Thursday, 22 June 2017

Weather, rain am dry and cloudy pm. wind west north west 10mph,

June has been quite a quiet month at the Lighthouse with most of the excitement centered on other parts of the country with Needle tailed Swift's and Elegant Terns being the pick of the bunch , 
Seasoned Lighthouse regulars have kept their eyes to the skies and tree tops with few rewards 


Today was the exception despite the poor weather this morning a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull was spotted just off the seafront near the lifeboat station at Hoylake this was the same bird spotted at Hilbre Island at lunchtime 
Young Swallows  GC

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Weather.  Hot sunny.  Wind 0 mph 

A typical sunny June morning at the lighthouse with migration largely over attention is focused on the breeding season .
Chiffchaff GC

When the first Lesser Whitethroats arrived On the 29th of April on Lingham Lane  lighthouse regulars speculated whether or not they would breed, For the past month the Lesser Whitethroat have been quiet and apart from brief sightings and could easily be overlooked if not aware of their presence,

This morning an observer watched for over 20 minutes a pair come and go from a hedgerow with food , hopefully in the next week or so we will be rewarded with views of some fledglings

Reed Warbler. GC 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Weather; Sunny and warm. Wind W to NW F2.


Some news for yesterday evening was of a male Blue-headed Wagtail in the paddocks at Leasowe along with two Wheatears and a Whinchat. (Stan Davidson et al) Unfortunately it could not be located today.

Today's highlight was a single Roseate Tern seen flying west at close range along with some Common Terns over the morning's high tide (Dave Haigh et al) 2 Gannets and 3 Common Scoter were also noted.
Some  late migrants are continuing to arrive in the lighthouse area. 6 Wheatears were present today along with a single Whinchat in the paddocks and inland fields. Most of the Wheatears appear to be the large, upright, Greenland race birds. 
Large 'Greenland type'  Wheatear in the paddocks.         EW
Other new arrivals included two Willow Warblers in coastal bushes along the sea embankment and a Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler along the nature trail. There is a very confusing and talented Blackcap singing at the top of Lingham Lane near the car park which can imitate the songs of many species including Reed, Sedge and Garden Warblers, Swallow and Starling.
Blue-headed Wagtail in the paddocks.    Stan Davidson
 
 



Monday, 15 May 2017

Sunday , weather. Mainly cloudy sunny intervals wind westerly 15mph,

A very quiet day compared to the last few days ,  birds spotted AM: 4 Wheatear 1  Whinchat 1 Yellow Wagtail Flying over,  birds PM: 1 Yellow wagtail, 1 Whinchat, 5  Wheatear all in the coastal paddocks except 1 Wheatear on The groyne at Dove point, 2 Common Tern off shore, The Hooded crow was seen flying between Dove point and the fields by Lingham Lane and later in the day the Gun site,

Monday, Weather Heavy showers AM and PM, Wind,  South south west 12mph,

A very quiet day due mainly to the very poor rainy conditions, birds spotted AM and PM 2 Wheatear Yellow Wagtail, All in the Coastal paddocks, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker searching for grubs on a post at Kerrs field
Yellow Wagtail (Stan Davidson)  

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Weather. Early showers, sunny later, Wind westerly 13mph


Spotted Flycatcher ( Tony Edwards)

Friday, 12 May 2017

Weather, Cloudy dry AM heavy showers PM, Wind east south east 15mph , 

Spotted Flycatcher (Tony Edwards) 
The long awaited return of the Spotted Flycatcher had been on every Wirral birders lips the last few days, today turned out to be the day with sightings from Hilbre island and Red Rocks and individual reports of 16 birds being seen in the lighthouse area , with birds being seen at Lingham lane, the nature trail, The paddocks and park lane numbers could easily have been in the 20s , 
Hooded Crow GC 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Weather, hot sunny . Wind east southeast.11mph,

A brief update from today, another glorious day weather wise, The main activity being from the horse paddocks with 1 Whinchat  1 female Redstart and 2 Yellow Wagtail 
Yellow Wagtail (Tony Edwards)



