Friday, 27 December 2013

More on Chiffchaffs

At least one classic tristis race Chiffchaff is among the birds ranging along the tidal wrack between Neston Old Quay and Denhall Lane (See December 13th post) This has been since heard to call by several observers, and appears to fulfil all the current  identification requirements. There is another bird also thought likely to be one. However not all birds appearing to be tristis are. Both the following 2 pictures are of the same individual photographed at Denhall Lane. In the first shot it appears to have many classic tristis features, no obvious olive or yellow tones, buff wash on super and cheeks e.t.c. On the second heavily cropped shot, however, an olive yellow tinge can be seen on the forehead and start of the super. Furthermore there are rivulets of olive green feathering visible on the mantle.This bird called once, a very untristis like hueet, higher pitched than the usual call of collybita. So what race is this? It is certainly not a definite tristis.We would have once lobbed this in as an abietinus which where we put all the indeterminate birds. Current thinking is that this race is much rarer than tristis, in the U.K, however, and it may no longer be used as a label for all the indeterminate birds. Could it be form the West Siberian form fulvescens? This race is supposed to have traces of yellow. Could it just be a very pale collybita? I have absolutely no idea what race this bird is and birds like this are no doubt the reason Siberian Chiffchaffs, distinctive if all features can be seen, are having such a hard time getting split, if at all they should be! These fascinating little headscratchers certainly need to be identified with caution!



Thursday, 26 December 2013

Siberian Chiffchaff and Buff-bellied Pipit

SW-2, mild and cloudy

Boxing day highlights came from South Wirral. The Buff bellied Pipit put on a splendid show in the tide wrack at the end of Denhall lane where there was also an exceptionally late or possibly wintering Wheatear.

Several Chiffchaffs flitted between the tide wrack and the roadside Hawthorns giving observes the chance to compare nominate race collybita and the Siberian race Tristis. 

Although light can play a part, what is consistent when identifying Tristis, is the overall, olive brown / grey coloration, lack of yellow in the supercillium and the bright green edging to the primaries, just visible in the photo below.

Photos- AMC

Phylloscopus collybita tristis

Wheatear-  very late

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Buff bellied Pipit

Weather : W - 6, very cold

The Buff bellied Pipit remained at Denhall Lane, Burton until 09.30 only when it was flushed by a Sparrowhawk and not seen for the rest of the day. There is every chance the bird has temporarily move to another part of the marsh and may well return to it's favoured area  of tide wrack in due course.

Below is another photograph of Eddie's cracking find.

Photo AEH

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Buff bellied Pipit

Weather: SW-3, Squally showers. Cold

The 2013 Winter Solstice certainly turned out to be a day to remember on the Wirral. The story however starts some 24 hours earlier on the 20th when Lighthouse Stalwart, Eddie Williams found an interesting pipit  on the tide wrack at the bottom of Denhall Lane, Burton. Eddie persisted and eventually managed to obtain some reasonable views that allowed him to identify it as Wirral and Cheshire first BUFF BELLIED PIPIT. Managing to get a few record shots Ed circulated the pictures to us that evening for corroboration. 

With Locals on site from dawn today (21st) it wasn't long before we had got our eye in and we were all on the bird quickly. What a bird - Congratulations Eddie.

Below are a selection of shots showing the salient features including. The plain brown mantle with very faint background spotting / lines. Pale Lores. A complete and very obvious eye ring. Small yellow, black tipped bill  and as the name suggests a buff wash to the throat and underparts.

All photo's AMC, except No5

Photo -BSB

Friday, 13 December 2013

13th December 2013; Chiffchaffs.

