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Post Info TOPIC: Ainsdale and Birkdale Beaches


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RE: Ainsdale Beach


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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John Williams


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Had a couple of hours on Ainsdale/Birkdale beaches this afternoon - birds seen included a huge flock of Knot, several Sandwich Terns, many Dunlin and Ringed Plover as well as 20 - 30 Wagtails mostly Pied with a couple of Whites for company. There was quite a lot of distant offshore activity but too far to make out the individual species.

Also when we were in the area there was a lot of activity associated with this weekend's air show - practice helicopter displays, stunt planes etc - our own free display Wouldn't recommend birding over that way on either Saturday or Sunday.

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This morning - 5.30-11.00am - Rising tide

Decent passage of Common and much smaller numbers of Arctic terns in the first hour. Later it was mainly Sandwich, although quite a few Common terns remained on or around the beach. A Black Tern appeared at 9.20am, picking morsels off the surface of the sea along with Common Terns and a single juvenile Kittiwake. I did have views around 6.00am of a very pale tern that landed briefly on the beach. It may have been a Roseate but it was simply too far and too dark for me to be anything like sure.

Two Arctic Skuas put in appearances first thing, one a pale morph, one a dark. The dark morph pursued a Black-headed Gull up the beach, eventually giving up and landing briefly on the sand. Usual Gannets and Scoters also seen and at least four Grey Seals were present.

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Thursday 16th August - 5.30-7.00am - Low Tide

Unspectacular seawatch, poor conditions (east wind, low tide) didn't help. Definate change in the bird's habits though. On my previous visits over the last few weeks most terns, gannets, etc. have simply been blogging around. Today however there was a definate southerly movement, with 95% of all terns seen heading south, no real fishing and no roosting on the beach.

Common Scoter: 196 N, 45 S
Gannet: 11 S
GC Grebe: 4 S

1 pale morph Arctic Skua was lurking on the sea about half a mile out. Didn't see it chase anything but flew around briefly a few times.

No Shearwaters whatsoever.

Swift: 1 S
Swallow: 10 S
Sparrowhawk: 1 flying along beach

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Saturday 11th August - 5.15-7.45am

Seawatching was garbage, a few distant Scoter flocks but no skuas. Managed 73 Manx Shearwaters, all between 7.00-7.20am, and most of those in a large group of c50. Eight Great Crested Grebes, 2 Grey Seals and 2 Dolphins.

Most unusual sighting, and something I've never seen before whilst seawatching - a Black Swan heading north!

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Dinner Time Despite lots of dogs, RNLI Rescue land rover, helicopters, low flying small planes, 2 horses, Police car being towed by an earth digger, kites, a motor boat people paddling, families having a day out still quite a bit Common Scoter out to sea, Sanderling Knot dunlin lapwing oystercatcher Bar Tailed Godwit sandwich tern common gull, herring gull, one yellow legged gull lesser blacked back gull and swallows. Nice bonus as the main reason for the visit being plants.


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I've had a couple of early morning seawatching sessions at Ainsdale over the last few days as some of the reports coming from there recently have been 'interesting'.

Saturday 4th August - 5.30-7.00am - Low tide
Gannet - 24
Common Scoter - 240
Manx Shearwater - 10
Great Crested Grebe - 1
Arctic Skua - 2 (1 pale, 1 dark)

I had a further skua species that was lurking way out on the sea and ambushing passing terns, quite possibly one of the Arctics I'd seen earlier.

Wednesday 8th August - 5.10-6.45am - Ebbing tide
Gannet - 12 (stopped counting after a while as there was no clear passage, most birds were simply hunting the area)
Common Scoter - 34 close in early, many distant birds moving south later
Manx Shearwater - 296
Great Crested Grebe - 3
Arctic Skua - 3 (1 pale, 2 dark)
Mediterranean Gull - 1 (juv)

Two Grey Seals present on both days.

Surprising numbers of Manxies early on, and relatively close - a group of 55 landed on the sea (I also had another very distant group feeding on the sea numbering anything from 50-100)

Many terns were landing on the beach half a mile south of where I was watching so, when I spotted what I thought were two skuas just off-shore from them, I drove my car down. When I arrived I realised it was a pale morph Arctic Skua (almost certainly the one I'd seen earlier) mobbing a Peregrine! The Peregrine only lost it's tormentor when it started stooping at Oystercatchers.


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Pete Welch wrote:

I think I'm in trouble though as my nine year old now wants to do a year list [Tawny Owl last night and Glauc today seem to have inspired her] and I've always resisted year lists before...



Go on Pete, you know you can do it

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Driving down the rain sodden prom at Weld Road today and picked up the Glaucous Gull flying parallel with the car! My best "from a moving car moment" so far :) Cue quick drive round the next roundabout and the fastest lens change I've ever managed: to get a record shot as it flew about ten feet over my head.

I think I'm in trouble though as my nine year old now wants to do a year list [Tawny Owl last night and Glauc today seem to have inspired her] and I've always resisted year lists before...

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Building my lifers


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Fantastic day between Birkdale and Ainsdale at very high tideLike being in the Med I imagine,and almost the full beach to myself
Knot-40,000+
dunlin-10,000+
oystercatcher-5000+
grey plover -500+
Bar Tailed Godwit-2000+
sandwich tern-30+>sw
Wheatear-1
Sanderling-500+
Plus the usuals

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/johntymon/



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Just up the coast a bit this morning at Weld Road - Birkdale Beach [thanks Sid] , having a quiet walk along the shore - too early for dog walkers - thankfully! No be-horned shore larks but Mippits, wide selection of gulls, sanderling, grey plover, knot, pied wags, little egrets and the best bit - roving flocks of twite [lifer] and linnet but one flock of around thirty twite with only one linnet in with them - I was expecting it to be the other way round. There were at least four colour ringed twite but sadly due to the poor light this morning I can't call any in as I can't be 100% on the combinations.

-- Edited by Pete Welch on Saturday 5th of December 2009 09:49:27 PM

-- Edited by Pete Welch on Sunday 6th of December 2009 09:26:01 AM

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Building my lifers


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Ainsdale and Birkdale Beaches


Had an hour at Ainsdale Beach the other evening: saw Sandwich Tern roost - circa 15 birds, Dunlin, Knot, Sanderling [in very smart plumage] and Bar Tailed Godwit - some still in breeding plumage and a tick for me. Also possible Grey Plover which would have been a tick but they were too badly lit by the sunset for a positive ID.

It was good to see fairly confiding birds in good evening light and I liked the novelty factor of driving onto the beach!

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 16th of March 2014 06:04:48 PM

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Building my lifers
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