Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Save the Whales

O.k this is not about birds but probably a cause close to many of your hearts. The Whales revenge website aims to collect One Million signatures to take to the International Whaling Commission. If you feel frustrated about the ongoing slaughter of whales, add you name and be heard.



Tuesday, 27 November 2007

December outdoor field trip

The next group field trip is to RSPB Marshside. Sunday 2nd December: Meet at 10.30am at the Sand Plant car park. I, Chris will be the leader of the walk. Some birds we might see are teal, shoveler, pintail, pochard, goldeneye, water rail, black tailed godwits, curlew, redshank, lapwing, birds of prey such as merlin, peregrine. Small birds will also be looked for like, skylark, meadow pipit, stonechats, snow buntings. I look forward to seeing you on the walk.

What a long claw you have!!

While out today with John G, we managed to catch a??? I have included the picture of its claw so comments please.


Sunday, 18 November 2007

Indoor Meeting

Monady night will see the group meeting at Mossley Hill Parish Church. The speaker will be John Power telling us about 'How Birds Draw Me' The doors open at 19.00, John will start his talk at 19.30. There is a small admission charge and tea and coffee is free. Laura will be there will her birds seed sales such as sunflower, nijer seed, table mix and of course live mealworm. You can also sign up to the 85 club when your there.
Hope to see you there.

Group Field trip to Marbury Country Park

I have to say that I have seen some good birds at Marbury but not always Green Woodpecker. So today was going to change wasnt it!! The weather forcast said rain, rain, and heavy rain over the north west of the UK. Well us the merry band of 8 set off in search of what ever we could find before the rain. Treecreeper in the car park was a good start, followed by loads and loads of Redwings, a couple of Blackbirds and the usual Tit flock. The call of a Nuthatch soon had that added to our list. The Holly and the Yew berries were being devoured by huge flocks of Redwings. A Mistle Thrush alarm calling gave away the presence of a Sparrowhawk, Crows, Jackdaws, Jay, Magpie, Woodpigeon and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The lakeside feeding hide was just a hive of activity but mostly Great, Blue and the odd Coal Tit, Robin, Dunnock, and Chaffinch. Looking at the lake added Mallard, Tufted Duck, Great Crested and Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Wigeon, Canada Goose, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Starling, Black headed, Common and Lesser Black Backed Gull were noted. No sign of the Kingfisher or Bittern. We walked to the next feeding hide close to the old ice house, at this time we added Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Long Tailed Tit. Some of the birds showed off their rings but the ringers had not got them all!! We walked into the woods and off the track and quick checked through a flock of Long Tails to see if anything was moving through with them and low and behold a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was enjoyed by all of us for a good 10mins. It was time for lunch, yeppie I heard some of the group say. We soon added Buzzard as we walked down to the Witton Lime beds and Song Thrush. At the beds it was very quiet just Teal and Lapwings. We headed for Neumanns Flash and soon saw a huge flock of Shoveler, Gadwall, Mute Swan, Black Swan (not really a tick!) Goldeneye. We walked back through Diary House Meadow and soon got our first Pied Wagtail, then Stock Dove. The Redwing numbers for the whole site must have been over 1000 but just as you got fed up at looking at another I managed to find a Fieldfare with them. Reed Bunting was next to be seen, then Grey Wagtail. The final bird of the day was a Greenfinch. Not bad we broke over 50 for a wet day in November. Thanks to all that attended I know they enjoyed it.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

For all you gardeners out there

Suttons Seeds have linked up with the RSPB with their RSPB Wildlife Attracting Seeds range: Specially chosen to attract birds and other wildlife to your garden, to help you develop a wildlife haven .
Gardeners have the option, on the purchase of any of the Suttons Wildlife range, to send for a free booklet on how to encourage birds into their gardens. For every pack sold, Suttons are donating 5p to the RSPB.

The RSPB’s Homes for Wildlife is inspiring people to make a real difference for the wildlife that shares the open space closest to them - their garden. It aims to help a range of wildlife, including familiar birds that have seriously declined.
By taking part in Homes for Wildlife, you can make a real difference to their fortunes and help to reverse the declines. We hope that thousands of you across the UK will be able to make your homes and gardens richer in wildlife by following the simple wildlife gardening advice that we provide.

