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Post Info TOPIC: The Wirral


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Leasowe Lighthouse area this morning:

Single Wheatear and Whinchat (the latter not seen by me) both in the horse paddocks along with dozens of juvenile Pied Wagtails and 6 Curlew. 2 Juvenile Yellow Wagtail also reported but not seen by me.

On the groyne (just after high tide and the reported Osprey fly past) were a good selection of waders that included Turnstone, Redshank, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover. Masses of Swallow all along the shoreline too.

Earlier, a Kingfisher was reported along Lingham Lane.

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This afternoon: Purple Sandpiper on the rocks south of "Pirate Ship", Tower Foreshore, Egremont

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Hi Austin, our paths probably crossed as it seems we had similar sightings. The 2 Ringed Plover on the slope weren't with the Dunlin when I got there, they were further up towards Gunsight. Felt sorry for the Dunlin. I too got some cracking up close shots of the Dunlin.

Tanmay you took the words right out of my original post but I deleted the sentence before posting it as I wasn't sure.
1 probable Manx Shearwater out to sea but too far out to tell, there were plenty of Gulls doing Shearwater type manoeuvres so wasn't 100% and it soon disappeared among the squolls.

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Brief trip to Hoylake yday despite a middling tide

Biting winds and ate a lot more sand than is probably healthy!

Highlight was 1 common scoter (drake) on the beach.
Several dunlin, knot, sanderling, redshank, ringed plover, cormorants and gulls (nothing unusual amongst them that I could see).
1 probable manx shearwater at sea but too far out to tell for sure cry

Most of the waders in s/pl which was nice

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Hi Rob I too was out braving the windy Wirral conditions yesterday too and saw a huge flock of Linnet in the horse paddocks, got some nice shots of that Dunlin and its Ringed Plover companion sitting on the slope.

Have a look here

www.austinmorley.blogspot.com


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Visit up to Leasowe Lighthouse today after Pennington Flash.
Started off at the end of Pasture Rd where it meets Leasowe Rd and Lingham Rd and walked not quite as far as the Gunsight on the seafront. Then went over to the Lighthouse and walked out the other way up to the rocky outcrop.

Of note:
Plenty of Black-headed, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls incl juv,
Not as many Lesser Black-backed Gulls and only 1 Common Gull.

Wind was atrocious and resulted in the smaller birds seeking refuge where they could. Amongst the rocks were uncountable Redshank,
Turnstone,
Plenty of Oystercatcher
Ringed Plover
Starling
1 Dunlin choosing to brave it out by sitting in an aerodynamic shape on the slopes leading down to the waters edge,
2 Curlew
A few Swallows and House Martin ... 1 of the latter trying to seek cover from the wind on the ground near me
Plenty of Cormorant

Also quite a few little birds in singles and pairs of Finch-type and Warbler-type being relentlessly blown around and disappearing as they were hurled over me into the surrounding paddocks and vegetation. Only ones I managed to identify were a pair of Linnet which stopped on the seafront wall before risking it again. My eyes were streaming with the piercing wind.

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A very late post for Sunday August 3rd (I'm sure I'd posted this before but I mustn't have pressed submit)

Quick visit to Parkgate after Burton Wetlands.

Of note:
2 Marsh Harrier out hunting at the same time.
1 Kestrel
Numerous Little Egret
Plenty of Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls
A few Black-tailed Godwit

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A pleasant few hours over high tide at Leasowe Gunsight this afternoon. Although there were no Manx Shearwaters to be seen there were plenty of other species about with the groyne behind Leasowe Castle packed with Redshank, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Oystercatchers. On the sand, Pied Wagtails taking insects and 4-5 Wheatear flitting about. Also present several Cormorant, good numbers of Hirundines and 5 gull species including Common Gulls.

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12.30 - 2.00pm over 9.7m high tide, highlights

Dunlin c1000 adult and juvenile birds
Sanderling c200 adult and juvenile
Ringed Plover c300
Knot 6, 2 juvenile
Bar Tailed Godwit 3
Sandwich Tern 7
Arctic Tern 1 juvenile
Manx Shearwater 7 through just after high tide spectacular high/low gliding flight in the heavy winds


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Watched a male and a juvenile Marsh Harrier from our table in the Boathouse Inn restaurant Parkgate early this afternoon biggrinbiggrin

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First Marsh Harrier there for me personally, and it was really interesting to compare to Hen Harrier that I've seen frequently before. The behaviour was pretty similar but the bird was substantially bigger. It is one of my favourite places to go birding and even though it has been a great summer part of me can't wait for a freezing December day and a high tide!

Re-reading my previous post, it struck me that you might not need Sherlock Holmes to conclude that the best place to look for a Marsh Harrier might be on a big marsh! But I knew what I meant...