Many thanks to Tony Edwards and Stan Davidson for the sightings , Any sightings and photographs from the lighthouse area please send via email to  

Grahamconnolly66@googlemail.com 


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Weather. Hot sunny, wind, north westerly 5mph

A typically hot May morning at the lighthouse, conditions were almost perfect apart from the heat haze that made viewing any distant birds quite difficult,The sea was as still as a mill pond the only notable birds being 3 Sandwich Tern  which were heard before they were seen with their harsh "kierr-k" call, At Dove point 30 + Dunlin  along with 3 Ringed plover spent high tide on the western groyne, 
Little Owl, GC

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Tuesday 9th May 2017

Cloud early, sunny later. Wind variable E to NW. F2



There was a noticeable passage of hirundines eastwards along the embankment today with many then heading out north-east over Liverpool bay towards the Sefton coast. Around 50 Swallows, 40 House Martins and 28 Sand Martins were involved. Only a single Swift was noted, however.
Grounded migrants included 5 Wheatears and a Whinchat in the paddocks and inland fields. A male Redstart was in Park Lane this morning but had apparently moved on by lunchtime. A Garden Warbler was along the nature trail and two Lesser Whitethroats were on Lingham Lane.
The northward Willow Warbler passage is now past it's peak with only 4 birds being logged today. There was a small arrival of Sedge Warblers, however, with around 6 birds being noted away from regular breeding territories, mainly in the Lingham Lane and Park Lane areas.

Lesser  Whitethroat (Tony Edwards)

Monday, 8 May 2017

Sunday 7th May, weather, sunny, wind north westerly force1 

Perfect weather greeted us at the lighthouse with almost still wind  conditions meant every bird sound and movement in the trees could be Monitored. 

Swift passage had slowed down compared to the great numbers (300+) yesterday with ones and twos passing through during the morning, 


At Lingham bridge a Sedge warbler 1 of 3 in the area was perched on top of the hedgerow an unusual sighting at the bridge, later on in the morning a Little Owl was heard,
Lesser Whitethroat, (Tim Kinch)


Saturday, 6 May 2017

6th May

Weather: E-3, overcast

Swift passage continued in earnest today. Last evening (5th) saw an impressive movemement of 273 Swift north over a period of 2 hours. Today continued in the same way with over 300 recorded during the day. All birds headed N/NE into the headwind.  An impressive site for those present they never stopped coming through as the final obsevers left for the day.

A male Cuckoo , the first of the spring, spent the whole day singing from the paddock behind the Lighthouse. Further west a female Redstart was fond along Park Lane early morning.

A female Marsh Harrier was picked up coming in from the West. Flying over Lingham lane and continued East. The bird returned west some 2 minutes later with the local gulls on its tail. Some 10 minutes later it was picked uo again over the Lighthouse car park purposefully heading back east at height.

AMC

AMC
 

 
 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Weather, sunny, partly cloudy , Wind north  easterly 15mph.

A quieter than expected day at the Lighthouse, with few migrants in the area mainly due down to the clear weather conditions over night causing many of yesterdays  birds  to fly through  , 

Surprise bird of the day was a  Spoonbill that flew over to the  east and unfortunately didn't stop, other birds that passed over were Yellow Wagtail, Lesser Redpoll and Siskin,,

9 Wheatear were mainly in the paddocks west of the lighthouse and in the fields south of Park lane along with a single Whinchat at the old brick pit ,

At Lingham lane towards the railway end, 2 Possibly 3 Lesser Whitethroat were seen along the hedgerows giving quite brief glimpses, their song was quite clear and not as scratchy as the common Whitethroat, 

Other birds in the area were, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, and good numbers of Swallow

Observers , DH, KD, TK, TE, AC, JJ, GC.




Stomechat (Tony Edwards)




Tuesday, 2 May 2017

2nd May

Weather: E/NE-3 sunny with cool breeze.