Happy Pottering

Friday, 9 November 2007


A reminder about tomorrows field trip along the Mockbeggar trail on the north Wirral coast:
A local walk covering the Dee and Mersey Estuaries. Meet 10.45am at Moreton Station (10.10 or 10.25 train from central station). An easy walk through the dunes and along the promenade. Waders and dune species. 9.1m high tide at 11.00am. Depending on the weather, the walk will either end at Meols or Hoylake stations. Facilities at Central Station, BUT not guaranteed on walk.

LEADER: Howard Mills (Tel: 0151 226 3285 or Mobile 07710-217663)

With the recent strong winds, who knows what else might be seen! Leach's Petrel, Little Auk, Eider and skuas are all a possibility.

Snow Buntings

As the weather has turned a little colder its time to watch the strandline on the coast. That could be Crosby, the Alt or even better Formby to Southport. It's time for Snow Buntings and 2 were at Ainsdale today at 15.45. If you park in the car park and walk south they were close to the second metal barrier. You never have a camera with you when you need it!! Good luck finding them.

The Ringing Sunday Fogfest.

Sunday saw me inching towards Birkdale on the A565. Driving in Fog is bad enough during daylight but this was an early start - 6.15am. Fog light on and eyes on stalks, there were points in the journey when I thought I may have been better off pulling up into lay-by than carry on, I persevered and arrived late. The rest of our intrepid band was already on site, Chris and Richard the Ringers in training, John the expert. I was the bag lady.
I was duly collected from the car park and taken to our Cosy nook in the shrubbery. Almost immediately I was handed an bow saw and put into hard labour, you try a spot of bramble hacking. Yes, surprisingly Ringing pitches don’t come ready prepared, someone has to hewn through undergrowth, cutting alleyways through trees, shrubs, brambles, nettles and worse for approx 25ft, this gives us the space to hang the mist nests.
Hard labour over, saw us sitting in the nook drinking tea from our flasks whilst listing to the rave music hanging on the air from Pontin’s, (until the police arrived then it went strangely quiet) and watching the sun pierce through the lifting fog. But what about the birds I hear you say, well the birds were plentiful and varied, 57 were recovered from nets, 12 had rings already - retraps, 45 new. Starting with a female blackbird, a flurry of Wrens (7) or should that be a chime or herd and several Robins (5). Subsequent trips to the nets gave us Goldcrest (4), Blue Tit (7),Great Tit (3),Chaffinch (4), Dunnock (2), a Goldfinch, Blackcap (3), a beautiful Song Thrush, a couple of handsome Bullfinches (2), a stunning Brambling(very pleased with that one) and a whole flock of 15 lollipops - long tailed tits. See video of release from the bag at:
Bird ringing is a great way of getting up close to birds, too appreciate their plumage and marvel at how light and tiny Wrens and Goldcrests are :- 5-7 grammes in the Goldcrest’s case equivalent to 2 pennies! The ringing process is deliberately very quick to reduce any stress – if we have several birds waiting to be ringed they are kept in cloth bags which help relax the waiting bird – now you know why I was the bag lady!! Bird ringing is essential if we are to learn about how long they live and when and where they move, questions that are vital for bird conservation. Liverpool RSPB members interested in joining us on a trip should contact Group Leader Chris Tynan. For more information on Birding see our web page and links:


Friday, 2 November 2007

Late Osprey

We were travelling to Lymm for Lunch (At the Barn Owl noless) on Wednesday. Just after turning off the M6 towards Rixton moss we saw a large grey and white bird sitting in a field and a cry of Buzzrd was heard from the back seat. When I looked I realized it was an osprey so, much to the consternation of the driver behind, did a rapid change of direction and turned into the entrance to the Biffa waste offices. Went back and double checked and yes it was a very late osprey obviously heading south to the Gambia. It flew off to a nearby tree where it sat showing off it's profile and head crest.

Phil Antrobus