Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Brent Geese

A flock of 9 Brent Geese flew low over the West Float this afternoon.

Observer: Adele Montieth

Sunday, 25 September 2016

24/09/16

Today with strong southerly winds I thought that it may be interesting to see what would turn up on the River Mersey; As I was now in serious competition with fellow young Cheshire birder George Dunbar who's patching Woolston Eyes (yes he held the White-crowned Sparrow in the hand!) for this years Patch Work Challenge and the fact that we were neck with myself being just 3 points ahead of him. I was hoping that todays visit would be an opportunity to boost that lead.

After being dropped off at Pacific Road, I made my way over to the Inlet which held host to a small mixed flock of waders: 1 Curlew, 1 Redshank & 2 Oystercatcher, largest flock of waders the docks has seen for some time.

Over on the Morpeth & Egerton Dock all was pretty much dead: Mute Swans had moved on, no Great Black-backed Gulls about, no Wigeon or Mallards, 1 Moorhen, 4 Cormorant and 1 Kingfisher which was heard calling round the Egerton Bridge along with 2 Grey Wagtails over. Grey Wagtails are a typical autumn migrant bird to the docks with only small numbers in the winter with possible breeding at 2 sites this year within the docks.

Over on the Eat Float all was relatively pleasant, Great crested Grebe numbers were on the up with a total of 9 birds in the Float including several juvenile birds. 42 Cormorants were also counted with a possible roosting Shag over on the Tern Pontoon. Other news was that only 2 Canada Geese were counted round the East Float along a flock of 7c Linnet, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Oystercatcher and an unpresented count of *4 KINGFISHER*...yes you are reading that correctly 4 Kingfisher! Birds were darting birds were darting about left right and centre, yet they all bar one bird somehow to avoid the lens of me camera.
Kingfisher flyby (Alcedo atthis)
It was now time for Seacombe were I'd be spending 4hrs watching over the Mersey as the tide made its way in. By the end of my 4hr stint I had some pretty interesting totals: 4 Great Black-backed Gull, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit (1st record of the year but believed to be more numerous than first expected), 1 Little Gull (1st winter), 6 Turnstone, 1 Redshank (very low!), 100c waders sp in flock roughly 1km up river, 1 House Martin, 4 Oystercatcher, and a record count of not just 1, not 2 but 3 Meditterian Gull! Both the Little and Meditterian Gulls made their way down river at around 3pm as did a lot of Black-headed Gull (200c) along the East side.
Meditterian Gull record shot (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
With both Little Gull and Bar-tailed Godwit added to the PWC list it placed me on 124 species and 148 points putting me a firm 6 points ahead of Mr Dunbar and Woolston Eyes; but when I arrived home I received word from George that he'd found a Yellow-browed Warbler at Woolston earlier in the day. With YBW being a 3pt species and being self founds its increased to 6pts he was now on 123 species and 148 points...ahead of me and the Docks.

Observer: Elliot Montieth


Sunday, 18 September 2016

18/09/16

After a break from Docks due to College work I was back down today to complete yet another WeBS.
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
The first stop off of the day was at the East Float which appeared pretty normal with 6 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Canada Geese, 34 Cormorant, 3 Great Black-backed Gull and 4 Linnet. But after a good 10mins the first Kingfisher of autumn was back which called as it shot along the east side of the Float. 1 "Large Plover SP" was flushed from the Clock Tower but didn't call and views weren't clear for an ID.
Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Meanwhile over on the Egerton and Morpeth Dock, they too seemed pretty normal at first with 2 Moorhen and the 2 Mute Swans still present along with 5 Cormorant and a small passage of 3 Grey Wagtail. Yet over on the far side of Morpeth the Docks first record of *WIGEON* was discovered and showed very well and also seemed to be in good health. Surprisingly non of the gulls were remotely interested init.  
Wigeon (Anas Penelope)
The next stop was over to Seacombe were the high tide had forced waders to roost over on the Ferry Terminal: 34 Turnstone and 17 Redshank were counted along with 1 SPOTTED REDSHANK (winter plumaged adult) was found roosting amongst them. Unfortunately no images of the bird were managed, yet another first for the Docks!