Overnight there had been a small arrival of migrants including. The most notable was the arrival of Garden Warbler. 2 were recorded along park Lane whilst 3 more were in hedgerows along Lingham Lane. 20 Willow Warbler and 14 Chiffchaff were also in the coastal hedgerows. 3 Lesser Whitethroat were again recorded along Lingham Lane as was a female Common Redstart. Another 2 Common Redstart played cat and mouse in the hedges bordering the paddocks. Bird of the day was a female Black Redstart. Found and photographed by Lighthouse regular Tony Edwards, the Black Redstart fed on the ground between the farm buildings along Lingham lane. Other warblers on territory inclued Reed , Sedge and Grasshopper Warbler. Along Park Lane there were 4 Whinchat and 10 Wheatear perched on the wire fence.

The cool wind kept the temperature down and produced a slight sea mist. An unexpected 1st summer Little Gull drifted in then back out again on the ebb tide. 

Waders included 2 Whimbrel and 3000 Dunlin on the foreshore. 

Black Redstart (Tony Edwards)

Garden Warbler (AMC)



 

Monday, 1 May 2017

1st May

Weather:E/NE-3-4, warm and overcast
  
Showers overnight produced a few grounded migrants around the Lighthouse this morning, the first couple of circuits producing 30+ Wheatear and 3 Whinchat. As birds continued to arrive all day the final count for Whinchat had reached 8 birds. All of yesterdays Redstarts however had appeared to have left overnight. Two male Lesser Whitethroat continue to hold territory at the inland end of Lingham Lane whilst at least 11 Common Whitethroat were recorded in the coastal scrub. 10 Sedge Warbler were new in and 5 Blackcap and 5 Reed Warbler were also recorded. A single Swift passed through early afternoon. Another Merlin (3rd of spring) was found in Park Lane.

Wader passage included 2 Whimbrel and 3000 Dunlin and 600 Sanderling.

Seawatching today was time limited however 5 Gannet and 5 Great crested Grebe were recorded over the tide whilst an evening visit on the ebb tide produced 150 Sandwich Terns and 10 'Commic' Terns from the Lighthouse Car park. Although distant their evocative calls heralding their arrival all the way from their African wintering grounds.

Sandwich Tern flock from the Lighthouse car park (AMC)



Sunday, 30 April 2017

30th April


Weather: E/SE-4, warm, overcast partially sunny.
 
An exciting start to the day saw an overnight arrival of a number of grounded migrants. The first circuit of the Lighthouse produced at least 30 Wheatear and 10 Whinchat including some stunning males. A good number of warblers were also to be found in the coastal sallows. Some 50 Willow Warbler, 20 Blackcap, 12 Chiffchaff, Reed and Sedge Warbler had arived over night. Two Yellow Wagtails dropped into the coastal paddocks briefly before heading off north. Two Redstart were along Park Lane near their usual place near Parkfield House



In Lingham Lane, a further male Redstart was located in Wood Warbler Wood where a male Lesser Whitethroat was also singing mid morning.



Offshore 14 Great crested Grebe were found off the Lighthouse car park along with a summer plumaged Red throated Diver and 10 Sandwich Tern. Despite big numbers of Black Tern in Liverpool Bay, none could be located from the Lighthouse.



A summer plumaged Great Northern Diver was offshore from Hoylake where there were also 3500 Dunlin, 1000 Sanderling, 2 Knot and a Grey Plover.



With continued easterlies we are looking forward to continued migration.


Whimbrel - with one Redshank Leg !! (Les Hall)

 
YellowWagtail (Tim Kinch)


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Weather: wind, slight south westerly force 2, overcast and cool. 

