Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Wirral shrikes again,
A Subalpine warbler on Hilbre today and a great grey shrike in the north wirral CP provided excellent birding on the Wirral, close on the heels of the Alpine Swift. Let us hope they are still around tommorrow. Alpine swift and subalpine warbler, I see a pattern emerging here. Anyone checked Thurstaston cliffs for alpine accentor!!!

Oil spillage sparks beach clean
A beach clean up is underway off the Merseyside coast after an oil spillage from a rig in the Irish Sea.
The spillage contaminated a mile long stretch near Formby Point and people are being asked to avoid the beach.
A spokesman for BHP Billiton said a small quantity of oil was released from the Lennox platform, about five miles offshore from Ainsdale.
Droplets of oil were found on the beach about a mile north of Formby Point by the firm's incident response team.
A statement from the company, which apologised for the incident, said: "We are working actively to minimise any impact on the beach and the marine environment.
"Whilst this work is in progress, it is advised that the public avoid the area to allow the work to be completed efficiently."
An investigation has been launched into the cause of the leak.

Lets hope the birds and wildlife escape the oil unharmed.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Prescot Reservoirs,
A passage of swifts was evident with a flock of 60 Swifts moving through early morning. There were 7 Common Sandpipers around no3 today and a Green Sandpiper was with them. I flushed it with 2 common sandpipers and its distinctive square white rump and call was obvious. Andy Spot reported a Jack Snipe in the ranch this morning.
Also on the reservoirs today
4 Goldeneye 1m 3f
20 Tufted Duck
1 Little Grebe
2 Great crested grebe
2 Cormorants
2 Meadow Pipits displaying with flight song
2 Whitethroats displaying with flight song
1 Sedge Warbler singing
3 Buzzards
2 Kestrel m+f
20 Lesser black backs, 10 herring gulls and 2 black headed gulls.

A female Speckled wood was in the plantation.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Knowsley safari park,
A drake garganey showed extremley well on the Mizzy dam today. Found by Andy Spottiswood this morning.

Crosby Marina,
A summer plumaged Black Tern for its second day with 100 little gulls on the marina this morning and also 2 common sandpiper on the rocky edge.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Crosby Coastguards,
A Peregrine as we left the car park was a good start. Light westerly winds and a high tide today so a couple of hours seawatching was in order. The roof of the pumping station gives an excellent vantage point and a bit of shelter also. The best bird again today was the summer plumaged Spotted Redshank which flew past close by south with 8 redshanks but was not seen again. Most birds were along way out, the winds not being strong enough to bring the birds closer.
30 Gannets
5 Fulmars
4 Red Throated divers
2 Common Scoters
30 Cormorants
A couple of unidentifed terns a long way out.
Clouds of thousands of waders off formby piont.
On terre firma
2 wheatears on the golf course
2 Whitethroats
2 grasshopper warblers

Prescot reservoir
2 common sandpipers ( BH had 8 yesterday) 4 goldeneye and a green woodpecker in yates wood.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bold Heath,
A hobby flying over the fields along the A57 was a very fortunate sighting as I drove towards Penketh. It flew over the road in front of me from the adjacent field as I had one eye on the bird and one eye on the road.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Crosby Coastguards,
A walk up the coastal path north of coastguards produced excellent numbers of waders today. Wader of the day went to a superb summer plumaged Spotted redshank. An uncommon bird in our area although one was reported at Crosby Marina a couple of weeks ago during a high tide and was probably the same bird. I had a single winter plumaged bird in november at the Alt estuary so maybe a single bird has over wintered on our coast.
Over 100 Grey plovers with some smart summer plumaged birds amongst them. 30 Bar tailed and 10 black tail godwits, 300 Knot, 200 dunlin, 30 sanderlings,2 ring plover,15 turnstone, 20 oystercatcher,20 curlew,30 redshank.
A single Whimbrel went past calling and a few singles of little gulls out in Liverpool bay made it an excellent couple of hours birdwatching.In the dunes a couple of grasshopper warbler were reeling and one popped up on to a stalk for a few seconds for us to enjoy it reeling. 3 male stonechats were also along the path with several swallows passing overhead.

