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Nice couple of year ticks 13th Jan

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (3)

A long over due visit to Moore NR paid off with excellent views of the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, busy digging out a new nest hole in a dead tree stump, it was oblivious to anyone watching it at a fairly close range.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Moore NR 13th Jan 2014

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Moore NR 13th Jan 2014

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Moore NR 13th Jan 2014

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Moore NR 13th Jan 2014


Other birds in the area included the usual  woodland variety, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Siskin, Jay, Redwing, Common Buzzard, and a quick look on the pools provided lots of Wigeon, a few Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebes, Shoveler, Gadwall, but nothing of note amongst the gulls.


We moved on to Burton Marsh for another look at the Buff-bellied Pipit, which was showing immediately upon arrival, and fairly close on the tide debris with Meadow pipits and 2 Stonechats.

Buff-bellied Pipit Burton Marsh 13th Jan 2014

Buff-bellied Pipit Burton Marsh 13th Jan 2014

Hen Harriers and Short-eared Owls 21 st Nov

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Good views of at least 2 ringtail Hen Harriers pre-roost in low winter sunlight, also at least 4 Short-eared Owls in the area and 1 Barn Owl at an undisclosed site.

Ringtail Hen Harrier 21st Nov 2013

Ringtail Hen Harrier 21st Nov 2013

Ringtail Hen Harrrier 21st Nov 2013

Short-eared Owl 21st Nov 2013

Short-eared Owl 21st Nov 2013

Also a couple of Stonechats, plenty of Common Buzzards and Kestrels about in the area.



Buff-belllied Pipit 28th Dec

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Not much birding has been done lately due to weather and the usual winter bugs, a brief visit was made for the drk Baikal Teal at Crossens Outer marsh, it was seen with Wigeon and Teal near the main southport coast rd after going missing for an hour or two, also seen were 2 Great White Egrets out on the marsh, but time was short and an appointment forced an early exit, with no time to see the Long-tailed duck at Marshside, still it was good to see a Mega not too far from home.


Another North-west mega turned up on a local marsh, this time on the Dee at Burton point, Denhall lane, where a Buff-bellied Pipit had been found feeding on the tide debris washed up after exceptionally high winds and tides produced a surge recorded on most of the UK's coastline, quite devasting on the east coast, causing flooding and sea walls/embankments to be breached.

Buff-bellied Pipit Burton Marsh 28th Dec 2013

Buff-bellied Pipit Burton Marsh 28th Dec 2013

Buff-bellied Pipit Burton Marsh 28th Dec 2013


Buff-bellied Pipit Burton Marsh 28th Dec 2013


The bird was heard to call and then seen in flight before it dropped down onto the marsh, but couldn't be relocated for some time, but eventually it showed well, with a few Meadow Pipiits, also 4-5 Stonechats and an unseasonal Wheatear, which appears to be wintering here, 1-2 Siberian Chiffchaffs showed well on the edge of the marsh, but didn't call once while we were there, a brief view of a Kingfisher flying across the sheep field the otherside of the road and several Redwing and Fieldfare were also in the area.

Stonechat Burton Marsh 28th Dec 2013

Wheatear and Stonechat Burton Marsh 28th Dec 2013

Wheatear Burton marsh 28th Dec 2013

Abietinus/tristis Chiffchaff Burton marsh 28th Dec 2013

Abietinus/tristis Chiffchaff Burton marsh 28th Dec 2013

Siberian Chiffchaff Burton marsh 29th Dec 2013

Weasel Burton marsh 28th Dec 2013



Last two days of Oct vis mig 26th + 30th

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

After a wet and windy day on 25th, conditions improved for some movement for southbound migrants, although a cloudy day and wind from the south-west, the following was recorded.


26th Oct 07.30- 11.30

Chaffinch  58                    Reed Bunting  8

Greenfinch  50                  Mipit  4

Brambling 1                      Skylark 20

Dunnock   1                      Pied Wag  17

Jay  1                                Grey Wag   5

Carrion Crow  3               Starling   450

Jackdaw    18                   Pink-footed Goose 16 >S                                                                    +    50 > S

Woodpigeon  15              Collared Dove  4


Not much on the reserve,6 Goldeneye , 3 Shoveler, 6 Little Grebe, 4 Snipe, 3 Song Thrush and 3 Blackbirds were classed as grounded migrants in the marina bushes and an adw  Med Gull was a white darvic ringed bird which has been seen a few times before LXG a Dutch ringed bird.