Much needed southerly winds brought a few migrant to the lighthouse area, A female Ring Ouzel was on the disused golf course on Lingham lane and stayed for most of the morning a totally different female to the bird in the paddocks yesterday morning 
Female Ring Ouzel  GC

Friday, 28 April 2017

Friday 28th April 2017

Cloudy with sunny spells. Wind S F2 to NW F3


A much less blustery day today with a few migrants appearing again in the Lighthouse area following days of strong winds from the wrong direction (N), which had appeared to block many migrants.
There was a noticeable overhead passage of mainly hirundines including over 60 Swallows, 30 Sand Martins and 15 House Martins. With them were the first two Swifts of the spring. A single Siskin also flew over.
The first Swift of the spring over the paddocks.     AMC
A female Ring Ouzel was in the paddocks this morning before flying into the inland fields. A female Whinchat was also in the paddocks. Other migrants present included 6 Wheatears, 6 Whitethroats, 5 Reed Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 4 Blackcaps and 7 Willow Warblers. A Grasshopper Warbler was singing at the top of Lingham Lane near the railway bridge.
Ring Ouzel in the paddocks.       EW
 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wednesday 19th April 2017

Weather; Overcast but clear with light Southerly winds F2


There was some decent passage through the Leasowe area today with a greater variety of species involved as spring advances. The light southerly wind and calm conditions  were undoubtably an asset.
There was a good overhead passage, mainly of hirundines with over 50 Swallows, 30 Sand Martins and 10 House Martins being logged. Also noted overhead were singles of Yellow Wagtail (first spring sighting here) and Siskin. There was also a steady movement of around 60 Meadow Pipits with many stopping off in the paddocks. Also in the paddocks this morning was a Ring Ouzel which unfortunately was another short-stayer.
Other migrants of interest included 4 Whinchats, (2 in the paddocks and singles in Kerr's field and off Park Lane) a Redstart, (inland fields) 4 Whitethroats, 4 Reed Warblers, 14 White Wagtails and 2 Grasshopper Warblers.
There was a good count of over 30 Wheatears and 22 Willow Warblers. Blackcap totals were only around 5 (mainly local birds on territory) until another 8 arrived mid afternoon which were concentrated in a very small area near the duck pond.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Overnight Easterlies

Weather: E/NE-2, Clear & sunny with some high cloud,

Overnight easterlies resulted in a small fall of migrants at the lighthouse today. A first circuit of the Lighthouse immediately produced results. A fine male Whinchat was found in the field next to the Lighthouse before continuing its migration North. Another Whinchat , a female was found mid afternoon and remained until early evening. Further west 2 male Redstart were located along Park Lane near Parkfield House.  Up to 10 Wheatear, 5 White Wagtails, 25 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap and 30 Meadow Pipit were recorded in around the coastal paddocks. Our first Reed Warblers have also arrived with one in Lingham Lane and one in the nature trail. Overhead movement included 6 Carrion Crows, 4 Woodpigeon, 2 Stock Dove and 3 Siskin. A fine drake Mandarin was recorded on the 15th April.

Whinchat (Eddie Williams)

Redstart (Les Hall)

Mandarin (Liz Pitchford)

Friday, 14 April 2017

Weather, showers, dry late AM early PM heavy rain later strong westerly gusts 

A wet start At the Lighthouse  didn't dampen the excitement of an early morning report of a Pied Flycatcher by the eastern kissing gate, unfortunately after a good search it couldn't be relocated, its the first of the year for Wirral and the first one at Leasowe since 28/04/2015 quite a rarity for the area  ,

Spring migrants in the area included 7 Blackcap, 7 Willow Warbler, 10+ Chiffchaff, all in good voice 11 Wheatear , 1 Sedge Warbler at the railway end of Lingham Lane, 8 Swallow, and 6 Sand Martin over the paddocks.
Poor record shot of a Merlin , GC
A Merlin in the paddocks just south of the western kissing gate was a good find, it was disturbed and headed off in land,
Raven GC

A Raven was in the sheep field on Park Lane it was being dive bombed in spectacular fashion by a Carrion Crow it was interesting to see the size comparison between the two.

