It was a lovely sunny morning at the mere, spoiled only by a dog doing a wee against my leg as I watched across the fields!...
Also 1 fox in the field behind the boat hut, I wonder if this is the same one that crossed Burrows lane in front of car one morning a few weeks ago?
Then it was onto Clocaenog Forest where we saw three Goshawks, including two displaying.
Kittiwakes usually spend the winter out at sea but all this recent awful weather can drive seabirds miles off-track and in some unfortunate cases even leave them far from home with no food. Worse still if the weather is really bad many a seabird can be found washed up dead along the coast :(
This bird thankfully is not too far from the coast and at one point even came to food when one of the local anglers was baiting the water ...... fingers crossed it remains in good shape, gets to the nearest breeding colony, gets into breeding condition and finds at mate.
Sadly the story does not end their though as kittiwakes are suffering immesely at breeding sites due to reduced numbers of their favourite food - sand eels. The decline in sand eels is linked to climate change, a warming of the seas has hugely disrupted their breeding patterns. In some cases kittiwake parents can't find enough food to feed their chicks or bring back the wrong food - either way the chicks die from starvation. All this is exacerbated by overfishing too.
All is not lost though as you can do something to help many of our conservation organisations have put huge amounts of effort into protecting our sealife and were succesful in helping to push through new laws to create a network of marine proteced areas. However, this is just the beginning, the fight to protect as many areas as possible given all the threats from interested parties most recently and notable fracking.
Simply by checking out these links and comitting a bit of time to read up on the facts (see http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/marine/ and http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/sealife/index.aspx) you can help protect our internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds and marine wildlife. If you want to go that bit further you can always support an organisation such as the RSPB or Wildlife Trusts (for the former please see me :) )
So hopefully in the future we can turn the corner and see our seabird numbers go upwards (and maybe even make sightings like this one more common)
Water rail 1 in ditch on western side.
Pochard 7 mm
Goldeneye 1 m
Shoveler 1 m
My 5th Kittiwake at the mere, but the first for six years. The last one stayed for three days at least, so there's a chance it will hang around.
Kittiwake (centre) with two black-headed gulls. Not sure what that is near the base of its bill on the right hand side of its face. Perhaps a growth or an infection?
Notice the black legs.
Pochard 6 mm
Gadwall 2 (m&f)
Teal 2 or 3 calling from the wet wood
Tufted duck 13 (8mm, 5ff)
This was my 7th Pintail at Eccleston Mere, but the first for 10 years. All of the previous birds have appeared singularly and all have been in the Autumn. Initially it was on the water, but after about five minutes flew off towards Prescot Reservoirs.
Little Grebe 1
Gadwall 2 (1m,1f)
Water rail 1
Teal 2 (1m, 1f) at the back of the wet wood
There was very little around at the Mere this morning, I was told about the shoveler though as I got there. I think they're the first I've seen at the Mere...
Shoveler 2 (1m,1f)