30th Oct  07.20- 11.35

Ater several days of very wet and stormy conditions, light SE winds and clear skies, the migration window was once again opened, a lot of birds were missed due to their more coastal movement from our watch point only a small amount of which was recorded.


Chaffinch  413                Reed Bunting  10

Brambling  11                 Skylark   127

Greenfinch  20                Meadow Pipit  80

Linnet    6                         Rock Pipit  1

Siskin  3                           Grey Wag  6

Redwing  95                    Pied Wag   18

Fieldfare  70                    Carrion Crow  4

Mistle Thrush  22            Rook  5

Starling   429                   Jackdaw   51

Woodpigeon  126            Collared Dove  9

A 2ndw Med Gull was only bird of real note on the reserve, 7 Goldeneye, 8 Pochard, a single Snipe and 6 Little Grebe.              

Nice bit of vis mig 24th Oct

Posted on October 26, 2013 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Light SE winds with clear northward skies, produce the best visible migration at this time of year, and with more variety in the species involved, todays total as follows.

Vis Mig 07.35-12.00


Chaffinch 234                    Pied Wagtail 19

Greenfinch 22                   Grey Wagtail 9

Brambling 10                    Meadow Pipit 296

Siskin 2                              Rock Pipit 1

Tree Sparrow 16               Skylark 277

Redwing 148                     Yellowhammer 1

Fieldfare 183                     Reed Bunting 20

Song Thrush 5                  Collard Dove 5

Mistle Thrush 6                 Woodpigeon 297

Starling 590                       Pink-footed Goose 40> SE +                                                                               17> E

Jackdaw 172                     Blue Tit 5

Carrion Crow 22               Great Tit 1

Rook 1                               Long-tailed Tit 2


Other birds seen today included a single Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest, while on the fresh water pool, there are now 7 Goldeneye, 7 Pochard and 3 Shoveler, a white darvic ringed 1stw Common Gull was probably a Norwegian bird but the ring number couldn't be read.


The Scillies 6th-14th Oct

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A return holiday to the Isles of Scilly, after an absence of 3 yrs, started unusually on the Sunday 6th, with the accomadation being from Monday-Monday, we travelled down Sunday morning, and we were able to get some birding in Cornwall, first stop Pendeen, where an adult male Daurian Shrike had been found on Friday.


We soon located the Shrike, on rough ground with gorse patches, it was catching insects and perching up, before flying long distances to hunt another area, so good views were had as it flew by, a stunning bird and probably the best I've ever seen out of 10 or more I've had before.

Ad Male Daurian Shrike Pendeen Cornwall 6th Oct 2013

Ad Male Daurian Shrike Pendeen Cornwall 6th Oct 2013

Ad Male Daurian Shrike Pendeen Cornwall 6th Oct 2013

Ad Male Daurian Shrike Pendeen Cornwall 6th Oct 2013

Ad Male Daurian Shrike Pendeen Cornwall 6th Oct 2013


We left after adding a Whinchat and several Stonechat, a couple of Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat, and arrived at Hayle estuary where a Black-winged Stilt and a Lesser Yellowlegs had been seen, after passing a group of 25 birders near the road, we parked by the pub and viewed the estuary, and it wasn't long before the Black-winged Stilt was picked up roosting with a few Redshank, the tide was quickly filling the creeks and pushing waders to higher ground and closer to the prom wall, a couple of Brent Geese, several Little Egrets and several Greenshanks and a single Little stint amongst a flock of Dunlin.

Black-winged Stilt Hayle estuary 6th Oct 2013

Little Egrets Hayle estuary Cornwall 6th Oct 2013


A scan of the near by waders close to the birders, revealed the Lesser Yellowlegs, which disappeared from our view behind the pub, we relocated to the prom next to the other birders, but it became obvious that they were'nt on the bird, but were watching the Stilt, the legs was just 25 yds away in front of everyone, we got people onto it and managed some shots before an Osprey flew low overhead and flushed everything, the Yellowlegs flew across the road to another pool, while the Osprey gave great views.

