Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Leasowe Lighthouse Wednesday 25th March 2015

Alarm sounded at 5am and after some breakfast I made the trip to Overpool train station for the 6.20 to Moreton. After changing at Birkenhead Central and making the walk over to Conway Park, (due to Hamilton Square being refurbished) I reconnected with the West Kirby train and arrived at Moreton at 7.15am.

1st birds off the train were Mallards and Moorhens in the ponds next to the station. As I approached the River Birkett I could see two Teal that quickly flushed and flew further downstream. On the approach to the lighthouse I noticed lots of Greenfinches in the surrounding trees as well as a few Goldfinches. Near to the lighthouse 4 Curlews were feeding in the grass adjacent to it. A quick look on the seafront produced a Little Egret and several Redshank dotted around in small pools as the tide was well out.

I decided to walk along the coastal path the horse riders use and scan the paddocks. This rewarded me with my 1st Wheatear of the year a stunning male on a pile of not so stunning horse manure!! Several Skylarks were also in the fields along with quite a few calling 'tseep tseep' Meadow pipits. Overhead Linnets called as they flew over and made their way across to the other side of the paddocks. Just before the turn off to the kissing gates an area of scrub produced at least half a dozen Stonechats, always great to see. Another male Wheatear was further along in some sandy grass and yet another past the caravan park near to Pams Ponys paddocks.

Walking back on myself through the kissing gates I scanned the paddocks and saw a couple of pied wagtails and some more linnets, pipits and skylarks. A cock pheasant called from the fields alongside the hedgerow and back towards the ponds a few Reed Buntings were calling. I heard a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and also heard a Little Owl in the distance.

The Little Owl was calling for quite a while around 8.55am so I approached Lingham Lane bridge and looked into the field by the green five barred gate to see if I could spot him, alas no. It did call a bit later on but sounded a lot further back than when I had first heard it :(

Over the Birkett, a couple of Goldcrests provided good viewing darting back and to like tiny hummingbirds whilst hunting small insects. A pair of Mistle Thrush were in nearby fields and Collared Doves were calling, Spring is defo here.

Another lap around the ponds produced a singing Chiffchaff and some more Reed Buntings. I stopped on the front for a cuppa and a sandwich and scanned the tideline to see a huge raft of Common Scoters that seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. News came in later that local birder Allan Conlin had discovered Wirrals 1st Surf Scoter in amongst the flock, very well done :-)

I watched the Greenshank chasing a Redshank around the Groyne which was quite amusing and the as the tide came in a dog walker got cut off by the incoming tide and the hovercraft was launched from New Brighton to come and rescue her!! Time was ticking on so I called it a day and headed for the train and home. An enjoyable day and I will be back in April.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Wales weekend & a special visitor during the Eclipse

Hello, I am sorry I have not blogged for a while, but been busy with caring for my mum who has been quite poorly, so not been out and about.

Sunday 15th March 2015

Last weekend I managed to get up the Orme, so saw Shag, Fulmars, Chough, Stonechats and Turnstones around the pier. On the way home, went through Llanrust and saw a stunning male Goosander alongside Mallards and two Mute Swans. A bit further upriver a lovely Dipper was bobbing on the rocks.

The views of the River and rapids in Betws y coed was simply stunning on a warm spring day.

In Betws y coed had great views of Buzzards and the odd Red Kite above the hilltop conifers :) On the way back just before we came across the Denbigh Moors had another close up view of a Red Kite. Magic. 

Friday 20th March 2015

Anyway onto today, got up excited at the prospect of the eclipse and filled the feeders and scattered some sunflower hearts and seeds and put suet pellets on birdtable for Mr Woodpecker and the Nuthatch. A cuppa had brewed so I watched the usual visitors enjoying the spoils, Coal tit, Great tit, Blue tit, Long tailed tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Nuthatch, Woodpecker (male & female) GSW, Stock Doves, Collared Doves, Wood pigeon, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock. Just then I clocked a treecreeper which has become a regular visitor climbing up an old tree at the back of the garden. A Chaffinch was singing loudly nearby and then I saw it!!

At the bottom of the bird table in amongst the seed and leaf litter was a stunning male Brambling. I had to grab my bins for a better look and managed to get some video footage on my samsung galaxy (sorry not very good quality, but good enough for ID). This winter I have had no Siskin, but had one Lesser Redpoll last March, presumable going through on passage? This Brambling is a first in my garden in 15 years of living here, so to say I am chuffed is an understatement.

Brambling footage below link :-  

Brambling in Rivacre Valley

The bird fed happily for about 1/h of an hour until a couple of Jays arrived and startled the smaller birds on the ground. Despite looking for an hour or so later, failed to relocate. Has anybody else had these delightful birds in the garden? Be great to know