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Post Info TOPIC: The Wirral


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RE: The Wirral


It might not be completely common knowledge, but a healthy roost of Marsh Harriers seems to have sprung up at Neston Reedbed this autumn. I saw 10 come in on the 5th but I wasn't sure it was OK to post it. Having spoken to RSPB people from Burton Mere in the meantime, they aren't concerned about it being posted, in fact they published an article on their website describing the roost and its location. So the birds we saw today were mostly heading in there to roost, with 1 out hunting the tideline. I wasn't really counting today and also the birds that have already dropped in can fly up again when another bird flies over, but there have evidently been 12 counted in to there in recent weeks, so it might have been 10+, but I'd have said 7-8 myself. But that is plenty by anyone's standards! Also interesting to see if the Hen Harriers will begin roosting with the Marshies. The male Hen headed that way before it got dark, and the ringtails I saw the other week were nowhere to be seen at the Old Baths.

The setting sun created some spectacularly attractive views across the marsh. What a great place to see out the afternoon.



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Afternoon visit to Parkgate with Simon Gough.

Birds included...
- 1 cracking male Hen Harrier (seen twice)
- 10+ Marsh Harrier
- 1 Short-eared Owl
- 1 Merlin
- 2 Peregrine

- Water Rail and Tawny Owl heard from the Old Baths car park then a Tawny Owl seen in flight not far from Neston.

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Just over three and a half hours on the estuary today from 11am, split between Denhall Lane and Quayside by the Harp Inn. Weather cool and windy but we managed to avoid any rain. High tide was a few minutes before midday.

Some great raptor activity and plenty of geese around too. Lots of toing and froing way out by the river, some of it too distant to identify. We were to have gone on to Parkgate to finish the afternoon but decided to pay a quick visit to Burton Mere Wetlands instead, after hearing the Long eared Owl had been showing. There was also the probability of adding Cattle Egret to the day list. Amongst others :-

Marsh Harrier (4-5)
Hen Harrier r/t (2)
Merlin (1)
Peregrine (1)
Kestrel (1)
Buzzard (1)
Short eared Owl (2)
Long eared Owl (1) (BMW)
Cattle Egret (6) (BMW)
Little Egret (c.35)
Great White Egret (1)
Green Woodpecker (1)
Ruff (3)
Black tailed Godwit (c.25)
Dunlin
Brent Goose (150 min)
Pink footed Goose (c.450)



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1130-1530 at the Harp Inn

Hen Harrier 3 - including the sublime adult male bird, what a beauty!
Marsh Harrier 3 at least
Merlin 2
Short-eared Owl 2
Stonechat 2
Kingfisher 1
Hundreds of Pink-footed Geese

I've never seen a Kingfisher anywhere near the marsh before, but this bird was zipping along one of the saltmarsh channels. The male Hen Harrier showed 4 times in all, once when a Shortie provoked it into the air. I saw it catch a bird in flight at one point and then drop down to eat it; it came close enough that you could see its yellow eyes. This was a classic Dee Estuary day.

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last hour of light at the harp inn...

4 short eared owls
3 hen harriers, 2 ringtails & stonking male constantly being harassed by a crow driving it further out towards the dee.
4 marsh harriers, again in one scope view
1 merlin
2 kestrel
1 stonechat
3 great white egret, distant
lots of little egrets going to roost
plus all the usuals

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saburke


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A good three hours on the estuary this afternoon, mainly Denhall Lane with a final hour at Parkgate, Old Baths car park. Weather sunny and quite pleasant.

Several hundred Canada Goose were seen out from Denhall Lane on the flooded marsh but the main players were two Peregrine, a minimum two Marsh Harrier and a ring tail Hen Harrier. A Great White Egret was noted and there was a Ringed Plover and two Ruff on Decca Pools.

At Parkgate, the star bird was a male Hen Harrier. Initially hidden, straight out from the car park, the bird emerged after a half hour wait to give superb views in the lovely light conditions. It quartered the marsh, first off to the right then moving far left, opposite the bottom end of the village, not before having a brief spat with a female Marsh Harrier. A Peregrine was also present, opposite the car park, preening on a branch sticking up out of the marsh.

