Monday, 12 March 2018

Scaup and Brent Geese

After reports of 7 Scaup and 14 Brent Geese kept comin in all week at West Kirby Marine Lake kept coming in it seemed the logical place to go on Mothers Day after all where else would a Mum want to be taken?
Lucky for me Lesley does enjoy seeing birds and wildlife in general so it didn't take much to persuade that it was the right place to head for.

Soon as we arrived we could see the Brent Geese just loathing around at the Town end of the lake and nice and close in no need for bins to look or watch these dainty little geese. They even came close into the shore to feed on weed growing on the pontoons and lake side.

The Scaup were also easy to locate being just the other side of the lake again around the pontoons and were extremely approachable allowing me to sneak along the pontoons each time they dived I would head further out along the pontoon. They were so close I could almost touch them.

After here to decided to head for Burton Mere Wetlands for lunch a Snipe was nicely on show just below the reception hide with quite a few Avocet around the pools and the Black Headed Gulls pairing up and staking out their territories.

Saturday, 17 February 2018


We often pop along to the feeding area at Hanchurch woods to watch the birds when the weather is not that great, plus at this time of year you have the chance of Brambling! On the last few visits we had seen loads of Chaffinch but no Brambling today though our luck was in seeing three males in total in with the large Chaffinch flock.

Saturday, 3 February 2018


With all of the Hawfinch sightings being reported around Staffordshire and so far only achieving a very brief glimpse of a single birds at Kingsley I decided to try my luck at Biddulph Grange, at least if the birds headed for the grounds being a Nat Trust member I could at least follow them in.

Waiting around the car park we soon saw a single bird followed by another 6 and theses headed across towards the hall so we decided to follow, the birds were feeding in Yews in the private residence area of the grounds but we could peer over the fence.

A few minutes latter after a quick walk to the fish pool and back we now noted the flock in the trees at the far side of the private residence area in total we counted 12 birds.

Took a few record shots in the full on gloom and drizzle and then called it a day.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Wirral Waders

On the 20 Jan we decided to pop along to the Wirral to try and find a few waders to help get our year list going, we never dash around that much getting year ticks but we do enjoy watching waders and the Wirral area so any excuse to go is gladly taken.

The weather forecast was for showers in the morning which were to ease by lunch and sunny spells in the afternoon.  Well no one had told the weather that and it just rained most of the day.

Around West Kirby marine lake we picked up Turnstone, Redshank and Dunlin coming into roost.
Heading further along the coast the tide was still quite far out so not much was on offer around Hoylake so we continued down the coast to Meols here we did much better with Knot,Turnstone, Redshank and Oystercatcher all feeding in the pools and streams across the estuary. Also around the area were a couple of Little Egret and Shelducks.

From here we ventured down to New Brighton stopping off at the Life Guard Station firstly here there were a few Redshank and Turnstone feeding around the break water and Oystercatchers just further around the beach. While the grassy area new the hauled out boats held Common Gull, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull plus a few Lapwing.

Down at the marine lake a couple of Cormorant were feeding and the pontoons held Purple Sandpiper (one of my favourite wader species), Turnstone, Redshank and the odd Dunlin thrown in for good measure. By now the rain was coming down quite hard so we threw the towel in and headed back to Burton Mere to warm up and dry out in the reception hide where we added Snipe to our growing wader list. Plus the bonus of Water Pipit from the Marsh Covert Hide.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Spotted Sandpiper

A Spotted Sandpiper had recently turned up at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont at the end of the White Water section were it meets the River Trent, although we had seen one before at Tittesworth Reservoir back in 2008 (in fact this was the first rare bird Lesley and me ever saw) but I thought it would be nice to see another as it was only in Notts plus a Long Tailed Duck was also on site in the rowing lake.

We made our way to the White Water Course following directions from a few returning chaps and were soon watching this wader which was just quite happy walking along the grassy bank on the lock side of the course.

After this the more tricky job of finding a small duck on a large lake began, we headed to the 250m mark on the lake where it had last been seen but just couldn't locate it so we moved further along towards the start line. Lesley eventually found it on the far shore by the club house so I dashed around to see if I could grab a few shots. As up to now all the Long Tailed Ducks I had ever seen were small dots in the middle of lakes.