The good sea

I snatched a few glimpses at the sea in the run-up to the lunchtime high tide at Ainsdale today. It made a change from attempting to spin 15 plates on 13 sticks.
Fairly calm conditions and frequent rain showers meant that when the rain stopped, visibility was very crisp and while there was nothing that would start a ‘scopeward scramble at the Bridges, it felt good to see summer visitors returning offshore – and my first Swallows of the year, just squeaking into March, and inevitably heading south.

Ainsdale 30.3.17, 1100-1230:

Little Gull 1 adult south
Swallow 2 south
Sand Martin 2 east
Gannet 2 adults offshore
Common Scoter 500+ all over the place
Sandwich Tern 1 south
Red Breasted Merganser 13 offshore
Red Throated Diver 7 offshore
Great Crested Grebe 5 offshore

A more serious crack tomorrow mebbe, if time allows…

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5 thoughts on “The good sea

  1. Burton Wetlands – 31/03/17

    2 x Black Swan
    50+ x Avocet
    250+ x Redshank
    80+ x Black Tailed Godwit
    1 x Little Gull
    6 x Sand Martin
    1 x Blackcap
    1 x Cetti’s Warbler
    4 x Chiffchaff

    I saw what looked like a Hooded Crow flying over, but are there any local populations of these nearby?

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  2. Close to half-a-million people, including 5945 in Merseyside joined in the world’s largest garden wildlife survey, counting more than eight million birds during the 38th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, witnessing some exciting and unusual visitors.
    The event held over the last weekend in January revealed an explosion in the number of recorded sightings of waxwings. These attractive looking birds flock to UK gardens in winter once every 7-8 years when the berry crop fails in their native Scandinavia. Known as an ‘irruption’, results showed that waxwings were spotted in gardens around the country and were seen in 18 times more gardens across Northern England in 2017 compared to previous years.
    Weather conditions leading up to the Birdwatch meant that this year UK gardens were treated to a range of different visitors. Along with waxwings, there was also a large jump in the number of visits from other migrant birds, such as redwings, fieldfares and bramblings, as the sub-zero temperatures on the continent forced them to go in search of milder conditions.
    There was also good news for robins, which were seen in 86% of Merseyside gardens compared to 82% last year. Blackbirds were the county’s most widespread garden bird after being spotted in 91% of Merseyside gardens.
    The survey also highlighted a downturn in the recorded sightings of blue tits (-3%) on last year’s figures for Merseyside.
    This year’s results also pointed to the positive effects that wildlife friendly gardens are having on bird behaviours. Recorded sightings increased for sixteen of the top 20 Big Garden Birdwatch birds between 2016 and 2017 showing how gardens are becoming an invaluable resource for our most common British garden birds.
    The nation’s school children noticed a similar pattern when taking part in the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch. The UK-wide survey of birds in schools saw over 73,000 school children, including 440 across Merseyside, spend an hour in nature counting birds. Black headed gull was the most common playground visitor in Merseyside with an average of 11 per school. The top three in the county was rounded off by woodpigeon and blackbird.
    Big Garden Birdwatch and Big Schools’ Birdwatch are a part of the RSPB Giving Nature a Home campaign, aimed at tackling the house crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their gardens out outdoor spaces – whether it’s putting up a nest box for birds, creating a pond for frogs or building a home for hedgehogs.
    For more information about the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results – rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

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  3. With the amount of time children and families are spending outside in nature in decline, Europe’s largest conservation charity and discount supermarket ALDI, are challenging Merseyside families to go on their own wild adventure this Easter to be in with a chance of winning a bumper pack of prizes worth over £500 as they launch the new and exciting Wild Challenge.
    In 2013, the RSPB Connecting with Nature report revealed that children in the UK were missing out on a wealth of mental and physical benefits from not spending enough time outside, with only one in five having a healthy connection to nature.
    To encourage more children and their families to take a step closer to nature the RSPB has launched the Wild Challenge.
    By completing fun and engaging activities ranging from minibeast safaris and rock pooling to creating a hedgehog cafe and planting for wildlife, families can take their first steps on their own wild adventure. There are 24 activities to choose from that will take you from your own back garden to exploring towns, cities, woodlands and even the coast. Participants can then log their achievements on the RSPB Wild Challenge website and collect bronze, silver and gold awards.
    The Wild Challenge is open to all; whether you live in a busy city, seaside haven or a sleepy village. There is something to do at all times of the year, no matter what the weather. Each activity comes with helpful ideas and resources to help families on their wild adventure.
    Every family who achieves a bronze, silver on gold award during the month of April will be entered into a prize draw to win the Ultimate Wild Challenge explorer kit worth over £500. The kit includes a selection of wildlife goodies including a hedgehog home, minibeast explorer kit and a bat detector to help them continue on their wild adventure.
    The RSPB’s ambition is for the Wild Challenge to help more families across the country reap the benefits of spending time outside in nature. Research has shown that children who have a healthy connection to nature are more likely to benefit from higher achievement at school, better mental and physical health, and develop stronger social skills.
    The RSPB will be on hand with hints, tips and rewards through your wild adventure. To take your first steps to your bronze, silver or gold Wild Challenge award visit – http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildchallenge

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