Houghtons Lane and Moss Lane

After the Mere I thought Id have a look down Moss Lane to see if there were any redwing about. On the way I drove down Houghtons Lane and saw about 40 rooks in one of the fields - I don't often see rooks in St Helens.

When I got to Moss Lane, I possibly saw a few redwing in the hedges around the sheep field  but two people walked past and they flew off before I could get close.

I saw a very distant raptor soaring around which drew my attention - I had my suspicions but had to take a photo and then zoom in to be more certain - it looks like a peregrine to me.

Peregrine 1
Kestrel 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Grey Partridge heard distantly
Yellowhammer 15+
Pied Wagtail 20+
Meadow Pipit 1
Jay 1
Mistle Thrush 2

Peregrine  Falcon
Meadow Pipit

I also found this fungus, but know nothing about them - I'm guessing shaggy inkcap from a quick google search but confirmation would be welcome.

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

There were boats out on the Mere so I wasn't expecting to find much there and unfortunately wasn't disappointed! At least the boats pushed all the coot to one end making them slightly easier to count...

Coot 130+
Tufted duck 4
Little Grebe 2
Kestrel 1
Mute Swan 3

Damian P

Billinge Hill

Myself and Paul went for a walk around Billinge this morning. There wasn't much in the way of over-head passage but there seemed to be distant flocks of pink-feet all over the place.
We walked across towards Mountains Farm and could see a flock of pink-feet coming in to land somewhere near Heaton House, sure enough as we got closer we could see a large flock of pink-feet in the fields behind Heaton House and yet more geese coming in to land.

Pink-Footed Geese 2-3000 and lots more in the distance
Raven 1
Tree Sparrow 5
Redwing 10-15 near to Mountains Farm
Goldcrest - a few calling in the pine copse on the way to Mountain's Farm
Kestrel 2 being mobbed by crows
Few pied wagtails and meadow pipits over
Jackdaw - a few flocks
Jay 3
Buzzard 3
Yellowhammer 1 (heard)

and reported by Paul on the way back to his car...

Bullfinch 2
Sparrowhawk 1

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

Snipe 2
Pochard 2 (2 males)
Pink footed goose 70 over north
Little grebe 2
Tufted duck 35
Redwing 10
Goldfinch 100
Goldcrest 1
Mute swan 3

Good to see a couple of snipe in the fields, but nothing like the numbers of a couple of years ago when there were also a few jack snipe. The fields where much wetter then though.

Eccleston Mere

I had the afternoon off today so had a quick look around the mere to see if the wind had blown anything in...
Pochard 5 (1f, 4m)
Little Grebe 2
Tufted duck 35
Goldcrest 1
Blackcap 1f
Grey wagtail 1
Willow tit 1 heard in dead wood
Jay 1
Kingfisher 1
Mute swan 4 (2 adult, 2 juv)

Damian P

Hilbre Island

I went to Hilbre for the first time ever yesterday, I've been wanting to go for years. It was a cracking day - the scenery around there is amazing.

There were loads of birds around including:

Brent Geese
Oystercatchers (hundreds)
Great Crested Grebe
Meadow Pipit (on middle eye and Hilbre)
Wheatear (on middle eye)
Great black-backed Gull

Brent Geese

Meadow Pipit
Ringed Meadow Pipit

Damian P

Possible Merlin or Hobby (?)

I was around the Promised land farm area late this afternoon and there were quite a few Buzzards and kestrels about. Then the following came into view. Its a poor picture cos it was quite rushed but I noticed the whitish neck and thought it may be something different from a kestrel; a hobby or a merlin? Ive never seen either before so can anyone id it?

Seven Stars, Eccleston

A grey wagtail on the roof of the Seven Stars seen while driving to work this morning.

Old Coach Road, Dairy Farm Road

We all went for a walk around the Old Coach Road this afternoon. There wasn't really much about and for most of the walk I could hear bursts of distant pink-footed geese calls but couldn't see them. As we were getting towards the end, thousands of  pink-footed geese took to the air from around about here - http://binged.it/1s7P68Y and flew off over Rainford in a few separate flocks. It was an amazing and very noisy sight. I'm not very good at estimating large numbers but I'd say there were over 2000. My five year old thought there were 'about a willion' but I think I'll go with my estimate!

Pink-footed geese 2000+
Raven 2
Jay 3
Skylark 10

One of the large skeins of pink-footed geese over Rainford

Damian P

New Cut Lane

I went for a look for redwing, fieldfare and hopefully brambling today around New Cut Lane although it's probably a bit early yet. I didn't find any of these - the best thing I saw was yet another stoat! I'd only ever seen one stoat before the one I saw In July and I've seen three more since then.

Yellowhammer 15
Linnet 4
Bullfinch 1 heard
Goldcrest 1 heard
Buzzard 1
Kestrel 2
Jay 2

Stoat 1

Damian P

France 2014

We went on a family holiday to Normandy this August and I managed to get in a bit of birding while I was there. The best birds were the 5 or 6 storks that we saw in various fields when driving around. The first one I saw was joined by two others just as I got my camera ready so was lucky enough to catch them landing. The firecrest was one of 3 I saw/heard over the two weeks - interestingly I only heard one goldcrest. Also seen were 6 spotted flycatchers and a marsh tit on a walk through the forest west of saint sauveur le vicomte. It's taken me ages to get around to uploading these...


Damian P

Dairy Farm Road and Old Coach Road

I did a lap around Dairy Farm Road and the Old Coach Road this afternoon. There were pink-footed geese around everywhere, mainly flying around but a flock of around 100 in the fields next to Sidings Lane, and a huge flock of around 1500 in the field at the end of Dairy Farm Road. I had a good look through them trying to find something less common and eventually found a single Barnacle goose (and two Canada goose) - no white-fronted though. (photos to follow later) The geese were still arriving when I left at around 6.15.

Barnacle Goose 1
Pink-footed geese about 1600
Grey Partridge 1
Chiffchaff 1
Skylark - about 20
Meadow pipit about 10 heard
Kestrel 3
Mistle Thrush 2

Stoat 1 (brief glimpse of it running across Dairy Farm Road in front of a car)
Brown Hare 1

Damian P

Barnacle Goose among the Pink-Footed Geese