Saturday, 31 October 2015

31st October 2015

Weather: SE-2, overcast

A late start at the Lighthouse saw the end of what had obviously been a good morning of passage. Finches were abundant with Bullfinch (2), Chaffinch (22), Goldfinch (12) and Redpoll (1) all being recorded overhead. Thrushes had also made a significant arrival with at least 20+ Blackbird in Lingham Lane and the same again down Park Lane. 8 Goldcrest were around the Lighthouse pond and 4 were to be found along the nature trail. 3 Chiffchaffs were also the nature trail loosely associating with a number of roving tit flocks.

As Great spotted Woodpecker breeds at the Lighthouse its never easy determining which are migrants but two 'buzzing' around the Lighthouse looked like good candidates for genuine migrants as did the 5 Snipe and 2 Teal that appeared to come 'in off'. Also 'in off' were 2 very high Pink footed Geese and an equally high  Short eared Owl which slowly drifted south. 

Our first significant movement of Starlings of the autumn included 300 birds moving SW early morning.  


Short eared Owl (AMC) heavily cropped

Short eared Owl

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wednesday 28th October 2015

Weather;  Mist and some drizzle early, becoming sunny later. Wind SE F1

A Merlin was observed hunting waders before the high tide this morning and a single Ruff, a Greenshank and a Rock Pipit were on the groyne amongst other waders. Ruff are very scarce here.
Offshore at high tide around 1,500 Scoters were seen off Meols, together with 3 Red-throated Divers. 550 Great-crested Grebes were noted off Leasowe together with a single Guillemot fishing close inshore.
Some overhead passage was noted including 21 Skylarks, 30 Meadow Pipits, 1 Grey Wagtail, 14 Chaffinches and 4 Jays all heading east.
Guillemot off Leasowe.     EW
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area included 7 Goldcrests, 4 Stonechats, 4 Reed Buntings and 10 Meadow Pipits. JB, MGT, CT, EW.
Meadow Pipit.    EW

Many thanks to Phil Woollen for providing information on the ringed Dunlin pictured in yesterday's blog. This bird was without doubt ringed in Poland. Although the details could not be read Poland is apparently the only country which uses white darvic rings with black lettering on Dunlins. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Tuesday 27th October 2015

Weather;  Cloud and mist early, then clear and sunny, cloud and light rain mid-afternoon. Wind SE F2-3

850 Sanderling were present on the western groyne and adjoining sea defences at high tide this morning, a great count for this location. 600 Redshank, 100 Dunlin, 64 Lapwings, 50 Turnstone and 2 Knot were also present. 
Some overhead movement also took place with 12 Skylarks, 3 Redwings, 20 Chaffinches and 30 Meadow Pipits mainly east. 2 Reed Buntings, a Golden Plover, 60 Starlings, a Jay and a Redpoll flew west.
Sanderling on the groyne.    EW
Around 30 Blackbirds were in the Lingham Lane area indicating an arrival. 7 Goldcrests and 2 Chiffchaffs were in the duck pond/nature trail area. 2 Stonechats were in Kerr's field. 
Sanderling and 3 Dunlin on the groyne. The ring on one of the Dunlin unfortunately can't be read.  EW

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sunday 25th October 2015

Weather; Sunny spells, clouding over mid-afternoon. Wind S F2

500 Dunlin and a Sanderling were on the western groyne this morning with a Greenshank on the sea defences at Meols. A single Whimbrel flew over the Duck pond this afternoon when an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the sand in front of the car park.
A Kingfisher, a Bullfinch and 2 Grey Wagtails were at Lingham bridge.
Overhead passage consisted of 4 Fieldfares this morning but became more obvious in the afternoon when 22 Skylarks, 35 Meadow Pipits, 2 Reed Buntings, 10 Chaffinches and a Jay moved mainly south. 
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area consisted of 15 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and a single late Wheatear in the area of the groyne. A flock of 20 Long-tailed Tits was on the nature trail. JB, AE, JJ, EW

Friday, 23 October 2015

Friday 23rd October 2015

Weather;  Cloudy with wind S-SW F2-3

Over 500 Redshanks were noted at the western groyne after the tide together with a Greenshank and 50 each of Turnstone and Dunlin. A single Grey Plover flew over.
A Firecrest was in the area of the duck pond west of the lighthouse this morning, although it was mobile and elusive. 6 Goldcrests were also in this area. A male Stonechat was in Kerr's field.
Overhead movement included around 200 Starlings, 14 Skylarks, 15 Chaffinches and a Siskin west.
5 Teal, a Kingfisher and 2 Grey Wagtails were along the Birkett near Lingham Lane.
Firecrest at the duck pond, Leasowe.     EW

