A decent assortment of birds in the Neston Old Quay area today. Out on the saltmarsh were 2 Merlins, a ringtail Hen Harrier, 2 Great White Egrets, over 60 Skylarks and 11 Rock Pipits.
The Rock Pipits wintering on the saltmarsh are now thought likely to be of the Scandinavian race littoralis. This race is in most cases identical with our British Rock Pipits (petrosus race), especially in winter plumage. A minority of individuals can be told apart, however, and there was at one obvious littoralis seen. There is a major habitat difference between Rock and Water Pipits at the Old Quay, Rock Pipits being found well out on the saltmarsh whereas Water Pipits are restricted to the freshwater influenced area of the marsh just in front of the Old Quay. They are often present along the freshwater stream. 2 Birds were here today. Confusion between littoralis Rock Pipits and Water Pipits does occur on high spring tides when both species are forced off the marsh together. Otherwise confusion between the two at this location may have been overstated in the past.