Sunday, October 26, 2008

A wren sits atop a bramble bush with the tree lined Coach Road behind.

Coach rd and Carr mill dam,
Yippee!! an extra hour in bed as the clocks went back an hour. Still got up at the same time and then I ventured to the Coach rd. There were plenty of pinkfeet airbourne and I probably seen a couple of thousand . 30 tree sparrows in the same hedge as the other day seem settled. 5 redwing and a couple of fieldfare. 4 buzzards and sparrowhawk also.
It was then off to Carr Mill Dam to try and see yesterdays firecrest. Needle in a haystack job but a stroll up the goyt valley was very pleasant this morning. I didn't see the firecrest but a couple of goldcrests with the long tailed tits, a siskin, a female stonechat, and 30 fieldfares were seen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

After dinner,
A peregrine falcon sits on a ledge up on the cliff face that is the Woodside ventilation building after feeding on one of the local pigeons. At 150 feet tall this brick building is a prominent landmark standing on the banks of the Mersey. The building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who also designed the Liverpool anglican cathedral.

Coach Road, Merseyside,
There was only about 1000 pinkfeet in the area today but the guns were out and peat extraction was in process on simonswood moss so plenty of disturbance. A good flock of 40 tree sparrows were nice to see as they sunbathed in a hawthorn hedge. A flock of 50 fieldfares ,1 redwing and 15 chaffinches fed in a potatoe field on bunker hill. As I was watching the fieldfares a bird called behind me, 'Shreep' close to the horse paddocks but I did't manage to see the bird.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Simonswood Moss, Merseyside,
The Ross's Goose was showing well in fields close to the Old Coach Road today with 5000 pinkfeet. The short, thick set neck, small stubby bill and smaller size compared to the surrounding pinkfeet was evident. The geese are very mobile and are often out of sight.
23 Fieldfares also today
Please park only at the beginning of Dairy Farm Rd close to Rainford bypass and walk up this private road towards the Coach Rd. Stay out of fields .

leucistic pinkfoot

Friday, October 17, 2008

A bloody end to the day,

A visit to the Lady Lever art gallery in Port Sunlight was a pleasant way to spend a few hours today with my wife. An exhibition of watercolours by artists such as Turner, Edward Lear, and David Cox were on show.
After lunch we decide to go and look at HMS Illustrious from the riverfront at Woodside, next to the Mersey tunnel ventillation shaft. A pair of wings was all that was left of a pigeon at the base of this massive brick structure. A peregrine was sitting high above with a contented look. With my bins and camera I managed a photo.
Later whilst we were eating our evening meal back at the ranch a sparrowhawk was on full view ripping a goldfinch to bits on the garden fence. Nice.


The beautiful Liverpool skyline. The heart of Merseyside.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A couple of watercolours,

Desert Wheatear on Crosby shore,
Hobby and house martin. This painting has been on the drawing board since having great overhead views of this aerial combat at Hale marsh this summer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Crosby coastguards, Merseyside,

The car park was at bursting piont, thousands of sunseekers, icecream vans , some sort of kite festival, screaming children, dogs running free , microlights above but somehow a desert wheatear remained amongst this indian summer madness. It fed along the tide line occasionly getting flushed by the unsuspecting public but remained faithful to an area about 250 metres south of coastguards. This 1st winter male was a stunning bird and was very confiding.This is the third record for lancashire.

Old Coach Rd

Yesterdays ross's goose failed to show up 13.00 today. It did show later briefly for others. A leucistic pinkfoot was with a thousand pinkfeet in one field, a couple of redwing, 35 curlew and a raven also.

leucistic pinkfoot

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Simonswood Moss, Kirkby, Merseyside,
A Ross's goose was seen in flight over Simmonswood moss close to White moss peat works. There are big numbers of pinkfeet in the area at the moment (maybe 4000 to 5000) and it is associating with these. Frustratingly most of the geese are out of sight from the road so flight views maybe the best you get but they regularly take flight. An excellent Merseyside tick. Please dont enter any farmers fields.
I first saw this goose on the 24th september distantly over the coach rd/east lancs rd area. See earlier post. It has since been at Martin Mere and it has now returned to the simonswood moss area.
Surely this bird has good credentials having arrived with the first big influx of pinkfeet into the mosslands.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Goldfinch and evening primrose,
There has been a big flock of goldfinch at Seaforth this autumn. Although a very colourful bird they seem to blend in with the weedy vegetation perfectly. How often have a group of goldfinch flew up in front of you and had not even noticed them before they took flight?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Old coach rd and kirkby Moss,
A flock of at least a couple of thousand pink feet were seen from the coach rd . There were in a field just out of view from the coach rd on Kirkby moss close to White moss peat farm.They were flushed by a vehicle and were an impressive sight and sound as the lot went up. No white goose amongst them. Peregrine and 7 snipe also today.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Seaforth NR,

A 1stw Med gull, 1stw and 2ndw yellow legged gull , a couple of grey plover and a Greenland wheatear today.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mersey Refuge.
A leach's storm petrel heads for the shelter of the River Mersey passsing perch rock lighthouse.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Brighton, Merseyside.

An absolutely brilliant days birding. With more Leach's pertrels than you could shake a stick at and a sabines gull that nearly got away made this a day to remember.
We arrived at the usual prom shelter in new brighton looking out onto the River Mersey at 11.00 to find only one birder present. I would have put money on that it would have been full today. It was not long before we got onto our first of many leach's. I would say we had 50 plus in the 4 hours we were there. At one piont I had 7 leach's petrel in one scope view but best of all was whilst I was watching a leach's close to Brazil buoy a juv peregrine stooped from above but just missed and the leach's escaped. Just a great birding moment for me. Another leach's came really close in along the road to Perch Rock and then banked up and flew around the car park in front of a now full shelter before finding the river again and making its way out to sea. After high tide the leach's were just streaming out of the river. This was certainly my best leach's petrel day. One birder had travelled by train and bus today from Durham, NE England to witness this spectacle. He left a happy chappy.

It was around 1300hrs when I picked up what I instantly thought was a sabines gull. It was with a small group of gulls on the far seawall (very distant) . As I watched it I tried to get others on to it and I was certain I had a sabines but it was not easy viewing and then it was lost. The only other person who got on it said he was not sure. Shortly after I did see a 1st w little gull and a few doubts crept in until I spoke to Tony Conway who had been watching on the seaforth side of the river who had good views of a sabines gull close to his side of the river around 1300hrs which fits perfectly with my sabines. Thanks Tony!

Also today a manx shearwater hurtled out of the river, a single and a group of 3 red throated divers came out, a couple of stiff winged fulmars were mid river, 20 little gulls, 2 curlew ,1 house martin and a couple of kittiwakes.
I had to drag myself away at 1500 . What a fabulous day.