Thursday, 31 January 2013

These are OUR Harriers

Harrier at  Parkgate N Prendergast




Read Dan's blog about OUR Hen Harriers!
A half dozen Healthy harriers

Copy and paste links in your search bar

http://www.rspb.org.uk/skydancer/
http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/skydancer/default.aspx


The RSPB Dee Estuary reserve is a top wintering site for hen harriers, come and take a look :


Skydancers @ Parkgate

Sunday 3 February  and  Sunday 3 March/.   12 noon until dusk
Skydancer is an exciting new four-year project aimed at raising awareness and promoting the conservation of hen harriers in the north of England.
The Dee Estuary is a vital wintering ground for these amazing birds and is the best place to see them from October through to March
Most people have never seen a hen harrier, but once seen it is rarely forgotten. This bird is a beautiful, agile hunter, and its aerobatic sky dances are among the most awesome spectacles in nature.
Unfortunately, with only a handful of pairs still breeding successfully in England, the hen harrier is currently a species on the brink.
Come along to Parkgate to find out more about the hen harrier story and what you can do to help save hen harriers before it's too late!
Look for the RSPB Love Nature marquee along the main promenade.The "Donkey Stand" opposite Nicholls Ice-cream shop on The Parade (B5135), Parkgate, Cheshire

Laura

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

HEDGEHOG SURVEY

A BIMSON'S NOOK HEDGEHOG



Hedgehog loss comparable to tigers

Hedgehog numbers in Britain are declining by three to five per cent each year in towns and in the rural landscape
Between 2001 and 2011, records of hedgehogs in the Trust’s annual Mammals on Roads survey fell by 32 per cent; over a similar period, 2003 to 2012, records of hedgehogs in green urban and suburban spaces, documented in the yearly Living with Mammals survey, fell by 37 per cent.

The ten-year analysis of these two surveys further supports evidence highlighted in The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs that hedgehog numbers in Britain are declining dramatically. The trends show a loss as rapid as that of the world’s tigers and, in the bird world, would be given a ‘red alert’ listing.

Continuous monitoring each year is vital to help us build a more complete picture of the state of the UK’s wild mammal populations.

You can help collect further data about hedgehogs by taking part in the Hedgehog Hibernation Survey which starts on Friday 1st February. In partnership with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), the survey is now in its second year,and aims to find out more about the creature’s patterns of behaviour, which in turn will help inform practical conservation action.

PEOPLES TRUST FOR ENDANGERED ANIMALS

http://www.ptes.org/index.php?cat=40



LAURA

Monday, 28 January 2013

2 Mistle thrushes on Townsend Ave, Norris Green

Went hoping to see the waxwings on Sun, missed out! But 2 mistle thrushes brightened our day, gorging on the berries on the trees in the central reservation, between Broadway & the East lancs.

Our birds did us proud for this year`s Big Garden Bird Watch - our grey waggie, sparrowhawk, 2 mistle thrushes all came to make our day - along with all our usual little friends!!

Was at the Ship Inn, Rainhill at lunchtime today, a grey waggie appeared in the front carpark of the restaurant!

Cherry

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Another Big Garden Birdwatch


So how did your Garden Birdwatch go?

I have to admit to being a little disappointed in my visitors today. Although I don’t appear to have been alone, for many on the RSPB community forums it was a case of the minute the snow went, the bird went with it!


Most of my usual friends were about,  although  some of these were down on expected numbers.
The Garden seemed unusually quiet today. The weather was fine; the heavy snow of Friday evening had thawed. It was windy though and those arriving seemed easily spooked especially by gulls flying over? I assumed there may have been a Sparrowhawk about it, but if it was I didn't see it.

My Count

Starlings    6    (Usual 9+)
Blackbirds  3   (Recent 8+)
Sparrows  16+  (Normal, but difficult to count very skittish).
Blue tit  2     (This year's nestbox pair- female roosting)
Great tit  2    (Another pair for the garden)
Robins  2    (Another pair for the garden)
Dunnock 1   (Usual 2)
Pigeon 1   (Missing the rest of his pesky flock thankfully)
Goldfinch 1  (Recent 7 up to 14)
Coal tit 1     (Normal)
Jackdaw 1   (Infrequent 1/2)

Missing recent daily visitors: Wren, Grey Wagtail, Magpie, Song Thrush, Jay, Chaffinch.

