Friday, 30 May 2014

30th May

Weather: E/NE-2, warm and overcast

With spring nearing an end, passage migration is all but a trickle now. 150 Swift and several hirrundines formed an impressive feeding flock over the Lighthouse mid afternoon. 

A Wheatear remains in the paddocks were there are also a pair of Lapwing.

17 Sandwhich Tern and 5 Common Tern could be found on the sand bar from the Lighthouse car park. Of other interest, several Common Blue Butterfly were along the Birkett including this lovely female.


Female Common Blue Butterfly (AMC)

Monday, 26 May 2014

Weather: Wind light SE, Sunny morning but rain expected later.

Up to 24 Gannet and 30+ Sandwch Tern feeding off shore just inside the sandbar.  A small number of migrants still passing through with 1 Wheatear in the horse paddocks and 1 Spotted flycatcher seen feeding from trees to the east of the nature pond.   Usual breeding Reed / Sedge Warbler & Blackcap seen plus a Bullfinch close to the bridge over the Birket.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

25th May

Weather: E/SE-2, Heavy rain later

Wader numbers remain stable and continue to give some stunning views from Hoylake Shore.

A few late migrant continue to arrive at the paddocks with a single Wheatear and 2 Yellow Wagtails mid afternoon.


Saturday, 24 May 2014

24th May

Weather: SE-2, Overcast and cool, heavy rain later

Passage wader numbers were still relatively high today with over 500 Dunlin, 100 Sanderling and over 100 Ringed Plover feeding on Hoylake Shore. 

Despite the inclement weather some brave souls managed a couple of circuits of the paddocks picking up 3 Spotted Flycatcher and a single female Whinchat on Sandy Lane and another on Park Lane. As the weather worsened observations were suspended for the day in the hope of improved conditions tommorrow.

JB, AMC, JJ and EW

Friday, 23 May 2014

23rd May

Weather: E/NE-3, overcast and rain.

Little movement today in terms of passerine migrants however wader passage continues with 700 Dunlin, 150 Ringed Plover and 100 Sanderling present on Hoylake shore. Some Sanderling were in splendid summer plumage allowing some great photo opportunities.

AMC and MGT- Photo's AMC

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

21st May

Weather: SW-2, warm and sunny

All but two of yesterday's Spotted Flycatchers had moved on over night. One remained by the Birkett and the other 100yds west of the westerley kissing gate. The Redstart and Garden Warbler had also moved on. Despite the clear out, 'new' birds had also arrived over night with 4 new Wheatear and a female Whinchat in and a singles of both White and Yellow Wagtail were found in the paddocks.



Tuesday, 20 May 2014

20th May

Weather: S/SE-3, mild with some rain.

Waders at Hoylake have begun to build again. 500 Dunlin, 24 Sanderling, 67 Ringed Plover and 95 stunning summer plumaged Grey plover were on the tide edge.

With most migrants now in and breeding at the Lighthouse,  it was interesting to observe migration was still continuing today. Overnight there was the arrival of several new birds including 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Wheatear and 10 Spotted Flycatcher. There was also a lovely male Redstart found late this afternoon. 

12 Swift, 27 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin and 30 Swallow formed a feeding flock over the paddocks early evening but moved off with the advancing rain.

AMC and CS


Monday, 19 May 2014

19th May

Weather: Wind variable-2, humid with thunderstorms.

A particularly quiet day today at the Lighthouse with the only passage being that of 20 House Martins moving North mid morning.

The high tide wader roost at Hoylake included only 1 Sanderling, 17 Dunlin and 68 Ringed Plover. A late afternoon thunderstorm dropped a few more waders in including a Whimbrel and further 15 Sanderling.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

18th May

Weather: Wind variable-2-4, Warm and muggy with sunny spells

No sign of the recent adult Little Stint amongts the waders today at Hoylake and most of the summer plumaged Sanderling appeared to have moved through too.

A quick late afternoon circuit of the paddocks proved productive in terms of species diversity if not numbers with singles of Wheatear, Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher all being recorded. A further Spotted Flycatcher was seen briefly at the southern end of  Lingham Lane.



Friday, 16 May 2014

16th May

Weather: SW-2, warm and sunny

At least 2 Spotted Flycatcher remained at the Lighthouse today along with a single male Greenland Wheatear and 2 Yellow Wagtails in the paddocks. Other migrants included a Lesser Whitethroat in the coastal scrub. A Common Sandpiper was on the sea defence opposite the car park whilst a mid afternoon passage of hirrundines included 50+ Swallow and 30+ House Martins.

KD and DH

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Thursday 15th May 2014

Weather; Cloudy with some scattered showers becoming hot and sunny p.m. Wind West force 2.

Offshore at the lighthouse were 150 Common Scoter and a single Little Tern. 5 Wheatear and a White Wagtail were in the paddocks.
Some mugginess and a short light shower at around 11.30 a.m. may have resulted in a small arrival of late spring migrants. 2 Willow Warblers were in coastal scrub at the sea wall and 3 more Wheatears and a female Whinchat appeared new in the area of the groyne. Also new in were 4 Spotted Flycatchers which were in the area of the duck pond, 2 or 3 later relocating to the line of mature willows running inland from near the eastern kissing gate, a favoured location.
Some hirundine movement started once the sun came out with small numbers of Swallows, 4 House Martins and a Sand Martin moving mainly east along the sea wall, although some Swallows headed due north across Liverpool bay. 
Observers DH and EW

Spotted Flycatcher.    E.W.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Monday 12th May 2014

Weather; Cloudy with showers early, sunny later, wind NW Force 4.

Migrants continue to push through at the lighthouse in spite of the less than ideal wind direction. A total of 15 Wheatears were grounded mainly in the area of the paddocks along with a Whinchat, 3 White Wagtails and a Lesser Redpoll  (photo below) 3 Willow Warblers were also apparently new in. More arrivals appeared in the afternoon with 2 new Whinchats and a male Yellow Wagtail in the paddocks and 4 White Wagtails in the Lingham Lane area. Hirundines started moving east along the seawall also with around 50 Swallows, 6 House Martins and 4 Sand Martins. A single Siskin flew east

Observers; AMC, KD, EW  

This confiding Lesser Redpoll was bearing a ring on it's right leg (KD)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

All quite at Leasowe !

Weather:  Winds strong gusting Southerly turning to South Westerly; Heavy rain overnight giving way to showers.

Considering the wind direction,  there was little by way of passerine passage.  Only the local Swallows / House Martin appeared to be around catching insects found sheltering around the hedges from the gusty wind.  The 8 Wheatear feeding in the, now, damp horse paddocks were joined by 2 White Wagtail; 3 Pied Wagtail and a single female Whinchat.   Despite the cold wind,  up to 6 Sedge Warbler  could be heard singing from the reeds / bushes along the inland path and nature trail - it would appear to be a good year for them.  Also appearing to have a good 'showing' this spring are Blackcaps with 3 singing ( 1 close to the nature pond and 2 along Lingham Lane).  A 'no show' from the Lesser whitethroats at either the Lighthouse car park or down Lingham Lane but by this time the rain had started !


Friday, 9 May 2014


Weather: SW/3-7; squally showers sunny later.

With an end to a prolonged period of easterlies, strong westerlies were now predominant. A brief early morning seawatch saw 120 Gannet moved west along with several Manx Shearwater and  Sandwich Tern . 750 Dunlin fed just off Hoylake prom whilst a Peregrine patrolled the fore shore.

With such strong westerlies there was little hope of passerine migration however the Lighthouse paddocks were surprisingly  busy. 5 White Wagtail, 6 Wheatear , 3 Whinchat fed up on flies around the several dung heaps. Further east at the Leasowe Hotel there were a further 6 Wheatear,2 Whinchat and 6 Whimbrel as well as a small passage of Swift late afternoon.





Thursday, 8 May 2014

7th and 8th May

Weather: Westerly air stream with heavy often persistent rain.

7th May:

Up to 35 Wheatear, (95% Greenland) were recorded between Park Lane and the Lighthouse today. A couple of Swift pushed through and Lesser Whitethroats were recorded at the Lighthouse Car Park and Meols Coastguard station.

8th May:

A quick circuit of the paddocks between the rain showers proved worthwhile. 12 Wheatear, again all Greenland types were grounded by the rain.  Other grounded migrants included 5 White Wagtail, 1 male Yellow Wagtail, and a female Whinchat whilst a Sedge Warbler continues to sing from a Hoylake Seafront garden.

Another garden tick was a fine Black Redstart found by (CJW) flitting around the 'Black Pearl' pirate ship next to the Hoylake Lifeboat station.  Observers wondered if the Sparrow that chased it away may have been called Jack ! 




Tuesday, 6 May 2014

6th May 2014

Weather: SW-2, overcast with sunny spells.