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after burton mere i spent around 45 mins at the harp inn...

1 hen harrier, ringtail.
4 marsh harriers, all in one scope view.
1 merlin
1 peregrine falcon
3 kestrel
lots of little egrets going to roost.


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saburke


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Old gun site at Leasowe. 08:20 till 13:30ish. Lots of waders batting around at high tide including the usual suspects of Dunlin, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Redshank and Oystercatchers. A cracking adult Arctic Skua was a great sight as was a Juvenile Red-throated Diver just off the beach. Loads and loads of Common Scoter, i.e. thousands in the distance. Also hundreds of Meadow Pipits streaming in across the sea. Several thousand in the time i was there. It was also nice to see the Sandwich Terns and a few Common Terns still knocking around.

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Friday 30th September
Leasowe Lighthouse sea front for high tide at approx 11am.

Firstly...
3 Sanderling and 1 Dunlin - all 4 very confiding birds to within feet of me on the sea defence blocks near the car park. The splashing waves eventually got too much for them.

Of note on / around the rocks to the west of the lighthouse.
- Redshank c200
- Dunlin c25
- Oystercatcher 2
- Turnstone 7
- Ringed Plover 5
- Little Egret 8
- Grey Heron 1
- Common Gull 2

Out to sea.
- Common Scoter, masses on the sea and flying around, I couldn't put a number on it.
- Meadow Pipit, constantly flying in off the sea, couple 100 at least
- Sandwich Tern 11 fishing
- Curlew 1 over the sea

When the tide receded, 100's of Oystercatchers started appearing out on the salt flats, they must've roosted elsewhere at high tide.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Friday 30th of September 2016 09:21:32 PM

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Saturday 20th. 7.30pm donkey stand flash, parkgate.

1 little stint, showing well
7 dunlin
1 black tailed godwit
200+ redshank
4 marsh harriers, up in the air at once
3 kestrels
lots of little egrets passing over going to roost.



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saburke


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Hoylake over high tide

Wet and windy conditions made worse by dog walkers and two Lifeboat tractors on the beach.
Highlights were:-
Sandwich Terns
Common Terns
Little Terns
Knot
Dunlin
Sanderling
Grey Plover
Ringed Plover
A few Bar-tailed Godwit
and a scattering of Curlew Sandpiper in the Dunlin flocks

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27/07/16
Merlin through Parkgate at circa 1600.

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Burton Marsh:

Short songs heard from a Sedge Warbler and a Grasshopper Warbler as we walked to Net's Café.
Also a singing Reed Bunting, 10+ Swallows and 80+ House Martins near the café, with many juveniles.

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Phil Greenwood


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Burton Marsh - Decca Pools 8.15 - 10.00am Highlights

Spoonbill 1 juvinile on Decca Pools towards Harp Inn end
Avocet 4
Great White Egret
Little Egret c20
Peregrine
Sedge Warbler many singing

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Single House Martin over New Brighton seafront yesterday afternoon



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Over to Parkgate today for a 10m tide, which ended up hitting the seawall and doing a top job of flushing everything. Nothing too surprising, although I did pick up a pair of Eiders on the water as the tide was almost at it's peak. Watching from the Old Baths, first good bird for me was a Great White Egret. Then a Hen Harrier showed very well in front of us, I figured a female as it was very pale underneath and looked like all the pictures I've seen. Awesome to watch, not a bird you can get tired of.

When the tide was really up the Short-eared Owls started appearing, with 5 showing brilliantly in the end. At one point 4 landed about 100m out on a slightly raised bit of ground. They all lingered nicely until the water won the battle. Finally a couple of Water Rails appeared with assorted rodents, as the water kept on coming. I saw voles and shrews, as far as I could tell being no expert.

