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Post Info TOPIC: Ainsdale and Birkdale Beaches


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RE: Ainsdale and Birkdale Beaches


Birkdale Saltmarsh and Sea Buckthorn thickets. Afternoon visit

Skylarks are still reasonably abundant here thankfully, as they appear to be in decline almost everywhere else.

Meadow Pipits did not seem as numerous as I've noted on previous visits though.

At least 10 Little Egrets were seen along the edge of the beach/saltmarsh.

Also seen were 5 Reed Buntings and 3 Kestrels, whilst a Cettis Warbler gave a loud burst of song from a patch of Sea Buckthorn.

I was hoping a Sedge Warbler would show today and pose for a photo, but they all stayed hidden unfortunately.

A nice selection of mini-beasts were to be found though, please see separate thread.

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Birkdale beach & saltmarsh 11.30-16.00

The beach tern roost contained 150+ Sandwich and around a dozen Common Terns.

Adult Sandwich Terns were seen bringing fish to feed their newly fledged youngsters on the beach.

Waders along the shoreline included impressive numbers of Dunlin, together with lesser numbers of Knot,

Bar Tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Oystercatcher and Redshanks. Only a few Curlew and Grey Plovers were found

though, with just 1 Turnstone being seen and Ringed Plovers completely absent. 2 Little Egrets were also on the beach.

Some of the Knot, Sanderlings and godwits were still in their breeding finery.

A Sedge Warbler was seen carrying food in the saltmarsh, where a Wheatear spent a while resting on an old dead tree stump.

4 Stonechats, 4 Reed Buntings, 6 Linnets and a charm of 30+ Goldfinches were also seen around the saltmarsh.

Oddly only 1 Meadow Pipit was seen, and Skylarks were completely absent.

A couple of adult Common Gulls were seen amongst a group of Black Headed.



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Birkdale beach & saltmarsh 10.30-14.30

Waders along the edge of the saltmarsh at high tide : Grey Plover (100+), Dunlin, Knot, Bar-Tailed Godwits, Sanderlings,

Turnstones and Oystercatchers. Just a few Redshanks were seen though, and oddly I couldn't find any Ringed Plovers,

but perhaps they were concentrated further along the shore?. At least 18 Common Scoters were noted close into the

shoreline, with the drakes aggressively chasing each other around. Large numbers of resplendent adult Common Gulls

were resting on the beach, whilst amongst the other gulls was a single adult Yellow Legged. Skylarks were very active

across the saltmarsh with numerous birds engaged in song flights, only around a dozen Meadow Pipits were seen though,

with just 3 seen indulging in parachute displays. A flock of 6 Long-Tailed Tits flitted around the Sea Buckthorn thicket.

Oddly just 1 Reed Bunting was noted around the saltmarsh. 3 Little Egrets were along the edge of the marsh.



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11.00-15.00 Walked from Weld Road to Ainsdale, mainly on path along the edge of the salt marsh, and returned via same route.

1 Kestrel, 1f Sparrowhawk (Flew fast and just inches from the ground along the edge of the beach), 3 Wheatears and 1 Little Egret.

22 Grey Plovers and 18 Sandwich Terns were on the beach, along with large numbers of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderlings.

Lots of Common Gulls and 16 Great black Backs amongst the gull roost on the beach.

A flock of 6 Swifts and 2 House Martins flew South across the salt marsh.

At one point a couple unleashed a greyhound close to large gathering of small waders, the dog chased the startled birds with real vigour,

but thankfully was not seen to catch anything. The dogs owners watched for around 10 minutes whilst the greyhound launched itself into

several groups of waders that were resting on the beach. I know Sanderlings are fast sprinters, but they cannot outpace a determined

greyhound, it was a absolute miracle that no birds were caught.

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09.00-13.00

Walk from Weld Road (Southport) to Ainsdale Beach and back. Out via the beach and back along the path through the slacks/dunes.

40+ Sandwich Terns rested on the beach amongst the gulls. Some terns were seen to display.

4 Sedge Warblers singing and showing well in the scrub area at the edge of the beach.

3 Willow Warblers singing and posing on the thickets of Sea Buckthorn.

Around 50 Cormorants resting on the beach, some carrying sticks or with their beaks crammed full of dead vegetation, can't think why they'd do that here?.

Skylarks and Reed Buntings abound in the slacks and along the edge of the beach, Meadow Pipits slightly less numerous, and Starlings seemed confined

to the area around Weld Road.

