Sunday, 21 February 2016

The magic trio

Once again it was WeBS today and even though the Docks has had 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Med Gull, 50+ Snipe, 91 Lapwing and a Scaup know of them were on a WeBS day. But today all that was about to change.

Scaup amongst Great Crested Grebe (EM)
The East Float was the first port of call were Great crested Grebe numbers had swelled up to 31 birds, after no more than 10 seconds of scanning the flock hoping for either a Slavonian or Red-Necked Grebe my eyes were pinned upon an adult drake SCAUP. But remember the 1st winter drake Scaup we had only a few weeks ago? A closer inspection of the head quickly revealed it to be that very bird but had transformed into its spectacular adult plumage.

Scaup with Great Crested Grebes (EM)

Scaup with Great Crested Grebes (EM)
Excluding the Scaup there was still plenty of birds about the East Float with 18 Cormorant,  a record count of 6 Oystercatcher, 1 Lapwing, 1 Kestrel14 Canada Geese, 2 Shelduck and 1 Pied Wagtail. But hidden amongst the roosting Cormorants opposite the Tern Raft another vagrant to the Docks was to be found,a 1st cycle SHAG. A bird which when researching for bird records for the Docks I only came across once!

Juv Great crested Grebe (EM)

Oystercatchers (EM)

SHAG with Cormorant (EM)
The West Float Gull Roost was extremely productive this morning with Gulls consisting of 40c Lesser Black-back, 5c Greater Black-back, 150c Herring, 200c Black-headed, 30c Common Gull and 1 very good candidate for a 3rd cycle Caspian Gull. Along with 1 Redshank, 18 Lapwing (flyover), 1 Kestrel, 9 Canada Geese, 8 Shelduck, 2 Cormorant, 7 Meadow Pipit, 13 Pied Wagtail and 4 Linnet. But there was also a another vagrant to the Docks today at Gull Roost and it was smashing male Merlin! Again the only 2nd record for the docks and the first sexed bird as well. Merlin are also a regular but very rare visitor to Bidston Moss.

Lapwing (EM)

Kestrel (EM)
Bidston Moss may not have had a patch gold but it still had a relatively high number of Tufted Duck with 34 birds on the lake along with 2 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Moorhen and 13 Coot. Also a flock of 6 Siskin at the north entrance.

Siskin (EM)
By far the most productive session I've had at the Docks to date: New max count of Oystercatchers, three patch golds and 2 new birds equalling in 4 more points for Patch Work Challenge.

Observers: Elliot & Adele Montieth

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