13 Jul 2008

Mervyn the Med Gull is back!

Highlight of the rest of the week (I'm easily pleased) has been a juvenile Common Redstart that has taken up temporary residence feeding on insects in a local cow field. I first found it Friday but it proved to be quite wary and hard to photograph. I managed a couple of half decent shots this morninng - probably as a result of being up early after virtually no sleep as Mrs W was awake all night with with food poisoning after a prawn curry at a local hostelry! I got there before to many people had walked the footpath driving the bird further into the fields. A good local bird - I can count on one hand the number of Redstarts I've seen in this area in 20 years. By the look of this bird it must have only recently fledged. Where has it come from? Surely not far! Amongst other local birds the Tree Sparrows seem to have had a good breeding season with 20+ feeding in a nearby Barley crop whilst a juvenile Robin allowed a good comparison with the Redstart.
Thursday saw the Wirral Seawatching team of Conlin & Woollen meet up at Leasowe Lighthouse for the first seawatch of the autumn(!). A south westerly breeze didn't bode well but it was a beautiful evening for sitting gazing out to sea like a couple of old farts on our folding chairs with a flask of tea to share. Acutally it was pretty impressive with summer plumaged Black Tern and Med Gull putting in an appearance. Mervyn is back! A suprising number of Gannets also moved through out towards the wind farm whilst a single adult Arctic tern graced us with its presence.

We estimated at least 700 + Knot flying west as the tide receeded - many of them in summer plumage whilst a small number of Bar -tailed Godwits (one in summer plumage) also made a brief stop over.

By contrast Saturdays brief seawatch in a more fashionable N Westerly produced jack sh*t. Not even a Gannet. The sole highlight being a solitary adult Kittiwake.

Still, tis the season for sea watching and a prolonged N Westerly should result in a few Storm Petrels in Liverpool bay over the next few weeks whilst increasing wader numbers at Kings Gap should include the odd Curlew Sandpiper.

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