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Post Info TOPIC: The Wirral


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The Wirral


 

 

Wirral Wanderings 19/11/2017

    A full team met at the reasonable time of 8am with myself at the wheel. The weather was freezing in Rochdale but as we got onto the Wirral it was a balmy 7 degrees, maybe the sea air helped. We stopped at a new spot near Heswall and most of the team managed to see a passing female Hen Harrier. At Parkgate old baths we enjoyed the tide coming in and a couple of Marsh Harriers and Water Pipit`s were seen. Chris B also saw a wintering Chiffchaff in a field that had lots of birds feeding in it namely: - Song Thrush, Redwing, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Robin, and Great Spotted Woodpecker. After a spot of lunch, a lady informed us that a good place to watch from was The Harp Inn in Neston overlooking the marsh from mid-afternoon till dusk.

    We headed up towards Hoylake & New Brighton and called at a couple of the places were Leach`s Petrel have been seen by us. A lot of waders were seen: - Oystercatcher, Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Bar Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Golden Plover but the real star was a Peregrine Falcon with an unrecognisable prey item in its talons. On the sea a few Common Scoter and the more regular species of gull were seen. At Perch Rock, New Brighton (an area that really tested by rock climbing ability whilst watching a Laughing Gull) the hoped for Purple Sandpipers did not materialise but views over the Mersey more than made up for that.

   At The Harp Inn, Neston we quickly made camp on one of the picnic tables outside the pub and all the boys decided to have a pint, except myself off course as I was driving! A small crowd of birders watched the marsh and were soon rewarded when a full adult male Hen Harrier was seen at around 150 yards distance, what a cracking bird, only problem was it didnt stay around long enough. Also seen: - 4 Marsh Harriers, female Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon and last but not least up to 5 Short Eared Owl`s, that seemed to be on view for most of the time we spent there. As the gloom descended we made our way home and all really enjoyed the spectacle on the Wirral.

Dave O.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 21st of November 2017 01:23:29 PM

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Called in briefly at Burton around 3.30 p.m. to survey the salt marsh en route from Newchurch Common to Parkgate and straight out of the car Karen picked up a distant Short-Eared Owl being mobbed by corvids. Just as we were setting up 'scopes the bird dropped into vegetation well to the North, then repeated the routine just as we'd finished packing to leave.

By the time we got to The Old Baths at Parkgate there was no sign of the Owl but we were straight on to a splendid male Hen Harrier heading north along the outer edge of the marsh, which then tuned back inland and headed back towards us, finally dropping into vegetation north of us. A short time later it took off again and gave us better views with a fly by just beyond the obvious channel parallel to the car park before heading back out towards the shoreline. About 15 minutes later it reversed the route but this time continued north and out of view for us. Karen then found a probable ring-tailed Hen Harrier well south of us towards the factories at Shotwick and at least 2 female Marsh Harriers hunted along shore line. All in all a good day out with 60 species seen and all our hoped-for birds found with ease (for once lol)

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Brief stop at Pakgate from 14:00-14:50:

2 Marsh Harrier,  Great White Egret,  Peregrine Falcon,  5 Fieldfare, 4 Little Egret were the highlights 

Denhall Quay:

2 Short Eared Owl, 2 Stonechat, 5 Little Egret, male Hen Harrier reported yesterday



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A Beltin day today at fort Perch rock New Brighton ,with a nice wind blowing ,there was hope for a Leach's Petrel or 2 ,also met up there with Paul Lee and bumped into John Dempsey again ,so got down to some serious watching with the scope for a change ,I was there with Paul from 11.30-16.30 ,and although we saw some Leach's they were on the Liverpool side of the Mersey in the main but we all had one of those good days in good company ,so we were all happy with what we found.
Leachs Petrel - up to 15
Guillemot 2
Red Throated Diver 10 all coming out of Mersey,some still in full breeding plumage
Great Crested Grebe - 4
Brent Goose 2
Tufted Duck 1
Dunlin 25+
Turnstone - c60
Redshank-c100

picture Leach's Petrel



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New Brighton - Sea watch from lifeguard shelter 11.00 - 12.15 (high tide 11.29)

7 Leach's Petrels (+ 3 more just before I arrived)
1 Guillemot
1 Bar-tailed Godwit
12 Sanderlings

... and very little else.

