Saturday, 29 October 2016

Saturday 29th October 2016

Weather; Cloudy. Wind S F2

Around 2,500 Scoter were offshore at Leasowe on the high tide today.
Both Yesterday's Short-eared Owl and Siberian Chiffchaff remain in the lighthouse area. The Owl was showing well hunting along the paddocks and in the duck pond area. The Siberian Chiffchaff was vocal but flighty in the area of the nature trail.
3 Chiffchaffs and 10 Goldcrests were also noted in the lighthouse area. Observers AMC, MGT
Short-eared Owl.       MGT

Friday, 28 October 2016

Friday 28th October 2016

Weather; Drizzle through morning clearing in afternoon. Wind SW F0-1

There was a large arrival of Blackbirds with around 50 individuals being noted along Lingham Lane along the section between the kissing gate and the railway bridge. 5 Redwings and 7 Song Thrushes were also here this morning, together with 15 Chaffinches.
A vocal Siberian Chiffchaff was at Lingham bridge this morning, which later relocated to the Duck pond area this afternoon where it continued to show on and off. 7 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 2 Siskins and 10 Goldcrests were also in the area.
2 Water Rails gave excellent views along the Birkett from Lingham bridge through the day and several Kingfishers were also seen here together with 2 Bullfinches.
Short-eared Owl.  Leasowe.           EW
A Short-eared Owl arrived in the afternoon and was hunting along the embankment for around 5 minutes before heading westwards.
Record shot of Siberian Chiffchaff near the Duck pond. The very pale buff-washed underparts and pale grey-buff mantle can be seen.             MGT
Overhead passage was sparse today, probably due to the drizzle, although a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were heading east in the afternoon. Observers; AO, MGT, EW
Water Rail at Lingham bridge.        MGT

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Weather;  Fine early, becoming overcast later. Wind E F1-2

There was an overhead movement at Leasowe today of 55 Siskins east, including a flock of 33. 40 Chaffinches, a Jay, 20 Meadow Pipits, 5 Reed Buntings, 6 Skylarks and 3 Fieldfares also passed east. 2 Skylarks and a Redwing moved west and 19 Pink-footed Geese north-west with another 3 south.
Grounded birds around the lighthouse included 25 Goldcrests, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Coal Tits, 6 Redwing and 4 Fieldfares. Over 30 Meadow Pipits were on Leasowe common.
A Water Rail, a Kingfisher and 2 Grey Wagtails were at Lingham bridge. Another 2 Water Rails were at the Duck pond. Observers AMC, MGT, EW
Water Rail at Lingham bridge.        EW

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Snow Flake

Weather: SE-2, sunny, overcast and cool later

As expected the SE wind saw a significant movement of migrants. Thrush numbers were up whilst over 100 Goldfinches moved through during two hours in the afternoon. Also present were up to 6 Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap and 11 Goldcrests. A small movenent of corvids included 8 Carrrion Crow, 4 Jackdaw, 3 Jay and 22 magpie. 

Highlight of the day however no doubt goes to a super Snow Bunting found by Graham Connolly. Graham managed a record shot which he sent to us. Although slightly out of focus the pictue still highlights what super birds Snow Buntings are. The bird was found on the track at the south end of dunes between the Golf course and the beach. Snow Buntings are often site faithfull so those with cameras  are reminded as usual to give these birds plenty of space.

Graham  Connolly

Friday, 21 October 2016

Friday 21st October 2016

Weather; High cloud early becoming clear, sunny and warm. Wind variable F1

The almost windless conditions resulted in a very calm sea and an opportunity to count around 20,000 Scoters far offshore. Unfortunately the distance was too great to pick out any rarer species among them, a walk out to the tide edge at low tide from Hoylake being the best tactic to achieve this, again in flat calm conditions.
Overhead passage was a bit down on yesterday due to clearer conditions but 10 Skylarks, 3 Reed Buntings, 8 Siskins, 18 Fieldfare, 15 Redwing, 4 Grey Wagtails, 10 Chaffinches and a Redpoll all passed east. 25 Meadow Pipits moved south.
50 Meadow Pipits and a Rock Pipit were grounded on Leasowe common with another 25 Meadow Pipits in the paddocks and 16 on Meols common, where there was also 2 Stonechats.
A Firecrest showed intermittently throughout the afternoon from trees bordering Greenacres cottage at the start of Lingham Lane. A Coal Tit was at Lingham bridge with another at the back of the fisheries. Other migrants grounded in the Leasowe area included 6 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 15 Goldcrests, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Fieldfares, 6 Song Thrushes and 12 Redwings. Robin numbers were much reduced from yesterday.  Observers GB, KAD, EW
Chiffchaff.          EW

