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Post Info TOPIC: The Wirral


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RE: The Wirral
 


A day off yesterday (Thursday) so a pop up to Leasowe Lighthouse for the morning. The weather was glorious, warm & sunny but possibly too good. 5 Wheatears were along the mound fenceline in the field inland of the paddocks path which runs between Lingham Lane & Park Lane. A few wagtails were in the paddocks including at least one White Wagtail. Best of all though was a stunning male Redstart in the bushes opposite the caravan park entrances on Park Lane. After performing well it later went missing when two cats took up residence in the same section of hedgerow!

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Leasowe lighthouse area this morning 9-11

5 Swallows
1 Willow Warbler heard
1 Sedge Warbler heard
1 Whinchat
Wheatears (several)
Good numbers of Meadow Pipits and Linnets

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 10th of April 2015 09:02:53 PM

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Leasowe lighthouse area this afternoon:

Swallow
2 Wheatear
5 Chiffchaffs
Willow Warbler reported (but not seen by me)
At least 60 Meadow Pipit
Flock of at least 30 Linnet


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Thursday 9th of April 2015 09:32:35 PM

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Heron Road, Meols, 13:00

I spotted a white heron-like bird while driving along Heron Road; got Liz onto it too.
It flew over the road, going south-west
Had large round wings, trailing legs, and what appeared to be a very long thin bill.
Couldn't see the "spoon", but I got only a half-second glimpse while driving, and Liz was looking towards the sun
So, it was either a Spoonbill, or a Little Egret carrying a stick (which it wouldn't do just there)

Both of us, independently, immediately thought Spoonbill, but cannot quite rule out Little Egret
We've both seen hundreds or thousands of both

Searched the area thoroughly, esp the pools off Gilroy Road, but no further sign of it
Put it on RBA as "possible" though frankly we were a little more confident than that

I expect it to turn up at BMW in the coming days

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Went looking at a car on the Wirral Sunday so called at New Brighton, very windy though the pontoon was sheltered.
Dipped on the Purple Sandpipers for a third time!
Laughing Gull still present on the pontoon with approx. 80 Redshank and half a dozen Turnstone.

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Fantastic find

Just a word of caution: it's worth being very aware of the tides & how long it might take to get back after the tide turns.
It's a long way if you're carrying kit.
Also, are there quick-sands out there ?

Wouldn't want to see anything nasty on the news ...

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Reading the Leasowe Lighthouse blog, the regular watchers there have been walking a long way down the beach at low tide to give themselves a view of the Scoter flock and hence it seems a first Cheshire Surf Scoter. There are some photos at this link, I really liked the shot from the post of the 22nd:

http://lighthousebirding.blogspot.co.uk/

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After a sighting a few days ago it has just been reported that the drake Surf Scoter has been relocated this morning off Hoylake, on the sea at East Hoyle Bank, in the past few days there have been Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter & Long-tailed Duck in this general area (info via Twitter, S.Williams).

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Good news that you got the two main targets there Tanmay smile Very impressed at you having the patience & nerve to watch the news from afar until you got home!! Was thinking of heading down to the area myself over the weekend but my plans changed, shame really, would have been good to catch up again. Glad to be of some help mate smile

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Having nervously followed the long-staying laughing gull and long-eared owl on the Wirral whilst at uni, I was keen to try and see them when I got back up north, so took a trip down yesterday.

I picked up the laughing gull with a scope from the car park, even at that distance it was distinctive. Walking round to the cafes I got amazing views of the bird, with a lovely supporting cast of redshank, turnstone, dunlin and about 7 purple sandpiper also on the pontoon.
Out at sea there were many great-crested grebes, a small raft of scoter, but too distant to pick out much.

Burton Mere Wetlands saw the long-eared owl showing quite well. 1st singing chiffchaff of the spring, and several avocets amongst commoner species. Good to meet up with the staff/vols there again!

Had a go for water pipit at neston SW, no sign, but grey wagtail, flyover sparrowhawk (f) and goldcrest (f) were nice additions.

Lovely weather and some great birds :)
Thanks to Doc Brewster for directions :)

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 23rd of March 2015 11:40:51 AM

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Great views yesterday of the 1st winter Laughing Gull as it loafed around on New Brighton Marine Lake. A really distinctive bird due to it's darker plumage which was particularly evident in flight and made it "stand out like a sore thumb". A cracking bird!!

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Great views of the Laughing Gull up at New Brighton marine lake. Last time I saw one of these it was in Mexico. Paid a visit to Burton Mere as well which was pretty quiet to be honest (although not in terms of people). Good view of the Long-eared Owl but not much else of note.