The recent tidal surge has resulted in large numbers of passerines feeding on the tidal wrack left behind. In the Neston area at least 6 Chiffchaffs were feeding between Denhall Lane and the Harp Inn in the hawthorn hedge and tidal debris on either side of the track. Among them was this putative Siberian Chiffchaff which, although it was not heard to call, appears to tick all the boxes when it comes to plumage.
Note the all black bill, complete absence of any green or yellow hues on mantle and head, buffy grey mantle, pale buff super and almost white underparts. There is a faint wing bar caused by the pale tips to the greater coverts. The cheeks are also pale buff which reduce the prominence of the eye-ring usually obvious on other races. The rather Bonellis Warbler like contrast between the mantle and the yellow-green colour on the wing and tail can be seen on two of the shots but is not as obvious on he third, although this is the same bird.
4 of the remaining birds appeared to be of the 'common' collybita race while a fifth appeared all grey and could not be assigned to race. Wintering Chiffchaffs are always worth a second look Observers E,W  (photos) and K.D. 


Monday, 9 December 2013

09 December 2013

Weather; SW - 2, mild and sunny

Following the worst storm surge in the last 50 years, see link for astonishing video , we were able to get out over the last couple of days to assess the damage and look for storm driven seabirds. There was plenty of the former but thankfully few of the latter.

Time today was spent taking some portrait shots of some commoner species however the highlight of today was an unexpected drake GOOSANDER flying west at Walllasey coastguard. Probably the poorest shot of an (in flight, at sea) goosander ever taken but then it was the distance of the wind turbines  !

A drake Goosander, flying west !

Saturday, 30 November 2013

30th November 2013

Weather: W-2, Warm and sunny

A quiet day today however good light gave some great photographic opportunities including the resident Greenshank at 'Greenshank Groyne' and the adult Mediterranean Gull on the embankment at Leasowe

Photo's Andy Thomas

Thursday, 28 November 2013

28th November 2013

Weather: W - 2, mild and overcast

An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the shore opposite the cafe car park whilst the elusive Kingfisher could be found on the River Birkett, viewed from Lingham Bridge, Lingham Lane.

A small influx of Stonechat included a pair west of Leasowe golf club and another pair on the sea defence at Leasowe Bay. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

22-24th November 2013

Weather: NE 2 ; Mild and sunny

As expected at this time of year, it has been relatively quiet at the Lighthouse of late and there seems to be little doubt all summer migrants have long gone. The resident Kestrel hunts the coastal fields and paddocks which are also used as a high tide roost for up to 50 Curlew.

With a light North easterly prevailing a few finches moved through including, Chaffinch (12), Goldfinch (8), Bullfinch (1) whilst the Linnet flock has somewhat reduced to approximately 30 birds, perhaps moving south for the winter themselves.  A number of Reed Bunting are still present including the one below that posed for the camera in the late Autumn sunshine.

 Black headed Gull  well on its way into summer plumage

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

20th November 2013

Weather: NW; 7-8, squally showers. cold

The cold Arctic front arrived with vengeance today and it was cold ! Large numbers of waders were roosting on Hoylake Shore and the Gull roost held at least one Yellow legged Gull amongst the 1000 or so  Herring Gulls.

There was little movement offshore with a single Gannet and a couple of Diver Spp maintaining interest. Wildfowl were on the move however with  Common Scoter (40), Pintail (4), Wigeon (2) and Teal (1) , all logged on the flood tide.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

12th November 2013

Weather: W/NW - 5, clear and sunny

Several Goldcrest and Blackbirds remained in the coastal bushes today. With a biting wind the L:innet flock remained low in the horse paddocks whilst several Little Egrets fed in the tidal gutters. A cold 10 minutes was spent counting the individual Lapwings in the wintering flock. 324 were recorded, the highest count of the winter so far.

Away from Hilbre, Brent Goose is fairly scarce on the Wirrral , so it was nice to find two Dark bellied Brents ( Branta bernicla bernicla) loafing in the tidal gutter below the sea defence just east of the Lighthouse car park.

Monday, 11 November 2013

10th November 2013

Weather: NW-2, warm, clear and sunny

Fewer birds today at the Lighthouse with small flocks of Skylarks moving south. 2 Blackcap and a couple of Goldcrest were new in at Lingham Lane. The wintering Lapwing flock is now at 200 and they can be found roosting on the beach during low water. 