There was a smart adult Peregrine out there too, but I didn't manage any Merlin. Of note was the hundreds of Curlews, more than I have seen before, and many hundreds of Pink-footed Geese. I only saw a few Snipe and no Lapwings, which must be related to the time of year. It was also lovely to hear the constant soundtrack of Meadow Pipits singing, outvoicing Skylarks for once.

Great to see Alan and Beryl Turner, whom I had last seen at Ashton Moss in February. When we heard about the Green-winged Teal at Burton Mere they very kindly offered me a lift down there. I've posted on that thread for the birds seen down there

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Leasowe Lighthouse area - Monday 12-2:40.
Ring Ouzel (1) - but another bird reported off Park lane
Wheatear - (c 20) 10 in field behind the lighthouse, and 2 in the Horse paddocks, other along the sea wall - I overheard a local birder saying he had done a sweep of the area for wheatear and counted c. 75.
White Wagtail - in field behind the light house with 2 pied. Another in paddock fields
2 sand martins over.

Dropped into Burton Reserve 3:15-4
Little Owl (1) - on the second oak tree to the right the farm which is on the left hand side of the path which runs left from the main hide
Sparrowhawk (1)
Marsh Harrier (1)
Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martins


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Leasowe Lighthouse area, Sun 3 April mid pm

1 Ring Ouzel (m) Langham Lane 1st field on left
1 obvious White Wagtail in paddocks with Pied Wagtails (m+f)
1 Wheatear (m) in paddocks
sev Chiffchaff
~40 Linnet
3 Meadow Pipits
1 prob Blackcap (heard only)

-- Edited by John Watson on Monday 4th of April 2016 08:49:50 AM

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Neston Sewage Works - spent a couple of hours early afternoon to see if I could see the Water Pipit and/or the recently reported Firecrest. No Luck as very quiet - but ..
Chiffchaff 1-2
Cetti's Warbler calling
Meadow Pipit (c 30) - scanned many times !
Redwing (c 25)
Goldcrest (very few)

Burton Mere - Highlights;
Morning not fruitful but returned in the afternoon;
Wheatear (1)
Sand Martin (2)
Apparently the Little Owl has been showing the last couple of days. Only a possible brief view for me but couldn't get it in the scope before it bobbed off. Apparently its not showing by the barns but is in the row of oaks at the top end of the field on the left hand side of the path as you walk out towards the barns (i.e. up towards the farm).

Chris

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just had an email that there is a Wheatear in the horse paddocks at Leasowe Lighthouse, so the season has started, a nice place for a day out over Easter if you can dodge the forecast showers on some days!!



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Denhall lane
Merlin
Peregrine
Great White Egret 2
Little Egret 10+

Neston Sewarage Works
Water Pipit - moulting into summer plumage with a grey head, thick white supercilium and a light pink flush visable on the flanks
Meadow Pipit 5
Chiffchaff
Goldcrest 2
Greenfinch
Pied Wagtail 4
Sparrowhawk

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I tried my luck with reports of a black redstart at quayside, the harp inn, but that soon faded shortly after I pulled up & I realised the high tide had just gone out & there was lots of activity going on out on the marsh.
5-6 short eared owl
1 ring tailed hen harrier
lots of little egrets
1 great white egret
teal
curlew
lapwing
redshank
meadow pipits
skylarks
2 stonechat
hundreds of pink-footed geese

neston sewage works..

at least 4 chiffchaff
1 water pipit, feeding with meadow pipits in the field next to the sewage works
2 cettis warbler, heard only
2 buzzard
1 kestrel

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saburke


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Had a great half hour at parkgate this evening; a hen harrier put on a good show quite close in and 2 short eared owls had a brief dogfight. One flew off after about 30 seconds and disappeared, and the other dropped back to the ground, only to be mobbed by a kestrel for a while

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new brighton at high tide.

10 purple sandpiper
300+ redshank
40+ turnstone
60+ dunlin
all on the pontoon.

decca pools..

1 ringtail hen harrier
1 peregrine falcon
1 merlin
wigeon
teal
lapwing, several golden plover amongst them.
40+ dunlin

quayside..