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Cracking day in south west Wirral today. Arrived at Shotwick Sailing Club at around 9.30, half an hour behind schedule due to the traffic. Quite spring like in the sunshine, great to see a variety of swans and geese in the flooded fields, the geese being very flighty in view of the nearby army firing range.

Shotwick :-

Pink footed Goose (c.2000)
Barnacle Goose (1)
Whooper Swan (c.40)
Bewick's Swan (c.40)
Mute Swan (c.50)
Avocet (3)
Black tailed Godwit (2)
Gadwall (2)
Little Grebe (1)

Carried on to Burton Mere Wetlands, first visit here, impressed. Quick visit to reception hide, then went to look for the Long eared Owl. Having been flushed by a 'much too close' birder, it had been relocated in a bush to the right of the bridge some two hundred yards before IMF hide. At least three squealing Water Rail on the way back.

Burton Mere Wetlands (amongst others) :-

Long eared Owl (1)
Water Rail (3)
Green Woodpecker (1)
Great spotted Woodpecker (1)
Nuthatch
Stonechat (1)
Reed Bunting
Golden Plover (c.20)
Black tailed Godwit (5)
Teal, Tufted Duck etc etc

Then on to Neston Sewage Works where I dipped on the Water Pipit. No one else there but spent half an hour or so by the fence after fighting my way through the brambles. Decided to make my way to Parkgate, Old Baths car park an hour before high tide; it was a relatively low one so the water was still way out. For the first 45 mins nothing much doing, it had started raining, but just when I was considering leaving a ringtail Hen Harrier flew in from the right. No sooner had that gone down out of view when a female Peregrine put in an appearance shortly followed by a female Marsh harrier which came in from the left. Three separate raptor species in the space of five minutes.

Neston/Parkgate (amongst others) :-

Hen Harrier (1)
Marsh Harrier (1)
Peregrine (1)
Little Egret (c.15)
Linnet
Reed Bunting
Stock Dove (1)
Black tailed Godwit (2)



-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Wednesday 25th of February 2015 09:30:51 PM

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Rob Creek wrote:

All sightings at sites visited have been put in this thread, but will re-post if required.

Full day on the Wirral yesterday in absolutely freezing conditions, windy, raining and generally poor weather, but struck Gold nonetheless with 71 species seen including 14 Waterfowl sp, 9 Wader sp, 7 Gull sp, 7 Birds of Prey, 6 Corvid sp, and a whole host of other birds.


A brilliant day with some top drawer sightings!






My day was a kind of mirror image of yours by the look of it, Rob - and I probably didn't run into you! I also seem to have missed the rain showers. Nice one.

Obviously I should have built in a stop at Parkgate - I was at New Brighton at high tide, with fairly spectacular seas! Excellent views of the Laughing Gull as you say on the pontoon with the waders - quite a sight.

Morning at Shotwick with great views of the swans in early light, and then to Burton Mere where the morning did not reveal any Hen Harriers, but I did get a wonderful view of the Long Eared Owl.


All the sightings have been covered by Rob - a spectacular day for me too with 4 lifers: Bewick's Swans, the Long Eared Owl, the Laughing Gull, and the Purple Sandpipers on the pontoon. Added to that, the fact they were sitting in front of grouped Dunlin, Sanderling and Redshank was a really interesting exercise in recognition.

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All sightings at sites visited have been put in this thread, but will re-post if required.

Full day on the Wirral yesterday in absolutely freezing conditions, windy, raining and generally poor weather, but struck Gold nonetheless with 71 species seen including 14 Waterfowl sp, 9 Wader sp, 7 Gull sp, 7 Birds of Prey, 6 Corvid sp, and a whole host of other birds.

NEW BRIGHTON-
Good to meet the 2 North-East birders
1 - Laughing Gull.
2nd time to see this bird. It was picked up virtually on arrival, showing well on the beach, doing flyovers, then around the Bubbles play centre, back on the beach, flying over the pontoon, back behind the shops and Bubbles, eventually landed on the pontoon with all the other birds.
Then it decided to come down 2 feet infront of my car virtually right next to me to pick up what looked like stale pizza, and this Gull isn't phased by other Gulls including the large species. It stole food from right under a Herring Gull's nose, the Herring Gull made no attempt to argue!

Other Birds of note...
1 adult winter Mediterranean Gull flew over the beach towards the pontoon
Lots of other Gulls incl Black-headed and Common
and large Gulls incl Great Black-backed
Lesser Black-backed
and Herring (with some stunning adults)
Redshank - virtually most of the NW's population on pontoon
1 single Knot slap bang in the middle
7 Purple Sandpiper
Lots of Turnstone
1 Dunlin but then a sudden influx to about 20
1 Sanderling
Oystercatchers
Lapwing
1 Curlew flying low over a beach channel
Few Cormorant
and surprised to see 5 Brent Geese flying over, the neck rings were evident
1 Jay flew over the car near the tunnel slip road

At one point the Laughing Gull was on the pontoon with all the Waders and some other Gulls, cracking sight!

