Thursday, 2 August 2018

Weather, Warm cloudy Am Hot sunny Pm, wind Westerly 8mph

The first signs of Autumn have started to show this week at the Lighthouse with the first trickle of migrants starting to Appear,

Numbers of waders are starting to build with Sanderling Whimbrel and Knot being the pick, also 16 Dunlin 8 Turnstone , Greenshank, Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatcher,

Out beyond the shore 9 Manx Shearwater 4 Gannet, and 12 Common Scoter were seen near the Wind Turbines 

Around the Lighthouse the most numerous birds were Common Whitethroat with birds on every stretch of land they must have had a hugely successful breeding season , as well as Collared Dove 25 alone being seen at Lingham bridge, 
Willow Warbler (with a leg ring) AMC 

Adult and juvenile Reed Warbler mainly between The Nature trail and Lighthouse pond , Other Warblers in the area 1 Sedge Warbler at the top end of the Coastal Paddocks, and Good Autumn record of a Lesser Whitethroat on the fire damaged land just of Sandy lane, 
Common Blue Butterfly (male) AMC 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Weather, Hot Sunny 27c 

The long hot summer that a lot of people have been waiting for has been with us for a few weeks  and doesn't look to end in the near future, 
Most parts of the Lighthouse area are parched with Kerr's field just being a field with no hint of a flash and the Pond having very little water ,
With the very hot summer it brings the threat of fires , with 80 being tackled in the local area ,thankfully none in the lighthouse area, most being man made,

Male Cuckoo , GAC 

Monday, 28 May 2018

Sunday 27 May 2018 , Weather, Hot Humid Heavy Showers 

With Spring migration at the tail end a few migrants are still trickling through,
Local birders have waited since mid May for the arrival of Spotted Flycatchers, the first being seen near the Lingham Lane Fisheries on the 18th May Other individuals being seen on Park Lane on 22nd 23rd and 26th of the month, 

Today a large number of Spotted Flycatcher 17 in Total many more going unseen were counted in the Lighthouse area between Lingham Lane , The Nature trail and Park Lane,
Pre dawn heavy showers were a good indicator that there would be a good arrival , most of the birds were seen between early morning and lunchtime and a single bird late afternoon, 

Spotted Flycatcher Dave Haigh

Friday, 4 May 2018

Weather, overcast AM Hot Sunny  PM, Wind SW 6mph

Spring migration at its best today at the lighthouse, 
Wood Warbler GAC 
The second Wood Warbler of Spring was found on L.E.O. Lane early this morning and frequented the large sycamores at the west end , A good singing bird was present all day and last sighted at 18-30pm,
Wood Warbler  Allan Conlin 
3 Garden Warbler, 3 Grasshopper Warbler , 10 Willow Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 2 Common Whitethroat 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Reed Warbler were seen in the area ,

15  Wheatear all of the Greenland race along with 4 Whinchat and a single Yellow Wagtail were seen in Kerrs Field, 
An interesting sighting from Thursday evening was a female Cuckoo in Hepatic  (Rufous phase ) flushed by a fox on Sandy Lane and hasn't been seen since, a real rarity for the Lighthouse area, 

Other birds in the area, 
1 Whimbrel ,  , 5 Sandwich Tern on Western Groyne 5 Sand Martin and numerous Swallow,

An Iberian Chiffchaff  has been seen and heard on Thurstaston Hill since the 1st of May the second record for Wirral the first being at Dibbinsdale nature reserve in 2004 

