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 31 December 2015

Red-breasted Merganser

The final bird to make it onto my year list was the Red-breasted merganser. This bird seen at West Kirby marine lake took my total for the year to 181 different bird species seen, beating my previous best total by 6 from last year.

A common visitor to the UK coastline in the winter months, this is only the second time that I have actually come across one. Just shows you what you can find if you put your mind to it.
I was aware that a few of these were around the Wirral, so I made a special visit to see them. Great looking diving ducks with a nice spiky hair do and serrated bill to help with their diet of mainly salmon and trout.

Pictured here is the female. Quite similar to the female Goosander in clolouration and overall appearance. Unfortunately it was yet another dull grey day, so the colours are not great.
Still it pushed my year total up, so I'm happy with that. I now have a new target to beat in 2016.

I wish you all a Happy New Year. Here's hoping it's a great one! :-)

Monday 21 December 2015

Merry Christmas

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

Thank you all for viewing and your comments over the last year. It means a great deal to me and is always very much appreciated. I hope to bring you plenty of new birds and posts in 2016. Until then, enjoy yourselves in the coming week and I hope you drop by again soon.

Thursday 17 December 2015


Birding on the Wirral is always good. Always a good variety of stuff to see. Unfortunately you cannot guarantee the weather, which seems to becoming a recurring them in my posts of late.
The rain abated, but not for long. I stopped at various locations on a whistle stop trip. Hoylake, West Kirby, New Brighton and Starbucks to keep my daughter sweet and moan free. It seemed to do the trick as we both enjoyed a mint hot chocolate to warm us up.

Knot (on the left) and two Redshank (on the right)


Oystercatcher in the gloom.

Redshank taking shelter at West Kirby.

Shelduck on the beach at Hoylake.

Monday 14 December 2015

Hollingworth Lake

I had a couple of hours spare last weekend and went for a walk around Hollingworth lake in Rochdale. The weather has been truly dreadful of late, so I was just glad to get out without a howling wind or heavy rain. 
It was a leisurely stroll and not a great deal on the water, but enjoyable all the same as the sun began to set. 

I can't wait for Spring and some potentially drier, less windy spells of weather. Not a guarantee in this part of the world though.


A Cormorant in with some Lapwings.

A distant Kingfisher watching a Great Crested Grebe. 

Thursday 10 December 2015


It's that time of year on my patch, that no matter when you go out you're pretty sure to see the same variety of birds and not much else. There's not much anticipation of finding something new or unusual. It's just how it is in autumn and winter here. On a recent walk along Old Hall Lane I was accompanied by the usual Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit flocks for visual stimulus. Chaffinches, Robins, Blackbirds and Mistle Thrush kept my ears energised. Then there's always one bird that you know is in the hedge but you can't be sure what it is. You know it's nothing rare, but you need to see it just to confirm it's a Wren or something similar.
Enter the Dunnock, and it's conspicuous 'tseeep' call. I'm pretty sure they could stay undetected if they kept quiet, but I had to see where it was. I waited for a good five minutes leant up against a post trying to keep myself out of sight before it popped up on top of the hedge. We both shared a moment and then went out separate ways.
Like I said before, nothing unusual or rare, but it still put a smile on my face. Job done.

Friday 4 December 2015

Great Crested Grebe

On my recent visit to Elton reservoir I couldn't help but notice the large number of Great Crested Grebes. Usually a quite colourful bird, their winter plumage is a little more on the drab side. It doesn't take away from the elegance of the bird for me, but there is quite a difference between the seasons.
From juvenile to winter and summer plumage, they could be three different birds.

This was the Elton bird a few weeks ago in winter plumage.

One in summer breeding plumage.

A juvenile with it's stripy head.