A moment with the ones that stayed away.

Pondside mealworm eater - Grey Wagtail
Water louse on the menu for our pond foraging Wren
A long awaited winter visitor, arrived in the snow on
 21/01/13,  dined on apples.
Monkey nuts, a Jay's favourite  snack

Well that was my day, how about you?

Laura

Saturday, 26 January 2013

BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH

I think that 'big' might not be appropriate in my case either for the size of my garden or the numbers of birds that decided to share my territory for one hour today.  I settled down, having filled up the feeders, mug of tea to hand, bins at the ready and bird guide in preparation for all the rarities that were bound to fly into Chez Jonesy.  Yesterday I had 24 Goldfinches in one of my trees; Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed tits in the silver birch and a Mistle thrush wandering around the lawn.  And what did I have today?  Not a lot!!!

My (sad) total comprised Blackbird, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Goldfinch (1 solitary little bird!), Magpie, Starling, Robin, Woodpigeon and the only real surprise for my garden, 2 Jackdaws.  However, quantity is not everything.  It was an incredibly relaxing hour and fascinating to watch the behaviour of individuals and the interactions of multiple birds.  One male Blackbird was chasing a female for all his worth and she was doing her best "Get packing mate" moves!

So, another day, another dollar ... or perhaps another day, another bird.  No doubt the rest of you will have totted up huge numbers of species.  Great to see that RSPB Burton Mere have 'liked' our blog on Facebook :)

Jen

Friday, 25 January 2013

BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH


BLUE TIT AT THE SNOWY NOOK



All set for the Big Garden Birdwatch?

Had my first Fieldfare visitor to the garden last Monday, other group members reporting mixed results: Margaret and Mark had a mixed flock of 24+ Redwings and Fieldfares- impressive, and Tomo had a fox! o.k its not a bird, but it's worthy of a mention. Not all good news though, another of our group  David reports a concerning drop in the overall numbers of his garden visitors and just his usual garden species, despite the weather. Again a shortage of Thrushes.

Guardian article about missing Mistle Thrushes :   http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/25/mistle-thrush-numbers-decline?INTCMP=SRCH


Snowed in or washed away, either way you should have plenty of opportunity to sit in your window seat and watch the bird world go by. So top up your feeders, and get counting...and don't forget to tell us what turns up...or not!


http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/

Laura

Monday, 21 January 2013

A Snowy Big Garden Birdwatch at the Palm House

Palm House Snowmen

A hardy band of volunteers made their way to Sefton Park’s Palm House for Sunday’s event.
Our aim, to tell as many people as possible about next weekends 'Big Garden Birdwatch'
The weather was cold and snowy, not as heavy as Friday’s blizzard but still persistent, fortunately the Palm House was as you would expect, warm and dry. A steady stream of visitors came in out of the cold and our tables were busy with animated conversations about the perils of Cats and Magpies, identification queries; what was that strange thrush like bird in the garden this morning?
Austin,Dan and Peter  are ready 
 Children and parents alike had fun making suet filled bird feeder logs, pre-drilled by Chris, a sticky mess but all but 2 went off to new homes and grateful Liverpool garden birds.
Suet log anyone?
Our friends on the national RSPB table Danny and Austin were kept busy and we were very pleased to hear 5 adult and 1 child national memberships had been taken up. Danny and Austin work at the RSPB’s Burton Mere Wetlands reserve and their presence meant they had the opportunity to highlight the reserves attractions to hopefully future visitors.

Our Wex group also had lots of visitors and children were observed happily ‘colouring in’ whilst their parents drank a restorative hot coffee.




Were pleased to say we engaged with 292 visitors to the Palm House. One gent signed up and joined our local group on the spot with plenty of others taking away information and membership sheets.

