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Post Info TOPIC: St Helens


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RE: St Helens


Had a call from my brother-in-law in St Helens this morning to tell me that there was a Little Egret on Taylor Park lake.

He didn't think that they'd had one on there previously.



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Only Myself and Mark were present when the Sparrowhawk took the Starling below is the last picture of it alive :(



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Sadly it's true. I had waited for an hour for it to show, which it did at about 10.30. It did it give good views for about 15 minutes before the sparrowhawk shot in and ended it all! 

I have attached one of the last photos to be taken blankstare



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 31st of October 2018 06:05:23 PM

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I must add if ok, that even though it's unconfirmed information about the starling, I'm not really suprised because when I saw him on friday- he was occasionally coughing (mum got a picture of him doing that). In my experience in working with wildbirds- it's the type of cough that is from a parasite of lungworm. Though the starling could well be fit and healthy otherwise, any slight "weakness" like that would make him a target. Ta!

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Wednesday 31st of October 2018 05:56:50 PM

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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I'm still waiting proper confirmation but I had a phone call today saying the rose coloured starling has been taken by a Sparrowhawk. Thought I'd put this up in case you are travelling distance and maybe you might consider putting it off until someone can confirm definitely one way or the other. I'm hoping the news is incorrect.

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Bowling Green pub - WA9 3NQ
Fryday's chippy - WA9 3NT

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The Rose-Coloured Starling was still present this morning, showing ridiculously well. It feeds out of sight in the back yard of a house on Baxters Lane, but it spends most of its time in the adjacent small bramble-filled back yard behind Robins Cafe and Frydays Chip Shop. The location is off Robins Lane, Peasley Cross. The cafe and chippy are in a small side street called Extension View, just east of the Robins Lane/Baxters Lane junction (where the closed Bowling Green pub is). There is some parking in Extension View, but plenty elsewhere in the vicinity if full. Walk up the alley way to the left of Frydays as you face it, to view the rear yard of the cafe.

-- Edited by dave broome on Sunday 28th of October 2018 01:32:49 PM

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Ian McKerchar wrote:

There seems to be a lack of detailed directions to where the Rose-coloured Starling actually is on this thread, so for the sake of those who may be interested in going but need to know where, would someone mind posting some please

 





In St Helens (directions from St Helens junction rail station) it's halfway along Robins Lane (0.7 miles) and there is a small roundabout joining with baxters lane with a boarded up pub called The Bowling Green. Just before that is a tiny Lane called Extention View with Fridays fish and chips and Robins cafe. There is a back Lane that connects baxters lane to this spot and that is the area to wait. There is some tangled brambles and greenery at the back of the chippy where the starling often hides in.

Hope this helps.

Anyone going via public transport, trains leave Manchester deansgate about half past every hour during the week and a bus from the station at St Helens junction leaves about 10 mins after arrival.


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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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There seems to be a lack of detailed directions to where the Rose-coloured Starling actually is on this thread, so for the sake of those who may be interested in going but need to know where, would someone mind posting some please 🙂

 



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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Rose coloured starling perched in tree behind the chippy- 12 noon

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Just been to see this incredible juvenile Rosy Starling. I spoke to the lady who was feeding it and she is happy for anyone to come and view/photograph as long as it stays. I took far to many shots but below are a few as it put on such a great display. Good to see everyone there and as always with fellow birders had some great banter.

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As always, luck plays a big part in birding...no show at 1000! Boo hoo!



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Phil Greenwood


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John Watson wrote:

That could have been me just missing out. I'd been chasing Starlings around the houses behind the pub



No worries there John, I'm just glad you eventually found it!

I was going to goto Marshside today, but something just made me ask my mother last night if she would like to go and find the rose coloured starling Friday instead of Saturday. So off we went.

We only had to wait 15 minutes until it showed. He was at first flying with a few common starlings. But once he landed on his favourite spot behind the chippy, he chased of all the others and landed in the greenery for a good 10 minutes. The only dampener was is that I only wish the lighting was better. But who can complain after such stunning views.

The pictures I've attached, one I've selected is my mother's (stamped with C Thew)

So a lifer for mum, and a stunning close view for me!

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Friday 26th of October 2018 06:52:07 PM

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Hi John, I went yesterday morning got there before the starlings were even out and about.  Went to Robins café at 9am for a breakfast, its next to the chip shop you refer to. The lady in the café told me that the bird has been spending a lot of time in the brambles at the back of the café. So I went down a short path at the side of the fish shop and when I looked over the wall the Starling was in the Ivy on the back of the café. It was looking very tatty and preening itself. I thought maybe that was its roost.  I went for my breakfast and when I went back  it was sitting on a wall and kept disappearing into a backyard of one of the terrace houses.  About 25 Starlings had turned up too but the Rose Coloured seemed to keep to itself.

