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Slow outta the blocks

Posted by on January 5, 2013 5:55 PM | 


Finally managed to get out for a bit of new year birding this afternoon after a busy few days.
Plenty of squealing Water Rails in the flooded Birkdale dunes yesterday, with groups of Fieldfare, Bullfinch etc.
Today I headed over the mosses to the Withins, which initially appeared quiet, but delivered a nice range of raptors, with ringtail Hen Harrier, Sprawk, Merlin and plenty of Buzzards joining the Kestrels.
The muddy fields on Altcar Moss held a good feeding group of about 250 Whooper Swans, 300 Pinkies (with a single Barnacle Goose), and BHGs.


Plex was Saturday afternoon quiet, apart from a few Fieldfare, although a big concentration of Pinkies was on the fields between here and Carr Moss.
Too distant to work through, but at least 8,000 birds - wonder what was lurking amongst that lot.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...



Just become aware of this blog. It looks great and I expect to be a regular visitor, and perhaps contributor.
I'm intrigued by comments about the number of birds to be found in the local dunes. I regularly walk the area behind Ainsdale beach, just south of Pontin's, and I'm usually struck by the lack of birds other than crows, Magpies and Kestrels.
Am I looking in the wrong area?
JD: Not really Tony, the dunes are fairly quiet in winter, although as I'm lucky enough to work there I tend to be on site all day, so notice whatever goes through.
The slacks on the landward side of the Coast Rd, north of Pontin's usually hold more birds in winter, but with extremely high water levels this year, they are very difficult to move around in.

I saw a queen Buff Tail Bumble Bee buzzing around in Toxteth yesterday and a Honey Bee on the wing in Neston today.
I'm looking forward to another year of your observations and exploits, both serious and amusing.

2 Snow Buntings (found by Dave Hardaker earlier today), still present on the Green Beach tideline this evening; Short Eared Owl in the dunes south of Shore Road this morning.

To start the year on a good footing, RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands in Cheshire is asking local people to donate their unwanted, worn-out wellies to help celebrate ‘Welly Season’ in style.
From green gardener’s wells to pink with polka dot wellies, people can take their old pairs to their local nature reserve, where they will be put to good use for ‘Welly Season’. Running from mid-January to the end of March, RSPB Burton Mere will be delivering a season of welly-related activities for all the family to get involved in.
Paul Brady, RSPB Visitor Development Officer, said: “Maybe Santa brought you a brand new shiny pair of wellies for Christmas, but you don’t know what to do with your old ones – well, bring them to us and we’ll show you how to put them to good use.”
Donated wellies will be transformed into miniature gardens or bird feeders, and staff and volunteers at the sites will be on hand to show visitors what to do.
Visitors will be able to ‘Bling their Boots’, and the reserves will be providing craft materials for people wanting to decorate their wellies on site. They will then be encouraged to share pictures of their wellies on the RSPB Burton Mere Facebook page -
The reserve will also be running a special ‘Wardens Welly Walk’ event on Saturday 19 January, which offers a unique chance to go behind the scenes to find out all about how the wetland habitats are managed.
Anyone wanting to donate their old wellies can take them along to their local RSPB nature reserve. For more information, visit

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