8 Sept 2014

Cattle Egret

I spent some time with Barry on Friday installing another Little Owl box on his local farm as well as nipping down the nearby Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB site and a mad charge up to the north end of the Wirral.

Another pair of Little Owls have been seen on the farm so we've put a box up I made on an old oak in a suitable location. There are now 2 & possibly 3 pairs in the area.

The Cattle Egret was showing well at Burton Mere Wetlands as the cattle were closer to the reception area. They regularly took exception to the birds presence and chased it off back to the scrape where it would sulk for a few minutes before heading back for another round of bovine baiting. It was certainly feeding well and making inroads into the local amphibian population.

Just as I was returning to the car I got a phone-call telling me Kenny Dummigan had found a Wryneck in the paddocks adjacent to Leasowe Lighthouse - another really scarce Cheshire bird! I managed to get there in good time and had distant views of the Wryneck before it was inadvertently flushed by a woman coming into the paddocks to see to her horses. Despite another hours wait it didn't show again but luckily Steve re-found it later in the evening.

There was a lot of confusion at Burton Mere on Friday over a Pectoral Sandpiper. Jan Jones had found an interesting looking bird that, although distant, looked interesting enough for me to go and grab my telescope from the back of the Landrover. Unfortunately I got waylaid by the Cattle Egret on the way back to the reception hide and by the time I got back her bird had seemingly vanished and been replaced by a small Ruff (Reeve). Someone else claimed a Pectoral Sandpiper but when I looked all  I could see was a juvenile Dunlin! Mark Powell later rang me to say he thought he'd had a Pectoral Sandpiper earlier as well - curiouser and curiouser. All was explained later when Barry said he'd been down to the reserve later and seen all three birds together!

Returning to the reserve Sunday with Mark Payne the Pectoral Sandpiper was reported showing from the old Inner Marsh Farm hide. A Peregrine was disturbing all the birds and by the time we walked round the Pec had disappeared from view despite people claiming they were watching it whilst watching a Reeve. The birds were disturbed again and suddenly I picked up the Pectoral Sandpiper as it landed on some exposed mud and managed a couple of shots using the phone through the telescope.

With the Cattle Egret, Red-necked Phalarope, Pectoral Sandpiper and a good supporting cast of other waders and raptors Burton Mere Wetlands had a busy weekend.


bucko41 said...

Great pictures & blog Phil, hope a few birds are still around when I get chance to go later today after high tide.

Phil Woollen. said...

Cheers Mike. What's around in Rivacre? I haven't been there for ages as concentrating on local 'patch @ 2 mile radius from house.