Spring morning.


Early doors-ish start at Hesketh Road this morning, in good conditions – high cloud, cool and a light south easterly.
Plenty of Chiffchaffs singing on Hesketh Golf Course (7-8 in song, including one singing in flight, which I can’t remember coming across before with this species), four Goldcrest, and small parties of Sand Martin, Siskin and Mipits all got the spring juices going.
Two Redwings were a bit of a surprise, but they’ve gotta move sometime.
Two Ravens were tumbling and “upside-down” flying over Marshside One (why do they do that? because they can).
The Water Rail was calling away in the SSSI ditch.
The three members of the Scaup Cartel were all fast asleep off the Hesketh Road platform, and at about 0845 the first of two singing Willow Warblers started tuning up.
Goldcrest and more and more parties of Mipits moved through as Sunday woke up.
Numbers of Sand Martins increased as I was joined by Neill, Alan and David, so that at least 60 birds had come through before Mad Dog Bannon et al rocked up and the platform got quite crowded.


A Peregrine came circling over in the almost warm sun, right above us, while the local Sprawks kept a lower profile, cruising over the golf course trees.
Wheatear Corner was quiet, and although a steady procession of dogs, birders and everyone else had been through it by the time I got to the Sandplant, there were still two Wheatears (both female), a dazzling White Wagtail and a Goldcrest in there.
Four Med Gulls on the Sandplant lagoon, including two first summers.
One of the youngsters was carrying nesting material.
At least 1,000 Pinkies, probably more, out on the outer marsh still…..here it comes…..


3 thoughts on “Spring morning.

  1. Over half-a-million people, including more than 5,500 from Merseyside, took part in the 37th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – witnessing some exciting and interesting changes among our most popular garden birds.
    The tiny long-tailed tit has flown into the Big Garden Birdwatch national top 10 after the average number seen visiting gardens across the UK increased this year by 44 per cent. In Merseyside they were up 34 per cent, moving from 15th place last year to become the 13th most commonly seen bird in the county.
    RSPB experts are linking the increase in sightings of long-tailed tits, as well as other smaller gardens birds such as coal tits, to the mild weather in the months leading up to the 2016 Birdwatch. Small, insect-eating birds like long- tailed tits are particularly susceptible to the cold as the food they rely on is hard to come by in frosts and snow so milder conditions are likely to have contributed to a higher survival rate.
    During periods of colder temperatures birds struggle to find food in the wider countryside so become more reliant on garden feeders. Long-tailed tits, and other smaller birds, have adapted to feeding on seeds and peanuts at bird tables or from hanging feeders. Since 2006, the average number of long-tailed tits seen in UK gardens has increased by 52 per cent, while great tits numbers have gone up by 13 per cent and coal tits by nine per cent.
    Despite this boost in numbers many other of our garden favourites are struggling. Sightings of well known species such as starlings and song thrushes have experienced another drop during the Big Garden Birdwatch this year. This decline continues a national trend that has seen the number of both species visiting gardens decline by 81 and 89 per cent retrospectively since the first Birdwatch in 1979.


  2. Natterjacks spawning in the dunes over the weekend – the first reports of them this year I had were on Thursday from Dave Mercer.
    Yesterday I also had a Vernal Mining Bee and the first Northern Dune Tiger Beetle of the year.
    There were 4 White Wagtails on the ploughed field east of Cabin Hill.
    I hear there were several Wheatears and Sand Martins at Cabin Hill earlier on Sunday.


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