Cheers John

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Had a few hours on the Wirral today, 11.30 until 16.00 hrs but allowing for the rain and travelling time between locations, probably only managed around three hours birding.

First up was New Brighton just after high tide. Very windy, sand blowing all over the place and the Mersey was rough to say the least. No Leach's Petrel, unfortunately, but did manage a Great Skua, a Black Tern and a Guillemot amongst commoner species. Only managed around 45 mins before it came on raining, so departed for Denhall Quay, followed by Parkgate Baths car park, then Denhall Lane. Bits of rain here as well before rain well and truly stopped play at 4pm. Between the three locations we managed at least three Great White Egret, female Peregrine, Kestrel, Merlin, at least three Marsh Harrier and an extremely fleeting view of a ring tail Harrier species. Could have been the Pallid but, as soon as I caught it in the scope, it went to ground. Half a second at the most.

It didn't feel like we'd had too great a day but some decent species were seen.

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Post for sunday 1st October. Harp inn, denhall quay, 5.45-7pm.

No signs of the pallid harrier for me.
1 hen harrier
2 short-eared owls
1 merlin
3+ marsh harriers
Several kestrels
3 great-white egrets
Plenty of little egrets
1 stonechat
Plus usuals around.


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Simon Gough wrote:

Are you sure it's called the Denhall Gutter Sid? biggrin


 Yes Simon it's referred to in the second para of http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/nestop.htm - among other places wink



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Are you sure it's called the Denhall Gutter Sid? biggrin

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Interestingly Denhall Quay was built in 1790's in the days when the sea came in there. It was mainly used to ship coal from the local collieries and is now an excellent viewing point for the birding community to look out over the marsh and the Denhall Gutter. 



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Phil Woollen wrote:

 

For info where the bird was being watched near the Harp is Denhall Quay. Neston Old Quay is near the sewage works further north.


Ta Phil, yep, I agree Neston Old Quay is N.of here as I said in the post below (quote "(as opposed to Neston Old Quay further north)")  biggrin Lots of folk at the promontory Saturday & some calling it Neston Quay as in my post, but not Old Quay as I say. I'd never heard it called Neston Quay either, I'm confused too!! Denhall Quay it will be for me now smile

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 2nd of October 2017 01:58:52 PM

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For info where the bird was being watched near the Harp is Denhall Quay. Neston Old Quay is near the sewage works further north.



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Hearing news of a probable Pallid Harrier on the Wirral and reading that it was a first for Cheshire, I ventured down the motorway to have a look on Saturday afternoon.

As the weather was pretty horrendous as I approached the Dee Marshes area I decided to divert first to Burton Mere Wetlands to sit the torrential rain out, that visit is posted in the appropriate thread! As the weather cleared a little I decided that the best vantage point would be the promontory of land near the Harp Inn, Neston, I see it is being called Neston Quay by some locals (as opposed to Neston Old Quay further north). On arrival I could see a crowd of birders gathered and on asking the first one I met was told the bird was out on the marsh but down in the grass. At first I expected it to be out of view but when directed to where it was I could see it was sat up and showing as well as can be expected given that it was almost in Wales wink By zooming up over 50x the views weren't bad and the head markings were obvious. The bird had a pronounced collar and distinctive contrasting face markings. Even with these limited views it looked good for Pallid. As it sat in the grass at least one Short-eared Owl passed over it and a Great White Egret landed in a dyke behind it. These species were seen without moving the scope off the harrier, they just flew into view! Eventually after a long wait the bird took to the air and was watched floating effortlessly over the saltmarsh with Connah's Quay Power Station as the backdrop. It came close enough to afford good scoped views and I was surprised that the bird was more brown than rusty coloured on the underparts as it had been reported as a juvenile and all juvs that I have seen have been noticeably rusty underneath. I assumed that someone had had better views than I and had nailed other features to determine age but later a discussion online and close up pictures led to the bird being aged as a female. This I am happier with. All the jizz and the facial pattern pointed were great for Pallid (although a hybrid was mentioned in some circles before better pictures emerged) and so a first for Cheshire had been seen smile The bird headed off at speed northwards and dropped in the distance so I took that as a cue to leave. News came out later that it had roosted off Parkgate Old Baths car park so signs are that it may stay all winter, which is excellent news. There is an immature Hen Harrier on the marshes too, which also roosted here.



