Sunday, 29 November 2015

29th November 2015

Weather: W-F9 , squally showers

The high winds and high tides over this weekend have given opportunity for some further Sea Watching. On 28th November an adult Great Northern Diver was discovered in Birkenhead's East Float Dock by (EM). Just reward for some dedicated patch birding.

As winds increased overnight on the 28th so Sea Watchers were out in force. In addition to a reported Pomarine Skua at New Brighton there were also two Bonxies. A Great Northern Diver flew in at great height at Derby Pool and disappeared inland. Perhaps to join the one on the East float ! Other birds recorded battling the stormy seas were Common Scoter (3), Pntail (11), Red breasted Merganser (1) and Great crested Grebe (3)


Storm Force at New Brighton

The New Brighton Lighthouse disappears !!

Adult GND, Birkenhead East Float 

Today's fly  by GND at Wallasey

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sunday 22nd November 2015

Weather; Colder, cloudy becoming sunny later. Wind N F2

A much calmer day than of late. Birds recorded today in the lighthouse area included 2 Short-eared Owls present all afternoon in the area of the old brickworks and golf course on Lingham Lane. They are best viewed from the railway bridge at the top of the lane. The habitat here looks ideal for them and hopefully they will stay to winter. A Peregrine also appeared briefly here and dive-bombed one of the Owls a few times. Other birds along Lingham Lane included 2 Bullfinches, 3 Great spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Goldcrests, 5 Song Thrushes, a Redwing and around 15 Blackbirds. Another 10 Blackbirds were in the Park Lane area.
Short-eared Owl hunting over the old golf course, Lingham Lane.    EW
A flock of 16 Fieldfares alighted briefly near Lingham Lane before continuing west.
2 Snipe and 17 Meadow Pipits were on the common opposite the lighthouse and a single Bullfinch flew north here. , MGT, EW
Fieldfares.    EW

Friday, 20 November 2015

20th November 2015

Weather: N/NW-8, squally showers.

As another Atlantic depression swept into the Irish Sea, so observers turned their attention to sea watching. Today 6 Leach's Petrels were recorded in the Mersey Mouth (Greg Roebuck) were there have been ones and two's during  the recent gales. A number of Bonxies have been recorded from Hoylake shore with at least two over the foreshore this afternoon. 

18th November

A brief sea watch during heavy seas at New Brighton was surprisingly quiet, however an observer were fortunate to catch a brief view of a juv pale phase Long tailed Skua flying out of the river towards Crosby. Although the shot is distant and very heavily cropped the photograph shows a very cold looking overall colour, a very pale, almost white head separated from the pale underparts by a grey/buff collar . One concern observers were conscious of, was the extensive white on the underside of the primaries, however the literature suggests this is within the normal variation of juvenile pale phase Long tailed Skua. Immature Skua's can be tricky so we would welcome any comments on this bird, particularly if you disagree with the identification.


Long tailed Skua (Pale phase juv) EM

Saturday, 14 November 2015

14 November 2015

Weather: S-2, overcast with heavy rain later. Very cold

After yesterdays maelstrom of wind it was all calm on North Wirral today.  We had a pleasant morning before the weather closed down in the afternoon, when it became very grey, cold and wet.

High tide at Hoylake was the place to be with good numbers of gulls and waders gathering on the foreshore as the tide flooded. Offshore a couple of wind driven Bonxies continued to loaf amongst the larger Gulls although they were always quite distant.

An adult Med Gull was located preening amongst the 1000's of roosting Gulls and showed well when not obscured by a larger Herring Gull. As observers watched the Med Gull, a female Long tailed Duck found by (EM) flew in and landed for some time in the water at the tide edge. Long tailed Ducks are only occasionally seen let alone photographed from Wirral so it's impressive that any photographs were obtained at all. To end a great day a male Snow Bunting was flushed by (EM) from the cycle track north of Hoopoe Hollow. The bird flew off north and was not relocated. -There's always tomorrow!!


