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Post Info TOPIC: The Wirral


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Female Marsh Harrier being mobbed by black headed gulls over Parkgate marsh at around 2pm today (life tick!) biggrin

Also at Parkgate:

Little egret-20
Grey heron-5
Mute swan
15 Shelduck
Oystercatcher-2
Plenty of skylark, meadow pipits and Linnets on the marsh
Buzzard-2

smile

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Surprisingly disappointing day yesterday at Leasowe, few hours but very few migrants and almost nothing on the sea except a few very distant and unidentified (even with a scope ) gulls, a couple of curlew flew in too.

Around the horse paddocks:

Lots of linnet including at least 3 singing males and a female collecting nesting material.
Skylarks singing (good views of one singing on the ground too, which was odd)
Single male wheatear in a paddock just as I was leaving
46 curlew flew in from sheep fields, presumably going to roost (1 was feeding close by in a paddock earlier in the afternoon)

Lots of the common tits and finches, several blackbirds (none of which were ouzels), 2 mistle thrush as well



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Decided on a day at Leasowe Lighthouse area again to see if any extra migrants had come in. News of another Ring Ouzel there greeted me as I set off but again it was gone by the time I arrived! Every time I choose to go up a Ring Ouzel appears there early, next time maybe I'll set off even earlier. Plenty of other interest though with my first Willow Warbler of the year - a non-singing bird, but showing beautifully feeding along Lingham Lane ranging between the bridge & the entrance to the path to the paddocks, with several Chiffchaffs also in the same area. Two or three Swallows flew in off the sea and lingered for a short time over the stables area near the paddocks, again my first for 2014. A single male Wheatear was in the paddocks with at least 5 more distantly in the sheep fields inland of the paddocks.

The most unexpected sighting came in the afternoon with news of a Glaucous Gull on the sea! It was always distant but showed very well in the scope as it just drifted about in the vicinity of the sea off Dove Point. A drake Common Scoter almost flew over us at one point with large rafts offshore towards the turbines. Several Red-breasted Mergansers and Great-crested Grebes were offshore as well as a few Red-throated Divers, no-one picked up any Great Northern Divers which had been seen earlier this week.


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Hi Paul.
The consolation of missing a Male Ring ouzel, having never seen one, was that I was only there late afternoon so didnt miss it as such.smile Yes the Skylark provide really close views and I see a pair on every visit. Having never seen anything really rare here, the history of it doing so, still attracts visits for me this time of year.

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Hi David, a male Ring Ouzel was in the paddocks area all morning, but I only arrived at Leasowe in the afternoon after it had flown inland. A few more Wheatears were in the paddocks as well as a single White Wagtail (that I saw, 2 were seen by another birder). I too saw over 100 Meadow Pipits moving through the paddocks, as well as a few Skylarks, the Linnet flocks which still contained the Twite and lots of Pied Wagtails and Goldfinches.

Other birders saw at least one Great Northern Diver offshore from the seawall and when the tide went out a Sandwich Tern rested for a short while on the beach.

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A quick mooch around Leasowe lighthouse produced 20 Wheatear with quite a few corking coloured males. Majority of them were in the marshy field adjacent to carpark. Sizeable flocks of Meadow pipit constantly moving in off the sea. I didnt check the horse paddocks so could have missed a good few other birds.

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New Brighton Marine Lake,

Purple Sandpiper 13
Redshank 26
Red Breasted Merganser 1m

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Went up to parkgate last Sunday. The highlight was 2 ringtail hen harriers, and other decent sightings included kestrels, skylarks, little egrets and a fox on the marsh

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Monday, March 17th at New Brighton, over the high tide.

On the Marine Lake pontoons.

Purple Sandpiper 12+
Dunlin 6+
Redshanks.
Turnstones.
BH/Common/Herring Gulls.

Cormorant 2 at sea but nothing else seen.

