31/03/2012 Parkgate Marsh

This bird has been hanging around Parkgate for weeks now and has been on the estuary over the winter but due to work commitments I have been unable to get out and see it.

Pink-footed Geese where flying feeding along the marsh behind the Spoonbill

It was snoozing just off the Donkey Sands Flash and very rarely moved to show its amazing spoon shaped bill. It was miles away I got good views in my binoculars but I only had my 300mm lens with me, which struggled with the distance, so I could only get these poor record shots.

Hen Harrier:  Ringtail showing really well of the end of school lane early this morning until it was mobbed y three Crows.


30/03/2012 Martin Mere WWT

Reed Bunting: Many where seen from the Janet Kear bird feeding hide. ther en birds where around feeding. No sign of the Willow Tit or GS Woodie.

Stoat: As I went in to the Ron Barker Hide there were a number of sightings of a Weasel throughout the day. After about half an hour I spotted this fella bounding over the bridge in front of the hide running towards the cattle field.

After closer inspection I could see that the sighting where not of a Weasel but a Stoat. Note the black tip to the tail.

29/03/2012 The Wirral Pininsula

Wheatear: Bagged this bird while looking for Ring Ouzel at Hoylake Lifeboat Station, there has been reports of the Ouzel here yesterday. Unfortunately I didn’t see that bird but both male and female Wheatear where actively feeding around the shore and on the rocks next to the station.
Along with about five Wheatear there was a small flock of Meadow Pipits feeding around on the beach next to the station.

Skylark: On a unsuccessful hunt for Redpoll around West Kirby I came across this little chap sitting on a post.

Chiffchaff: Starting my early morning at Leasowe Lighthouse walking at the back of the reed beds there where at least seven singing up high in the trees. Chaffinch and Great Tits where also abundant and a female Sparrowhawk flew across the horse paddocks.

Linnet: Along the coastal walk in the Gauze Bushes where loads of singing Linnets. There have been reports of two Twite flocking with the but I didn’t not see them.   

24/03/2012 Wigg Island

Tufted Duck: A visit to Wigg Island in Runcorn threw up my first of the year butterflies, Comma, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell. The place was flooded with Chiffchaff and a Blackcap was reported.     

This overlooked male was dabbling with two females and one Mute Swan.

24/03/2012 Red Rocks

White Wagtail: Spotted dancing around Red Rocks off the tip of the Wirral Peninsular a great first for spring 2012 no sign of the target bird though as I went hoping to see a Black Red Start.

23/03/2012 River Dee

Goosander: On the banks of the River Dee just under the bridge past the weir where three stunning Goosander one beautiful white male and Two female. There was also a very active Grey Wag Tail and three Teal feeding in the bud and between the rocks.
Male was very inactive while both females where
vigorously preening and bathing


21/03/2012 Wirral Peninsula

Sanderling: A trip to the Wirral Peninsula starting at New Brighton at high tide relieved Purple Sandpiper, Redshank and Knot on the Pontoon at the Marina Lake. Then to Leasowe Lighthouse where I saw my first Willow Warbler and hared my first Chiffchaff and a Male Blackcap.

I then walked down towards West Kirby via Red Rocks no sign of any wheatear or Black Red Starts but I did see a headless dead seal off Red Rocks and 3 Stonechat.  I also saw a number of Pied Wag Tail off Hoylake shore but could not positively  point out nay White Wags!

16,17,18/03/2012 Coniston Lake District

Great Spotted Woodpecker: A three night stay at a beautiful cottage in Coniston with Dawn and friends turned out to be one of the best birding trips I have had in a very long time.

In the garden of the cottage there was one feeder and we where supplied with bird feed which turned out to be very productive. Almost as soon as it was topped up we had a visit from a GS Woodpecker and a vast array of garden birds who stripped the feeder in hours.

Nuthatch: Nuthatch where also very active on the feeders theses guys are very fast and I never really realised how big they are, compared to the other garden birds.

Coal Tit: A first for the year for me and great to see so close up. I was really impressed with the garden and feeder.

Dipper: on the second day we all took a trip to Coniston Lake and came across a fast flowing stream where there was two very active dipper possible a breeding  pair as I saw them collecting nesting material.

This bird was another lifer for me and what a star bird. Supurb.

Great Tit: Taken from the window. This was a gret place to drink tea in front of thetal haeting and set great close shots.

Willow Tit: After spending hours awaiting a glimpses  of one of theses guys at Martin Mere is was really pleasing to see so many so close up at the cottage.

At least 3 Willow Tits where regular visitors and where not shy as they fed off theround around my feet and off the bench right in front of me.

Willow Tit & Coal Tit: Another picture taken from the window with a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea while standing infront of the heating.

Siskin: This female was only seen once on the first day for only a few seconds and then on the last day as we were leaving so it was a quick dash for the camera.

The stunning yellow male was hanging around the bushes but did not go to the feeders. It was such a shame but still great to see the female at close quarters.

Tawny Owl: On the first night i got the whole house in to the garden to listen to two Tawny Owls calling which inspired me to get up at 5.30am on the last day.

And what a great decision, as I saw three Tawny Owls very close up perching and in flight and hared them making some hell of a noise, possibly a territorial or threat call.
Willow Tit: Other birds of intrest where 2 Kingfisher, 1 female Goosander, Golden Eye, Tuffted Duck and  GC Grebe on Coniston Water.

And thanks to Sam we spotted a Deer along the roadside we think it might of been a Roe Deer. Great find in s stunning place.

Snow Bunting: After a gruelling climb up The Old Man of Coniston I was delighted to see a flock of Snow Bunting at the summit.

Unfortunately the weather closed in just as I reached the top, behind Dawn I may add so they pic was a bit fuzzy but sill great record shot of a great bird in a great place.

14/03/2012 Martin Mere WWT

Goldcrest: A single individual was feeding in the trees at the back of the Janet Kear Hide mid afternoon. One my way home I spotted a Waterail but it got chased of by a Morehen before I could capture a photograph.

The usual suspects where spotted along with Reed Bunting.

Hard bird to photograph as it was constantly
moving and feeding in a mix a shrubs and trees which my camera focus struggled with.

Mallard: In and around the Swan Link Hide included (as the report goes) 700+ Teal, 420 Wigeon, 375 Shelduck, 43 Tufted Duck, 10 Shoveler, 1000 Whooper Swan and 1500+ Pink-feet.
Avocet: There where reports of over 100 Avocet on the reserve I Didn't Try and count them but there where loads.

Ruff, Ringed Plover, Oystercather and Black Tailed Godwitts  where also present at the Ron Barker Hide.

11/03/2012 Burton Marsh

Short Ear Owl: A very nice little ramble down to Burton Marsh revealed very nice close views of 2 Short Ear Owls one of which I nearly missed and thanks to Dawn, my better half who spotted the second.

And viewed from the car parking place we saw the Great White Egret and a Hen Harrier (ring tail).

07/03/2012 Penycae - on the way to Worlds End

Red Legged Partridge: While on a hike to worlds end starting from Nant Mill towards Penycae and then over the Grouse Butts in each farmers field there where tens of Red Legged Partridge often running away from me. Very striking bird but unfortunately I could only snap this record shot.

07/03/2012 Chester Meadows

Mediterranean gull: (the one sitting down) I went down to the meadows for a little ramble and I am so glad I did. I was scanning about 200 Back Headed Gulls and a few Herring Gulls when I came across this little blighter.

Plus a Common Gull right behind standing up! Great find.

Common Gull: (the one on the left in the middle)  Here you can see this larger black winged tipped gull with its yellow slim bill and the differences between the Med Gull With its white wing tips and black head and orange bill. And Black Hed Gulls with their Black Wing tips showing and dark bill.

This Med Gull was the only one there here seen sitting on the main grassy patch on Chester Meadows as you approach from the gate.

The Gull then flew on to the River Dee where he paddled around with a few Balk Headed Gulls. This picture shows the subtle differences between the two.

03/03/2012 Southport Marina Lake

Goosander: Female showing well on the East side of Southport Marina Lake. It was my first time here it was brief but good as along with the Goosander I saw Feildfare and Greylag Geese.
The lake was busy with the usual birds such as 
Moorhen, Coot, Blue Tit, Mute Swan, Mallard and the usual Gulls.

I was hoping for an elusive Med Gull but lady luck was not on my side today.

Mistle Thrush: Seen high in a tree near the old mini railway line.

29/02/2012 The Great Orme

Fulmars: Fantastic Fulmars seen all the way up Marine Drive. Many look like they are getting ready to nest of the cliff edges and many where where getting harassed by the local Jackdaws. Along the coastline where a number of Oystercatcher, Redshank and the usual Gulls.

Further along Marine Drive on the East side of the Orme close to the hotel there where huge rafts of Razorbills and Guillemots. Many where just loafing around while some where flying up toward the lower cliffs around the coastline.

Great to see them so close up. I would recommend anyone to visit the Great Orme its a cracking place!

Hering Gull: Seen along the wall of Marine Drive infact they are seen everywhere.

Stonechat: This female was seen around the Great Orme Mines seen with a stunning male. Dunnock and Chaffinch where also very active around this area.

I thought I saw a Wheatear here to! I know very early but I am pretty sure. Although like I have said I have been wrong before.