WALLASEY BEACH-
Quick stop to see the Snow Buntings but the tide had raced in quite far well before the suggested time and I couldn't see them as the area they were at last time was submerged.
Lots of Sanderling though, running around along the tide line, estimate 40-50

THORNTON HOUGH - Village Green
Whilst en-route to Parkgate, I stopped to watch at least 30 Rook feeding on the Village Green

PARKGATE-
Arrived before high tide. Thanks to Simon Gough and Mark Burgess regarding Owl info. Nice to bump into Austin Morley and his pal, and the 3 of us stuck together for a while.
1 male Stonechat
Linnet - a few flocks around of 15-20 birds each
Reed Bunting - lots of these too
Chaffinch and Goldfinch about
Meadow Pipit - a few around
Rock Pipit - 1
Pied Wagtail - 10+
Skylark - never seen so many, seemed to be everywhere, impossible to put numbers to but estimate in the 100's
Starlings here and there
Redwings and Fieldfares over
Lots of Blackbirds
Little Egret - quite a few around
Redshank - dotted around, and 1 feeding right next to...

...1 of 5 Short-eared Owls (undoubtedly the star showing)
Following advice from Mark and Simon, I headed up passed the Golf Course away from the crowds lining the front road and the car park. It paid off as I spotted my 1st S-eO of the day. It was sat low against one of the last tufts of grass remaining above water quite far out. The few already present birders were made up with the sighting. It suddenly took to the air and was soon joined by a 2nd Owl, both in the air together. One landed far out on showing grass the other still flying. What a sight to see it slow flapping flying low over the water. Thing is, it didn't stop, and it kept going towards the Wales. (What your Owl did Simon).
Another 2 were seen in close proximity on the ground and unbelievably a 3rd flying to make 3 in view at once. One was chasing Skylarks then the Gulls turned the tables and mobbed the Owl. On the path back towards the car park, yet another Owl hunkered down in the grass a lot closer in. I think 1 Owl could've been an earlier Owl, so that was 4 and the Welsh defector making 5! Brilliant!
2 Kestrel hunting
Lots of Shelduck around
Small skein of Pink-footed Geese over, only around 20-30 birds.
Think we had the best of the Owl sightings as not many reported from the car park.


QUAYSIDE / MARSHLANDS ROAD
Quick stop here (not far from Neston WWTW)
Nothing much except Little Egrets and the usual Gulls

DENHALL LANE area
Quick visit-
1 Raven over the car down towards the marsh
1 Mistle Thrush flew across the road
...and I was surprised to see a Marsh Harrier flying low over the bog, it landed briefly then it was up again and flew off towards Connah's Quay.

BURTON MERE WETLANDS-
A late visit but well worth the effort since I was in the vicinity.
Nice to meet Dave Peate, a volunteer here. I will be in touch Dave.

1 Common Buzzard circling over the field on way down near Puddington Lane.
I parked up and a bloke came running to his car and said there's a Hen Harrier infront of the hide. I rushed in but missed it.
I started to walk round for another look at the Long-eared Owl when up came the Hen Harrier. I watched it for a few minutes patrolling slowly over the marsh opposite the hide. I think it was a female (ringed tail and white rump) but a juvenile male was also rumoured to be around so in all honesty I can't be 100% as they look similar.
My 1st Hen Harrier in years incidentally!

The Long-eared Owl was showing fairly well. No other birders around near IMF so had it to myself.
Made my way back to the reception...
A few Wren over the boardwalk
Few Starlings around
Another Kestrel hovering above
A Merlin flew across the open area near the viewing screen, (assuming it was a female as it was a bit dull brownish looking)
1 drake Pintail flew over me
Then something caught my eye as I glanced over towards IMF, right above IMF hide was another Hen Harrier, seemed to be still at one point then it dropped down beyond the railway line. Quality!
Got back to reception and indeed it turned out 2 were seen, and I'd managed both in the locations they were seen. Made up with that bit of luck.
Also one guy told me a Marsh Harrier was seen a little earlier so it could've been the same bird I saw.
Also at reception...
Tufted Duck
Teal
Lots of Canada Geese
Few Greylag amongst them
Plus usual Waterbirds and Feeder species

SHOTWICK SAILING CLUB / FIELDS
A late visit in poor light came up trumps again with...
Mute Swan - estimate 30-40
Whooper Swan - roughly same 30-40
Bewicks Swan - little less, probably 30 max
1 Black Swan
No sign of the European White-fronted Goose that's been knocking around recently. Only other thing here was Mallard

A brilliant day with some top drawer sightings!


