Monday, April 28, 2008

Prescot reservoirs,
A female Black redstart found by Bill Crooks was constantly harassed by the local robins and consequently did not stay long. I managed to see it for just a couple of minutes but failed to get any photos before a robin chased it over the fence and it was not seen again. Whilst trying to relocate the black redstart I found a male whinchat with a couple of wheatears by the new pond.
The waders continued to pile in with 22 whimbrel on no 3, 2 little ringed plover, 5 ringed plover,4 dunlin, 3 common sandpipers, and a snipe. 100's of swallows, sand martins and house martins with about 20 swift. 5 white wags, 5 wheatears and 1 lesser redpoll also.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Prescot Reservoirs,
Plenty of waders decided to take advantage of the drained no 3 reservoir this morning. 3 turnstone, 14 ringed plover, 1 little ringed plover, 17 dunlin, 5 common sandpipers, 1 snipe, and 30 lapwing.A common tern ,6 swift and 5 swallows were over the reservoirs in the pouring rain. 3 white wagtails and a couple of wheatears early on.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cronton road, Cronton.
A late redwing was on a roadside verge.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Neumann's flash,
A pair of black winged stilts showed well on the flash this morning. Feeding around a small muddy reed fringed island. The male looking smart with its jet black mantle and wings and the slightly smaller female with her brown mantle and black wings. I've seen stilts many times home and abroad but each time I am always amused at the lenght of those legs compared to the size of the body. The pair were seen mating this morning and were roosting in the reeds when we left.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Prescot reservoirs,
7 whimbrel,1 common sand,6 oystercatcher,1 sand martin, 1 swallow,1 wheatear and 2 green woodpecker

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The north bank,
Halewood, Lower road,
7 wheatear and 2 buzzards nesting.
Hale marsh
5 Black tailed godwits, 1 common sandpiper, 1 yellow wagtail, 6 white wagtails, 2 shellduck and 1 mute swan.
Oglet Lane,
6 wheatears and 4 swallows. Lots of butterflies out today including green viened white.
Speke costal park
2 wheatear, 5 white wag, 30 linnets, 5 goldfinch,12 ringed plover, 10 dunlin,3 curlew, 13 oystercatcher and 22 shellduck. lots of skylarks and meadow pipits displaying.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Prescot reservoirs,
BH+ CD had the first swift and 7 whimbrel early morning, 5 wheatears, 3 redshank, 1 common sandpiper, 2 oystercatchers, 2 whitethroat, 1 goldcrest in pines, 8 goldeneye, 11 great crested grebe, 4 buzzards, 9 grey heron, 2 little grebe, 8 gadwall, 2 shellduck.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The north bank,

Halewood, Lower road,
5 whimbrel and 3 curlew were in a field behind Everton's new training ground.

Hale marsh,
1 common sandpiper still present and a couple of white wags today

Oglet Lane,
5 wheatears were new here and 2 barn swallows were on wires near a 'barn'.

Speke coastal park
1 whimbrel, 13 ringed plovers and 12 dunlin were on rough ground roosting during the high tide. 1 whitethroat, 1 wheatear, 5 white wagtails, 1 1st summer shellduck ,4 buzzards over stockton wood

Prescot reservoirs
16 whimbrel on no 3 tank , 1 little ringed plover, 2 common sandpiper, redshank, 1 snipe grasshopper warbler, whitethroat,5 white wags, 2 shellduck, 8 gadwall, 9 heron, and green woodpecker male calling and showing,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prescot reservoirs
1 grasshopper warbler ,1 whitethroat, 2 dunlin, 2 ringed plover, 2 little ringed plover, 1redshank, as per BC + CD.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The north bank.

Hale marsh,
1 yellow wagtail with 15 white wagtails , little egret still present, 4 redshank,1 common sandpiper. A weasel showed well crossing the main road and then darting into cover.
Speke coastal park,
2 ringed plover were displaying, 5 white wags, and 1 wheatear,
Oglet Lane
40 curlew and 2 whimbrel , buzzard, sparrowhawk and kestrel.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What a Beauty,
An adult ross's gull was an absolute delight to see today. It was a lone gull feeding on the shore just east of Fairhaven lake in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. It showed fairly close for 10 minutes before it flew off to the distant waters edge in the Ribble estuary where it showed on and off hidden in a channel. This was my second attempt at seeing this artic gull. It only stayed for a few hours at Marton Mere a couple of weeks ago and was not seen again until yesterday in a field a couple of miles from here.
A visit to Mythop to see a wood sandpiper was a nice end to the trip. A ruff, common sandpiper, a dunlin, 1 black tailed godwit and a few redshank also here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prescot mudflats,
The mud now showing on no3 reservoir was to much for 22 black tailed godwits and 2 ringed plover to resist. They fed constantly and were still there late afternoon when I left. A common sandpiper was around no4 and 3 white wags were on the causeway. Hopefully the mud will entice a few more goodies in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The north bank,
A lovely sunny day today produced an excellent 35 white wagtails feeding beside the floods around Speke coastal park. Also 3 wheatears, 2 chiffchaffs, 20 meadow pipits, 6 skylarks, 11 linnets,2 stock doves,1 cormorant and a greater spooted woodpecker .

