29 Feb 2008

A miserable wet day in Cheshire

After spending the week in cold but fine weather in Austria & Italy I found myself back to a drab wet and windy Cheshire today. Whilst away the local Sandbach crew had discovered a Green-winged Teal on Elton Hall Flash so I decided to leave work early and head that way today just in case. My first ever UK G W Teal was 'ticked' here on 30th November 1980 as a student from Manchester University!!!!!

A text from one of the birding regulars informed me it was still there as I still driving through pouring rain! Luckily Janet Jones had waited for me and managed to get me straight on the the drake G W Teal before retiring back to her car! As is usual with these birds it wasn't doing much but sitting minding its own business. The obligatory 'record shot' was secured for the rarities committee before I left it to its own devices and walked down to Pumphouse Flash for the 'resident' juvenile Iceland Gull (with deformed bill) and adult Yellow-legged Gull.

The feeding station was swarming with Tree Sparrows and I was informed the record count at this site is over 200.

Can you spot the Green-winged teal?

With the weather clearing but with high winds coming from the west I decided to take a punt on the N Wirral coast in the hope that something had been blown in! From the Gunsites car park the wind rocked the car but I could see plenty of birds moving in the Mersey mouth so headed for Fort Perch. A good move. A 1st winter Little Gull and two adult Kittiwakes were amongst the throng of gulls around the massive 'Atlantic Conveyer' being manouvered into the docks by three tugs! A check of the marine lake, boating pool and surrounding grassy areas produced the usual gulls but no Med Gull. At least 200 Starlings fed on a grassy bank alongside the main road.

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