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A quick lunchtime trip to Riverbank Road, Heswall, to coincide with high tide produced 3 ringtail Hen Harrier, Kestrel and a very active Merlin. No Short-eared Owls seen though by me today

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The big flock of knot are usually off the beach at Thursaston, at least thats where ive seen them last couple of winters. Although I havent been down there this winter. It really is a great area at high tide as the waders come quite close as you can let them come to you. Also it doesnt seem to attract as many dog walkers as the other areas mentioned. New Brighton/Wallasey has become so bad ive given up looking for birds and instead watch were I plant my feet due to the ignorant , lazy dog owners not clearing up.

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Brian Baird wrote:

A visit to the Wirral for the high tide spectacular at Hoylake was I imagine hugely disappointing for a good number of Birders today.

However I started at New Brighton ML before the tide and managed 15 Purple Sandpipers with lots of Redshank and Turnstones roosting on the potoon in glorious spring weather.

On to Kings Gap, Hoylake where there were only a handful of Redshank and a single Pied Wagtail on the shore as the tide came in.

Down Stanley Road to Red Rocks for 100+ Brent Geese and lots of Scoters on the water off Hilbre and beyond. Great Crested Grebes, Curlews and the usual Oystercatchers and Cormorants etc. were also seen here but I failed to see any Divers.

I then called at West Kirby where I finally caught up with a few Knot, 100+ Dunlin, 100+ Redshank, and lots more Turnstones as the tide was retreating.

A pleasant trip to the coast and some good birds in the end, but not the thousands of waders as I and many others were expecting.




-- Edited by Brian Baird on Monday 3rd of March 2014 08:46:21 PM



John Tymon Wrote


I strangely have noticed the same at red rocks, kings gap etc this winter, where have all the knot gone, there used to be 100,000+ waders in that area in winter, but I have seen relatively small number in that area this winter, whether its disturbance by the public on the beaches at high tide, which seems to get worse each visit, with more dogs loose on the beaches and roosting areas or some other reason ,but the numbers seem to be well down in that area on the high tides this winter. Someone told me they were roosting on the welsh side of the estuary ,does anyone know if that is true or are the numbers just much lower this year. The large flocks just don't seem to be there when I visit, saying that I only get there once or twice a month in winter, so others may know different, I hope so anyway :)


-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 3rd of March 2014 09:19:14 PM


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A visit to the Wirral for the high tide spectacular at Hoylake was I imagine hugely disappointing for a good number of Birders today.

However I started at New Brighton ML before the tide and managed 15 Purple Sandpipers with lots of Redshank and Turnstones roosting on the potoon in glorious spring weather.

On to Kings Gap, Hoylake where there were only a handful of Redshank and a single Pied Wagtail on the shore as the tide came in.

Down Stanley Road to Red Rocks for 100+ Brent Geese and lots of Scoters on the water off Hilbre and beyond. Great Crested Grebes, Curlews and the usual Oystercatchers and Cormorants etc. were also seen here but I failed to see any Divers.

I then called at West Kirby where I finally caught up with a few Knot, 100+ Dunlin, 100+ Redshank, and lots more Turnstones as the tide was retreating.

A pleasant trip to the coast and some good birds in the end, but not the thousands of waders as I and many others were expecting.




-- Edited by Brian Baird on Monday 3rd of March 2014 08:46:21 PM

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RSPB High Tide Birdwatch at Parkgate 02/03 - 10/30am - 3pm

4 Hen Harrier - 3 Ringtail, 1 adult male
2+ Short-Eared Owl
1 Peregrine
1 Avocet flying past
1 Water Rail
Lots of Redshank and Curlew
Smaller number of Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Snipe.
Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipits and Skylark all feeding in large numbers as the tide receded.
20+ Little Egrets

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Had a quick, fleeting visit to rspb burton marsh today around midday ish. The Lady volunteer informed Me That id just missed the pair of avocet s that had arrived that morning. I imagine these are the two that doc had reported seen at neumanns flash yesterday.a green winged teal had also been seen Anyway what did I see? Well tobe honest not too much but was only tthere 20 minutes or so. Canada geese, tufted duck, shelduck, widgeon, gadwall, shoveller amongst others. Saw 3 kestrels on route from northwich as well as numerous buzzards. As a side note aren't ravens becoming almost a common sight around the rural surronds of northwich?