Welcome smiles from the local group membership team
John gets busy -Mike Cosgrove
Ready to open
Vistiors - Mike Cosgrove



As for the birds? well the Parakeets eluded us throughout the day with only Neil noticing 2 sleepy keets in a tree.
Sleepy Parakeets. Neil Prendergast
 All the usual residents were present on the tables and at the feeding station.  Great and  Blue tits, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Magpies ,Robins, Wood and feral pigeons, Jays and Squirrels Crows, Redwing and Mistle Thrush were on the fields. However it seemed a surprisingly quiet day maybe not quite as much frantic feeding as one would expect? I’d like to think that perhaps they had had their fill, as quite a few of our visitors left us clutching bags of mixed seed and monkey nuts. Destined we hope not just to feed the gerbils of one young visitor!! 

Palm House Mike Cosgrove

Friday, 18 January 2013

SNOW DAYS

Sefton Park Palm House



Snow, I like snow, nothing better than a stroll through the park in a blizzard!
9.30 this morning saw me doing a bit of prep work for our ‘Big Garden Birdwatch' event at the Palm House at Sefton Park on Sunday, I’ll be expecting you…  
Liverpool RSPB has 3 bird tables in the Palm House gardens, we load them up before and during our events aiming to bring in the greatest variety of birds possible.  The gate appeared to be shut as I approached but a security guard ran out to let me in! I got the impression they weren’t expecting visitors, but then the park was empty except for the usual dog walkers and a few hardy joggers.
The park looked awesome in the falling snow; and a lot of my pics appear to be in black and white because of the conditions!




Snowy Sefton Park


Pleased to say there was lots of activity at the feeding station behind the glass house.  In  the pecking order: Blue , Gt and Long tailed tits, Nuthatches, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Robins, Magpies, Pigeons, Ringed necked Parakeets x 4, Gt spotted woodpecker  and Grey Squirrels. All bodes well for Saturday’s walk and Sunday’s event.

Ring Necked Parakeet 1 of 4
Keet, Maggie and Woody


Moving on to the lakes to distribute some of Aldi's finest baked products.  4 Tufted ducks were new arrivals, little grebe at least 11 on the main lake.  Then hordes of hungry Mallard, Coot, Black headed gulls, Mute Swans, and Canadian Geese. If the Med gull and Mandarin were still there I didn’t see them, too cold for any extensive scanning, frozen fingers in my feeding hand told me it was time to press on. 

Hungry  beaks

I followed the stream past  frozen Eros and the cafe, and noticed a couple of walker’s intent on something in the reeds.  A slow approach was called for, good idea as I was rewarded with fab views of a Heron focused on catching his breakfast in the stream, normally these guys birds fly off as soon as you get near, but this one must have been really hungry and ignored me!
The Fisherman


Time to go home, but not before stopping on the main path to throw the last of my monkey nuts to the gang of crows that were probing the snowy fields adjacent.  Unbeknown to me Birder Mike was intent of taking shots of said birds, and I ended up in the picture, makes a change I guess …

Snapped, I was there!



Happy days
Bimo

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sun. 13th Jan..............Wirral.

Day out with Ann (Tommo), Seema and MNA.

Great day out started with 40-50 waxwings at the entrance to Wallasey tunnel. Unfortunately couldn't stop, so only a guestimate to numbers.

Next stop was New Brighton marine lake........turnstone, purple sandpiper (4), dunlin and redshank on pontoons.
Stopped to check gulls in New Brighton dips.......straight away picked out adult winter mediterranean gull only 20m from car.

Then on to Hoylake/ Kings Gap for the high tide at 12.00...........fantastic views of wader roost, as close as 20m away on the beach......over 20,000 knot, dunlin and sanderling, a few grey plover (3), ..........loads of birdwatchers, photographers all very well behaved for what is a truly fantastic spectacle............the noise when the birds lifted off occasionally was awesome!

Quick stop at West Kirby marine lake.............goldeneye (m), and red breasted merganser (m & f).