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Winds changing to westerlies on Sunday evening and through the night into Monday increasing in speed up to 45 knots. High tide 9.42 am on Monday. Winds west/north west on Tuesday and still around 22 knots, high tide on Tuesday 10.24 am. Looking good.

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Hi Phil,
like I stated in my post and like Simon reiterates, we were in no way doubting the Greater Yellowlegs sighting and we were happy with ours being Greenshank as the white rumps did indeed extend up the back.
The report came when high tide was in full flow anyway so the bird was already on Hilbre and we had 2 Greenshank in our sights around the Leasowe groyne.
Cheers

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Hi Phil,

Rob and I were stood on the front at Hoylake getting soaked when the report of the Greater Yellowlegs came through. Given that we could see the island we were cursing the high tide being in, despite the feast of waders in front of us. So no sour grapes at all then!

Later Doc Brewster posted on here that the sighting was from a reliable source, well he knows everyone in Cheshire so that was good enough for me. But we had noted that the 2 Greenshanks we'd seen at Leasowe were contrasting. I think if anything it serves as a reminder to check birds properly. I saw this week that a Least Sandpiper was being noted as a Little Stint until somebody actually looked at it properly.

I think the really good birders are the ones that check everything properly; I know I often am too casual and it is something I need to improve at. At least Leach's Petrels are fairly easy to ID!

Any updates on the probable Wilson's Petrel that you can share would be interesting by the way.

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Rob Creek wrote:


Of note...
1 of the Greenshank we saw on the groyne was very different to the other and had very yellowish legs as opposed to the greenish grey legs of the other bird. I'm in no way doubting the Greater Yellowlegs sighting but it was just an observation that could've been overlooked, ours were definitely Greenshank though!



 Rob.

Observer reports Greater Yellowlegs seen on Hilbre had square white rump rather than extending up back which rules out Greenshank. He's very conscious of the pitfalls of aberrant greenshank given there was a Greater Yellowlegs reported a few years ago at an inland reservoir that was later re-identifed as a Greenshank.

Cheers



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Couldn't resist a visit to New Brighton after seeing the wonderful images of the Leach's Petrels.

Arrived at 17.20, stayed until 18.40 from the beach neat Perch Rock.

Minimum of 14 Leach's Petrol, some right next to the Rock. Possible European Storm Petrol too.

3 flyby Grey Phalarope together,  Black Tern, several Arctic and Common Tern. Distant Skua sp. Gannet, Oystercatcher,  Redshank, Kittiwake. 

On beach was a dead Guillemot and large gull sp.

A very enjoyable experience. 



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Had a pleasant couple of hours on the beach at New Brighton this morning  (c.08.15 - 10.15) until the rain came in on the ebbing tide. During that time had views of just 4 Leach's Petrels over the river and one giving us a close up flying display over the sand. Also of note, among the many gulls a sparkling Great Black-backed, a lone Gannet and many Oystercatchers over the water.



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Another visit to New Brighton today, same spot as yesterday, Perch Rock Lighthouse sands and shoreline. Only a handful of Leach's today in view of lessening winds which were not too strong overnight. Main visit, though, was to try and see one or both of the Grey Phalarope which have hung around for three days but, at times, have been elusive. After arriving this morning at around 9.45, a wait of an hour and a half finally 'produced' one of the Grey Phalarope, sitting on the sea only a few yards out from the tide line. After a brief flight, the confiding bird settled, again on the sea, but this time even closer in. Superb scope views were had and a few photos are attached.

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Another after work visit to the Wirral with Simon Gough yesterday and we met up with Chris Chandler later on.

Hoylake...we didn't stay long, only Gulls and a few distant Curlew and Cormorant.

Leasowe Gunsite (approx 30 mins here)
- 7 Leach's Storm Petrel (2 in same bins view)
- 1 Manx Shearwater
- 1 Great Skua harassing the Gulls

...and another large Skua seen doing the same out towards New Brighton, probably a Great Skua but difficult to tell I always think given that juv Pomarine's are quite large and Arctic's can appear large in the right light conditions.