All Photo's Elliot Montieth

Adult Med Gull

Female Long tailed Duck

Female Long tailed Duck

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Weather; Dull and misty. Wind SE F2

There was a decent sized flock of over 200 Bar-tailed Godwits on the shore opposite the lighthouse this afternoon. This species seems far less numerous here than it once was. The opposite can be said for Black-tailed Godwit which is now seen regularly commuting over Leasowe on an Northeast-Southwest axis, presumably to and from Gilroy. 3 passed overhead today. 
An interesting combination of a female Mallard and a Tufted Duck floated in together on the flood tide this afternoon. They appeared very much an item.
There was some visible overhead passage this morning with 37 Chaffinches, 18 Siskins and 10 Skylarks moving east. 
A small arrival of Thrushes also took place, mainly in the Park Lane area where 27 Blackbirds, 8 Song Thrushes, 5 Redwing and a Fieldfare were counted. Another Fieldfare was in the paddocks and a further 15 Blackbirds were in the Lingham Lane area. 8 Goldcrests and 3 Chiffchaffs were in the lighthouse area. 2 Stonechats were on Meols common and a Kingfisher, 3 Teal and a Grey Wagtail were along the Birkett. 
24 Meadow Pipits and 2 Common Snipe were on the field in front of the lighthouse. 


Tufted Duck & Mallard on the sea!! (AMC)

Redwing (EW)

Saturday, 31 October 2015

31st October 2015

Weather: SE-2, overcast

A late start at the Lighthouse saw the end of what had obviously been a good morning of passage. Finches were abundant with Bullfinch (2), Chaffinch (22), Goldfinch (12) and Redpoll (1) all being recorded overhead. Thrushes had also made a significant arrival with at least 20+ Blackbird in Lingham Lane and the same again down Park Lane. 8 Goldcrest were around the Lighthouse pond and 4 were to be found along the nature trail. 3 Chiffchaffs were also the nature trail loosely associating with a number of roving tit flocks.

As Great spotted Woodpecker breeds at the Lighthouse its never easy determining which are migrants but two 'buzzing' around the Lighthouse looked like good candidates for genuine migrants as did the 5 Snipe and 2 Teal that appeared to come 'in off'. Also 'in off' were 2 very high Pink footed Geese and an equally high  Short eared Owl which slowly drifted south. 

Our first significant movement of Starlings of the autumn included 300 birds moving SW early morning.  


Short eared Owl (AMC) heavily cropped

Short eared Owl

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wednesday 28th October 2015

Weather;  Mist and some drizzle early, becoming sunny later. Wind SE F1

A Merlin was observed hunting waders before the high tide this morning and a single Ruff, a Greenshank and a Rock Pipit were on the groyne amongst other waders. Ruff are very scarce here.
Offshore at high tide around 1,500 Scoters were seen off Meols, together with 3 Red-throated Divers. 550 Great-crested Grebes were noted off Leasowe together with a single Guillemot fishing close inshore.
Some overhead passage was noted including 21 Skylarks, 30 Meadow Pipits, 1 Grey Wagtail, 14 Chaffinches and 4 Jays all heading east.
Guillemot off Leasowe.     EW
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area included 7 Goldcrests, 4 Stonechats, 4 Reed Buntings and 10 Meadow Pipits. JB, MGT, CT, EW.
Meadow Pipit.    EW

Many thanks to Phil Woollen for providing information on the ringed Dunlin pictured in yesterday's blog. This bird was without doubt ringed in Poland. Although the details could not be read Poland is apparently the only country which uses white darvic rings with black lettering on Dunlins. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Tuesday 27th October 2015

Weather;  Cloud and mist early, then clear and sunny, cloud and light rain mid-afternoon. Wind SE F2-3

850 Sanderling were present on the western groyne and adjoining sea defences at high tide this morning, a great count for this location. 600 Redshank, 100 Dunlin, 64 Lapwings, 50 Turnstone and 2 Knot were also present. 
Some overhead movement also took place with 12 Skylarks, 3 Redwings, 20 Chaffinches and 30 Meadow Pipits mainly east. 2 Reed Buntings, a Golden Plover, 60 Starlings, a Jay and a Redpoll flew west.
Sanderling on the groyne.    EW
Around 30 Blackbirds were in the Lingham Lane area indicating an arrival. 7 Goldcrests and 2 Chiffchaffs were in the duck pond/nature trail area. 2 Stonechats were in Kerr's field. 
Sanderling and 3 Dunlin on the groyne. The ring on one of the Dunlin unfortunately can't be read.  EW