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Just a reminder that Cheshire Wildlife Trust is inviting people to join Jeff Clarke on a walk to see waders on the Dee - Wed 5th March 11am

Banks Road is where the marsh meets the mud and as consequence it has a great variety of waders to enjoy.
Lapwings and Golden Plovers roost on the edge of the marsh, Common Redshanks fill the gutters and muddy
banks, and Dunlins and Knots stitch the muddy areas along deep probing specialists like the Black Tailed Godwit.
In addition the area is good for wildfowl and we may see Common Snipe flushed from cover.


THIS EVENT IS TOTALLY FEE please just contact; Tracy Gibson on Email: tgibson@cheshirewt.org.uk Tel: 01948 820728


Friday 14th March
Wirral Wildlife a local group of Cheshire Wildlife Trust are also holding an interesting talk

2013 - A Shorebird Summer
Room B, Heswall Hall, Heswall, 7.30 p.m.
A talk by Matt Thomas, local Ranger and photographer, about his exploits in Norway and Iceland.
For some years Matt has been contributing sightings of colour ringed waders hes seen on the Dee Estuary to research projects based in Norway and Iceland. In the summer of 2013 he was invited to join expeditions to these countries to see where his Dee birds where coming from. In the lands of the midnight sun he found much more to photograph than those colour ringed birds!
Admission £3. All welcome.




-- Edited by Austin Morley on Tuesday 25th of February 2014 04:14:11 PM

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Stockport Birdwatching Society Coach Trip to the Wirral 14.02.2014

In filthy weather 23 brave souls ventured out for the day, first stop New Brighton where 7 Sanderling scurried along on the sand before the waves started pounding the sea wall. Great views were had of Purple Sandpiper (15) and a mixture of approximately 800 Redshank, Turnstone and Dunlin on the pontoon.

Riverbank Road next in even worse weather, a Kittiwake was the highlight here, not surprising really in the conditions!

Onto Parkgate, not much seen here as the majority of the group went to the pub!

Finally onto Denhall Lane were the Buff-bellied Pipit had been reported at lunch time, despite much searching it was not located but fine views were had of a number of Stonechat and a great flypast of a ringtailed Hen Harrier

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High tide at New brighton in spring like sunshine. Most welcome it was too. Red breasted merganser (male). Kittiwake. Both on marine lake. On the pontoon at high tide were Redshank. Purple sandpiper. Turnstone and Dunlin with 2 Cormorant sunbathing. It was as full of birds as ive seen it. Sorry I didnt count the numbers but no scope.

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Parkgate for high tide
10.30-12.15

1 ringtail Hen Harrier, 3 Great Blacked Gulls, 3 Grey Herons, a charm of 30 Goldfinches, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Shovelers & a flock 5 Linnets.

The horse paddocks by the old baths held 8 Redwings & 6 Pied Wagtails.

There was a huge mobile flock of Starlings on the marsh, and in the dry bits large numbers of Lapwings.

Denhall (12.45-14.00)

No sign of Buff Bellied Pipit, although the spot where it has been seen was alive with Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Goldfinches and a few Chaffinches too.

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Well done Pete your persistence paid off in the end.

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Buff Bellied Pipit showed very well around 13:30 today feeding with a flock of Meadow Pipits around the red flag and quite easy to pick out once I'd got my eye in to the generally paler look of the bird. It was third visit lucky so a bit of a relief to see it at last...

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Damn shame for Water Rails. I also saw pictures took that very same weekend where a Grey Heron also eat a Water Rail at Parkgate. I know its nature but its tough to see cry

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What a spectacle that developed at Parkgate today. I really recommend to anyone that hasn't witnessed it before to see the next one in early March. I saw plenty of species and lots of them. Two highlights were my first ever hen harrier flying low and slowly over the waters edge as the tide came in. Also saw a great black backed gull attack and eat a poor water rail. Also saw a female kestrel catch and pluck a small bird on a houses veranda.

