7 Mar 2010

Basking in the Mediterranean warmth of spring.

A long weekend this week with Friday spent ringing at Barry's place in Burton. Most of the Hilbre Obs regulars were present whilst the Pied-billed Grebe swam undetected just off the north end................Joking aside, with two of these in Ireland this week surely it won't be long before one is discovered lurking on a lake somewhere in the UK.

Much excitement Friday night following news of 16 Tundra Bean Geese near Frodsham weir. The birds were apparantly still present at dawn Saturday but mysteriously metamorphosed into Pinkfeet when Frank relocated them a few minutes away on Frodsham Marsh. An easy mistake to make as can be seen from the photo below taken several years ago on the Lancashire mosses. Spot the Bean Goose............

Sunday dawned sunny but cold. With Wheatear's being reported on the south coast a trip to the N Wirral seemed in order - if only to join family on a picnic by the Lighthouse. A walk around the pony paddocks was depressing in that it didn't reveal a single bird! However, the habitat looks superb and if the paddocks stay wet for another few weeks they'll be teeming with wagtails.

With the tide just turning flocks of Redshank fed in the gutter off the sea wall as Molly & I meandered back to join the picnic.

Deciding to try New Brighton for Med Gull I headed towars the Mersey mouth to find the whole area teeming with people so the usual roosting gull flocks were nowhere to be seen. Gulls soon appeared when someone started feeding the feral Pigeons & I managed a few quick shots of this 3rd calender year bird respendent in the bright sunshine.

Back at Stanney Woods the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker hasn't begun drumming in earnest yet - even the Greater-spotted are only just getting going. It was nice to find a singing male Goldcrest still hanging on despite the coldest winter for 30 years. Wren & Treecreeper numbers have crashed though.

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