Sept 2018 Bird and Wildlife Survey

Date:  17th September 2018

0700 hrs to 10.45 hrs

by David, Steve, Alison, Geoff, Dave, and Terry

Weather :

Warm, cloudy and Calm. Temperature 10C to 15C

Birds

Blackbird 20
Blackcap 1
Black-headed Gull 1
Blue Tit 16
Bullfinch 1
Buzzard (Common) 2
Carrion Crow 5
Cetti's Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 4
Chaffinch 5
Collared Dove 1
Coot 1
Cormorant 2
Dunnock 5
Goldfinch 15
Great Tit 16
Greenfinch 2
Grey Heron 1
 

37 species in all

House Sparrow 5
Jay 2
Kingfisher 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Little Grebe 1
Long-tailed Tit 22
Magpie 23
Mallard 16
Moorhen 7
Mute Swan 2
Pheasant 1
Raven 1
Reed Bunting 3 
Robin 18
Song Thrush 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Swallow 4
Woodpigeon 42
Wren 8

September Bird Report

A considerably better survey than last month with plenty of bird and butterfly activity which resulted in 12 more species and 60 more minutes spent meandering round the patch. Interestingly, this was the first survey undertaken since the Meadows have been cut but it's far to early to come to any conclusions with regard to the change in habitat.

 Although there were no new species this month during the survey, we did encounter the welcome return of a Pheasant, a Raven and the Cetti's Warbler, which have all been absent for several months.

 Most of the warblers have departed for the year, but as well as the Cetti's Warbler several Chiffchaff and one Blackcap was still around and one of the Chiffchaff was found to be still in song during the survey.

 A  reasonable month for raptors with both Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk being seen during the survey and Kestrel encountered most days of the week especially on the pylons over the Meadows.

 After a poor summer for the species four Swallow were encountered over transect 2.  As with last month Jays are seen virtually every day  and a Willow Tit has been heard and seen in both transects 2 and 11.

 A Tawny Owl for only the second time on the patch has been heard; this time in transect 1 and a Mistle Thrush was perched atop the pylon in transect 8 on the 24th. Kingfisher have been regular sightings, especially in transect 12 this month.

Mammals

5 Grey Squirrel were logged during this month's survey and 1 Bank Vole was seen

Reptiles and Amphibians

A Common Frog was encountered in transect 10 making the most of the wet grass and hopping in the direction of the pond.  

Insects, Butterflies and Dragonflies

Lots of Butterfly activity this month, especially for Commas, Speckled Woods and Red Admirals. Noteworthy during the month has been a solitary Painted Lady on the 9th in transect 1 and a total of 3 Small Coppers on the 19th and 24th in transect 7 - a first sighting of this butterfly for the patch.

A Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar was seen along the board walk in transect 2 on the 23rd and a Turnip Sawfly was spotted on the ivy on the bridge into the Meadows in transect 3 on the day of the survey.

Plants and Fungi

There are several Shaggy Inkcap (Coprinus comatus) fruiting within the Larkfield Park field in transect 2. A Robin's Pincushion (Rose Bedeguar Gall) was noted on a Dog Rose in the corner of transect 5 during the survey.

The Hops along the fence in transect 8 are in full bloom.

Shaggy Inkcap

Robin’s Pincushion

Painted Lady

Red Admiral

Turnip Sawfly

Hop Flowers (Home Brew Anyone?)

Pale Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Small Copper

The 12 transects of the bird survey route

July 2018 Bird Survey

Date

15 July 2018  7:00 to 10:40

Mike, David, Steve, Amanda, Geoff, Alison, Dave, Jon and Terry

Weather

Very Warm, Sunny and Calm. Temperature 15C to 22C

Birds

Blackbird 18 Kestrel 1
Blackcap 9 Lesser Whitethroat 1
Blue Tit 5 Linnet 4
Bullfinch 4 Magpie 19
Buzzard (Common) 1 Mallard 6
Carrion Crow 8 Moorhen 6
Chaffinch 2 Reed Bunting 7
Chiffchaff 1 Reed Warbler 2
Collared Dove 43 Robin 1
Dunnock 1 Song Thrush 9
Goldfinch 51 Starling 37
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Swift 112
Great Tit 3 Whitethroat 8
Greenfinch 13 Woodpigeon 33
Grey Heron 1 Wren 5
House Sparrow 32  31 Species in all

Bioblitz Weekend

A weekend of various wildlife surveys took place on the New Cut Trail and Paddington Meadows on the 13th, 14th and 15th of this month as part of the national Bioblitz initiative.