A chap called me from the backyard of the bungalow by the side of the Chip shop and told me he had found it in his garden and did not know what it was, His grandson took a photo of it and put it on the internet and found out what it was.  It still comes into his garden and goes on the fat balls and the Mealy worms he puts out.

I never saw it at roof top level, it just sat on a back yard wall or the small shed there.

 



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Alan patterson


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That could have been me just missing out. I'd been chasing Starlings around the houses behind the pub

However, I returned to the derelict Bowling Green pub after a mandatory shopping break, and got onto it while lunching smile

Worth noting, there's a chippy "Fryday's" 80 yards E of the pub, behind the houses as viewed from the pub. Speaking to some locals (who've all seen it), the bird hangs around the chippy sometimes resting, or bathing in the puddle on its roof. Maybe it likes chips ...

-- Edited by John Watson on Wednesday 24th of October 2018 09:26:18 AM

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With extra time on my hands this week, I couldn't resist another attempt to find my 1st ever rose coloured starling. When I arrived, a lady gave me it's general patten behaviour and this time I only had to wait about 1/2 hour when I found it myself on an aerial behind the pub on baxters lane. (Everyone else quickly got on it too) It was Well worth the effort and some great views too. At first, I was scanning the local starlings just in case (from some reports). But my tactics soon changed and I just patrolled the zone. Some of the others kept chasing the common starlings and one unfortunate guy just missed out because of (the rose coloured starling tends to be on its own). Ta. Ps. I will post some pictures here later.

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Tuesday 23rd of October 2018 05:07:48 PM

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Not been yet, but there are subtle differences around the face & base of bill in your pics

Nice comparison

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There has been some discussion about whether or not the St Helens rose-coloured starling might be the same bird as that at Timperley last week. I've attached a collage of a few of my photos of the two birds, and although non of the photos are brilliant, I think that you can clearly see that the Timperley bird has heavy tail wear which is not present in the St Helens bird, so in my opinion they are not the same bird.



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My blog "A field notebook": http://birdingsthelens.blogspot.co.uk/



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Juvenile Rose-coloured starling opposite the closed Bowling Green Inn near St Helens hospital today.



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My blog "A field notebook": http://birdingsthelens.blogspot.co.uk/



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Approx 4000 Pink-Footed Geese feeding at Crank today, near the Red Cat junction

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A conservative count of 2000 Pink footed geese in a sheep field today on Dairy farm road  St Helens , sadly no scope so I may have missed something different .

 

Keep



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In St Helens borough a Little Egret was present at Kings Moss around 13:00, alongside Pimbo Road opp the Fir Tree Farm car park



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Drake red-crested pochard on Eccleston Mere again this morning.



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5 Wigeon at Taylor Park today



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35 Fieldfare at Taylor Park early afternoon



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A few more migrants yesterday:

An Osprey sighting yesterday over Fir Tree Farm

Willow Warbler on Billinge Hill

2 wheatear on Cooper's lane

Plus more yaffling green woodpeckers around Billinge Hill than I've ever known!

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A Peregrine flew high over St Helens Town Hall just after midday



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A leucistic looking black-headed gull has been hanging around the pools on the A571 next to the Ravenhead Retail park .... would make you think of something different if you didnt pay too much attention to details

http://sthelensbirds.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/sthelens-retail-park.html



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Had a St Helens tick today as we found an Egyptian goose on Eccleston mere before it flew toward Prescot Reservoirs

The cold snap had brought some wildfowl in as numbers were decent:

8 mute swan

2 teal

1 pochard

12 gadwall

c20 tufted duck

c30 mallard

c50 coot

15 great crested grebe

3 little grebe

Also in rear woods 2 willow tit, 3 great spotted woodpecker, 6 siskin, sparrowhawk



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A steep embankment above the car park of Morrissons on Boundary Rd, with dense Bramble, Rose and Hawthorn held a flock of at least 70 House Sparrow today, also a Goldcrest and a Bullfinch.

Goldcrest feeding in a Yew in Victoria Park 



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2 Willow Tit at Clock Face Country Park today, also c400 Black-Headed Gull, 1 Common Gull and 20 Swift feeding on flying ants

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Not sure how many people have seen the reports but I found a quail singing/calling in a cereal field off Roby Well Way, Billinge. This is the bottom of Billinge Hill below the horse paddocks at Crookhurst Farm

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Yellow Budgie chattering away in a tree opposite the Police station and Gregson House last Thursday at around 1.30pm

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Willow warbler
Blackcap
Swallow
Wheatear
Chiffchaff
All on Billinge Hill making really seem like spring now!