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Yesterday
Shotwick Sailing Club Bewick, Black, Mute & Whooper Swans, Stonechat, & Skylark.
Inner Marsh Farm Burton Welands- Avocet, Ruff, Long Eared Owl posing really well
Neston Sewage Works Water Pipit & Chiffchaff,
River Dee Pintail Buzzard Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, Kestrel. Male Sparrowhawk, Twite and more common waders
New Brighton 3 Snow Bunting at the Lifeguard post and Laughing Gull

-- Edited by Ian Boote on Sunday 22nd of February 2015 03:33:22 PM

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Joel Tragen wrote:

dave broome wrote:

Laughing Gull at New Brighton Marine Lake today, spending lots of time on the pontoon at the south end, which also held 10 Purple Sandpiper, c250 Turnstone, 930 Redshank, c70 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling and 1 Knot





Hi Dave I was there all day and I have never seen a knot before so I don't know what I to look for. Was it in with the Dunlin flock nearer to where everyone was standing. And are there any ways distinct ways to tell a knot from a Dunlin from a photo.

-- Edited by Joel Tragen on Saturday 21st of February 2015 05:58:07 PM



Hi Joel
The Knot was at the far end of the waders when I saw it, among Redshank. I only saw it for a short while, I don't know whether it left during one of the disturbances as Herring Gulls moved along the pontoon.
If you visit www.bto.org then look for 'About Birds' then 'Bird Identification' there's a video on i.d. of Knot and Dunlin which you should find useful. I hope that's helpful smile

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Burton Mere Wetlands
Quick visit before the high tide at Parkgate
Highlights
2 Green Woodpecker at the entrance as I drove in
Long Eared Owl roosting near to IMF hide

Parkgate Old Baths & Cottage Lane
Highlights
3 Short Eared Owl at the roost site visable on the ground as the tide surged through
Seemed very reluctant to fly until the last second as the advancing rising tide engulfed their tiny piece of Terra Firma,
And clearly not interested in the abundance of prey on offer and being persistently harassed by the mass of Gulls present
5 more sightings of Short Eared Owl seen in the air as I walked back toward Parkgate Old Baths car park, Could be the same few individuals just moving around.
Peregrine 2

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dave broome wrote:

Laughing Gull at New Brighton Marine Lake today, spending lots of time on the pontoon at the south end, which also held 10 Purple Sandpiper, c250 Turnstone, 930 Redshank, c70 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling and 1 Knot





Hi Dave I was there all day and I have never seen a knot before so I don't know what I to look for. Was it in with the Dunlin flock nearer to where everyone was standing. And are there any ways distinct ways to tell a knot from a Dunlin from a photo.

-- Edited by Joel Tragen on Saturday 21st of February 2015 05:58:07 PM

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Laughing Gull at New Brighton Marine Lake today, spending lots of time on the pontoon at the south end, which also held 10 Purple Sandpiper, c250 Turnstone, 930 Redshank, c70 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling and 1 Knot

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Hi Alan, well done you as that static Jack Snipe is the bird I was referring to. My best views by far of one.





-- Edited by Simon Gough on Saturday 21st of February 2015 10:33:48 AM

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Hi Simon, I might be the guy you were talking about, I had a Jack Snipe in my scope that floated past on a clump of vegetation and then found probably the same bird but now stationary and distant to the right of the bridge It was easy to see in the scope but hard to work out where it was. People were forming a queue to see it.

The bird you found was much closer but again hard to get people on to. Like you the Jack Snipe were my highlight of a memorable day

"and some other guys had found another that was in clear view, but only when you could see it, if you know what I mean."..

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A day off work for Steve Burke and I today to experience the very high tide on the Dee Estuary. We arrived on the marsh at Parkgate at about 9, first decent sighting was a Ringtail Hen Harrier heading down the estuary towards Heswall. Steve spotted a female Merlin just after this, perched on a post relatively close in and fanning its tail and preening. Very nice. We ran into James Walsh at this point, great to meet Manchester Birders as ever. We also saw a Lesser Black-backed Gull off Parkgate that was really dark, briefly entertaining Baltic Gull fantasies, but no, just a very dark LBB.

Moving up to Heswall Golf Course as the tide came in, there were up to 7 Red-breasted Merganser visible on the sea, also a Peregrine perched up on the dead tree out on the marsh, and then as the water rose we saw 3 Short-eared Owl rise to the air, fly around briefly then decamp to Wales. All done and dusted in about 10 minutes. Bah...

