News archive

April 2007

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Wheatear in spring

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside !

After getting past the tight security now in place at this site, we spent a few hours at this most unusual reserve in the Liverpool Docks. Almost immediately we came across up to 10 wheatears, 8 white wagtails several swifts feeding over the pool together with a single whimbrel flying over - so we knew migration was certainly on the go. Brief and distant views of a common sandpiper were disappointing made doubly so by the fact that it promptly disappeared! Feeding or roosting on the site were black tailed godwit, ring and 1 little ringed plover together with the usual redshank, curlew and dulin. Gadwall, tufted duck, goldeneye and teal made up the wildfowl contingent at the site. However, the bird we had all really come to see, the little gull, gave us spectacular views. We had birds in full adult: sub adult and 1st winter plumages together with views of them flying and on the ground. Aside from the fact that we were birdwatching in the docks and that we could see huge ships sailing past on the Mersey, we knew we were close to the sea by the huge numbers of cormorant that flew in to roost on the shingle beach of the pool. They stood motionless with their wings out looking like the bird worlds version of the gormley iron men who frequent the crosby beach not far away!