29/12/2012 West Kirby Marina Lake

Red Breasted Merganser: A trip to see the Hobbit - it was ok, not brilliant! And after reading the sightings on the Dee Estuary website I took the opportunity to stop off and see the birds on West Kirby Marina Lake.
There were 10 RBM on the lake with 4 drakes and the rest red headed females. The tide was on its way back out but still full when I arrived and there were loads of wader movement in front of the shadow of Hilbre Island with around 100 Dunlin flying around.

Goldeneye: I also spotted a hand full of Goldeneye but only one drake. I also checked out New Brighton Marina Lake but was only rewarded with a couple a Black Headed Gulls and one Redshank of the pontoon.

26/12/2012 Leighton Moss RSPB

Teal: I was lucky enough to be dropped off at Leighton on Boxing Day, only an hour but nice to be out and about with the camera.

I didn't see all that much but this stunning drake Teal was showing well from Lillian’s Hide, now last time I was sitting here I saw my first Otter but today I was happy to settle for a few ducks.
Tree Creeper: Stuck behind a large festive Boxing Day guided walk on the narrow paths of Leighton Moss and they spotted this Tree Creeper feeding on a moss covered branch. There was also a Marsh Tit and Coal Tit feeding on the same branch where someone had placed some seed.

22/12/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Nuthatch: After a few days off im finally back at Burton Mere where I am never disapointed, Water Rail, male Hen Harrier and Whooper Swans makes for a good day at work.

Siskin: The feeders have been moved away from the reception building and the birds are loving the new set up. They have been placed by the meres and picnic tables where you can see Siskin, Nutchatch and loads of other woodland birds feeding up close.

The feeders will need to be topped up very regually here!

Redpoll: While I sat at the picnic table watching the Siskin fight for its spot on the bird feeder I saw breifly this Redpoll. I was only able to reel off a few shots, most of which the bird was in focus but behind the branches of the tree, this was the best of a bad bunch!

16/12/2012 Caerhun Church

Hawfinch: I was treated to a Sunday twitch by Dawn my partner who drove me to Conwy where we drove up to Caerhun. I bumped in to the very friendley Steve Culley.
As you can see I seriously struggled to get a decent shot of the bird, I was made up to see the bird through my bins which gave me excellent views but struggled with the manual focus on my camera!

This may well be the bird that got away, I'll be back and will try agin or perhpas go up to the lakes and try my luck there.

03/12/2012 Moore Nature Resreve

Smew: (female) My first Smew, ok it's not a stunning white cracked porcelain male but a red headed female and the pics aren’t great as the birds was staying some distance away from the lens but never the less a great bird.
It was a busy bird, feeding along the far side of the bank at the Phoenix Hide it seemed to be hanging around with the Tufted Ducks.

Other birds to note were Willow Tit, Reed Bunting, Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a number of Jays at the feeding station which was nicely stocked up!

I was suprised how samll this bird actualy is, only a little bigger then a Little Grebe must by far the samllest of the saw billed ducks. I know this stunning duck is a winter visitor but I was suprised to read (BTO) that their UK population is only 180 individuals.

Green Woodpecker: Another good tick of the day had to be this Green Woodie which was feeding on the grass bank at the foot of the Phoenix Hide. I must have missed it as I only caught it as it flew in to an old dead tree.

02/12/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Water Rail: Burton Mere has to be the best place to see Water Rail, this secretive bird has been showing all week like a star!

Ok, more of the same, perhaps! But what a bird. I know they are wide spread and common but they are so elusive and shy however this guy loves the lime light.

01/12/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Brambling: More Brambling same place same time-ish but this time a female!

Keep your eyes trained on the floor as you leave the walkways out of the recepition hide as these birds are acivley feeding on the ground in theses areas.

Siskin: More Siskin this time upside down, theses birds are so agile, feeding on the very tips of the branches with such ease! Birds are brilliant.

Fist of December, not far until Christmas and all I want  is a Desert Wheatear! I just haven’t had the time to get down to Rhyl yet, gutted. Fingers crossed it stays around!

30/11/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Siskin: One of my favourite birds of the winter, these little yellowish green finches are everywhere at Burton Mere.
But unlike some lucky people you won’t find them down on the feeders, well not yet anyways! There is still a ton of natural food for them up in the alder trees around the meres.
Other *STAR* birds around at Burton Mere include the wonderful Water Rail – been showing incredibly well in the newly cut reeds net to the reception hide. Brambling can still be seen feeding on the ground within the mixed finch flocks.
The male Hen Harrier has also been up and about thsi week.

26/11/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Water Rail:Today’s morning started with lots of strimming around both sides of the Reception Hide, which meant very little birds of the feeders around the centre and birds on the main scrape.

All this disturbance was for a specific purpose, to cut rides in to the reeds in order to make seeing the resident Water Rails easier. And just as the wardens put their strimmers down the invisible bird made an appearance.
It’s amazing how Water Rail's evaporate and disappear in to their environment, behind the reeds.

25/11/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Nuthatch: Great weather and great birds today at work-if that what you want to call it, with a male and female Brambling and a few female Siskins along with a Red Breasted Merganser.

Siskin: Ok not the best pic, but always a nice bird to see and photograph. I hope they eventually come down out of the trees and down on to the feeders I’ll get a good shot then, even though it is cheating lol

24/11/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Green Woodpecker: Another great day at work, bird of the day had to be this stunning male Green Woodpecker which has been seen around IMF and BMW car park for a few days now, It was reported to be to be in the old big Oak Tree next to the onsite farm house near the entrance.

