25 May 2009

A warm weekend.

A sunny Bank Holiday weekend! Time to dust the barbeue off and get in the garden for the first time this year. Friday evening saw me in Stanney Woods where the highlight was the male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker calling above the heads of the furtive little scallies dodging around clutching their illicit bottles of alcohol in Bargain Booze bags. It was something out of a vampire film as they scuttled from one patch of darkness toanother whilst trying to avoid the dappled sunlight that filtered through the canopy onto the tracks. The highlight of their week - drinking rot gut vodka and getting a high from smashing the bottles to show how tough they are!

The garden is teeming with young birds with broods of Goldfinches, Robins, House Sparrows and Starlings. The Starlings are everywhere and we've had at least 50 juveniles and adults flying around between the nearby fields (where the farmers been muck spreading) and the garden all weekend. Just like a scene from a Hitchcock movie................

It was an expectant crew that departed West Kirby early Saturday morning bound for Hilbre. A beautiful day but few migrants to be seen and photographic oppurtunities were limited to the resident Meadow Pipits and the few remaining Whimbrel. You can tell its quiet not even Gilroys had anything interesting!

Only a couple of late Wheatears graced the west side whilst amongst the waders a few lingering Dunlin, Sanderling, Knot and a single Bar-tailed Godwit provided the other interest. Still it gave plenty of time to savour Mrs Williams' home made Brownies!

Bank Holiday Monday saw me having to got to the office early so we decided to take Molly to Loggerheads where I'd heard the Pied Flycatchers had failed to return this year. The good news was a single male Pied Flycatcher was heard singing on the opposite side of the stream to the main path but best of all was a cracking male Redstart heard and then tracked down to a stand of old Beech trees at the top of the hill.

Intersting news from Portland Obs where following last weeks difficult hipolais warbler on the Great Orme they've now reassessed one of their birds photographed but not caught and from Spurn a singing male was also initially mis-identified this weekend. I wonder how many old records submitted without the benefit of digital photographs have also been mistakenly identified?

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