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sunday 25th October 2015

Weather; Sunny spells, clouding over mid-afternoon. Wind S F2

500 Dunlin and a Sanderling were on the western groyne this morning with a Greenshank on the sea defences at Meols. A single Whimbrel flew over the Duck pond this afternoon when an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the sand in front of the car park.
A Kingfisher, a Bullfinch and 2 Grey Wagtails were at Lingham bridge.
Overhead passage consisted of 4 Fieldfares this morning but became more obvious in the afternoon when 22 Skylarks, 35 Meadow Pipits, 2 Reed Buntings, 10 Chaffinches and a Jay moved mainly south. 
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area consisted of 15 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and a single late Wheatear in the area of the groyne. A flock of 20 Long-tailed Tits was on the nature trail. JB, AE, JJ, EW

Friday, 23 October 2015

Friday 23rd October 2015

Weather;  Cloudy with wind S-SW F2-3

Over 500 Redshanks were noted at the western groyne after the tide together with a Greenshank and 50 each of Turnstone and Dunlin. A single Grey Plover flew over.
A Firecrest was in the area of the duck pond west of the lighthouse this morning, although it was mobile and elusive. 6 Goldcrests were also in this area. A male Stonechat was in Kerr's field.
Overhead movement included around 200 Starlings, 14 Skylarks, 15 Chaffinches and a Siskin west.
5 Teal, a Kingfisher and 2 Grey Wagtails were along the Birkett near Lingham Lane.
Firecrest at the duck pond, Leasowe.     EW

Alba Wagtail in the paddocks. This appears to be an intermediate Pied/White Wagtail (yarrellii/alba) Some White Wagtails do show a slightly darker shade between the middle tertials but never to this extent. On this individual the slate colour  reaches well up between the shorter tertials. All other features displayed are as per White Wagtail. Some alba's cannot be safely identified to race. Mixed breeding between Pied and White occurs in the Hebrides and Northern Isles.    EW   
There were around 30 Meadow Pipits grounded in the paddocks together with 12 Pied Wagtails and another alba wagtail of indeterminate race (see photos)   KD, MGT, EW
White Wagtail pictured last autumn in the paddocks showing the same shade of pale grey between the middle tertials as on the mantle, a classic feature of this race. Compare with today's bird.      EW

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tuesday 20th October 2015

Weather; Cloud early then sunny spells. Wind NW F2-3

There was a large arrival of Goldcrests in the Leasowe lighthouse area this morning with over 40 individuals noted, most being in the area of the pond and nature trail.
A Yellow-browed Warbler was also on the nature trail this morning but had presumably moved on by the afternoon, when it could not be re-located. 2 Chiffchaffs and a single Blackcap were also grounded in the lighthouse area and 2 Wheatears were in the paddocks.
Greenfinches continue to move west, with around 15 noted today, together with 25 Chaffinches, 40 Meadow Pipits, 10 Skylarks and a Redpoll. Over 300 Starlings moved east, along with 2 Jays. 2 Grey Wagtails were at Lingham bridge and the Greenshank was at the groyne.  AMC, KD, KAD, EW.
One of today's large influx of Goldcrests          KD

Friday, 16 October 2015

Friday 16th October 2015

Weather;  Cloudy, wind NE F2

Bearing in mind the weight of eastern rarities currently sinking parts of the U.K. it was a quiet day in the Leasowe area. 
The highlight of the morning was an attack on a Hedgehog by a Magpie off Park Lane. It was certainly not a well thought out plan on the part of the Magpie who retired quickly, in some apparent distress.

An unwise attack on a Hedgehog by a Magpie.  EW
Otherwise almost nothing was moving until early afternoon when some passage became evident overhead. A total of 250 Starlings and 112 Fieldfares passed east in groups together with 3 Song Thrushes,
White Wagtail in the paddocks.    EW
2 Grey Wagtails, a Siskin, 8 Skylarks and 32 Chaffinches. 4 Redwings came down at the fisheries on Lingham Lane. 