However the water kept coming. The small birds moving about close in began to take some prominence, we must have seen well over 100 Skylarks and 50 Reed Buntings, I have never seen so many. We walked back towards the Old Baths, and as the water reached the wall the Water Rails began to appear. I counted 5 personally, others had double figure counts from the car park viewpoint. Some crazily close views. The mammals were becoming visible too, we saw a number of voles which were probably Bank Voles, and what I think was a Water Shrew, a first for me. Best of all was a Pygmy Shrew that ran around our feet in the car park, a species I wouldn't have thought I'd see really, and possibly the highlight of the day.

At the Old Baths Steve did one of his magician tricks and spotted a Jack Snipe in a grassy patch that wasn't under water, and some other guys had found another that was in clear view, but only when you could see it, if you know what I mean...this bird 'bobbed' which I'd not seen before, charming, although it wasn't feeding at the time. We also saw a Hen Harrier passing across up estuary, presumably the bird from earlier, although there are 2 about on the marsh this winter.

So a really good list for the day, over 50 species including some lovely views of the Dee Estuary classics. The basic spectacle of the water rushing in will probably stay in my memory the longest, it was extraordinary really, plus that tiny shrew.


-- Edited by Simon Gough on Saturday 21st of February 2015 10:35:23 AM

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Parkgate/ cottage lane during high tide (10am-1pm

2 short eared owl
1 hen harrier
1 merlin
1 peregrine
1 jack snipe
100 pink footed geese
2 raven

-- Edited by M Gannon on Friday 20th of February 2015 10:17:31 PM

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New Brighton Marine Lake

Laughing Gull


Wallasey Shore

3 Snow Bunting
1 Stonechat


Parkgate/Heswall

1 Peregrine
2 Merlin
2 Short-eared Owl


Port Sunlight River Park

1 singing Goldcrest
1 Water Rail


Raby Mere

8 Mandarin





-- Edited by James Walsh on Friday 20th of February 2015 06:08:57 PM

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Another round trip to show my mother 2 new birds for her list. Started at New Brighton at 10:30am with the laughing gull being her 1st which was showing well on the marine lake. I brought him in closer for her by using a nice ham pastie bought from a local cafe which went down a treat. There was possibly 100 mixed waders on the anchor pontoon too including common redshank, turnstones (which liked the pastie too), dunlin, purple sandpiper and a sanderling. Next, we took the train into Neston for the water pipit (mothers 2nd life bird) by 12:45pm at the sewage treatment works. He eventually showed exceptionally well in front of the fence. (Apparently, his face is starting to show a little more grey with his eyeline looking a little more bolder from my last visit.) Other birds included a common buzzard, 3 little egrets, 30 linnets, 8 redwings, 6 European teal and the usual common birds. All-in-all, a very successful day. B-)

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Chris Harper wrote:

12 Bewicks Swan present among 30 Whoopers, many Mute and a single Black Swan at 4pm in fields nest to Shotwick boating lake today.
Take exit at zone 4 from A548 and left, left at T junction to end of road.





There was a Greenland Whitefront and a Barnacle Goose amongst the 1000+ Pinkfeet feeding behind the swans when I checked yesterday morning. A Black-necked Grebe has also returned to the lake, I believe they left when it iced over a couple of weeks ago.

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Laughing Gull on the pontoon at New Brighton until approx 9.15 am, then flew a short distance west to the circular building by the small pool before returning to the beach at Fort Perch Rock.
Harbour Porpoise just off the lighthouse breakwater
2 Snow Buntings at the same spot as on Tuesdaybiggrin
Water Pipit at Neston Sewage Works. Much better views than the Titchwell bird last month
Long-eared Owl and 2 Cetti's Warblers at Inner Marsh Farm
Merlin (f), Peregrine (f) and at least 2 ring-tailed Hen Harriers from the Old Baths car park, Parkgate. The Merlin perched up just across the pool from the car park, after hunting over and behind the marsh. Flushed by the Peregrine, it attacked it, before heading out onto the marsh. The Peregrine then had a go at one of the Harriers, before climbing away to the right, only to swoop back in for another clash with the Harrier. Great grandstand views. biggrin
Finished the day with 2 Great White Egrets at Denhall Lane

Riggers, John Rayner, Karen F, Mike A and self

Plus a slight detour for a Waxwing.......in Orrell!

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 15th of February 2015 11:07:38 PM

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 15th of February 2015 11:47:12 PM

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12 Bewicks Swan present among 30 Whoopers, many Mute and a single Black Swan at 4pm in fields nest to Shotwick boating lake today.
Take exit at zone 4 from A548 and left, left at T junction to end of road.