Juv/1stw Lesser Yellowlegs Hayle estuary Cornwall 6th Oct 2013

Juv/1stw Lesser Yellowlegs Hayle estuary Cornwall 6th Oct 2013

Osprey Hayle estuary Cornwall 6th Oct 2013

Osprey Hayle estuary Cornwall 6th Oct 2013


We stayed in the Travelodge overnight and caught the Scillonian Monday morning, a relatively quiet crossing in the calm conditions, with just a single Bonxie, lots of Gannets, and several pods of Common Dolphins.

Common Dolphins from the Scillonian 7th Oct 2013

Common Dolphins from the Scillonian 7th Oct 2013

Common Dolphins from the Scillonian 7th Oct 2013

Gannet off Scillonian Oct 2013

After docking at St Marys, we set off to Newford duck pond where an Arctic Warbler had been found, it took quite a while before the bird showed, under the large willow at the back of the pond, the long supercil, obvious wingbar, thick bill and dark greenish upperparts.


A Jack Snipe and 2 Water Rail were seen at Lower Moors, with a Kingfisher flying through and the juv Purple Heron was seen in flight as it tried to go to roost in trees, but flew again probably disturbed by someone in the dump clump.

Water Rail Lower Moors St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Kingfisher St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


The next full day, we strolled up to telegraph, where someone had seen a Olive-backed Pipit, a search had been carried out without success , but upon checking the area an Olive-backed Pipit was heard to call, with nothing seen, it may have flown over a hedge into one of the fields, but could not be located.


The Purple Heron gave better views in flight over Porthloo duck pond,were a Tree Pipit had eveyone fooled it was the OBP, 2 Raven flew over and another Kingfisher was seen, a Wryneck was seen distantly and briefly at the end of a field.

Juv Purple Heron St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Juv Purple Heron St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


The Wryneck was seen again in the morning at Porthlow farm, several Wheatears and Rock Pipits were on Porthloo beach, with a Whimbrel, while up at Lower broome platform on the garrison, 1-2 Yellow-browed warblers put in brief showings.

Wyrneck St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Whimbrel St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Rock Pipit St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


A Bluethroat was showing exceptionally well at the dump clump, coming closer than it was possible to photo, the only downside was the low light in the shaded copse.

Bluethroat St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Bluethroat St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


An adult and 1stw Med Gulls  were in Porthcressa bay, while a pod of Common Dolphins could be seen distantly off shore.


Another Wryneck was seen near Juliets garden cafe and the edge of the golf course on a rocky outcrop, but was very elusive and flighty.

Wryneck St Mrys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


A trip over to Tresco to see the Sora Rail on the great pool, after a very long wait and a walk back to the far quay ready to get the boat back, we had to return to the hide to see the bird feeding and bathing on the edge of the reeds distantly, 16 Greenshanks were also on the pool, and while watching the bird while trying to get somme record shots, another crake or rail sp walked by it, but someone was hogging the scope and the mystery bird remained unresolved, 3 Jack Snipe showed well from the hide, 15 Redwing flew overhead, and a few Chiffchaff but not much else of note.

Record shot of Sora Rail Tresco Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Record shot of Sora Rail Tresco Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Migrant Hawker Tresco Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


Little Egret Tresco Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

A couple of showy Lapland Buntings were on Penninas Head amongst the rocks on the old town side, while a Snow Bunting showed ridiculously close on the main track  to the head.

Lapland Bunting St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Lapland Bunting St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Lapland Bunting St Marys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Snow Bunting St Maarys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Snow Bunting St Maarys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


A Whinchat, 6 Blackcap, a Whitethroat and lots of Meadow pipits were in a sloping field at the back of old town cemetry, were the Red-breasted Flycatcher showed briefly and distantly.

Red-breasted Flycatcher St Maryys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013

Red-breasted Flycatcher St Maryys Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


Two Yellow-browed Warblers were seen in lower moors, while another 2 were seen by old town cemetry, and then the Grey-cheeked Thrush had been pinned down and was seen a few times inside the cemetry with a couple of record shots were taken before it was flushed.

Grey-cheeked Thrush Isles of Scilly Oct 2013


A Yellow-browed Warbler was seen at the Garrison calling briefly, and the boat crossing back produced more Common Dolphins, a poss Grey Phal near St Martins, a poss Great Shearwater and a Minke Whale, and that was it for another time, and as Arnie says, "I'll be back".

