Birding Fife

I've been working in Fife this week and managed to pick up three decent birds, Collared Flycatcher, female King Eider and Subalpine Warbler.

Collared Flycatcher.

Female King Eider.

Havannah flash

Short walk around the Flash

Buzzard 3 over
Grey heron 2
Canada goose 2
Swallows 4
Pied wagtail
Reed buntings seen in  the reed beds
Mallards /Coots/Moorhen.

Back garden moth trapping

Moths caught last night 29/4/2014

Hebrew character 2
Marbled brown     1
Early grey 1
Common carpet 1
Light brown apple moth 3
Chalk carpet 1??
Several Pipistrelle bats were observed flying through my garden from 8-45pm onwards.

Kirkby Moss

Just out of area but a nice little muddy pond held 2 little ringed plover, 2 shelduck and 2 lapwing

Paul B

Sent from my iPod


2 shelduck and 2 gadwall at Newton Lake and lots of mud ......

3 common tern at Carr mill dam

Paul B

Sent from my iPod

Moth trapping at home

Eriocrania subpurpurella 1
Caloptilia rufipennella 1
Brown House-moth 1
Mompha subbistrigella 3
Light Brown Apple Moth 2
Twenty Plume Moth 1
Small Phoenix 2
White-spotted Pug 1
Double-striped Pug 1
Iron Prominent 1
Hebrew Character 1

I had a quick look down Barrow Lane in Winwick on my way home from work...

Yellow wagtail 2
White wagtail 1
Corn Bunting 1 heard
30+ stock dove

Damian P

One good tern .....

Thanks to a tip of I had to quickly turn of the dinner and dash to see a belting back tern.

The picture doesn't do it justice

Nice to see the @sthelensbirds lot out in force with Austin M, Dot and Damian x2 all present

Black Tern, Eccleston Mere

Black Tern on Eccleston Mere this afternoon. Thanks to John for the info. More photos on my blog.

Eccleston Mere

Mandarin 2 (male & female)
Common Tern 2
Kingfisher 1
Mute Swan 2 adults
Gadwall 1 male
Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs

Sankey Valley

We had a quick walk down Sankey Valley this afternoon to feed the ducks. I heard two reed warblers singing from the reeds across the road from the visitors centre in one of the first reed beds.

Reed Warbler 2

Damian P

Havannah flash

Two Common terns on the Flash this morning 11am, along with four Buzzards overhead.

Eccleston Mere

Little Ringed Plover seen this morning at 08:45.  Also 3 Common Tern

Eccleston Mere

Two common tern reported at the Mere today and also a brief sighting of what was possibly a pied flycatcher flying out from the alders near the houses.

Info and photo from an email from Dave Humphreys

The two tern were still there when I popped in after work at 6.00 pm.

Damian P

Brown Geese update

The two geese on the grass verge off the A58 are Greylag Geese, they were on the roundabout just before the main road to Knowsley Safari Park at 12.30pm.

Back garden moth trapping

A disappointing night as I only caught two moths in the trap, hope things will pick up in the next couple of weeks.
Moths caught 24/04/2014

Muslin moth =1
Early grey = 1

Brown Geese - Prescot

I was on my way to work this morning and saw two brown geese on the grass verge on the A58 St Helens Road just after the Wellington pub on the way to Knowsley Safari Park. They were brown with pink/orange bills and I think about the size of a canada goose. My first thought was pink-footed but it's getting late for them to still be here - they could have been something rarer. If anyone is around the area, it'd be great if you could have a look to confirm what they are - I saw them at 8.45.

Damian P

Havannah Flash

Just a short walk around the Flash at dinner time and was surprised to come across a Fox out and about at this time of day, it even posed for a quick photo. Other sightings were,

Buzzard = 1
Kingfisher = 1
Swallow = 1

Ingleton Falls

We took the kids around Ingleton Falls over the Easter weekend. It was really busy so I was surprised to see any birds but there were loads of wheatear and meadow pipit around and the highlight was this dipper - the best view I've ever had of one...