Also seen in the area were 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel and 10 Great Black Backed Gulls.

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Dusky Warbler at Ainsdale NNR, Southport, Lancashire. Sunday 18th November 2018

    News of a Dusky Warbler in the sand dunes at Ainsdale, Lancashire reached me whilst I was at the Shrewsbury v Rochdale football match on Saturday evening. After the result, there may be a way of rescuing the weekend then? Steve B was still in bed as news that the warbler was still present began to break, without his usual fry up I picked him up at 10-30am and using the trusty Sat Nav headed for Ainsdale. It was a sunny and wind free as we reached Ainsdale, following the directions and parking on Pinfold Lane, just as Paul Brewster arrived. We headed off over the railway bridge and met 2 other birders who told us that they hadnt managed to connect with the warbler after 2 hours searching. We decided to give it a go anyway, the directions that we had could be interpreted in different ways, so we managed to get them wrong way about. Climbing various sand hills and searching for other birders didnt reveal much until we met a man heading with some purpose towards the sea. At this stage we met an oldish birder who had come to see the bird on Saturday afternoon and was still trying to find the birds position!! News that the bird had been refound had us meeting several other birders and quickening the pace to see the Dusky Warbler.

   Around 20 birders assembled around some low Willow bush and we all had some good views of this well-known skulking species of warbler that, occasionally, jumped out of the bush to catch prey items. It flew across to another small bush and gave good views in excellent sunlight and everyone had a nice sighting of the bird. Whilst we had been waiting for the bird to show a Long Eared Owl had been flushed, accidently by a birder heading to see the warbler, great flight views of the owl. After about an hour me and Steve headed back, the correct way, back to Pinfold Lane and having managed to add another species to our Lancashire list, there has certainly not been many Dusky Warblers in Lancashire before. Many thanks to the finder of the bird for sharing it with us all.

Dave O.



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Yesterday news broke of a Dusky Warbler at Ainsdale NR but seeing as how I hadn't been on my Newchurch Partch for over 2 weeks I couldn't drag myself away from Cheshire to try for it. Having seen several Dusky Warblers in the UK, including one just last year and one in the NW region before too this wasn't a priority but would be nice to see. So this morning I waited on news and then when it was reported I headed off on the 50ml journey to try to see it.With typical clear Sunday roads I was on site in well under 50mins and parked up as directed, joining another couple of birders I know to walk on to try to locate where the bird was being seen.

Then the hard bit! We wandered into the dunes trying to make sense of directions given, especially as this mornings report was in a different area to where the bird was yesterday! All the birders we met were leaving with news of no sightings, they even doubted the first report as it was a brief heard-only single person report. Still I'd come all this way so may as well stick at it. We wandered a bit aimlessly in the general area until news did come through of it being seen a few minutes ago close to the seaward side of the dunes. Being adjacent to a direct path to the sea we headed up there with additional birders who we'd picked up on the way!! Soon we saw a group of birders all looking at one small bush and we knew we were in the correct place. Joining them within a few minutes the bird was seen in flight moving to another bush and then I saw it tail end on dive deeper into cover. I'd now seen it but would have liked a better view really!

The bird then stayed deep in cover for a relatively long time and I reassesssed my tactics. One birder was at the far side of the bush from me whilst I was with a dozen up on a dune looking down onto the bush. My feelings were that I would see better from the lone birders position so I skirted round the bush at a distance and joined him. In the end our positioning paid off when we heard and then saw the bird make a short feeding sortie low down in front of us. Something no-one could see from the dune top. But still not great views. Just 5 minutes later the Dusky Warbler appeared right out in the open on our side of the bush, showing superbly well in the sunshine. Again on-one else could see it but we gestured to let all others know that it was on show. Then after showing for around 5mins in the open it called and flew again, to another bush. It was relocated easily and showed well for all in this bush, always a tiny bit in cover, and moving about, but nonetheless fabulous views, just not as good as our previous ones of the bird right out in the open and perched up for a long time!

Also just behind where we were standing a Long-eared Owl was flushed and flew low through the dunes. Flushed by birders arriving to look for the Dusky, not their fault as they had no idea it was there. That made it a great day out, but a sting was in its tail. Walking back I jumped down a dune face, only a short distance, but as I landed one lens from my specs shot out & landed on the sand in front of me! I picked it up & checked my specs, the screw holding the lens in was gone so the lens wouldn't now stay in, and I had 50 miles to drive back home - one-eyed at this rate hmm Getting back to my car I was still wondering what to do, when a resident from the road I'd parked on popped out & asked if I'd had a good walk. I explained my dilemma and he invited me into his house where we mended my specs with sticky tape. So looking like Jack Duckworth from Corrie I managed to get home OK after quite an eventful trip.



