Tuesday, 18 July 2017

18/07/17

A post college river watch from Seacombe Ferry Terminal was much more productive than what was anticipated. Kicking off the show was a flock of 14 Dunlin heading north up the river whilst overhead gulls were 'anting', which in amongst the 30c Black-headed Gulls up to 3 Meditterian Gulls (highest this autumn), joined in one of which was that observed on the 15th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (ssp.graellsii) - 1st cycle birds such as this can to the untrained eye be mistake for the very similer Yellow-legged Gull. (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Meditterian Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) - 1 of 3 moulting adults hawking over the ferry terminal this PM
(Image - Elliot Montieth)

Besides the Dunlin and gulls other species noted at the terminal included Northern House Martin (15c), Common Swift (9), European Sand Martin (6), Common Tern (40c), and a single Common Sandpiper whizzing around the banks of the Egerton Dock.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - The ferry terminal at Seacombe provides excellent photographic opportunities from the
Common Terns as they pass heading up river (Image - Elliot Montieth)

Observer: Elliot Montieth

Saturday, 15 July 2017

15/07/17

After over a month away from the Docks it was all hands on deck today for a complete census of the site with even the unexpected visit to Bidston Moss NR with Luke Anderson. Starting the day off at the Morpeth & Egerton Docks all that was to be offered were the resident pair of Mute Swans, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Great Cormorant & a flock of 8 Black-headed Gull, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull & 5 European Herring Gull.  

The East Float was on fire today with the Common Tern colony producing a record count of 110c Common Terns (19 Juv) & 1 Roseate type-Tern in flight when the colony was disturbed. After discovering the colony only 3 years it's been fascinating to watch the colony (Cheshire's only tern colony!), unfold with year upon year more and more birds flocking to the docks to breed; In 2015 30c adults were counted, 2016 that number rocketed to 60c and today that record was utterly smashed with 110c birds tallied.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - Despite being a count of 110c birds in flight
today the question of how many were adults and how many were infact juveniles is
unclear; however a total of 19 juveniles were counted (Image - Elliot Montieth)
A supporting cast for the East Float consisted of 1 Great crested Grebe, 20 Greater Canada Geese, 17 Great Cormorant, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 7 Black-headed Gull, 5 Northern Lapwing, 5 Common Ringed Plover with an rather unexpected discovery being that of a singing male Common Whitethroat on the grounds of the clock tower.

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) - The fate of this locally rare breeding species
is an uncertain one with developments posing a serious risk to the species next year (Image - Eliot Montieth)

Next up at the Gull Roost only a handful of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were around with 2 1st summer Great Black-backed Gull; The vast majority of todays roost was located along Wallasey Bridge Road that held host to Black-headed Gull (55), European Herring Gull (112), Lesser Black-backed Gull (78) and with first adult Common Gull (2) were further located amongst the roost.

Common Gull (Larus canus) - Two adults located in the frame. 1st summers are
often seen on the Mersey throughout the summer however adults are a strict passage
& winter visitor (Image - Elliot Montieth)
After dropping into Bidston Moss NR (See here), the pair of us headed over to Seacombe Ferry for a sea watch of the Mersey to see weather or not the Roseate Tern's that had been showing on and off at Seaforth NR had ventured down river to associate with the dock terns. Over the half an hour that was spent observing the Mersey that totals came tot eh following: Great Black-backed Gull (2), Lesser Black-backed Gull (17), European Herring Gull (32), Black-headed Gull (49) and the highlight was a Mediterranean Gull that came to bread for a matter of seconds before turning into a ghost.

Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) - Annual but scarce passage bird
to the dock complex (Image - Elliot Montieth0

Observers: Elliot Montieth & Luke Anderson