Alba Wagtail in the paddocks. This appears to be an intermediate Pied/White Wagtail (yarrellii/alba) Some White Wagtails do show a slightly darker shade between the middle tertials but never to this extent. On this individual the slate colour  reaches well up between the shorter tertials. All other features displayed are as per White Wagtail. Some alba's cannot be safely identified to race. Mixed breeding between Pied and White occurs in the Hebrides and Northern Isles.    EW   
There were around 30 Meadow Pipits grounded in the paddocks together with 12 Pied Wagtails and another alba wagtail of indeterminate race (see photos)   KD, MGT, EW
White Wagtail pictured last autumn in the paddocks showing the same shade of pale grey between the middle tertials as on the mantle, a classic feature of this race. Compare with today's bird.      EW

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tuesday 20th October 2015

Weather; Cloud early then sunny spells. Wind NW F2-3

There was a large arrival of Goldcrests in the Leasowe lighthouse area this morning with over 40 individuals noted, most being in the area of the pond and nature trail.
A Yellow-browed Warbler was also on the nature trail this morning but had presumably moved on by the afternoon, when it could not be re-located. 2 Chiffchaffs and a single Blackcap were also grounded in the lighthouse area and 2 Wheatears were in the paddocks.
Greenfinches continue to move west, with around 15 noted today, together with 25 Chaffinches, 40 Meadow Pipits, 10 Skylarks and a Redpoll. Over 300 Starlings moved east, along with 2 Jays. 2 Grey Wagtails were at Lingham bridge and the Greenshank was at the groyne.  AMC, KD, KAD, EW.
One of today's large influx of Goldcrests          KD

Friday, 16 October 2015

Friday 16th October 2015

Weather;  Cloudy, wind NE F2

Bearing in mind the weight of eastern rarities currently sinking parts of the U.K. it was a quiet day in the Leasowe area. 
The highlight of the morning was an attack on a Hedgehog by a Magpie off Park Lane. It was certainly not a well thought out plan on the part of the Magpie who retired quickly, in some apparent distress.

An unwise attack on a Hedgehog by a Magpie.  EW
Otherwise almost nothing was moving until early afternoon when some passage became evident overhead. A total of 250 Starlings and 112 Fieldfares passed east in groups together with 3 Song Thrushes,
White Wagtail in the paddocks.    EW
2 Grey Wagtails, a Siskin, 8 Skylarks and 32 Chaffinches. 4 Redwings came down at the fisheries on Lingham Lane. 

22 Alba wagtails, including 3 White's, moved quickly eastwards through the paddocks and 30 Meadow Pipits headed south.

Apart from a small scattering of around 8 Goldcrests there were no obvious grounded migrants in the lighthouse area. A single Raven was in the inland fields. This individual has been around for several days now. LH, EW

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tuesday 13th October 2015

Weather; Fine and sunny becoming clouding over in the afternoon. Wind NE F2-3

There was an arrival of Redwings at the lighthouse this morning with a total of 53 birds being logged. Birds arrived in small separate groups and dispersed inland quickly in the Lingham Lane area.
Other overhead migrants included a Raven, 5 Song Thrushes, 6 Skylarks, 15 Chaffinches, 2 Siskins, 2 Bullfinches and 7 Grey Wagtails headed east. Around 30 Meadow Pipits flew south. 
A single Rock Pipit flew west at the groyne, where a Peregrine was seen hunting the waders.
Grounded birds in the lighthouse area included 2 Grey Wagtails in the Lingham Lane area. 14 Pied and a single White Wagtail were in the paddocks together with 12 Meadow Pipits.
There were good numbers of Goldcrests with 16 being noted in the area together with singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Single Wheatears were present on Meols Common and in the paddocks.
Grey Wagtail feeding at the Birkett.             Les Hall

Monday, 12 October 2015

Monday 10th October 2015

Weather;  Morning showers and mist. Clearer and fresher later with sunny spells. Wind NW F1-3

A Whimbrel flew north over the paddocks during the morning shower. A total of 12 Goldcrests were logged in bushes and trees around the lighthouse, mainly along the nature trail, along with 3 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. A single Wheatear was on Meols common.
Overhead 6 Skylarks and 5 Reed Buntings flew west while 8 Grey Wagtails and 2 Redpolls flew east. Around 30 Meadow Pipits flew south with around 10 remaining in the paddocks.
A Short-eared Owl was watched at length hunting over the common in front of the lighthouse yesterday evening although there has been no sign of it here today. Likewise there has been no re-appearance of yesterday's Great White Egret seen at the groyne.    KAD, MGT, EW
Wheatear on Meols Common.   EW

Friday, 2 October 2015

Weather: SE-2, warm & sunny

A quiet day today although Coal Tits continue to move through albeit in lower numbers than in recent days. A total of 8 were logged by the end of the day. 5 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap were found in the coastal shallows and Lingham Lane.

Most of the Hirrundines have now left but two Swallows passed through just after lunch.

The balmy weather was conducive to Raptor passage and observers recorded Kestel, Sparroehawk (2), Peregrine and Buzzard (6) moved through during the course of the day. Interestingly one of the Buzzards (photo below) was winged tagged. 


Wing tagged Buzzard moving through at the Lighthouse (AMC)