Sunday, 19 September 2010

Birdwatching By Bike

I have in partnership with the Cycle Speke/Garston officer led a couple of birding by bike trips down to the Speke Garston Coastal park.
Its a pleasent place with a varied habitat of estuary, saltmarsh, rough grassland and commerce park!
These 2 hour rides are getting very popular now and the birds have been quite good too.
Yesterday we got to see a great skua on the Mersey. Another juv look at the last post for a picture of what that means.

Next Birding by Bike will be on Saturday 20th November at 10am meet at the car park.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Ainsdale beach still has passing leech's storm petrels during the winds but this afternoon this great skua was sat on the beach eating his tea!!
Made a change from hassling terns for sandeels.
I think it was an unfortunate auk.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


The Liverpool Bay is famous in September for the chance to see a Leech's Strom Petrel as they move south for the winter. The only problem is you need westerly winds and North Westerly are better. So today while working my lunch at 4pm I was watching the sea at Ainsdale. Look at the black blob in the middle of the picture.

Razorbills and guilliemots were fighting their way through the wind to stay out at sea.

Gannets and manx shearwaters were also having a good time in the blow.

Little black dots arent the best way to look at these fab little birds and later this bird came in close to shore and tried to feed on the beach but the crow thought he was having a flying lunch!

This is a better picture of a leechs.

Hope you get out and see one. The best places are Hall Road, Crosby, Crosby Coastal Park or New Brighton in the bus stops as the birds come out of the Mersey river mouth.


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

RSPB Mersey Mud Matters

An invitation to a special evening

Date: 09th September 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Liverpool University Rendall Building

The Mersey Estuary is an amazing place. It's been vital for the economic prosperity for the area, an iconic part of our history and always stunning for wildlife.
One of Europe's top wildlife sites, the RSPB has worked with residents for decades to keep its natural heritage at the heart of local decision making. Development pressures still exist though, and current discussions about options for energy production, including barrages, could spell an uncertain future for this wonderful wildlife site.
We want you to be involved in shaping its future – to make sure the Mersey remains a real asset for future generations.
We would like to invite you to a special RSPB evening to hear about the Mersey's natural heritage, the challenges it faces and what role you can play.
Dr Tim Melling, a Senior Conservation Officer for the RSPB, whose involvement with the estuary goes back 21 years, will give you a behind-the-scenes insight into the conservation history and wildlife of this very special place, illustrated by stunning photographs gathered over lifetimes of patient study.
Dr Peter Robertson, RSPB's Regional Director, will then take you on an inside track discussion about the issues that need to be addressed to ensure that Mersey's wildlife is protected for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. In particular he will outline the latest position with the ongoing debate around the Mersey Energy project and discuss ways you may like to be involved in the future.
So I do hope you can join us for a fascinating evening about our Mersey heritage. The event will start at 7.30 pm and is in Liverpool University's Rendall Building. Parking is available in University Car Parks off Myrtle/Chatham Road.
This web site takes you to a map.

We will be providing tea and coffee so could you please let me know if you will be able to attend? I'd also be delighted to answer any questions you may have about this evening's event.

I look forward to seeing you on the evening.
Andy Bunten
Mersey Project
0191 233 4316

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Coastal Birds

Sorry we havent been posting this year but I hope to improve this now.

Today, the group's outdoor walk is a beginneers guide to estuary birds. We met at Crosby Coastguard station at 9.30am. These beginneers walks are very popular with new and old members. Lots of waders as you would expect and even better in various plummages!
We started with a summer plumaged bar-tailed godwit, what a cracking bird. It was in the wet pools at the front of the picture with the black headed and the herring gulls. Quickly a redshank was added with oystercatchers in the same pools. Other waders species were further out such as curlew, knot, sanderling and dunlin.
We walked north towards the Alt and added linnets, meadow pipits, swallows and starlings.
Chris Arnold spotted a grey plover which is my favourite wader on the coast and then 2 black-tailed godwits flew down the coast. Lapwings, golden plover and turnstone's were on the rocks. 3 wigeon's flew down the coast as did 2 teal, shelducks and mallards. The birds were quite flighty today due to the numerous microlites flying but then we were graced by a young peregrine which flew around terrorising the beach. After failed attempts the young bird sat on the beach.
White and pied wagtails moved down the coast and a a family of stonechats showed off with the odd wheatear. We carried checking the gulls and added greater andlesser black backed adn common gull. The grey heron in the river Alt was catching fish and doing better than the men on the coast disturbing the waders.
A good day to be out. Next walk is Saturday 11th September meet at Tesco's Formby for a walk with Dave Hardy around Altcar.