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The Water Pipit was still at Neston Sewage Works today and giving good scope views. After a couple of hours no-show, one of the birders present spotted the bird on the sludge beds, on the far left viewing from the field behind filter 5. The Pipit kept ducking behind a small green metal building but, having moved up the field a bit, everyone there was able to get clear scope views of it. The sludge beds actually provided a nice dark background to view the bird's features against.

Also present were 2 Grey Wagtails (one cracking male), 2 Chiffchaffs, plenty Pied Wagtails and countless Corvids. Also, on the way in, a small flock of Linnets mixing with larger groups of Goldfinch, plus the usuals.

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Lovely few hours on the Wirral today.
Water Pipit showed at Neston Sewage works at 1.45.
Also Peregrine, Sparrowhawk,2 Common Buzzard and 2 Goldcrest. 3 Chiffchaff reported.
Laughing Gull very obliging from the pontoon at New Brighton marine lake at 2.45.
Finally 2 Snow Bunting at 5pm on shore outside the Harvester pub. Also 10 Turnstone, 4 Sanderling and 30 Redshank.
All in all some great valentines presents.

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Good view of the Laughing Gull today - on a railing with the scopes, and in the bins as it flew around the lake

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Got the Water Pipit yesterday, great too meet Richard there and thanks for pointing it out, it was on the bed the furthest from the marsh at the back of the main building.

Flushed a Water Rail on the stream just at the side.

Then headed to New Brighton, got the Snow buntings on the sand in front of the Harvester Pub.
Also got the Laughing Gull, it was roosing out of site, on top of the coffee house near the pontoon and appeared as I fed chips to the gulls as I was about to leave!

-- Edited by Keith Williams on Thursday 12th of February 2015 10:25:14 AM

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Went to sewerage works at Neston today (thanks Sid and Patrick for directions) Had great views of water pipit, grey wagtail and chiffchaff

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Simon Gough wrote:

Hi,

I was there with Rob Creek on Sunday and when we weren't watching the Water Pipit we saw 2 Chiffchaffs, one was a bit more yellow/brown than the other, so you might have seen them both and the contrast in tones would stand out. I'm only suggesting this as you've alluded to Willow Warbler for your 'other' bird, and obviously Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs are extremely similar.

My personal daydream for the site is a Yellow-browed Warbler, it looks ideal in the trees and bushes over the little stream that runs just away from the sewage works. So please don't confirm that your bird was one of those!

Hope this helps






...there was a 3rd Chiffchaff present on Sunday. I had 2 in view, the first one and the one with the yellow hue to it. Then one of the other birders present said "theres a 3rd Chiffchaff down here" and indeed there was. It kept disappearing down the grid covers, then reappearing. The 3rd one was a lot browner than the other 2 and you're right Simon the tonal differences stood out!

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1st. Thanks simon. I wish it could be a yellow browed warbler but you can relax, it wasn't. I think you will be correct in that the odd looking one is a chiffchaff, i've never seen one looking tinted yellow/green to that extent before. Thanks for the Iinfo. 2nd. The chips are down!! Literally. I met another local birder at Neston (sorry, I forgot your name) who I met again at New Brighton and he had been there at the marine lake struggling to find the laughing gull, so he was feeding left over chips to the gulls and I spotted him as soon as I arrived and he even landed very close too. When he vanished, I walked along the coast path heading west, until I found a paddling pool next to the Bubbles swimming centre and there he was in close range with several black headed gulls. The laughing gull loves sweet things like Chorley cakes and its obvious to assume he is used to people feeding gulls, which may shed more light on his background. Many thanks to all..... now wheres the salt?

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Hi,

I was there with Rob Creek on Sunday and when we weren't watching the Water Pipit we saw 2 Chiffchaffs, one was a bit more yellow/brown than the other, so you might have seen them both and the contrast in tones would stand out. I'm only suggesting this as you've alluded to Willow Warbler for your 'other' bird, and obviously Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs are extremely similar.

My personal daydream for the site is a Yellow-browed Warbler, it looks ideal in the trees and bushes over the little stream that runs just away from the sewage works. So please don't confirm that your bird was one of those!

Hope this helps

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Started of at Neston and currently on my way to find the Laughing gull at new Brighton. So far I have bagged the water pipit, showing suprisingly close as he took a ride on the arms of the water spray at the sewage works at Neston on the section infront. Everything has been found ezactly as instructed on previous logs only I came by train. Also seen was the grey wagtail, common chiffchaff and an unusual looking warbler which I will have to check my photos of before I can say what it was for certain. (Looked like a short willow warbler type.) Also cettis warbler heard but not seen and a flock of 30 linnets. Back in a few hours......