Also a Kestrel hovering right above us at Leasowe and a cracking Hobby flew right infront of us across the M53 on our way there.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 14th of September 2017 03:30:45 PM

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Great few hours on the Wirral this afternoon.

4-8pm

Watched the Leach's Petrels sheltering in the relative calm of the rivermouth at New Brighton for 2 hours. The most I counted at one time was 12 birds, though I reckon there must have been 20+ across the 2 hours.
Fantastic birds to watch and delighted to finally see some after unsuccessful trips in previous years. Definitely one of those occasions where the weather conditions and the general atmosphere really add to the birding experience.

Also seen at New Brighton, 2 Black Tern and a Fulmar.

Further along the coast at Leasowe there were several more Leach's Petrels heading south, a Manx Shearwater and a Great Skua harassing the gulls

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Rather than New Brighton I chose to go to the gun site near leasowe after work. I had 8 Leach's between 4.40 and 5.40 and then a further 16 in the next 45 minutes before the movement seemed to die off completely. 24 in 2hrs felt quite good. Some birds very close in whilst others were very distant.

Other birds of note were few and far between - singles of Kittiwake, Fulmar and a Guillemot sat on the sea were just about it.

A kite surfer stopped on his way past to ask what the small black and white birds hovering on the sea were. He was amazed something so small could survive at sea. Frankly I always am too.

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Paid a visit to New Brighton this afternoon in view of the continuing strong westerlies. Arrived at 1.15 pm and stayed at the same spot, Perch Rock, for approx three hours. Some decent birds had been seen earlier, two Grey Phalarope and one each of Sabine's Gull and Black Tern. Unfortunately none of them returned!

However, it was great to see good numbers of Leach's Petrel fighting their way out of the Mersey. I saw around twenty five birds during my three hour stay, whilst a Northwich birding friend of mine who was their 'early doors' saw an additional thirty five or so. So a good sixty or so until around 4.15 pm by which time most birders had drifted away.

Also around were Sanderling, Oystercatcher, a Little Gull, Fulmar and a Gannet which flew down the Mersey rather than out of it. Leach's Petrel photos attached.

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A fantastic show of 44 Leach's Storm Petrels at New Brighton today plus
Little Gull 2
Sandwich Tern

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Late post for Sunday with Simon Gough (not had chance due to work and yesterday's rush on!)

Thought we'd try our luck for the Leach's Storm Petrels but there was hardly any reported on Sunday.

Leasowe.
- Razorbill 1 young one stranded (comment on discussion later)
- Mediterranean Gull 1 (plus usuals)
- Bar-tailed Godwit 1
- Greenshank 2 (see below)
- Knot 3
- Lapwing 1
- Little Egret 40+
- Peregrine on beach eating a Redshank
- Wheatear on sea wall
- Linnets in a large flock
- Skykark over Gunsite car park
- Common Scoters out to sea
- few Gannets around

Waders in big numbers including...
Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin etc

Of note...
1 of the Greenshank we saw on the groyne was very different to the other and had very yellowish legs as opposed to the greenish grey legs of the other bird. I'm in no way doubting the Greater Yellowlegs sighting but it was just an observation that could've been overlooked, ours were definitely Greenshank though!

Hoylake.
- Curlew Sandpiper 2 (3 reported)
- Ruff 1
- Large numbers of commoner Waders everywhere constantly being put up by free running 'well trained - NOT' dogs! Bit annoying.



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Yes, excellent time y'day early afternoon (Mon 11th) for 2+ hours from Wallasey Lifeguards; good company too

1 Sabine's Gull ~3 miles away (!) in shipping channel in front of Crosby, presumably the same as seen from New Brighton an hour earlier; classic 3-tone wing markings, more buoyant jizz & clearly different from the many Kittiwakes (and confirmed by others!)
~40 Leach's Petrels, some very close
1-2 Arctic Skuas
1-5 Gannet
~5 Manx Shearwater along shoreline
1 Sanderling
100 Oystercatcher
1 Fulmar along shoreline
~10 Tern sp

Interesting point (noted y'day & previously) that the rarer species sometimes prefer the deeper water, ie the shipping channel - though not exclusively of course; the Leachs are less fussy

Unfortunately, I didn't see the Wilson's Petrel (wow!), Storm Petrel, Grey Phalaropes, Black Terns observed by others along the peninsular

Well worth keeping an eye on the weather for the next few days, as there could be repeat performances; high tide will be late afternoon

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Absolutely cracking hour or so birding here on the Wirral last night as Simon says!!