2 short eared owl
2 stonechat, with reports of a spoonbill not too far away I decided to stay late & watch the egrets come over to go to roost incase a spoonbill happened to join them but no luck, plenty of little egret & 2 great white egret.



-- Edited by steven burke on Sunday 21st of February 2016 11:04:11 PM

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saburke


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Phil Woollen wrote:

Hi Rob.

Water Pipit is a major, major rarity on Hilbre and a description species in Cheshire! There are a couple of Rock Pipits overwintering. Could you have mistaken these for Water Pipits?

Did you stay over the high tide and see the Purple Sandpipers all together or as individuals? We've had a maximum count of 3 recently although your birds could have been displaced from New Brighton Marine lake.

Edit: there have been no previous records of Water Pipit on Hilbre in living memory.



-- Edited by Phil Woollen on Wednesday 17th of February 2016 03:26:15 PM





Originally posted today by Rob Smith:

Hi Phil

Thanks, my mistake Rock Pipits

Re Purple Sandpipers. I stayed as late as the tides would let me ca16.00. Two were initially present but were joined by the others in 1s & 2s as the tide rose?

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Hi Rob.

Water Pipit is a major, major rarity on Hilbre and a description species in Cheshire! There are a couple of Rock Pipits overwintering. Could you have mistaken these for Water Pipits?

Did you stay over the high tide and see the Purple Sandpipers all together or as individuals? We've had a maximum count of 3 recently although your birds could have been displaced from New Brighton Marine lake.

Edit: there have been no previous records of Water Pipit on Hilbre in living memory.



-- Edited by Phil Woollen on Wednesday 17th of February 2016 03:26:15 PM

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A cool, bracing & blustery trip out to the Hilbre Island yesterday to catch up with what was around.

Brent Geese 160

Purple Sandpipers 10

Grey Plover 2

Knot 200 feeding on the rocks & then ca1000 flying across the sands on the way back

Common Scoter 1 on its own & close in to the island

Water Pipit 2

Shag 1 sadly freshly dead on the rocks

Also usual Turnstones; Curlew, Oystercatchers & Redshanks and around 30 Grey Seal on the sand bank

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Went for a Valentine's Day walk in the sun starting at Neston (luckily my wife is an avid birder too!!)

Met up with a local patcher who lives at Ness & we searched the old quay area where his patch insinct came in handy, spotting a pipit across the field in a tree. Just as I got the scope on it, it flew but not before I could see the pale underparts, clear wing-bars & bold supercilium, it had to be a Water Pipit. My wife followed its flight to the next field where we found it feeding in a damp hollow where it gave great scoped views to us all & comfirmed my first ID, winter plumaged Water Pipit smile A quick sacn of the marsh from the Old Quay revealed a distant but obviously large egret, which obligingly turned its head revealing its huge yellow beak, a Great White Egret. No raptors but a good start.

We then headed to Denhall Lane where we walked along the path towards Decca Pools. A pair of Stonechats were the first notable species right next to the path. More distant was a single Golden Plover amongst the Lapwings. Other waders included Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin & Redshank. Finally the scanning paid off with a ringtail Hen Harrier that even landed on a hummock & gave fab scoped views on the deck, something I rarely see smile Both male and female Merlins were seen on posts, showing really well and staying long enough for us to show lots of other birders these diminutive falcons through my scope. A second (probably since we hadn't seen the other fly back this way) Great White Egret was also seen out on Burton Marsh.

Over 50 species were seen in a relaxing stroll in warm sunshine which ended with a Valentine's Hot Chocolate & homemade slab of cake sat outside Nets Cafe looking out at Burton Marsh at the days end biggrin

 



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Trip to Parkgate yesterday produced stunning veiw of a Ringtail Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier showed briefly, plus two Great White Egrets showing well on the marsh, with one later seen flying off to roost. Plenty of wildfowl and Little Egrets around but sadly no Short eared Owls for me. All in all an enjoyable days birding, with no rain. biggrinbiggrinbiggrin



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Popped down & followed the tide in along the path down towards Parkgate Old Baths from the end of Cottage Lane.

