Saturday, 1 February 2014

Spring Tides

Weather: S/SW-6-7. Overcast and squally

Today's spring tides saw another spectacle on the Dee marshes as birds were forced out by the advancing high tides.  At least 3 Short eared Owls and 4 Hen Harriers were observed quatering the marsh in search of prey items such as the skylark below, doing it's best to evade capture by a Hen Harrier

Further north at New Brighton the high tide had moved a good selection of waders onto the pontoon including 15 Purple Sandpiper and a Greenshank. Also on the marine lake were 3 Cormorants, 1 Shag and a drake Red-breasted Merganser.
AMC, KD and MG

Photo's AMC and KD



Nothing like standing out in a crowd.  (AMC)




(AMC) Showing the 'saw Bill'


  1. Hi
    Can you confirm that it is a Shag on the marine lake, I took a picture of it on Saturday and sent it to a friend of my wife , she said it is a "Sirens" which is part of the cormorant family. I'm new to birding and have never heard of this. it looked different to the 3 cormorants that were present. Unfortunately I had no luck with the Purple Sandpipers (3rd time I've come over to find them) Was very pleased to spot the red Breasted Merganser though

  2. Hi Paul,

    I believe your wife's friend is referring to the form 'Sinesis' commonly known as Continental Cormorant which is a sub species of Great Cormorant. The Shag has been present on the lake along with two adult and one sub adult Great Cormorant which may have been what you saw but without seeing your picture it would be difficult to be certain. Without going into too much detail I have uploaded a diagram describing the best way to separate Carbo from Sinesis. I hope it helps Also to be considered and not beyond the realms of possibility is Double crested Cormorant. Having only occurred once, it is almost certainly a species that gets easily overlooked in the UK