Sunday, December 21, 2008

The shortest day,
A trip up the Sefton coast to see the twite at Weld Rd, Birkdale today. A flock of about 40 were showing fairly well just north of the car park. Several with coloured rings on thier legs. Apparently the birds that winter on our coast are from the Outer Hebrides, the pennine twite wintering in Norfolk. I will check out the ring on the bird photographed and let you know any details.
It was then on to just north of the pier were some snow buntings had been reported. I had only just got out the van when a very large falcon flew south, low along the beach towards the pier it then turned and flew off high over Southport. It had rufous brown mantle and wing coverts with contrasting dark primaries and dark tail.This very impressive falcon was bigger than a peregrine and probably a Saker / hybrid type falcon.
Initially no sign of the snow buntings but another check before we left produced 3 flighty birds just south of the salt marsh. Another flock of about 4o twite here also.
On to the sandplant and a superb male hen harrier gave an good show hunting fairly close on the salt marsh. 2 merlin also here today with several hundred pinkfeet.

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