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The  leucistic Sandwich  Sandwich Tern was present again between Ainsdale and weld road this afternoon with about 1000 Sandwich Tern ,60 Common Tern and a few Arctic Tern,plus plenty of the regular waders :)

 

Picture LAUCISTIC SANDWICH TERN



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Paul Richardson wrote:

 one juvenile Albino probably same as seen in N Wales in July (Thanks John Tymon for help with this one!)


 Possibly from a colour ringing project in north-east Scotland by Grampian Ringing Group (light green three letter ring?), with a very similar bird seen in Angus during mid-July.



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Grand day at Ainsdale today - ordinary sort of high tide at 11.45am (8+m)

250 Sandwich Tern including one juvenile Albino probably same as seen in N Wales in July (Thanks John Tymon for help with this one!)
4 Little Tern 1 ad 3 juv

Large roost of Bar Tailed Godwit
Also
Knot
Grey Plover
Dunlin
Sanderling
Oystercatcher

Picture shows Albino Sandwich Tern.

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11.30-16.00

Birkdale Beach and Saltmarsh

17 Bar Tailed Godwits, 4 Grey Plovers, 10 Curlews, 40+ Oystercatchers, 1 Little Egret, 1 Kestrel, 1 Skylark, 3 Linnets and 5 Reed Buntings.

Small groups of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderlings were along the beach. A trickle of Swifts and Swallows were drifting South across the saltmarsh.

4 or 5 Swallows, perhaps local birds. patrolled the beach occasionally landing and resting on the sand, behaviour I have not witnessed before.

There was nothing rare seen amongst the gulls on the beach, although 15 Common Gulls were with the Herring, Lesser Black Backed and Black Headed.

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29/01/2017 pm

Knot -c 4000
Dunlin- c3000
Sanderling- c...500
Oystercatcher-c2000
Bar Tailed Godwit- c800
Grey Plover-c200
Redshank-50
Turnstone-5
strangely no Ringed Plover
Skylark-c40 (some in full song for the first time this year)
Stonechat-2
Plenty of big Gulls ,but nothing unusual
Cormorant-30
picture Knot



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 30th of January 2017 07:16:25 AM



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15.00 hrs. Thurs 5th Jan.

With Ian Lyth and Paul Greenall.

BIRKDALE VILLAGE ...... Daisy Way off Moss Road.

Cattle Egret. 4.

We had been told that they had been feeding in a field on Moss Rd and after a good scout round thought that we had dipped.
Walking back to the car Paul G noticed another field at the end of a small cul-de-sac, Daisy Way.
We had a peep over the hedge to find all 4 feeding about 20 yds away.

Roger.




-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Thursday 5th of January 2017 09:04:12 PM

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Today at super moon high tide from south of Weld Road, Birkdale 11.10am with Tony Darby 30,000 plus waders on the shoreline and in the air:

Numbers impossible to estimate with mixed flocks of thousands of Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Golden Plover and Dunlin forming murmurations from low down on the shore to high up into the sky and in all directions up to maybe a mile distant. Thousands of Oystercatcher and Curlew moored up with a few Turnstone as well. Surprisingly no other birders at all to be seen and just two dog-walkers.

Magical. Birding rarely gets better than this

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Yesterday

In the dunes and marsh- Meadow Pipits, Jack Snipe, heard Green Woodpecker, Water Rail,

Beach Bar Tailed Godwits dunlin Curlew, Sanderling Knot, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Grey Heron, Common Scoter,

Plants still flowering Yellow Wort, Grass of Parnassus, Water Mint



-- Edited by Ian Boote on Sunday 9th of October 2016 02:51:30 PM

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PM

Sandwich Tern -200
Grey Plover - 200( stunners in their summer dress)
Bar tailed Godwit - 100
Sanderling-c2000+
Dunlin-10000+
Knot-20000+

Peregrine -1 Juvenile eating a oystercatcher

Long-tailed Skua - 1 juvenile eating the remainder of the peregrines meal just a few feet away from me :)



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Sunday 22nd May.
Late afternoon visit with Steve Burke.

