|Marsh from Denhall Lane|
Whilst Chris was in Speke/Garston, Sean and I decided to go and see what was happening in Leasowe as far as migrants were concerned. A cold easterly wind blowing, there was nothing unusual about, no doubt the cold weather holding the migrants back. A few linnets, meadow pipits and pied wagtails on the paddocks. A bitterly cold walk along the front produced little other than a few gulls and redshanks.
On then to Red Rocks which again was quiet, a few shelduck on the sands and a solitary knot and a redshank. A brief stop in West Kirby by the Marine Lake which only seemed to have a selection of gulls. Were we doomed?
No, as they say no gain without pain, on to Denhall Quay, by The Harp at Neston. We parked up where there were already a few birders with scopes lined up in search of the drake American Wigeon. After only a couple of minutes the bird which had been quite elusive appeared. Larger than our Eurasian one and with a cream rather than yellow stripe down the face we were in luck at last. There was no sign of the female black redstart that had been reported in a garden near The Harp so it was on to Neston Sewage Works for the Ware Pipit. A muddy walk in parts (wellies advisable) with a great spotted woodpecker and a few redwings on the way took us to the view point over the fence on to number 4 bed. A selection of birds were around the sewage works including grey and pied wagtails, wren, song thrush, chiffchaff and a couple of goldcrests displaying right in front of us in a tree. There was also a meadow pipit which we were trying to convince ourselves could be the water pipit in winter plumage until of course the real thing appeared on the metal rail in front of us in full summer plumage. What a little stunner with pinky peach chest and a grey head with a distinct white eye stripe. Back to the car and a short walk further up past The Harp for another look for the Yankee wigeon produced our first Wheatear of the year and another view of the wigeon. Finally, on to Denhall Lane near Inner Marsh Farm, in the hope of a hen harrier to round up the day, found another two wheatears (male and female)here, but no such luck on the hen harrier front unfortunately but a grand day out never the less.