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thursday 20th October 2016

Weather;  Overcast with good visibility. Wind mainly north F1-2

There was a big arrival of Robins in the Leasowe area today with around 40 individuals being recorded. An indication of a Robin influx are the constant chases in progress presumably between the local birds on territory and the migrants. Other arrivals in good numbers included 35 Goldcrests, 30 Blackbirds, 12 Song Thrushes, 16 Mistle Thrushes, 10 Redwings and 30 Chaffinches. 4 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and a late Lesser Whitethroat were also in the lighthouse area.
Robin;  One of a large arrival today.       EW
There was some decent overhead passage today which included 52 Pink-footed Geese north-east and 32 Skylarks, 5 Reed Buntings, 55 Chaffinches, 7 Siskins, 2 Redpolls, 60 Meadow Pipits, 8 Redwings and 22 Fieldfares east. A further 35 Meadow Pipits and 2 Teal passed south.
Fieldfares passing overhead.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Kenny Dummigan. 25th December1950--5th October 2016

We would like to say a few words about our great friend Kenny Dummigan, who sadly passed away on 5th October following a brave fight against cancer.
Kenny was very well known on the local and national birding scene and his infectious good humour always made him a delight to go birding with. He was a fantastic raconteur and a day's birding with him would involve a non stop deluge of the most hilarious stories. This never seemed to distract him however and he would often stop mid sentence to point out an interesting bird or identify a calling Pipit at stratospheric height above.
Kenny had birded extensively worldwide and was a member of pioneering birding trips to Morocco and other locations as long ago as the early seventies. He had recently birded extensively in Israel, Thailand, China and Ethiopia.
Kenny was an integral member of the 'Lighthouse crew' and was a very skilled rare bird-finder. His more recent finds in the Leasowe area include Surf Scoter, Golden Oriole, Red-throated Pipit, Bluethroat and 2 Wrynecks. On a national level he has found major rarities such as American Nighthawk and Cliff Swallow, among many others.
Outside birding Kenny had served for 30 years in the Merseyside Police, mostly as a Detective, and became an expert in the investigation and detection of complex international fraud. This led a great deal of foreign travel, although he would somehow never forget to pack his binoculars!

Kenny is a massive loss both to the birding community as a whole and as a close friend to many. Our thoughts are with his partner Lex and his family at this sad time.
There will be Service to celebrate Kenny's life at 1.30p.m. on Monday 24th October at the Hill Bark Hotel, Royden Park, Frankby, Wirral CH48 1NP.

Thursday 13th October 2016

Weather;  Fine early, then cloudy. Wind SE F2-3

18 Little Egrets was a high count at the western groyne today. The numbers of this species is constantly growing at this location.
There was a small overhead, mainly easterly, passage of  8 Grey Wagtails today with 2 others feeding along the Birkett. 4 Skylarks, 3 Song Thrushes and 4 Siskins also passed west and around 30 Meadow Pipits south, with around 10 in the paddocks. 2 Ravens moved west. They now seem to be a resident pair and are seen most days.
Garden Warbler at Lingham bridge.          EW
Grounded migrants around the lighthouse included a late juvenile Reed Warbler in the reedbed, a Garden Warbler at Lingham bridge, a Redwing, 2 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs and a Yellow-browed Warbler.
Grey Wagtail along the Birkett           EW

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Weather; Sunny periods with showers in afternoon. Wind NE  F2

