Sunday, 26 March 2017

26/03/17

Spring is now in full swing and where else better to experience it than at Bidston starting off from the B&Q Reed Bed were the surprising find was by far and least the discovery of male Common Reed Bunting in full song! Reed Buntings are primarily a migrant species to the Moss with the occasional winter visitor with a male being seen on and off on a monthly bases through the autumn & winter in the B&Q Reed Bed so, same bird ?

Common Reed Bunting (Phylloscopus c. collybita ) by Luke Anderson

Despite the lack of size of the B&Q Reed Bed it has been surprising watching over it for the past 2 years especially considering the overall habitat of wet and dead reed bed interlocking with dead wet woodland. Water Rail (have bred), Common Snipe, Jack Snipe & Cetti's Warbler have all been documented in the bed so Reed Bunting is defiantly a species to keep an eye on.

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus c. collybita ) by Luke Anderson

Northern Shoeveler (Anas clypeata) by Luke Anderson

Meanwhile on the Back Pools a good diverse selection of birds were about with 1 Common Kestrel, 2 Eurasian Teal (pair), 4 Greater Canada Geese, 2 Northern Shoveler (pair) & 9 Common Chiffchaff.

Observer: Luke Anderson





Wednesday, 22 March 2017

22. Jan, 2016

After a trip to Gilroy NP and the Lighthouse of Leasowe I arrived at the Back Pools at Bidston where to kick start the patch visit were a total of 3 Common Chiffchaff (2 singing, 1 visual) along with the flock of Greater Canada Geese now building up to 30 birds (all in pairs) but there was no sign of any Shovelers or infact any Sand Martins which have been building up in numbers across the Wirral and North West.

Next to Bidston's Main Lake was a total of 6 Common Chiffchaff with no sign of the recent Willow Warbler; however the lake was teeming with life with counts of 18 Tufted Duck, 2 Great crested Grebe, 2 Mute Swan, 12 Eurasian Coot, 6 Common Moorhen, 7 Mallard and to round it all off 1 Little Grebe with 1 Meadow Pipit over heading west.

Due to developments on West Float it was devoid of birdlife but East Float saved the day with a grand total of 3 Eurasian Curlew & 4 Eurasian Oystercatcher, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 5 Great Cormorant, 2 Northern Lapwing (East Wasteland) and just 7 Great crested Grebe.

Observers: Elliot Montieth

21/03/17

2 Peregrine, 2 Common Buzzard and 1 Eurasian Kestrel above/around Cross Road today with Water Rails still calling from B&Q Reed Bed.

Observer: Sue Noyce

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

19/03/17

1 WILLOW WARBLER (1st of Spring for the Wirral!) was heard singing along with 3 Common Chiffchaff round the East Side of the main lake at Bidston Moss with only 7 Tufted Duck present along with the Great Crested Grebe pair.

From along the track between the B&Q Reed Bed to the Back Pools a total of 2 Water Rail were heard calling with 1 Common Chiffchaff; and the Back Pools had a total of 3 Common Chiffchaff, 8 Canada Geese, 2 Northern Shoveler (pair), 1 Common Moorhen, 2 Mallard & 4 Eurasian Coot.

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson

If you have visited either Bidston Moss or Birkenhead Docks then report your sightings to elliotpmontieth@gmail.com so that they can be posted on the blog.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

11/03/17

Another quality visit to Birkenhead Docks this morning to carry out the monthly WeBS count. I was supposed to be meeting up with students and lecturers from Liverpool John Moore's University's Wildlife Conservation course to demonstrate how to carry out a WeBS count, but disappointingly none showed up. Never the less the count continued...

First off was the Egerton & Morpeth Dock which held a combined total of 3 Great Cormorant, the wintering pair of Mute Swans and most interesting...a single Great Crested Grebe on Morpeth; only the 2nd record for the Dock.

An unusual site of a Great Cormorant on the banks of the Egerton Dock; went into "hiding"
under the first arch way. Only later when looking through images that the bird appeared to
have an injury to the left leg. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Great Cormorant (P.c.sinensis) candidate feeding on the Egerton Dock. Compered
on other occasions when photographing Great Cormorant this single bird was noticeably
more obliging then other individuals observed at the site. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) showing very well over on the Morpeth Dock this AM.
As mentioned before only the 2nd record for Morpeth, most likely reasons for the
occurrence is that it's either a genuine migrant or one of the birds from the East Float
that has been displaced by a passing ship. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Meanwhile on the East Float I was joined by Dermot Smith where within 5mins on arrival he'd picked up both COMMON MOORHEN & EUROPEAN SHAG in amongst the roosting Great Cormorants (24) at the entrance of the Vittoria Dock. These finds account for only the 3rd record of Moorhen for the East Float & 3rd record of Shag for the entire Dock complex! Besides that there plenty of evidence that spring migration was in full swing with Lesser Redpoll, Eurasian Siskin, Northern Skylark, Common Snipe, Grey Wagtail, Common Shelduck & Mallard all knocking about/passing over. But in more exciting news 3 Common Ringed Plover were discovered on the Wasteland east of the Wallasey Flats and a "pair" appear to set up their own territory and displaying was subsequently observed! Having contacted Peel soon as I got back they'll hopefully leave the site undisturbed allowing them another successful breeding season. So far no sign of any returning Lapwing.

European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) with Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
at the entrance of the Vittoria Dock on the "Cormorant Planks" (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Mallard's are a uncommon passage migrant to the Docks with this pair being the first
for the spring. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

The Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), is again primarily a passage bird to the Docks and an
occasional breeder; only 1 breeding attempt in 2016 where all young where predated.
 (Image - Elliot Montieth)

1 of 3 Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) located on the Wasteland East of
the Wallasey Flats this AM. Due to development plans this maybe the last time we see
Common Ringed Plover making a breeding attempt. (Image - Elliot Montieth)
Over to Seacombe next with more spring migration observations with 3 Mediterranean Gulls & 1 "White-winger" heading SE along the Mersey towards Hale & Frodsham. At the Ferry Terminal only a handful of roosting Ruddy Turnstones (20) &  Common Redshank (4) were picked up with this count shockingly lower compared to counts of the same time last year. Rounding off at the West Float just 200c assorted gulls (majority Lesser Black-backed Gull), 1 probable Water Pipit was heard along with 2 Meadow Pipit, 4 Common Shelduck, 1 Eurasian Kestrel, 1 Grey Wagtail & 4 Great Black-backed Gull.

Further up the road at Bidston Moss a Eurasian Woodcock was discovered deep in the woods.

Observers: Elliot Montieth, Dermot Smith, Luke Anderson


Thursday, 9 March 2017

08/03/17

A quick little look round the Back Pools this evening resulted in totals being 2 Tufted Duck (pair), 26 Canada Geese, 11 Mallard, 5 Coot6 Moorhen with the B&Q holding host to 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Bullfinch's (pair).

 Disappointingly no sign of either the Little Grebes or Shoveler at all!

Observer: Elliot Montieth

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

06/03/17

5 Tufted Duck, 29 Canada Geese, 2 Shoveler (pair) & 3 Teal were present on the Back Pools.

Observer: Sue Noyce

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

01/03/2017

2 Tufted Duck (1 adult drake & 1 female-type), on Back Pools with 2 Cormorant. 8 Long-tailed Tits & 4 Chaffinch along B&Q Reed Bed. At Cross Lane 2 Buzzard (1 noticeably larger than other individual), and 1 Peregrine!

Observer: Sue Noyce