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 11th of February 2015 03:53:01 PM

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Originally posted today by Dave Ousey:



A trip to see the wintering Ring Ouzel`s in North Wales along with the various scoters got us all rarin` to go. Then as often happens a lifer turns up for a couple of the team. So a change of plan, get to New Brighton in Cheshire to see a first winter Laughing Gull. The bird should be on the east coast of America about this time of year but was sadly of course. How it got here was discussed, but flying here seemed the most likely after some of the Atlantic gales that there have been. A grey, foggy morning greeted us as we set off from Rochdale and it did not get better en route. As we went under the Mersey Tunnel we hoped for clearer conditions on the Cheshire side, no such luck. We got to New Brighton and wandered around in cold miserable conditions and waited for the tide to turn. It's really changed has New Brighton and we met a jolly traffic warden,now there is a rarity! We met a few of our birding friends from the York area and had a good laugh about various things,(a bigger laugh was to follow) After a couple of hours vigil the bird was found on the beach near the lighthouse. To get there you had to cross a barrage of barnacle strewn rocks, some quite slippy. The bird was seen but it kept crossing over the rocks to feed on the sandy beach, cross the rocks again, but not so lucky. Fully laden with camera, tripod & telescope, binoculars and lots of insulating clothing, I slipped on the rocks. Going down in stages would have been good on You Tube (I have looked) but not for me, sustaining cut hand and slight damage to telescope eyepiece. Bowed but not beaten, we took up position above the pontoon on the marina and got some decent pictures of the Laughing Gull, which performed admirably for the crowds. A couple of Purple Sandpipers and 2 Snow Buntings were also seen in New Brighton. We called at a few birding spots on the Wirral before ending at Burton Marsh were Stonechat and Linnet were added to our lists. The hoped for Great White Egret had flown up the coast unseen by ourselves. Good day out with 2 of our team getting a lifer and we got back home to claim a few "browny" points.
Dave Ousey.


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Having arrived at Liverpool Lime Street with about 3 hours to spare before high tide I decided to save myself some walking and got off at Wallasey Grove Road station to walk down to the Lifeguard viewpoint. The Snow Buntings were in the disturbed sand and detritus up near the walkway but fortunately someone else had already done the slog along the tide line so everyone else who turned up could home in on them straight awaybiggrin. They showed well and had conveniently positioned themselves next to a flight of steps so people could sit down to watch them wink

Walked down the prom towards New Brighton, noting plenty of evidence that the local crows and gulls have perfected the art of cockle-dropping.

The Laughing Gull was napping on the pontoon, no doubt resting up after having earned his crust (literally) earlier in the day. A tip for any visiting photographers from one of today's crew: if you're going to bread-bait in the hope of getting good close-up shots do it somewhere on the prom where someone's screeching kid can't come charging through at the key moment! As the number of birds on the pontoon built up the Laughing Gull was shifted about (one immature Herring Gull seemed to have a particular dislike for it, apparently) but soon settled back into its' nap each time. Didn't get quite as close a view of it as the Lleyn bird, but it was a lot less bracing biggrin

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Thanks very much Patrick. I'll try and head there this week

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We saw the Water Pipit superbly well at the Sewage Works, it was putting on a great show. It was a different bird to the one I saw on the 24th of Jan, noticeable for having a minimal supercilium, although it was perfect in other respects. I thought it might be of interest for forum members that there are a couple of them about on this evidence.

The Snow Buntings were smashing too, my first good views of them, and the Laughing Gull was really cool. I think the whole business of fog and fearing we'd miss out helped us appreciate that this is a really rare bird and even a straightforward twitch shouldn't be taken for granted. Then when it did show the whole setting of mist and murk coupled to the sense of relief made it very enjoyable watching the bird flying round the beach and squabbling with the Turnstones and Herring Gulls.

I also enjoyed the brief views of the Mediterranean Gull amongst Black-headed Gulls, good to compare the size, posture and plumage.

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A great day around the Wirral today in the company of Simon Gough.

Bumped into some familiar faces on our travels including Steve Burke, plenty of recognisable none-forum members, and Manchester birder Alan. Hope everyone had a successful day like we did, a day that saw...
65 Species in total!
2 LIFERS!
a 7 species Gull fest
8 Waders
10 Waterfowl
7 Finches
6 Thrushes
5 Corvids...and a whole host of top quality Birds in poor weather and bad fog so no possibility of sea watching!

