Friday, 21 October 2016

Friday 21st October 2016

Weather; High cloud early becoming clear, sunny and warm. Wind variable F1

The almost windless conditions resulted in a very calm sea and an opportunity to count around 20,000 Scoters far offshore. Unfortunately the distance was too great to pick out any rarer species among them, a walk out to the tide edge at low tide from Hoylake being the best tactic to achieve this, again in flat calm conditions.
Overhead passage was a bit down on yesterday due to clearer conditions but 10 Skylarks, 3 Reed Buntings, 8 Siskins, 18 Fieldfare, 15 Redwing, 4 Grey Wagtails, 10 Chaffinches and a Redpoll all passed east. 25 Meadow Pipits moved south.
50 Meadow Pipits and a Rock Pipit were grounded on Leasowe common with another 25 Meadow Pipits in the paddocks and 16 on Meols common, where there was also 2 Stonechats.
A Firecrest showed intermittently throughout the afternoon from trees bordering Greenacres cottage at the start of Lingham Lane. A Coal Tit was at Lingham bridge with another at the back of the fisheries. Other migrants grounded in the Leasowe area included 6 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 15 Goldcrests, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Fieldfares, 6 Song Thrushes and 12 Redwings. Robin numbers were much reduced from yesterday.  Observers GB, KAD, EW
Chiffchaff.          EW

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thursday 20th October 2016

Weather;  Overcast with good visibility. Wind mainly north F1-2

There was a big arrival of Robins in the Leasowe area today with around 40 individuals being recorded. An indication of a Robin influx are the constant chases in progress presumably between the local birds on territory and the migrants. Other arrivals in good numbers included 35 Goldcrests, 30 Blackbirds, 12 Song Thrushes, 16 Mistle Thrushes, 10 Redwings and 30 Chaffinches. 4 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and a late Lesser Whitethroat were also in the lighthouse area.
Robin;  One of a large arrival today.       EW
There was some decent overhead passage today which included 52 Pink-footed Geese north-east and 32 Skylarks, 5 Reed Buntings, 55 Chaffinches, 7 Siskins, 2 Redpolls, 60 Meadow Pipits, 8 Redwings and 22 Fieldfares east. A further 35 Meadow Pipits and 2 Teal passed south.
Fieldfares passing overhead.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Kenny Dummigan. 25th December1950--5th October 2016

We would like to say a few words about our great friend Kenny Dummigan, who sadly passed away on 5th October following a brave fight against cancer.
Kenny was very well known on the local and national birding scene and his infectious good humour always made him a delight to go birding with. He was a fantastic raconteur and a day's birding with him would involve a non stop deluge of the most hilarious stories. This never seemed to distract him however and he would often stop mid sentence to point out an interesting bird or identify a calling Pipit at stratospheric height above.
Kenny had birded extensively worldwide and was a member of pioneering birding trips to Morocco and other locations as long ago as the early seventies. He had recently birded extensively in Israel, Thailand, China and Ethiopia.
Kenny was an integral member of the 'Lighthouse crew' and was a very skilled rare bird-finder. His more recent finds in the Leasowe area include Surf Scoter, Golden Oriole, Red-throated Pipit, Bluethroat and 2 Wrynecks. On a national level he has found major rarities such as American Nighthawk and Cliff Swallow, among many others.
Outside birding Kenny had served for 30 years in the Merseyside Police, mostly as a Detective, and became an expert in the investigation and detection of complex international fraud. This led a great deal of foreign travel, although he would somehow never forget to pack his binoculars!

Kenny is a massive loss both to the birding community as a whole and as a close friend to many. Our thoughts are with his partner Lex and his family at this sad time.
There will be Service to celebrate Kenny's life at 1.30p.m. on Monday 24th October at the Hill Bark Hotel, Royden Park, Frankby, Wirral CH48 1NP.

