Monday, 5 January 2015

Big New Year Day Out 2015

Monty- ready for action  - Laura B

Another year another New Year birdwatch, but this year we had a special guest, honorary member Monty the Adelie penguin from the Lewis's Christmas TV ad fame.
Monty leads the way- Neil P

Monty will be with is for a few weeks before heading for his new nest, determined by a winning raffle ticket. Monty is to be raffled in aid of the UK overseas territories appeal.

It was sparkling winter’s day -4 on the thermometer, frosty and beautiful.
Sunrise over the reserve - Laura B

The Garston shore waders were already assembled waiting for the incoming tide to move ‘em along. On the mudflats/marshes we could see redshank, oystercatcher, lapwing, curlew, dunlin and one black tailed godwit. 
Frosty redshank -Neil P
Various gulls were parading, overlooked by a Gtr black back observing from a high pole. Teal and shelduck were gliding along on the river.  

Buzzard  -Neil P

A buzzard swooping from the shore to  the woods entertained us for a wee while.

Walking along the frosty, somewhat slippery   path, smaller foragers were found, wren, linnet, reed bunting, goldfinch, blackbird, dunnock, robin, great and blue tits.
Kestrel -Neil P

As we approached Speke Hall we sighted another buzzard soaring and a gt spotted woodpecker was perched high in the woodland fringe.

The fields in between the industrial units and the pathway have become a traditional ‘flushing’ area. 4 members with the most waterproof footwear (the field was more of a bog due to the recent rain) formed our usual 'flushing' party line ready to sweep the field, while the rest of us moved ahead of them ready to see what might startle. Inevitably we succeeded in flushing snipe, jacksnipe and meadow pipit, but no skylark?
Team Sefton Park - Laura B

No peregrine perched on the units today, but we did see a kestrel hunting over the reserve grasslands, vigilant as the frost began to thaw.

Moving on to our next stop Sefton park. We found hundreds of Liverpool residents had had the same idea, including the model boat society, whose little launches struggled in the lake, bumping along the edge of the ice that still covered a large portion of the lake.
Mute swans - Laura B
All the  usual suspects where there, a family of mute swans with 7 cygnets, canadian geese, mallards and hybrids, grey heron, coots, moorhen,  cormorant, a zillion black headed gulls, quite a few common gulls, a couple of herring gulls. And a solitary pochard!

Little grebe- Laura B
Once more the little grebes, brought smiles of admiration, tiny, fluffy dabchicks, 14 counted on the day.  No mandarins or tufties insight.

Off to the feeding station, where we were pleased to find a goldcrest in a conifer along the path, nuthatch and goldfinch in the same area.
As we approached  the little bridge over the steam the familiar ‘squeaky dog call’ alerted us to a party of ring-necked parakeets in the beech trees above, peeling bark or seed eating feverishly. 9 in total, were not yet inundated with these colourful characters, so still a pleasure to see their ultra bright plumage.
Ring necked parakeet- Laura B
The feeding station seemed quieter than previous years, even fewer squirrels! Great and blue tits, robins, blackbirds, nuthatch, crows, magpies, collared dove and jay.
We moved on further down the path towards the fairy glen. A mistle thrush flew over. A small flock of long tailed tits were busy feeding, and a song thrush was foraging in the leaf litter. (I miss all the song thrushes from when I was child)

Turning onto the drive toward the palm house  we observed a couple of buzzards being mobbed by crows, one of the birds had a square green wing tag on its right wing, alas it didn’t come close enough again for us to identify any letters or numbers.  Similarly a sparrowhawk became the crows’ next victim
The main field is usually good for mistles and foreign thrushes’ fieldfare and redwing, but only crows today. However we did eventually find a small party of redwings close to the hedge that surround the palm house.
Back around the lake on our way back to the car park, we diligently scanned the numerous gulls once more for rarer finds, success, another highlight a Mediterranean gull, speckled head and blood-red bill, how did we miss it on the first pass?
Med gull - Laura B

We ended the day at the Black Woods in Childwall. Unspoilt mature woodland which always has the promise of Woodpeckers, long tailed tits, treecreepers and tawny owls. Today’s catch were Stock dove, gt spotted woodpecker, long tailed tit and chaffinch.

Another grand  day out, our total for the day 57 species.
List: Blackbird, black Headed Gull, black tailed godwit, blue tit, buzzard, canada geese, crow, chaffinch, coal tit,  collared dove, common Gull, common Snipe, coot, cormorant, curlew, dunlin, goldcrest, goldfinch, great black backed gull, gt spotted woodpecker, gt tit, greenfinch, grey heron, herring gull, jackdaw, jack snipe, jay, kestrel, lapwing, lesser black back gull, linnet, little grebe, long tailed tit, magpie, mallard, meadow pipit, mediterranean gull, mistle thrush, moorhen, mute Swan, nuthatch, oystercatcher,  pigeon ,pied wagtail, pochard,  redshank, reed bunting, ring necked parakeet, robin, shelduck, sparrowhawk, starling, stock dove, teal, wood pigeon, wren.



Jennifer Jones said...

Great blog recounting an excellent start to the new year. How come you were able to get excellent pics of the Little grebe and the parakeets? I've just got a suite of blurred ones!!

Marc Gannon said...

That wing tagged buzzard flew low over greenbank park yesterday