09/09/2014 Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire

Harbor Porpoise: What a day!

Tanmay, Gary and I booked ourselves on to the Stena Line trip from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire hoping for some good sea watching.
Gannet: Previous trips the week before had thrown up Sooty and Balearic Shearwater and although I didn't hold much hope we searched and scanned every pair and every raft of manxies.



 
Stena Line have been offering this non landing return trip from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and back for a while now for £5 and you can't argue with that!

So despite the lack of sooty and Balearic it was still a very good trip.
Manx Shearwater: The ferry offers two viewing platforms at the rear of the craft, one smoking and the other non-smoking. This area is caged off which slightly restricts viewing but you can still pick out the birds as the craft runs very smoothly.
Almost as soon as the ferry set off we had bagged a tonne of manxies and gullies. A bit further out to sea we picked up Fulmar, Gannet and the odd juvenile Kittiwake.

The shear numbers of birds were awesome.
Guillemot: Our return trip was a little quieter however Garry spotted a Common Dolphin and Tanmay and I picked up a few Harbor Porpoise.

All in all a very good, cheap and different day out.

07/09/2014 Hoylake

Greenshank: From BMW Gary and I set off up to the North Wirral Coast, starting with Hoylake, however our timing was a bit off and we couldn't pick out many waders on the shore.






We did have some nice wader action from the walk towards Leasowe picking up good numbers of Reshank, Turnstone and Dunlin.







On our way back we encountered this little gem, a Greenshank that was frantically feeding in a shallow pool.



Dunlin: The Greenshank behaviour was awesome to witness, as it chased fish with it's head dipped under the water.


07/09/2014 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Pectoral Sandpiper: What a superb day on a superb RSPB nature reserve. OK I will always have a soft spot for BMW but after a day like today you can't but revel in how good it can be.   



After saying hello to some very friendly and familiar faces Gary and I took the trek to Inner Marsh Farm Hide. The hide, like the car park, was chocca but we manged to get a seat and quickly picked out the pec among several Ruff.



Hobby: Out of nowhere came a swooping Hobby that dashed through the startled wader flock.

The Hobby gave everyone in the hide some stunning views as it did a U-turn and tried again.
Eventually the wader flock came back and touched down in their usual places, the pec went back on to its mud bank and the Lapwings to roost on the main island.
After the pack of waders had a good shuffle we then spotted 3 Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Little Stint.
Red-necked Phalarope: The phal was still showing well, this time a bit closer while it was spinning in the water foraging for food.

Hobby, Pec sand, Cattle Egret, red neck phal, 2 Little Stint and 3 curlew sands can't be bad!

06/09/2014 Great Orme

Wheatear: There are days as a birder I loath, those grey windy days when you see nothing, but there are days when the sun is shining and you find yourself on a stunning part of Wales and despite not seeing your target bird it still turns out to be a great day.


I headed up the very Great Orme hoping to bag another Dotterel but ended up dipping it due to some dog walker spooking the bird before my arrival.

Cheers!




However as I searched for the Dotterel I spotted plenty of Wheatear zigzagging across the heather and perching on the limestone outcrops.

But alas there was no sign of the Dotterel.



Meadow Pipit: It was relatively quiet up there, I searched the grave yard, looked over the Gauze bushes and picked up very little. No migrants no flycatchers or redstarts.
Chough: I did however encounter a pair of Chough honking away as they flew over head.

Nice to bump in to Karen and Dave too.

04/09/2014 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Red-necked Phalarope:  One of the things I don't like about living in Wigan is that I cant make it across to BMW as often as I would like.

So when I do its always great, especially when you trow in a brand new tick!
One of the guys in the hide said he first saw a picture of a red-necked phal in a book when he was 12 and it has only taken him 50 years to actually see one, then Mark Payne pipped up and said its only taken Austin 30 years!!


 Well cheers dude, but its now firmly on my list.

03/09/2014 Marbury Country Park

Black Tern: An after work trip to Marbury, It was one of those days when a decent bird turns up, the weather is nice and I'm stuck in the office! 



Needless to say I was keen to wrap thing up and catch the birds that were picked up mid morning on Budworth Mere before they disappeared.
Once I arrived the two birds were miles away, as I watched for about half an hour they didn't come any closer.
I then decided to drive round to the boating place on the opposite side of the mere. This turned out to be a wise decision as after a short wait both birds came much closer to my lens.

29/08/2014 Pennington Flash

Garganey:  Finally connected with the female Garganey that has been frequenting Ramsdale scrape.
Green Sandpiper: I stayed and watched the Garganey feeding for about half an hour before clambering on one of the islands to have a sleep.
From there I moved on to Teal Hide and was treated to not only some excellent views of two green sands but there was a pair of Kingfisher who were very active and very showy.
Kingfisher: The pair were happily perching on the posts around teal bay.




This week as been awesome for Kingfisher at Penny one of the few birds that capture non-birders excitement and a bird I always like to see.

They are just beauties.

27/08/2014 Hoylake

Little Stint: There was a huge flock of large gulls which I spent some time scanning through but was unable to pick out anything interesting. However I spent most of my time scanning over flocks of Dunlin looking for yesterday's Curlew Sandpiper, not this time but I picked up a Little Stint scurrying between the Dunlin.

Now I know dog walkers on this part of the Wirral can be troublesome, but this guy took the biscuit, as I was standing my distance from the Stint snapping away he let all four of his loud barking dogs loose which ran straight towards me!


One dog in particular took a fancy to me and started jumping all over me, all over my new coat and all over my camera. Not only was I now covered in mud and sand but the Stint took off and was long gone.