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

I popped in to the Mere on my way home from work to check if any terns had dropped in. There were no terns but the male and female mandarin were posing for me...

Damian P

Billinge Hill & Around

A quick jaunt up the lump produced my first Whitethroat of the year.

Other birds:
2 raven
6 swallows
Willow warbler

There were also at least 7 wheatear in the field behind the farm near to Mountains Farm

Paul B

Sent from my iPod

Moth trapping at home

Still very quite at the moment due to poor weather conditions
Double-striped Pug 1
Early Thorn 1
Common Quaker 2
Hebrew Character 2
Herald 1

Eccleston Mere

Common Sandpiper 1
Mandarin 1 male
Whitethroat 3 singing
Blackcap 8+ singing
Willow Warbler 10+ singing
Chiffchaff 2 singing
House Martin 10
Sand Martin 20
Swallow 20
Mute Swan 2 adults

Feels like a good day for a Black Tern to me....

Dairy Farm Road

I went to Dairy Farm Road twice today, the first time on a bike ride with the family and the second to retrieve a bunny rabbit finger puppet! I didn't need much excuse to go back again though.

Wheatear 1m
Corn bunting 2 singing from the telephone wires
Whitethroat 1 heard
Mistle thrush 4
A few blackcap, willow warbler and chiffchaff heard

The farmer is ploughing up the first field on the left, the lapwing didn't look too happy about this.
Damian P

Moth Trapping

Below is a small list of Moths caught in my back garden during April, I only trap moths three times a week to avoid trapping the same ones over and over.
Early Grey = 9
Hebrew Character = 12
Early Thorn = 3
Common Quaker = 2

Eccleston Mere.

Quite quiet this morning.
Male& Female GS Woodpecker
Tree creeper
Reed Bunting
Willow Warbler
Sand Martin
Pied/ white Wagtail
Great Crested Grebe
All the usual common stuff.
Nice stroll though ( not a single Chiffchaff heard)
Howard 😃

Sent from my iPhone

Out and about locally

Wheatear 2
White Wagtail 2
Whitethroat 1
Tree Sparrow 2
Swallow 2
Kestrel 1
Meadow Pipit 40+
Mistle Thrush 2
Wheatear 9
Grey Partridge 6
Oystercatcher 2
Shelduck 2
Grey Partridge 2
Corn Bunting 6 singing
Yellowhammer 4
Skylark 10+
Brown Hare 2

Dairy Farm Rd, Rainford

Taking the little one for a sleepy drive has its benefits!

The merlin was on a kill until some lapwings gave it what for! Presumably the same bird Colin had earlier in the day.

Rainford Mosslands

Merlin 1 female Dairy Farm Road
Whitethroat 1 singing Dairy Farm Road
Yellow Wagtail 2 males Dairy Farm Road
Wheatear 2 Dairy Farm Road, 2 Old Coach Road, 2 Rainford bypass
Corn Bunting 1 Dairy Farm Road

Merlin. More photos on my blog.

Happy Hour again ...

A quick visit in the early evening rain to Eccleston Mere in the hope of hearing this mornings grasshopper warbler proved fruitless.

However, the rain had brought down large numbers of hirundines including at least 4 house martins, my first of the year.

There must've been at least 100 swallows plus maybe 40 sand martins.

