Eccleston Mere

Goldeneye 2, male and female still present
Water rail squealing in the ditch again a bit past the water outlet
Willow tit 1+ in the south west corner
Siskin 5+
Treecreeper 1
Grey Heron 5 all in one tree!
Song thrush 1
Cormorant 1
Gadwall 2+
Pochard 1 male
Buzzard 1
Kestrel 1
Kingfisher 1
Tufted duck 4
Redwing 5 in the hedge on the right
Fieldfare 4 over
 
Damian P

Eccleston Mere

Goldeneye 2 (1m,1f)
Raven 2 flew over cronking
Bullfinch 2(1m,1f male in the hedge down the right, and the female next to the stream)
Willow tit 1 in the dead wood very vocal and finally seen today
Teal 1 at the back of the dead wood being very elusive
Little Grebe 1
Siskin a few with the finch flock but nothing like the numbers of the other day
Redwing 20+ still in the hedges and a few small flocks over
Fieldfare 13 over
Tufted duck 10 (5m,5f)
Kestrel 1
Buzzard 1
Common Gull? 1

 
I was pleased with my list this morning, I've not seen bullfinch, raven or little grebe at the mere for a while now, and can't remember if I've seen goldeneye there before. The male goldeneye (presumably the one that Paul found the other day) was joined by a female although they were pretty much keeping as far away from each other as possible!

Is the gull a 1st winter common gull?


Goldeneye Male

 


Goldeneye Female

Raven
 

Common Gull?
 
Damian P

Eccleston Mere

There were lots of redwing in the hedge down the right of the mere this afternoon, and even more in the trees in the southwest corner. The finch flock is huge, I'm not very good at estimating numbers in flocks but I'd say easily 100. Of the ones I saw today, most were siskin followed by goldfinch. The only redpoll I saw flew up from the ground in the southwest corner. Two skeins of pink feet flew over as well, the largest one about 150.
Gadwall 6 (3m,3f)
Redwing 40+
Siskin 20+
Redpoll 1
Willow tit 1 heard in dead wood
Goldcrest 3
Pink footed goose about 200
Also - water rail heard in the ditch before the water outflow on the right. Thanks to Colin for the id from a recording.
 
I heard the grey wagtail through the open bathroom window this morning - the kids saw it but I didn't.
 

Eccleston Mere

Gadwall 7 (3males, 4 females)
Tufted duck 10
Little grebe 1 juv.
Grey wagtail 1
Kingfisher 2
 
 

Quick Lake Tour

After a windy cold night I always feel its worth checking the local lakes in your lunch hour as who knows what may have been blown in ..... their are a few inland common scoters at the moment whilst great northern divers are not unheard of neither.

Carr Mill Dam - Difficult to scan from a single location but being the largest you would hope it would hold something but not today save a large gathering of gulls and the regular great crested grebes.

Taylor Park - quite a few of the commoner species all crammed into a small space, with a handful of tufted ducks.  After a quick scan I found a single pochard, fairly unusual in the district.

Eccleston Mere - Again fairly barren but it did produce the highlight of the day with a stunning male goldeneye towards the top end.  Also a female grey wagtail kept me company on the way around the far side.

Paul B

Snowed in!

Damian and I arrange to meet early doors near to Fir Tree Farm (http://www.firtreeshopandcafe.co.uk/) with a hope of catching the dawn flight of the thousands of geese that I had witnessed a few weeks back.  In addition to nearby barn owls and also the hope of discovering a finch roost amongst other things we were hopeful of a good few hours patching .....
 
The weather forecast looked good and upon arriving a few redwings were "shreeping" over as a kestrel sat atop a telegraph post but in the distance a familiar orange-pink glow loomed. 
 
Whilst trying to work out which direction this squall was headed I noticed a few distant skeins of pink-footed geese beginning to leave their overnight roosts in the continued search for food.  Near to 300 geese in total headed toward the mosslands of Rainford and a single fieldfare was heard.
 
And then just as Damian arrived the heavens opened, with drizzle, then sleet, followed by hail and proper snow ...... maybe you should change your name mate!
 
We gave it a go much to the amusement of the gathered black-headed gulls on a flooded field.  I swear they actually came closer to see these two mad men for a laugh.
 
After a few more redwing and realising that snow is wetter and colder than rain we called time on our planned exploits and headed home.
 
And low and behold come 9am the bloody sun came out and shone gloriously all day. 
 
At least I have the luxury of being able to work from home allowing the wintering coal tits to keep me entertained and they busily go about caching sunflower seeds.  I look forward to having randomly sprouting sunflowers all over the garden next spring, I apologise now to the neighbours.
 
And the kick whilst I'm down was the resident sparrowhawk using the thermals generated by this huge swing in temperature to soar over the local gardens in search of prey.  Four seasons in one day, I love the UK.
 
Should I try again tomorrow?
 
Paul B

Eccleston Mere

Just a quick walk around the mere this afternoon, produced 5 Pochard (3 males, 2 females), 5 Gadwall (2males, 3 females), 6 Tufted ducks, a Grey wagtail and a Snipe.

Earlier, on my way home from Southport, I saw several flocks of Pink-feet flying around the Rainford bypass area, but couldn't find any flocks on the ground today.

My Garden Off Gunning Avenue Eccleston

A grey wagtail visits my garden every winter and made it's first appearance of this year today. We've lived here for four years, and it has visited every year without fail. I put out meal worms once I start seeing it and in previous years it has visited pretty much every day I'm here to watch for it. Here's a photo I took of it a few years ago...

 
 
 
We went to Pennington Flash today to try and see the Cetti's Warbler but I'm not sure I saw it. I saw a skulky brown bird in the right area that refused to show itself properly but it was silent unfortunately. We did see kingfisher and a water rail from Pengy's Hide and all the normal from the Bunting Hide (willow tit, bullfinch, stock dove etc).
 
Damian P

Billinge Hill

Not much around this morning but it was lovely and sunny...
Skylark 16+ around the summit
Goldcrest 1 near Beacon farm
Yellowhammer 6
Kestrel 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Buzzard 1
Tree Sparrow 20+
 
Damian P

Ecleston Mere

Tawny owl 1
Kingfisher 2
Gadwall 6+ (2 males, 4 females)
Little grebe 1
Pochard 1 male

Newton Lake

Still plenty if teal on the lake with over 100 present. Lots coming into pristine plumage now too .... What chance a green-winged teal ......?

Paul Brady

Sent from my iPod

Eccleston Mere

I got drenched going around the Mere this morning! I had a look for the tawny owl but couldn't find it despite knowing exactly where to look. Two of the mallards were mating today-is that normal for this time of year?!
 
Redwing 1 in the hedge and a few more overhead
Pochard 3 (2m,1m)
Gadwall 7-10 (at least 3 males)
Tufted Duck 2 (1m,1f)
Kingfisher 1
GS Woodpecker 1m
A few siskin heard flying around

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

Tawny owl 1
Kingfisher 2 chasing each other around the mere
Teal 1
Tufted duck 2

Eccleston Mere

Chiffchaff 1
Gadwall 11 (5 males, 6 females)
Teal 6
Little Grebe 2 juvs
Cormorant 5
Great Crested Grebe 12