On to Parkgate, Old baths where we met up with MNA...... who had been for a leisurely lunch in nearby hostelry...........little egret, great white egret, sparrowhawk(f), merlin(f),  buzzard, peregrine, short eared owl, reed bunting, snipe, jay, redwing, linnet, great spotted woodpecker, goldcrest,.............. also male hen harrier seen earlier by MNA.

A good day out and 11 new birds for the year.                                                       Sean.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Liverpool One Woodcock

 
A quick phone call today stopped me in my tracks. 'We have a young fledgling snipe in a box' said Dave from Liverpool One.  So after a quick chat it was confirmed as a woodcock and instructions on how to park at L1. The subterranean level of Liverpool 1 is a very different place for birds but did have pigeons wandering around. With a high viz jacket on I headed off for the lift! Well the lift put me at the back doors of  various shops on the ground level but how do you get out! My wife has always said that my love of birds will get you in trouble and I was now wandering around in the bowels of Liverpool 1. A phone call and security were show me were I needed to be.
 
 A couple of minutes later and I had collected the box containing the woodcock and was heading back to my car. A few phone calls and some emails and it was time to head off to Court Hey Park. One of the phone calls was to the site ranger to inform her I would be releasing bird in her park. 
Woodcock fly into the UK from Scandinavia normally in November but this bird must have been escaping the cold front comming from the east. In an earlier blog there is a picture of a dead woodcock found in Dale street having crashed into a building so it was nice to see that this bird was full of life. If you look at the top part of its beak you will notice some blood. The beak is the most sensitive part of the bird and of course helps it to find its food....worms and stuff.
ANOTHER STRANGE REQUEST FOR A GROUP LEADER.
Chris

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Red fire above the river?

Album cover.  Ronnie Harr


Here's something different for you all.

A selection of songs inspired by birds. Easy on the ear ,catchy, observant lyrics, somewhat beatle-esq and a  great incentive:  a percentage of sales will go towards 'Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper' and supporting the 'Save Albatross campaign'. 
Spoonbill Sandpiper chick.  RSPB images John o'Sullivan

You can buy the CD or download selected tracks on Mp3

Don't you get lonely on that desolate moor?..
Get your headphones on............





Dear bird and wildlife enthusiasts,

As someone who studies and appreciates the beauty of birds and nature, I wonder if I could interest you in my CD 'Songs about Birds', an album of 12 self-written, species-specific songs inspired by birds and birdwatching, in which I try to capture the moods, emotions and landscapes associated with the birds. There are songs about the swift, kingfisher, red kite, starlings at Brighton, gannets at Bempton Cliffs, and more. A percentage of sales will go towards saving the spoon-billed sandpiper and supporting the 'Save the Albatross' campaign.

Available in physical format with a 16 page illustrated booklet from http://www.nhbs.com/songs_about_birds_tefno_187179.html or from http://www.wildsounds.com/products/3454-Songs-about-Birds.shtml  or in digital format from itunes or from amazon at

You can listen to some of the songs  on my website www.themusicalbirder.com   or below:


Ideal for listening to in the minibus/car on field trips, in the evening after a day out in the field, or as background music in the nature shop or office.    'will make you take a closer look at the wildlife around you'
(Birdwatching Magazine, Dec 2012)

Ronnie Haar



Happy listening folks
Laura


GIVE IT THE WELLY?

Laura's fine Wellies?


Wood mouse
Last time I went to put my wellies on, after a particularly nasty cloudburst that plunged my back garden under 2 foot of water. (I'd had a nice afternoon walk over Pendle hill- as we came back to Liverpool we could see the ominous Black clouds over Liverpool..too late) I found a mouse had nested in them. Fortunately not resident when I removed the shredded paper and feathers...Sorry mouse.  Maybe a good time to invest in a new pair...after all mice are doubly incontinent you know...
By the way did you know rodent urine glows in UV light, pretty useful if your a Kestrel who sees in UV, find the pee find the mouse....clever!
Kestrel Garston Shore 2012

I digress.....

