Monday 28 December 2015

Is it Spring yet?

I managed a brief visit to the patch this afternoon, mainly to coincide with the evening Gull roost at Pickerings Pasture. Stopping at Carr Lane Pools the birds were clearly thinking it was Spring with a singing Chiffchaff and displaying Teal. The pools were quiet with only 76 Teal, 7 Redshank, 2 Wigeon and a distinct lack of anything else. I wandered along Town Lane to view Hale Marsh quickly picking up a female Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and 5 Buzzard.
A couple of Ravens cronked over and a Kingfisher sped along the ditch from the bridge, but otherwise it was quiet. Driving round to Pickerings Pasture the cloud was starting to pour in, the wind was picking up and the tide wasn't receding as quickly as I hoped, however a Tree Sparrow in the hedgerow at the entrance was a surprise.
Settling into the bank I started to scan the Gulls on the far bank, quickly realising that it was going to be difficult to pick much out and so it proved. In nearly 2 hours I only picked out 4 Yellow Legged Gull (ad and 3 1st winter) and a single adult Med Gull. Rather frustratingly I had a 'white-winger' drop onto the top of the Tesco factory, however I wasn't able to pick it out again.....that Glaucous Gull will have to wait until my next visit.
Whilst scanning the Mersey I watched at least two Peregrine coming into roost on the Runcorn Bridge, whilst a further bird was watched taking on the Starling mumeration over Runcorn train station. Spot the Peregrine competition below....
Giving up and returning to the car my mood was lightened by a group of 9 Bullfinch in the hedgerow by the carpark, the biggest group that I have seen this winter.
A brief stop at Carr Lane on the way home produced a single Water Rail squealing away, but little else. Time slipping away for any additions to the 2015 patchwork challenge, but there's always tomorrow..... Sadly not on patch, but whilst driving back from Knowsley Safari Park This morning I bumped into a Waxwing by The Rocket (M62/Queens Drive) junction. Always nice to see and hear, hopefully it will find its way down to Hale before 2016.....

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