Common Dolphins off Scillonian Oct 2013

September in a nutshell

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

This is a summary of what occurred during September at Seaforth, don't have the time to do it day by day, and a lot to catch up due to a new laptop and compatability problems with photoshop on windows 8, anyway, I have a new set up and I think i've got it sussed.

Juv Little Grebe being fed by an adult Seaforth NR Sept 2013


Light SE winds on 4th brought in a juv fem Ruff, Sedge Warbler and a couple of Curlew Sands, and a small passage of Swallows, House and and Martins.

Sedge Warbler Seaforth NR Sept 2013

Juv/1stw Yellow-legged Gull Seaforth NR Sept 2013

Juv/1stw Yellow-legged Gull Seaforth NR Sept 2013

Juv/1stw Yellow-legged Gull Seaforth NR Sept 2013


The first decent day of Visible Migration was on 23rd, with a good variety of birds, in slightly smaller numbers than expected, 2 Raven, 7 Skylark, 34 Meadow Pipit, 6 Chaffinch, 19 Greenfinch, 6 Reed Bunting, 4 Grey Wag, 29 Pied Wag, 77 Woodpigeon, 5 House Martin, 4 Mistle Thrush. A male Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, 3 Juv Curlew Sands and 140 Blackwits also.


The 24th continued the Vis Mig, 2 Raven, 850 Meadow Pipit, 89 Skylark, 79 Woodpigeon, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Siskin, 214 Swallow, 12 House Martin, 3 Collared Dove, 25 Pied Wag, 3 Grey Wag, 11 Chaffinch. A Kingfisher appeared on this day also, 1 Common Buzzard flew south, 4 Chiffchaff and 3 juv Curlew Sands.

Kingfisher Seaforth NR Sept 2013


An Osprey flew south down the river Mersey on 26th, with more vis mig producing, 250 Meadow Pipit, 12 Grey Wag, 5 Reed Bunting, and 2 flocks of Pink-footed Geese, 110 flew NE and 177 flew E., the Kingfisher was still about briefly, a juv male Ruff, 3 Curlew Sands, a juv Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear, a Yellow Wag flew south and 3 Golden Plover + 4 Snipe flew south.

Distant record shot of Osprey going south Seaforth NR Sept 2013

Kingfisher Seaforth NR Sept 2013


A Jack Snipe appeared on 27th outside hide A and showed well, a male Blackcap, Coal Tit, 3 Wheatear and 9 Blue Tit and 4 Great Tits were on the move, small numbers of vis mig included the first Jay of the Autumn, 10 Reed Bunting, 42 Chaffinch, 58 Skylark, 93 Woodpigeon, 12 Grey Wag, 38 Pied Wag, 122 Mipit, 11 Swallow.

Jack Snipe Seaforth NR Sept 2013


Classic misty September conditions on 28th produced a Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 5 Common Buzzard flew SW, a good movement of Vis Mig included, 30 Chaffinch, 71 Greenfinch, 4 Siskin, 54 Linnet, 33 Pied Wag, 8 Grey Wag, 850 Mipit, 1 Rock Pipit, 251 Skylark, 19 Reed Bunting, 265 Swallow, 20 House Martin, 125 Pinkfeet flew N + 42 N, 7 Wigeon flew E, 2 Marsh Harriers flew SE, but bird of the day and probably the bird of the year was a Glossy Ibis picked flying low over Crosby Marina, flew over hide C and over the new warehouse SE at 10.26, the first record for the reserve, there seems to be a mini invasion of them in the country, and the north-west has done well for them with birds in Horwich Lancs, Cumbria, Cheshire and North Wales.


Spotted flycatcher Seaforth NR Sept 2013

Record shot of Glossy Ibis Seaforth NR 28th Sept 2013 Chris Gregson http://www.flickr.com/photos/weekendbirder/


More Vis Mig on 29th with 2 Marsh Harriers south at 09.25 + 13.50, 4 Common Buzzard, the Jack Snipe was still about, another Spot Fly, 6 Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, 6 Wheatear, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 10 Blue Tit, 10 Great Tit, 3 Tree Sparrow, 6 Grey Wag, 13 Pied Wag, 60 Skylark, 8 Reed Bunting, 100 Mipit, 19 Chaffinch, 12 Jackdaw, 97 Swallow, 32 House Martin, 140 Pinkfeet flew S then returned N, + 75 N.