There was a small movement of Thrushes in the lighthouse area today with an arrival of around 25 Blackbirds and 4 Song Thrushes in the area of the pond and nature trail. 6 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Song Thrushes and 5 Redwings passed south. A further 4 Redwings were grounded in the Lingham Lane area. Other overhead movers included 16 Skylarks, 2 Siskins and 2 Grey Wagtails east and 30 Meadow Pipits and a Snipe south.
2 Wheatears and 2 Stonechats were on Meols common near to the small inland horse paddocks (Hoopoe hollow) 2 Stonechats were in Kerr's field.
Bullfinch, Lingham Lane.      Steve Williams
2 Yellow-browed Warblers were in the duckpond area showing well intermittently. 3 Chiffchaffs and 20 Goldcrests and a Blackcap were also in the area. A further 12 Goldcrests were along Park Lane.
Stonechat and Wheatear, Meols common.
A single Bullfinch and 4 Blackcaps were near the kissing gate on Lingham Lane and a late Garden Warbler was feeding on berries in the hedge bordering the Lingham fisheries. Observers; KAD, TK, EW, SRW.
Yellow-browed Warbler.            Steve Williams

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


The Western Sandpiper present at Meols and Hoylake from 19th to 24th September 2012 has now been accepted by the BBRC. It is only the 9th record of Western Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper.  Meols.  September 2012.    Photo by Phil Woollen
for the U.K. and only the 1st for Cheshire and Wirral.

This extremely tricky individual caused a great deal of controversy at the time with experienced birders nationwide divided as to it's identification, many mistakenly believing it the be a Semi-palmated Sandpiper, hence the length of time taken to assess the submission.

The bird was found just off Hoylake shore by lighthouse stalwart, Allan Conlin on 19th September. Durung it's stay it was estimated the bird was seen by many thousand's of birders.

Congratulations are due to Allan for such a fantastic find and full credit must also be given to him for pursuing the correct identification throughout , despite the considerable controversy the bird caused.

Tuesday 11th October 2016

Weather; Fine and clear early morning, clouding over with short showers later. Wind E F1

A very late Wood Warbler was a surprise visitor to the duckpond area near the lighthouse at noon today. Unfortunately it couldn't be re-located later in the day. The late date together with the current weather system indicates it could well be a migrant from Scandinavia subject to an easterly drift, along with the many other unusual migrants in the country at the moment.
There was a good count of over 40 Goldcrests in the Leasowe area through the course of the day. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the area of the eastern kissing gate briefly this morning and again this afternoon. 7 Blackcaps and 6 Chiffchaffs were also in the lighthouse area. 2 Wheatears were on Meol's common.
Wheatear. Meols Common.            EW
Overhead movement consisted of a Peregrine flying north, 9 Skylarks east and over 40 Meadow Pipits south. 14 Pied Wagtails and a Raven were in the paddocks and singles of Greenshank and Grey Plover were on the shore, together with over 150 Lapwings which were later seen to head off south. Observers; KAD, TK, MGT, EW. 
Yellow-browed Warbler.         EW

Friday, 7 October 2016

Friday 7th October 2016

Weather;  Drizzle in the morning, clearing later but remaining mainly cloudy. Wind E F2

There was very little overhead passage at Leasowe today with just singles of Golden Plover and Snipe passing. A handful of Meadow Pipits moved south and 2 Jays east.
A Kingfisher was on the western groyne for much of the afternoon together with a single Wheatear.
109 Lapwings, 2 Greenshanks, 14 Grey Plovers and a Bar-tailed Godwit were on the shore after the tide, together with larger numbers of the commoner waders.
Grounded migrants included 6 Chiffchaffs
Weasel at Leasowe.        Tim Kinch
, 4 Goldcrests and a Yellow-browed Warbler in the duckpond and nature trail areas. 4 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrests and 2 Chiffchaffs were along Lingham Lane. A very inquisitive Weasel also showed well near the duckpond.
Obervers; KAD, DH, TK, MGT, EW

