17 Oct 2008

All quiet on the Wirral

I wasn't going mad or hallucinating last weekend. The Ruddy Shelduck was confirmed as an adult female despite the news being relayed it was a hybrid. After seeing the bird and studying the photo's I just couldn't see it being anything other than a Ruddy Shelduck. The lads at RBA also agreed and changed their pager message to reflect this.

Nothing much happening this week and not much oppurtunity to get out as the evenings closing in. A half hearted sea watch in a NW force 5 produced zero birds of any interest. Highlight of the week has been the 40+ Pied Wagtails feeding on a stubble field sprayed with manure. Night time movement of Redwings has begun and most days I've heard small parties flying overhead.

With the N Wirral team mostly on the Scilly's joined by most of the Sandbach crew, Groucho & Big Al I've been getting regular news about whats going on. Numbers of birders are definitely down and it wasn't really a suprise to receive an email from British International Helicopters offering a one day special return from Penzance to see the Sociable Plover that appeared earlier this week. Feedback from the Islands is that the message is finally getting through and prices may drop. You can't cook the golden goose!

Marks phonescoped shot of the Sociable Plover, St Marys.

Wader numbers roosting on the jetty at New Brighton Marine lake are increasing but no Purple Sandpipers yet. I called in briefly on the way back from Liverpool yesterday and found a tight jammed mass of Turnstone, Knot and Redshank with some birds opting to roost on the railings.

Finally a momentuous occasion this week for Podster aka 'Clousta' or Pete Antrobus who, after nailing Philladelphia Vireo in Ireland, reached the giddy heights of the A* team with 500 Birds on his British & Irish List.

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