Kestrel Seaforth NR Sept 2013

Fox Seaforth NR Sept 2013

Migrant Hawker Seaforth NR Sept 2013

End of August

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The last few days of  August were non eventful, very few migrants appeared, 7 Yellow Wagtails on 23rd, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, 11 Wheatears and a small passage of hirundines south.

Juv Yellow Wagtail Seaforth NR 23rd Aug 2013

Juv Yellow Wagtail Seaforth NR 23rd Aug 2013


The two juv Little Owls fledged and could be seen most days, with a watchful parent close by, 3 juv Little Grebes also fledged, despite one of them being attacked by a Cormorant.


Juv Garganey Seaforth NR 23rd Aug 2013

Juv Little Owl Seaforth NR 2013

Juv Garganey 22nd Aug

Posted on August 25, 2013 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

A few quiet days with just the usual stuff, wader numbers have dropped right off with the tide being lower, and everything looked the same as the day before, so it was nice to have a surprise in the shape of a juv Garganey, a bird that has become scarce again here at Seaforth, with the last record about 7-8 years ago, feeding outside hide A and showing well.

Juv Garganey Seaforth NR 22nd Aug 2013

Juv Garganey Seaforth NR 22nd Aug 2013

Juv Garganey Seaforth NR 22nd Aug 2013

Juv Garganey Seaforth NR 22nd Aug 2013


An increase in duck numbers, as predicted due to the full moon, 4 Shoveler, 19 Teal, 110 Tufted, a drake eclipse Scaup was in for one day only, and more Little Grebes, with two full grown juvs and 4 ads, as well as the breeding pair which have got 3 tiny young.

Juv-1stw Little Grebe Seaforth NR Aug 2013

The Juv Little Owl was showing well, and it was discovered there was at least another juv, and possibly 3 birds scattered about the mounds, they are now flying and looked to have made it this year, which is great news.

Juv Little Owl Seaforth NR Aug 2013

Good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits are building up now with 150+, amongst them at least 24 juvs, a juv Ruff was seen briefly in flight during a dread, and not seen again.

Common Snipe Seaforth NR 22nd Aug 2013

Common Sandpiper Seaforth NR Aug 2013


The Med gull numbers have decreased with only one Juv and 3 adw birds about today, with the occasional ad Yellow-legged Gull, ad Little and Kittiwake dropping in during the week.

Juv Med Gull Seaforth NR Aug 2013


The first Migrant Hawkers have appeared and were enjoying the sun, with a Brown Hawker and 10 Common Darters.


Juv Little Owl 10th Aug

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

A much cooler day than of  late with a brisk north-westerly and dull cloud, not ideal conditions for comfortable watching, but still a fair few birds about with 5ad + 2 juv Sandwich Terns, 2 Juv +  2nds-w Med Gulls and a very showy ad Kittiwake.

Juv Med Gull Seaforth NR 10th Aug 2013

2 Juv Med Gulls Seaforth NR 10th Aug 2013

Juv Med Gull Seaforth NR 10th Aug 2013

Ads Kittiwake Seaforth NR 10th Aug 2013


Highlight of the day was seeing a juvenile Little Owl that has fledged and left the nest site, its not known how many juvs there may be, as only one had been seen prior to this, last year two birds were seen at the fledging stage but sadly both died not long after, lets hope this years survives.

Juv Little Owl Seaforth NR 10th Aug 2013

Juv Little Owl Seaforth NR 10th Aug 2013


Lower numbers of waders due to the tide height, but still 300+ Knot, 170 Dunlin, 48 Blackwit, 2 Turnstone and a single Common Sand.


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13th Jan 2014

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Photo Equipment Used

The photos on this site are mainly digi-scoped thru a Leica 77 telescope, using a Nikon Coolpix 995 3.4 MP for the older shots and the more recent shots are with a Fujifilm Finepix Z20 10 MP and a Samsung NV9  hand held to the eye-piece.

Also a Canon DSLR 40D with a 28-90 mm, 80-200mm lenses, 350D, Sigma 500mm f4,5 APO EX DG HSM, 7D.

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