7 Apr 2015

Surfs up!

The discovery of what will be the first accepted record of Surf Scoter for Cheshire and Wirral by the Lighthouse dream team meant some major yomping out to the tide edge off Hoylake RNLI station was in order. My first attempt failed but we did manage to see 5 Velvet Scoter and and two Long -tailed Ducks amongst the estimated 20,000 Common Scoter offshore - both scarce off our coast. My next two attempts ended in abject failure due to the torrential rain and poor visibility coupled with a choppy sea. It wan't until the weather improved last Thursday afternoon that I managed to catch up with what appeared to be an adult male Surf Scoter. This was interesting as the bird Steve had seen and photographed was a first winter bird. Good Friday's weather was poor so I left it until Saturday to go back again and join Pete Antrobus as the tide ebbed where we found the adult male again. All was explained when we found out Frank had had both the adult male and the  juvenile male together earlier in the day. Incredibly four birds were reported later  the same day at low tide.

The day Steve had first seen one of the birds (and photographed it) we were back ringing at Barry's for what will be our last winter session in his garden. It was a good session with 80+ birds being processed including good numbers of Goldfinches & Greenfinches. Highlight was this adult Jay who proceeded to express its displeasure by drawing blood from both John & I.

They are gorgeous birds!

Elsewhere I spent an amazing 15 minutes watching a Treecreeper building its nest behind some loose bark from point blank range in Stanney Woods and within minutes discovered a Nuthatch using mud to make the entrance hole to its preferred nest hole smaller. With Long-tailed Tits discovered nest building as well it appears the birds really do think spring is here. The Wood Anemone's are also flowering in Stanney but as yet there is no sign of the lesser -spotted Woodpecker.

1 comment :

Adam Jones said...

Great records for Cheshire. Well worth the long walk out I'd say.