A constant stream


Tied up with various “stuff” today, so couldn’t find time for a proper seawatch off Ainsdale, which was a pity given the 9m tide, squalls and heaven-sent south westerly battering hell out of the coast.
One thing was obvious though; there was a MAJOR movement of Gannets and Manx Shearwaters taking place – I couldn’t begin to estimate how many were passing from the tower, but I do know that every time I looked out parties of both were sweeping south, often pretty close inshore, pretty much all afternoon until the tide fell back and the kitesurfers came out to play.
Superb to see the Manxies and Gannets effortlessly sailing south at speed, riding the wind like poor man’s albatrosses.
One or two were steaming north, but most were piling down into Liverpool Bay.
Certainly hundreds of birds involved, with two Fulmars, occasional Common Scoter (scoter numbers have really dwindled away now and will remain low until the end of July) and a Guillemot too revealed in snatched glimpses out of the salt-stained window – if only I could have ‘scoped it properly… ah well, there will doubtless be other days.

5 thoughts on “A constant stream

  1. Marshside/Crossens, 0940-1415
    Denied a seawatch by the death of the wind, settled for another Patch session. Apart from a heavy passage of Swifts (400+), House Martins (150+) and Swallows (100+), mainly concentrated between 1030 and 1200, few migrants/new arrivals: 1 Common Sandpiper, 9 Wheatears, 3 Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers and single Whinchat, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler.
    No more than 30 Dunlins and 15 Ruffs to be seen from Nel’s Hide and nothing more exotic among them. Raven on Crossens Inner eating something big that kept struggling…feeling a bit squeamish today, looked away!


  2. Marshside, 0950-1330
    Session curtailed as heavy rain set in. Quiet, anyway: A Spotted Flycatcher in the Golf Course central copse the only new migrant of note. Drake Garganey showing well though briefly in front of Nel’s hide; a new influx of c.200 Dunlins contained nothing unusual.


  3. Pennington Flash

    1 x Cetti’s Warbler
    1 x Whitethroat
    2 x Common Tern
    1 x Common Sandpiper
    Lots of Swift, Swallow, and both Martins over the flash.


  4. Birkdale LNR this morning/early afternoon (Saturday 9th), chilly for May and nothing particularly unusual but very lively with common birds. A single male Wheatear sat twenty feet up on top of a tree before flying across to Hillside GC was an unusual sight, this was the only Wheatear today. Otherwise plenty of common warblers, particularly Willows, probably a few on the move again today along side the many territorial birds. Interesting given how confiding Willow Warblers often are to closely see the plumage variation on them, from the pale cold greyish – (possibly northern?) birds, through the classic yellowy green quite bright birds, to the odd quite browny, almost Chiffchaff like birds. A wide selection where on show today. On Wednesday one was so close I could have virtually reached and touched it as it fed non-stop right beside me, twittering bits of song as it went. Otherwise 4 Swifts cruising around quite low where the only other migrants. Bullfinches were particularly vocal today with birds calling from a number different parts of the reserve, probably the most different locations I’ve had them down here for a number of years. No Spotted Flys unfortunately.


  5. Marshside/Crossens, 0950-1520
    Strong southerlies brought the heaviest Swift and hirundine passage so far, continuous throughout the session but heavily concentrated between 1030 and 1230: difficult to count, but 300+ Swallows, 200+ each Swifts and Sand Martins, 150+ House Martins. Not a lot else, passerine-wise: another Spotted Flycatcher at the entrance to the Golf Course, 8 Wheatears and 2 Whinchats; a party of 9 White and 2 male Pied Wagtails on Crossens Outer.
    After three weeks’ absence the Med Gull pair back posturing in front of Sandgrounder Hide; 2 drake Garganeys briefly on view from Nel’s. I could find nothing of note among the 100+ Dunlins there.


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