Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Long-billed Dowitcher - Marshside

I picked up my third lifer of 2020 last weekend in the shape of a Long-billed Dowitcher. This wader is usually found in North America and should probably be in Central America at this time of year. However I was pleased that this bird had been spending the week on the North West coast at Marshside, just north of Southport.
I left home before sunrise to be in place when the sun came up. It was cold, but well worth the trip. This became bird number 90 for the year in my quest to see 200 different species in a year.

After a long wait, the sun finally made it over the buildings behind.

A good size comparison, with a Teal on the left.

Large flocks of Wigeon kept me entertained.

A group of Golden Plover

Saturday, 4 January 2020

The 2020 Year List begins.

Happy New Year to you all!! I hope 2020 is a good one.

I made the most of a day off and made a very good start to my 2020 year list. I set off before sunrise and headed towards the Lake District in order to tick off a lifer in the form of a Ring-necked Duck.
I knew it was on Pine Lakes, and on arrival my heart sank when I saw how vast the lake was. The sun was only just coming up and so it was not easy. It turned out that it was mixing with a group of Greater Scaup. A good start to the day.

The first sunrise of the decade.

The Ring-necked Duck second from left, smaller than the Scaup.

Ring-necked Duck left of the top three birds.

I moved on to an area called Eagland Hill, where a Purple Heron had been for a few weeks, and had frustrated me that I couldn't get along to see it. Thankfully, it put on a very good show and was easy to observe from the roadside. Two lifers in a day is always a good thing, but on the first day of the year was very exciting. I ended the day with 65 birds on the list.


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

White-fronted Goose

I'd just like to say a Merry Christmas to everyone that has visited my blog this year. I love reading your comments and I really enjoy being able to share what I see, however common the birds or animals are. I hope to post more regularly in 2020 as I try and count 200+ species within the year. I've never cracked it yet, but I've never found enough time. I plan to make more time. So stick with me, and hopefully it will be a successful birding year.

The main bird featured here today is likely to be my last tick of the year and it was a lifer too. Not far from my home is large body of water called Redesmere. I now volunteer for the BTO to count the wildfowl on here every month. I popped along to see what might be on the water. Among the 100+ Greylag Geese was one goose that had a very obvious white blaze on it's bill. I knew that this wasn't common amongst Greylags, but was on White-fronted Geese. The size difference was also quite noticeable, with it being 1/3 to 50% smaller than the Greylags.

I needed confirmation for this ID, as I had never seen one myself in the field before and so asked a good birding friend of mine, and it was quite quickly confirmed as a Eurasion White-fronted Goose.
I was delighted, and this was not what I expected to see on this visit, but I was so glad I popped over. Just shows you that anything can turn up anywhere. You just have to be there to see it.

You can see the smaller goose with it's white blaze in the centre of the pictures below.

This I believe is a juvenile White-fronted Goose that was also present on the same day.

Friday, 22 November 2019

East Bank - Cley

I've been away for quite a while, but now I hope that I can once again post on a regular basis. I couldn't think of a better way to come back with a bird as smart and difficult to see as our Bearded Tit. I got extremely lucky a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for a Long-tailed Duck along the East bank at Cley Marshes in Norfolk. Suddenly from the reeds to my left I heard the call of a group of Bearded Tits. So I stopped and waited, and thankfully they all came out to play. I've never been this lucky with these birds. It's usually a fleeting glimpse as they skim over a reed bed and disappear out of sight. Not on this occasion though.


And this is the Long-tailed Duck. Unfortunately it stayed distant and was diving continuously, so made it very difficult to get any decent shots. This will do as a record shot though.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Pennington Flash

These pictures are from a few weeks back when I took a visit to Pennington Flash, which is one of the premier birding sites in the North West. Such a varied array of habitats, it attracts so many different species.
It was a bright morning (always a bonus) and there was lots to see. There were Reed and Sedge Warblers in the reed beds. A Kingfisher zipped past while I was watching some of the many Grey Herons, and the main water held hundreds of Swifts, Swallows and Sand Martins. It was a fantastic Spring morning.

A male Blackcap was letting everyone know he was around.

Common Terns taking a rest in front of Horrock's hide.

Great crested Grebe.

A juvenile Grey Heron, and some Lapwings behind.

Little ringed plover.

Stock Dove

Something I try every year. Catching a Swift in flight. It's not very easy.

Thursday, 27 June 2019


Two days and two different Flycatchers. I was up early at the weekend and headed to Derbyshire, where I was treated to some lovely Flycatchers. Saturday brought me the Pied Flycatcher, busy feeding it's young that I think would have been very close to fledging. I only saw the female once and very briefly. The male was doing most of the work (as usual. No not really, we all know that's not true) I'm so pleased to have seen that they had some young. I was there a few weeks previously when they were just prospecting the nest site and making it all comfy. A successful time for them I hope.

Sunday brought me some sunshine and this time some Spotted Flycatchers. These, being a little later to arrive were only just checking out a nest site and bringing in some nesting material. They were very showy, which was a good thing, as my previous sighting this year at Leasowe was all under canopy and behind branches. Hopefully these have been successful also, and I will try to get back and see how they've done.