Its reputation as an excellent raptor viewing area is well founded – the first bird we saw was a Hobby chasing dragonflies in a marvellous flying display. A second Hobby appeared and joined in the fun – they are the sort of bird I could watch all day! It was then a short drive back into Leigh and a stroll along the canal where notable birds included a Grey Wagtail, spotted by Heather, and then a female Sparrowhawk chasing feral pigeons. All this activity was carefully watched by one of our local Peregrines, perched high above.

Luckily the weather remained fine throughout the day and it was soon time to drop Heather back at the bus station and say goodbye. A thoroughly relaxed and enjoyable day’s birding in the local area gave us 50 species in total, including five types of raptor. It was a pleasure to meet up with our charming American visitor.
George Pike

New Season of L.O.S. Presentation Talks 2015-16

The new season of  L.O.S. indoor presentation talks kicks off at Leigh Library on Friday 4 September with this talk by Dennis Atherton.

I go to Southern Spain every year to watch what I call a fantastic migration-fest, where you can look for Spanish specialities early morning and then go to Tarifa just before midday and watch Eagles, Hawks, Falcons and Buzzard species migrate to Africa.
Details of the full year's programme can be found here: http://www.leighos.org.uk/p/meetings.html

Everyone is welcome, particularly members of our Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/leighos

Family Fun Day at Amberswood

The L.O.S. will have a stall at the Amberswood Family Fun day on Saturday 11 July from 11am until 4pm.  We'll have some bird-related activities for youngsters and we'll be asking people if they'd be interested in attending an L.O.S. beginners evening session on identifying birds to be held sometime in the future. Please come and sign up if you're at all interested.

The details are all shown on the poster below and it would be great if you'd come and join us and the Friends of Amberswood.


A couple of photos of the L.O.S. stall at Amberswood yesterday:

Jeff and Martyn manning the stall.
Our new collapsible table!

Woolston Eyes closure

In case you are planning an early morning or evening visit to the reserve, please see the following message which has been posted on the Woolston Eyes Conservation Group website:

"During the past week there have been several serious thefts of equipment and damage on No.3 bed. The police are investigating in a bid to identify the culprits. As a consequence WECG has decided to close No.3 bed from 20.00hrs to 08.00 hrs each night for the immediate future. This is being done with a second padlock which your standard key will not fit. We are urgently investigating ways to make both access to No.3 bed, our equipment and facilities more secure and would welcome any expert assistance in this field from experienced permit holders.

The Committee is sorry for any inconvenience that the restricted opening may cause but we are sure you will understand the reasons for it."

L.O.S. at Lilford Park Centenary Celebration Event

On Saturday 6 June Leigh Ornithological Society will be taking part in the Centenary Celebrations at Lilford Park in Leigh.  Lilford Park is an important green-space resource for the community in terms of wildlife and recreation and a lot of work has been done by the Friends of Lilford Park (FOLP) in recent years. There will be many stalls and attractions there as well as a small fair.

The L.O.S. will have a stall there all day manned by L.O.S. Committee members and from which we will giving out information about the Society and the work we do, as well as taking guided tours around Lilford Woods to see if we can find any birds there.

Our Young Birders' Team will be there with something for the younger visitors too including making a 'Bird ID Dial' and several quizzes. We'll also have a couple of Botany specialists with us for finding about about trees and wild flowers in the Woods.

We do hope you will come along from 9am onwards and have a chat with us and perhaps put a few faces to names that you have seen on our website and Facebook pages.  See you there!

For more information visit the Friends of Lilford Park websites here:



A couple of photos from the Lilford Park Centenary Celebrations:

Our new L.O.S. gazebo!
L.O.S. display boards inside the gazebo
George, Tony, Martyn and Jeff, just some of the L.O.S. volunteers ( unfortunately Joan and David were on a later shift!)