The tide looked like it wasn't going to get very far in but in the last 15mins it raced in & was up the wall alongside the path. Highlights included 4 Short-eared Owls, a male & female Peregrine, a flushed (by the tide) Jack Snipe, a Brambling amongst lots of Chaffinches and a Great White Egret. The latter hadn't been reported out when I looked at my pager so dutifully (relating to another thread!!) I reported it to mates at the info services.

I know others who were there earlier saw harriers too but not for me this time.



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For information there are High Tide events on the Wirral today and tomorrow with 10m tides expected. The following is taken from Richard Smiths Dee Estuary Birding Website at http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/:

"Wednesday 10th February and Thursday 11th February -RSPB High Tide Birdwatch, Parkgate.
Start 10.45hrs on 10th and 11.30hrs on 11th - It is recommended to arrive at least an hour before high tide which is: 12.15hrs on Feb 10th, 10.0m; 12.57hrs on Feb 11th, 10.0m.

The marsh at Parkgate is one of the best wetland habitats in the northwest, and when it is flooded by an incoming Spring high tide, the wildlife which lives here is pushed closer, potentially delivering an awe-inspiring spectacle. Join us at Parkgate's Old Baths car park and the Donkey Stand near Nicholl's ice cream shop, where we'll be set up with marquees and telescopes hoping for the right weather conditions to really push the tide in.

You can expect great views of the large numbers of wintering wildfowl and wading birds shifting around to avoid the rising water, whilst the small mammals living on the marsh are flushed from cover, offering a feeding frenzy for the resident kestrels and hopefully harriers and short-eared owls returning for the winter.

Car parking is limited on Parkgate promenade, but there is free public parking at the Old Baths car park (CH64 6RN) at the north end of The Parade, and the Wirral Country Park car park on Station Road (CH64 6QJ). There are public toilets at Mostyn Square in the middle of The Parade, and a number of pubs and cafes for refreshments.

Additional parking has also kindly been offered at Marsh Nurseries, Boathouse Lane (postcode CH64 6RD).

Please note: the height of the tide can be hugely affected by the weather conditions on the day. In the event of high pressure and calm conditions, the tide will cover much less of the marsh and not reach the sea wall, whilst low pressure and strong Westerly winds will help push the tide in and offer the greatest spectacle. We recommend you check the weather forecast on the day to know exactly what to expect."

Especially note the overspill parking available at Marsh Nurseries which will be very useful as these events get very busy and parking can be difficult to find smile

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 10th of February 2016 10:47:12 AM

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Burton Marsh along Denhall lane towards Neston, Highlights

Great White Egret 2, could be the same bird just moving around
Little Egret 9
Merlin, female perched up low down on a gate
Short eared Owl distant views across the marsh
Whooper Swan 6

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afternoon visit to denhall lane, quayside & neston sewage works.

1 possibly 2 ring tail hen harrier
2 possibly 3 short eared owl, 1 distant view from denhall lane, then 2 seen close in from the harp inn.
1 marsh harrier
1 merlin
1 great white egret
plenty of little egret
big numbers of pink footed geese

a look around neston sewage works for yesterdays firecrest but no signs.
a nice mixed flock of starlings with redwings, several goldfinch & greenfinch amongst them.
13 pied wagtail
2 grey wagtail
1 chaffinch
lots of corvids
61 collared dove sat in one tree.

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A look around Birkenhead docks this morning produced the hoped for 1st winter drake Scaup that has been present the past few days. The bird was mingling with a sizable flock of Great crested grebes in the area referred to as the east float, close to the clock tower. Best viewing point was Tower road. There was no sign of the Great northern diver that was spotted later on in the afternoon while I was there, but that was fine because I'd already been to West Kirby marine lake and saw the Diver that has been there for a while. The bird was hanging around the South end of the lake near the rocks were the waders roost. I saw the bird feed twice, and in the pictures I took it appears to be eating crabs, which other birders have noted previously. There were no waders on the wader roost rocks, but there were a few Turnstones and redshanks near the Jetty's at the north end, and a very showy Red breasted merganser was also seen.