No sign anywhere of the Caspian Gull, and we covered a fair size area too!

- Little Tern 1 fairly close to us near the tide line
- Sanderling c20-30 zipping along the tide line
- Common Gulls plenty around
- Little Egret 1 feeding in one of the channels on the beach



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Ainsdale Beach


Couldn't resist the short trip over to the seaside today given the glorious weather, so headed for Ainsdale.

Not many gulls were on the beach at all, just a smattering of Black-headed Gulls but occasionally larger Gulls did make flights over to pester their smaller cousins when they had a bit of food in their beaks. On one of these passes the unmistakeable Caspian Gull headed over, even shaking its stump as if was just overhead, sad in a way but shows that it's a survivor smile A few Gannets passed offshore at high tide too. A single Wheatear was around the dune slacks, found as I swearched for and found the rare Northern Dune Tiger Beetle, or birdfood as most birders would know it wink Numerous flocks of breeding plumaged Dunlin flew past, with several Ringed Plovers amongst them.



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RE: Ainsdale and Birkdale Beaches


A few deliveries in Ormskirk and Southport today meant I had a chance to catch up with the 2nd winter Caspian Gull on a gale blown Ainsdale beach.

Not seen it since August last year and again it was showing really well, sat right infront of me then flying over to the burger van then back again. A belting bird, but looks like it did indeed lose a leg as I suspected it would if the entanglement wasn't able to be sorted. What a shame.

Usual Gulls around too including Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed.
Thought I saw a Tern too out over the sea but with the viscious wind my eyes were streaming and I lost it over the choppy waves so I wasn't 100% sure.

(Add an hour to the image times as I forgot to alter my camera time yesterday)






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Caspian Gull at 2:30 today. Just to the right as you go onto the beach. After dipping the bird on two previous visits it was obligingly the nearest bird up the beach - which was very welcome as the conditions were cold and windy with icy rain ! Chris

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sid ashton wrote:

Rob Creek wrote:

Pete Welch wrote:

Went looking for Northern Lights last night and tried from Ainsdale Beach - no luck with the aurora but had a Barn Owl fly past along the edge of the dunes in the headlights. Also reported the tangled Caspian Gull to the RSPCA just in case they have time to try and catch it/help.


Hi Pete,
I was going to ask during last week if there was any update with the Gull as it seems you saw it tangled last Monday. I wondered if they'd been to assess it.
Cheers

Rob the wardens are looking at finding a way to address the problem so hopefully they will come up with something.



Thanks for the update Sid - hopefully it wouldn't take a full canon netting!

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Rob Creek wrote:

Pete Welch wrote:

Went looking for Northern Lights last night and tried from Ainsdale Beach - no luck with the aurora but had a Barn Owl fly past along the edge of the dunes in the headlights. Also reported the tangled Caspian Gull to the RSPCA just in case they have time to try and catch it/help.


Hi Pete,
I was going to ask during last week if there was any update with the Gull as it seems you saw it tangled last Monday. I wondered if they'd been to assess it.
Cheers

Rob the wardens are looking at finding a way to address the problem so hopefully they will come up with something.

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Pete Welch wrote:

Went looking for Northern Lights last night and tried from Ainsdale Beach - no luck with the aurora but had a Barn Owl fly past along the edge of the dunes in the headlights. Also reported the tangled Caspian Gull to the RSPCA just in case they have time to try and catch it/help.






Hi Pete,
I was going to ask during last week if there was any update with the Gull as it seems you saw it tangled last Monday. I wondered if they'd been to assess it.
Cheers

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Went looking for Northern Lights last night and tried from Ainsdale Beach - no luck with the aurora but had a Barn Owl fly past along the edge of the dunes in the headlights. Also reported the tangled Caspian Gull to the RSPCA just in case they have time to try and catch it/help.

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Another day along the Ribble Tideline at High tide the second time this week in Glorious Sunshine (Never trust the weather reports that forecast nowt but rain) only me on 4 mile of beach :) and I saw-
Knot-30000+
Dunlin-c5000
Oystercatcher-c5000
Bar Tailed Godwit- c100
Grey Plover- c100
Sanderling-c3000
Sandwich Tern-50+
Turnstone-10
Cormorant 50+
Wheatear-4
Swallows- plenty through
Merlin- 1 female

Marshside RSPB
Very Little of note.
I can never fathom why people sit in the Sand grounders hide all day staring at very little when there's a high tide 9.5 metres today when just a mile down the road theres 50000 waders on the beach at high tide with just a short walk to see them.

