Hale 24.05.16

Bright  sunny late spring day

 A good turnout of eager birders assembled by St Mary’s Church marvelling at the clear blue sky and keen to take advantage of excellent spotting conditions. We were immediately greeted by sightings of goldfinch and greenfinch and a buzzard wheeling high above.

Turning onto Within Way and heading down to the River Mersey, the hedges were alive with activity – chaffinch, goldfinch, dunnock, a wren scurrying around in the undergrowth, and the distinctive scratchy warble soon revealing whitethroat. Skylarks rose above and fell into the field of rape and house martins swooped back and forwards.  Far to the west on Decoy Marsh could be seen flocks of Canada geese and shelduck, lapwing and, within the adjoining trees, a network of cormorant nests. From across the adjoining fields could be heard the call of pheasants and quail but unfortunately no sightings.

Reaching the bank of the Mersey, the incoming tide was gradually pushing Canada geese, oystercatchers, cormorant, shelduck, herring gulls, lesser black-backed gulls and curlew closer to the shore. In the intervening reeds, sedge and reed warblers sand loudly and one or two finally revealed themselves, while a number of reed buntings appeared perched precariously at the top of swaying reeds.

 

Walking along the bank to Hale Head and the lighthouse, a male linnet appeared and perched in the bushes adjoining the footpath showing off its bright red plumage. And in the field to the right, a pair of grey partridge mooched about near to the footpath offering  uncharacteristically close examination of these handsome birds.

With the tide pushing close to the riverbank, sharp-eyed members of the group were able to pick out ringed plover and dunlin searching for lunch. Finally picking up swallows swooping around the lighthouse and oystercatchers and ringed plover in the bay beyond, the group themselves felt the need for lunch and marched back along Lighthouse Road and Church Lane to the cars. But before our final departure, we were treated to sightings of house sparrows, chaffinches, collared doves and a small flock of starlings around the houses on Church Lane.(SC)

Bird list (MH)

  1. Canada goose
  2. Shelduck
  3. Mallard
  4. Gadwall
  5. Grey partridge
  6. Cormorant
  7. Grey heron
  8. Common buzzard
  9. Oystercatcher
  10. Ringed plover
  11. Lapwing
  12. Dunlin
  13. Curlew
  14. Herring gull
  15. Lesser black-backed gull
  16. Woodpigeon
  17. Collared dove
  18. Feral pigeon
  19. Swift
  20. Skylark
  21. Swallow
  22. House martin
  23. Wren
  24. Dunnock
  25. Robin
  26. Blackbird
  27. Sedge warbler
  28. Reed warbler
  29. Whitethroat
  30. Blue tit
  31. Great tit
  32. Starling
  33. Magpie
  34. Carrion crow
  35. House sparrow
  36. Chaffinch
  37. Greenfinch
  38. Goldfinch
  39. Linnet
  40. Reed bunting

Plus butterflies: small white, large white, brimstone, peacock, orange tip, holly blue, small tortoiseshell

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