Friday, 30 December 2016

Mayhem at Bidston

After a morning spent at Walton Hall Park photographing "Pablo" the resident Red-crested Pochard, it was a trip round to Bidston. The first stop was to the Birket and Back Pools were both were fairly lifeless apart from a handful of Mallards, Coots and Canada Geese along with 2 Cormorant & 4 Teal on the Birket with 2-3 Goldcrest in the Willow at the entrance of the Pools.

Teal - Stock Image (Elliot Montieth)

Next up it was round to the main lake were 1 Sparrowhawk flew over the footbridge behind B&Q and 6 Bullfinch were in the bush's and woodland west of the Main Lake. Meanwhile on the Lake its self 25 Tufted Duck had moved in along with 15c Coot and 1 Great crested Grebe.

The Great crested Grebe was trapped in fishing line so could fly or swim more than 5 meters from the edge of the lake. It was either let it suffer a stressful, painful and unnatural death or go in and attempt to free it, as no local birders could be of assistance and the RSPCA wouldn't pick up I went in and attempted to release it. Unfortunately the plan failed and it was another painful 10mins before the bird lodged its self free.

The trapped Great crested Grebe trying to escape from the line

After the drama was over 2 Buzzards and 1 Mediterranean Gull flew over the lake head SW & W along with 2 Jay seen darting about in the Willows.

Mediterranean Gull (Luke Andseron)

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson

Thursday, 29 December 2016

28/12/16

After an early morning start at West Kirby it was a swift trip over to Bidston and the Docks to see if myself and Luke Anderson could catch up with a flock of 7 Waxwings flying NE over Leasowe Lighthouse. Waxwings are an irruptive species with the last time we had such vast numbers in the UK being in the winter of 2012/2013 were Merseyside was coated in them, there were counts of flocks of 150+ at Hamilton, yet despite this year being an "irruptive" year very few have been on Wirral this year.

1 of the 60c Waxwings currently wintering in St Asaph, today saw a large
influx into the North West including birds seen in Wirral, Liverpool, Manchester,
Warrington, Wigan & Preston.
Arriving by train it was the "Back Pools" which were the first stop off were apart from a flock of 4 Teal & 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker there was also 1 LITTLE EGRET (1st winter), on the banks of the Birket which represents the first record of this ever expanding species for Bidston. The bird was flushed several times by passing dog walkers and cars before it flew NE along the Birket heading towards the Mersey.

Little Egret
Next off it was round to the main site were amongst the woods were several assorted tit flocks were gathering in the willows several Goldcrest were associating with them along. Meanwhile on the Mainlake 2 Water Rail were heard calling with on the lake itself 2 Great crested Grebe, 1 Mute Swan, 20c Coot, 5c Moorhen & 2 Mallard. Next it was round to the West Float Gull Roost were apart from 9 Common Snipe the highlights were 2 flocks of PINK-FOOTED GEESE numbering 70c birds which flew over heading SW towards the Dee Estuary.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson

Monday, 19 December 2016

18/12/16

Well it's certainly been a while hasn't it!

Once again it was WeBS and well the routine started as usual, starting at Morpeth & Egerton before making our way round to East Float, Seacombe, West Float and finishing off at Bidston and the Pools.
Black-headed Gull
Despite being the middle of winter (prime time for the docks!) both docks of Morpeth and Egerton were dead with just 2 Herring Gull roosting at Morpeth and a Black-headed Gull on Egerton. Meanwhile over on the East Float things were a little more exciting but never the less still pretty much dead: 13 Great Crested Grebe (1 in summer plumage?!), 33 Cormorant (none race-able), 4 Canada Geese, 2 Grey Wagtail (a winter pair), 1 Curlew, 2 Oystercatcher, 2 Great Black-backed Gull along with "Calvin the Coot" who after over a year has remained on the East Float.

Calvin the Coot

Great crested Grebes
Next off it was round to the Ferry Terminal at Seacombe were amongst the record count of 74 Turnstone and 23 Redshank lay a long awaited PURPLE SANDPIPER which done its best to remain hidden amongst flock and did manage a bog standard "Record shot" but as you can its pretty much undeniable from my Digi scope I've decided not to post. Apart from the waders other birds of notice were 3 Great Black-backed Gull.

After the joy at the Seacombe it was then over to the West Float Gull Roost which made the day even better as apart from the first returning Shelduck of the winter there was also a yet another count made today but instead of 74 Turnstone it was a mind blowing 106 Lapwing!!!

Lapwings
To round off the trip it was over to Bidston & the Pools were apart from the bog standard a call came through from a rather chilled observer saying that there was not much about on the Back Pool's apart a Shoveler, this is only the 2nd record for the site and the first this year.

SHOVELER!!!

Observers: Elliot & Adele Montieth