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High tide at Parkgate : Water came upto the wall in bright sunshine giving good views of : Short-eared owl, Hen harrier, Peregrine, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, saw 2 Water Rail flushed, shrew and fox trying to keep their feet dry. Great to see and very busy all along the prom.

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Forgot to mention I called in at Neston Sewage works yesterday morning. No sign of Water Pipit but 2 Grey Wagtail and around 50 Redwing. Also saw Grey Wagtail at Parkgate later - forgot to mention in earlier post


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Parkgate

Six species of raptor today:

Merlin 2
Peregrine 2
Kestrel 2
Sparrowhawk 1
Common Buzzard 1
Hen Harrier 3

We also had 8 Short-eared Owls up at once, a Great White Egret (also had one - or the same - at Denhall Lane first thing) and three Brent Geese.

Once the tide was in we spent an hour going through the passerines on the marsh. Hundreds of Skylarks, many Rock Pipits and a single, brief Water Pipit. We spent some time going through the Linnet flock in the morning, neither sight nor sound of any Twite.

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Parkgate over 10.2M high tide, which came in up to the wall.

Highlights,

Peregrine 2
Short eared Owl 2
Hen Harrier 4
Merlin
Water Rail 2
Great White Egret



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No luck with the Buff Breasted Pipit first thing but walked west from the Old baths and was very pleased to see:

3 ring tailed Hen Harriers
4+ Short Eared Owls
Merlin
3+ Kestrels
Linnet flocks - which I heard being misidentified as Twite three times during the morning - I tried to help twice :)
2 Water Rail - including one "hiding" in some rush debris which was quite difficult to pick out even from ten feet or so away
Skylark flocks feeding on the tide edge
Several voles - including one taken by a kestrel as it swam against the wall
Fox against the wall of the pub after high tide
Possible Rock Pipit in with Skylarks
and all the other typical species for along there

Everyone was very friendly and had several good conversations and learnt some new stuff [Like Capercaillie can cross breed with Black Grouse, and that the Short Eared Owls have been much further west along the estuary this year]. It was a good tide with all the marsh being covered to the wall - I guess right down the front at Parkgate as well but I didn't head out in that direction.


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Pontoon on New Brighton Marine Lake at high tide today:

Purple Sandpiper - 11
Red-breasted Merganser - 1
Redshank - 300+
Dunlin - 100+
Turnstone - 20+
Ringed Plover - 2

Then arrived at Parkgate, just as the tide was reaching it's peak. No raptors, apart from Kesterel, but, did see 2 Water Rail and a bedraggled fox.


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Many thanks to the kind gent who pointed out the Buff-bellied Pipit this afternoon. I had literally a five minute slot en route from the Wirral to our daughters in Northwich, so nipped down to Station Road via Burton in the hope of seeing a fair few birders about with scopes up etc. Just the one guy there but managed to get two all too brief views of the flighty bird before I had to reluctantly move on.

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New Brighton Marine Lake,

Shag (juvenile)
Redshank c30
Turnstone
No sign of any Purple Sandpipers

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Burton Marsh Station Rd 9.00 till 10.30

Buff Bellied Pipit, close views however the bird was very flighty and constantly on the move, Making it difficult to locate at times.
Flock of Linnet c 25
Stonechat
Meadow Pipit c30

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Burton Marsh:

Buff-bellied Pipit 1
Stonechat 1m 1f
Meadow Pipits
Linnets
Chaff/Greenfinches
Fieldfare 2
Redwings
etc.

Parkgate:

Hen Harrier 1 ringtail.
Twite 20+
Great White Egret 1
Little Egret 8+
Curlews
Redshank 1
Pink-feet Geese 300+
Shelduck 2
Cormorant 1
Teal/Mallards
Lapwings
Grey Heron 1
etc.