To start the year on a good footing, RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands in Cheshire is asking local people to donate their unwanted, worn-out wellies to help celebrate  Welly Season  in style.

 From green gardener s wellies or trendy festival wellies to pink with polka dot wellies, people can take their old pairs to their local nature reserve, where they will be put to good use for  Welly Season .
Running from mid-January to the end of March, RSPB Burton Mere will be delivering a season of welly-related activities for all the family to get involved in.

Paul Brady, RSPB Visitor Development Officer, said:  Maybe Santa brought you a brand new shiny pair of wellies for Christmas, but you don t know what to do with your old ones   well, bring them to us and we ll show you how to put them to good use.    Donated wellies will be transformed into miniature gardens or bird feeders, and staff and volunteers at the sites will be on hand to show visitors what to do.

Paul added:  On our reserve, we wear wellies to carry out lots of different work on a daily basis. But there s also a lot of fun to be had with them, from jumping in puddles to decorating them with glitter and paint.    Visitors will be able to  Bling their Boots , and the reserves will be providing craft materials for people wanting to decorate their wellies on site. They will then be encouraged to share pictures of their wellies on the RSPB Burton Mere Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/RspbBurtonMereWetlands.

The reserve will also be running a special  Wardens Welly Walk  event on Saturday 19 January, which offers a unique chance to go behind the scenes to find out all about how the wetland habitats are managed.

There are plenty of activities planned throughout the season which will excite all the family, from welly quiz trails to welly walks for pushchair pushers, and there may even be a spot of welly wanging.

Anyone wanting to donate their old wellies can take them along to their local RSPB nature reserve. For more information, visit www.rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands.


Laura


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Any more for Moore


So where did 2012 go i ask myself and as we all have done,?


I don't want to turn this page into a Moore Nature reserve Blog, but could easily do so as i live on the doorstep, which is so handy just to pop out on the spare of the moment when precipitation stops (as a weatherman would say) but to you and me, .... that typical  "four"  letter word that describes deluge and depression which we have been experiencing over the past months, that we call  "rain"  or some other swear words to that effect. I can feel my Tourettes bubbling over here ;-)
I was late getting out of the house yesterday, to which you can't afford to do if you want to catch the early bird "that gathers no moss" (as the famous Irish saying goes and to be sure;-)
So the first thing that anyone should do on arrival of their chosen destination, is to not only ask a Policeman (in fact, more chance of seeing a Smew) but better off asking a local twitcher,  ............
"Is there anything interesting to see here today." ?
The reply to my question was a Kingfisher, Water Rail, Shoveler, Cormorants, Grey Herons, Teal and last but not least a Smew ... only 30 minutes ago, honest and i will cross my Ladybird bird watchers book on that. The Smew we didn't see on our last RSPB outing there a few weeks ago, while assisting Ann to obtain one of her three remaining species to get her grand total of 200 before the end of the year.
Since then she has managed to do that, so well done Ann.


When i arrived at the Eastern reed bed of course most of the birds had typically shut up shop with it being half day closing and nowhere to be seen Grrrrr! So after a while made my way to the well stocked feeding station. As you are always guaranteed that there will be smaller birds constantly feeding there.
I have been out of the country for the best part of my "Bucket List" year and missed all of our ... sorry! ... your so called "damp" summer and since i visited Moore last May, was very surprised to see how flooded the whole of the low lying parts of the reserve have become, even more so over the past few months. As the excess rain water just cannot drain away fast enough with the area being waterlogged and therefore the Old Latchford canal .... pre Manchester ship canal era, that runs through the site was half full (or half empty depending upon your view) of its 1804 working depth and wouldn't have be surprised to have seen a old carthorse pulling a coal barge along it again. Sections of the old canal bed have been made into a (dry) walkway which is a nice feature, as you can see the original sandstone block wall lining on either side and can imagine how it use to be in the industrial revolution days of hard and dirty graft with little pay for the working classes, as it was these ordinary people like the Irish Navvy's that contributed to us to becoming a great nation of development and enterprise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runcorn_to_Latchford_Canal