22 Alba wagtails, including 3 White's, moved quickly eastwards through the paddocks and 30 Meadow Pipits headed south.

Apart from a small scattering of around 8 Goldcrests there were no obvious grounded migrants in the lighthouse area. A single Raven was in the inland fields. This individual has been around for several days now. LH, EW

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tuesday 13th October 2015

Weather; Fine and sunny becoming clouding over in the afternoon. Wind NE F2-3

There was an arrival of Redwings at the lighthouse this morning with a total of 53 birds being logged. Birds arrived in small separate groups and dispersed inland quickly in the Lingham Lane area.
Other overhead migrants included a Raven, 5 Song Thrushes, 6 Skylarks, 15 Chaffinches, 2 Siskins, 2 Bullfinches and 7 Grey Wagtails headed east. Around 30 Meadow Pipits flew south. 
A single Rock Pipit flew west at the groyne, where a Peregrine was seen hunting the waders.
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area included 2 Grey Wagtails in the Lingham Lane area. 14 Pied and a single White Wagtail were in the paddocks together with 12 Meadow Pipits.
There were good numbers of Goldcrests with 16 being noted in the area together with singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Single Wheatears were present on Meols Common and in the paddocks.
Grey Wagtail feeding at the Birkett.             Les Hall

Monday, 12 October 2015

Monday 10th October 2015

Weather;  Morning showers and mist. Clearer and fresher later with sunny spells. Wind NW F1-3

A Whimbrel flew north over the paddocks during the morning shower. A total of 12 Goldcrests were logged in bushes and trees around the lighthouse, mainly along the nature trail, along with 3 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. A single Wheatear was on Meols common.
Overhead 6 Skylarks and 5 Reed Buntings flew west while 8 Grey Wagtails and 2 Redpolls flew east. Around 30 Meadow Pipits flew south with around 10 remaining in the paddocks.
A Short-eared Owl was watched at length hunting over the common in front of the lighthouse yesterday evening although there has been no sign of it here today. Likewise there has been no re-appearance of yesterday's Great White Egret seen at the groyne.    KAD, MGT, EW
Wheatear on Meols Common.   EW

Friday, 2 October 2015

Weather: SE-2, warm & sunny

A quiet day today although Coal Tits continue to move through albeit in lower numbers than in recent days. A total of 8 were logged by the end of the day. 5 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap were found in the coastal shallows and Lingham Lane.

Most of the Hirrundines have now left but two Swallows passed through just after lunch.

The balmy weather was conducive to Raptor passage and observers recorded Kestel, Sparroehawk (2), Peregrine and Buzzard (6) moved through during the course of the day. Interestingly one of the Buzzards (photo below) was winged tagged. 


Wing tagged Buzzard moving through at the Lighthouse (AMC)

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wednesday 30th September 2015

Weather;  Warm and sunny. Wind SE F2

A similar day to yesterday at the lighthouse with most bird activity  being in the morning, possibly due to a slightly reduced visibility at that time which cleared later.
The most interesting feature of the morning was a strong passage of Coal Tits with small groups of between 2 and 5 arriving at the sea wall and making their way quickly inland, mainly along the nature trail. A total of 36 Coal Tits were logged by the end of the day
Overhead movers included 20 Swallows, 4 Skylarks, 7 Chaffinches and 6 Siskins east and 8 Grey Wagtails and 35 Meadow Pipits mainly south. 
Birds grounded in the lighthouse area included 5 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps, 4 Goldcrest and a Wheatear.
2 Wheatears were at the eastern groyne at the Leasowe Castle Hotel while 4 Sandwich Terns were offshore and a Peregrine flew overhead. 

An adult winter Med Gull was in the Hoylake Gull roost over the high tide.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Tuesday 29th September 2015

Weather;  Warm and sunny. Wind SE F2

There was some overhead migration in the Leasowe lighthouse area today most of which took place in the morning. Most birds were travelling north to south with many coming straight in off the sea. Meadow Pipits were the commonest species with over 70 being logged, although only a handful made landfall with most continuing south without pause. Other overhead migrants included 3 Reed Buntings, 2 Swallows, 2 Skylarks, 3 Grey Wagtails, 8 Chaffinches, 3 Siskins and a Jay.
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area included 2 Wheatear, 14 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps and 10 Goldcrests. Most of these had moved on by lunchtime after which it became very quiet although 4 more Chiffchaffs appeared to be new in along the sea embankment bushes together with a single Wheatear on the western groyne. AMC, MGT, EW
Meadow Pipit in the paddocks   EW

Monday, 28 September 2015

Monday 28th September 2015

Weather;  Sunny and fine. Wind SE F2-3

A combined total of 110 Curlew were roosting over the tide on fields inland from Park Lane and in the paddocks. 