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Paul Richardson wrote:

Greenfinch looking spectacular in the Morning light - a much underestimated beauty!
smile



Well said, Paul. Some of our most common birds are the most beautiful. They are passed over merely because they are commonplace. Otherwise who would get excited at seeing a Twite? wink

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Managed to dip on both Long Eared Owl AND Water Pipit - but really enjoyed the quiet of a sunny early morning from Neston Old Quay to the sewage works stream.

Of note were

Stonechat
Merlin
Short Eared Owl
Marsh Harrier
Linnet in numbers
Plentiful Curlew
Reed Bunting
Greenfinch looking spectacular in the Morning light - a much underestimated beauty!
smile

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Spent an hour or so around Neston Old Quay after a morning at Burton Marsh / IMF dipping the Long Eared Owl.
Of note;
Water Pipit (1) - good views by the bridge over the stream that runs down from Neston sewage works
Twite (1) - in same area as above - flew over calling and landed in tree giving good views.
Short eared owl (1)
Marsh Harrier (1)



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Had a cracking day up and down the Wirral with my friend Paul Morris yesterday, starting at the crack of dawn at West Kirby and ending it at Burton before dusk.  I wasn't on a bird race, we were simply pottering about ad-hoc and looking out for birds on the way as I visited some old haunts - but we ended the day with 80 species, several of which were notable, so a good day in the field.  Pretty cold though and when I kitted up for the stroll over to Hilbre and realised my hat, snood and gloves were on the table at home it was chilly start, with some frozen fingers whilst sea watching for an hour on Hilbre!?

The following were notable sightings throughout the day:

 

West Kirby - Marina (08:30)

Great Northern Diver - 1

Red-breasted Merganser - 6

GC Grebe 8

 

Hilbre Island (09:30)

Scaup - 1 fem

Common Scoter - 30-40 distant

Purple Sandpiper - only 3

Sanderling - 1

Lots of Oystercatcher (1,000 +), some Dunlin (10+), Turnstone (50+), Redshank (100+) Grey Plover (5+), Bar-tailed godwit (50+), Curlew (200+), GC Grebe (20+), Little Egret (2), Pintail 1, Wigeon 8.  What was notable was a complete lack of Brent Geese anywhere on three islands or Tansky rocks, perhaps taking a day trip to North Wales!?  Either way it was a first for me not to encounter any Pale Bellies here!?

 

Thurstatson (11:30)

Pintail - 100+

Knot 5,000+

Dunlin 1,000+

Also plenty of Shelduck (50+), Redshank (200+), Curlew (200+), Lapwing (1,000+), Little Egret (2) and other waders/wildfowl.

 

Heswall (12:00)

Chiffchaff - 2

No sign of any Pallas's Leaf Warbler or even a Goldcrest, but was extremely cold down there!?!?

 

Gayton Sands (12:30)

Merlin - 1 (distant female/1st winter male)

Buzzard - 2

Little Egret - 8

Marsh Harrier - 2 (both female types)

Pink-footed Goose 500+

 

Parkgate 13:00

Marsh Harrier - 1 (both female types)

Hen Harrier - 2 (both ringtails)

Little Egret - 4

Raven - 1

 

Denhall Lane (or more towards the cyclists cafe - that is closed until the end of the month unfortunately) 13:30

Short-eared Owl - 2 (very close flying and perched)

Great White Egret - 1 (brief and poor view)

Marsh Harrier - 1 (female type)

 

Burton Mere Wetlands 14:00

Peregrine - 2 (1 male & 1 female)

Marsh Harrier - 1 (female type - perhaps we witnessed one individual multiple times flying from Gayton Sands to Burton, where it went in to roost??)

Long-eared Owl - 1

Kingfisher - 1

Water Rail - 1

Golden Plover 100+ (with Lapwing flocks)

Lapwing (distant flocks of several thousand)

Pink-footed Goose - 40+

Some distant swans - mostly a mixture of Whooper & Mute.