Hoylake.
- Leach's Storm Petrel 5 (Lifer)
Made for quality viewing battling against the strong winds. Bit distant for good record shots but good scope/bins views.
- Sabine's Gull 1 Juv
How you missed this Simon I'll never know!
- Arctic Skua 1
Probable dark phase but it wasn't too close in so could've been affected by the light.
- Grey Plover 1
Summer plumaged individual which made for a good marker for locating some of the birds.

Leasowe.
- Leach's Storm Petrel 2 (Not a Lifer anymore )
- Arctic Skua1 (possibly 2)

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 12th of September 2017 10:25:29 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 12th of September 2017 10:26:39 PM

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Rob Creek and I raced over to Hoylake after work and over 30 mins or so were thrilled to see 5 Leach's Petrels battling the wind to cross the sands on the falling tide. This was a spanking lifer for both of us and a really big sighting for me, a regional speciality that I was wondering when I would ever see, after a series of barren autumns for the right combination of weather and bird passage.

The overall environment was stunning, a setting sun shining brightly on the shallow pools on the beach, with a thrashing line of breakers in the background and gulls wheeling around all over the place, while waders and Shelducks were dotted about. Rob also saw a Sabine's Gull and Arctic Skua in the background while I was jammed on one of the petrels, refusing to be distracted. The birds were moving so slowly across the beach, it was amazing to think they were probably in the middle of the Atlantic a few days ago. I had a really beautiful view of one, showing its plumage features and pattering flight clearly.

We relocated to Leasowe to see if the viewing was better there, and noted another 2 Leach's, again doggedly battling westwards. They were fractionally closer but the light was going. We saw a couple of distant Skuas here, probably Arctics.

All in all 7 birds in an hour was a pretty decent return, we were like little kids at a birthday party! I can't wait to see some more now!

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I was tempted out only after seeing a rain-less weather forecast for the Wirral for the afternoon. Hence I arrived rather late, after high tide, and also after the highest numbers of Leach's Petrels had already passed through.

Leasowe Gun Site (15.30 a 17.00):
Leach's Petrel 9 (Including a few close individuals with 1 landing exhausted on the sea in front of me)
Kittiwake 2
Little Gull 1
Sandwich Tern 1

New Brighton, Mersey estuary (17.15 - 18.00):
Leach's Petrel 5

+ usuals

Cheers John



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About 3 hours at New Brighton with Chris Sutton

Good numbers of Leach's Petrel including 2 very good close in views!
1 Sabine's gull (bird of the day)
1 Sandwich Tern
10-15 redshank
2 Sanderling
1 Mediterranean Gull
A few Oystercatchers and Turnstones

Plus the usuals




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leasowe lighthouse.

an hour stuck in traffic on the m56 had me getting here just after high tide but after just 10 mins picked up a leach's petrel close in being chased by a black headed gull biggrin
1 kittiwake
1 guillemot
on the groyne,
2 greenshank
32+ little egret
redshank
dunlin
ringed plover
wheatear in the paddocks
plus usuals



-- Edited by steven burke on Saturday 9th of September 2017 11:57:58 PM

-- Edited by steven burke on Sunday 10th of September 2017 08:21:36 AM

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Originally posted today by Kevin Forde

 

Denhall Quay:

 

Goldfinch Marsh harrier Short eared owl Kestrel Raven Carrion crow Little egret Buzzard Meadow pipit 

 



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Burton Marsh, Denhall Lane 8.00 - 9.30am Highlights

Great White Egret 2
Merlin 1m
Wheatear 1m

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9 Waxwing in the Boathouse pub car park at Parkgate at 3pm; feeding in a berry tree in the car park.