Crosby Marina
A quick visit to see the Little gulls mid morning produced 140 mainly resting on the Marina.

Prescot reservoirs
A quick visit early morning produced a single male wheatear, 2 common sands, 1 swift, 5 house martins and 30 swallows. The goldeneye were at 4 . Sedge warbler and whitethroat were still present in the meadow.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Old Coach Road, Rainford Mosslands
Colin Davis had reported some yellow wagtails on the Rainford mosslands during the last couple of days so I thought I would take a stroll down the Coach road in search of them and anything else that came along. It was a glorious day so me and the wife took the afternoon sunshine together. Good numbers of wheatears, 20 plus. A couple of Yellowhammers even had the binoculars up to my wifes eyes. I met another birdwatcher who had just been eyeballing a couple of yellow wags and he had said one of them was a blue headed wagtail but they had just flown off. We searched the next field and found them feeding under the feet of a few bulls. Excellent views of the two male wagtails were had and good enough one of them was a blue headed. Nice, very nice.

Talk about colour co-ordination!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Deseased feet
I don't know if you noticed the feet on the white wagtail below but they are very deformed and swollen . I wondered if this was because of parasites or have they just been accidently damaged. Any ideas?
That reminds me I must cut my toe nails.

A good day for migrants at Prescot Reservoirs,
A white wagtail on the causeway, a cuckoo calling from Yates wood, a sedge warbler and a whitethroat in the meadow where all firsts for the year at the reservoirs. Early morning 3 swifts, 15 house martins, 6 sand martin and 30 plus swallows were over the green box area but all had drifted off by 9.15am. Goldeneye were back up to 9 , tufted duck 10, a single great crested grebe, 3 gadwall, and a mallard had 6 ducklings in tow. A green woodpecker was calling in the bottom wood .50 lesser black backs, all adults, 10 herring gulls and a single 1st summer black headed gull.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Prescot reservoirs
A single Tree pipit was a nice bird in the ranch today. 2 common sandpipers fed around the concrete parapet of no 4 res.The goldeneye have decreased to 5 today with tufted duck at 10. A pair of wheatears where on the grass around the green box area. Three buzzards floated over no3 res and a pair of Kestrels were displaying around the plantation. Willow warblers, balckcap and chiffchaffs were singing all around.Yesterday BH had a Whimbrel on the causeway for ten minutes and 2 swifts over. The first Swift last year was on the 16th so 4 days later this year.
Our resident canada goose 'righty' is to become a father with his mate sitting on eggs. Righty has a broken wing so its quite an achievement!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Crosby marina
A beautiful sunshiney day at the marina brought a lot of people out and about but it also brought the Little gulls out in force . A count of 530 at one point in the afternoon was a real treat to see. Later in the afternoon some of the little gulls started to move back out to sea and some over the fence into Seaforth NR. An adult kittiwake was also on the marina. I also had 4 wheatears ,30 plus white wags and good numbers of swallows moving through. I met Tim later in the afternoon who told me he had just been threatened by a 5 year old. Its getting rough around Crosby!!!