At Oglet Lane a very smart little owl posed on top of a chimney before an angry lapwing chased it off. Also 30 shellduck, 1 turnstone, 20 redshank,10 curlew and good numbers of nesting lapwing.

At hale marsh a flash of yellow was what I was hoping to see today and 2 yellow wagtails amongst the small flock of white wags were nice to see. A little egret was feeding with a heron and 4 redshank and a few lapwing also. A fox looked strange as it sat right out in the middle of a field watching the world go by.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Second attempt bags the spoonbill,
I have always had a soft spot for spoonbills. I think it stems from drooling over the picture of one in my observer book of birds when I was a lad. I still have my copy. A spoonbill at seaforth late Saturday was good news but I could not make it till Sunday morning but of course it had decided to find pastures new by then. So it was nice that it decided to make a come back on Monday afternoon. So off I hurried to see this immature Spoonbill ( black tips to the primaries). It was fairly distant but it gave a fly past after the gulls went up and circled the freshwater pool and then coming down on the causeway. It spent most of its time sleeping but a great bird to see in Merseyside.
Also today 2 common Sandpipers 20 white wagtails, 1 wheatear, 2 little ringed plovers mating on the causeway,32 black tailed godwit some in summer plumage,1 snipe, 40 redshank and 30 little gulls feeding on the freshwater pool.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The north bank.
I thought I would have a look around the Mersey shore in the Speke area of Liverpool today. An industrial park has been built behind what used to be the old Liverpool airport in Speke. The site consists of the Mersey way costal path and shore, some rough grass, some cut grass, some waste land with some flooded pools, a few trees and bushes and parts of the concrete runways still exist.
6 wheatears, 10 white wagtails,4 meadow pipits were making use of the rough ground and runways. A pair of grey partridge were in the rough grass with linnets and goldfinch moving about. Reed buntings,blackbirds, song thrushes and wrens were on the coastal path.
On the shore a whimbrel was with 20 curlew and lots of redshank, oystercatchers, and ring plovers were with them. About 80 shellduck and a few teal and mallard also. A kestrel and a buzzard were up above. There seemed to be gulls prospecting for nest sites on the industrial warehouse roofs and a pair of adult lesser black backed gulls sat beside a flooded pool.As always with these public sites early morning is best before the dog walkers arrive.
I then moved on to Oglet Lane on the eastern side of the airport which is an area of farmland. In a horse paddock there were 4 fieldfare and a couple of mistle thrushes. 40 curlew fed in the fields and a couple of pair of grey partridge were noted.A flock of 30 linnets seemed to be following a curlew as it fed. I am not sure if they were associateing with the curlew for food or protection. A kestrel had just had a go at the flock a few minutes earlier.
At Hale marsh 2 wheatear, 5 white wags, 6 redshank, 2 little grebe and 4 buzzards finished off the day along the north Mersey coast.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Moore Shrike,
A great grey shrike was at the west end of the moore nr today. It showed well, though distant atop of the hawthorn hedges. Lots of tree sparrows and 12 curlew over. A common sandpiper was on birchwood pool with swallows, house martins and sand martins. Nothing of note amongst the gulls today.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Moore gulls,
A juv glaucous gull was starting to moult from its juv plumage. This bird shows some new scapulars, wing coverts and one new tertial. Iceland and glaucous gulls retain thier first set of feathers (juvenile plumage) until the spring so these are the first new feathers this bird has grown since leaving the nest.
At Prescot reservoirs this morning my first house martin of the year was with 6 swallows and 45 sand martins. Blackcap, willow warbler and chiffchaff singing. BH reports common tern from Carr mill dam this morning.
I had a quick look around Howards lane to see if the cattle egret had returned but no sign.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Cattle Egret is a first for St Helens,
At Prescot reservoirs today a 100+ sand martins, 7 swallows, a willow warbler singing, blackcap singing, and several chiffchaff was unexpected considering the cold north wind that chilled me to the bone but it was not as big a suprise as the text that told me a cattle egret was in a field a mile away.
So off we went to see a very obligeing bird feeding around the feet of cattle in a field off Howards Lane, Eccleston. It was found by local birdwatcher Tom Ferguson and is close to the site where Little bunting was found in the 1993/94 winter, its certainly been a very productive area.
This is only the fourth record for Lancashire, the last one being at Martin Mere in Feb 08 but with the recent influx of cattle egrets in the country it surely wont be long before more are recorded.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Moore gulls,
I spent a few hours at the screen hide at birchwood pool today. A juv iceland gull was seen over the tip but it did not visit the pool. A couple of adult, a couple of second summer and a first summer yellow legged gull did visit the pool. I had a possible 2nd summer caspian gull early on but it didn't stay long enough to give it a good grilling. Photos are not that good either! Also a possible glaucous x herring hybrid was of interest.
Probably 80% of the large gulls were lesser black backed gulls today. Only a handful of black headed gull now.

This 2nd summer yellow-legged gull was an absolute brute of a bird. As big as the greater black backed gull next to it.

The 2nd summer in flight.

A possible 2nd summer caspian gull.

A possible 2nd summer caspian gull

A 1st summer yellow-legged gull

This 1st winter bird has a very glaucous gull like bill ?