Info thanks to Dave Steel

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A few highlights of the High Peak RSPB group trip to the Wirral today:

West Kirkby marine lake: 2 Red Breasted Merganser, 15 Grey Plover, 1000s of Dunlin 

Kings Gap: 17 Pale Bellied Brent Geese, 2 Red Throated Diver, 10 Common Scoter, 30 Grey Plover, 25 Knot, Redwing, 100's of Ringed Plover,Dunlin, Sanderling and Oystercatcher.

Wirral CP at Thurstaston: 50 Black Tailed Godwit, 5 Bullfinch, 5 Knot, Little Egret 

Parkgate: 2 ringtail Hen Harrier, 4 Marsh Harrier, Merlin,Peregrine,  5 Little Egret 

Harp Inn little Neston: 2 Short Eared Owl, 2 Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier, Stonechat 

 



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West Kirby Marine Lake, at high tide, Highlights

Red Breasted Merganser
Goldeneye
Pale Bellied Brent Goose 23
Cormorant c60 on middle eye
Large movement of Dunlin and Redshank

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Heswall gutter on the flooding tide, Highlights

Bar tailed Godwit 21
Redshank c200
Dunlin c600
Lapwing c150
Golden Plover
Pintail c25
Peregrine 2
Marsh Harrier
Many Teal and Shellduck



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Neston Sewerage Works 8.15 - 9.45am

Water Pipit 1, On the closest filter bed to the perimeter fence, in a 90 min search I was rewarded with a measley 3 sec view
Chiffchaff 3/4
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Goldcrest 2
Linnet 4

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Neston
Marsh opposite Harp Inn
Short Eared Owl 1 (poss 2) showing well, hunting. Flying high and low, putting up waders, ducks, egrets and apparently every other bird in the reeds, even a cock pheasant. Protracted views.

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After a visit to Burton Mere Wetlands I made my way up and then back down the Wirral, the highlights were as follows.

At Neston Sewage Treatment Works a single Water Pipit showed well on the filter beds and a Chiffchaff was in trees just outside the works with a couple of Goldcrests. Plenty of Little Egrets were on the marsh and Pink-footed Geese flew out along the water line.

At New Brighton at least 6 Purple Sandpipers were easily seen roosting on the Marine Lake Pontoon at high tide along with lots of Dunlin, Turnstone and Redshank. A thorough search of the gulls in the area failed to turn up the hoped for Mediterranean Gull.

Next stop Heswall shore where I joined a few birding mates to scan the wader flocks. Huge Flocks of Knot were seen with large numbers of both Dunlin and Sanderling amongst them. A few Bar-tailed Godwits were picked out on the tideline too. It was amazing just how distant the flocks were so soon after high tide. It goes to show how quickly thetide drops on these flat mudflats/sands. Looking over towards West Kirby a small group of Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen on 'bird rock', which saved me a trip to the marine lake to look for this species.

With the visibility deteriorating and the drizzle getting heavier I called it a day, but even given the poor weather a fabulous days birding was had, The Wirral never dissappoints smile



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The old baths at Parkgate after I'd been to Llanfairfechan. 2 Marsh Harriers - both cream capped, a ring tailed Hen Harrier and a very distant Peregrine were the highlights of a couple of hours.

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west Kirby marine lake & shore after high tide.

a nice mixture of thousands of waders just up from the marine lake included...

bar tailed godwits
knot
dunlin
sanderling
redshank
curlew
oystercatcher
only 10 ringed plover & 4 grey plover
1 little egret
54 shelduck

4 red breasted mergansers just flown from the marine lake as I arrived & 89 brent geese flew past heading to hilbre island.

I made a short visit to new brighton but didn't arrive until about 1.30 so there were no waders on the pontoon, I had a look on the rocks just behind perch rock but could only find redshank, oystercatcher, dunlin & turnstone no purple sandpipers.