With the hot weather and birds being in moult there was a reduction of nine in the species count this month compared with last. Despite there being no new species this month during the survey, it proved to be an outstanding month for other wildlife largely down to the Bioblitz weekend.

 The bird survey itself was exceptional for the large number of Starlings and Swifts both feeding on the same insects, high over transects 5 and 6. Furthermore, Goldfinch have begun to gather in large charms especially in transects one and seven and dozens of Collared Dove have taken to roosting in the pylons in transects five and six a phenomenon never noted before.

 Both Common Buzzard and Kestrel were seen during the survey and Sparrowhawk have been noted regularly during the course of the month.

 The raptor with pride of place this month though was seen on the morning of the Bioblitz when a Red Kite was seen flying low over transects five, eight and eleven before flying South East towards the Eyes.

 Good views of a Grasshopper Warbler were available in transect 10 during the survey, whilst the Sedge Warbler in transect 8 was still resident on the Meadows until the 19th of the month. Cetti's Warblers have been conspicuous by their absence this month.

A Willow Tit was seen on bird feeders on Larkfield Avenue on the 7th of the month and heard on the 20th nearby in transect 2.

A Common Sandpiper was seen on the river bank of transect seven on the 22nd during a low water period and two Raven were seen during a windy morning in transect 2 on the 28th.

After a poor summer for the species, several Swallows have been noted feeding over the Meadows over the last few weeks.

Mammals

6 species of bat, 7 Grey Squirrel and 2 weasels were logged during this month's survey. See Bioblitz report for more details.

Insects, Bees, Hoverflies, Butterflies, Moths and Dragonflies.

Lots of insect activity now thanks to the weather with lots of Meadow Brown; Gatekeepers; Speckled Wood; Large White, Large Skipper. A single Painted Lady, several Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Red Admiral. A large but harmless Hornet Hoverfly was seen in the Buddleia in transect 1 on the 31st. See Bioblitz report for more details.

Plants and Fungi

Common Knapweed and Ragwort are the dominant species on the Meadows this month, with the Blackberries now ripe for the picking in transects 7 and 8 especially. See Bioblitz report for more details

Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Peacock Butterfly

Oregano – Wild Margoram (Origanum vulgare)

Holly Blue Butterfly

Teasel and Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

Gatekeeper

Painted Lady

Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)

The 12 transects of the bird survey route.

May 2018 Bird Survey

Date: 14/05/2018

Attendees: Alison, David, Dave; Steve; Mandy; Geoff and Terry

Weather: Warm, Sunny and Calm

Bird List

36 species in total.

Blackbird 24

House Martin 2

Blackcap 7

House Sparrow 33

Blue Tit 14

Jay 1

Bullfinch 3

Kestrel 1

Buzzard 2

Linnet 11

Carrion Crow 6

Long-tailed Tit 7

Cetti's Warbler 2

Magpie 18

Chaffinch 7

Mallard 16

Chiffchaff 7

Moorhen 4

Collared Dove 2

Reed Bunting 18

Cormorant 1

Reed Warbler 5

Dunnock 7

Robin 10

Gadwall 3

Song Thrush 12

Goldfinch 11

Starling 15

Grasshopper Warbler 1

Swift 13

Great Tit 3

Whitethroat 11

Greenfinch 16

Woodpigeon 26

Grey Heron 1

Wren 9

Bird Report

A very pleasant morning's birding, with a great turnout of members and also 1 more species than in April.

All of the normal summer visitors to the Meadows have arrived, although some don't appear to have stayed, namely the Willow Warbler and Sedge Warbler. I'm happy to report though that there are at least 2 Grasshopper Warbler territories and at least 2 Cetti's Warbler territories.

This months survey was if anything unusual for the large number of House Sparrows and Starlings feeding on the insects in the hedgerows and grasses of the Meadows, with record numbers of both species seen. A special mention must go also to the larger than average numbers of Reed Bunting and Linnet.

Pride of place outside of the survey must go to the Cuckoo heard first on Westy Point at 9.00 am on the morning of 6th May and then on the Meadows proper at 9.25 am. Sadly the Cuckoo wasn't seen or heard again, but is the first known contact with this species for maybe 20 years or so.