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Must have been following in your footsteps!

Nothing like eating fish'n'chips on Parkgate front watching a Marsh Harrier hunting over the estuary smile

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Walked the marsh from Station Road to Neston 1900-2000 last evening, wearily approaching 12 hours on the estuary at this point! First time I'd been there with summer greenery alive and well, it was very atmospheric though as always. Not may birds, just Little Egrets and gulls, then a splendid finish to the day, 2 separate good views of a big juvenile Marsh Harrier hunting. What a beauty! Had to smile too, we'd been talking to a guy in the Reserve about wanting to see a Marshie and he said "get out onto the marsh", he clearly knew his stuff...

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A dawn start this morning. A wander around Neston Marsh and Neston Sewage works area.

Great spotted Woodpecker feeding a very hungry youngster in tree hole.
Tawny owl coming in to roost in same area.
Single Grasshopper warbler.
Good numbers of Reed warbler, Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat.
Singles of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow warbler.

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Yesterday I was also at Leasowe, starting around 10am and leaving at 2pm. A similar experiance to David, with extra birds being seen after the mist had descended. My mate, Allan Conlin, author of Lighthouse Birders Blog, was also there so my reports are a summary of both our sightings. Pre-mist I saw 2 male Whinchats up from the paddocks off 'Sandy Lane', I also a Grasshopper Warbler which was seen & heard in the brambles in the same area. I also had 3 Yellow Wagtails in the paddocks with two White Wagtails & a Pied, Allan had 5 White Wagtails. I counted a max. of 10 Wheatears across all the paddocks and an extra Whinchat dropped in to make a total of 3 for this species. Out at sea I watched at least 20 Sandwich Terns plunge diving whilst Allan had 2 Red-throated Divers, 5 Common Scoters and a Scaup offshore and 5 Whimbrels off the groyne. He also had a Merlin in off the sea before I arrived.

My most surprising sighting was not avian but lepidopteran! I had an early Painted Lady Butterfly nectaring on Dandelions & Bluebells, a record shot is on the Lighthouse Birding Blog. This beats last years early date in Cheshire & Wirral for Painted Lady by 11 days smile

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A couple of hours after lunch around Leasowe lighthouse. Really warm as I arrived with nothing unusual around. Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler and Reed warbler all evident. Then the sea mist rolled in and noticably cooler. So I made my way back through the paddocks hoping the weather had dropped some migrants. I was rewarded with 8 Wheatear. 3 Whinchat and 3 Yellow wagtail.

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A dawn mooch around Leasowe Lighthouse til 8.30 am. 1 Male Whinchat. 2 Wheatear. plus multiples of Reed Warbler...Chiffchaff....Blackcap...Willow Warbler....Sedge Warbler....Whitethroat. Single Grasshopper warbler heard. From the sea wall 3 Little Egret around the groyne then a flock of about 50 Dunlin landed just metres away from me happily feeding in the mud. Also the odd Swallow and Meadow pipit arriving off the sea. Certainly not all that was seen today here, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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26th april, leasowe, 1-8.30pm

after 3 hours waiting around for the NIGHT HERON I decided to give up, got about 50yds down the road & the little blighter flew right over my head, got some decent pics also biggrinwink lifer

other birds around...

grasshopper warbler reeling away then eventually showed itself about 15ft away
2 sedge warblers seen, more heard as were reed warblers
12 yellow wagtails inc what was first thought to be a blue headed then was reported as a channel wagtail
2 whinchats
at least 8 wheatears
whitethroats, blackcaps & chiffchaffs all around, surprisingly no willow warblers seen or heard
few swallows, sand martins & house martins
1 kestrel
1 buzzard
1 little egret & 1 shelduck on the beach, tide was well out.
lots of linnets around
plus all the usuals.

a great aft/eve birding
smile

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

Also at Parkgate:

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

smile

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

Around the horse paddocks:

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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New Brighton Marine Lake,

Purple Sandpiper 13
Redshank 26
Red Breasted Merganser 1m

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

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

On the Marine Lake pontoons.

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

Cormorant 2 at sea but nothing else seen.

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

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

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Brian Baird wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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




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



John Tymon Wrote


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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




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

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Stockport Birdwatching Society Coach Trip to the Wirral 14.02.2014

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

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

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

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

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

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Parkgate for high tide
10.30-12.15

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

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

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

Denhall (12.45-14.00)

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

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Well done Pete your persistence paid off in the end.

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

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

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

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

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


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Parkgate

Six species of raptor today:

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

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

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

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

Highlights,

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



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

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

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


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Pontoon on New Brighton Marine Lake at high tide today:

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

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


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

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New Brighton Marine Lake,

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

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Burton Marsh Station Rd 9.00 till 10.30

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

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