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Prolonged views of the Caspian Gull this evening along with good number of waders and other gulls - right out on the tide line which this evening must have been at least a kilometre out - it was so far out that the shellfish in the sand were squirting water jets so it was quite surreal crouched down watching the feeding birds and seeing the water display at the same time. Sadly the Caspian is now well tangled in some string of some description - round both legs - it was still feeding, flying and bathing so hopefully it will be OK at least for a while.

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Hiya Marc,

Last time it was reported was Weds 26th.

Had a good scout round for it on Thursday evening but no joy ... the only white headed juvenile gull that we could find was a monster Great black-backed gull ripping a bin-liner to bits.

Sandwich Terns and Sanderling on the shoreline.

Roger.

-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Saturday 29th of August 2015 11:13:02 PM

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Does anyone know if the caspian gull is still around. I know it hasn't been reported by rare bird alert, but I was wondering whether it was just that no one had been to look for it and/or reported it

Many thanks

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Caspian gull on beach at Ainsdale at waters edge. Directly in front of the lifeguard station.

Also upto 200 mixed juvenile and adult Sandwich Terns on the beach, spectacular sight.

Also forgot to add a recently dead Porpoise on the beach. It had hardly been touched by the gulls, a Great Black-Backed Gull was having a go at it but gave up. Photographed it for my records, if anyone wants a copy for id purposes please let me know. It was still bleeding so must have been recently deceased and had a significant gash across its head.

Phil

-- Edited by Phil Hampson on Tuesday 25th of August 2015 02:11:33 PM

-- Edited by Phil Hampson on Tuesday 25th of August 2015 04:48:15 PM

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I was there too, late afternoon, near tideline & directly out from RNLI hut. Caspian Gull (2cy ?) showing very well, after a little search.

Very long, thin legs compared to nearby Herring Gull; thin face tapering down to base of long bill; white head with beady eye with little shading; hint of a speckly partial collar; long primaries; ridiculously short secondaries because it's mid-moult - this individual could be identified from that feature alone !

Bird very confiding, BUT I think this is because it's reluctant to fly: other larids were a little more nervous. However, a discreet diagonal approach, as always, can allow a slightly closer approach (not that that was necessary here).

No-one approached too close while I was there, and no naughty photographers (or well-behaved ones). Beach-goers were closest individuals to bird

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Simon Gough wrote:

The photography debate will run and run anyway...





On the discussion forum if it does please folks...

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The Caspian Gull was a cracking bird, my first one too. Chris and I spotted the bright white head from a fair way away, although the birders were a giveaway too!

I am a bit conflicted about the photography thing, as I have been looking at photos of this bird online and they have been really handy to help with IDs, so it would be a bit rich to start having a go at people. Having said that, if the bird is being continually disturbed that is not ideal at all. In this case I got the feeling this bird is fairly unruffled in general, and it is presumably happy enough there. The photography debate will run and run anyway...

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Saturday 22nd August

Afternoon visit with Steve Burke to see the Caspian Gull...a Lifer for me and well worth the visit.
A fantastic looking bird with its clean white head, long bill, black beady eye, and long pink legs. We located it fairly quickly and noticed 3 or 4 other birders were walking over towards it. Not content with how close they were, the bird was scared off further down the beach and unbelievably the same thing happened again, and again!
I looked at Steve and said "What's their game?"
In the end, my blood was boiling and the Gull must've had enough too because it flew off and relocated right over by the tide line.
Steve and I had a walk over and easily found it again where we watched it for about 20 mins without it barely moving except for kids and beach strollers, where it simply just lifted its wings and drifted a few feet out of their path, not scared off as such!
Big lenses and throwing bread prevailed before long and the Caspian Gull flew off back over towards the top of the beach, at which point, we gave up and did a sea watch.

