Hilbre 13.10.15

NB This post should have appeared last week – it got stuck somewhere in internet limbo – apologies to all.

A smaller number of the Team than usual managed to rendezvous with Dave and Kenny at the appointed (early) hour, but nonetheless they enjoyed a good day out on the estuary at Hilbre. Indeed, so good that Dave took wing and waxed truly lyrical:

The siren calls of that Fair Isle, a jewel on the Dee,

Failed to induce Team Tuesday, or so it seemed to me.

The Team that make up Kenny’s three

Still agreed to meet with me.


It was in truth not in vain,

For six appeared, a sweet day to gain.

A genteel wander across the sand

Happily took us to this sea-swept land.


Little Eye, Middle Eye, Hilbre Isle our goal

Was soon attained, and lit up our collective Soul.

A cuppa first, a chat of animation cast,

Gave all a lovely start, as the sea came in so fast.


Brent Geese ‘Oiks’ and Curlew with Rock Pipit to see,

Created an impetus for the few of us to wander free.

The slipway gained, and before us lay sea;

The lack of birds mattered not for all were ‘appy


For Harbour Porpoise we had just seen.

Great views of these cetaceans had cast a glean,

Whatever was to follow next it mattered not,

For we were now in that contented Spot,


Where all were one with knowing that such days

Come to those who quietly wait, enjoying Natures ways.

The Obs then drew all back for lunch, where Kenny did hold Court,

And as I sat out on ‘The Woolston Bench’ Breeze Cleared Thought


Allowing the Laughter from the obs within

To sweep o’er me raising a grin.

For Kenny, Stew, Colin + Steve this day

Created a wondrous memory that will not fade away.


Lunch over, we launched out again in sunshine a-bright

To catch up with Guillemot, and Seal–such a delight!

A geography lesson followed, with history too,

As Kenny held forth, his love of the place shone through.


A slow retreat moved all back to base

But time we still had this place to embrace.

Waders galore on Middle Eye observed,

‘Nowt’ special, save all seen were revered.


Then came the retreat from our Island of Peace:

A steady amble through pools and rock sheet.

West Kirkby reached after a genteel pace.

Will we return?—just watch this Space!

As ever, many thanks to Dave, Kenny, Stu and Colin for a great day, from all of Team Tuesday.

Bird List (DS)

  1. Great Crested Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Little Egret
  4. Grey Heron
  5. Brent Goose
  6. Shelduck
  7. Kestrel
  8. Oystercatcher
  9. Ringed Plover
  10. Knot
  11. Turnstone
  12. Dunlin
  13. Redshank
  14. Curlew
  15. Common Gull
  16. Herring Gull
  17. Great Black-Backed Gull
  18. Guillemot
  19. Skylark
  20. Rock Pipet
  21. Meadow Pipet
  22. Dunnock
  23. Robin
  24. Blackbird
  25. Carrion Crow
  26. Starling
  27. Linnet

Trans-Pennine Trail 20.10.15

Occasionally bright, with warm sunny intervals

About a dozen members of TT met with great difficulty in the car park at the end of Atlantic Street in Broadheath, the difficulty being that the car park seemed to be full to capacity even before our arrival. Having calmed the agitation that was evident and discussed the arrangements for the next meet, the group sallied forth onto the Trans-Pennine trail on another bright(ish) and definitely dry expedition.

Although there seemed to be quite a lot of birdsong around, the birds themselves seemed somewhat elusive, hiding themselves in the undergrowth and trees, which continue to hold onto their still green leaves. Initially, few sightings were made apart from the wood pigeons, corvids and robins – but with great relief a cry of ‘lapwings!’ circulated around the group – followed soon after by the sight of a jay busily finding food across the field. A path on the left was taken, leading the group down to the canal- but not before a buzzard had been spotted in the distance. Pheasants in a field caused a moment of excitement, but not so much as flocks of winter thrushes flying high above. It soon became evident how valuable telescopes could be on such days as this, when redwings were picked out in a distant hedge, along with blackbirds and goldfinches, followed by a kestrel hovering high above a nearby wood. Just as the group were about to leave the canal path to join the road, a flock of mixed titmice-mainly long-tails-flitted from tree to tree. Good sightings were soon gained of the kestrel, now sitting on the branches of a tall tree and pied wagtails hopped about on the field nearby. Moving on, some members of the group had spotted a pair of yellowhammers as they bounced along a hedgerow before dipping into a field of stubble. Feeling more satisfied with the morning’s birding the way now led back down to the Trans-Pennine Trail, where a huge flock of starlings were seen perching on wires and feeding on the ground below.

