Today started cold and fresh on our first field trip of the year which, makes a change from last years rain. With the 2nd in January being a bank holiday it certainly gave lots of us a chance to get out and those that did really enjoyed the day.
This field trip has always been about enthusing and showing how many species can be found in Liverpool and we thought we would be on to break our record of 62.One of our first birds of the day was greenfinch in the trees by the car park followed by goldfinch, blackbird, wood pigeon and kestrel.
As we started to walk towards the estuary 2 mute swans flew out of the river towards town. As it was low tide the exposed mud banks were quite some distance out but telescopes we were able to show, redshanks, curlew, dunlin, oystercatcher, turnstone,mallard, teal, grey herons, cormorant, black headed, herring and lesser black backed gulls.
As we walked back from the shore 2 ravens conked their way into view and a solitary crow helped show off the size difference. We continued the walk checking the estuary as a great black backed gull flew past, but small birds kept flying about. Robins kept jumping about on the path in front of the main group, grey wagtail flew over the back of the group and in the vegetation dunnocks, wrens, reed bunting and a fly over meadow pipit. We stopped as the call of a fieldfare flew into a large shrub. As we reached the sailing club a local dog walk told us how his dogs had flushed 3 short eared owls on the saltmarsh, we were very excited by this news.
A single ringed plover and common gull was at the end of the slip way and 4 grey partridges flew off the marsh never an easy bird to see well.
2 Skylarks flushed out of one of the meadows and a walk up towards the business park helped add more meadow pipits but even better some showy stonechats and 2 common snipe. A few blue tits were in this area with song thrush and mistle thrush but we had failed to see so many common species. The list stood at 40 species.
We walked back to the car to find 4 back windows had been smashed and it really spoilt a wonderful start to the year. Some went one to Sefton Park to try and add more species but the day had been ruined.
Several members of the group have contacted various agencies including liverpool council, peel holdings and mps about the damage and we await further contact and hopefully progress in making this site secure for visitors.
(I have to say its not a happy start to the year. I led a walk around the reserve yesterday with 31 other people. We started at 9am and returned to the cars in the car park just after midday.
We returned to find 4 of the groups cars had had their back windows smashed and their boots ransacked. Considering the car park was full of cars it could have been all of them! The car park had lots of glass from other windows which makes you wonder that whatever low life is responsible for this vandalism is there with some degree of regularity.
I really like showing off this reserve to members and the general public but it makes me feel that RSPB Liverpool wont be leading any more walks here until security improves.
All 4 incidents were reported to Merseyside Police. Some of the group have now contacted the local councillors and MP through emails and social media.
I feel I have to let you know of these incidents).