-- Edited by Sean Sweeney on Monday 18th of January 2016 01:11:42 PM

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Neston Old Baths (wellies or properly waterproof boots needed - unlike mine). Cold enough to freeze a Chough's chuff

1 probably 2 Water Pipits, initially spooked by a male Merlin, eventually returned with 1 showing briefly on a bush. Very elusive; flight call very like Rock Pipit, mostly white underside, large super, decent double wing bars helped with identification - no chance of seeing leg colour.

Also, 2 ringtail Hen Harriers close up, 1 Great White Egret briefly, 2 Marsh Harriers (fem ad, fem near-ad ?) interacting nicely nearby, very distant Peregrine along tideline briefly

Sadly, no Short-Eared Owls on rising tide, though other birders had seen them earlier

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parkgate... 3 possibly 4 marsh harrier, 2 ringtail hen harrier, 1 great white egret, 2 kestrel,

west Kirby marine lake... 1 great northern diver, 2 red breasted merganser, 1 great crested grebe, 30+ redshank, 1 oystercatcher.

new brighton... got here as the high tide was in hoping for lots of waders on the pontoons & nothing hmm it was probably due to the boat that was water testing. best I could do was 60+ sanderling, 2 turnstone, 6 oystercatcher around perch rock & 2 teal on the sea.



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saburke


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Back over to the Wirral today, primarily to see the Pallas's Warbler which, after a wait of around one hour, showed extremely briefly at 1pm. I stayed for another 45 minutes to try and get better views but no luck. Also there Goldcrest (c.20) and Chiffchaff (c.6). I had started the day at West Kirby Marine Lake and after getting a view of the Pallas's Warbler continued down to Burton Marsh. Heavy rain at 3.30pm brought an end to the proceedings! Amongst others :-

West Kirby Marine Lake

Great northern Diver (1)
Great crested Grebe (1)
Goldeneye (1)
Red breasted Merganser (15)
Oystercatcher
Grey Plover (2)
Dunlin (1000)
Turnstone (c.20)

Burton Marsh

Little Egret (c.20)
Great white Egret (1)
Mute Swan (48)
Black Swan (2)
Pink footed Goose (c.25)
Marsh Harrier (1f
Hen Harrier (1-2 r/t)
Buzzard (1)
Kestrel (1)
Peregrine (1 juv)
Short eared Owl (3)

A very enjoyable day and, hopefully, should have got some decent photos of the Great northern Diver which, at times, was quite confiding.


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With High Peak RSPB group from Thurstaston to Heswall 9.15-12.15. 

One member a briefest glimpse of Pallas's Warbler at 11.30 from Target Road in Heswall. With Chiffchaff and Goldcrests. 

Walk along Wirral Way and Dee shoreline produced 10 Little Egret, 100's of Pink Footed Geese,  Lapwing and Oystercatcher,  2 Red Breasted Merganser, many Shellduck and Pintail, single Common Snipe,  7 Skylark, 80 Curlew,  Treecreeper, Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch and Peregrine Falcon



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Another great day spent on the Wirral, in less than great weather conditions. Highlights

Burton Marsh 8.15 - 11.30am

Great White Egret
Little Egret 9
Pink footed Goose 33 grazing on the marsh and c300 over s
Short eared Owl
Peregrine 3, 2 hurting together
Raven over
Stonechat 2
4 species of Swan in a huge herd 63 birds in total, Whooper 21, Bewick 3, Black 2 and Mute 37

Heswall Sewarage works 12.00 - 13.00pm
Pallas's Warbler, Reasonably good views of the bird flitting about the shrubs and trees to the left of the treatment tank after a 55 minute no show
Goldcrest 12
Chiffchaff 4

West Kirby Marine Lake and Shore 13.15- 14.15pm
Red breasted Merganser 3, 1m , 2f
Knot c2000
Dunlin c3000
Oystercatcher c1000
Redshank c300
Grey Plover c50
Turnstone 1

Wallasey Marine Lake 14.45 - 15.00pm
Purple Sandpiper 2
Redshank c100
Turnstone 1

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I saw the pallas's warbler several times between 2:30-3:00 today, but I was the only one who saw it this point. I saw it 3 times in this period in the hedges, but the combination of how active it was and the number of other birds in the area meant that my attempts to get other borders on it were unsuccessful. Following these sightings, there was a quiet period where only chiffchaffs, goldcrests and long tailed tits showed, when finally, the bird appeared again, and this time it was only about 5 metres away, allowing all the birders to get good views, though the sheer dull weather made photography hard. The bird stayed very close to us for about a minute before a goldcrest moved it on.