Bird of the day however goes to a stunning FIRECREST. Picked up on call it was eventually caught and ringed in a West Kirby garden. These little gems often slip through unnoticed at this time of year.  A great find by Alan Hitchmough and one that certainly brightened up a quiet November morning.

Female Firecrest. Photo AEH

Thursday, 7 November 2013

07th November 2013

Weather: SW-2, Sunny and clear

Passerines on the move included 15 Goldcrest and 2 Fieldfare at the Lighthouse where a roving 'tit flock' could be found in the coastal sallows.  Gannet (62), Great crested Grebe (31) and Razorbill (1) were also recorded offshore from the Lighthouse. Further west at Hoylake at leastr 10 Red throated Diver , 2 Red breasted Merganser and 29 Common Scoter were offshore over the High Tide.

Wader interest included 11 Little Egret feeding in the tidal gutters west of the Lighouse and the wintering Greenshank remained at 'Greenshank Groyne' this evening. One little Egret ha colour rings. The origin of this bird is being researched and will hopefully be reported soon.

A late summer plumaged Grey Plover was a striking bird amongst the drabber winter plumaged birds.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

05th November 2013

Weather: W/NW -  6-7, Squally showers

Following yesterdays Eiders at Hoylake, duck movement was very much the theme of the day . From Hoylake a single Teal flew west as did six fine drake Pintail and three Wigeon. At mid distance hundreds of Common Scoter were moving with the flood tide and a small flock of 15 birds also held a male VELVET SCOTER, a scarce Wirral bird. 

Other birds offshore included Red throated Diver (5), Diver Spp (6), Great crested Grebe (3), Gannet (2), Bar tailed Godwit (12) and two Meadow Pipit came 'in off' over high tide.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Monday 4th November 2013

Weather; Sunny spells and showers; wind N.W. force 5, cloud cover 4/8

An adult pale phase Pomarine Skua, complete with full spoons, flew west just offshore from Leasowe lighthouse at 9.30a.m. today. Also offshore here over the tide were 20 Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and about 10 Great-crested Grebes.
3 Eiders, a male and 2 females, flew north at Meols. 5 Gannets and 10 Scoter were also offshore.
A Merlin flew east near the Leasowe Castle Hotel, harassed by a Magpie, while a Ruff flew west offshore here. A Stonechat was also nearby.  
At Lingham bridge a Kingfisher and 2 Grey Wagtails were seen. 3 Goldcrests and a Common Snipe were near the lighthouse.
Stonechat  (EW)


Sunday, 3 November 2013

3rd November 2013

Weather: West North West force 6-7 gusting force 10 overnight. Squally showers.

The low pressure system dominating the Irish Sea just now, produced some severe gales overnight resulting in some wind blown seabird movement. Auk numbers had increased with Auk spp (20), Guillemot (11) and Razorbill (2).. Also logged were Great crested Grebe (6), Red breasted Merganser, Red throated Diver (4) Great Northern Diver (1), Manx Shearwater(2), Gannet (22), Kittiwake(17), Skua spp (2) including a prob Pom which was fairly close but was always flying away at an oblique angle and a single Leach's Petrel spent at least 30 minutes pattering along the beach attracting the unwanted attention of some Herring Gulls.

The Holylake Gull roost, again held the 4th year Yellw legged Gull amongst hundreds of Herring, Common and Lesser and Great Black Backs.

Waders were well represented with Curlew (120), Grey Plover (180), Dunlin (2000), Sanderling (110), Bar tailed Godwit (19) Knot (19) Redshank (40). A single Turnstone on the beach was unusual away from the North Shore sea defence.

Two Golden Plover remain on the shore west of the Lifeboat station.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Thursday 31st October 2013

Weather; Cloudy with sunny spells.  cloud cover 6/8. Wind W force 3; Visibility good.

