Saturday, 26 December 2015

26/12/15

Managed to walk a complete circuit of the Docks today within 4hrs, which through up a number of surprises!

Today the Juv Peregrine replaced the male and took its place at Hamilton Square, whilst on the Inlet up to 55c Black-headed Gulls could be found feeding on sewage. Might be good for Med Gulls during passage ?

Morpeth had a bit of activity going on with 2 Cormorant (1 sinensis) and 9 Herring Gulls, were a brief stop of Egerton produced the wintering female Kingfisher. Lighting was rubbish so apologies for the image.

Kingfisher (EM)
The East Float as usual was a hive of activity; 34 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Coot and 13 Cormorant ( 3 sinensis) were on the water, 2 Curlew and 1 Oystercatcher were roosting out near the Tern Raft along with a mixed group of 40c Gulls, and on the brown land south of the Flats there was 2 Pied Wagtail3 Mistle Thrush and 7 Canada Geese.

Curlew (EM)
When I arrived at the West Float Gull Roost I was in for a real treat. As I was walking up to the 1st set of viewing points all the Feral Pigeons shot up as 1 Sparrowhawk flew over heading East. Been a few months since my last for the docks. As I came up to the 2nd viewing point I flushed 12 SNIPE !!! By far the highest count for the docks. I keep on wondering why Snipe occur at the Gull roost as the ground only has a very thin layer of moss of which for them to feed from, but if you wear to look at the Gull roost from a birds eye view you'd see that it appears to resemble an area of wetlands; Scrapes, shallow birds, greenery. Other birds present on the West Float included 30c Carrion Crow, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Linnet, 200c Gulls (90% Herring) and 100c Starling.

Snipe (EM)
Afterwards I walked over to Bidston Moss were in a single tree there was murder of 29 Magpie! And 1 Kestrel flew over the recycling plant! Another bird of prey which I haven't seen for months at the Docks. Apart from that all life was concentrated on the lake where 24 Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorant (1 sinensis 1 carbo), 14 Coot, 1 Great crested Grebe, 1 Moorhen and 3 Mallard were present.

Tufted Ducks with Mallards (EM)
Observer: Elliot Montieth

Thursday, 24 December 2015

24/12/15

After I'd recovered from my recent trip to Spain, I headed back down to my beloved Docks to see if there was an early Christmas present hiding about. 

Whilst walking down to check the inlet via Pacific Road I looked up and to see 1 Peregrine (F) perched on top of the Mersey Air vent and another Peregrine (M) on top of Hamilton Square! 2 Peregrines is the single highest count at the docks which isn't surprising as there are 3 wintering in the area; 1F, 1M and 1 Juv.

Peregrine (EM)
On the inlet gull numbers were down to 15c Black-headed Gulls and 10c Herring Gull and there were no waders on the freshly exposed mud. Most of the gulls were flying over to the East and West Float,but a few Black-headed Gulls around were circling around the Ferry Terminal at Woodside.

Moorhen (EM)
A walk round to the Morpeth Dock produced 2 Cormorant (1 sinensis 1 carbo) and 7 Herring Gull. Where as on Egerton there was still 1 Moorhen, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Kingfisher! Small but mighty. All of these birds spend prolong periods of time underneath the arch ways at Egerton so patience is needed in viewing these birds. I spent 2hrs in total at the Egerton Dock today and I've finally managed to map our wintering  Kingfishers (F) routes around the dock, which is very useful for photography purposes. Other birds noted while I was at Egerton included 40c Goldfinch, 1 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Black-headed Gull, 1 Curlew, 10+ Herring Gull, 1 Blue Tit (poss 2), 1 Robin, 4 Magpie and to finish off a very cold and bitter day at the Docks 1 *BRAMBLING* (1st record) was heard in amongst a flock 20c Goldfinch flying over Egerton which landed in the trees between the Morpeth and Egerton Dock west of the bridge. I wasn't able to relocate the bird when I walked over but I'll be back down tomorrow.

Kingfisher (EM)

Kingfisher (EM)

Kingfisher (EM)
Me and a few others are a bit surprised about why a Brambling would associate its self with Goldfinch's considering there contrasting diets. If you have any clues to why this might be please get in touch.

There also appeared to be a good number of Great crested Grebe on the East Float but due to the horrific lighting I was only able to make out faint silhouettes so accurate counting will have to wait.

Observer: Elliot Montieth  

Sunday, 13 December 2015

WeBS 13/12/15

So today came my first WeBS count for the Docks, what surprises will there be?

