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  ,