Sunday, 26 February 2017

26/02/17

It was another trip to Back Pools & Bidston today with once again the Back Pools being the stars of the show with both LITTLE GREBES being present and active as well as 6 Teal (3 pairs) and 2 SHOVELEVER with the 1st winter drake still present but was joined today by a female which we strongly believe to be a different bird to that seen with an adult drake on the 15th of February.

Bidston was its normal self with the Great crested Grebe pair still present and will hopefully have another successful breeding season as well as 2 Mute Swan, 14 Tufted Duck, 6 Mallard, 2 Bullfinch, 5 Moorhen, 20 Coot & 1 Water Rail (calling) behind the B&Q Reed Bed.

Observers: Luke Anderson & Elliot Montieth

Post Doris - 24/02/17

A post Doris patrol started off with Egerton & Morpeth Dock this am with as per not much being present besides 2 Peregrine showing at Hamilton, 2 Mute Swans on Egerton with 2 Lesser Black-backed & 1 Great Black-backed Gull and a flock of 4 Long-tailed Tit round the hedges of Morpeth.

Meanwhile on the East Float there was a definitive lack of birdlife with only 17 Great crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull & 4 Cormorant. Mean while on Gull Roost there was yet another shockingly low variety of birds on the scene with only 22 Carrion Crow, 11 Lapwing, 3 Black-headed Gull, 14 Herring Gull & 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull. 1 Buzzard was observed later in the day.

Over to Bidston & the Back Pools the main surprises came from a discovery of 2 LITTLE GREBE on the eastern Back Pool with is what seemingly looking like a potential breeding attempt and if it would be, then it would be the first documented breeding attempt (hopefully successful) of the species. Little Grebe was once a fairly common species to both the Back Pools & Bidston but over the course 2016 numbers dropped off massively with this pair of birds being the first observed since September were there was a single bird on Bidston's main lake. The reason for the decrease in records could be down to a number of factors such as an increase in disturbance at both sites as well as having to put up with an increase number of larger and more aggressive birds including primarily Canada Goose & Coot.

1 Jack Snipe was flushed from B&Q Reed Bed.

Observers: Luke Anderson & Elliot Montieth

Thursday, 23 February 2017

23/02/17

2 Little Gull (adult & 1st winter), flew into the East Float this evening to join the Gull Roost which consisted of 2500c Black-headed Gull, 4 Meditterian Gull (All adults 2 in complete summer plumage) & 500c "large" Gulls sp flew over heading towards West Float. 1 Pied & Grey Wagtail were heard flying over the East Float along with 4 Oystercatcher, 22 Cormorant and 11 Canada Geese, with 2 Mute Swan on Egerton Dock.

Observer: Elliot Montieth

Sunday, 19 February 2017

19/02/17

Whilst on a patrol round the docks this afternoon I though that I'd try a new approach to seeing what Gulls were about, so I popped into the shops on the way down and bought some brown bread in order to attract what ever gulls were in the area. So for this plan to work I headed over to East Float to put this theory into action.

On arrival 21 Great crested Grebe, 2 Oystercatchers, 8 Canada Geese, 15 Cormorant (1 sinensis) and 1 Skylark (flyover) were present, mean while when the plan was put into gulls attract included: 17 Herring Gull, 5 Black-headed Gull, 2 Lesser black-backed Gull & 1 Great Black-backed Gull were all that were present; rather disappointing results.

Afterwards it was round to Seacombe Ferry were on the banks of the Alfred Dock adjacent to the bridge a 1st winter male STONECHAT was flushed and shortly afterwards relocated in the buddleia were the bird showed extremely well for a 10 minute period before the observers departed. This is the first record for the Docks with the only other record coming from an unconfirmed report from Bidston Moss in 2007.  

1st winter male Stonechat (Image - Elliot Montieth)
Over at Seacombe all was again very quiet gull wise with fewer than 30 present with the Ferry Terminal hosting just 10c Redshank and 15c Turnstone.


