Woolston Eyes 08.11.16

Grey and cold

The gathering on Weir Lane for our deep-autumnal wander about Woolston Eyes was of its usual self; easy-going, chatty, well wrapped up and keen to start off the day-list which with ease gained Collared Dove, Blue Tit and a perky bunch of House Sparrow, which still seem to be holding on in this area—unlike the Tree Sparrows which only but a few years ago were swept away by housing development (an odd word this ‘development’ to anyone interested in nature conservation for it usually results in the arrested development of the wildlife that once existed in such places).

 De-brief and final fastening of coats against the all pervading nip in the air that dominated our morn and we were off at a pace (well one which is ALWAYS dictated by the ambling pace of conversation), but even this rhythm was soon stopped in order that we could peer across the Mersey, which in this oxbow part of its lifecycle had a flotilla of Tufted Duck to admire, but as is often the case at this time of the year a Drake Goldeneye broke surface and captured our admiring gaze. The basin then offered Moorhen, Black Headed Gull and Little Grebe whilst heading back and forth across the river beyond the Weir a couple of Jay busied themselves transporting their cache of acorns.

A move along the west bank of number two bed was then made at a steady pace for number three bed beckoned but even this goal was delayed as we gained views of Shoveler, Gadwall and Coot which were enjoying the sheltered conditions offered by this bunded section of the river.

At last the drawbridge to the Castle was reached and over it we trotted ‘having to pause’ whilst some of the Team managed fleeting views of a Kingfisher as it left a blue-hued vapour trail as it sped at almost sound barrier speed out of view!

The South Viewing screen did as it said on the can—gave good views of…. an ice blessed wintry scene upon which no self-respecting member of the wildfowl family lingered… moving swiftly on…

Redwing then tormented us in their ever restless flirtatious way allowing but glimpses of their beautiful form as they ‘seeped’ off into cover, but undeterred we pushed on to the Morgan Hide where we fervently believed that the feeding stations would furnish our retinas with a few semi-static birds.

More ice-clad views then greeted us as ten Black Tailed Godwit rose from in front of the hide and ‘kindly’ put themselves out of view…but at least the Teal stayed in sight if only at a distance owing to the deeper water having not frozen where they loafed. Thus all attention was then given to the feeding stations with the main feeding area abrim with flasks and snacks as most of the Team had hit that elevenses gap…whilst the sunflower stations put on the entertainment offering Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Willow Tit.

 A circuit about the rest of the bed then gave more species for our firm but fair recorder to scribe onto the list with the stewardship crop area offering Reed Bunting,

Photo DS

Goldfinch, Linnet and more vocal than visual Lesser Redpoll. 

Then feet restlessly moved in the direction of our cars but as is atypical of this bed it managed to forestall our return for a while longer as it offered up our first raptor of the day Buzzard and it even gave a second chance for all to catch up with the Limosa limosa…how kind! At the usual chatty pace we reached the basin which afforded us ‘just one more bird’ for the day, as a first winter Common Gull came in to bathe….only then could we close the book on yet another wondrous wander with bins/scopes/notebooks and friends. (DS)

Bird List (BP)

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Greylag Goose
  7. Gadwall
  8. Teal
  9. Mallard
  10. Shoveler
  11. Tufted Duck
  12. Goldeneye
  13. Buzzard
  14. Moorhen
  15. Coot
  16. Black-tailed Godwit
  17. Black-headed Gull
  18. Common Gull
  19. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  20. Wood Pigeon
  21. Collared Dove
  22. Kingfisher
  23. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  24. Pied Wagtail
  25. Wren
  26. Blackbird
  27. Redwing
  28. Robin
  29. Long-tailed Tit
  30. Willow Tit
  31. Blue Tit
  32. Great Tit
  33. Jay
  34. Magpie
  35. Starling
  36. House Sparrow
  37. Chaffinch
  38. Greenfinch
  39. Goldfinch
  40. Linnet
  41. Reed Bunting
  42. Carrion Crow

Photos JH


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