Hardly any visible overhead passage this afternoon with 3 Fieldfares and 4 Chaffinch moving high to the west. A Peregrine flew east.
Over 40 Pied Wagtails were in the lighthouse area, however, mainly on the paddocks and the sea wall. 2 Goldcrests and a chiffchaff were at the duck pond and a further 3 Goldcrests, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Redwings, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were at Lingham bridge. These regular late autumn blackcaps could well be winterers arriving from Eastern Europe rather than departing summer birds.
2 further Chiffchaffs were in sycamores bordering Kerr's field.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Friday 25th October 2013.

The hope was that the overnight heavy rain would result in a 'fall' of migrants but that did not seem to be the case.  Small numbers of Meadow pipit hung around the embankment near the groyne but these seem to be the 'regulars' rather than new birds !    The ever present Greenshank did not disappoint, feeding in the gutter along the sea wall and up to 25 Grey Plover fed on the sand.  Everything going up signalled the presence of a peregrine and a large female made an unsuccessful attack on a mixed flock of waders.  The horse paddocks were alive to the large mixed flock of Linnet & Goldfinch.  No reason why Twite can't be found - birds are currently present on the Welsh side of the Dee in fair numbers - although Leasowe traditionally only usually has one or two.  More than the usual number of Blackbirds present in the hedges - perhaps an influx from the continent or the east coast ?     JB   

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thursday 24th October 2013

Weather; Mainly sunny, cloud cover 2/8. Wind light SE force 2

More in the way of visible passage today with over 30 Skylarks and 50 Meadow Pipits moving mainly west, some alighting on the paddocks to feed. Also overhead west were 20 Chaffinches, 15 Greenfinches, 6 Reed Buntings, 2 Siskins and a Brambling.
Grounded birds in the area of the lighthouse included 2 Snipe, 10 Goldcrests, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Coal Tit.
A Little Owl is around the farm buildings on Lingham Lane but for the most part stays in private areas.

Migrant Skylarks in the paddocks, Leasowe.
The ultra tame Snow Bunting is still west of the Harvester P.H. on the sea wall.                    (Observers EW,MGT,JJ)
Snow Bunting; EW.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Tuesday 22nd October 2013

Early morning rain clearing by midday. Warm; 19c. SSW 2, C/C 8-4/8

A very quiet day at the lighthouse with little in the way of passage migration other than a flock of 4 Jays which flew west.

The paddocks Linnet flock has increased to over 120 and now contains 20 Goldfinch and 6 Greenfinch. 15 Pied Wagtails frequented the same field. 

4 Goldcrest flitted around the pond area.

A late Wheatear was on the sea wall near New Brighton coastguard lookout yesterday.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Saturday 19th October 2013

Cloudy and warm becoming clearer. C/C 8-3/8, SW2, 18c

An early morning steady Meadow Pipit passage was augmented later in the day by 13 Skylark, 20 Carrion Crow, (heading high SE in a loose flock in off the sea) one Jay, a Grey Wagtail and around 15 Chaffinch.

By far the best bird of the day, however, was a ridiculously tame, 1st w male Snow Bunting which lingers still on the sea wall around 400 metres west of the Derby Pool PH car park in Wallasey where it has been for the past few days. A Wheatear, the 1st summer visitor around here for some time, flashed west along the embankment.

The Goldcrests of the past few days seem to have moved on, with only one or two being noted.

The corvid passage here always provokes discussion but we are no nearer to solving the origin of the birds which pass through or, for that matter, their eventual destination. Photo's Lynne Greenstreet

JB, MG and KD

Friday, 18 October 2013

Friday 18th October 2013

Cloudy with early mist. Rain(pm) c/c 8/8, SE-S 2, 13c.

A Short eared Owl made a fine sight as it flew in from the sea and across Kerr's Field. It seemed to land somewhere to the south west of Lingham Lane out of sight. It was not seen again.