One of 2 Jays at Lingham bridge

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Thursday 13th April 2017

Weather; Cold with sunny spells. Wind W-NW F3-4


The continuing cold and breezy conditions with the wind in a constant westerly direction has not helped migrant arrival conditions in the Leasowe area today and for the past few days. Overhead movement was sparse today with just a handful of Swallows and Meadow Pipits, 2 Siskins, a Redpoll and 4 Lapwings.
Best of the grounded birds was a male Ring Ouzel in Kerr's field late morning which was later seen to fly north over the embankment.
Willow Warbler. Lingham Lane.        EW
Most migrants were concentrated in the more sheltered Lingham Lane area where 12 Blackcaps, 14 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs and a single Whitethroat were logged. The Little Owl continues to call near the bridge.
Chiffchaff;             EW

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Weather: warm sunny light breeze clouding over pm .

A dawn trip to the lighthouse rewarded us with a perfect Spring sunrise and filled us with hope for some great birds we weren't disappointed
Lighthouse sunrise GC
Lingham lane was a hive of activity bird wise with 10 Blackcap 8 males and 2 females the males were singing the length of the lane joining the chorus were Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff both species easily reached double figures
A stunning male Ring Ouzel  GC 
Bird of the day was an eagerly anticipated Ring Ouzel 
At the entrance to the old brick works it may have been the same one that was seen at parkfield within the same hour.

Ring Ouzel GC 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Weather: SW-2 heavy rain , clear and sunny later.

 Heavy rain throughout the morning did little to encourage birders to venture out. However a couple of determined souls pushed through and completed a couple of early morning circuits of the Lighthouse paddocks. Up to 6 Wheatear, 12 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap had arrived over night. The rain stopped about mid day, the sun forced through and so the quality of birding picked up. A splendid male Ring Ouzel was located by a visiting Bird Group from Liverpool around mid day. A typical arrival date for this species at the Lighthouse, this handsome male strutted his stuff in one of the eastern paddocks for around an hour before being spooked and flying off high. This will no doubt be the Ring Ouzel of the spring, we expect a good number during the course of the spring.

At 2pm one lucky observer saw our first Osprey of the year flying over the coastal paddocks and continuing North over the sea towards the Lancashire coast.

Other migrants today included, 250 Meadow Pipit, 1 Siskin, 20 Goldfinch, 6 Pied Wagtail, 4 Stonechat and a further 8 Wheatear. 98 Curlew were recorded roosting in the flooded inland fields where 4 Teal were also present.

A fantastic early spring day with lots of migration. With a high pressure system positioning itself over the near continent next week we are hopeful of further days of exciting migration.
 
Ring Ouzel (Allan Conlin)

Ring Ouzel (Allan Conlin)

Wheatear, (Tim Kinch)





Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday 31st March 2017

Weather; Sunny spells following some overnight showers. Wind S to SW F4-3


It was a decent day for early spring arrivals at Leasowe today with a noticeable increase in numbers and variety. Overhead Hirundine passage totalled 11 Sand Martins, 2 Swallows and a single House Martin in the lighthouse area. A further 20 Sand Martins were in the Carr Lane area. Other overhead passage involved over 150 Meadow Pipits. Small groups of Meadow Pipits alighted in the coastal fields briefly, one of which off Park Lane was joined by a single Rock Pipit. A single Siskin flew west.
Blackcap, Lingham Lane. They often feed in the Blackthorn blossom here at this time of year.   Tim Kinch
Wheatear numbers were estimated at 24 in the course of the day
Willow Warbler at the duckpond, Leasowe lighthouse.     EW
but most groups moved through quickly to the east. The largest single group was one of 11 together in fields off Park Lane this morning.
There was also a large overnight arrival of Chiffchaffs with over 35 being logged, most of these being noted in the early morning although birds were evident through the day.
Other new arrivals included 2 Willow Warblers and the first 3 Blackcaps of the spring which were along Lingham Lane. Observers, AMC, SD, TK, MGT, EW.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

28th March

Weather: SE-3, clear to start heavy showers later

The first good fall of migrants occured today with the mornings 'rounds' producing 16 Wheatear, 10 Chiffchaff, 3 House Martin , 17 Sand Martin and at least 180 Meadow Pipit moving north. Typically at the Lighthouse many of the mornings Wheatear had moved on by lunch time leaving only a couple remaining in the coastal paddocks. By late afternoon the weather had deteriorated and a heavy shower around 16.30 saw another 16 Wheatear grounded in the paddocks. 

