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Nice to go birdin' after work...

Posted by on March 4, 2014 6:20 PM | 

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With the sun still high enough in the sky after work I couldn't resist a quick look at the Slav Grebe on the Marine Lake this evening.
What a run of birds the lake is having this year!
No sign though when I pulled up behind Southport Theatre at first, which was a bit worrying.
Fortunately the little tinker steamed back round the southern of the two islands north of the big bridge and fed/tootled about on its eastern side for 30 minutes at least for me, which was fine.
The Slav further distinguished itself by throwing up - which is something I've never seen a grebe do before, so well done you...

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With the east side of the island in deep green shade by the time I got there, my digiscoped shots were always gonna be ropier than normal, but luckily a bird as contrasty as a winter plumage Slav stands out even in the evening - you can just make out the red eye and white bill tip if you use a bit of imagination.

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I'm sure sensible people who came down in better light will have superior images.
The grebe attempted a few, frankly poor quality fly-pasts; it doesn't count as flying if your feet are pattering along the surface, you know.
But generally it seemed right at home, ignoring passing rowers and even a putt-putt-putting motor boat.
Great to see "Mad Dog" Bannon out with Mickey Boy Stocker too this evening, although I slipped away when talk turned to plans for a dawn assault on his "vismig" targets at Marshside tomorrow.
Birdin' after work I can do, birdin' before work I'm not ready for just yet this year.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

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5 Comments

Formby Point seawatch 5/3/14:
Fairly quiet mobile seawatch along the top of the dunes from Lifeboat Road to the National Trust car-park, 1215-1500:
Common Scoter c.550
Red-breasted Merganser 6
Red-throated Diver 14
Great Crested Grebe 2
Shag 1 adult
Guillemot 1
No sign of any real seabird movements; all flights seemed to be short distance, to-and fro.
Three Nuthatches calling along Victoria Rd at about 1530, one by the Squirrel Reserve entrance, one behind Freshfield Station and a third in the wooded garden of a mansion about midway between the two.

Swallow, north along the Southport seafront at 17.00 hrs today

I've posted some footage of the Slavonian Grebe on the Marine Lake on YouTube.
You can watch it here:

http://youtu.be/patjQQ3TIuA

Lake perhaps brackish/salt post the recent storm tides. Certainly fewer Coots and Swans with the recent/current GN Diver being seen eating crabs.
Cheers,
Ron

Thanks for the footage link Ron!
It's fair to say that the lake is usually brackish to some proportion.
I don't know much about hydrology (is that even the right word?) but the salinity will vary depending on a variety of factors - whether the sluices have been opened on a tide, if we have periods of heavy rain and or increased surface water run-off etc etc.
Obviously it is a huge body of water, so its salinity will also vary depending on which area of the lake you are looking at.
John

Vast numbers of Common Scoter off Birkdale on Wednesday lunchtime. A thick black line stretched from just south of Weld Road for probably half a mile south.
Lots in the air at any one time.
I reckoned 4000+ although they were quite a way off.
Also a pair of Goldeneye and a Red Throated Diver.
Small flocks of waders passing south, presumably to the main roost off Taggs Island as high tide approached.
A brief visit up to Crossens Marsh today at lunch was interesting watching Shovelers on Crossens Inner displaying, 10 drakes and 5 females with much "tossing" from both sexes.

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