Lunch now called, so back to the cars for all those who had stayed the course – but not before a mistle thrush showed itself to some, while others were treated to the sight of a sparrowhawk being mobbed by crows. (MH)

Bird List (MH)
1. Buzzard
2. Sparrowhawk
3. Kestrel
4. Carrion crow
5. Jackdaw
6. Magpie
7. Jay
8. Black-headed gull
9. Lapwing
10. Wood pigeon
11. Pheasant
12. Mallard
13. Blackbird
14. Redwing
15. Mistle thrush
16. Robin
17. Wren
18. Blue tit
19. Great tit
20. Long-tailed tit
21. Goldfinch
22. Pied wagtail
23. Yellowhammer
24. Starling

.. plus one late-flying comma.

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Chorlton Water Park 06.10.15

IMG_1833 (1)
Photo CG

An enthusiastic group of TT members gathered in the car park of Chorlton Water Park on a bright, sunny and warm – yes, warm – morning. Those who had arrived early were had been greeted by the colourful sight of a handful of parakeets on the feeders, along with the more usual suspects – wood pigeon, magpie, nuthatch, great tit- and, of course, grey squirrel.

After a short ‘briefing’ – and a brief encounter with the new WEA group and leader, the group wandered down to the water’s edge to see what ‘was about’. Canada goose, black-headed gulls and coot were evident in good numbers, while mute swan, gadwall, cormorant, mallard and tufted duck were also noted by all. It was then agreed that a different route to normal should be followed, turning left and going in a clockwise direction around the site (shock, horror- what would DS think of this?). A visit to the small pond added nothing to the list, but further on a brimstone delighted all, as it fluttered past. On reaching the river, it too seemed to be devoid of birdlife, but on closer inspection a grey wagtail was spotted hopping around in the rocks at the water’s edge.
Over the bridge another, left turn was taken, through woods and open land, but sightings were disappointing despite the abundance of berries and seeds all around. There were fleeting glimpses for some of great spotted woodpecker, jay and a distant buzzard, as the route took us to the ‘place of the smelly goats’. A flock of busy long-tailed tits entertained all flitting about in nearby trees, whilst a hovering kestrel and a few starlings on a distant pylon helped to boost the number of sightings.
En route back to the water, several speckled wood butterflies enjoyed the unexpected autumnal warmth – and on arrival great crested grebe and moorhen were seen.

Photo RD
Photo RD

A now satisfied TT returned to their cars, noting grey heron and lesser black-backed gull along the way – and greenfinch and goldfinch on the feeders. For those who stayed the extra hour, a flock of house sparrows presented themselves beside the visitor centre, before all returned home to avoid a drenching from the now threatening clouds. (MH)

Bird List (BP)

  1. Great Crested Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Gadwall
  7. Mallard
  8. Tufted Duck
  9. Buzzard
  10. Kestrel
  11. Moorhen
  12. Coot
  13. Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd winter)?
  14. Black-headed Gull
  15. Feral Pigeon
  16. Woodpigeon
  17. Rose-ringed Parakeet
  18. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  19. Grey Wagtail
  20. Dunnock
  21. Robin
  22. Blackbird
  23. Long-tailed Tit
  24. Coal Tit
  25. Blue Tit
  26. Great Tit
  27. Nuthatch
  28. Jay
  29. Magpie
  30. Carrion Crow
  31. Starling
  32. House Sparrow
  33. Greenfinch
  34. Goldfinch