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Thursday 6th October 2016

Weather; Sunny spells; Clear. Wind E F2

12 Wigeon and 150 Scoter were offshore on the tide today at Leasowe.
Some interesting overhead passage at the lighthouse today included 70 Lapwings flying south and another 9 flying north-east. 3 Buzzards, 1 Teal, 2 Grey Wagtails, 4 Song Thrushes, 20 Chaffinches and 4 Siskins moved east. 8 Skylarks and a Raven flew south. The first 12 Redwings of the year flew south, having come straight in off the sea along with 42 Meadow Pipits. Another 30 Meadow Pipits flew east.
Grounded migrants at Leasowe included a Siberian Chiffchaff among 6 Chiffchaffs, 10 Goldcrests and 3 Blackcaps at Lingham Lane bridge this morning. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Willow trees at Lingham fisheries further up the Lane. Most of these migrants had moved on by noon.
At least one Yellow-browed Warbler continued to show on and off throughout the day near the duckpond, best viewed from the path immediately to the east of the pond opposite the prominent Sycamore tree. Another 5 Goldcrests and 10 Chiffchaffs were in the duckpond and nature trail areas together with a single Blackcap. 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrest and a Siskin were on Park Lane.
Stonechat.          EW
2 Stonechats were showing well at Kerr's field and a Kingfisher
Yellow-browed Warbler near the duckpond, Leasowe. Tricky even when in full view!     EW
was performing well at Lingham bridge in the afternoon. 
Observers; DH, MGT, EW and others

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Wednesday 5th October 2016

Weather;  Sunny and clear. Blustery. Wind E F4-5

The windy conditions did not help birding today in the Leasowe area. There were still migrants around, however, although tricky to locate. 2 Yellow-browed Warblers were in the duckpond area, along with 8 Chiffchaffs, 6 Goldcrests and two Blackcaps. 5 Goldcrests, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap were in Lingham Lane. A single Stonechat was in Kerr's field.
Overhead passage was much reduced today. 30 Meadow Pipits moved east along with 4 Skylarks and 25 Chaffinches. 2 Pink-footed Geese headed north-east.
A Greenshank was on the shoreline.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Tuesday 4th October 2016

Weather; Sunny spells, Wind E F3-4

Yellow-browed Warbler near the duckpond, Leasowe. 2 were here today with a third at the end of the nature trail under the sea embankment.       EW

Pink-footed Geese. Part of a skein of 64      EW
Some interesting overhead movement in the lighthouse area today with two Tree Sparrows flying east being particularly notable. Tree Sparrow is barely annual here and has become very rare on the Wirral. Other overhead travellers included 40 Chaffinch, 2 Reed Buntings, 5 Skylarks, 3 Grey Wagtails, a Siskin (first of autumn) and 2 Song Thrushes east. 50 Meadow Pipits and 64 Pink-footed Geese (again the first of the autumn here),
1 of 2 Yellow browed Warblers in a Meols  garden. -AMC
flew south.
Grounded migrants in the lighthouse area included 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, 8 Chiffchaffs, 10 Goldcrests, 3 Blackcaps and 2 Grey Wagtails. 2 further Yellow-browed Warblers are in a nearby Meols seafront garden. How many others are lurking locally?
An adult Mediterranean Gull and over 5,000 Scoters were offshore.  Observers AMC, KAD, DH, JJ, TK, EW.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Monday 3rd October 2016

Weather; Mainly sunny. Breezy, wind SE F3-4

In common with much of the north-west the Leasowe area was visited by Yellow-browed Warblers today, part of a sizeable local influx and not before time considering the numbers which have been arriving along the east coast to date. The first was found this morning along the path just east of the duckpond (DH) and showed intermittently through the morning. What was thought to be a second individual was in willows under the sea embankment at the end of the nature trail this afternoon. The breezy conditions did not make for good viewing conditions in the dense vegetation, however, and who knows how many others could be lurking? A third local bird showed up this afternoon in a Meols garden (AMC).
Yellow-browed Warbler in bushes at the base of the sea embankment, Leasowe.       EW
Other grounded migrants in the Leasowe area included 2 Wheatears, a Whinchat, 3 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs and 6 Goldcrests.
Chiffchaff at Leasowe. A pale and grey toned individual. Too yellow on underparts and super for a Siberian tristis but possibly with an eastern origin nonetheless.       EW 
There was some overhead passage today which included over 90 Meadow Pipits and 10 Skylarks south, 60 Greenfinch west and 25 Chaffinch, 4 Grey Wagtails, a Jay and a Raven east. Observers; AMC, KAD, DH, JJ, MGT, EW.
Yellow-browed Warbler in a Meols garden.      AMC