Other birds around the beach...
- Sandwich Tern - massive flock on the beach, estimate minimum 250, sometimes put up in the air swirling around almost Wader-like from a distance, more out to sea, more mixed in with the Gulls
- Great Black-backed Gull - 2 adults and 1 huge juvenile that dwarved virtually all else
- Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- Herring Gulls
- Black-headed Gulls
- Common Gull - I only saw 2, think Steve picked up on a few more
(Some of the Gulls were swarming in big numbers over the dunes presumably feeding on the abundant flying insects)
- Golden Plover flock
- Dunlin flock with some Sanderling

Out to sea...
- Common Scoter - unable to put a number to, they were everywhere, high 100's???
- Gannet - adults and juveniles around, probably 10+
- Cormorant - quite a few around
- Manx Shearwater - 1 following the horizon towards the rig


Simon Gough and Chris Chandler joined us later and caught up with the Caspian Gull, needless to say with the same birders around it trying to get the perfect photo. Apparently 1 birder was heard saying they were trying to get it to fly, and I think Simon was on the verge of saying something to them.
Brilliant bird sightings, shame they were overshadowed!


cry

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Caught up with a bogey bird of mine this afternoon with the long staying second calendar-year Caspian Gull on Ainsdale beach. It seems to favour the area between the tide-line and the white RNLI lookout hut and is not too bothered by passing people. Apparently it is occasionally to be seen sitting up on the Pontins camp swimming pool roof.

The bird appears to be moulting, so it will possibly stay around for a while longer, well worth a visit.

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Weld Road and beach produced
Twite ( inc 100+ opposite marine Lake)
Stonechat
3 Jack Snipe
Common Snipe
Red Throated Diver
3 Common Eider (all Drakes)
Common Scoter
Bar-tailed Godwits, Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Sanderling ( in good numbers )
Peregrine - taking a small Wader and then plucking it on the beach
27 Little Grebes on the marine lake
30 plus Golden Plover (opposite. Marine lake)

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Late post Sat 25.10.2014
3 hours over high tide.
Knot-c10000
Dunlin -c 5000
Bar tailed godwit - 300
Sanderling-1000
Cormorant-300+
Little egret-1
Stonechat- 2
Oystercatcher-5000+
Most of the time only me and the birds for company apart from a couple with bins and bright red coats that walked the full 3 miles on the tide edge putting all the waders up all along the beach and a couple with dogs that insisted on letting them chase the oystercatchers off eveytime they settled to roost.

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 27th of October 2014 04:11:46 PM

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Just to add to Johns tally, i saw 2 Twite

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Walk from Ainsdale almost to Southport and back this afternoon-High Tide was 1pm
Wader numbers seemed well down to me on previous visits along this beach at this time of year, and the biggest surprise not a single redshank where at one time there were thousands. Bar tailed Godwit, Grey plover and Dunlin seemed well down on previous years also.
Weather was really nice, nothing like the weather report, and it didn't rain on me once, and at one point for quite a while I was the only person on the beach. Only downside was one dog walker that insisted on walking all the way along the tideline from Southport to west of Birkdale and must have at some point put up every roosting wader on the beach with the dog constantly chasing the waders .

Sanderling-c1000
Knot- c5000
Oystercatcher-c3000
Dunlin - c1000
Bar Tailed Godwit-c300
Grey Plover-c50
Wheatear-1
Swallow-20+>s
plenty of Common Scoter far out to sea
Ringed Plover-c200
Cormorant-100

:)


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WEBs again this morning

1000+ Sanderling
91 Dunlin
10 Red Throated Divers
4 Gannet
Common Scoter
Grey Plover
91 White Wagtail
9 Ringed Plover
1 Bar-Tailed Godwit
120+ Cormorant
6 Wheatear
Reed Warbler
10+ Swallows
2 Sand Martin
Plenty of Reed Buntings, Skylarks and a handful of Meadow Pipits

-- Edited by Jon Bowen on Sunday 27th of April 2014 04:49:36 PM

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Originally posted by Jon Bowen today:


Bracing day WEBs counting in the company of Graham Clarkson produced some good birds with 1,000 Oystercatchers being the biggest single count ( although next sector had 7,500 Knot and 3,500 Dunlin)
other good birds included

22 Bar-tailed Godwit
Good numbers of Common, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed, Great Black-backed and Herring Gull inc 1 Scandinavian bird
1 Yellow Legged Gull
Sanderling
Dunlin
Curlew
Common Scoter
2 Common Snipe
7 Jack Snipe
Shelduck
2 Little Egret
Cormorant

all watched with Skylarks and Meadow Pipits overhead



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RE: Ainsdale Beach


Ainsdale boating lake

Razorbill and Kittiwake.