The first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was in a Hoylake garden along the promenade this morning showing well at times. (JET, MGT). 
Despite much searching, however, no others could be located in the Leasowe area, another favourite site for them during such ideal arrival conditions. 10 Blackcaps were logged here, 6 at Lingham bridge, 2 along the nature trail and 2 in Park Lane. There was also a reasonable number of Chiffchaffs with a total of 11 being noted, mainly in the area of the Duck pond and Park Lane. 8 Goldcrests were also scattered around. 20 Swallows and 2 House Martins were in the Park Lane area.
Overhead there was a small passage of around 40 Meadow Pipits, most flying in off the sea and continuing south without pause. 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Skylarks and 3 Grey Wagtails also passed overhead. (AMC, JJ, JET, MGT, EW)    

Sunday, 27 September 2015

27th September 2015

Weather: S/SE-2, warm and sunny

Continued SE winds and clear conditions saw some visible migration today. Overhead passage at the Lighthouse included Swallow(22), Grey Wagtail (2), Jay (2), Meadow Pipit (19), Skylark (1) Snipe (1). Two Guillemots and Two Canada Geese were noted offshore as was a single Sandwich Tern.

Grounded migrants included Chiffchaff (9), Blackcap (4) Goldcrest (2) . A single Wheatear was also in the paddocks.

Two Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzard moved through mid afternoon.

Many thanks to Colin Wells for sending us this photograph of a Sinensis Cormorant he found and identified at BMW today. The status of Sinensis on Wirral is not fully understood as they are no doubt overlooked and consequently under recorded. A sharp eye will note the larger 'Gular Angle' compared with that of Carbo which of course has a much smaller 'Gular angle'.


Sinensi Cormorant (Colin Wells)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

26th September 2016

Weather: SE-2, warm and sunny

A mixed day with minimal vis mig despite ideal condition but a few grounded migrants could be found in the coastal sallows.

Grounded migrants included Stonechat (2), Wheatear (3) Chiffchaff (15) Blackcap (4), Swallow (11) and a Jay , however highlight of the day was a Nuthatch. Nuthatch is a very rare bird here with less than 5 records for the Lighthouse area.

A Kingfisher has also been seen with some regularity from Linngham bridge. One lucky observer managed to capture this portrait of a bird seen near the Lighthouse pond.


Kingfisher (Anthony Edwardss)

Friday, 25 September 2015

Friday 25th September 2015

Weather;  Sunny spells. Wind W F3-4

11 Little Egrets and 5 Grey Herons were at the western groyne after the tide. Numbers of Egrets have been steadily building up here in recent months. 40 Redshank, 15 Dunlin and 8 Turnstone were also here.

The advance of autumn is evident in the subtle changes in the make up of returning migrants in the area of the lighthouse. Hirundines have suddenly become scarce, with none seen at all today, whereas the first migrant Chaffinches and Skylarks are appearing overhead. Goldcrests too are increasing with 6 recorded in the area of the Duck pond. Chiffchaffs are now the most common Warbler species on the move with 9 logged today. 3 Blackcaps and a Kingfisher were present at Lingham bridge and a male Stonechat was in Kerr's field. 
Goldcrest     EW
Hopefully the forthcoming change in wind direction to an easterly vector will produce an increase in migrants over the next few days. Observers AMC, KAD, JJ, EW  

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Tuesday 22nd September 2015

Weather;  Heavy shower early, then sunny spells. Wind NW F3

Not a great deal of migration evident in the area of the lighthouse today, the brisk North-westerly being far from helpful.

50 Dunlin, 25 Redshank, a Knot, 4 Little Egrets and the usual Greenshank were present in the area of the western groyne. 23 Turnstones roosted on the pontoon at New Brighton. 65 Black-tailed Godwits flew west over Leasowe. This species, once rare here, is now being regularly noted in decent numbers.

