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1 Sep 2008

More fun on the high seas.

With Mackerel running off Hilbre it was decided to set sail in the good ship 'Miss Molly' Sunday morning to catch a few to eat as well as checking for any passing seabirds that may have been attracted by the shoals. Local birder John Tubb had found an adult Pomarine Skua, complete with spoons, off the N Wirral coast Saturday whilst we were checking the wader flocks at Kings Gap. Hopes were high that we may pick it up whilst out on the sea.

The birds weren't very forthcoming with only a couple of Gannets and a number of terns being been seen. The Mackerel were positively suicidal as the following photo shows. Skipper Conlin is seen cleaning a bag full for Chief Mechanic Bob who's a bit squeamish. As with the proverbial Chinese pig nothing was wasted - the guts etc have been frozen for a future pelagic.

Saturday morning was spent sifting through the hundreds of waders along the foreshore at Kings Gap checking for any N Ameican vagrants that might have overflown Ireland and found themselves on the Dee estuary. No such luck but Mr Conlin found a sub-adult Yellow-legged & an adult Med Gull. I hope the fat git in the shiny yellow shorts who thought it was fun to chase all the gulls and waders from their roost reads this and realises what a total w*nker he is. A colour ringed Redshank picked out amongst the hordes turned out to have been rung on Hilbre the night before! I don't thing they expected such a rapid 'recovery' and the bird has moved about 2 -3 km N East from where it was rung.

A butty and brew at the incomparable Lighthouse cafe set us up for a walk around the paddocks. Just in case a Yellow Warbler or Northern Waterthrush appeared! Disappointingly only migrant found was the first autumn Northern Wheatear.

Closer to home my walk with Molly in Stanney Woods was enlivened by a male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker found amongst a roving tit flock not far from where a bird was drumming and calling for a week earlier in the year. Still no marsh Tits though..............

For a while I've been trying to photograph our local Buzzards and Friday afternoon provided the ideal oppurtunity as they were congregating on a recently ploughed field looking for invertebrates.

Finally, what is the birding World coming to? Someone 'nicked' Lee Evans' 'scope and midland birder Archie Archer has been banned for life from Bird Forum. Are the two realted or has Archie been made a scapegoat for his no compromise, no prisoner approach to posting?

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