TT’s Wirral Winter Wander 23.02.16

Sibelius Two in background does play,

As I begin to review our Wirral day

Which Team Tuesday, plus Kenny’s crew,

Did savour every drop of golden hue.


The pre-walk gave hint of a day divine,

As Skylark gave of their song sublime,

Whilst waders and Wildfowl swept about;

There was in the air success no doubt.


By Ten am all were safely gathered together,

Ready indeed to savour birds and good weather.

Thus after handshakes and smiles from ear to ear,

All moved off along Denhall Lane in good cheer.


Little Egret plus Lapwing lit up sun-blessed sky,

Whilst Starling in tight flight did collision defy.

A stop to see what the Decca Pools might reveal

Added interest aplenty with Wigeon and Teal.


We then resumed our amble to Neston Quay,

A Reed Bunting in song we stopped to see.

A Stonechat pair caused a similar stop;

The male’s breeding plumage looking tip-top.


The views from Nelson’s Port of loving beguile

Gave waders quite distant and Hilbre Isle.

Hoped for birds of more exotic stature

Eluded our eyes, but this our mood did not fracture.


The time to move back for lunch then came.

Our return progress, it was much the same

For we paused as Peregrine once more did appear,

Then along came Hen Harrier, for which a cheer.


Burton Mere’s welcome again did not fail,

For first bird noted was Water Rail,

Whilst birds on the scrape then gave way

For a well-earned lunch with ease gained sway.


Time then pushed our quiet dining aside

As Avocet awaited our unified stride.

The shield of sunshine that hid such a treat

Was then overcome by a few falls of feet.


Then as all revelled in more waders to see,

Such as Dunlin and Black Tailed Godwit aplenty,

A Marsh Harrier then put on a flying display,

Which in essence summed up this glorious day.


Then the closing act in this Wirral Play

Summoned our presence some distance away.

Parkgate it’s true added less than we thought.

But our day felt no less for being Owl Short.


Bird List (BP)

  1. Cormorant
  2. Grey Heron
  3. Little Egret
  4. Pink-footed Goose
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Shelduck
  7. Wigeon
  8. Teal
  9. Mallard
  10. Tufted Duck
  11. Marsh Harrier
  12. Hen Harrier
  13. Buzzard
  14. Merlin
  15. Pheasant
  16. Water Rail
  17. Moorhen
  18. Coot
  19. Avocet
  20. Dunlin
  21. Black-tailed Godwit
  22. Curlew
  23. Redshank
  24. Lapwing
  25. Lesser black-backed Gull
  26. Black-headed Gull
  27. Stock Dove
  28. Wood Pigeon
  29. Collared Dove
  30. Skylark
  31. Meadow Pipit
  32. Pied Wagtail
  33. Goldcrest
  34. Dunnock
  35. Robin
  36. Stonechat
  37. Blackbird
  38. Mistle Thrush
  39. Long-tailed Tit
  40. Great Tit
  41. Blue Tit
  42. Jay
  43. Magpie
  44. Jackdaw
  45. Rook
  46. Carrion Crow
  47. Starling
  48. House Sparrow
  49. Chaffinch
  50. Goldfinch
  51. Linnet
  52. Reed Bunting
  53. Peregrine












Marbury Country Park (Witton Bridge) 09.02.16

Bright and sunny with plenty of blue sky – NO RAIN!!! – colder later

Team Tuesday arrived promptly at Witton Bridge car park eager to enjoy the welcoming winter sunshine. Such was our enthusiasm to get on the trail that our usual eagle-eyed perusal for car park birds rendered little more than a magpie or two. The path towards Haydn’s Pool was very muddy so heads were down to start with, but, as we entered the woodland, one alert TT member had us all looking at the striking colours of a jay, quickly followed by goldfinch and titmice high up in the sunlit treetops.

Arrival at the bridge gave us aerial displays from first, a grey heron, and then four buzzards enjoying the thermals. (Some members of TT were also soon enjoying their thermals to combat the cold wind coming through the screens at Haydn’s Pool.) A kestrel provided a backdrop to the waterfowl on the pool and teal, tufted ducks and gadwall were noted. Moving back into the woodland, two goldcrest were spotted at very close range and gave the team a few minutes of pure delight gazing at these busy birds, quickly followed by glimpses of robin and wren.

