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Goosander verandah

Posted by on January 19, 2014 2:58 PM | 


Once I'd got my Nuthatch and Treecreeper fix I pitched up at the recently vandalised Rufford Hide at Mere Sands Wood and spent a bit of time watching the Goosanders today.
Good numbers as usual in winter, with seven plus fine males, although they were a bit too fast and shiny in the sun for my digiscoping abilities.





Lots of fishing, when the flock looked like a group of dolpins surfacing and diving at speed on the calm, green water, and some of the males were displaying, their bottle green buoffants rising and falling, cool.
Perhaps fewer passerines in the woods compared to my pre-Christmas visit, but stiil a superb site for a winter walk.
Male Blackcap still at the feeders at Dempsey Towers today.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...



More than half a million people are expected to be watching their garden birds at the weekend (25-26 January), for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
And with many of the UK's most common garden birds and other creatures in steep decline, the charity needs participation more than ever.
The weather plays an important role in the number of birds in gardens each winter and experts are interested to see if the helter-skelter conditions around the country so far this year mean birds seem scarce, or they appear in their droves.
To take part, people are asked to spend just one hour at any time of the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend noting the highest number of each bird species seen in their gardens or local outside space at anyone time. They then have three weeks to submit their results to the RSPB, either online at or in the post.

Had a pleasant couple of hours walking the sea wall at the out-marsh yesterday afternoon, with lots to see but nothing spectacular happening. Huge numbers of Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal and Mallard about, with the odd Little Egret and a couple of flocks of 15-20 Curlew. Redshank about of course, perhaps 200 Whoopers in the landward fields and Pinkfeet flying around. The highlights - if that's what they can be called - were distant views of a Marsh Harrier out in the estuary, and an enormous flock of passerines in nearby fields. From seeing and hearing them in flight I reckon these were mainly Mipits and Linnets, but it was amazing how even when they landed on the muddy ground, they suddenly became invisible even through binoculars. A nice experience of the typical sights and sounds of the estuary on a calm January day. Nice.


I was out this afternoon monitoring slacks in the frontal dunes opposite Selworthy Road, Birkdale. They have been severely churned up by large 4-wheel-drive vehicles which also caused a lot of damage on Tuesday night at Ainsdale.
Our best site for Baltic Rush Juncus balticus (Nationally Scarce) has been wiped out - the next nearest locality 200 miles away, north of Edinburgh.
Also badly affected are part of an important colony of Flat-sedge Blysmus compressus (Red Data Book "Vulnerable") and populations of Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris (regionally notable).
Of course, some of these plants may recover from rhizome fragments, as they did 30 years ago when the same slacks were damaged by illegal motorbike scrambling.
An adult Kittiwake flying north along the Green Beach was unexpected.

If anyone sees any of these 4x4 vehicles - or scramblers, quads etc, off road along the coast please call the police immediately - and if possible, the Coast and Countryside team on 0151 934 2967.
The selfish (and highly illegal) behaviour of a few idiots is causing serious damage to our precious coastline.

2 each of Marsh Harrier and Buzzard and a single Peregrine at Martin Mere today.

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