I digress ..... I did however manage to get some quite nice close up photo's of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker with its needle sharp talons gripping or was it hugging ;-) ?? a near by tree as it probed for grubs etc.
Just for interest ....The Cheshire Government have provided a wonderful comprehensive twin map website. Zoom in to a specific area using the central slider and left click and grab on either map and move to a specific location to your choice, as they will move simultaneously and then you can differentiate between the landscapes around the whole of Cheshire (fringing on the edges of Liverpool) As you can set one map on black & white aerial photography views of the 1970s and select the opposite twin map to either a Tithe, OS 1875 or OS 1910 maps
You can actually see the Moore nature reserve area being developed and parts of the remaining old Latchford canal which still had water trapped in it. Also you will notice there is very little tree growth around the area at that time, which obviously over the past 40 years has grown to what it is today.   http://maps.cheshire.gov.uk/tithemaps/TwinMaps.aspx 
I have written to the Liverpool website asking them to do likewise on their site. As it would be so interesting to see how things have changed around the Liverpool area and to bring back many memories of that era, but sadly i have had no response as yet to my request.

It was nice to see the long-tailed tits all jostling for a decent perch closer to the fat ball or plant pot in this case. As they darted on and off in an instant when being disturbed by others
Does my bum look big in this long tail ?

                                            Panto Cormorant "There's a crow behind you"


If you ever venture to the far reaches of the eastern reed bed then take some bread, as in time a cheeky little Robin will fly in to the open hide and will mug you for food.


The light was fading but the setting sun lit up the high clouds which reflected onto Lapwing lake and silhouetted a Coot.

Regards Neil ....
PS. At this time of year, please have a kind thought for those poor photographers and film makers in Borneo. Who are sick to the back teeth of taking boring everyday photographs of endangered Birds of Paradise that surrounds them and then in frustration, making a new years resolution to get back to the UK ASAP and to take photo's of our endangered Liverpool House Sparrows.
So does that put everything into perspective. ? Then in this case, does the well known phrase .... 
"Be careful to what you wish for" come to mind here ... ?
PPS. Ann, Start off this year's bird list with an endangered Liverpool House Sparrow and forget those Paradise street, birds  ;-)
Happy New Year to you all ... just remember that this year only lasts for twelve months, so get out there and enjoy our wildlife.


Big Day Watch



The day may have been grey with lowering cloud base, but we were blessed with unseasonably warm conditions which did much to raise enthusiasm for the day ahead.  Close to 20 members gathered at the car park in Banks Road with ‘Happy New Year’ ringing around the group.  The area to be covered was Speke/Garston Coastal Park which was developed on the former Speke Airport site.  It comprises the Mersey estuary bounded by an area of brownfield land sitting adjacent to the Estuary Business Park.  If such an area might suggest a dearth of birdlife we were to be pleasantly surprised.  This urban reserve features a range of habitats including salt marsh, tidal flats, clay cliffs and grassland. 

The estuary soon yielded Teal, Cormorant, Little Black-backed Gull, Redshank, Grey Heron, Oystercatcher, Herring gull and Dunlin.  Despite the poor light conditions, as eyes became accustomed to the poor contrast of sediment, rocks and seaweed we soon identified Turnstone and Ringed Plover and, thanks to those with scopes, we were able to get up close and personal to them.  As we continued along the coastal path we approached the multi-million pound Liverpool Sailing Club building.  The warden saw a group of 20 enthusiasts as a possible market for membership and he was keen to invite us in for a guided tour.  We declined his kind invitation, but felt that at least we’d provided some conversation for the poor guy who seemed desperate for human interaction!  Just past the sailing club we moved inland towards the business park where more treats awaited us.  Some members of the group formed a ‘flushing’ party while the rest of us moved ahead of them ready to see what their activities might achieve.  We were not to be disappointed as very quickly several Skylarks took flight.  The best was yet to come as we were treated to several Common Snipe taking flight, with the best moment being sight of a Jack Snipe.  Seeing both species of snipe close together enabled us to understand the contrasting flight behaviours of both.  The Jack Snipe returns to land quickly and, as eagle-eyed members had seen it land, the flushing party moved on to flush it out again.  Brilliant!  We returned to the car park on a high and delighted that, between us we had ‘ticked’ around 30 species.  
 