Aren't Blogs BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!
Being new to blogging (first post april 2nd) I wasn't sure what to expect. At first I was a little bit apprehensive putting myself out there. I have posted photos before but the last bit of writing I did was at school -- years ago. Now I just love the format . I think that they are a great way of sharing ideas and imformation with like minded people. Every blog has its own style and format, they are all different, all having something to offer ,all with a personal touch. One of first things I look at on my computer in the evening is the other local blogs to see whats been happening , what I've been missing whilst at work. I like 'Another Place' with their team effort , great photos and interesting writing. Andy's blog always interests me to see what I've been missing over the fence from Prescot res at Knowsley safari park. He recently turned up a superb summer plumaged red necked grebe and a firecrest, not bad on your local patch. Colins blog covers the Rainford mosslands and Eccleston mere. Colin had the four cranes recently over the mosslands (jammy git) and he said that they headed towards prescot res but alas nobody was there. You can't be everywhere all of the time and thats what Brilliant about blogs letting others know whats been happening, especially on a local basis. So if you have a similar interest in the merseyside area or the north west get your own blog. Its easy, the more the merrier. Merseyside is a great place to watch birds with a big diversity of habitat and birdwatchers! Keep up the good work lads.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Swift pint on the Wirral
A cracking Alpine swift was present for its second day at Barnston on the Wirral. It conveniently preferred an area around the 'Fox and Hounds' public house and after getting it 'under the belt' a nice pint of bitter was downed. This was a lifer for me although I have seen plenty in southern Europe. It was hunting insects with a few Swallows and a house martin giving excellent views.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Prescot reservoirs
A quick visit after work produced the female ring ouzel on the covered res with 2 wheatears but it looks like the male redstart has moved on. A male sparrowhawk circled above. On no 3+4 res were 50 lesser black backs and 10 herring gulls. 22 goldeneye, 11 tufted duck ,3 great crested grebe , 3 gadwall, 1 ruddy duck f, and 3 cormorants.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Prescot reservoirs
The ring ousel and redstart were still present this morning. Later the grass cutters were out in force at the reservoirs and this afternoon there was no sign of either bird.The common sand was still on no3 res. 2 Chiffchaffs and a willow warbler were singing in the bottom wood and a pair of long tailed tits were busy nest building. Also today 32 goldeneye, 4 pair of tufted duck, 3 great crested grebe, 10 cormorants , 10 canada geese, 2 oystercatchers and 20 lapwing 2 buzzard and a male kestrel. There were 20 lesser black backed, 2 herring ,4 black headed gull and 3 common gull on no4 res. A peacock and comma butterfly were sunning themsleves in the meadow.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Prescot reservoirs
The wind had dropped a little today which made it much more pleasant than yesterday. The female ring ouzel was present for its fourth day and the male redstart for its seventh day. BH reported house martin over no 3 res which is the first of the year at the reservoirs. I caught up with the common sandpiper on no3 and had 15 swallows and 6 sand martins over no 4 res. The 3 male wheatears had moved to the green box with a pair of pied wagtail. There were 4 chiffchaffs, 1 willow warbler, 2 nuthatch and BH had a blackcap singing in yates wood this morning. Also on the reservoirs today were 27 goldeneye, 3 pair of tufted duck, 3 great crested grebe, 2 gadwall, 8 mallard, 1 ruddy duck f, 8 cormorants, 3 buzzards, 1 kestrel m , 4 oystercatchers and 20 lapwing.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Prescot Reservoirs
The skulking Ring ouzel was still present pinned down by the very strong and cold north westerly wind. The male redstart and 3 wheatears were still in wheatear corner but no sign of the male stonechat today. BH had reported prescots first common sandpiper of the year early morning but it had left by the time I strolled up. 2 swallows were over no3 this morning.
Also at the reservoirs today
24 goldeneye
12 tufted duck
3 great crested grebe
6 oystercatchers
20 lapwing
7 cormorants
4 canada geese
10 mallard
1 buzzard
2 reed bunting
Gulls were just singles of common and lbb passing through.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Prescot reservoirs
Chats and thrushes abound!!The female ring ouzel was still present for its second day briefly this morning but was pretty elusive preferring the ruff edges of the compound and covered res. Wheatear corner was very busy this morning with the male redstart, male stonechat, 3 male wheatears and 6 meadow pipits on show. 5 sand martins and 5 local barnacle geese passed overhead whilst watching these chats. A willow warber was singing in the ranch. A tawny owl called from the plantation late morning.
On the reservoirs today
24 goldeneye
12 tufted duck
2 great crested grebe
2 gadwall
10 mallard
29 0ystercatcher
20 lapwing
12 canada geese
1 greylag

