20 Dec 2008

Twite on the Wirral.

Saturday dawned dank and miserable with the rain that seemed to seep into every orifice. A walk around Stanney didn't reveal much and with Christmas around the corner it was time for the annual booze cruise to the supermarket. Not relishing getting battered and pushed around, by old ladies oblivious to where they push their trolleys, all thoughts of purchasing Christmas spirit was forgotten when Frank rang me to say he'd got the Richard's Pipit at Parkgate and was heading towards Thurtaston where a flock of 12 Twite had been reported Friday.

Meeting in the car park of the Country Park we set off in different directions along the foreshore, soon losing sight of each other in the gloomy mizzle. I picked the right way and after about 1/2 mile suddenly heard a sound we'd all become familiar with on the Shetlands. Twite calling! But where were they? Eventually I spotted them perched on the cliff face but as I rang Frank they flew off.

Luckily we refound them just as Big Al joined us covered in mud and soaking wet after a succesful foray onto the salt marsh for the Richard's Pipit. At least 2-3 Twite were feeding on the strandline. The weather was so wet we couldn't make out what the others were for definite as the optics were completely waterlogged by this stage.

As Sunday morning dawned brighter than had been forecast I decided to try Thurstaston again taking Molly with me for a good run out. Meeting John Jones on the beach we soon found the Twite flock and this time managed to count 13!!
13 Twite posing in a line.
They were quite mobile but gave good views if patient. Al Conlin, founder member of the Wirral Dicks Pip finders club, dragged himself out of bed still suffering from Man-flu to meet us and as we watched the birds we were joined by Roger Wilkinson for whom Twite was a Cheshire tick! The beers on you next time Rog.

Great little birds and a real Cheshire rarity these days. With Al helpfully volunteering to stay out of the way whilst Mrs C cleaned the house for Christmas we retreated to the nearby cafe for a cuppa and a toasted teacake before deciding to make an abortive attempt for the Richard's Pipit again. With a strong breeze blowing any sensible passerine was keeping its head down.

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