The walk along the path towards Neumann’s Flash was accompanied by a dunnock, and as we arrived at the hide the buzzards put on another show. With the sun still shining we noted great created grebe, black-headed and lesser black-backed gulls, and mute swans. Continuing round the flash, redwing were spotted on the grass through the trees, and on the water we saw more shovelers than mallard. Around 12.15 we lost the sunshine and the sudden drop in temperature was noted. With little to see at Ashton Flash except sheep, our arrival back at the car park could perhaps have been expected to have felt a little low key, but not for Team Tuesday with a morning’s birding behind us, the prospects of more birding next week and pancakes for tea! (HP)

Bird List (MH)

1. Great Crested Grebe
2. Cormorant
3. Grey heron
4. Mute swan
5. Mallard
6. Teal
7. Wigeon
8. Shoveler
9. Pochard
10. Tufted duck
11. Common buzzard
12. Kestrel
13. Coot
14. Black-headed gull
15. Lesser black backed gull
16. Herring gull
17. Woodpigeon
18. Goldcrest
19. Blackbird
20. Redwing
21. Long-tailed tit
22. Great tit
23. Blue tit
24. Nuthatch
25. Wren
26. Chaffinch
27. Goldfinch
28. Jay
29. Magpie
30. Carrion crow

Trans-Pennine Trail 02.02.16

Despite cold and blustery conditions, a group of 15 TT members gathered in the Trans-Pennine car park near the Rope and Anchor in Dunham.
After the usual mix of meetings and greetings, binoculars were raised to scan the fields across the road. A buzzard was soon noticed, perched in a tree before swooping off in search of food. Next, a bird on a distant wire was eventually identified as a mistle thrush, whilst a group of at least four magpies moved amongst the branches of a nearby tree. Other birds flew to and fro, tempting the group to remain in the comparative shelter of the car park, but eventually it was decided to sally forth to brave the elements of the more exposed Trans-Pennine Way.
First sighting was of a 16th member of TT, who had ‘met’ in the usual car park, wondering why he was alone – a reminder to all to check details before setting out. Soon after this, a myriad of little birds became the entertainment as they flitted about in the stubble, before taking to the air, wheeling around in the sky, then landing in the trees ahead of us. A long debate ensued, the final agreement: linnets – as by then their customary twittering could easily be heard. A skylark then rose above us and a kestrel posed on a fence post, giving good views to all.
A little further on lapwing could be seen across the fields and they were, as always, spooked by something unseen, and over 100 of them showed themselves as they flew above us. As Black Moss covert was being scanned, there was the unusual sighting of a lone long-tailed tit in a nearby tree, accompanied by a pair of siskins.
Now a right turn was taken across a very muddy field alongside a wooded area (with fantastic views of a nearby buzzard) towards the even muddier canal towpath. Here a pair of wrens were spotted by the backmarkers, while up ahead a large flock of chaffinches were noted by most. Just as the road was in sight –  and thankfully less mud – winter thrushes could be seen in the fields (fieldfares maybe?) to the right, while house sparrows fluttered amidst the farm buildings on the left.
A seemingly bird-free road then led back to the TPW, where the group became rather fragmented as the front runners almost broke into a sprint with the thought of the warmth and shelter of home.
Another good morning of fresh air and socialising, despite the challenges of unfavourable birding conditions. (MH)

Bird List (BP)

  1. Buzzard
  2. Kestrel
  3. Lapwing
  4. Black-headed Gull
  5. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  6. Woodpigeon
  7. Skylark
  8. Blackbird
  9. Fieldfare
  10. Redwing
  11. Song Thrush
  12. Mistle Thrush
  13. Wren
  14. Robin
  15. Long-tailed Tit
  16. Magpie
  17. Jackdaw
  18. Carrion Crow
  19. Starling
  20. House Sparrow
  21. Chaffinch
  22. Siskin
  23. Linnet