Mixture of Redshank (Tringa tetanus) and Turnstone (Arenaria interpres),
can you spot the dead Redshank ?
Over to the West Float....nothing! But 1 Buzzard flew over the Gull Roost heading SE whilst being mobbed by a Carrion Crow.

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) chasing a Carrion Crow (

Bidston Moss was rather interesting today as on the Mainlake, the one which is always productive,  only the 6 Mute Swans (2 adults 3 immature) were about along with 21 Coot, that was it, no Tufted Duck, not even a Mallard or Great Crested Grebe! Yet walking round along the path past the Reed Bed behind B&Q which is usually empty: 2 Water Rail & 1 Cetti's Warbler called along with 2 Snipe (1st of autumn) being flushed.
The Cormorants have now started roosting in the Poplar Trees between the Pools
Meanwhile over on the pools 7 Teal were flushed from the River Birket which then 3 relocated on the Western Pool along with 11 Mallard, 5 Moorhen, 5 Cormorant, 1 Green Sandpiper (1st of autumn) and yet another Kingfisher (male) which has been feeding on the abundance of fish in the drying up pools for the past few weeks now.

Teal (Anas crecca)


Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)


Observers: Adele & Elliot Montieth

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

17/08/16

With a week long trip to Bardsey Island quickly approching and autumn migration kicking off with the first Ortolan Buntings and Wrynecks of the year, I made my last trip to the Docks to see if it wanted to throw up anymore surprise birds that I could actually see to add to Patch Work Challenge.

The Woodside Ferry Terminal and Inlet were dead to say the least with just small flocks of roosting Black-headed Gull. Meanwhile on the Morpeth and Egerton Dock life was booming: 2 Mute Swan, 1 Moorhen and 7 Cormorant (2 sinensis).

sinensis Cormorant
Mean while over at the East Float, 53 Canada Geese (record for East Float), were counted along the west side along with 31 Cormorant (7 sinensis), 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Grey Wagtail1 Great Black-backed Gull and 4 Great Crested Grebe were also of note.
Great crested Grebe

Carrion Crow

The Gull Roost was barren today with nothing of interest apart from the 2 Raven soaring high over the Beauford Road, which later perched on the large yellow static crane. Despite the abundance of Carrion Crow with 34 being counted in total from today there was still no sign of the Hooded Crow.
Raven
A walk round to Bidston Moss was fairly productive with 1 Chiffchaff singing (bit late ?) along 4 Mute Swan on the main lake, with on the Pools 1 Grey Heron (Juv) and 1 Kingfisher (heard), being the highlights. Seems that the recent heat has evaporated a large percentage of water at the Pools at Bidston making it much easier of birds to catch a snack.
Grey Heron
Also, during an early Vis Mig session this morning up at Bidston, 1 Yellow Wagtail was picked up.

Observer: Elliot Montieth

Monday, 15 August 2016

Hooded Crow

1 HOODED CROW was found by Chris Shaw yesterday near Birkenhead North Train Station. Image on Dee Estuary Birding.

13/08/16

After Michael Grants remarkable find of 1 TWITE yesterday, I went down today to have a little look at what's around.

The Inlet started to show that winter was on its way with 1 Redshank and a small build up of Black-headed, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Where as on Morpeth and Egerton Cormorant numbers saw a rise with a total of 22 Cormorants with the majority of 1st winter birds. The 2 Mute Swans which have been doing there annual moult in the docks were also present.

Redshank

Mute Swan
Meanwhile over on the East Float there was also noticeable increase in Cormorant numbers with a total of 17 birds in total including 3 carbo and 1 sinensis.  Away from the Cormorants other birds about were 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 7 Great Crested Grebe1 Oystercatcher.

carbo Cormorant

sinensis Cormorant

Observer: Elliot Montieth

Friday, 29 July 2016

Return of the Seal

A routine walk round the docks this PM was interrupted by the discovery of a ATLANTIC GREY SEAL in the East Float. Could this by the same individual as was a few months ago, or a new visitor to the docks ?


Observer: Elliot Montieth