2 Mar 2008

A stormy weekend on the Wirral.

With birding success on the N Wirral coast Friday afternoon I decided to head that way again Saturday afternoon after arranging to meet up with the Wirrals premier seawatcher Allan Conlin.
First stop was New Brighton Marine lake where a 2nd winter Med Gull showed well on the landing stage. Using the Landrover as a hide I managed a few shots despite the severe buffeting from the near gale force winds. Suddenly it flew off and didn't return.
The surrrounding grassy areas held good numbers if roosting gulls so I decided to check these out. Again the use of the vehicle as a hide allowed some pretty good close up views and enabled a comparison of the different plumages.

Common Gulls were pretty 'common' and many were 'paddling' to try and get worms to the surface. Some, like the bird to the left , were in full breeding regalia whilst others were still in their winter finery.

summer plumaged adult Common Gull

Next stop Leasowe Gunsites where I was soon joined by Allan looking smart in his new 'India' jacket. Plenty of gulls were loafing around here as well and Allans well distributed loaf soon had them closing in around us. Amongst them was this stunning Lesser Black-back in full breeding plumage. Who says gulls are ugly?
A bit of excitement was the discovery of a ringed Herring Gull. Colour ringed on its left leg with a BTO ring on its right we were able to read some of the numbers and hopefully trace the origins of this bird. See below. With Allan calling it a day, after realisng there was no more tea left in my flask, he left me to scan the seas for a further hour! Not much moving but a few Common Scoter, a single Great-crested Grebe and two adult Kittiwakes.

Ringed Herring Gull - colour ring 'WBOK'>
BTO ring numbers ......0990...

My weekend strolls around Stanney Woods with Molly are always apleasure if not full of suprises. The Marsh Tits are singing in Stanney but a suprise did come today in the form of a singing Chiffchaff in Rivacre. An early migrant or a wintering bird enjoying the sunshine................

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