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 !