Now as warm as toast

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Remarkably mild for December, with Mallards and Coot getting frisky when I called into Sands Lake at Ainsdale this morning.
The Great Crested Grebe (by no means a regular bird here) was still present at the north end of the lake, where it has been hanging around for at least a week now.
Best way to recalibrate my sense of season on such a warm day was to head up to HoM (it’s always cold there) for a stroll along the bank, especially as Neill and Trops had Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Barn Owl there yesterday.
Herd of about 100 Whooper Swans on the approach road, including a nice peat-stained bird, possibly the one Neill, Trops and I saw on Guide Road last week.
Peregrine perched up in between occasional forays to terrify the Teal and Redshank, usually just after two GBBs had taken a break from scaring the pants off ’em.

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Mipits and Skylark overhead and a few Fieldfares in the hawthorns before I drove back towards Marshside, past another herd of Whoopers on Shore Road (couldn’t stop).
At the marsh a Grey Wag was flitting around the bath/trough on Crossens Inner just down from the water treatment works and a young Marsh Harrier was circling over Marshside Two and Crossens Inner, even managing to spook the “Ross’s Goose” into flight.
Two Ravens drifted over the outer marsh at the Sandplant, croaking, tumbling and laughing in the blue sky – looked like they were having fun.
A Merlin sped south.
Later in the day a Mistle Thrush was in loud, full song by the Asda car park in the middle of Southport at 1630.

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One thought on “Now as warm as toast

  1. The Curlew is in real danger of becoming a thing of the past as it has just become one of the newest additions to the British Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern, and deemed to be of the highest conservation priority.
    The Curlew is one of our most rapidly declining breeding bird species, showing a 46% decline across the UK from 1994-2010 with this figure exceeding 50% in Wales and Scotland. The UK holds almost a third of the European population and in response to these declines, and those seen elsewhere in Europe, the species has recently also been listed as globally near-threatened by the IUCN Red List, one of the few British species to gain this unfortunate accolade. The wintering population in the UK originates largely from Scandinavia, but also includes a significant proportion of UK-breeding birds, and has declined by 20% in the last 15 years.
    Our estuaries support internationally important communities of wading birds due to the mild climate and key position on the East Atlantic flyway. However, our estuarine ecosystems are under ever increasing pressure from human activities, such as development and agricultural intensification – we need to understand more about the threats faced by Curlew wintering on our estuaries.
    There is an extremely urgent need to identify the causes of these Curlew declines so that we can help guide potential conservation interventions. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is a charity at the forefront of providing impartial scientific evidence to conserve the nation’s birds and has launched a fundraising appeal to fund the world class research that will inform how we can reverse the fate of this iconic bird – before it’s too late.

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