Eccleston Mere

Gadwall (3f,2m)
Tufted duck 2
Fieldfare 25+ one flock heading south
Redwing 5+ including one in the trees in the dead wood
Goldfinch 60+
Siskin 5+
Lesser redpoll 3
Kingfisher 1
GS Woodpecker 1m
Kestrel 1m
Water rail heard in SW corner
It's hard to accurately count the finches as they're a mixed flock and are very mobile. Hopefully the coming storm will get rid of some more leaves to make things easier!

Damian P

Eccleston mere

Wigeon 1 female
Pochard 2 (male & female)
Gadwall 4 (2 males, 2 females)
Little grebe 2 (juvs)
Chiffchaff 1 in hedge by the stream
Lesser redpoll 8
Siskin 1
Willow tit 1
Goldcrest 4
Coal tit 2
Pink-footed goose 30 distantly over Catchdale moss, flying west.

Eccleston Mere

Gadwall 5 (2 males, 3 females)
Pochard 2 (male & female)
Willow Tit 1
Jackdaw 300 roosting on the island
Kingfisher 1

I was hoping for a skua, a gannet, or even a phalarope this evening (there's been a few inland records in other parts of the country this week), but unfortunately none today. Perhaps tomorrow following these winds....

Eccleston Mere

Pochard 2 (1m,1f)
Siskin 1(f) in the dead wood
Redpoll 3 in the dead wood
Goldfinch 20
Nuthatch 1
Chiffchaff 1 half heartedly singing/calling
Kestrel 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Nice to see a few finches back at the mere.
As I left the house this morning, 5 skylark were trilluping above me. I also had a look up Green Lane for redwing and fieldfare but there were none about.


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Eccleston Mere

Redwing 100 over NE
Fieldfare 50 over NE
Gadwall 5 (2 males, 3 females)
Chiffchaff 1
Kingfisher 1
Grey wagtail 1
Treecreeper 2

Quite unusual to see Redwings and Fieldfares heading north east at this time of the year. Normally I see them heading south west!

Eccleston Mere

Skylark 50 over SW in two flocks
Grey wagtail 1
Kingfisher 1
Chiffchaff 2

Eccleston Mere

Water rail 1 in SW corner
Teal 3 in wet woodland
Grey wagtail 1
Buzzard 1
Chiffchaff 1
Tufted duck 2

It's hard to know if this is the same water rail as that seen yesterday. The south west corner is a favoured spot for water rail, but yesterdays bird was in the wet woodland. There's a lot of habitat for water rails, and it would be no surprise if there was more than one.

Eccleston Mere

Water rail 1 in wet woodland at the south end
Teal 2 in the wet woodland
Willow tit 1 in hedge by the stream
Tufted duck 6
Kingfisher 1

Glossy Ibis, Horwich

I was working in Manchester today and so took a bit of a detour on the way home to see the Glossy Ibis in Horwich. I don't really do twitches very often but they've been there for almost two weeks now and I knew it was going to be pretty certain that I'd see them. There were quite a few people there with huge lenses, a few birders, and a few locals just coming along to see what all the fuss was about. My photos weren't great because I was looking into the sun but it was great to see such rare, exotic looking birds in such a normal setting. I'm off to Leasowe tomorrow night after work for the Turtle Dove, I might just get into this twitching lark...

Damian P

Yellow browed warbler in Rainford

30/9/2013 Derby Drive, Rainford 9am
I woke up on Monday morning and went down to the kitchen. I had just put the kettle on when I heard a bird call from the garden although not overly familiar with the species I had a pretty good hunch as to what it was. I grabbed my "garden bins" as a small bird flew from a Leylandii to a large Rowan. It was a Goldcrest. The bird could still be heard as another small bird dropped in, a calling Chiffchaff. Then another Goldcresrt and two more Chiffchaffs. I could still hear the other bird calling and when I lifted my bins to yet another small bird i nearly dropped them. There in the rowan was an absolutely pristine Yellow Browed Warber. Smaller than the accompanying Chiffchaffs and slightly larger, more elongated than a Goldcrest, its long bright supercilium and double wing bars almost glowing. It didn't stay still for long and flitted about  the tree with the other birds. Then panic set in. My camera was still in the car having been to see the Glossy Ibis in Horwich a couple of days before. Suddenly the whole flock flew from the Rowan heading west. I ran to the car, grabbed my camera and spent the next hour hanging out of our bedroom window hoping it would return. I was an hour late for work by this time so had to leave. I shot back at lunchtime and spent another hour hoping for its return but the little sprite didnt come back. So that was it my best garden tick ever and what a cracking little bird. Unsurprisingly I have spent the week grilling every small bird that has come into the garden.

Kings Moss and Bickerstaffe

Large flock of Greenfinches on King's Moss (on Pimbo Lane near Maddocks Farm - look for roadwork type barriers in the field where a pipe is being laid) Saturday afternoon. Feeding on stubble field.
Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipits and Starlings also present. 

A little further afield , New Way Farm , New Way , Bickerstaffe. 15 Curlew feeding in field late afternoon.

From an email from Dave Humphreys

See the GALLERY for more photos


Billinge Hill

I went looking for yellow-browed warblers this morning but no luck...
Grey partridge 2
Goldcrest 4
Bullfinch 1(f)
Coal tit 1 (heard)
Nuthatch 1 (heard)
Treecreeper 1
Chiffchaff 2
Tree sparrow 20+
Kestrel 2
Great spotted woodpecker 1
Jay 3
Lots of yellowhammer and meadow pipit and a few skylark from the summit. No redwing or fieldfare yet.
Grey Partridge
Damian P

Billinge Hill

A quick trip up the patch today produced some interesting results.

Jay x5
Mistle thrush x18 feeding along the road up
Song thrush x2
Bullfinch x3
Great spotted woodpecker juvenile
Willow tit
Yellowhammer x6
Tree sparrow x2
Linnet - just one!?!
Blackcap female

The last sighting was the most pleasing on several fronts. Firstly a blackcap this late in the year could mean that it's a migrant and furthermore that it could be a over-winterer .... But perhaps better than that was the fact that it was feeding on some seed I had placed out earlier. It just goes to show that everyone can do there big to help wildlife in the upcoming tough winter months.

The presence of more than two bullfinch ie a pair plus all those mistle thrush gave it a winter feel today, bring on the red wings and field fares!

Old Coach Road

Had a nice walk around the Old Coach Road with my wife today. It was the first day we've had without the kids for years!

I think I saw a merlin but can't be sure. When I initially saw it with the naked eye I thought it was swift-like in shape. It then started to repeatedly dive-bomb the flocks of meadow pipits and was really nimble in flight. It never came that close for me to get a decent view and I'm not familiar enough to id it from it's jizz. I know I've never seen a kestrel or a sparrowhawk flying like that though. The other possibility is hobby but I'm not familiar enough with that species to id it from jizz either. Is the dive bombing particular to one of these species? I had brief views of another raptor later on that I wasn't immediately familiar with and managed a few more shots - see the gallery.

(I've put a post on the bird forum Id thread about the two raptors... )

Peregrine 1 (see bird forum thread)
Pink-footed geese around 400 in separate skeins
Curlew 7 in the grass field to the West of the Old Coach Road
15+ skylark
30+ meadow pipit
1 swallow

Update - I've taken off the possible merlin. The general consensus on the bird forum thread was a kestrel from the photos. I've never seen one behave like that though!! You learn something every day!

Update 2 - The merlin/kestrel was most likely a hobby!, but I'll never be sure.

Damian P