Mersey Birders

Birding the North West

Birders Diary Blog

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.


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.

Not much change 8th Aug

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Despite good conditions for bringing in new migrants, not much has changed from yesterdays log, still at least 1 Reed and 2+ Sedge Warblers in the reedbed, the Little Owl was showing first thing, a few Swallows moved south but nowhere near the numbers of yesterday.

Great Crested Grebe in heavy moult Seaforth NR 8th Aug 2013

Juv and ads Black-tailed Godwits Seaforth NR 8th Aug 2013

Two Juv Med gulls and an adw were amongst reduced numbers of gulls in, but still good numbers of waders, with 4 juv Black-tailed Godwits amongst 53 ads, 287 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Common Sands, 2 Ringed Plover, 950 Dunlin and 1800 Knot.

One of this years Juv Common Terns  Seaforth NR 8th Aug 2013

Common Tern Seaforth NR 8th Aug 2013


1sts Common Tern Seaforth NR 8th Aug 2013

Juv Med Gull Seaforth NR 8th Aug 2013

Peacock Passage 7th Aug

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Light SE winds induced a steady movement of Swallows, the first big south bound push this Autumn, with several hundred noted, 2 Sand Martin, 15 House Martin and 10 Swift, also on the move and in big numbers were Peacock Butterflies, streaming across the pool all heading south at different heights, an estimated 500+ during the day.


Also on the move were 2-3 Sedge Warblers calling from the reedbed, along with 3 singing Reed Warblers, and 3 Meadow Pipits begin the return of migrants.


Wader numbers are still impressive on the saltwater pool mud, !000+ Dunlin, 1800 knot, 151 Bar-tailed Godwit, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sand and 1 Curlew Sand still.

Dunlin flock Seaforth NR 7th Aug 2013


Single ads Little Gull and ads Kittiwake, 2 juv, a 1sts-2ndw and  adw Med Gulls were amongst the gulls.

Ad + Juv Sandwich Terns Seaforth NR 7th Aug 2013

Dunlin new high count 4th Aug

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A scan of the saltwater pool quickly revealed a lot of waders, in fact, huge numbers, the whole area of exposed mud was covered in feeding or roosting waders, mostly Dunlin, and it became obvious that they had jumped from 1200 from the day before to what is probably a record count of 2300.

A "Nemo" shaped ballon drifted across the reserve


Just one Curlew Sandpiper was noted amongst them, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone, 320 Bar-tailed Godwits, 63 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Curlew, 2 Common Sands, 1100 Knot and an ads Sanderling.

Ad Little Grebe Seaforth NR 4th Aug 2013


Two colour ringed/flagged Dunlin were noted at close range, but so far the colour ringing scheme that they belong to, hasn't been tracked down, mainly due to email addresses not being updated in which to contact them.

Eclipse male Shoveler Seaforth NR 4th Aug 2013


The Little Owl was sat on the screen to the right of hide A upon approach to the hide, while 65 Swifts flew up and down the long bank feeding with 15 House Martins and 1 Swallow.


Two Juv and an adw Med Gull were in the meagre amount of gulls  roosting,  which seems to be a new regular feature for Sundays, also a really fresh juv Common Gull.

Juv Med Gull Seaforth NR 4th Aug 2013

Juv Med Gull Seaforth NR 4th Aug 2013


Close Meds 3rd Aug

Posted on August 4, 2013 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The 1st August post, I said there had been no movement or change amongst the ducks, today the first scan of the pool from the walk in, revealed a juv Wigeon amongst the Tufted duck, which also had an increase with 18 more to 118, the next full moon should see an even bigger increase in duck numbers and hopefully species.


The Little Owl was sat out near hide A first thing, a decent flock of 55 Swift were feeding over the long bank and pool, with 2 Sand and 10 House Martins.


A check of the waders on the mud of the salt water pool, produced 1200 Dunlin and now 3 ads Curlew Sands, and impressive numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot with 417 and 1700 respectively, 3 Ringed Plovers, 5 Turnstone, 2 Common Sand and 54 Black-tailed Godwits, including the first juv of the autumn.


Good numbers of gulls in again with a large juv Yellow-legged Gull on Cormorant island, Juv Common and 2 Juv, a 1sts-2ndw, 2nds and 2 ad, the 1sts-2ndw had a green darvic ring, which looks likely to be a German bird, and the 2nds bird had no rings and was a new bird seen, also one ad had a yellow darvic 2E26, this bird has been seen here before but not this year, all ringing info will be posted once back.

2nds Med Gull Seaforth NR 3rd August 2013

This Juv Med about to get a peck on the head from the 2nds Seaforth NR 3rd August 2013


To say the Med Gulls are showing well lately would be an under statement, as one juv flew so close to the hide, it was on the minimum focus distance of the 500mm, and was impossible to fit the whole bird in the frame.

Very close Juv Med Gull Seaforth NR 3rd August 2013

Ad Med Gull "2E26" yellow darvic ringed bird Seaforth NR 3rd Aug 2013

Ad Med Gull "2E26" yellow darvic ringed bird Seaforth NR 3rd Aug 2013


A 2nds Arctic Tern was amongst the Common Tern flock, with 5 ad + 5 juv Sandwich Terns on the tide.

The scowl on this young dog Foxes face is priceless, he's not a happy bunny!



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13th Jan 2014

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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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