2 Redwing, 15 Goldcrest, 10 Skylark, 40 Meadow Pipits, 10 Chaffinch and around 100 Linnet made up the supporting cast. Yet again no summer visitors.

Two Greenshank roosted at high tide on Two Sisters Groyne. 

With south easterly winds due to continue tomorrow, hopes are prolonged for a local rarity.


Thursday, 17 October 2013

17th October 2013

Weather: NW-2. Very warm and sunny

Another lovely day and a hopeful search of the bushes began at 09.00. An overnight arrival of migrant Goldcrest was evident from the start with at least 15 actively feeding in the coastal Sycamores. Grey Wagtail and Great spotted Woodpecker were at Lingham Bridge as was a single Bullfinch. 

20+ Meadow Pipits were on the pitch and put Golf course at the south end of Lingham Lane and several migrant Robin flicked along the hedges. The Linnet flock remains and has now been joined by 3 Greenfinch and 1 Goldfinch. Several Reed Bunting were also on the move but all summer migrants seem now to have departed.

AMC, KD, KAD, AT. All photo's AMC

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

15th October 2013

Weather: NE-1/2 Sunny and warm. NW and clouding later

A beautiful day and light North easterlies meant migrants were taking advantage of the balmy conditions. 10 Rooks and 1 Raven moved east early morning as did up to 50 Skylarks. Other migrants included over 50 Meadow Pipits and several Reed Bunting perching up briefly before heading off. A Snipe flushed from a drainage ditch whilst other waders included 9 Lapwing moving east in the clear conditions. 

3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard and 1 Kestrel hunted the coastal fields, where the Linnet flock has increased to 110. 

Goldcrest numbers had increased to six whilst a couple of Chiffchaff remained in the 'LEO' copse. Finches were very much on the move and included Chaffinch (55), Goldfinch (13) and Redpoll (2).

Great spotted Woodpecker was in Lingham Lane whilst a late Sandwich Tern was heard calling offshore.

AMC, EW. All photos AMC

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Quiet Day!

Cloudy with occasional showers. c/c 8/8. Wind NE3-4. Temp.11C

Despite seemingly ideal conditions for visible migration, today was quiet at the lighthouse during my period of observation. 

35 Jackdaws flew east with around 20 Redwings and 80 Linnets fed in the horse paddocks with several Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits.

Goldcrests had increased to around 10 and 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers called around Lingham Bridge where a Bullfinch also flew over, calling as it went. 

The wintering Greenshank marked the Three Sisters Groyne as usual.

With easterlies still forecast for tomorrow.....Here's hoping!


Saturday, 12 October 2013

12th October 2013

Weather E/NE-3. Cool and overcast

A dull day and a cool easterly made birding difficult today. 12 Pink footed Geese moved over mid morning as did Jay (1) and Great spotted Woodpecker (1). A Golden Plover was heard but not seen and a small wintering Lapwing flock were on the beach at the Lighthouse.

Passerines on the move were limited, but Skylark (7), Grey Wagtail (1) and Meadow Pipit 23 were noted as were 4 Bullfinch  in Lingham Lane.

Migrants remaining from yesterday were Chiffichaff (2) and Blackcap (1) all being hard to 'dig out' on a cool dank day.

The Linnet flock remains in the horse paddocks albeit quite mobile. It is only a matter of time before something unusual joins this wintering flock.

A SNOW BUNTING was reported on the shore somewhere between the Gun Site and New Brighton.

Quiet and secretive amongst the Blackberries.

The mobile Linnet flock is always worth checking through.

Friday, 11 October 2013

11th October 2013

Weather: NE-3/4. Cool and overcast

North easterlies overnight and throughout the morning produced conditions conducive to migration. 6 Crossbill flew over a garden in Newton as did a flock of 250 Redwing  Redwing continued to be theme of the day at the Lighthouse with over 1000 being recorded along with 200 Fieldfare. Finches included a movement of Chaffinch and Greenfinch and the Linnet flock in the horse paddocks has increased to around 80. 5 Skylark moved south east along with Jackdaw ( 2) and Jay (1). A Mute Swan also flew east mid morning.