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I had a great time over the high tide at Ainsdale Beach yesterday (Tue 8th). There were plenty of birds to see including:

Bar-tailed Godwit - my first close up view :)
Golden Plover some with remnants of breeding plumage
Sanderling - lots
Ringed Plover
Dunlin - with remnants of breeding plumage
Knot
Skylark
Oystercatcher - hundreds
Cormorant - a massive roost
Great Black-backed Gull - what a monster compared to other gulls!
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Common Gull - at least one
Herring Gull
Black-headed Gull
Starling
Carrion Crow

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Thanks Paul, I'll take a look next time I'm on Facebook. The Mersey Birders site was a good one too, especially with regards to gulls.

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Hi John,

I got my info from the Ribble Estuary Facebook page .... there seems to be a lot of good info on there that doesnt make it onto the news services etc.

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Thanks Nick, I check John Dempsey's blog regularly, it makes great reading.
I rarely venture to the Sefton Coast, but those recent sightings of Yellow Browed Warblers turning up in almost every coastal tit flock just proved too tempting.
Now I wished I'd checked out the extensive areas of Sea Buckthorn at the Weld Road end, but you wellies there, its largely swamp.


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John, keep an eye on John Dempsey's blog for up to date sightings and info for the Sefton Coast. Here's a link.

Mersey blog

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Probably right Paul, I know this small lake as produced a few rare duck sightings over the years.

The area of scrub just inland of the Coastal Road, and North of Shore Road looks good too, I just had a glance at it and it appears to have lots of Sea Buckthorn etc.

The dunes are brilliant for botanists, and those lucky enough to catch site of a lizard, there great for insects too.

Passerine wise though, the areas of Marram Grass seem just to produce just Meadow Pipits, that flush just before you stand on them, with Goldfinches on the thistles.

The more mature dunes are open heath, possibly a good place to look for Richards Pipits, but with very few bushes, so there are no tit flocks or garden birds.

I know the beach sometimes holds Lapland and Snow Buntings, Wheatears and migrant wagtails, but it's also popular with dog walkers and kite flyers, especially at weekends.

The area close to Ainsdale Forest looks good though, with some chunky Hawthorne thickets bordering the pines.

I was quite happy with watching the fox hunting voles though, it was it great condition, quite small so perhaps one this years youngsters, and was just about 20 feet away.

I set out to perhaps find a Yellow Browed Warbler from the recent influx, I just picked the wrong habitat, so perhaps I'll try Birkdale next year?.







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John Williams wrote:

14.30-18.30

Slacks and Dunes

A charm of 20+ Goldfinch, 1 Linnet, 2 Kestrels, 1 Buzzard and lots of Meadow Pipits.

1 Weasel, 1 Fox (seen catching prey which looked like a vole), 1 Common Toad and lots of Rabbits.

Beach

A single Oystercatcher plus the usual gulls and a few passing Cormorants.

p.s Birdguides as reported some great sightings of rare passerines in the Ainsdale area over the few weeks, the dunes and slacks here are a botanical wonderland, but just don't

seem the right habitat to produce more than a few Meadow Pipits.

There is an area of heath/mature dune just North of Shore Road that looks better suited for those elusive warblers and shrikes.

Or perhaps the area around the small lake opposite Pontins, will check out both next time.





WIth regard news of those birds I think that was from the area around the small Pontins Lake

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14.30-18.30

Slacks and Dunes

A charm of 20+ Goldfinch, 1 Linnet, 2 Kestrels, 1 Buzzard and lots of Meadow Pipits.

1 Weasel, 1 Fox (seen catching prey which looked like a vole), 1 Common Toad and lots of Rabbits.

Beach

A single Oystercatcher plus the usual gulls and a few passing Cormorants.

p.s Birdguides as reported some great sightings of rare passerines in the Ainsdale area over the few weeks, the dunes and slacks here are a botanical wonderland, but just don't

seem the right habitat to produce more than a few Meadow Pipits.

There is an area of heath/mature dune just North of Shore Road that looks better suited for those elusive warblers and shrikes.

Or perhaps the area around the small lake opposite Pontins, will check out both next time.

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12.00-14.30

Birkdale high tide roost

Turnstone- 3, Grey Plover- 26, Bar Tailed Godwit- 114, Sanderling- 50+, Dunlin- 26 in roost but 4 or 5 flocks of 50+ flying along shoreline, Knot- 16 and Ringed Plover- 8.

Also a huge roost of Oystercatchers and Cormorants.

2 Wheatears near the boardwalk and lots of Meadow Pipits around beach/dunes, mainly in singles or pairs.

A single flock of 70+ Starlings near Weld Road car park.

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