Date: 8th April 2017 ,0800 hrs to 1110 hrs
by Amanda, Geoff, Dave, Kevin, Mike and Terry
Weather : A warm sunny and calm morning but with a cool start
Temperature 4°C to 14°C
Blue Tit 15
Carrion Crow 6
Cetti’s Warbler 1
Collared Dove 2
Great Tit 9
Grey Heron 1
House Sparrow 6
Lesser Black-backed Gull 3
Long-tailed Tit 10
Mute Swan 2 (nesting pair)
Reed Bunting 11
Sand Martin 1 (first of year)
Song Thrush 5
Swallow 1 (first of year)
Willow Tit 1
36 Species in all
April’s Highlights – a Redstart and a Grey Seal
A lovely spring morning on the Meadows and an excellent turnout.
Several firsts for the year but no new species seen during the survey.
New summer arrivals seen during the survey were Sand Martin, Swallow, Chiffchaff and Blackcap.
Furthermore the Cetti’s Warbler was seen and heard again and is still in situ in transect 12. It can be heard (and seen if you’re lucky) belting out its stentorian song most times of the day near to the outfall of Spittal Brook.
A first survey sighting for the year and for only the second time on a survey date was a Willow Tit in transect 2 adjacent to the boardwalk. Hopefully this may be a new territory on the patch for our resident star bird.
This was again a three raptor morning with Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk all in evidence.
The most successful areas of the survey this month were transects 2 & 4.
It’s been a very interesting month for wildlife outside of the survey date; the first Willow Warblers were seen and heard on the 10th April, whilst Linnet and Common Redpoll (we mustn’t call them Lesser Redpoll any longer) were seen on the 17th April in transects 8 and 6 respectively.
Two Reed Warblers and one Grasshopper Warbler were heard and seen on the Meadows on the 21st April in transects 12, 2 and 10 respectively and two further Grasshopper Warblers have been heard since reeling in transects 4 and 11. In comparison to last year this has already been a successful year for Grasshopper Warblers, which were heard only twice last spring.
Two Sedge Warblers were also seen in transects 7 and 11 on the 21st April along with the first Whitethroat of the year in transect 11.
To rap up what was a good day’s “mooch” on the 21st a Grey Wagtail was seen on the iron girders over the Spittal Brook between transects 1 and 12 and a Kingfisher flew over transect 1.
On the 29th April Lesser Whitethroat’s were heard in transects 5 and 7.
The highlight of the month on the birding front however occurred on the 26th April, when I watched a male Redstart for several minutes feeding along the hedgerows in transect 7.
This handsome summer visitor, now on the Amber list because of conservation concern within Europe, is a new species for our Meadows list and came as a very present surprise.
8 Grey Squirrels seen during this month’s survey.
A Grey Seal was seen in the River Mersey from Paddington Bank on the 9th April and from transect 12 on the 10th April. These events seems to be getting more common as the last Grey Seals seen in the river between Kingsway Bridge and Woolston Weir were in both January and July 2016.
1 Comma and 1 Orange Tip Butterfly were seen in transect 8 on the morning of the bird survey as the day warmed up.
Transect 7 has been full of Cowslip this month and Cuckooflower abounds in the damper areas of the Meadows especially in transects 7, 8 and 10.
Grey Seal from transect 12
Greenfinch in transects 9 and 10
Goldfinch in transect 5
Grasshopper Warbler reeling in transect 10