22 Nov 2009

A horrible wet weekend

At least Friday afternoon was fine and I finished work in time to walk Molly along a sun lit lane flanked by stubble fields. The farmer has left the barley stubble for the winter and will plant it again in the spring. It just shows how such actions can result in local increases in bird numbers. The Chaffinch flock is getting bigger and now includes at least 2 Yellowhammers and 2 Reed Buntings. Another Yellowhammer flew that direction over the house at 10.00 am this morning. Great birds to see locally.

The rest of Friday afternoon was spent ringing at a private site on the Wirral where the highlights were this female Great-spotted Woodepcker and a Jay. Enough wounds to need the contents of a whole bottle of TCP later that evening...........................................................

Unfortunately the good weather didn't last and Saturday proved to be windy and wet. When the weathers this bad there's only one place to go birding in the Wirral -  Hilbre. So, accepting Mark Turner's offer of a lift we were on the Island a few hours before high tide with the benefit of being able to retreat into the Obs if the weather threatened  badly. First bird we saw was a Fieldfare leaving Hilbre and Heading towards Middle Eye. A good omen. Other grounded passerines included a male Blackcap and two Song Thrushes whilst Mark picked out 4 drake Scaup flying out of the estuary.

Fortified by hot teas and Holly T's excellent bacon sandwicheswe braved the elements for the seawatching hide. A steady stream of birds included two very photogenic immature Shags that spent most of the time close to the slipway, 3 Red-throated Divers, a handful of Guillemot's, Great-crested Grebes and good numbers of Common Scoter. Passerines were represented by small parties of Starlings coming in low off the sea. 

As the tide ebbed waders became more active and a total of 7 Purple Sandpipers were counted including this individual  - luckily I had water proofs on as to get these close shots I had to crawl on my belly over the wet rocks at the north end. Cracking little birds.

The Grey Seals were also very keen to get in on the act at least 4 indivuals bobbing around off the slipway. Mother and pup or amorous male and smaller female?

Fortified by more tea and no less than two packets of Chocolate Fingers we vacated the Obs in darkness and set off back towards West Kirby. A thoroughly enjoyable day despite the weather.

Sunday dawned as wet as Saturday so after a brief walk along the lanes the rest of the day was spent Christmas shopping. Hence another festive Robin.


D - Wing said...

Lovely robin.

A Scattering said...

Such a happy accident, I came upon your blog by clicking on the Next Blog button. I live in southwestern Ontario, Canada and am a very, very casual,occasional birder. Love your blog! Will be back.

Phil Woollen. said...

Thanks very much - Glad yo uenjoy it!