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New Brighton Marine Lake , Just after height tide 12.00ish

Purple Sandpiper 5
Turnstone 21
Dunlin 36
Redshank 122

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Date:

Hoylake Kings Gap, Height tide Highlights

Bar tailed Godwit 32
Knot c200
Grey Plover c40
Dunlin c400
Sanderling c30
Oystercatcher c300
Curlew c30

Oddly no Ringed Plover present

-- Edited by Mark Burgess on Saturday 28th of January 2017 02:31:27 PM

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Burton Marsh 8.00 - 10.30am Highlights

Whooper Swan c20
Bewick's Swan 4
Mute Swan c40
Hen Harrier adult grey male
Marsh Harrier 2
Cettis Warbler 2 heard only
Waterail heard only
Stonechat 5
Raven 7
Pink footed Goose 500+
Barnacle Goose 1 in amongst Canada Geese
Great White Egret 2
Black Swan 2
Snow Goose 1st winter

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Date:

New Brighton pontoon over high tide:

Purple Sandpiper 10
Redshank 80+
Turnstone 200+
Knot 1
Dunlin 6

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Phil Greenwood


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Date:

14/01/17 Stockport Birdwatching Society trip to Parkgate and Burton Wetlands RSPB

Another good trip with highlights at Parkgate (0830 - 1030) being 4 Great White Egret, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 1 Merlin and 1 ringtail Hen Harrier.


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My wife and I popped up to the Wirral today for the high tide.

RSPB Burton Marsh

Had an hour on site picking up a few year ticks, nothing of note for me although one gentleman did disturb a woodcock

Denhall Quay - footpath north to Moorside Lane and return via Old Quay Lane.

We had intended to watch the tide in from the car outside the Harp pub, but the marshes at Little Neston were full of dog walkers clearing the area of wildlife.

We decided to walk up to Neston on the foreshore and return by Old Quay Lane to get 2 shots at the water pipits at the sewage works.

On the foreshore leg we saw a great white egret and a merlin, but no water pipits. At the water treatment end of Old Quay Lane we walked across the horse field to the sewage works where another bird watcher put us on a water pipit in a filtration tank.

I am ashamed to say it flew off when we arrived but it was soon spotted nearby in a puddle. We waited for it to return to the tank for about 30 mins and saw a couple of chiffchaff while we waited. We then decided to try Parkgate and get some fish and chips.

Parkgate

We got our fish and chips and drove up to the baths to eat them. A marsh harrier flew by while we ate and we saw 2 more later.

Finally a female hen harrier appeared and we decided to leave as the cold wind had frozen us to the core.

All in all it ended up not a bad day out, with 13 more year ticks and one lifer for us.

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Given a 9.8m tide today and high winds blowing down the River Dee it looked like a good day to go check out the high tide, and seeing as how I'm working tomorrow it was a no brainer really. I also bumped into Wirral Guru, Richard Smith, who runs the Dee Estuary Birds website, who had the same thoughts and reasoning as myself. However we were both surprised when the tide never really came in to the extent that we had expected. Later on I met several folk who ahd been down and the feeling was universal, it just ahdn't delivered no

But you have always got to make the best of it, and from a point along the coastal path N.of Parkgate I had a reasonable watch albeit in winds that it was hard enough standing up in, never mind trying to use optics!! First good bird was a Merlin, maybe not surprising as I had noticed many pipits and Skylarks flying up out of the gutters as the water rose slightly. Also seen were 2 Peregrines, one huge female showing exceptionally well, both perched and buzzing the Oystercatcher flocks, although she didn't make  ahit whilst I was watching. Three Marsh Harriers made light of the wind conditions, floating about over the marsh and dropping down, seemingly on prey, and at times giving great views when they were down on the ground. The best sighting was a Short-eared Owl, which was only up for about 30 seconds before dropping into a reedbed. Luckily I got the 2 birders who had joined me onto it, and this was the species they especially wanted to see. Reward was a quality street chocolate for me, gratefully received biggrin Chatting later to birders who had been either at Parkgate Old Baths or Riverbank Road confirmed what I thought, no-one had seen the owl from those vantage points. It was directly out from us - a case of right place, right time! A Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel were also seen to complete the raptor list. Huge flocks of waders and wildfowl were far out along the waters edge but nothing else of not came in close enough for us to see, and no mammals were seen at all which is one thing I had gone hoping to see again.

I was told of  atheory later that the very strong winds blowing directly along the river had actually blown water more 'inland' rather than allow it to spread out onto the saltmarsh and had in fact lessened the effect of the tide by half a metre. I can see how that may be true and the result certainly was what happened. So tomorrow with a 9.8m tide again, but lighter winds may be much better.



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