I found the bird feeding in the adjacent farm field and another flying over the farm house, later on that day I then saw it flying through the woods and towards the Bunker Hide where it was perching on a fence post.

Brambling: The male Brambling made another appearance after a few weeks, I thought I would put some seed on the same path I last saw it and it worked. The pile of seed first attracted the attention of the local Squirrels and Rats then a huge flock of Chaffinches about 20+ with a dozen or so Goldfinches.
I was obviously working and not able to kept a regular eye on the pathway but it was not until a couple pointed out to me that they had seen him feeding on the path until I grabbed my camera and took a peak.
Brilliant, it was there and showing well, It has been the only one seen on BMW side and I will continue to put seed out to entice the bird.
Its my 100th post!

13/11/2012 Warrington, Milner Street

Waxwing: What brilliant birds, not only are they stunning and scarce but when they turn up on our small damp island they cause us birders to do a little twitching!
They are known to turn up on industrial estates, car parks and in this case next to a Kia garage and opposite the Honda garage along a business estate in Warrington.
There were about 50+ birds which were in a large American Plane Tree and seemed to be scouting the areas by flying short distances off their perches then back again. They then decided to descend only a metre away from me on a berry tree polishing off the fruit.
I arrived around 1330 and the birds stayed until around 1410 and then flew off out of sight, I came back about 40 minutes later and they were back on their American Plane Tree.

What a super bird! Brilliant day and the £10 well spent (train fare) I just wished the lighting was better as I’m not thrilled with my results, the pictures are grainy and the colours on the birds is not as vivid. Perhaps ill get lucky again when the weather improves.

I deleted this post by mistake and can’t change it around and make it an older post

20/11/2012 Chester Business Park

Waxwing: Wonderful Waxwings have finally made it to Chester and again on my split shift i grabbed my camera and headed off to Chester Business Park where over twenty of the beauties had be seen between MBNA and Natwest.
I took a very long walk around the place and didn’t see or hear any sign of them or any other birders but I didn’t give up these birds have an effect on me and other birders.
Perhaps it’s the way they look theses birds are stunning with their colourful wing tips and Jimmy Hendrix hair doo! Well more like Jedwood. Or perhaps because they are approachable as they pose while stuffing their beaks on berry trees just feet away from your lens. Or maybe it’s because they are rare but seen regularly in town centres, car parks and anywhere else you wouldn’t find a tropical crazy looking bird.
For me it’s their attitude and personality they are cool and colourful little characters.
I could only find a modest flock of five but they still put on a good show, there might have been more as Chester Business Park is pretty big. These birds where spotted alongside the main road through the park near Regents Building and opposite MBNA.

 Brilliant, beautiful, bohemian waxwing

10/11/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Brambling: I had this bird on a prefect branch overlooking the feeding station in perfect sunlight and as I lifted my camera and pressed the butted to capture the image there was no usual click....what! Oh no.....the battery went dead. I was fuming at my lack of organisation I knew it was running low.

I then ran to get my spare and by the time I got back the bird had moved of its perch and on to the floor, in the bloody shade.

Redwing: I wasn’t totally happy with the Brambling pictures, I guess I was still angry with myself for letting a super shot go due the battery so I tried my luck again later in the day. I didn’t see the Brambling but got this record shot of a Redwing and saw six of them flying over towards the Bunker Hide.

09/11/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Great White Egret: Another great day at work-if that's what’s people call it! It started of with a stunning male Marsh Harrier cursing over the reeds from the visitor centre hide then a female Peregrine cashing Snipe over the main scrape which was then mobbed my a female Merlin.
The day was then topped off with not one but two Great White Egrets amongst about 80 Little Egrets, brilliant. You can see they are much larger then the little and they have yellow bills, not black like the little. And in flight they are huge with very long serpentine necks.

22/03/2012 The Great Orme

Lapland Bunting: Today I went bunting hunting up on the Great Orme. I started along Marine Drive there where loads of the regular gulls and a few stone chat with a few grey seal bobbing around the rocks like corks. My aims was to head over the visitor centre and then make my way around the lime stone paths, it was here I bumped in to two nice birders from who were on the same hunt.

They advised me the Lapland bunting where last seen yesterday on the lime stone paths so I made a beeline for that part of the Orme.

Snow Bunting: I was aimlessly wondering around when I was lucky enough to again bump in to theses two birders who were with a gaggle of other birders, they told me the bunting just flew in my direction, but is missed them. We then turned to see both Lapland bunting forging amongst some rocks at our feet, brilliant.
Stonechat: (male) After filling our SD cards with pictures we then turned to see a snow bunting on the path behind us, what a super bird. After taking my fill of pictures I said good bye and headed home spotting a couple of raven and a peregrine.

19/10/2012 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Nuthatch: My birthday and Christmas’s have all come at once, now I am a proud owner of a Canon 100-400mm 4.5 L series lens and I am made up! I was on my own on the reserve today and unable to get out of the Visitor Centre to play with it so I stayed around the feeders.

I placed some nuts one the log below the feeders and the well names nuthatch was straight on them hovering each one up before the rats and squirrels got to them.

Tawny Owl: I was also lucky enough to see this tawny owl spying on me from beneath the ivy, brilliant bird to see.