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Ittybittypurplesky seawatch

Posted by on January 29, 2010 5:14 PM | 


Down at Formby Point again, where the adult winter Med Gull was loafing about still, looking a tad uncomfortable in a cruel north easterly, that brought two heavy snow showers that I could well have done without.
I suppose I'd look a tad uncomfortable if I was dumb enough to try to lounge in one of the tidal channels today.
A few Skylarks and Redwings were moving through here yesterday, but no movement today, so despite the chop on the bay, I spent my lunchtime seawatching from a low dune, until hyperthermia began to set in.


At least 800 Common Scoter on the water, about 300m out, but they were hard to check through as they disappeared every second or so in the swell.
Sadly no big white head patches, or even a nice white wing flash to make me feel any warmer today.
Three Scaup with one of the larger flotillas.
Two RB Mergs went north, and single Red Throated Diver and Great Crests were on the sea, but the most unexpected birdy was a dark bellied Brent Goose which sailed north close in at about 12.30pm.
Only the slightest of neck collars, so probably a youngster, it has been awhile since I've seen one of these off the Point.
After the tide, an adult Yellow Legged Gull briefly joined the Herrings and LBBs on the water's edge before clearing off again....a wanderer from Crosby?
All the usual waders feeding in the channels and opportunist Carrion Crows looking for dead things, as the horizon went purple to promise more snow.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...



One Snow Bunting at the southern end of Ainsdale beach this morning.

Around half a million people are expected to be watching the garden birds this weekend (30-31 January) for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
As Britain has endured its harshest winter since the launch of Big Garden Birdwatch over 30 years ago, The RSPB is particularly keen to know how the wintry conditions have affected garden bird numbers and whether people see any unusual visitors.
There has been huge interest in garden birds during the snowy weather, with RSPB switchboards and website being inundated with people looking for advice on feeding hungry garden birds and help identifying unusual visitors. Big Garden Birdwatch should help us understand the effects of the prolonged cold weather.
Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation, said, “ We can expect to see some more unusual visitors to gardens, particularly redwings, fieldfares and tree sparrows that are struggling to find food elsewhere.”
The extraordinarily harsh weather is particularly bad for birds with small bodies like robins, long tailed-tits and wrens. Says Dr Avery, “ It’s unlikely the long tailed tit, which famously flew into tenth place in 2009, will remain in the top ten this year. Sadly, we may even see the nation’s favourite garden bird, the robin, also fall out of the top ten in 2010. If this is the case, it’ll be the first time the robin hasn’t featured in the top ten since the start of the survey.”
The RSPB is also keen to identify any regional variations that occur as birds fly to milder regions in search of areas less affected by the weather or where natural food is still readily available.
Sarah Kelly, the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch co-ordinator, said: “Big Garden Birdwatch is a fun, easy activity that anyone can do. All you need is a pen, some paper and just one hour of your time over the weekend 30-31st January. Record the highest number of each species seen at any one time and send us your results. It’s that simple!”
Visit the RSPB website for more information and to submit your results online.

I too saw a Dark Bellied Brent Goose with a feint neck collar at Marshside on Sunday.

Hi John,
Barn Owl at Downholland Brook south of Tescos Formby at 3pm, mobbed by two Kestrels. Possibly same owl seen on Hightown Bends several minutes later.

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