 Some friends had to leave us at the car park, but about a dozen folk continued on to Sefton Park lake.  The warm weather had tempted many people out so the path around the lake was busy.  We quickly identified Canada Goose, Common Gull, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck and Little Grebe, but the highlight at this point was a Mediterranean Gull.  Sighting it at relatively close proximity enabled us to see that magnificent blood-red bill with the black hood in its more subdued winter form.  From the end of the lake we moved towards the woodland close to the Palm House.  Here we were rewarded with sights of Jay, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, and the delightful Goldcrest and Treecreeper.  The walk back on the edge of the open parkland provided an excellent opportunity to see a group of Redwings. 



The decision was then made to end our day at Black Wood in Childwall.  This area of mature woodland has not been spoilt by over-management thus providing excellent habitats for invertebrates and hence food supplies for a range of birds.  Sadly, our excursion there did not reveal many birds, but we were able to spot Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper.  One notable absence for the day was Long-tailed tit: perhaps these are all lurking around feeders in people’s gardens.  Overall, we had a fantastic day and the total for the day seems to 59 species.

Jen

Imagery courtesy of Laura Bimson


Monday, 7 January 2013

Blackcap survey


Male Blackcap eating fat cake in winter

Just to report that I have filled in the survey ~ one advantage of a Christmas cold was that I was home a lot and able to observe the feeders for several hours ! One female blackcap, only briefly present, but a very regular male, feeding exclusively from a sunflower seed feeder. Minor skirmishes with other birds ( winning most, but trounced by a robin !) but often tolerating company, providing they kept to their own side of the feeder.

Thanks: I enjoyed taking more detailed notice of bird behaviour !

Anne

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Another day, another park



Saturday morning I could be found by another lake, in another local Park, Stanley Park. Wedged between Everton and Liverpool football grounds it was quiet, no home games today, just a few Anglers at one end. I had come in search of a psychedelic male Mandarin duck, photographed by fellow local RSPB member Rob Lewis.

Male Mandarin Duck  - Rob Lewis
Stanley Park has a reasonable sized lake, designed in 3 sections, separated by bridges with footpaths around.  All the usual inhabitants were present Canadian Geese, Mallard, Coot, Moorhens and scores of Black headed gulls, sadly no Swans they appear to prefer the south end parks. 

The George Audley Lake Information sign (why not look it up, theres an interesting article on the parks creation http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/showthread.php?30419-Stanley-Park  I’d  have like to have seen it in it’s heyday)  Indicted Pochard, Tufted duck , and Gt Crested Grebe , but they were nowhere to be seen, perhaps the  local yob mentality of not knowing what a waste bin is makes for a undesirable home, with quite a bit of litter submerged on the lake fringes.

Sadly I dipped, the bird appears to have flown, perhaps he had heard of the fetching little female Mandarin hanging out at Sefton Park. Still an unexpected bonus was to occur. As I completed my second circuit of the lake, I espied somebody, either newly arrived or emergent from the shrubbery.  A juvenile Cormorant, a healthy and robust specimen obviously finding plenty of fish, and thankfully apparently untroubled by the Anglers.
So no Mandarin today, but my 32nd bird of the new year a Cormorant, strange bedfellow next to no’ 31 a Waxwing!


Onward to battle it out in ASDA, with the hordes of shuffling mobile phones.
Laura

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Penny Lane, Beatles and Waxwings.

Happy New Year from all at Liverpool RSPB.

Driving past the barbers at Penny Lane and a song sprng into my mind but then there were alot of Japanese tourists around. I wish I had one of their big camera lens cos I was there to look for the waxwings which have found the Rowan trees in the Asda in Church rd. 92 have been seen around the Penny Lane area.

Chris