The last of the summer migrants included Blackcap (1) and Chiffchaff (3) were to be found in the coastal bushes and trees.

With the easterlies continuing over the weekend we look forward to more fascinating migration

(AMC, KD, AEH and EW)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

09th October 2013

Weather: Northwest force 7 squally showers

The wind had blown through the night and with a high  tide at  14.30 seawatching was very much the order of the day. There was a reasonable movement of auks today with 35 Guillemots moving west as did Great Crested Grebe (12), Gannet (23) Teal (9) Wigeon (2) Common Scoter (14)  and 4 Sandwich Tern were the latest of the year so far.

Other Seabirds included Manx Shearwater (1) and a single close Leach's Petrel battled their way into the headwind.

Amazingly at least a dozen Meadow Pipit were noted coming in off the sea in conditions far from favourable for passerine migration.

Bar tailed Godwit (17) Sanderling (250) and a partial albino Oystercatcher were the wader highlights on Hoylake shore.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Monday 7th October 2013

Weather; Sunny spells, warm, cloud cover 6/8, wind SW force 2

A very light passage over the lighthouse area today with small numbers of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Chaffinches and 3 Grey Wagtails moving mainly west.
In Lingham Lane the Turtle Dove was again present in the area of the bridge and showing well at times. It is absent for long periods, however, when it presumably feeds out of sight along with local Collared Doves in nearby gardens and private farm areas. Also in the area of the bridge were 3 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 2 Grey Wagtails and a Kingfisher.
 Observers KD & EW (photo)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

6th October 2013

Negative sightings of Turtle Dove this morning but was elusive yesterday, disappearing for long periods at a time so is still worth looking for.  On a more positive note there was a considerable movement of Meadow Pipits, Reed Bunting and Skylark first thing this morning.  Its always worth searching these incoming birds for a rarer visitor !  The usual Greenshank was off the groyne this morning and a flock of 50+ Linnet feeding on the weeds in the horse paddocks.... again worth checking to see if it includes a Twite.   A roving mixed tit flock (Long tailed, Blue and Great) moved down the bushes of the nature trail with a Chiffchaff in attendance.   A single adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull was at the Lighthouse cafe, off  Leasowe Road .... easy to identify as it appears to have only 1 leg !!   In the past this bird has come to bread thrown out so you can get excellent views.    JB

The Turtle Dove was reported to have been seen again this afternoon at its usual location on Lingham Lane close to the road bridge over the river Birket.  Clearly it' following its usual pattern of disappearing for long periods of time but it always seems to come back to the bridge area.  JB

A juvenile Whinchat was in the horse paddocks late afternoon.

The super elusive Turtle Dove made a sudden  re-appearance late afternoon.  Photo SRW

Saturday, 5 October 2013

05th October 2013

Weather W-2, warm and overcast

The TURTLE DOVE remained on wires by Lingham Bridge all day. Although disappearing for long periods into private gardens, it can, with patience easily be seen on overhead wires. 

The Yellow browed Warblers appeared to have moved on overnight bringing to an end what has been an incredible week for this species.

Other birds on the move were, Skylark (14) Grey Wagtail (1) Jay (1) and a very rare Lighthouse bird, a Yellowhammer was heard and seen in a hedgerow at the south end of Lingham Lane.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Wirral Mega !

Weather SE 2, warm and overcast: heavy overnight rain

Classic conditions overnight resulted in plenty of grounded migrants and as the day developed plenty of visible migration kept us going.