Other birds inc:
Reed bunting
Grey heron
Great crested grebe

Paul B

Sent from my iPod

Eccleston Mere

Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling in second hedge on the right from the yacht club
House Martin 1
Sand Martin 20
Swallow 15
Blackcap 5 singing
Willow Warbler 5 singing
Chiffchaff 4 singing
Gadwall 4 (2 males, 3 females)
Mandarin 2 (male & female)

Moth tapping at home

Eriocrania subpurpurella 2
Agonopterix heracliana 2
Twenty-plume Moth 2
Common Plume Moth 1
Flame Carpet 1
Brindled Pug 1
Double-striped Pug 1
Common Quaker 1
Early Grey 1

Small Lake Off Mill Brow Sutton Leach

A casual record of a common sandpiper at 5.50pm today at the small lake off Mill Brow, Sutton Leach, SJ5292.
Steve Christmas

Houghton's Green Flash

I finally had a look around Houghton's Green Flash today after meaning to go there for years. If anyone else is going, I parked on the other side of the M6 on New Lane and then walked down Smithy Lane, across the bridge and along the public footpath to the Flash.

Little Ringed Plover 4-6
Common Sandpiper 2
Dunlin 2
Yellow wagtail 1
White Wagtail 1
Swallows and sandmartins about 15 of each
Wigeon 1
Tufted Ducks 5
Lots of linnets and and few meadow pipits

The Little Ringed Plovers were hard to count as there were a few kids walking around in front of me flushing them off, there were definitely 4 but probably 6.

I'll be back again now I know where to park! (Thanks Colin for the info)

Damian P

Madness at Red Rocks

If anyone doesn't already know about the disastrous situation at Red Rocks, have a read of this article - Madness at Red Rocks by Richard Smith...

Billinge Hill + surrounding area

Myself and Paul did a lap around Billinge Hill yesterday. The highlights were...

Raven 2
Grey Partridge 2
Blackcap 3
Willow warbler 3
Swallow 5
Treecreeper 1
Nuthatch 1
Goldcrest 2
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Jay 7

Damian P

Coach Road

Flock of 70+ curlew landed in a field to the west of the Coach Road, near the railway bridge.

Chris McEntee

Newton Lake

I called in at Newton Lake this morning on the off chance that the Ring-necked Duck had returned, but no sign of it, just a handful of tufties. Also 3 Gadwall.

Newton Lake

No sign of the ring necked duck this morning, should have gone last night. I had a walk to Rob Lane with another birder and heard my first willow warbler of the year. Not much consolation though!

Willow warbler 1 singing
Blackcap 1 singing
Lesser redpoll 1
Nuthatch 1
Chiffchaff 5+
Gadwall pair
Teal 3
Shelduck 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Buzzard 1

Damian P

Mistle Thrush

I found a mistle thrush sat on its nest in Billinge plants this afternoon. My question is do both birds of this species take turns to incubate the eggs or is it down to the female only? The reason I ask is because when I found it the bird was more visible and looked bigger than when I went back later to photograph it. It may be that later it was just lower down in the nest, maybe because it was cooler and was getting ready for night-time. Or on the other hand the male may have replaced the female; im assuming the female is larger!

Newton Lake mega

Newton lake, male Ringed-necked Duck on the lake with tufted duck also 2 shelduck. Peter.

Moss Lane

I had a walk down Moss Lane this evening after work. The sun came out just as I got there making all the yellowhammer stand out like jewels against the newly ploughed fields. My first swallow of the year flew through and the corn bunting were singing away again.

Swallow 1
Yellowhammer 30+
Corn bunting 3
Stock dove 4
Linnet 5+
Skylark 10+

Brown Hare 2

Also after 4 years of living here, we've finally got birds nesting in the garden - a pair of bluetits have chosen to nest in the box with a camera in. There's no eggs yet but I'll try and work out a way of capturing some images and put them on here if they lay any.

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

Sand Martin 4
Blackcap 2 singing
Chiffchaff 4 singing
Mute Swan 3
Gadwall 3
Reed Bunting 5 males

Penkford Flash

Penkford Flash, NLW from the bridge. 1Green Sandpiper, 17 Teal, 2 LBB Gulls. Peter.

Eccleston Mere

Shoveler 2 (m&f)
Teal 7 (4mm, 3ff)
Oystercatcher 2
Chiffchaff 2 singing
Kingfisher 1

Just a quick look this morning, no sign of the Ring Ouzel.