Thursday 13th October 2016

Weather;  Fine early, then cloudy. Wind SE F2-3

18 Little Egrets was a high count at the western groyne today. The numbers of this species is constantly growing at this location.
There was a small overhead, mainly easterly, passage of  8 Grey Wagtails today with 2 others feeding along the Birkett. 4 Skylarks, 3 Song Thrushes and 4 Siskins also passed west and around 30 Meadow Pipits south, with around 10 in the paddocks. 2 Ravens moved west. They now seem to be a resident pair and are seen most days.
Garden Warbler at Lingham bridge.          EW
Grounded migrants around the lighthouse included a late juvenile Reed Warbler in the reedbed, a Garden Warbler at Lingham bridge, a Redwing, 2 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs and a Yellow-browed Warbler.
Grey Wagtail along the Birkett           EW

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Weather; Sunny periods with showers in afternoon. Wind NE  F2

There was a small movement of Thrushes in the lighthouse area today with an arrival of around 25 Blackbirds and 4 Song Thrushes in the area of the pond and nature trail. 6 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Song Thrushes and 5 Redwings passed south. A further 4 Redwings were grounded in the Lingham Lane area. Other overhead movers included 16 Skylarks, 2 Siskins and 2 Grey Wagtails east and 30 Meadow Pipits and a Snipe south.
2 Wheatears and 2 Stonechats were on Meols common near to the small inland horse paddocks (Hoopoe hollow) 2 Stonechats were in Kerr's field.
Bullfinch, Lingham Lane.      Steve Williams
2 Yellow-browed Warblers were in the duckpond area showing well intermittently. 3 Chiffchaffs and 20 Goldcrests and a Blackcap were also in the area. A further 12 Goldcrests were along Park Lane.
Stonechat and Wheatear, Meols common.
A single Bullfinch and 4 Blackcaps were near the kissing gate on Lingham Lane and a late Garden Warbler was feeding on berries in the hedge bordering the Lingham fisheries. Observers; KAD, TK, EW, SRW.
Yellow-browed Warbler.            Steve Williams

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


The Western Sandpiper present at Meols and Hoylake from 19th to 24th September 2012 has now been accepted by the BBRC. It is only the 9th record of Western Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper.  Meols.  September 2012.    Photo by Phil Woollen
for the U.K. and only the 1st for Cheshire and Wirral.

This extremely tricky individual caused a great deal of controversy at the time with experienced birders nationwide divided as to it's identification, many mistakenly believing it the be a Semi-palmated Sandpiper, hence the length of time taken to assess the submission.

The bird was found just off Hoylake shore by lighthouse stalwart, Allan Conlin on 19th September. Durung it's stay it was estimated the bird was seen by many thousand's of birders.

Congratulations are due to Allan for such a fantastic find and full credit must also be given to him for pursuing the correct identification throughout , despite the considerable controversy the bird caused.

Tuesday 11th October 2016

Weather; Fine and clear early morning, clouding over with short showers later. Wind E F1

A very late Wood Warbler was a surprise visitor to the duckpond area near the lighthouse at noon today. Unfortunately it couldn't be re-located later in the day. The late date together with the current weather system indicates it could well be a migrant from Scandinavia subject to an easterly drift, along with the many other unusual migrants in the country at the moment.
There was a good count of over 40 Goldcrests in the Leasowe area through the course of the day. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the area of the eastern kissing gate briefly this morning and again this afternoon. 7 Blackcaps and 6 Chiffchaffs were also in the lighthouse area. 2 Wheatears were on Meol's common.
Wheatear. Meols Common.            EW
Overhead movement consisted of a Peregrine flying north, 9 Skylarks east and over 40 Meadow Pipits south. 14 Pied Wagtails and a Raven were in the paddocks and singles of Greenshank and Grey Plover were on the shore, together with over 150 Lapwings which were later seen to head off south. Observers; KAD, TK, MGT, EW. 
Yellow-browed Warbler.         EW