Sunday, 9 April 2017


Another glorious day down at the Docks to carry out the monthly WeBS today whilst Bidston was being covered by Mr Anderson. As per usual it was first off to Morpeth & Egerton Dock with a combined total of 2 Mute Swan (still) with the arrival of 2 Common Shelduck (pair) resting on the banks of the east side of Morpeth. A pair bred last year rising 5 young however all were soon predated by the local European Herring & Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Moving onwards to the East Float all was spookily quiet with 3 Common Shelduck (1 pair), 2 Greater Canada Geese (pair) and just 2 Great crested Grebes (pair) with a  handful of alba Wagtail passing over heading east with several Meadow Pipit, (could of been White Wagtail present in the loose flocks flying over however was unable to get clear views). Also with construction work taking place on the bridges close to the Clock Tower viewing in general is restricted.

"Western" Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus.f. graellsii) - Not the greatest variation
but you should be able to see that front bird has a darker tone than that of the rear bird
which have formed one of the many pairs within the Dock complex - Image Elliot Montieth
Moving onwards to the West Float the action started to heat up with several flocks of Linnet observed which appeared to be coming to drink before dispersing, 20c European Herring Gull of argenteus race were present along 100+ Lesser Black-backed Gull (race graellsii) with some showing some nice variation in mantle shade. Managing to move away from the Gulls a little move investigating revealed that 1 Northern Lapwing was present (distant male) along with 2 Mute Swan (Passage birds), 8 Common Shelduck and the star of the day 1 STOCK DOVE to the west of the main roost. Most defiantly going to be one of highlights of the year being one of the unexpected birds you'd see at the Docks which as you can guess is the 1st record for the Dock Complex (excluding recent record from Bidston Moss NR which is no longer counted as part of Docks due to adjustments in the WeBS Boundaries).
Stock Dove (Columba oenas) - The "natural" habitat for the Stock Dove is of woodland
like that found on Bidston Hill, Eastham CP & RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands. However
this individual whilst migration has taken the decision to stop off at the Docks just 100m
or so from the woods of Bidston Moss - Image Elliot Montieth

Stock Dove (Columba oenas) with Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus.f.graellsii) -
This image shows the black spots located on the rear of the bird along with head
having the same tone of grey to that of the body which rule out both Feral Pigeon &
Common Woodpigeon - Image Elliot Montieth

Stock Dove (Columba oenas) - This shot showing the compact body size unlike
that of Common Woodpigeon along with the black band on the outer wing continuing
inwards onto the secondary's and the pale grey underwing. - Image Elliot Montieth

Stock Dove (Columba oenas) - This image showing the pale grey panel on the
inner wing with the absence of white band excluding Common Woodpigeon
- Image Elliot Montieth

For the docks that was it however over at Bidston 15 Mallards, 5 Common Moorhen, 2 Mute Swans, 2 Great crested Grebe, 11 Eurasian Coot, 7 Tufted Duck & 7 Greater Canada Goose.

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson

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