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.
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.
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.
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