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Prescot reservoirs
A female ring ouzel was an excellent find in the compound by BH today as he was on his way out of the reservoirs at 16.00 with BC. It stayed around long enough for me to get back up to the reservoirs to see it in the compound. This was a first for me at the reservoirs. Hopfully its still around tomorrow
The superb male redstart was again present for its fourth day and a cracking male stonechat was keeping it company in the ranch today. 2 male wheatears where on the path north of no4 res. 7 swallows went through during the day. A chiffchaff was singing in yates wood.
On the reservoirs today
4 great crested grebes
24 goldeneye
12 tufted duck
1 ruddy duck f
4 oystercatchers
20 lapwing.
Of interest there was a flock of 500-600 starlings in the fields off Burrows lane today . A male sparrowhawk was on my nieghbours roof looking for dinner.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Prescot reservoirs
The male Redstart was present for its third day on the far fence near the rusty gate in the ranch. Today it had a female wheatear for company a couple of fence posts away instead of yesterdays stonechat. It was feeding well catching insects on the ground flying to and from its perch. A swallow flew north over no4 res.
A pair of coot and a pair of moorhen were on the ranch pond with a couple of buzzard overhead.
A couple of grey herons flew towards Yates wood to feed in the pond. A pair of oystercatchers were seen mating very close to where they bred last year.
On the reservoirs today
21 goldeneye
12 tufted duck
2 great crested grebe
1 ruddy duck f
10 mallard
50 lesser black backed gull
4 greater black backed gull
20 herring gull
4 black headed gull
2 common gull
Most of the gulls were adults

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Prescot Reservoirs
A superb male common redstart was showing extremely well on the north fence today. This bird was found yesterday by BC and it was a suprise it was still here today as there has been a lot of activity on the 4x4 course. This bird had a female stonechat for company close by and a pair of reed buntings kept an eye on this flash migrant. A pair of gadwall were on the pond in the ranch.
22 goldeneye were still present on reservoirs 3and4. 3 buzzards were floating over the safari park. A pair of hares were chasing each other around the 4x4 track.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

2nd April 06 Prescot reservoir
A grey showery day brought the first Swallow of the year for the reservoirs .It flew over our heads at 'headquarters' at 11.30 am. I had my first willow warbler singing today in no2 bed. A crow was standing guard over its mate on the nest around no3 res. 2 female pochard had joined the tufted duck. A male kestrel flew out of the pines from the same place as yesterday so a chance that they may be nesting. The gull numbers are well reduced now and today we I had
50 common gull
20 herring gull
10 black headed gull
20 lesser black backed gull
4 greater black backed gull

1st April 06 Crosby Marine park.
I visited Crosby today in the hope of some little gulls and migrants. I found both but the migrant was not what I expected. I found a beautiful female Snow bunting which was at the south end of the shore feeding close to the fence. There have been some snow buntings earlier this year at Crosby but they have not been seen for a couple of weeks so this bird is most probably a new bird on the move. Whilst watching the bird with Tim Vaughan a Little Gull was seen making its way out into Liverpool bay which completed the day for me.

1st April 06 Prescot reservoir
4 sand martins over no4 where my first migrants of the year. A chiffchaff calling was a welcome sound of things to come. A pair of Mute swans flew in from the north east maybe from Eccleston mere and stayed for an hour. 3 meadow pipits were on the grass by the green box. 32 goldeneye still on the reservoirs and 12 tufted today.

28th March 06 Prescot reservoir
An adult KITTIWAKE was at Prescot reservoir today. BH found it on no4 res at midday and a text from Bill had me rushing up to the res to see it on the causeway where it had settled . It had it's head under its wing but it's short black legs and solid black wing tips giving it away. When it did lift its head the yellow decurved bill was seen. This is only the second record of kittiwake at prescot res so this was a very welcome bird.