First stop off was at Bidston Moss, which is part of the Docks but I rarely find time to visit it. Bidston Moss was once called Bidston Dock before being turned into a landfill site, before turning into the current day Bidston Moss. So Bidston Moss produced a nice selection of water birds with 1 Great crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 11 Coot and 36 Tufted Duck.

Great crested Grebe (EM)

The next stop off was the West Float were the only activity was at the Gull roost which had one very big surprise in stall...............1 SNIPE!!! I accidently flushed the bird as I was approaching the fence to count the gulls which consisted of 110c Black-headed Gull, 150c Herring Gull, 70 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 25c Common Gull, rather surprisingly there was not a single Great black-backed Gull! Going back to the SNIPE this is the 2nd record for the docks and it even blew me away! I would of thought that Snipe would of only been a fly over due to the habitat, but this bird was just sat next to small pool, before I came along.
Great crested Grebes (EM)
So after this magical moment we moved on to the East Float which was just shocking! Only 2 Cormorant, 33 Great crested Grebe30c Black-headed Gull and 30c Herring Gull, saying that there was 3 Curlew which were roosting by Abandoned Tower which then later flew off heading west.

Curlews (EM)
After visiting Morpeth and Egerton the days totals came to:
150c Black-headed Gull
200c Herring Gull
70c Lesser black-backed Gull
25c Common Gull
3 Cormorant
34 Great crested Grebe
11 Coot
1 Moorhen
36 Tufted Duck
1 Little Grebe
1 Snipe
3 Curlew

Over all a rather interesting day with some good and bad surprises.

Observers: Elliot and Adele Montieth

Saturday, 12 December 2015

12/12/15

Despite the dreadful weather today I still walked down to the docks to see what surprises the weather would bring.

First stop off was the inlet which was totally engulfed by gulls; 95c Black-headed Gull15c Herring Gull, 2 Great black-backed Gulls, 1 Juv Lesser black-backed Gull and 1 Common Gull, all feeding on the fresh supply of "waste".


Redshank (EM)

Morpeth was dead as usual with just 1 Cormorant. In contrast on Egerton there was 1 Redshank, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Juv Moorhen which has decided to relocate back on Egerton after spending some time on Morpeth.

COOTS (EM)

Mute Swans (EM)

Over on the East Float there was still 42 Great crested Grebe, along with record counts for both Coot and Mute Swan, were there wasn't just 1 but 2 COOT along with a flock of 8 Mute Swans, which flew over heading SE. This is the 2nd record of Mute Swans for the site as the first were the young from Bidston Moss which occurred on 2 dates. There was also a total of 19 Cormorant (3 sinensis) on the float today.

sinensis Cormorant (EM)

sinensis Cormorant (EM)

sinensis Cormorant (EM)


Whilst I was walking back 1 Curlew flew over the East Float heading NE and on the inlet there was 4 Mallard, consisting off 3 drakes and 1 female.

Observer: Elliot Montieth

Friday, 11 December 2015

11/12/15

Apologise for the lack of posts, there's been some technical issues with my laptop.

Popped down to the docks today before heading down to West Kirby Marine Lake to see the super showy Great Northern Diver. I first checked the West Float where there was just 1 Cormorant which flew over heading west........that was it apart from 1 Robin.

In contrast on the East Float there was 100c Herring Gulls, 4 Canada Geese, 6 Cormorant (2 sinensis) and an astonishing count of 42 Great crested Grebes! This is the 2nd highest count for the docks following a count of 60 Great crested Grebes back in January on the East Float. Seems a likely place for either Red-necked or Slavonian Grebe.

Juv sinensis Cormorant (EM)

Meanwhile on the Egerton Dock in the bushes there was 1 Blackbird, 1 Wren and 2 Magpie, while on the water there was 1 juv sinensis Cormorant and both the Little Grebe and Kingfisher were continuing to winter. The Kingfisher, female, has serval perches along the arches in the Dock and is best viewed on the first chain in the south west corner. The Little Grebe however is virtually impossible to see as it spends almost all of its time under the arches and doesn't appear to have a "favourite" arch way. 

Kingfisher (EM)

Sorry but I just need to include a few images of the Great Northern Diver from West Kirby Marine Lake today, what a beast it is! I've now also been informed of 2 pervious records of Great Northern Diver for the docks, that makes 3 including the one from 2 weeks ago which stayed for 4 days.

Great Northern Diver (EM)


Great Northern Diver (EM)
Observers: Elliot and Adele Montieth