Sunday, 13 March 2016

From Offa's Dyke at World's End to the Old Baths

After several failed attempts over the past few years, this morning I finally caught up with the great grey shrike at World's End, Llangollen, seen in the clearfell area adjacent to the Offa's Dyke footpath.

You can see the Offa's Dyke footpath to the right and above the shrike, winding its way back to the car. While we were watching the shrike a male and two female black grouse flew over, and we saw several red grouse.

However, we spent most of the day on the Wirral. It was a 9.90m high tide, but there was no wind at all to drive it in, so it didn't come close to the sea wall at the Old Bath's, Parkgate. Still plenty of good birds to see though, and in fact we had better views than usual of at least one short-eared owl, a ringtail hen harrier and a juvenile merlin and distant views of two great white egrets. At least 50 little egrets at Parkgate.

After a brief stop at Burton Mere Wetlands, where there were at least 32 avocets, we moved on to Burton Marsh at Denhall Hall Lane where we saw another four short-eared owls, ringtail hen harrier and a merlin. Another 30 or so little egrets on Burton Marsh.

Year: 164 (Great grey shrike, avocet)

Short-eared owl at Decca Pools, Denhall Lane Parkgate

...and dive bombing prey!

Ringtail hen harrier at Parkgate.

I'm thinking that this is a moulting juvenile male rather than a female given the the ground colour of the underparts and both the upperwing and underwing patterns (only light barring on the underwing primaries especially). Also the wings look quite slim for a female.

Engrailed moth on the lights at Burton Mere Wetlands.

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