Friday, 30 October 2015

30/10/15

 
Today after mum dropped me off at Hamilton Square so I could attend an NCS meeting she went off to the Docks to see what was around. On the East Float she had 1 Grey Heron, 1 Juv Mute Swan, 1 Kingfisher, 30+ Cormorant, 2 Robin, 15+ Great crested Grebe, 1 Blackbird and 6 Canada Geese! The Mute Swan is a site first! Well done Adele for spotting it! Mum also reported that the Kingfisher (female) favoured the bank from the Wirral Met College along to the Tower Quays.
 
Going back to when I was going to the NCS meeting; when I got to Liverpool I got slightly lost...................I spent 30mins walking in the opposite direction to which I was meant to be going in. While I was "slightly" lost I walked down Nicholas Street were while I was on the phone to mum explaining my situation I spotted a female Black Redstart, which was going along a wall being chased by 2 Great Tits? I put the news out before walking to the correct destination. Black Redstart is bird which hasn't yet occurred at the Docks but is a number of species which is highly likely to appear sometime in the near future.
 
After the meeting was finished I headed to the Docks to see what was coming into roost. After checking the Egreton and Morpeth Dock to see if the Little Grebe was about, which it didn't appear to be, I headed off to the East Float to see what was about. After watching the Cormorants flyover to there roost site, still need to locate the main patch, I didn't see just 1 but 2 Mute Swans on the Float and they were both Juv birds which stayed for few minutes before taking off and heading towards Bidston Moss. These Mute Swans are 100% the same 2 Juv birds which were this years brood from Bidston Moss, which is also were you get the Wirral's only proven breeding pair of Great crested Grebes, which produced 5 young this year. Bidston Moss is also a highly under watched site and if its incorporated into the new WeBS boundaries such as Birkenhead Docks then it'll be featured on the Blog and be part the "patch".
 
As you can see I managed to get a shot of the 2 Swans in flight taking off from the Docks, not bad for an IPhone!
 
Juv Mute Swans (EM)

 
Observers: Elliot and Adele Montieth

Thursday, 29 October 2015

29/10/15

After coming back from the residential part of my NCS (National Citizens Service), I got picked up by mum at West Kirby at 2:30pm and headed straight off to do some birding.......I haven't been birding for 4 days! We first stopped off at the Caldy Waterfowl Collection were we had 8 Black-tailed Godwits feeding in the field, along with 1 Oystercatcher which made a brief stop off for some water before flying off south west.
 
 
After this we headed off to the Docks were we had 15+ Great crested Grebes on the East Float, 2 of which were rather close to the Tower Quays when out of nowhere a Kingfisher shot right past us and out across the Float! This is the 1st record of Kingfisher for the Docks since they were last seen in 2004 when there was a nesting pair in the Egreton Dock; the Docks could very well be a wintering site for Kingfisher and possibly the occasional breeder, but since the Docks have only just started to be surveyed the status for many species in the Docks is unclear.
 
Kingfisher (EM)

 
After the excitement of this I headed of to the sunken ship by the new Wirral Met Collage to try and photograph a Cormorant drying itself out, as I was able to get close to the bird I was able to see its gular which revealed it,with the help of Cian Cardiff, to be a Sinensis Cormorant (The continental race of the cormorant) . The status of the Sinensis Cormorant in the Wirral and the UK is not fully understood as most birders don't check to see what race a Cormorants is, so the status of the Sinensis race anywhere in the UK is far from clear. The most I've ever had in the Docks or anywhere for that matter was about 3 years ago on one of my first visits to the Docks were the whole of the East Float was surrounded by Sinensis Cormorants all in there spectacular spring courtship plumage; there was roughly 500 birds!
 

Sinensis Cormorant (EM)

 


How to separate Carbo (British) and Sinensis (Continental) Cormorants

After getting over the sheer enjoyment of spotting both Kingfisher and Sinensis Cormorant we drove round to the Egreton Dove were mum showed me a beautiful Nobel M12 that she'd "spotted" earlier on in the day. I'm also a bit of car nerd/lover! Anyway as we pulled I spotted something splashing about in the water, which it being salt water, not far from the Mersey and there being several days of 9m+  high tides, I was thinking maybe Black-necked or Slavonian Grebe? I was wrong. It was in fact the Docks first ever record of a LITTLE GREBE! I would of never of thought that there would be a Little Grebe in the Docks as there's a few large fish around which might fancy a Little Grebe as a snack and that there's a lot of large gulls which would easily attempt to predate the grebe. But saying that they do nest at Bidston Moss, behind the Docks and there have even been records of Little Grebe on Hilbre Island!
Little Grebe, 1st site record (EM)

 
Observer: Elliot Montieth