Migration tailed off  significantly today with only a single Whinchat and 8 Wheatear  found first thing in the paddocks whilst a further 4 Wheatear were in Meols dunes. 3 White Wagtail were also in the paddocks. Several Lapwings remained on the inland fields however breeding sadly seems to have failed this year. A Peregrine upset the local Gulls and a Buzzard flew through the inland fields.  4 Whimbrel could be found feeding on the offshore sandbanks, whilst 2 Little Egret fed in the tidal channels. A single Lesser Whitethroat was heard singing from the Lighthouse Car park.


Monday, 5 May 2014


Weather; SE-4, cool and overcast.

An interesting day at the Lighthouse which was on the whole pretty quiet.Small flocks of Wheatears arrived at various points at the Lighthouse and two Tree Pipits were heard and seen overhead. In the Paddocks 3 White Wagtail and 3 Yellow Wagtail could be found feeding amongst the horses. A Swift was also over the paddocks mid morning. 

Further west at approximately 07.20 a male Citrine Wagtail was found at Red Rocks Marsh by Jane Turner and Eddie Williams. The bird was photographed on a small pool before it flew off high south.- 



Sunday, 4 May 2014

4th May 2014

Weather: W/SW-2, overcast and cool, warm later.

A party of 6 Wheatear dropped in near the pumping station in Meols dunes whilst a further 10 were either in or around the Lighthouse Paddocks. Also, in the paddocks were 5 White Wagtails and 6 Yellow Wagtails. In addition to the usual breeding warblers a Garden Warbler was heard singing in Lingham Lane. A single Swift passed through mid morning with a small passage of Hirrundines. Tree Pipits are regular at the Lighthouse but rarely do we see them on the ground so when one was flushed from sandy lane the photographic opportunity wasn't to be missed. Calling Tree Pipit are of course straight forward and although the short hind claw is not visible in the photograph below, the pink legs, ochre breast and pale ear covert patch are the key identification features for any non calling Tree Pipit.

Bird of the day however goes to a Great White Egret seen by Rob Bithell & Colin Schofield; the bird flew in low, past the Lighthouse and headed off  Southwest. This is still a rare bird in this part of Wirral and represents the first record for the Lighthouse. 


 Note the Ear Covert patch (AMC)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

3rd May 2014

Weather: SE-2, mild and overcast.

Overhead:  Redpoll, Siskin and a very high Sparrowhawk moved through early morning. In the paddocks there were 6 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Pied and 4 White Wagtail. 6 Wheatear were also in the paddocks whilst a Whinchat was west of the east bank. 

A high tide sea watch produced our first Manx Shearwater of the spring, 3 birds moved east towards formby point. Also present was a female Scaup, 56 Great crested Grebe and 17 Common Scoter.


Friday, 2 May 2014

2nd May 2014

Weather: SE-variable-2. Cool and overcast warming later.

The male Blue headed type Wagtail was again in the Lighthouse paddocks along with 6 Yellow wagtail and 4 Wheatear. A Whinchat was also to be found in the coastal scrub. The usual warblers could be found down Lingham Lane although there were no sign of any singing Grasshopper warbler today. A Cuckoo was singing on and off all morning at various points near the Lighthouse and a Swift flew through mid morning.

Offshore 83 Great crested Grebe were counted along with 2 Gannet, 1 Scaup, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Red throated Diver, 1 Common tern and several Sandwich Tern. A Short eared Owl looked surprised to find itself sitting on an offshore sandbar before it quickly flew inland having been moved on by the advancing tide.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Thursday 1st May 2014

Weather; Heavy rain until midday then cloudy with light SE wind, F2.

Around 80 Sandwich Terns were present over the tide with one or two Common Terns. Around 30 Great crested Grebes and 12 Common Scoter were offshore at the lighthouse. A single Whimbrel again roosted on the groyne together with 60 Dunlin.
Migrants started moving through immediately after the passing of the rain front starting with 8 Wheatears and a Whinchat arriving in the area of the groyne at the west end of the paddocks. White and Yellow Wagtails then began arriving in the paddocks with a total of 8 White and 11 Yellow which included a male Blue-headed type. The first Swift of the spring powered through eastwards along with around 20 House Martins and 30 Swallows. Below are a couple of shots of todays Blue headed Type Wagtail showing a typical Blue colour head and pale sub ocular patches expected of  flava, but a contradictory white throat suggesting something else. 

Observers; AMC, JJ, MGT, EW.