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Sunday 29th April 2018

Weather; Cloudy with sunny spells, cold, wind E F2-3

There was a decent cross section of summer migrants arriving in the Leasowe area today although there were no large numbers of any species. The long staying male Ring Ouzel was being seen regularly throughout the day although often distant. Best viewed by looking south from the back of Kerr's field over the Birkett or east from Lingham lane across the horse paddocks. 
Colour ringed Little Ringed Plover in the paddocks.     EW
New arrivals included two male Redstarts, one at the bottom of the nature trail with another off Lingham Lane. 12 Wheatears were in the paddocks where a Little Ringed Plover joined them in the afternoon before flying off high to the north east. A Grasshopper Warbler was showing well occasionally just inland from the paddocks. Other migrants included 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Yellow Wagtail, 4 White Wagtails, 6 Blackcaps and 20 Willow Warblers. Some of the latter were very grey and white with no traces of yellow, possibly of the northern race acredula. Reed Warblers continue to arrive with birds singing from Lingham Lane as well as their usual breeding territories near the pond.A male Whinchat spent most of the day in Kerr's field. 14 Sand Martins passed east.
Ring Ouzel.    AMC

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Northerly winds

Weather: Warm & overcast. Wind: N/NE-2

The last week or so has perhaps not been the most conducive for bird migration but Gannets, Sandwich and Common Tern have arrived in numbers whilst a pair of migratory Wigeon were seen swimming  offshore on Wednesday. 

Migrants continued to trickle through during the week with several Whimbrel and a fine male Redstart in Kerr's field recorded on the 27th.  Stormy weather coming through late afternoon on the 27th prompted a small movement of 11 Swift heading NE. 

Northerly winds on Friday night Saturday morning did little to help migration. Nonetheless observers did manage to dig out a migratory Whinchat inland from the coastal paddocks whilst Grasshopper Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat could be seen and heard from the Coastal paddock Track.

A male Ring Ouzel was still present in a paddock SW of Kerr's field.  Not a favoured paddock for Ring Ouzel historically so it seems likely that it is in fact the same bird that arrived on April 23rd making it a fairly long stayer for a migrant bird.

All photos AMC

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Saturday April 21st 2018

Weather;  Fine and sunny all day. Wind SE 1-2 

A clear night, a very light south-easterly and slightly hazy conditions combined to produce a reasonable fall of summer migrants in the Leasowe area this morning and this at the weekend for a change!
Redstart in Park Lane.    Eddie Williams
Over 50 Willow Warblers were logged with many being concentrated in coastal bushes under the embankment shortly after dawn before dispersing more widely. The first Reed and Sedge Warblers for the site this spring also arrived with several birds singing from the reedbed near the duckpond. 2 Reed Warblers were also singing from gardens in Lingham Lane, always a sign of newly arrived birds. Whitethroat numbers are also picking up with 5 birds present. Lesser Whitethroats were singing on Lingham Lane and the nature trail. Other new arrivals included a male Redstart on Park Lane and single Whinchats on Park Lane and Meols common. Over 30 Wheatears were noted with birds being scattered widely between Kerr's field and Park Lane. A Grasshopper Warbler was again near the kissing gate on Lingham Lane. Two Yellow Wagtails were in Kerr's field this afternoon with around 5 White Wagtails also in the area. 14 Blackcaps and 10 Chiffchaffs were also noted.
Tree Pipit along the nature trail.  Allan Conlin                                                      
There was some overhead passage evident, mainly this morning, which consisted of over 10 Redpolls, a Siskin and 3 Tree Pipits. Tree Pipits are usually always recorded passing overhead with their distinctive wheezy calls but one bird did settle in a bush for a few minutes before continuing its travels. Hirundines were scarce today though, with just a handful of Swallows passing east.
A single Arctic Skua was seen over the tide passing east.

Friday, 20 April 2018

April 20th

Weather: Foggy, clearing mid morning, Warm & sunny. Wind N-2

After the early morning mist burnt off the day was a gloriously sunny spring day.  Following yesterdays excitement hopes were high for another great day of migration. Although it deal feel a little quieter than yesterday, birds had still arrived during the night and continued to arrive throughout the day.

Highlights were Wheatear (19) in various paddocks and a Flava Wag over. Lingham Lane held a singing Grasshopper Warbler by the bridge and at least three Lesser Whitethroat. A Common Whitethroat was recorded in the brambles adjacent to the Car Park mid morning. 

