9 Jun 2008

Ley lines and magentic fields.

Thats my theory as to why so many rarities seem to bypass us! Last week it was a Wilson's Phalarope that ended up just a couple of miles across the other side of the Mersey at Seaforth high security detention centre for ship-assisted illegal immigrants. The Llyn Peninsula scored with a singing Icterine Warbler and even inland counties such as Herts & Cambs have had singing Iccies this weekend. Something in the earths magnetism centred on the Wirral must be causing this discrepancy!

The point is local birding has been dire over the last week. Everynight I've been out with nothing to show except a single Common Tern carrying a fish and heading towards N Wales - I have no idea where it was fishing! - and a singing Lesser Whitethroat. Some relief was provided by a quick business trip to Liverpool that enabled me to peer through the fence at the male Wilson's Phalarope.
Due to the presence of teenage morons next door having a party whilst their parents were away we didn't get much sleep Friday. 5 am they eventually packed in despite repeated requests to keep the noise down and shut the f**k up. That screwed my birding up Saturday as I had intended to walk across to Hilbre. A slight N W breeze may have brought a couple of Manxies or Storm Petrels closer. Instead I thrashed the local patch(s) again. Some success though as I found a Sparrowhawks nest in Stanney. Star bird was an adult (male?) pale phase Honey Buzzard that headed N near the end of the M56 giving superb flight views as it alternately flapped and glided overhead before eventually being pursued out of sight by the local Common Buzzards. The Wirral does seem to be a fly-through route for migrating raptors.
This spring has been superb for Thrush Nightingales. They've been seen on Shetland, Spurn & Portland. News that one had turned up at Dunwich Heath wasn't unexpected. This site is, after all, on the East Coast. The fact it stayed for the weekend was unexpected. I succumbed on Sunday and went down with Dan Pointon & Malc Curtin and was eventually treated to great views as the bird sang in full view for 5 -10 minutes. So close you could even see its tonsils! Its many years since I last saw one of these Eastern Nightingales so good views like these were much appreciated.

Garden birds doing OK with 1st juv Goldfinches and Greenfinches visiting the feeders. Most of the young Bluetits were predated with 5 sad little piles of feathers on the lawn. Magpies appear t obe the culprit. The Robins obviously nested nearby as several spotted youngsters are hopping about whilst a Wren is on eggs in a nest above the porch.

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