Departing summer migrants were in short supply with only Blackcaps reaching a respectable total of 7 in the Lingham Lane area. 3 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests were also present here. A single Wheatear was on Meols common.

Overhead movement consisted of 6 Swallows east and 2 Grey Wagtails west. A Peregrine also flew east.     Observers AMC, EW
Blackcap,  Lingham Lane.   EW

Saturday, 12 September 2015

12 September 2015

Weather: SE-SW-3, showers warmer later

Observers found the conditions challenging today with regular showers and blustery conditions keeping any birds that may have been present well and truly hidden.

After several circuits, the day totals were Chiffchaff (8), Blackcap (5) House Martin (60) and Swallow (90). A single Whinchat also made the day list.

In the Hoylake Gull roost 3 Yellow Legged Gulls were noted amongst a mixed flock of 500 Gulls. 


Adult Yellow legged Gull (AMC)

Friday, 11 September 2015

Friday 11th September 2015

Weather; Sunny and warm, clouding slightly later. Wind SE F3

The day started fairly quietly in the Leasowe area with no notable arrival of autumn migrants despite the south-east wind. 
2 Redstarts, a female and the male bird, remained near Lingham Lane from the 3 there yesterday. 
2 Blackcaps and a brief Garden Warbler were in the elderberries along the Birkett at Lingham bridge together with 2 Lesser Redpolls which also alighted here for a short time before flying to the south. 2 Goldcrests were also here with others near Stone cottage.

Our first Hobby of the autumn powered through in the early afternoon, flying eastwards the length of Leasowe common from the lighthouse to the cafe and beyond.

At around 3 p.m. a slight clouding over and lowering of the atmospheric pressure may have prompted a small arrival of migrants. Small numbers of Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap started appearing from the seaward end of the nature trail and worked their way inland. A Garden Warbler was seen to fly in from over the sea embankment and inland across the paddocks. A Spotted Flycatcher also flew in from the same direction and alighted briefly near the Duck pond before also continuing inland.  AMC, MGT, EW, RW.
Male Redstart near Lingham Lane. Note the white wing panel visible on this individual. Some nominate race birds such as this can display this feature which is usually associated with the eastern race samamiscus.   EW

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Thursday 10th September 2015

Weather;  Hot and sunny, wind SE F3

There was a small arrival of 11 Chiffchaffs and 2 Willow Warblers along the coastal bushes underneath the embankment at Leasowe this morning. Most of these birds had dispersed eastwards by midday.

3 Redstarts, 2 females and a new male bird, were present near to Lingham Lane for most of the morning. 4 Goldcrests and a single female Wheatear were also in the area. Other migrants in the Leasowe area included singles of Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat and 3 Blackcaps.

22 Black-tailed Godwits flew east mid morning. Other wader interest included a Common Sandpiper on the sea defence whilst 6 Ruff remained on he temporary flashes. A single Grey Wagtail flew east mid morning.

A Little Owl was discovered early evening in its roost at Park Lane.

Around 100 Black-headed Gulls feeding on flying ants overhead this afternoon were joined by 2 adult Mediterranean GullsAMC, JJ, MGT, EW

Male Redstart near Lingham Lane   AMC

Wheatear   EW

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

9 September 2015

Weather, E/SE-2/3, Warm and overcast

The day started surprisingly quietly with little evidence of the expected fall, however after the first circuit of the Lighthouse and as the sun began to warm things up mid morning, it quickly became evident there had indeed been a small overnight arrival of migrants. Numbers included Chiffchaff (8), Willow Warbler (1), Blackcap (4), Reed Warbler (1), Whitethroat (1) and Redstart (3). One of the Redstarts was a stunning male and was found along Park Lane.

Other birds on the move today included Mute Swan (1), Canada Goose (2) and a Stock Dove came in off the sea.

Wader interest was provided by Common Snipe (7) and Ruff (11) again present on the temporary flashes on Park Lane.

In the Horse Paddocks the annual build up of autumn finches has begun with a linnet flock in excess of 100 counted today

Yesterdays Hoopoe was reported briefly  this morning but not seen subsequently.

With winds continuing from an easterly direction we are hopeful of seeing some interesting migration over the coming days.


