Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kwik save carpark,
A lesser whitethroat was singing and showing well in St Helens. I think this is the 4th year that birds have returned each spring.
Prescot reservoirs,
4 red breasted mergansers 3m 1 f must have been a fine sight at the reservoirs today but only the finder BC was able to enjoy them because as always they did not stay long. A cuckoo calling, grasshopper warbler and whitethroat in the ranch, 3 common sands, lrp, 1 white wag, 1 grey wag, 3 buzzards, 1 goldeneye f, 6 oystercatchers displaying on the causeway, green woodpecker calling and a harris hawk all seen throughout the day.
A conservative estimate of 600 adela reaumurella longhorn moths swarming around birch trees beside yates wood was an impressive sight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Garganey at Eccleston mere in April.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Prescot Reservoirs,
The first swift of the year today . 1 common sand, 1 green sand, LRP, 2 sand martin, 1 white wag, 1 shellduck,1 pair gadwall, 11 great crested grebes, 1 stock dove, and green woodpecker calling.
BH had a wheatear early morning . The goldeneye have all left for breeding grounds although BH said there were 2 females early morning.

In the morning sunshine there was a swarm of about 150 moths around the top of a birch tree. They were Adela reaumurella which belongs to a family called the longhorns due to the fact that thier antenna are about 3 times the lenght of thier body. Thier wings have a metalic sheen which can change colour depending on which angle you look at it

Friday, April 20, 2007

Prescot reservoirs,
A great day for waders at the reservoirs. The green sandpiper is still present, the 2 little ringed plovers don't want to leave, 4 common sandpipers, a summer plumaged dunlin and the first whimbrel of the year flew over no 4 res. Not a bad day at all.
Also today Peregrine over, 4 buzzards, kestrel f, green woodpecker calling, 5 goldeneye still, 30 tufted duck, 10 great crested grebes and grey heron .
3 white wagtails on the causeway.
The harris hawk still squawking away.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Everythings looking a bit blue today. Must check the camera settings.

Prescot reservoirs,
A green sandpiper was still present today and had 2 little ring plovers and 3 common sandpipers for company. The green sand which has been present on and off since monday prefers no 3 res. 6 sand martins 2 grey wagtails, and a white wagtail also.
The lapwings have thier first chicks toddling about and the adults are constantly chasing away the ever present crows. Lots of mallard ducklings on the reservoirs also.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Catchdale moss,
After being out of town for a couple of days I thought I would see if the ring ousel that was seen last evening was still about. Unfortunately it was not but a flock of 150 golden plover circleing to come in to roost on one of the ploughed fields was ample compensation. An excellent count for the area.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Rimmers farm,
Sitting between Huyton, the m62 and Netherley are a few fields that make up Rimmers farm. It is well used by dog walkers along the foot paths and a pond often has anglers around its edge. A lot of the fields have been ploughed recently so with wheatear and maybe a ring ousel in mind I ventured to this not so promising spot.
I did not find a ring ousel but did find a couple of wheatears. But it was not the migrants that suprised me but the numbers of birds that are apparently struggling nationwide. There were at least 5 pairs of grey partridge ( no reg legged were seen) and skylarks singing over every field. At least 10 pairs were noted. 6 pairs of stock doves, reed buntings, linnets and lapwings were nesting.I did not expect to find these fields stuck in the middle of suburbia to be so rich with bird life.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A large and brightly coloured bird

Eccleston Mere,
A fine pair of garganey were showing well on the mere in the glorious morning sunshine. They seemed a little on edge staying in the middle of the mere and eventually finding cover under the overhanging trees of the island. They seemed pretty settled when we left at 9.30am but I think on sundays the yatchs and pleasure boats are out in force later in the day.
Prescot reservoirs,
A couple of wheatears and a white wagtail were new today. Blackcaps, willow warblers and chiffchaffs singing everywhere. 1 Little grebe, 5 goldeneye,10 great crested grebe,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Phyllonorycter acerifoliella taken on field maple
phyllonorycter ulmifoliella taken on birch

phylllonorycter quinnata taken on hornbeam

New Arrivals
The first on the leaf mines that I collected last autumn have emerged. Six different species of phyllonorycters have emerged as adults today. The life cycle of these micro moths is interesting.The adults lay an egg on a leaf of a certain plant species( Some species will only use one type of host plant others are less specific). When the larva emerges from the egg it eats its way between the upper and lower epidermis of the leaf. When it is fully fed it pupates inside the leaf and then emerges as an adult to breed and start the cycle all over again.
These moths are only tiny being about 5 mm long but when viewed through a hand glass they are really beautiful little creatures.
Also today a brimstone flew over the garden and a newly emerged angleshades moth was hanging its wings out to dry under the garage window sill.
Prescot reservoirs,
BH reports 7 little gulls heading east today over the reservoirs one lingering for 10 mins.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Prescot reservoirs
Little ringed plover on the causeway today. 2 Willow warblers,2 blackcap,1 wheatear , 4 chiffchaff, sand martin and swallow today.
5 buzzards in the air today, green woodpecker, 2 nuthatch,120 lesser black backs and 20 herring gulls. The harris hawk is still around associating with a buzzard.
BH had 17 sand martin and 5 swallow yesterday.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I returned to Wicks lane pond today to hopefully get some better pictures of the Siberian chiffchaff. It was showing fairly well and calling but was quite mobile. The light was much better today and the colour of the bird in these photos are much more realistic than the previous ones. I'm sure Tim will be happy!!
Around the Alt estuary a wheatear was my first of the year.
Crosby marina was graced with over 120 little gulls (2 1st winter). It is always a pleasure to just sit and watch them hawking insects. I didn't stay to long as there was also 10,000 people milling around.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Formby Point,
A report of a siberian chiffchaff at the Wicks Lane pond sounded interesting. I have no previous experience of this sub species so a bit of home work was in order. I dug out my Geoff Sample warbler recordings and checked out sibe chiffchaff. It certainly is distinctive and very different to chiffchaff. I set off this morning with the recording fresh in my head hoping to hear this Siberian chiffchaff. The first bird we seen in the willows on the south side was the sibe chiffchaff and almost immediately it gave its sad call. An even toned Seep with no upward deflection as in chiffchaffs hooweet. It eventually started to sing, not a confident loud song like several nearby chiffchaffs but a quiet song almost like a subsong performed in the middle of the willows not at the top of the tree. Its hard to describe it in words but it did sound very similar to the cd recording I listenened to this morning. So certainly on song it sounds like a siberian chiffchaff.
I would not say it was a grey plumaged bird like some of the pictures on the web and field guides but more of a dull buff bird not showing any yellow tones around the neck and flanks. The rump was olive green in the sunshine.Legs were black. The bill was black. I managed a few photos .Take a look and see what you think.


We then drove up the coast to Marshside. At Sandgrounders hide the drake green- winged teal showed well, A female marsh harrier gave a fly past closly followed by several angry lapwings. A female scaup also showed well. The Avocets are always a delight to see and a couple showed well right in front of the hide.
A little stint fed with several dunlin from the screen on the way down to Nells hide. A couple of hundred golden plover mostly in summer plumage were glowing in the afternoon sunshine.
On the way home we crossed Downholland moss. We were rewarded with a flock of 66 curlew and a white wag feeding with a couple of pieds.