Two Redstart, both males were also present with one along the paddock track and another along Park Lane. Also in the main paddocks there were White Wagtail (7)  Wheatear (5) and a fine male Whinchat.  

Mid afternoon brought a couple of Whimbrel as the tide flooded and three Gannet fished offshore along with several Sandwich Tern.  A small party of  Sand Martin (16) came in over Kerr's flash, hawked up and down for several minutes before moving on north. 

Many thanks Alistair Orton for providing todays photos.

Lesser Whitethroat

Common Redstart

White Wagtail

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Weather , Hot Sunny, Wind Westerly 11mph,

A scorching day at the Lighthouse and today's birding was just as hot, 
The Earliest indicators of what the day had in store were 10 Wheatear in Kerr's field a further 32 were seen in the fields off Park Lane This morning , its possible the total count for Wheatear is 50 plus, 
Tree Sparrow Eddie Williams, 
One early surprise was a Tree Sparrow just after nine am on the nature trail where Sundays Wood Warbler was seen  sadly Tree Sparrow are uncommon birds in the area and most birds are seen flying over, 

Spring Migrants Blackcap, Willow Warbler , and Chiffchaff numbers were easily in double figures with all three species in good voice across the Lighthouse area 4 Lesser Whitethroat were seen and heard between Lingham Lane and the nature trail as well as 1 Common Whitethroat, and 1 Grasshopper warbler near the white gates Lingham Lane,  
Whimbrel Allan Conlin 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

17th April 2018

Weather: Warm, overcast, showers. Wind S/SE-6

Migrants continued to arrive today with a small number of grounded Wheatears (8), White Wagtail (17) Yellow Wagtail (1) and our first Whinchat of the year was found mid afternoon by Tim Kinch. The stunning male bird spent all of its time in Kerr's field which is in fact where most of the migrants were to be found. Small numbers of Phylloscs and  Blackcap (3) where in the coastal sallows and another male Redstart was near Parkfield House, Meols.

Overhead passage included Redpoll (2) another Flava Wagtail, Swallow (19) and Sand Martin (5).

Wader numbers are begining to build on the foreshore with a good high tide roost producing many birds in fine summer plumage. Dunlin (340), Sanderling (38), Knot (100) Grey Plover (80), Bar tailed Godwit (3), Redshank (200) and Ringed Plover (24) were recorded on Hoylake shore.

Seawatching from Hoylake was also productive and despite an offshore (southerly) wind there was plenty to see. Gannet (8) Sandwich Tern (7) Common Tern (3) Manx Shearwater (1), Goldeneye (3), Scaup 2 and 3 summer plumaged Great Northern Diver were the highlights of a brief seawatch.

Whinchat (TK)

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Migration at its best

Weather: Overcast, Showers. Wind-SE-02-3

A fantastic weekend of migration started late Friday afternoon when a male Osprey flew east over two observers along Park Lane. Like buses a second Osprey was found on the tide line on Friday 14th. This second bird (a female) then flew directly towards observers standing on the sea defence where it landed and devoured a large Flounder; much to the delight of the regulars and a very fortunate visiting RSPB group.  After 30 minutes on show the bird eventually flew off and was picked up over Seaforth. Ospreys are becoming more regular on Wirral these days but it's always a thrill to see them on patch.  A flock of 32 Sandwich Tern were seen on a distant sand bar as the tide ebbed and our first Flava Wagtail flew north calling as they went.

April 15th 

Conditions overnight proved conducive to producing an impressive fall of migrants.  The most notable increase in numbers was of Willow Warbler. Our highest numbers yet with at least 50 birds flitting through the coastal sallows. Other warblers present were Chiffchaff (15) and Blackcap (2).  The star of the show was a stunning Wood Warbler found initially along the nature trail. The bird performed well all day for a constant stream of local listers. This is our first record of Wood Warbler since another spring bird on 24th April 2009.  

Four Redstart were  recorded with 3 (2m 1f) along Park Lane and another male along Lingham Lane. All birds remained quite elusive. 