Redstart (Mike Buckley)

Redstart  (AMC)
Whitethroat (Mike Buckley)

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

8 September 2015

Weather: SE-2, warm and sunny, some mist

Migrants continue to trickle through at the Lighthouse with a small numbers of Chiffchaff (4), Blackcap (4) and Wheatear (2) present in and around the coastal Sallows.

The recent floods have started to subside and the temporary Flashes are now vanishing. 3 of the 14 Ruff are still present along with 35 Lapwing and 11 Black tailed Godwits. The first Snipe of the autumn arrived this evening as a flock of 9 dropped into one of the sedge filled fields.

Highlight of the day goes to a Hoopoe found at New Brighton this morning by a young birder by the name of Joe Bellis - congratulations to him. The bird was quite flighty but could be viewed well with patience and distance. 

Hoopoe (AMC)

Hoopoe (AMC)

Hoopoe (EM)

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Red backed Shrike -Day 2

Weather; W-3, warm and sunny spells.

Yesterdays Juv Red backed Shrike remained on Park Lane , Meols performing well to many visitors who themselves performed well; all parking appropriately on what is a very busy minor road.

The flooded fields continue to attract waders with Ruff numbers now up to 10. With Ruff being a great 'carrier' species we are hopeful of something a little scarcer over the next few days. Black tailed Godwit numbered 13, Lapwing 23 and a single adult Med Gull was found floating amongst the 300 or so Black headed Gulls.

Despite the westerly wind reasonable numbers of migrants put in an appearance. The coastal sallows held Chiffchaff (9),Willow Warbler(5)  Blackcap (6) and a single Spotted Flycatcher was present in the Horse Paddocks all day.

The last great bird of the day was a Marsh Harrier picked up by one fortunate observer as it headed north over Leasowe Bay.


Red backed Shrike (Alan Hitchmough)

Med Gull- AMC

Friday, 4 September 2015

4th September 2015

Weather: SW-3/4 overcast with some sunny spells.

With the recent flooding of the coastal fields observers turned their attention to  'freshwater waders' . 

Amongts the many gulls using the temporary flood plain for bathing 14 Black tailed Godwit, 12 Lapwing and 3 Ruff also dropped in.

A Mute Swan was an unusual sight as was a number of other  wildfowl including Tufted Duck (4), Wigeon (1) and several Mallard.

Despite the hoped for 'Pec' not being found one lucky observer was more than pleased to find a juvenile Red backed Shrike. Initially found in reeds the bird was eventually obliging and performed well in a nearby Hawthorn.  

There are several records of Red backed Shrike on Wirral (mostly from Red Rocks) however this is our first ever for the Lighthouse region and long expected. 

The bird performed well and was present until dusk.


Red backed Shrike (AMC)

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tuesday 1st September 2015

Weather; Clear with sunny spells for most of the day after a heavy mid-morning downpour. Wind NW-N f3.

A good variety of waders came in with the flood tide on the north shore this morning. A Ruff and a Greenshank were among waders at Hoylake. At Leasowe 22 Grey Plovers, 20 Turnstones, 6 Knot, 3 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel were among other waders in the area of the western groyne.
14 Black-tailed Godwits were in flooded fields off Park Lane together with good numbers of Curlew and Redshank.

The heavy mid-morning shower may have prompted a small fall of return migrants in the Leasowe area in otherwise unfavourable conditions. 12 Wheatears were logged including 7 arriving together on the western groyne just after the shower.

A female Redstart sp was watched feeding on the path at Sandy Lane just west of the paddocks. Unfortunately it could only be seen from the rear but was thought to be a Black Redstart. It then flew into the stable area and could not be re-located.

There was also a decent arrival of warblers in the lighthouse area which included 10 Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats and 3 Garden Warblers. Most were feeding on elderberries along Lingham Lane, especially at the bridge. Other warblers seen around the lighthouse included 2 Reed Warblers, 3 Willow Warblers and 8 Chiffchaffs.

Overhead a single Raven flew west and a Grey Wagtail east. Over 100 Linnets are in the paddocks.   

Observers AMC, MGT, EW

Ruff (Juv) at Kings Gap, Hoylake - MGT

Whimbrel near the western groyne   EW

Garden Warbler feeding on elderberries at Lingham bridge.   EW