Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prescot reservoirs

Adult ring billed gull still

Monday, September 28, 2009

Peacocks and chiffchaffs,

An exhausted chiffchaff was rescued by my wife in a peacocks shop today. As members of staff ignored the poor little bird flying against the window she calmly picked it up and put it in a small cardboard box not wanting to release it in a huge car park. She arrived home saying she had a surprise for me. I wasn't expecting a warbler. I put it in a small cage for a couple of minutes to check it was ok and then released it into the garden were it started feeding straight away .It really was almost wieghtless when I had it in my hand for a couple of seconds but a pleasure to see one so close.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vis Mig at Prescot reservoirs,
There was a lot of birds moving through today with Meadow pipits and skylarks being the most numerous. With the help of Chris Derrie's excellent hearing we notched up 180 meadow pipits, 38 skylarks ,19 chaffinch, 100 + swallows, 150 house martins, 10 mistle thrushes, 30 pied wagtails and a couple of grey wagtails .This was just a couple of hours watching.
The 4 Little egrets that moved through east to west mid morning were an excellent record for the reservoirs doubling St Helens total number of little egrets in one go.
Also 6 song thrushes were on site with a single wheatear, 5 snipe, 3 mute swans, 4 blackcaps munching elderberries, 4 buzzards, kestrel and peregrine on a pylon.
A green sandpiper was on the wastewater balancing tank. This bird has been a regular visitor this autumn.
The red-breasted goose was with 78 barnacles that no doubt will end up at martin mere sometime during the winter.
Yesterdays adult ring-billed gull appeared mid morning to join 2 adult yellow legged gull, 105 lesser black backs, 20 herring gull, 60 common gull and 80 black headed gulls.
A text from Steve W with news of a long billed dowitcher at imf could not tempt me away today. Andy S and Pete K totally gripped me off with replies to my text to say that the Sandhill crane was showing well !!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Prescot reservoirs.
Found this adult ring billed gull today on no4 res. Adult yellow legged gull and adult med gull also

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crosby coastguards,
With the recent easterlies and a south easterly today I thought I would try my luck on the Merseyside coast. Seaforth had 4/5 chiffchaffs but not much else on the migrant front so I moved on up the coast to Coastguards. There is a clump of sycamores that always looks like it could have a decent migrant or two in the right conditions. Today a tree pipit , a few chiffchaffs, 2 whitethroats were decent birds .
Best bird though was a Hippo warbler that gave brief but good views . It was not enough to clinch which spiecies it was. Initial views said hippo instantly but it was not the bright yellow/green spring type bird but a rather plain brownish colour on the upper parts and just off whiteish underparts . A prominent pale eyering on a very plain face with no obvious supercillium . The wings were plain with no wing bars or no obvious pale panel as in icky. I probably watched it well for about 10 seconds before it flew to another sycamore and never saw it again despite searching for another hour.

I must admit I was not sure about this bird in the field but when I got home and looked in 'Collins' ,1st winter melodious warbler was a perfect match to the bird I had been watching. No photos, single observer and brief views, this will probably be one that got away.....

20 pinkfeet over the golf course reminded me that winter was not far away.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Garden insects.

Melascaeava cinctella
dusky thorn

Parent bug, Elasmucha grisea . This small shield bug (about 8mm) is so named because the female sits on her eggs and young nymphs to protect them from parasites.

Episyrphus balteatus
Flesh fly
Some spiders in the garden today

money spider
garden spider

The harvest 'spider' is not actually a true spider and belongs to a completely different family.They only have 2 eyes which are usually on stalks and cannot grow a leg back if it looses one or two as spiders can.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

New brighton. Big NW blow produces some star birds.
To busy to get down for Fridays haul of sea birds which included sooty shear and balearic shear and all 4 squas but a juv sabines gull on the beach at Meols and 2 great and several artic squa were good birds today along with manx shearwater, common scoter, a couple of red throated diver, gannets and fulmars. There were Leachs petrels on show today but very distant from our position and where just black dots in the swell. Best bird of the day was seen by 2 lucky observers on the seaforth side. A wilsons storm petrel close to the sea wall but unfortunately it was just to far away to be seen from the new brighton side in the choppy Mersey mouth. A first for Lancashire.
A couple of pics of a juv cuckoo at Prescot res and a sand martin colony in St Helens during the summer.