Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday 31st March 2017

Weather; Sunny spells following some overnight showers. Wind S to SW F4-3

It was a decent day for early spring arrivals at Leasowe today with a noticeable increase in numbers and variety. Overhead Hirundine passage totalled 11 Sand Martins, 2 Swallows and a single House Martin in the lighthouse area. A further 20 Sand Martins were in the Carr Lane area. Other overhead passage involved over 150 Meadow Pipits. Small groups of Meadow Pipits alighted in the coastal fields briefly, one of which off Park Lane was joined by a single Rock Pipit. A single Siskin flew west.
Blackcap, Lingham Lane. They often feed in the Blackthorn blossom here at this time of year.   Tim Kinch
Wheatear numbers were estimated at 24 in the course of the day
Willow Warbler at the duckpond, Leasowe lighthouse.     EW
but most groups moved through quickly to the east. The largest single group was one of 11 together in fields off Park Lane this morning.
There was also a large overnight arrival of Chiffchaffs with over 35 being logged, most of these being noted in the early morning although birds were evident through the day.
Other new arrivals included 2 Willow Warblers and the first 3 Blackcaps of the spring which were along Lingham Lane. Observers, AMC, SD, TK, MGT, EW.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

28th March

Weather: SE-3, clear to start heavy showers later

The first good fall of migrants occured today with the mornings 'rounds' producing 16 Wheatear, 10 Chiffchaff, 3 House Martin , 17 Sand Martin and at least 180 Meadow Pipit moving north. Typically at the Lighthouse many of the mornings Wheatear had moved on by lunch time leaving only a couple remaining in the coastal paddocks. By late afternoon the weather had deteriorated and a heavy shower around 16.30 saw another 16 Wheatear grounded in the paddocks. 

Highlight of the day was a Grey Partridge, found by two of the lighthouse regulars as it flew across their path into the long grass. Later on it was seen perched on top of the cable bund in the inland fields. Since ceasing as a breeding species Grey Partridge has become extremely scarce. March seems to be the best time for seeing this bird here. Not generally considered a true 'migrant', it is almost uncanny how a bird recorded in 2015 was seen within two days of todays record, on March 26th.

Grey Partridge (Tim Kinch)

Monday, 27 March 2017

27th March 2017

Weather: SE-2, Sunny and clear - cool

A good fall of migrants today included 6 Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest and at least 25 Chiffchaff. Most were migrants however some are already holding territory. Our first Willow Warbler of the year arrived late afternoon as did the first House Martin. Three Sand Martin also shot through mid afternoon. 

Other oddity migrants included 2 Woodpigeon passing over high and a single Rook, the latter quite a scarcity. A single Jackdaw, Raven, Carrion Crow and 5 Magpie completd the Corvid line up.

Offshore a single Sandwich Tern passed through over the high tide. 

Photo's - AMC
One of 25 Chiffchaff

Migrant Siskin in Alder

Record shot of LRP just before dusk

Passage finches included a single Lesser Redpoll and a single Siskin were found feeding in the Lingham lane Alder.

Bird of the day was found just before dusk by Ken Davies . What could be our only Little ringed Plover was located in the newly formed Kerr's Flash

Saturday, 25 March 2017

25th March 2017

Weather: SE-2, sunny, warm and clear.

Clear skies were far  from ideal conditions at the Lighthouse today. Nonetheless a few migrants were discovered in the coastal fields and hedges including 2 Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail, 2 Stonechat, 8 Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrests. With waders also on the move were 800 Oystercatcher, 5 Grey Plover and 19 Turnstone whilst 11 Black tailed Godwit headed south !

Migrant Water Rail can and often do turn up anywhere however one found walking along the beach at Dove point must be one of the more unusual locations. 

Our first Sandwich Tern arrived on one of the bouys mid morning and a monster 2CY Glaucous Gull was found by Mark Garner loafing with intent some way offshore from the Lighthouse Car park. A typical set of species for late March and hopefully a precursor of things to come!!

