Saturday, 4 April 2015

2 Surfies!

Weather; Cloudy early clearing to sunshine. Dry, wind NE f3

A great days birding today along the North Wirral shore.

Today's  highlight was the discovery of a second male Surf Scoter amongst the huge numbers of seaduck off Hoylake. Suspicions were recently raised as to the presence of a second bird with separate observations of an adult male, rather than the original first winter bird, by local observers Mark Turner and Mark Garner. The presence of two individuals was confirmed this morning by Frank Duff, who watched two drake Surfies swimming together from the low water line off Hoylake. 
Other interesting sightings off Hoylake today included 4 Velvet Scoters, 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 1 drake Eider, a 1st winter Glaucous Gull and a 1st winter Iceland Gull. A number of Red-throated Divers were also seen. The Iceland Gull showed well for a prolonged period at high tide. 2 Swallows also flew west here.

In the Leasowe lighthouse area 65 Great-crested Grebes and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore.
A Green Sandpiper flew south over the embankment to the Birket, from where it was again seen later this afternoon near Park Lane. This species is rare here.

There was a considerable amount of overhead movement in the lighthouse area with a Merlin flying north west, singles of Swallow and Sand Martin flying east and a continual movement of over 400 Meadow Pipits throughout the day. These headed mainly east until the cloud lifted, whereupon many were seen to head directly north-east across Liverpool bay. A single Rock Pipit went the same way.

1st winter Iceland Gull, Hoylake. A very pale individual.   AMC 
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area included 3 Chiffchaffs in the duckpond and nature trail area. Another 3 were in the Lingham bridge area, together with the first Willow Warbler of the spring. A single Tree Sparrow flew east, alighting briefly in bushes at Lingham bridge before continuing it's journey. Tree Sparrow has become rare in recent years and it is now barely annual at Leasowe.
1st winter Iceland Gull    AMC
Observers; Too many to mention today but many thanks for all your sightings.
Tree Sparrow at Lingham bridge   EW


  1. walked out to see scoters at Hoylake this evening at low water. From 5.00 to 6.00 pm. 4 male surf scoters !! One group of 3 together and another male at other end of flock, really close to tideline , fantastic close views. Also 2 long tailed ducks. Couldn't find any velvets.

    cheers Sean O'Hara


  2. Really well done Sean and thanks for letting us know. Amazing to think that within the space of ten days we have gone from none to one to four. Incredible!