The Gull Roost was also quiet with just 1 Mute Swan (5 were present on the 15th), 10 Shelduck and 1 Buzzard. Bidston Moss and the Back Pools how ever were slightly more "exciting" with joint totals of 2 Great crested Grebe, 4 Teal and 4 Tufted Duck.

observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Occurance of Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) - Ashton Park, Wirral (Image - Elliot Montieth)
When I first started to search for records for the Docks & Bidston one thing which stumbled across my path were two records of Shoveler at Bidston via Bird Track; both of which involved adult drakes with the first being located on the Back Pools in 2008 and the next being on the Main Lake in 2012. From this data and these being the only records I could find of Shoveler I took it as these must be pretty rare and classed it as a "MEGA" bird for the site.

1st winter drake Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) - The bird which was reported on
January 4th and later confirmed and photographed when next observed on February 4th.
This bird was then subsequently observed with the adult drake on February 6th.  

Yet this winter something rather amazing has happened as within the space of just 3 months the number of records of Northern Shoveler has gone sky high with a total 4 indivual birds being record equalling an additional 3 records, with most recently an adult pair on the Main Lake associating loosely with the Tufted Ducks on the lakes east flank today! This discovery breaks a duet of records such as first "lady" and pair in the sites history stretching over 20 years.

The most recent record and first of a pair on the Main Lake at Bidston


Northern Shoveler records - Winter 2016/17

(3rd record) Adult drake - Back Pools - December 18th 2016
Adult drake - Back Pools - January 7th 2017
(4th record) 1st winter drake - Back Pools - January 18th 2017
1st winter drake -  Back Pools - February 4th 2017
1st winter drake & adult drake - Back Pools - February 6th 2017
(5th record) Pair - Main Lake - February 15th 2017

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

06/02/17

Both the 1st winter & adult drake SHOVELERS were present on the Back Pools this PM.

Observer: Sue Noyce

Saturday, 4 February 2017

04/02/17

Yet another quality day out to the one and only Birkenhead Docks today. The day was kick started with good counts of Peregrine (3), Great Crested Grebe (65! Highest count), Great Black-backed Gull (16! Highest count), Mistle Thrush (5) and Cormorant (41 carbo + 2 sinensis) which were situated amongst the Egerton Dock, Morpeth Dock and East Float.

Peregrine - 1/3 seen on todays visit, only the 2nd record of individual birds being
seen in a single day (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Great crested Grebe - All but a handful are now in there fabulous summer plumage
(Image - Elliot Montieth)
Afterwards it was a trip over the Gull Roost (West Float) were totals were 13 Common Gull, 2 Snipe, 46 Lapwing, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Meadow Pipit8 Lesser Black-backed Gull,160c Black-headed Gull, 80c Herring Gull (4 poss argentatus) and a very fine looking 3rd winter YELLOW-LEGGED GULL which has been the first site record for donkeys years!!! Which on confirmation I had to give Luke Anderson a bell who was up a Bidston Moss so he could get a sneek peak of it before it departed heading east towards Woodside.

3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull - Departing from the roost just 20mins after its
discovery (Image - Elliot Montieth).

3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull - The of many images taken of this stunning bird
taken; features which caught my attention were its yellow legs, primary mirrors, eye ring & short
thick bill. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull - Last image of the bird as it departed; can see clearly
in this image the absence of large mirrors on the primaries which help to rule out Herring
Gull. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Afterwards it was round to Bidston Moss and the Back Pools were besides from a possible CETTI'S WARBLER by Luke in the B&Q Reed Bed totals were 1 Song Thrush, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Tufted Duck, 1 Buzzard1 Teal, 8 Mallard, 41 Canada Geese (Back Pools), 70c Woodpigeon, 33 Coot, 3 Moorhen and to round it all off a rather sulky 1st winter drake SHOVELVER (4th site record) was round on the Back Pools.

1st winter drake Shoveler - Apprantly first seen on the 16th of January and the 2nd
record for the winter, this little beaut is the 4th record for the site! (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson