Monday, 29 September 2008

Radde's Warbler - Great Orme

My second new bird of the weekend, and what an annoying little blighter it proved to be. When we arrived we were greeted by the cheery news that it had shown for 1 second in the past 3 hours, and looking at the amount of cover it had for such a skulking bird, it wasn't surprising.

We waited and waited, for 2 and a half hours with about 50 other birders, and gradually people began to drift away, but still no sign of the bird. Then, just as we were about to leave at 4:45pm, miraculously somebody got onto it, and there it was creeping around the botton of a bush. It was in view for about 30 seconds, and then was gone, but long enough for us to see everything we needed to see. A great little bird!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Stilt Sandpiper, Rustic Bunting and Pectoral Sandpiper

1 juv. Stilt Sandpiper - Campfield Marsh, Bowness-on-Solway
1 1st win Rustic Bunting - Walney Island
1 juv. Pectoral Sandpiper - Leighton Moss

We arrived at Campfield Marsh at 9am, to find a handfull of birders watching the Stilt Sandpiper which has been present for a few days. It was a good view and a nice looking bird. My first since the long staying bird at Frodsham 24 years ago. While we were watching it, a message came through on Rays pager about a Rustic Bunting at Walney Island. This was a new bird for me, but Walney Island is one of those places I dred going to, because it's a nightmare to get to and I usually dip on everything I go for there. However it seemed that we had to try, and we set off on the three hour (yes 3 hour!) journey from Bowness to South Walney Nature Reserve.

When we got to the reserve, we found about 20 birders watching the bird at a distance of about 100m and against the light. We had a quick look and then decided to circle around the bird and try to view it from near the Bank hide, which would put the bird in the perfect position for the light. The plan worked better than expected, and we soon saw the bird sitting on the fence much closer than before, and with the sun right on it. A great sight!

Then as we headed back home, another message came through on the pager. A juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper had been found at 4:30pm on the Allen Pool at Leighton Moss. When we arrived at the hide, there were only two birder present, and one told us in a "We're all doomed!" voice, that the bird had flown off 30 minutes earlier having been flushed by a Peregrine. Personally, I don't think he'd actually seen the bird, because he said it had been on the Eric Morecombe pool.

Anyway, five minutes after he left, we relocated it on the Allen Pool, and had really good views of it. A great day.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Eccleston Mere

Pink-footed Goose 21 over SE then N
Teal 4

Pink-feet have been late arriving this autumn, with only 16 at Martin Mere last Saturday. These were my first in St Helens this winter.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

St Helens Cricket Club

70 Barnacle Geese flew over at 9:30. This is a typical time of year for these feral birds to be moving around the area. They were probably moving from Carr Mill Dam to Eccleston mere / Prescot Reservoirs. I didn't notice the Red-breasted Goose with them, though it probably was.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Rainford Mosslands

Fairly quiet this evening. Highlights were 13 Snipe flying over Dairy Farm Road and then landing in the middle of a corn field (presumably there was a puddle in there somewhere!), and at least 80 Curlew still in fields alongside Old Hall Farm, at the junction of Dairy Farm Road and the Old Coach Road. No sign of any geese yet.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Sankey Valley, Penkford

Buzzard 4
Sparrowhawk 1
Teal 2

Butterflies: Holly Blue 1

Back on-line!

Welcome to my new Birding in St Helens blog! On this site I'll be keeping you updated on any birds I see in St Helens, plus a few trips further afield. I'll try to post as many photos as possible, but I usually don't take great bird photos.

What a week it's been in St Helens! On Thursday 4th September we had a the boroughs first ever Grey Phalarope at Prescot Reservoirs, following the first Red-necked Phalarope at the same site last year. Now if we could just find a Wilson's we could complete the set! The Grey stayed until at least Saturday, along with an adult Black-necked Grebe.

On the way home from watching the Phalarope on Friday, I called in at Eccelston Mere, to find a stunning (yes stunning!) adult Kittiwake. This bird stayed for three days until at least Sunday.

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