Spit the pips outta that one


There are times when you question your sanity…so it was today when I tried to seawatch the balmy zephyr that is Abigail from the dunes at Ainsdale over lunch.
Force 7 south westerly at least, with hail, rain and too much aerial sand to make it feasible…all I managed was trashed optics, a single Great Crested Grebe and Wigeon, 2 RB Mergs, a sub-adult Gannet (later on) and fragments of the scoter horde looking distinctly queasy as they were hurled around in the boiling sea.
It was a sandblasted nightmare, interspersed with dashes of hail, gull and icy rain.
To be honest I was hoping for a Leach’s Petrel – birds were seen off Wirral and Fylde, so there’s always a chance.
More often than not though it is easier to pick ’em up at Ainsdale over the sands when the tide has receded, but not today.
I was thinking back to the last big “late” Leach’s wreck in 2006 – you can read about that at Richard Smith’s excellent Dee Estuary website in his newsletter from 2007 here, albeit from an inevitably (and understandably) Wirral-centric point of view.
As I recall birds hit the coastline in North Wales, Fylde and Wirral before they started to turn up on the Sefton coast back then, so one may come tottering down the sands here over the weekend yet…

5 thoughts on “Spit the pips outta that one

  1. RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands is set to host its first-ever family volunteering day, giving young families a unique opportunity to get involved with a fun-filled conservation activity, whilst helping their favourite nature reserve at the same time.
    Last year, three RSPB reserves took part in a national pilot project to trial family volunteering days, which proved a great success.
    Now families can take part at Burton Mere Wetlands, near Neston, where staff have recently been busy removing non-native sycamore trees from the ancient woodland, as they are a less suitable home for our beloved British wildlife.
    As part of this work, the site team now need to plant lots of young native trees to fill the gaps and are calling for families to lend a hand during the volunteering day. The free event is not only a chance for people to make a lasting difference to the site, but also a great way to help give nature a home on the reserve.
    The family volunteering day takes place on Saturday 28 November and families will have the option of booking onto either the morning session (10 am-12 pm) or the afternoon session (1 pm-3 pm). Further information about the event can be found at http://www.rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands, or by speaking to the staff and volunteers in the visitor centre by calling into the reserve or by phoning 0151 353 8478.


  2. Elton Reservoir – 16/11/15

    The Great Northern Diver is still present, although can be difficult to see.

    Also seen:

    1 x Kingfisher
    1 x Grey Wagtail
    2 x Goldeneye
    2 x Pochard
    10+ x Great Crested Grebe

    Liked by 1 person

  3. At last it looks as though there might be a dry slot coming up in the (much needed) wet weather, so the next Buckthorn Bash will take place on Friday 20th November, 1.45 to 3.45pm, meeting at Sands Lake carpark, opposite Pontins at Ainsdale-on-Sea (SD301128). Please note change of time to take account of the light. As usual, I will meet anyone who wishes to come by train at Ainsdale station.
    I should be able to borrow a number of long-handled loppers from Sefton Coast & Countryside but bring loppers or secateurs if you have them. Also, don’t forget thick gloves.
    We have pretty well cleared the area west of Sands Lake, so the next target will be the slacks (nos. 49 and 48) to the north.
    Please come if you can and perhaps bring a friend or relative. Also pass the message around – the more people the better.


  4. Had a colour ringed adult Herring Gull (blue BWN) on Ainsdale beach on 17.11.15, and just got the details back from the Severn Estuary Gull Group, who had ringed it at Stoke Orchard Landfill site in Gloucestershire on 16.02.15. Interestingly this bird had only been recorded from Gloucestershire Landfill Site near Hempsted in Gloucestershire until it showed up at Ainsdale this week.
    This is the fourth ringing recovery the Severn Estuary Group have now had from Ainsdale.


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