28 Apr 2014

Black-crowned Night Heron on the Wirral.

When news broke that a visiting birder had found a Black-crowned Night Heron paddling around in the Birkett by the bridge along Lingham Lane, Leasowe all the Wirral  listers got excited by the prospect of, potentially, the first accepted record for Wirral. A few lucky souls saw it on the first morning but as mentioned in a previous post we dipped in the evening despite permission being granted to search normally off-limits sites.

Al Conlin got some stunning photos Thursday afternoon & I got rained off Friday only for the bird to be seen flying over at around 7.20 pm after I'd retired soaking wet. I didn't feel up to it Saturday night but a pattern was developing as it again flew over and landed in a private area along the Birkett at around 8.05 pm when Steve managed a record shot.

Plans were hatched for another attempt Sunday & Mark Payne met me at my house and joined me for the 20 minute drive to Leasowe Lighthouse. Arriving at around 6 pm we were soon joined by other local birders.

Quite a few people lost interest and stood around gossiping whilst a few of us continued scanning the skies in all directions knowing that, in all probability, the bird would only be on show for a few seconds. Suddenly I picked it up virtually overhead and got everyone on it as it flew over circled low and dropped into the Birkett exactly where it had done the previous night. It was literally on show for a few seconds - just long enough to rattle off a solitary record shot!

As it appeared so suddenly it most have flown in along the left hand side of the Birkett (looking downstream) and been obscured by the trees. A great addition to the Cheshire & Wirral list! Once again the Lighthouse strikes...........

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