Trip reports

2014 New year Big day out Birdwatch

2014 New year Big day out Birdwatch
Garston shore - Laura Bimson

Sunday, 5 January 2014

24 bravely ventured out on our new year birdwatch, a promising start weather wise rapidly went down hill at dinner time, when as we say in Liverpool 'It chucked it down' and we had to take shelter in our cars and Sefton park's cafe.

Garston shore is usually good for waders and we were not disappointed; after gawping at a wily fox on the tide line for 5 minutes we focused on the birds. On the mudflats/marshes we saw redshank, ringed plover, oystercatcher, turnstone and dunlin. Various gulls were parading including some Gt black back's feeding on a dead fish. Swans were on the river alongside Canadian geese, widgeon, shelduck, mallard and teal.

Walking along the path, smaller foragers were found, wren, reed bunting, goldfinch, blackbird, dunnock, robin, great and blue tits.
A splendid male pheasant trotted along the shore at the bottom of the embankment, accompanied by a rabbit!

The fields in between the industrial units and the pathway have proved fruitful in the past and have revealed hidden gems. Several curlew were feeding on the grass in the field. Some members of the group formed our usual 'flushing' party line ready to sweep a particulary wet field with pools, while the rest of us moved ahead of them ready to see what their activities might achieve. Success, first to flush was meadow pipit, then skylark, and best of all snipe and jack snipe.
No peregrine on the units today, but we did see kestrel and buzzard.

Moving on to our next stop Sefton park. Eventually the downpour abated and set off around the lake. All the usual suspects where there, mute swans with Cygnet's, Canadian geese, mallards, a cormorant, a zillion black headed gulls with a few common gulls in the mix, however stars of the lake had to be half a dozen or so little grebes ducking and diving in the rain. No mandarins or tufties today.

We headed to the feeding station, here with the squirrels and pigeons were great and blue tits, robins, blackbirds, gt spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, crows, magpies, collared dove and jay. No parakeets, so we moved on further down the path towards the fairy glen. A flock of long tailed tits were busy feeding, in the same tree as a super little treecreeper.
A squeaky dog call alerted us to parakeets being in the vicinity, but where? eventually Chris espied one in a large tree by the palm house, in fact on closer observation there turned out to be not one but five bright green keets, unbothered by us or the miserable weather.

We decided to make a quick diversion to the nearby Greenbank Park as the last venue of the day. Here was a forlorn single male tufted duck swimming with the mallards and Aylesbury duck hybrids. Mistle thrushes fed in the field adjacent to the park, but no foreign thrushes fieldfare and redwing. A solitary Grey heron sat on the raft in the middle of the lake, a patient, stealthy predator, waiting for his fish dinner to swim past.
In the end we had seen 58 species in total, not a bad tally for a curtailed trip in less than clement weather!

Blackbird, Black Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Geese, Carrion Crow,Chaffinch, Collared Dove
Common Gull, Common Snipe, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin,Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Black Backed Gull, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Jack Snipe, Jay, Kestrel, Linnet, Lesser back backed Gull, little Grebe ,Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Ring Necked Parakeet, Ringed Plover,Robin,Skylark, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Treecreeper,Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Whooper Swan, Widgeon, Wood Pigeon, Wren.