16/12/2015 My Garden, Abram, Wigan

White Wagtail: The last few months have been great for my garden list with two new ticks, a white Wag and Blackcap, my first ever Grey Squirrel and good numbers of Goldfinches and Starling.

There often hear and see always Grey Wagtails around the neighbourhood but never in my garden, until this bird came to feed on some spilt fat from under the fat ball feeder.

Not remind me that the grass needs cutting! Its like a jungle out there and all this mild weather isn't helping the issue.

Blackcap: The start of the show however has to be this male wintering Blackcap that has been regularly visiting my garden feeders for a number of weeks. Favouring the lowest positioned fat ball feeder, he likes to hop about the veg plot before making his move.

(image taken through double glazed windows)

Greater Spotted Woodpecker: This was only my second record of a GSW in the garden and I was thrilled to get an image, even if it was through the double glazed windows.
The bird stuck around a lot longer then the last one as it fed on the fat balls before flying on to the fence for a short preen and then off in to a nearby tree.

(image taken through double glazed windows)

15/12/1025 Haslam Park

Goosander: It was a toss up between Salford's GND or a chance to get a decent photo of Preston's Ring-billed Gull now it's moving between the docks and Haslam Park.
No sign of the RBG this afternoon on or around the park's pond but I was treated to some cracking views of two redhead Goosander on the pond.
One individual kept coming close and feeding on small fish and as I lay on the wet muddy floor I did get some odd looks from the locals walking their dogs.

12/12/2015 West Kirby Marina Lake

Great Northern Diver: Wet, soaked, drenched doesn't come close to how waterlogged I was after spending the afternoon bagging the GND at WKML.

The bird showed well unlike the RTD which spent all of it's time in the middle of the lake.
The rain didn't stop all day preventing me from getting a sharp image as the rain not only waterlogged me but my gear, still great bird to catch up with.

04/12/2015 Lunt Meadows

Short-eared Owl: This was my first trip to Lunt and it most certainly won't be my last!

From woodland to meadows, wetland to farmland this little reserve comprises of some great habitats and great wildlife.

Lunt Meadows is fast becoming famous for it's owls and currently boasts up to 4 SEO and a couple of Barn Owl.
Although I didn't see any Barn Owl I had a cracking afternoon watching 3 SEO with one individual quartering close in the field behind the main screen.

Encouraged, I moved on and explored the rest of the reserve including a small coppice of woods, then returned to the area where I had previously seen the SEO hunting. The sun was a bit more prevalent and the wind a bit more fierce at this point and after another intensive search I couldn't find any more SEO.
But the local Kestrel put on a good show hovering in near perfect light and I also got distracted by a Peregrine as it disturbed the gaggles of geese and folks of Lapwing.

Overall I thought this was a fantastic small nature reserve, however I have to say that Lunt Meadows is busy with plenty of dog walkers, birders and in almost every bush and along the field margins you will find a long lens poking through.

Still, I would highly recommend a visit to see the owls and take a very pleasant walk and if like me you need to find the directions or want to know a little bit more about this fantastic site then please check out the links below.


01/12/2015 West Kirby Marina Lake

Great Crested Grebe: After yesterdays dreadful weather I was keen to get out of the house and do a spot of birding.
So after a quick ramble around my local patch, Kingsdown Flash and with not much showing I decided to pay the toll and go across to the Wirral.
Red Breasted Merganser: Once I arrived I immediately spotted the mergs, one stunning male and 4 windswept females.

They came relatively close but it was the GCG that stole the show. 

As I wandered across to the far side of the lake one GCG came right up to me and started fishing, it eventually caught one and chugged it down.

Brilliant behaviour to watch.

Red-throated Diver: The RTD on the other hand kept its distant and floated about pretty much in the middle of the lake.

Even when the wind surfers came out it still stayed out of reach.
Cormorant: The lake must be rich in food stuffs as this guy was also catching and eating fish and before I left I saw the mergs catching some kind shrimp.