Trip reports

RSPB Liverpool Group RSPB Burton Mere Trip and Boathouse Xmas Meal 7th December 2019

RSPB Liverpool Group RSPB Burton Mere Trip and Boathouse Xmas Meal 7th December 2019
Paul Wakelam

Saturday, 7 December 2019

And so we came to the group's last field trip of 2019 - the annual visit to RSPB Burton Mere, followed by Christmas lunch at The Boathouse, Parkgate.

On a mild, grey day we started in the visitor centre (Reception Hide) overlooking the main scrape, scanning the water and islands for waders and ducks, and were rewarded with... a male peregrine, sitting on one of the islands, choosing lunch from the 'menu' of water birds around it. After a while, it took off, flying low over black-tailed godwits and wigeon, then, clearly still undecided, returned to its island. A marsh harrier seemingly perched on some reeds (obviously a post in amongst them) caught our attention then, and so some of us missed the peregrine, lunch choice now made, taking off again, selecting a black-tailed godwit and settling down with it. But no! Lunch wasn't to be: a carrion crow had other ideas, and we watched in awe as the peregrine, thoroughly frustrated, chased one bird away, putting on a spectacular turn of speed, then flew off empty-taloned.

Speaking of Christmas, it was time for the group to split up. Some made the short journey to the Boathouse and a fine Christmas lunch attended by a male hen harrier, great and little egrets, and views of three marsh harriers in the skies at the same time over the marsh. One of our number lingered at Burton Mere, enjoying a pleasant wander through the crisp leaves along Gorse Covert woodland trail, with views of a sparrowhawk amongst the trees, and a final visit to Reception Hide, which produced two marsh harriers interacting in the sky over the reedbed.

Thanks to all group officials, volunteers and members for another great year. Don't forget to get your year lists off to a good start with us on 11th January 2020.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Burton Mere day list

Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Canada geese, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Common buzzard, Common redpoll, Common shelduck, Common teal, Coot, Curlew, Dunlin, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great tit, Great-spotted woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greylag geese, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Mediterranean gull, Moorhen, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Peregrine, Pink-footed geese, Pintail, Raven, Redshank, Robin, Rook, Shoveler, Siskin, Sparrowhawk, Stock dove, Wigeon, Wood pigeon

Parkgate - additional species
Great egret
Hen harrier (male)
Little egret