Leighton Moss

This morning at Leighton Moss unbelievable views of Bearded  Tits, as well as Cetti's Warbler, Long-tailed Duck and Marsh Harrier. More photos on my blog.

Little Owls in Eccleston

A few years ago, Little Owls could be seen regularly near the farm buildings on Howards Lane.  They disappeared when there was a lot of activity laying a new water pipeline.  For the last two evenings, I have seen two sitting together on the gutter of the barn next to the road at about 6pm.
Chris McEntee

Eccleston Mere

Water Rail 2 in ditch
Tufted Duck 16 (10mm 6ff)
Gadwall 2 (m&f)
Goldcrest 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Fairly Quite afternoon

Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and Red Kite, Moore

So near and yet so far! The Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are showing well at Moore at the moment and on Tuesday I also saw a Red Kite fly over. More photos on my blog.

Eccleston Mere

It was a lovely sunny morning at the mere, spoiled only by a dog doing a wee against my leg as I watched across the fields!...

Kestrel 2
Buzzard 1
Goldcrest 1
Siskin 2
Kingfisher 1
Pochard 5m
GS Woodpecker 1
Reed bunting 4
Grey wagtail 1 on the jetty thing
Skylark 1 over the fields

Also 1 fox in the field behind the boat hut, I wonder if this is the same one that crossed Burrows lane in front of car one morning a few weeks ago?

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

Water Rail 1 in usual spot in western ditch, about 50m from the SW corner.
Oystercatcher 1 flew over. First of the spring.
Siskin 30
Gadwall 2 (m&f)
Pochard 6 mm
Grey Wagtail 1
Black-headed Gull 200
Common Gull 30
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2

Black Grouse, World's End

Ray and I went over to World's End between Wrexham and Llangollen this morning, and saw at least 32 Black Grouse, including 20 lecking males and this bird right alongside the road.

Then it was onto Clocaenog Forest where we saw three Goshawks, including two displaying.

Eccleston Mere

Kingfisher 2 chasing each other around over the water
Siskin 2
Lesser Redpoll 2 in the hedge near the boat hut
Goldcrest 1
Gadwall 2 (1m,1f)
Kestrel 1
Buzzard 1
Reed Bunting 2m

Damian P

A real seagull at Eccleston Mere

After a tip-off from Damian via Colin I get dressed sharpish (lazy SUnday mornings are mandatory in my house!) and headed out to Eccleston Mere to spy and hopefully photograph a kittiwake.
Kittiwakes usually spend the winter out at sea but all this recent awful weather can drive seabirds miles off-track and in some unfortunate cases even leave them far from home with no food.   Worse still if the weather is really bad many a seabird can be found washed up dead along the coast :(
This bird thankfully is not too far from the coast and at one point even came to food when one of the local anglers was baiting the water ...... fingers crossed it remains in good shape, gets to the nearest breeding colony, gets into breeding condition and finds at mate.
Sadly the story does not end their though as kittiwakes are suffering immesely at breeding sites due to reduced numbers of their favourite food - sand eels.  The decline in sand eels is linked to climate change, a warming of the seas has hugely disrupted their breeding patterns.  In some cases kittiwake parents can't find enough food to feed their chicks or bring back the wrong food - either way the chicks die from starvation.  All this is exacerbated by overfishing too.
All is not lost though as you can do something to help many of our conservation organisations have put huge amounts of effort into protecting our sealife and were succesful in helping to push through new laws to create a network of marine proteced areas.  However, this is just the beginning, the fight to protect as many areas as possible given all the threats from interested parties most recently and notable fracking.
Simply by checking out these links and comitting a bit of time to read up on the facts (see http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/marine/ and http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/sealife/index.aspx) you can help protect our internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds and marine wildlife.  If you want to go that bit further you can always support an organisation such as the RSPB or Wildlife Trusts (for the former please see me :) )
So hopefully in the future we can turn the corner and see our seabird numbers go upwards (and maybe even make sightings like this one more common)
Paul B

Eccleston Mere

We called in at the mere on our way home from North Wales, to see if the Kittiwake was still there, which it was at 4.30pm showing very well near the boathouse. Thanks to Colin for the info

Kittiwake, Eccleston Mere

Kittiwake 1 ad win
Water rail 1 in ditch on western side.
Siskin 20
Bullfinch 1
Kingfisher 1
Buzzard 1
Pochard 7 mm
Goldeneye 1 m
Shoveler 1 m

My 5th Kittiwake at the mere, but the first for six years. The last one stayed for three days at least, so there's a chance it will hang around.

Kittiwake (centre) with two black-headed gulls. Not sure what that is near the base of its bill on the right hand side of its face. Perhaps a growth or an infection?

Notice the black legs.

Water rail.

Eccleston Mere

Pintail 1 f
Pochard 6 mm
Gadwall 2 (m&f)
Teal 2 or 3 calling from the wet wood
Tufted duck 13 (8mm, 5ff)
Snipe 3

This was my 7th Pintail at Eccleston Mere, but the first for 10 years. All of the previous birds have appeared singularly and all have been in the Autumn. Initially it was on the water, but after about five minutes flew off towards Prescot Reservoirs.

Red-flanked bluetail, Wiltshire / Gloucestershire border

Myself, Dave and Ray headed down to Wiltshire today to see the spectacular Red-flanked bluetail which has been present for about five days. We had very good views in pretty decent weather. Here's a photo, more on my blog....

Eccleston Mere

The Mere was very choppy this morning, the waves were coming over the sides on the North bank. I don't think I've ever seen so many cormorants at the mere, 8 were hunkered down in the low trees on the leeward side of the island, 4 more were on the water and 1 was flying in as I left. One of them was in breeding plumage with lots of white on it's head, I'd like to have had a photo to exclude sinensis but didn't take my camera, probably just an old male.

Cormorant 13
Pochard 6m
Little Grebe 1
Gadwall 2 (1m,1f)
Sparrowhawk 1


Ravenhead Retail Park Ponds Jan 30th

Ponds between A570 St Helens Linkway and the Ravenhead Retail Park

3+ bullfinches eating the new buds off the trees near the store yard.


Laura H

Eccleston Mere

It was very quiet around the Mere this afternoon probably at least partly because there were motor boats out on the water. The water rail was in the ditch again at the junction of where the stream goes off at right angles over the fields. Every time I've found the rail it has been by accident when looking at something else, when I've actually tried to look for it, I can't find it!

Water rail 1
Gadwall 1f
Teal 2 (1m, 1f) at the back of the wet wood
Pochard 2m
Siskin heard

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

Shoveler 4 (3mm, 1f)
Pochard 16 (13mm, 3ff)
Teal 8
Tufted duck 8
Mute swan 4 (3 ads, 1 juv.)
Kingfisher 1
Lesser redpoll 1
Bullfinch 2

Pink-feet along the bypass

There were quite a few small flocks of Pink-feet today, either flying or on the ground at various points along the Rainford bypass. The largest of these was about 400 feeding on fields next to Windle Island. We briefly called in at Dairy Farm Road, where the flock was reduced to about 500 birds, but in the distance there were a few hundred more at least which seemed to be landing in fields around the Old Coach Road.

Eccleston Mere

There was very little around at the Mere this morning, I was told about the shoveler though as I got there. I think they're the first I've seen at the Mere...

Shoveler 2 (1m,1f)
Mute swan (2m, 1f, 1 juv)
Pochard 15 (12m, 3f)
Little grebe 1
Cormorant 3

Damian P