The first circuit of the morning produced what is now a Wirral mega. A cracking 1st winter TURTLE DOVE. Found in a private garden the bird quickly relocated and spent it's time on telephone wires by Lingham bridge. This is the first widely available Turtle Dove on Wirral for 7 years !  More eyes, more birds and birders 'twitching' the dove came up trumps by finding an additional 2 Yellow browed Warblers to the one earlier in the week.

Turtle Dove. The The blue/grey rump caused some momentary concern over  spp meena . Photo AMC

Grey Wagtails on the move are a classic sign of autumn migration

Visible migration during the morning included Jackdaw (15)  Reed Bunting (4)., Skylark (4) Grey Wagtail (2) Chaffinch (50), Greenfinch (40), Sisikin (4) Meadow Pipit (150). Two late Swallows pushed south in the afternoon. Blackbirds had definetly increased with at least 40 being recoreded as well as 7 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush and 2 Great spotted Woodpecker.

3 Teal came in off and 3 Mute Swans moved west mid afternoon and a Kingfisher was at Lingham bridge

Other grounded migrants included Blackcap (1), Chiifchaff 12, Wheatear (1), Whinchat (1) .

A great day and the best of the autumn, So far .................

Thursday, 3 October 2013

3rd October 2013

Weather E/SE-2, warm and overcast. Heavy rain from 14.40.

The Yellow browed Warbler remained in the coastal sallows 1/2 mile west of the Lighthouse along the main bridle path. Although it remains elusive it does show well on occasion best being located by call.

3 Chiffchaffs were in the Nature trail as were 2 Great spotted Woodpecker. As the weather closed in, birding stopped for the day, we hope for better weather tomorrow.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Yellow browed Warbler # 2

Weather:  SE-2 , warm and overcast

Still buoyed by yesterdays Yellow browed Warbler we were out in  force hoping to relocate yesterdays bird. A team effort and a phone call later I was back at exactly the site  where I found it yesterday morning. The bird was still present and calling loudly and was seen well but once again quickly disappeared. The bird was  present all day as it was still fly cathing in one of the coastal sallows at 5.00pm. With the light rapidly fading I managed one or two record shots, showing the bird's pale median crown stripe and of course a lemon yellow brow ! 


Several Chiffchaffs were along Linham lane and the Nature Trail with some breaking into song in the autumnal weather. A couple of Great spotted Woodpecker were found along the nature trail.  The linnet flock remains in the horse paddock but despite searching nothing unusual was found although one male bird had a large and asymmetrical white wing flash which caused a momentary heart flutter. 

Waders today included Ringed Plover (10), Dunlin (19), Bar tailed Godwit (5) and Turnstone (23)  

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at the Lighthouse cafe car park, now in it's ninth year

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Yellow browed Warbler

Weather: E/SE force 3-4. Overcast and mild.

Yet another blustery day producing difficult finding conditions. On an easterly as strong as this, the Nature trail and Bridle way bushes were always going to be the most sheltered. At approximately 09.20, after 20 minutes of searching, there was the 'call' that had been hoped for, a Yellow-browed Warbler. At which point a Yellow b rowed Warbler flew across the bridle path into a small coastal bush on top of the sea defence. What a great bird! A couple of record shots were rattled off and the news was quickly released. These birds which breed in the Siberian Taiga migrate south to winter in Southeast Asia. With such a prolonged period of easterlies it was only a matter of time before one of these Siberian beauties eventually arrived at the Lighthouse. Another or possibility the same bird was' heard only' and independently in bushes by the lighthouse car park an hour or so earlier





The bird settled down into a routine of disappearing for  long periods of time and  then showing well for five minutes at a time allowing for some pretty good shots as the weather began to close in towards mid afternoon. Last seen at approximately 14.45  this ace bird attracted many locals and visitors alike. It was especially pleasing, as for some visitors it was their first Wirral and or lifer Yellow browed Warbler.

With the wind continuing from the east we continue to be hopeful of more Siberian vagrants, we are just days away from the sixth anniversary of the famous Lighthouse Raddes Warbler. We remain optimistic and enthused !