13 Sep 2009

Bits and bobs.

With an easterly air stream towards the tail end of the week expectations were high of something rare on the Wirral or in Cheshire. With Booted & rarities being found along the east coast surely one would end up over this way and proove twitchable. No such luck! Howevr, birds are beginning to move in small numbers and Hilbre had a slow but steady movement of Robins, warblers, chats and wagtails. Two early morning starts proved that the year is waning - it was still dark at 06.00! Even though bird numbers weren't high there were some fantastic sightings - such as the immature Peregrine watched hunting down and eventually catching an unfortunate Redshank as dawn broke - the Redshank did everything it could to escape by repeatedly diving into the water before probably succumbing to exhaustion.

From the second photo shows the falcon seemingly dispatching its prey by biting through the chest cavity to the heart. Gruesome but effective.

Hilbre also hosted small numbers of returning Northern Wheatears and a single Stonechat whilst several Grey Wagtails passed overhead.

All good stuff and bread and butter for an Observatory - unfortunately not every bird can be a rarity!
The Indian summer has meant the last few days have been extremely hot and birding stopped by midday to be replaced by a quiet snooze in the garden on the hammock! Not quite stopped though as a commotion above me turned out to be a large party of Rooks trying to chase off a pair of Ravens and a Buzzard sharing the same thermal.

Stanney Woods is very quiet but a few Goldcrests seem to have arrived over the last week and Song Thrush numbers seem to be up. Elsewhere a reported Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlin at the wader mecca of Gilroy didn't raise much enthusiasm - I've yet to see any of the birds ever reported here except the resident escaped exotic teal. Apparantely it flew in with Dunlin and virtually flew straight off again. Wirral's exotic escapes continue to be rpeorted with 'Terry' the Rose-ringed Parakeet still to be seen around Leasowe Lighthouse and the paddocks behind  the seawall and a Ross's Goose spoiling its wild crednetials by mingling with the Canada's and two farm yard 'table' geese at Inner Marsh Farm.

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