Highlight of the day was a Grey Partridge, found by two of the lighthouse regulars as it flew across their path into the long grass. Later on it was seen perched on top of the cable bund in the inland fields. Since ceasing as a breeding species Grey Partridge has become extremely scarce. March seems to be the best time for seeing this bird here. Not generally considered a true 'migrant', it is almost uncanny how a bird recorded in 2015 was seen within two days of todays record, on March 26th.

Grey Partridge (Tim Kinch)

Monday, 27 March 2017

27th March 2017

Weather: SE-2, Sunny and clear - cool

A good fall of migrants today included 6 Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest and at least 25 Chiffchaff. Most were migrants however some are already holding territory. Our first Willow Warbler of the year arrived late afternoon as did the first House Martin. Three Sand Martin also shot through mid afternoon. 

Other oddity migrants included 2 Woodpigeon passing over high and a single Rook, the latter quite a scarcity. A single Jackdaw, Raven, Carrion Crow and 5 Magpie completd the Corvid line up.

Offshore a single Sandwich Tern passed through over the high tide. 

Photo's - AMC
 
One of 25 Chiffchaff


Migrant Siskin in Alder

Record shot of LRP just before dusk

Passage finches included a single Lesser Redpoll and a single Siskin were found feeding in the Lingham lane Alder.

Bird of the day was found just before dusk by Ken Davies . What could be our only Little ringed Plover was located in the newly formed Kerr's Flash

Saturday, 25 March 2017

25th March 2017

Weather: SE-2, sunny, warm and clear.

Clear skies were far  from ideal conditions at the Lighthouse today. Nonetheless a few migrants were discovered in the coastal fields and hedges including 2 Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail, 2 Stonechat, 8 Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrests. With waders also on the move were 800 Oystercatcher, 5 Grey Plover and 19 Turnstone whilst 11 Black tailed Godwit headed south !

Migrant Water Rail can and often do turn up anywhere however one found walking along the beach at Dove point must be one of the more unusual locations. 

Our first Sandwich Tern arrived on one of the bouys mid morning and a monster 2CY Glaucous Gull was found by Mark Garner loafing with intent some way offshore from the Lighthouse Car park. A typical set of species for late March and hopefully a precursor of things to come!!

Very Long Range Glaucous Gull (AMC)

Water Rail, Gordon Crapper
 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

21/03/2017  Weather. sunny, strong westerly wind 10mph, showers late afternoon 

After the excitement of last week with the Siberian Stonechat and the Black Redstart at Hoylake, the last few days have been quite quiet apart from an unusual but not unheard of Treecreeper being seen on Sunday 
A Kestrel, True lighthouse birding , GC

First bird of the day was a Kestrel sheltering from the wind on leasowe lighthouse, 
Migrants are few and far between at the moment but its still early the only migrant today was a fine male Wheatear on the embankment,
male Stonechat at Park lane  GC
No birds of note in the horse paddocks apart from Curlews flying over to feed in the farm fields with a single Lapwing.
Park lane was lively with song from Goldfinches, Greenfinch, Blackbird it soon turned into frantic alarm call when a   female Sparrowhawk circled the area,
The usual Greenshank was on the groyne at Dove point and further out on the sandbank 10 Grey Plover flew in to join the sleeping Curlew
Buzzard on Cadburys field, GC

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Weather: S/SE Variable-0-1, warm and sunny

A quiet day all round today with lower number of Gulls than of late. Waders on the tide included 230 Oystercatcher and 180 Curlew. A couple of Chiffchaff and Stonechat remained around the Lighthouse area. Highlight of the day was a fine male Black Redstart in private gardens along Hoylake seafront. Black Redstart remains a scarce bird on the Wirral with perhaps only two or three records per annum. The bird was present through until dusk but like most spring migrants is unlikely to be present in the morning.

Tim Kinch

Tim Kinch

AMC

Another shot of our first 2017 Wheatear from yesterday (Tony Edwards)