Rainford Mosslands

Whooper swan 1 adult Dairy Farm Road
Pink-footed goose 5000+ Old Coach Road (best viewed from railway bridge)
Corn bunting 11 (Dairy Farm Road and 10 in Moss Lane)

The whooper swan was my first in the borough for about eight years. It was in a field with sheep to the north of the road. More photos on my blog

Promised Land Farm

There was a large flock of Fieldfare here this morning. I didn't realise they had so much white on their lower belly!

East Lancs

Monday Morning. Mixed flock of about 30 Linnets and 20 Pied wagtails feeding in cabbage field alongside East Lancs. Near layby just before Knowsley turnoff.

Regards, Dave

Moss Lane

The fieldfare and redwing were a lot more settled today, there were about 10 of each on the berry bushes around the sheep paddock, I didn't see any flocks overhead today. A bit further on there were 7 corn bunting at the top of a tree. They're the first I've seen there for a while but they're much harder to find when they're not singing. The starling numbers seem to have decreased, only about 400 there today mixing with a flock of around 100 jackdaw. I had another glimpse of a stoat/weasel but it saw me before I saw it and refused to come back out of the undergrowth despite me waiting there for ages!

Corn Bunting 7
Redwing 10
Fieldfare 10
Reed Bunting 1
Tree Sparrow 1
Meadow Pipit 1 over
Pied Wagtail 8
Yellowhammer 8
Kestrel 1
Starling 400
Jackdaw 100

Damian P

Eccleston Mere

Goldeneye 1 female
Tufted duck 30
Coot 190
Little grebe 1
Great crested grebe 12
Mute swan  1 adult
Grey wagtail 1
 
 

Slender grasshopper

On Saturday I found this tiny grasshopper in my backyard, it's about 15mm long. I was quite excited by it, because I knew that I'd never seen this species before, and to find it in my completely flagged back yard in November seemed strange to say the least, for a group of inverts that I normally associate with flower filled meadows on hot sunny days in summer! On top of that, we don't really see very many grasshoppers of any species in St Helens, so I was quite keen to find out what it was.

The first thing to say is, I've been decorating recently, and this unfortunate insect seems to have walked into some white paint. So ignore the white bits, it's really completely dark brown!

A few tweets and messages later, I had my answer, it's a slender grasshopper (or groundhopper)  Tetrix subulata,  a species which is largely confined to the midlands and south east England, with just a handful of records from the Sefton coast and around Bolton. So it's not a million miles away from St Helens, but so far a I can tell, this is the first record for the borough.


Brick not Delicate

Last week I tweeted a photo of a moth which I thought might be a migrant species known as the Delicate. I was wrong, it turns out it was the Brick, not exactly common, but certainly not as rare as the Delicate.

Moss Lane to Sadlers Lane

I had another look for winter thrushes this afternoon at Moss Lane. After walking all the way to Sadlers Lane, and then most of the way back again, I'd seen very little, but then a flock of  about 10 thrushes landed in the hedge right in front of me. I was chuffed to see my first fieldfare of the autumn. Moments later a large flock of around 100 birds were flying directly towards me - more fieldfare! In the hedge around the sheep paddock, there was one fieldfare eating berries. These were the best photos I could get in the low light...

Fieldfare 100+
Mistle Thrush 1
Song Thrush 2
Starling 1500 getting pretty impressive
Skylark 4
Kestrel 1
Pied Wagtail 10
Yellowhammer 3
Linnet 15

Damian P


Eccleston Mere

I was having my roof looked at this morning after damage from the recent winds - two flocks of redwing flew over while I was outside - about 30 in total, the most I've seen this year. When I got to the Mere I realised I'd forgotten my camera but there wasn't that much there to photograph anyway. A few small flocks of redwing flew over and a larger flock of about 20 thrushes which looked a bit big for redwing but I can't be sure what they were.

Redwing about 25 in separate flocks
Mute swan 2 adults
Tufted duck 35
Grey Wagtail 1
Little Grebe 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Nuthatch 1 (pointed out to me by someone else!)
Coal tit 1

Damian P

Pink Footed Geese

I was wondering if all the geese around the vicinity of Heatons farm/Promised land farm will have left the area for good this autumn now? I noticed them last Saturday and didn't have my camera. Then when I saw the tweet about 3000 flying over last Tuesday , I was at work. I haven't seen any since!