Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday 23rd January 2015

Weather; Cold, light S.W wind. Early frost.

A slightly higher spring tide than yesterdays made for the expected dramatic scene of hundreds of displaced birds in the air at the same time at Neston Old Quay. Unfortunately though the expected Harriers and Owls seem to be restricted to the marshes north of here as none were seen. 
There were some interesting sightings, however, including a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Great White Egret, over 50 Common Snipe, a Jack Snipe and many hundreds of Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Pink-footed Geese and other waterbirds.
The smaller stuff was equally impressive, with around 200 Skylarks, 30 Reed Buntings and 50 assorted Pipits, probably mainly Rock Pipits. 5 Rock and 3 Water Pipits were well seen on the ground.
Up to 3 Sparrowhawks were hunting the marsh vegetation for displaced smaller birds and one was seen to take a Reed Bunting.
A flock of around 50 Linnets contained at least 2 Twite. A Chiffchaff was at the sewage works. Observers KAD,DH,EW.
The flood tide on the Dee marshes with distant Great White Egret.   EW

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Monday 19th January 2015

A late post from Monday 19th Jan; In the Leasowe lighthouse area sea-watching produced 1,100 Common Scoter, 320 Great-crested Grebes, 6 Goldeneye and 3 Eiders including 2 males. 
Inland the single Twite remains in the area of the paddocks but can be elusive. 
A male Blackcap and a Chiffchaff are in the Lingham Lane area and high recent Thrush counts in the area have included 47 Fieldfare, 35 Redwing, 18 Song Thrush and 15 Mistle Thrush. A Peregrine has been seen daily along the beach while the 2 Snow Bunting remain on the foreshore in the area of the Harvester P.H.

Also on Monday 19th; In the Neston Old Quay area a Water Pipit was well seen near the sandstone wall. A party of 9 Twite were also in the area. They have been present here since at least 13th January and may be wintering. 3 Chiffchaffs were at the nearby sewage works. Well out on the marsh 60 Skylarks and 20 Rock Pipits were counted, along with a Merlin and a flyover female Goosander.

Thursday 22nd January 2015; 
5 Short-eared Owls, a Peregrine and 2 Merlins were seen from Riverbank Rd, Heswall, over the high spring tide.
A further 2 Merlins were seen from Neston Old Quay along with a Water Pipit, 6 Twite and 40 Skylarks.
Another Water Pipit showed well for 30 minutes this morning on the filter beds of Neston sewage works. A scope and wellies are needed here though. Finding Water Pipits on the filter beds here is very hit and miss but it's the best place to get a prolonged look as views from the marsh area tend to be brief as they flush very easily.
Up to 5 Chiffchaffs are wintering at the sewage works with 3 seen today.  Observers; JB, KD, KAD, DH, CT, EW.  
Record shot of some of the Twite at Neston Old Quay.  EW.

Monday, 12 January 2015

12th January 2014

Weather: W-3, cool and overcast

The two Snow Buntings continue to move between Leasowe Castle and Derby Pool often being quite elusive. There was however no sign the Lighthouse Twite today.

At New Brighton Marine lake the Greenshank was again amongst the roosting Redshank and the Purple Sandpiper numbers remain at 14.

Further east towards Birkenhead Docks a small rainwater pool has formed on Victoria Dock. This has attracted a number of Gulls in to bathe including two different Mediterranean Gulls in the last two days; an adult and a second winter bird.


Second Winter Med Gull (AMC)

Adult Med Gull (AMC)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

10th January 2015

Weather: West 7, gusting 9, mild and overcast

With a severe storm making landfall today most birds were taking shelter as best they could. Numbers of waders roosting on the New Brighton Marine Lake pontoon included 14 Purple Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank.  A storm blown 1st winter Kittiwake battled its way out of the Mersey,

On Hoylake shore an impressive number of mixed gulls roosted over the tide including at least 6500 large Gulls, but no 'Arctic' gulls could be found amongst them!

One or two Med Gulls were along the North Wirral shore mid afternoon.


Kittiwake (Elliot Montieth)

Greenshank amongst Redshank (Elliot Montieth)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Monday 5th January 2015

Weather; Sunny for the most part, warm, wind S.W. f1.

A calm sea gave some good sea-watching conditions over the high tide at the lighthouse. Birds seen included 470 Great-crested Grebes, around 500 Common Scoter, 8 Goldeneye, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and 2 Scaup.

Other birds seen in the area of the lighthouse included 4 Common Snipe,  47 Fieldfares, 32 Redwings, 15 Song Thrushes, 10 Mistle Thrushes, 120 Linnets, 10 Reed Buntings, a Bullfinch, a Stonechat and a Chiffchaff. 

The 1st winter Grey Phalarope remains on the Mersey at the Seacombe ferry terminal, ranging west to opposite the Ferry P.H. over the high tide period giving some great views.

The 2 Snow Buntings are now in the area just to the west of the Harvester P.H. being seen today mainly around the lifeguard station and on the beach just to the east of it. 

Thanks to srw for this video link of the Grey Phalarope

Observers, AMC, DH, JJ DK, EW, SRW

Grey Phalarope.  EW

Snow Bunting , David King
Grey Phalarope (AMC)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

4th January 2015

Weather: SE-2, sunny and cold.

The clear night of the 3rd saw temperatures a lot lower than of recent days resulting in a localized cold weather movement of birds towards the coast.

A brief curcuit of the Lighthouse fields produce 1 Woodcock, 15 Snipe, 1 Black tailed Godwit, 19 Teal and unusually for the Lighthouse a Little Grebe on the River Birkett. 

Passerines included 27 Meadow Pipit, 18 Fieldfare, 29 Redwing, 5 Mistle thrush, 3 Song Thrush and stunning male Bullfinch.

The collybita Chiffchaff remains at the top of Lingham Lane whilst the two Snow Bunting also remain in Leasowe bay although elusive at times.

Offshore there were 273 Great crested Grebes, 850 Common Scoter and a Mediterranean Gull.

Further east at Seacombe, a 1st Winter Grey Phalarope was found by Elliot Montieth feeding at the back of the Ferry. Whilst winter records of Grey Phalaropes are not unprecented, it is none the less an extremely unusual record. With a force 11 westerley forecast for the end of the week, it will be interesting to see if any other winter pelagic birds are driven ashore.

See more photos of this bird on Elliot's flicker site.


Grey Phalarope , Seacombe ferry, Elliot Montieth

Grey Phalarope , Seacombe ferry, Elliot Montieth