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


5 comments:

  1. 12.3.17 back pools 2 teal 2 tufted duck 1 bullfinch 2 adult chaffinch n 1 juv chaffinch or poss bullfinch (are juv chaffinch n bullfinch v diff?) .on way past bidston stn saw sparrowhawk and then buzzard in tree by b n q.

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  2. 12.3.17 back pools 2 teal 2 tufted duck 1 bullfinch 2 adult chaffinch n 1 juv chaffinch or poss bullfinch (are juv chaffinch n bullfinch v diff?) .on way past bidston stn saw sparrowhawk and then buzzard in tree by b n q.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Saw buzzard this am on path near Mosslands school. Took off towards B&Q.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 19.3.17 2 buzzards cross lane peregrine by lidl!

    ReplyDelete
  5. 19.3.17 2 buzzards cross lane peregrine by lidl!

    ReplyDelete