Finch passage was also impressive with at least  Siskin (5), Redpoll (20), Goldfnch (50) and Chaffinch (32). On Hoylake shore at least 200 White Wagtails whilst smaller numbers of White Wagtail (9) could be found in Kerr's flash.

Birds of interest offshore included a small passage of Gannet, Shoveler (2) and on April 14th three Bonxie moved North.

A bird noticeable by its absence was Wheatear. Despite he good numbers of other migrants arriving only low single figure numbers were recorded.

With favourable winds forecast for next week we are excited to see what the Lighthouse will deliver in the coming days.

Thanks to all those who contributed records over the last few days.

Photos AMC

Friday, 13 April 2018

Friday 13th Lucky for some !!

Weather: Cool, overcast. Wind - Light and variable

A  round of the paddocks proved to be fairly quiet on a cold grey late April afternoon. A few new migrants had made landfall including our first Flava Wagtails (2) of the spring on the sea defence whilst 3 Willow Warbler and over 20 Chiffchaff could be found in the coastal bushes. 2 male Blackcap were along Park Lane. 

A small movement of Hirundines included 6 Sand Martin, 3 Swallow and 2 House Martins. The coldness and greyness of the day was lifted just after 15.00hrs when an Osprey drifted overhead and moved off East / Northeast .


Osprey (AMC)

Osprey (AMC)

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Weather, Overcast ,Wind SSW 10mph,

Spring has finally sprung! After the atrocious weather of yesterday that brought Heavy snow and Rain to the Lighthouse today was a much more temperate day ,
Male Ring Ouzel,  Steve Williams
A Promising Start to the  morning with 3 Swallow passing over the Lingham Lane fisheries at 8am the 4th swallow flew over the Nature trail later in the morning, 

Short Eared Owl, Steve Williams 
Chiffchaff numbers were easily in double figures with birds singing in the garden near the lighthouse, the nature trail and lingham lane throughout the day, 
Willow Warbler,  GAC,
It was easily the best day of spring so far for Wheatear 
With 16 plus birds being seen mostly in the horse paddocks, with 6 being seen on the western groyne,

Bird of the day was a stunning male Ring Ouzel which turned up at 15-45 near the western Kissing gate and stayed until well after 18-00 hours in the horse paddocks Definitely a lighthouse gem ,

The first Willow Warbler of spring appeared on the farm track just off Park Lane and another was singing near to the pond, 
With the recent heavy rain the field nearest to the river  birket   have flooded making it a Paradise for many birds including 2 Wigeon , 4 Teal, Grey Heron , Little Egret, and a Little Grebe that was also seen yesterday on the river itself, birds passing over the flooded field included, 65 Pink footed geese, 24 Black Tailed Godwit, 5 Sand Martin and 18 Woodpigeon  ,

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Weather, Cold Cloudy wind South east 40mph, 

Springtime is here even though the last few days the weather has felt more like like winter ,
For most birders Spring is the best time of the year with expectations of what birds might appear,
The first few days are quite frustrating with reports of spring migrants popping up in other parts of the country wetting our appetites,
The Lighthouses first spring migrant of the year was a Northern Wheatear on 9th of March found by Ken Davies its the Earliest date for the last ten years,

Northern Wheatear, Dave Haigh

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Weather, Cold heavy Wintry showers Wind,  North westerly23mph

An inclement start to the new year With Storm Fionn the latest patch of bad weather to batter the  North Wirral coast over night, 
Kerr's field affectionately known this time of year as Kerr's Flash because of it being heavily waterlogged is perfect for waders Gulls and waterfowl, 
2 Male Shoveler GAC 
The Highlight of today's watch were two male Shoveler duck in the flooded ditch that runs along side Kerr's field Shovelers are quite uncommon on North Wirral sites definetley a welcome addition at the lighthouse, 

Other birds in Kerr's field were Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Common Gull, Mallard, Pied Wagtail Stonechat in the bushes along side the common,