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