Very Long Range Glaucous Gull (AMC)

Water Rail, Gordon Crapper

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

21/03/2017  Weather. sunny, strong westerly wind 10mph, showers late afternoon 

After the excitement of last week with the Siberian Stonechat and the Black Redstart at Hoylake, the last few days have been quite quiet apart from an unusual but not unheard of Treecreeper being seen on Sunday 
A Kestrel, True lighthouse birding , GC

First bird of the day was a Kestrel sheltering from the wind on leasowe lighthouse, 
Migrants are few and far between at the moment but its still early the only migrant today was a fine male Wheatear on the embankment,
male Stonechat at Park lane  GC
No birds of note in the horse paddocks apart from Curlews flying over to feed in the farm fields with a single Lapwing.
Park lane was lively with song from Goldfinches, Greenfinch, Blackbird it soon turned into frantic alarm call when a   female Sparrowhawk circled the area,
The usual Greenshank was on the groyne at Dove point and further out on the sandbank 10 Grey Plover flew in to join the sleeping Curlew
Buzzard on Cadburys field, GC

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Weather: S/SE Variable-0-1, warm and sunny

A quiet day all round today with lower number of Gulls than of late. Waders on the tide included 230 Oystercatcher and 180 Curlew. A couple of Chiffchaff and Stonechat remained around the Lighthouse area. Highlight of the day was a fine male Black Redstart in private gardens along Hoylake seafront. Black Redstart remains a scarce bird on the Wirral with perhaps only two or three records per annum. The bird was present through until dusk but like most spring migrants is unlikely to be present in the morning.

Tim Kinch

Tim Kinch


Another shot of our first 2017 Wheatear from yesterday (Tony Edwards)


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

First Wheatear

Weather: SW- 3, sunny and dry,

Wirral's first Swallows zoomed through the horse paddocks during a cold and bleak morning. Yesterdays Ring Ouzel had unsurprisingly had moved on during the night. As the day improved the afternoon was almost balmy. This prompted a small arrival of passerines including at least 12 Stonechat and our first Wheatear of the year. Always an exciting event the fine male strutted its stuff within the horse paddocks and was joined by a further 3 Stonechat. The reported male Sibe Stonechat was not relocated after the initial sighting. 

Our resident 3CY  Med Gull appears to have left , however this has been replaced by a moulting adult that was found some distance offshore from the Greenshank Groyne where in fact there were two Greenshank early morning before heading off to their breeding grounds in the North.



Monday, 13 March 2017

Weather: SW-4, sunny , partly cloudly.

A quiet cold day saw little in the way of migration. A couple of Chiffchaffs were recorded in the coastal sallows and 100 Meadow Pipit moved North during the morning. The mornings highlight was a fine drake Pintail on the sea from the Lighthouse Car Park. Highlight of the day however was our first Ring Ouzel of the spring found by visiting birder (Dave Ball) . The bird was in a Horse paddock west of Park Field house. The bird showed well before disappearing into a hedge. Unfortunately it could not be relocated before dusk. 



Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Weather: NW-2, overcast and mild.

Another mild spring like day today with many birds in full song today around the Lighthouse. The " resident" 3CY Med Gull was in the field opposite the cafe today whilst Kerr's flash was largely devoid of birds.

Five Stonechat were in Sandy Lane whilst the ever increasing Linnet flock, now numbering 40+ were busy feeding in the horse paddocks. Other finches today included 12 Golfinch, 11 Greenfinch and a flyover Siskin headed west. Another calling flyover was a Yellowhammer picked up as it flew north by the eatsern kissing gate. Less than annual at the Lighthouse this was probably the most surprising find of the day. Less surprising was the small but increasing number of Goldcrest with at least six recorded between Sandy Lane and Lingham Lane.

Goldcrest (AMC)