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Late post from yesterday:

5 Buzzards and 2 Sparrowhawks all enjoying the beautiful sunshine yesterday afternoon above Bosworth road, St Helens

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Damian Pendlebury wrote:

The Hamlyn Species Guide - The Blackcap by C. F. Mason is really good. Is that the one you're thinking of Paul?





Cheers Damian

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Hi Paul

Further news of a number of Blackcaps over wintering in a friend's mother's garden near Llangoed in Anglesey. I used to live near there and it does not have a much different climate than St Helens, so it would seem the temperature is not deterring them.

I will try to find the below book suggested by Damian.

Cheers

Lawrence

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L Hindley


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Hi Paul.

Depends on what you define as recentbiggrin

They weren't nearly as numerous but I wasn't entirely surprised to find one over-wintering in a garden in Albert Park (West Didsbury) in 1976.

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Tuesday 6th of January 2015 08:41:07 PM

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The Hamlyn Species Guide - The Blackcap by C. F. Mason is really good. Is that the one you're thinking of Paul?

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Hi Lawrence,

And you've answered my question though I think the climate down there is somewhat warmer!

I do believe the overwintering blackcap thing is a recent phenomenom, I think there's a good book on the subject actually but cant remember the title or author!

Cheers
Paul

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Hi Paul

I have just returned from my parents house in Torquay, Devon and their garden is likewise overrun by wintering Blackcaps. Strangely I just wondered whether this was a southern thing, or did it also happen up here. It seems you have answered my question.

The next question to ask is whether there are more wintering Blackcaps now as opposed to previous years?

Cheers

Lawrence

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L Hindley


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Ian McKerchar wrote:

Okay, back to birds now please...





Okay Ian!

We seem to have at least 3 gardens in St Helens with overwintering Blackcaps (via our @sthelensbirds Twitter feed an blog) and a few more in nearby towns. Also from previoulsy working on the Wirral I know they seem to be relatively common in the NW. Is this a pattern repeated over the country?

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Okay, back to birds now please...

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Pete Astles wrote:

It stayed stapley over night before being moved to a specialist seal hospital in Norfolk I think it must be in with a chance or they would have put it to sleep at stapley however it will have a new home on the wash can't see them driving it back to hilbre






Never doubted it with this one Pete, tough hardy Mammals, and as I stated in a post earlier but it's not come up...they are built to withstand poor conditions for the most part, but they can get stressed easily causing them to not eat or drink until they feel in a comfortable environment to do so. Years of experience at Stapeley has probably enabled them to coax this one back to full hydration! Still would've thought Hilbre being the logical choice though. Let's see!
Cheers
Rob

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It stayed stapley over night before being moved to a specialist seal hospital in Norfolk I think it must be in with a chance or they would have put it to sleep at stapley however it will have a new home on the wash can't see them driving it back to hilbre

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I accidentally also thought it was an elephant seal after finding this link!

http://video.news.com.au/v/144997/Elephant-Seal-in-St-Helens

I hear that it was pretty malnourished (is this possible with all that fat?) and taken to Stapely ....

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It was initially reported locally as a sea lion now that would be some journey it made

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Good news that John. I'd say Hilbre does seem the likely place it came from. We must've had different radio stations on...smile

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Rob Creek wrote:

paul brady wrote:

Remarkable news of a grey seal in St Helens!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-30575560





I'm glad you said Grey Seal, Paul, because that's what it is. The article on the link, and when I heard it on the radio earlier say Common Seal which is otherwise known as the Harbour Seal. This is without doubt in my mind a Grey! The large brut like head with 'Roman' nose most evident in the photos pretty much ID it alone, and I'm very surprised the RSPCA and whoever else from any other Mammal Rescue team haven't managed to correctly ID it!
Cheers
Rob

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 22nd of December 2014 09:19:10 PM



It said grey seal on the news I was listening to ,its apparently going to be released at Hilbre Island ,where it most likely came from .
:)

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paul brady wrote:

Remarkable news of a grey seal in St Helens!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-30575560





I'm glad you said Grey Seal, Paul, because that's what it is. The article on the link, and when I heard it on the radio earlier say Common Seal which is otherwise known as the Harbour Seal. This is without doubt in my mind a Grey! The large brut like head with 'Roman' nose most evident in the photos pretty much ID it alone, and I'm very surprised the RSPCA and whoever else from any other Mammal Rescue team haven't managed to correctly ID it!
Cheers
Rob

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 22nd of December 2014 09:43:55 PM

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