LAUGHING GULL - a Lifer for me, the bird was not present early morning but was picked up on the beach later. Walked down to the suggested area and soon got it. Somewhat larger than a Black-headed Gull, long bill, spindley dark legs, and it was a darker hue of grey, almost a slate colour.
Everyone got their pics and started moving on when the Gull landed out of sight over the rocks. I strolled over to try and get Turnstone and Purple Sandpiper pics then the Laughing Gull decided to put on a show. It did a series of loops over the rocks and flew literally 2 feet above my head. It then landed no more than 20ft away from me, I was shocked! I turned round to where the other birders were and the look of disbelief on Simon's face and the others was funny. I'll never forget the whole moment.

1 Mediterranean Gull in beach channel
Black-headed Gulls - lots
Common Gulls - lots
Herring Gulls - lots (1 trying to swallow a Starfish)
Lesser Black-backed Gulls - 5
Great Black-backed Gulls - 2
Plenty of Waders about including...
Sanderling
Oystercatcher
Redshank
Few Turnstones
2 Purple Sandpipers (possibly more among the rocks)
1 large flock of Waders and I heard one birder say they were Knot so I will go with that.
2 Cormorant
Wallasey Beach...
2 Snow Buntings - to within 7 or 8 feet at times
2 Pied Wagtails also on the beach

Neston Waterworks...
1 WATER PIPIT - another Lifer for me.
I heard a tip to find the Grey Wagtail and you'll find the Water Pipit. This proved successful as it appeared seconds after the Grey Wag appeared. The Pipit was following the irrigation arms round under the water jets, then it was hitching a ride and just going round in circles so it was a case of wait until it comes close to get some good views, and it didn't disappoint.

Also...
1 Grey Wagtail
3 Pied Wagtail
3 Chiffchaff
All together on the tanks feeding.
Little Egret - lots around
Teal - quite a few dropping down onto the marsh
Pink-footed Goose - various skeins over of a few 100 down to 10
A few Redwing about
1 Mistle Thrush
1 Song Thrush
A few Blackbird
Linnets and Goldfinch around
1 Greenfinch with them
1 Jay
1 Common Buzzard
2 Kestrel
Plenty of Starling around too

Finished off at Burton Mere (see thread) to cap a brilliant few hours with some memorable sightings





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Late post for yesterday:

Had to go for the Laughing Gull (he who laughs last and all that) and found it obliging on the pontoon at 11am - never really thought I'd have one that soon but not complaining!

After that popped over to Wallasey for the two Snow Buntings (lifer as well) and then walked it to Leasowe lighthouse, which failed to turn up any Eider or diver species but whetted the appetite for Spring :P

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Paul Lee wrote:

Hi Mark
Any chance you could give a postcode where Neston sewerage works is please? When I put the description into Google maps I am having no luck
Cheers


Paul whenever I have been to the sewage works I have gone via Old Quay Lane as Mark describes below - if it helps the OS co-ordinates are SJ 287 769, at least you avoid that presently boggy field wink

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Patrick Earith wrote:

Marshlands Road, Neston. Drive to the bottom of here and park up. Then take the coastal path up to your right (opposite direction to the pub). You will go over a step over a stone wall and the path will then turn to the right. Pass through a kissing gate and the sewerage works will be on your left. You can walk across the field up to the fencing next to the filter beds. Scan across the beds and, with a little patience, you should pick up Water Pipit and Grey Wagtail





The pub is the Harp Inn If hat helps any Paul. water Pipit and Grey Wagtail both showing well yesterday. Probably worth mention the field you cut across to get views is a bit boggy

-- Edited by Jon Bowen on Sunday 8th of February 2015 11:33:59 AM

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Laughing Gull showing well on New Brighton beach.
Adult Mediterranean Gull nearby in beach channel.
Report later!

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I afraid I don't have a postcode, But if your traveling from Manchester take the M56 then along the B540 at Hinderton take a left onto the B5134 heading To Neston/ Parkgate at the T junction in Neston turn right and then immediately left down the B5315 heading to Parkgate then take a left down Moorside Ln then a left down Old Quay Ln this leads to the Sewerage works, there is no public access into the Sewerage works hence viewing is via the field that borders the site looking through the perimeter fence, parking is limited on Old Quay Ln there is room for just one car at the metal kissing gate, Talking to local birders the Water Pipit or Indeed Pipits seem to favour the clinker bed closest to the perimeter fence No5
Hope this helps.

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Marshlands Road, Neston. Drive to the bottom of here and park up. Then take the coastal path up to your right (opposite direction to the pub). You will go over a step over a stone wall and the path will then turn to the right. Pass through a kissing gate and the sewerage works will be on your left. You can walk across the field up to the fencing next to the filter beds. Scan across the beds and, with a little patience, you should pick up Water Pipit and Grey Wagtail

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Hi Mark
Any chance you could give a postcode where Neston sewerage works is please? When I put the description into Google maps I am having no luck
Cheers

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