Sunday, 19 February 2017


Whilst on a patrol round the docks this afternoon I though that I'd try a new approach to seeing what Gulls were about, so I popped into the shops on the way down and bought some brown bread in order to attract what ever gulls were in the area. So for this plan to work I headed over to East Float to put this theory into action.

On arrival 21 Great crested Grebe, 2 Oystercatchers, 8 Canada Geese, 15 Cormorant (1 sinensis) and 1 Skylark (flyover) were present, mean while when the plan was put into gulls attract included: 17 Herring Gull, 5 Black-headed Gull, 2 Lesser black-backed Gull & 1 Great Black-backed Gull were all that were present; rather disappointing results.

Afterwards it was round to Seacombe Ferry were on the banks of the Alfred Dock adjacent to the bridge a 1st winter male STONECHAT was flushed and shortly afterwards relocated in the buddleia were the bird showed extremely well for a 10 minute period before the observers departed. This is the first record for the Docks with the only other record coming from an unconfirmed report from Bidston Moss in 2007.  

1st winter male Stonechat (Image - Elliot Montieth)
Over at Seacombe all was again very quiet gull wise with fewer than 30 present with the Ferry Terminal hosting just 10c Redshank and 15c Turnstone.

The Gull Roost was also quiet with just 1 Mute Swan (5 were present on the 15th), 10 Shelduck and 1 Buzzard. Bidston Moss and the Back Pools how ever were slightly more "exciting" with joint totals of 2 Great crested Grebe, 4 Teal and 4 Tufted Duck.

observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Occurance of Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) - Ashton Park, Wirral (Image - Elliot Montieth)
When I first started to search for records for the Docks & Bidston one thing which stumbled across my path were two records of Shoveler at Bidston via Bird Track; both of which involved adult drakes with the first being located on the Back Pools in 2008 and the next being on the Main Lake in 2012. From this data and these being the only records I could find of Shoveler I took it as these must be pretty rare and classed it as a "MEGA" bird for the site.

1st winter drake Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) - The bird which was reported on
January 4th and later confirmed and photographed when next observed on February 4th.
This bird was then subsequently observed with the adult drake on February 6th.  

Yet this winter something rather amazing has happened as within the space of just 3 months the number of records of Northern Shoveler has gone sky high with a total 4 indivual birds being record equalling an additional 3 records, with most recently an adult pair on the Main Lake associating loosely with the Tufted Ducks on the lakes east flank today! This discovery breaks a duet of records such as first "lady" and pair in the sites history stretching over 20 years.

The most recent record and first of a pair on the Main Lake at Bidston

Northern Shoveler records - Winter 2016/17

(3rd record) Adult drake - Back Pools - December 18th 2016
Adult drake - Back Pools - January 7th 2017
(4th record) 1st winter drake - Back Pools - January 18th 2017
1st winter drake -  Back Pools - February 4th 2017
1st winter drake & adult drake - Back Pools - February 6th 2017
(5th record) Pair - Main Lake - February 15th 2017

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


Both the 1st winter & adult drake SHOVELERS were present on the Back Pools this PM.

Observer: Sue Noyce

Saturday, 4 February 2017


Yet another quality day out to the one and only Birkenhead Docks today. The day was kick started with good counts of Peregrine (3), Great Crested Grebe (65! Highest count), Great Black-backed Gull (16! Highest count), Mistle Thrush (5) and Cormorant (41 carbo + 2 sinensis) which were situated amongst the Egerton Dock, Morpeth Dock and East Float.

Peregrine - 1/3 seen on todays visit, only the 2nd record of individual birds being
seen in a single day (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Great crested Grebe - All but a handful are now in there fabulous summer plumage
(Image - Elliot Montieth)
Afterwards it was a trip over the Gull Roost (West Float) were totals were 13 Common Gull, 2 Snipe, 46 Lapwing, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Meadow Pipit8 Lesser Black-backed Gull,160c Black-headed Gull, 80c Herring Gull (4 poss argentatus) and a very fine looking 3rd winter YELLOW-LEGGED GULL which has been the first site record for donkeys years!!! Which on confirmation I had to give Luke Anderson a bell who was up a Bidston Moss so he could get a sneek peak of it before it departed heading east towards Woodside.

3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull - Departing from the roost just 20mins after its
discovery (Image - Elliot Montieth).

3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull - The of many images taken of this stunning bird
taken; features which caught my attention were its yellow legs, primary mirrors, eye ring & short
thick bill. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull - Last image of the bird as it departed; can see clearly
in this image the absence of large mirrors on the primaries which help to rule out Herring
Gull. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Afterwards it was round to Bidston Moss and the Back Pools were besides from a possible CETTI'S WARBLER by Luke in the B&Q Reed Bed totals were 1 Song Thrush, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Tufted Duck, 1 Buzzard1 Teal, 8 Mallard, 41 Canada Geese (Back Pools), 70c Woodpigeon, 33 Coot, 3 Moorhen and to round it all off a rather sulky 1st winter drake SHOVELVER (4th site record) was round on the Back Pools.

1st winter drake Shoveler - Apprantly first seen on the 16th of January and the 2nd
record for the winter, this little beaut is the 4th record for the site! (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson

Monday, 30 January 2017


A brief walk round the East Float this evening was fairly productive with up to 3 Eurasian Curlew scattered on the Wasteland east & west of the Wallasey flats. 20 Great crested Grebes and 15 Great Cormorant (1 sinensis candidate) along with 2 Common Blackbird, 1 Pied Wagtail & 2 Mistle Thrush feeding east of the Clock Tower.

Mistle Thrush (Elliot Montieth)
2 LITTLE GREBE were also on Egerton Dock but were brief so couldn't manage a picture.

Observer: Elliot Montieth

Sunday, 22 January 2017


Back Pools:
2 Great Spotted Woodpecker
3 Goldcrest
10 European Goldfinch
2 Greater Canada geese
12 Mallards
1 Common Buzzard
1 Sparrowhawk
3 Eurasian Teal
1 Great Cormorant

Bidston Moss:
2 Common Buzzard
16 Eurasian Coot
16 tufted ducks 
2 Great Crested Grebe 

Gull Roost:
1 Pied wagtail
7 Common Shelduck
10 Common snipe
14 Northern lapwing
4 European Herring Gull 
1 Scandinavian Herring Gull
2 Great Black-backed Gull
50 Black-headed Gull

West Float:
2 Pied Wagtail
1 Great Cormorant

East Float:
1 Blue tit
5 Great Cormorant
2 Common Shelduck
2 Canada geese
1 Eurasian Curlew
1 Pied Wagtail
10 Great Crested Grebe
3 Meadow Pipit
1 Eurasian Oystercatcher

Morpeth Dock:
2 Grey Wagtail
1 Great Cormorant

Observer: Luke Anderson

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Sitings Update

Thursday 19/01/17

West Float:
3 Common Shelduck
50c Gulls sp
10c Common Snipe

East Float:
1 Common Kingfisher
4 Greater Canada Geese
1 Peregrine
3 Meadow Pipit
20c Great crested Grebe
20c Great Cormorant

Egerton Dock:
1 Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Saturday 21/01/17

West Float:
20c Common Snipe
7 Common Shelduck

East Float:
1 Common Kingfisher
1 Peregrine

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson