Friday, 24 January 2014

23rd January 2014

Weather: West -7, mild and overcast.

The juvenile Shag remains on the New Brighton Marine Lake. Also on the the lake a drake Red breasted Merganser, again an uncommon bird at this site.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

A splash of summer colour

Weather: S/SE - 3/4, cold 

A few grebes, divers and scoter where offshore at Hoylake today, whilst Gull numbers remained relatively low. The high tide wader roost at Hoylake was interesting with tens of thousands of waders cramming onto the shore. The usual waders were present including, Knot, Dunlin, Sanderling, Redshank, Bar tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and Oystercatcher.

Amongst the thousands of Dunlin was this summer plumage bird. A colourful sight amongst the greyer winter birds. An early moulter by some time as most ssp Alpina don't  acquire their summer plumage until April, however given this birds particularly rufous mantle and exceptionally long bill the possibility of it being another ssp such as Hudsonia is to be considered ? Comments welcome.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

11 January 2014

Weather: SW-2., sunny and cold

The Buff Bellied Pipit continued it's stay at the bottom of Denhall lane allowing some additional and exceptional photo opportunities as it fed amongst the tide wrack. 2 pair of Stonechat where also at this site as well as an assortment of winter wildfowl further out on the marsh.

At some distance towards Shotton Steel works it is just possible to pick out a couple of Bewick Swans from the larger Mute Swans.

Following the recent winter storms that have hit the  Wirral coastline we might have expected some storm driven birds on the two Wirral Marine Lakes (West Kirby / New Brighton) , however this seldom seems to happen, so a juvenile Shag on the Marine Lake, New Brighton was a bird. Having been present since the end of Dec 2013, this bird can generally be found fishing towards the west end of the lake - thanks to Colin S for the additional info.


Buff bellied Pipit - AMC

Juvenile Shag - KD

Friday, 10 January 2014

Return of the Pipit

Weather: SW-2, Cloudy, drizzle later

The American Buff bellied Pipit was seen briefly again yesterday and again today between the Denhall Cafe and the bottom of Denhall Lane. One for the year listers and for those who didn't catch up with it just before Christams 2013.

The Great White Egret remained off boathouse flash, Parkgate, whilst the Wigeon numbers appear to have decreased and there has been no sign of the American Wigeon since Jan 5th. One of two Siberian Chiffchaffs fed in the tide wrack at the bottom of Denhall Lane.

Of wider Ornithological interest the link below describes the amazing migration of a Red necked Phalarope fitted with a tracking device on Fetlar and found to be wintering in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru. 

Red necked Phalaropes are exceptionally rare on Wirral so it's amazing to think that the bird below, found at the Lighthouse in 2009 may have made this same incredible journey. 


Photo: Phil Woollen

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Weather: SW-2, calm and clear.

With the high tides a new years sea watch was the order of the day. Highlights from Hoylake included 5 Teal, Common Scoter, 3 Goldeneye, 51 Red throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver and a Slavonian Grebe.

Elsewhere the Kingfisher was seen from Lingham Bridge and the Greenshank continues to winter at 'Greenshank Groyne' Leasowe.


Friday, 3 January 2014

Another Big Tide; 3rd January 2014

Weather; Blustery showers, wind S.W. force 6 to 8.

The strong winds and high tide resulted in some interesting sightings around the Wirral coast. A Snow Bunting was at Red Rocks and a Little Gull was dip feeding at Derby pools, Wallasey. 40 Pintail and 5 Wigeon flew west at Hoylake.
Other than the impressive ensemble of flooded out birds at Parkgate there was also a good variety of species at Neston Old Quay. These included a Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Jack Snipe, around 200 Skylarks, 30 Rock Pipits, 3 Water Pipits, a Lapland Bunting (possibly 2) and 2 Twite.   

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Red Admiral

Weather S-3, Warm and sunny

This Red Admiral was on the the wall of Denna Hall, Burton today. Along with the Denhall Wheatear records this week are these both signs that confirm changes are afoot? An incredible record for January 2nd.

Photo - Lynne Greenstreet

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Years Day

Weather SE-4, light rain

The Buff bellied Pipit was absent today much to the disappointment of Wirral Year Lister's  however, at least one Wheatear remained in the tide wrack at the bottom of Denhall Lane. Also present were 4 Stonechat and at least one Siberian Chiffchaff (see photo below). 

Two Ring tail and one sub adult Hen Harrier were a Parkgate this evening.

Photo - Lynne Greenstreet

Siberian Chiifchaff(right) and a possible second bird left