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Originally posted today by Phil Hampson:

New Brighton at high tide this morning. c200 Redshank, 20 Ruddy Turnstone, 9 Purple Sandpipers and a handful of Dunlin on the pontoons. Harassed by a juvenile Peregrine, then witnessed behaviour I've never seen before. A large proportion of the waders, particularly Redshank, jumped into the water and swam under the pontoons to avoid the Peregrine. Strangely the Peregrine didn't have a try at any of the remaining waders on the pontoon but shot off chasing Feral Pigeons (good sense that Peregrine). New behaviour for me this and also my fellow birder Martyn Stanyer. Wish I'd had a video camera. Showery and dark here. Would be interested if anyone else has seen this.

Then onto West Kirby where the Great Northern Diver was at the Morrison's end of the lake. Very dark and gloomy at this stage.

Next was Burton Mere Wetlands and the walk for the Long-eared Owl, which showed well.

Superb day yet again.

 

Phil



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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Dipped on the Pallas's Warbler today. The bird had been seen this morning at 11.15 but, unfortunately, not since. We waited for around two hours from 1.45pm. 'Twas not to be. The timings meant we were then unable to get to Kirby Marine Lake to get some decent shots of the Great Northern Diver.

By 4.00pm we still hadn't had our dinner, so decided to head for Parkgate Old Baths car park and eat it there. We had some consolation in seeing 3 Marsh Harrier and a lovely, in flight Ring tailed Hen Harrier in the fading light.

Will try again next week!

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Originally posted today by Phil Hampson:

Great northern diver showing very well this morning in great light on far side of West Kirby marine lake. No waders on roost at all.

Phil





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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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I got there at first light today and had over an hours wait to get good views of the Pallas's Warbler(a lifersmile), did not see Firecrest though. What time where you there James?.
Cheers Ian

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Pallas' Warbler showing today in the hedgerow adjacent to Heswall ETW on Target Road

Also 1-2 Firecrest reported and up to 8 Chiffchaffs



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Having a bad back & not wanting to lug my gear round Newchucrh I reckined a trip up The Wirral was in order, still staying local smile

I started at New Brighton where, as the tide was out, no waders were on the pontoons on the lake so back to how we used to 'do it' before it became too easy! I walked out by the Lighthouse groyne and picked out a lone Purple Sandpiper amongst the Turnstones. Then I headed down to Meols prom and soon picked out most of the target waders, with Grey Plover, Sanderling, Knot, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew being seen.

My next call was the marine lake at West Kirby. Despite other birders not having seen the diver & no reports on the pager I managed to find it close in on the far side from the road. I then walked round & got pictures at close quarters of this confiding bird. Ten Pale-bellied Brent Geese fed on the beach right by the lake, I must admit I am more used to them being out near Hilbre Island so it was nice seeing them close in.

I called next at Heswall where within a few minutes of arriving I was watching the Pallas's Warbler in bushes near the sewage works gates. The bird showed superbly well in the open for long periods, even hovering in the sunshine, back to us, showing off its gorgeous lemon rump as it did so. lots of Goldcrests and a few Chiffchaffs here too. Next call at Burton Mere Wetlands was cut short by my back spasming & I couldn't walk round so instead I took the car to Burton Marsh and picked up Great White Egret, Merlin, Little Egret and Short-eared Owl for the day.

Painkillers now being popped like smarties (other chocolate confectionaries are available biggrin ) so that I can have a pain-free day out next time smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 6th of January 2016 10:26:25 AM

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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.