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Nevr mind the birds; plenty of people down at Burton Marsh, at the end of Station Road.
As otheres have said, the Buff-bellied Pipit showing very well. It's constantly on the go, feeding with a group of 20 or so Meadow Pipit's among the plant debris. I saw it find a decent size caterpillar.
Also one Stonechat on the barbed wire fence of the marsh, plus a couple of Siberian Chiffchaff, showing incredibly well - to 4-5 foot - amongst the hedges just past the pipit location (as John says, just past the cafe).
I then moved on to Inner Marsh Farm. Delighted to see female Hen Harrier, plus 6 Curlew, many Shoveler and 3 Little Egret. Plus large flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover.

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Denhall Lane 8.30-10.00
Buff Bellied Pipit showed very well as John said below.
1 Stonechat
20 Linnets

Burton Mere RSPB
Little Stint in with the Dunlin
Good numbers of Golden Plover

Parkgate
2 Hen Harriers


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Denhall Lane 11.30-15.30
Buff Bellied pipit-showed well all day down to 10 feet at times , still present at 3.30pm café end of lane.
Siberian Chiffchaff-2 up by the café
Hen Harrier- 2 fem/imm , 1 seen to catch a small bird,nmost likely a starling
Dunlin-c200 on the pools just off the lane with a few Knot
Peregrine-2
Merlin-1
Linnet-25
Stonechat-4

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Buff-Bellied pipit showed well at bottom of station rd this am down to about 15 feet. Brief views only as the pipits were very flighty. Had disappeared by 11am but will surely be back.

Also on the tide wrack: meadow pipits, chaffinch, greenfinch, lots of linnets, starling, robin, dunnock, wren etc. Sparrowhawk and merlin reported. Difficult to count anything due to the number of ditches and mounds to hide in/behind and also because there was a lot of movement.

Grey heron and mistle thrush in the fields. Mute swan over.

Probable siberian chiffchaff showed well; it was very dull, and didn't have any yellow in the supercilium, but quite brownish and not much yellow visible on the elbows of the wings. So I'm not too sure!

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Managed to see the bird. Great views down to 30 or so feet. Still present when I left mid afternoon.

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Ta John.

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Craig Higson wrote:

Anyone know if the Buff bellied pipit is still around. I saw it was still there yesterday but nothing today. Don't really want to waste time if its not around.





Its been reported a few times today, and most people I have spoken to there recon it will be there all winter, and if its about its pretty easy to see. :)

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Anyone know if the Buff bellied pipit is still around. I saw it was still there yesterday but nothing today. Don't really want to waste time if its not around.

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Two FREE Cheshire Wildlife Trust Guided Walk Events

1)Parkgate High Tide Birdwatch-A guided walk with ecologist Jeff Clarke to observe the local bird life and winter migrants. Sun 2nd Feb 10.30 Parkgate

We will concentrate on raptors, waders and wildfowl; with it being a 10.2m tide we may see a Water Rail or two and possibly some small mammals swimming for shore. In the nearby vicinity there will be many other birds to see including Skylarks, Rock Pipits, finches and possibly a few Scandinavian Thrushes. Once it reaches high tide we will walk down to the Donkey stand Flash and look for roosting waders.

2)Waders on the Dee - With Jeff Clarke. Wed 5th March 11am

Banks Road is where the marsh meets the mud and as consequence it has a great variety of waders to enjoy.
Lapwings and Golden Plovers roost on the edge of the marsh, Common Redshanks fill the gutters and muddy
banks, and Dunlins and Knots stitch the muddy areas along deep probing specialists like the Black Tailed Godwit.
In addition the area is good for wildfowl and we may see Common Snipe flushed from cover.


BOTH EVENTS ARE TOTALLY FEE please just contact

Tel: 01948 820728

Email: tgibson@cheshirewt.org.uk


-- Edited by Austin Morley on Monday 13th of January 2014 03:22:25 PM

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Denhall Lane 9.30 - 10.15am bitterly cold biting wind. Highlights.

