Eccleston Mere

Goldeneye 1f
Bullfinch 5 (2m, 3f)
Little grebe 1
Pochard 1f
Kingfisher 1
Mute swan 1

Damian P

Quick morning stroll.

Had an hour around the dream this morn.
1 Kestrel female
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Buzzard
1 GS Woodpecker Female
1 Bullfinch male
Plus usual Tits Robins etc.
Howard😃

Sent from my iPhone

Eccleston Mere

Here’s another shot of the Kingfisher from this morning.



There was also a Willow Tit in the flooded woodland.



   

Eccleston Mere

Today was my first day out birdwatching after recovering from my op, I've been itching to get out again. The kingfisher was showing amazingly well along the stream, I probably could have crept even closer to it, but didn't want to disturb it.
As I was watching the bullfinch pair in the first field behind the boatclub, I had a go at pishing to see if anything would show in the bramble patch. Almost immediately, a goldcrest appeared in the bushes at my feet - I had to move back to get the photo...

Kingfisher 1
Goldcrest 1
Bullfinch pair
Mute Swan 2
Nuthatch 1 heard in dead wood

There was a second hand report of a goosander at the Mere this morning - I didn't see it.






My garden...

 Grey wagtail are another regular winter visitor in my garden, although they only seem to appear when it's very cold. This photo was taken on 4th January. The female blackcap is still around but I've not seen the male recently.



Damian P


Carr Mill Dam

Haven't visited Carr Mill for a while but a rare day off combined with some sunshine lured me there.  The cold weather always means the birds have to make the most of any bright, dry spells and I wasnt disappointed.

Scanning the trees, hedges and fields  around The Dig Pit and Otterswift Farm meant I was soon "ticking" tree sparrow, fieldfare (40), redwing(20), mistle thrush(6), skylark (35) and song thrush (4).  A large female sparrowhawk and kestrel were in attendance and waiting to pick their victim amongst the massed feeders.

Venturing down to the dam I was lucky to glimpse this fella through the shrubs.
 
 


Moving on toward the Goyt I bumped into a regular and we didnt have to wait long for the local blue, great, coal and willow tit to show.  It was at this point that I was informed of a little egret sighting from the previous day along with female goldeneye and a pair of goosander. 

These constitute rarities for St Helens especially the egret which are far as I'm aware is the first sighting since I had one there in winter a few years back.  These sightings though do match the weather conditions as birds relocate due to worse weather elsewhere.  Needless to say I had no sight of these today.

Moving up the Goyt valley I had a brief flyover of 2 siskin and could hear distant pink-footed geese.

Before I left I headed a bit further down the dam to check the gull roost and get a good count of the great crested grebes as they were mainly confined to one of the few unfrozen areas.  Alas despite good numbers of gulls there were no "white wingers" but the 4 most common inland species were present.

My Great Crested Grebe was again one of my highest ever with 56 present after a number of counts.  To put this in context Carr Mill Dam holds more grebes than bred in the UK back at the start of the 20th Century!  Oh what a little protection, education and restoration of gravel pits can achieve :)

Whilst doing this count I was rather distracted by this little fella
 
 


Paul B



Eccleston Mere

I had good views of the kingfisher along the stream late this afternoon. I stood and watched them for around 15 minutes from a good distance. Eventually, one caught a fish and was quickly chased by the other - they both disappeared into the dead wood.

Kingfisher 2
Bullfinch 1m
Pochard 5 (4m,1f)
Mute Swan 2 (1m, 1f)
Sparrowhawk 1

Also, the blackcap have been daily visitors to my garden since my first sighting last week. The female seems to be a bit braver and frequently visits the fat block, the male seems to stay in the trees. The only time I've seen the male come into the garden, it was quickly chased off by the female. Blackcaps have a reputation for being quite aggressive to other birds, but this example was the only time I've seen them interact with another bird. This afternoon, the female waited patiently for a blackbird to finish on the fat before it took it's turn. I'm having a minor op on Tuesday so will probably get chance to watch them a lot more in the next few weeks!

Garden..

Blackcap 2 (1m, 1f)
Grey Wagtail 1
Pied Wagtail 1
Blackbird up to 12 at any one time!

Damian P

Taken at Promised Land Farm this afternoon. I couldn't believe it as two Peregrine falcons flew from an adjacent field and came together directly overhead. It looked like a passover(?) similar to what happens during the breeding season when the male passes its prey to the female in mid air but im not sure if it happens at this time of year? One of them then veered off but the other swooped down just yards over my head. For a split second the camera had focus but then lost it as I pressed the shutter and rattled of a few shots. It joined its mate in a tree further up in the adjacent field, then as I approached they both shot off in front of me. I panned the one at the back and this was the best of about 6 shots, albeit quite a large crop!
   They live up to their description of fastest land animal, like sh*t off the proverbial shovel!
 Can anyone give any info on the above description and is this bird male or female?

Long tailed tit in hawthorn I photographed near Promised Land Farm ,late November.