25 Apr 2014

Back to the UK

After two weeks in Australia its finally time to return to the UK. The first thing you notice when returning home is how green everything is despite us being an over crowded small island.

After unpacking and catching up on the gardening it was time to explore the local 'patch' for freshly arrived migrants. I didn't have to leave the garden for the first three with Willow Warbler, Swallow & House martin all making a garden appearance. As well as these I added Green Woodpecker (only the 3rd record), Common Whitethroat, lesser Whitethroat and a 'patch mega' in the form of a pair of Greylag Goose apparently breeding on one of our many local ponds. I even managed to hold the phone against the binoculars for a record shot:

A Night Heron seen at Leasowe in the Birkett along Lingham lane was  a new county bird for a lot of people. Unfortunately it proved elusive and despite a vigil to dusk never reappeared. It's still there though with Allan Conlin getting some superb flight shots as it unexpectedly flew over him yesterday. The local Grasshopper Warblers put on a good show though!

Straight from the Nigh heron dip Steve & I headed for Hilbre to ensure we were there for first light.Due to the early high tide I'd have had to get up at 04.00 to drive across in plenty of time.  A late arrival menat a late night as we tucked into the superb curry made by Steve's wife Clare. However we were still up at 05.30 to be greeted by a beautiful sunrise.

With the island to ourselves we managed to catch and ring a few migrants with the majority being, as expected, Willow Warblers. We did catch a nice 2nd calender year Common Whitethroat and four Greenland Wheatears though!

As well as the grounded birds there were a few short staying migrants that dropped in over the high tide including this gorgeous male Yellow Wagtail that hung around just long enough for a few photos by the pond in front of the Obs.

A great return to British birding after two weeks looking at exotic Australian avian fauna.

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