Stonechat 2
Wheatear
Linnet
Golden Plover c80

No sign of the Buff bellied Pipit, although allegedly seen earlier

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Simon Gough wrote:

Great day at Parkgate today

Jonathan, I saw 2 Twite today with a flock of 7 Linnet, by Heswall Golf Club, which was where I spent the whole day. Feeding with Pied Wagtails, Reed Bunting Chaffinch and Skylarks. No other bugger was even looking at the small birds! Must have been 150 Skylarks too.

Didn't get a Water Rail where we were, but I saw a Snipe go up. We got 4 Short-eared Owl there, but I think there was a fifth. First time for me today seeing them, you were the guy who told me to go to the Dee to see them, so thanks mate. Very very pleased with that. I got a good look at the Great White Egret too.


 Brilliant Simon! So glad you got to see them, not many have been showing in recent months.



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Volunteering at Parkgate yesterday over high tide. Not as high as expected but:

2+ ringtail hen harriers (probably more)
1+ peregrine
1 kestrel
merlin reported
short-eared owl reported
Large numbers of wildfowl inclu 500+ teal
20+ skylark
20+ pied wagtail
1 grey wagtail
water rail flew from marsh across the road and landed on the windowsill of a house just across the road from us, perched there for 5 min staring at its reflection in the window, and then dropped into a garden out of sight!!!
Large numbers of PF geese in the distance
2 great white egret etc. smile

-- Edited by Tanmay Dixit on Sunday 5th of January 2014 12:47:09 PM

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Great day at Parkgate today

Jonathan, I saw 2 Twite today with a flock of 7 Linnet, by Heswall Golf Club, which was where I spent the whole day. Feeding with Pied Wagtails, Reed Bunting Chaffinch and Skylarks. No other bugger was even looking at the small birds! Must have been 150 Skylarks too.

Didn't get a Water Rail where we were, but I saw a Snipe go up. We got 4 Short-eared Owl there, but I think there was a fifth. First time for me today seeing them, you were the guy who told me to go to the Dee to see them, so thanks mate. Very very pleased with that. I got a good look at the Great White Egret too.



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Parkgate:

We had at least three Short-eared Owls at high tide, along with five Peregrines, a Merlin, Sparrowhawk, ring-tailed Hen Harrier and Kestrel. A Great White Egret was off the car park for most of the morning, a Water Rail flew in off the marsh, and I picked up two distant drake Common Scoter on the edge of the flooded marsh, first ones I've seen from Parkgate. Six dark-bellied Brent Geese flew up the estuary towards Hilbre, presumably the birds that have been present at Oakenholt Marsh recently.

Denhall Lane:

Usual Wheatear, Stonechats and Chiffchaffs present. Apparently a Twite has been seen with the Linnet flock. Four Short-eared Owls were perched up on posts after the high tide, along with two Merlins, a ring-tailed Hen Harrier flew by. A Bar-headed Goose was with a mixed Canada/Greylag Goose flock, I was told half a dozen Barnacle Geese had been present over the high tide too.



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Burton Marsh(Denhall Lane) after high tide.

Stonechat                            1m 1f

Siberian Chiffchaff                      1

Wheatear                                  1

Water Rail                                 1

Snipe                                         1

Meadow/Rock Pipits

Skylarks

Linnets

Pink-footed Geese

Kestrel                                      1

etc.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 3rd of January 2014 07:35:04 PM

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Had really good views of the buff-bellied pipit on Burton Marsh early afternoon yesterday; the debate continued as to its race but I think the consensus is that it is rubescens.

 

 



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Parkgate and Burton marsh on a stunning, sunny last evening of 2013. Ringtail Hen harrier from old baths. Female Stonechat with Meadow pipits in tidal wrack. Flock of Linnet and Goldfinch moving around and stunning close up view of Reed Bunting. Then onto the mayhem that is Denhall lane. Cars bumper to bumper down there. No luck with Buff bellied pipit but nice view of very late Wheatear. Also a stoat scuttling over the tidal wrack with a frog in its mouth.

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