Two raptor species have again been seen on this months survey; a Buzzard and a Kestrel which were again hunting over most transects of the Meadows. Two further raptors were sighted this month a Peregrine perched on the pylons in transect 5 on the 13th and a Red Kite over- flying the Meadows on the 29th was particularly noteworthy, sadly the Red Kite wasn't hunting over the patch and won't be added to the species list.

Also of note in May has been the sighting of 2 Pochard on the Mersey for several days in transect 4 and another probable visitor from Woolston Eyes a solitary Black-necked Grebe seen on the river in transect 7 on the 4th of the month.

 The first Swifts were seen feeding over the Meadows on the 7th May and also on the 7th was the welcome return of the Kingfisher to transect 12.

Robin

Woodpigeon

Mallard

Mammals

3 Grey Squirrels, 1 Weasel

Butterflies

Orange Tip; Speckled Wood; Large and Small White; Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.

Plants and Fungi

The Common Spotted-orchids are currently at their best in transect 7.

Large White

Speckled Wood

Common Spotted-orchid

April 2018 Bird Survey

Date – 12/04/2018

Attendees: Dave; Steve; Mandy; Geoff and Terry

Weather: Cool Cloudy and Calm

Birds

Blackbird 30

Blackcap 9

Blue Tit 15

Bullfinch 5

Buzzard 1

Carrion Crow 4

Cetti's Warbler 2

Chaffinch 13

Chiffchaff 5

Collared Dove 2

Common Sandpiper 1

Coot 3

Cormorant 2

Dunnock 11

Gadwall 2

Goldcrest 1

Goldfinch 19

Great Tit 12

35 species in total

Greenfinch 7

Grey Heron 3

House Sparrow 9

Jay 3

Kestrel 1

Long-tailed Tit 10

Magpie 24

Mallard 6

Mute Swan 1

Reed Bunting 9

Robin 14

Song Thrush 15

Starling 1

Teal 2

Tufted Duck 2

Woodpigeon 26

Wren 9

Bird Report

A very pleasant morning's birding, with 2 more species than March. Spring has finally arrived and with it the first of the warblers and some welcome first sightings of the year.

This months highlights were a first sighting for the patch of a Common Sandpiper on the banks of the Mersey in transect 7 and outside of the survey date, the surprise appearance of a Curlew feeding in transect 5 on the 26th of the month.

April has seen the welcome return of the majority of expected warblers. Namely, 2 Cetti's Warblers in transects 11 and 12 not heard or seen since November 2017; plus the return of three Grasshopper Warblers in transects 6, 8 and 10; Willow Warblers in transects 2, 3 and 12 with Blackcap and Chiffchaff calling in numerous location especially in transect 2 and Whitethroat back to their favourite haunts in transects 7, 8 and 11. The Reed Warbler returned to the reed bed in transect 2 on the 20th April.

Two raptor species seen this survey; a Buzzard and a Kestrel which was again hunting over most transects of the Meadows. Over the latter half of the month a pair of Sparrowhaws has been very active over the Meadows.

Also of note in April has been the return of the Linnet particularly near the hedge laid section of transect 7 and the large bramble hedge between transects 3 and 8.

A solitary Great Spotted Woodpecker was logged on the 30th in transect 12. The first Swallow was seen on the 15th and first House Martin on the 20th.

For only the second time since sightings have been logged a Yellowhammer was seen on the 16th in transect 6 close to the bird feeders.

Mammals

1 Grey Squirrel,    2 Grey Seal

Butterflies

 

 

1 Small Tortoiseshell; 1 Peacock; 1 Brimstone; 1 Green-veined White

Common Sandpiper

Dunnock Credit Amanda Fiddler

Moorhen Credit Mike Kenwright

Reed Warbler

March 2018 Survey

Date: 21/03/2018

Attendees: Dave; Steve; Mandy; Geoff and Terry

Weather: Cold Sunny with little Wind

Birds

Species total: 33

Blackbird 24

Herring Gull 1

Blue Tit 13

House Sparrow 9

Bullfinch 4

Kestrel 1

Buzzard 3

Long-tailed Tit 15

Canada Goose 6

Magpie 37

Carrion Crow 4

Mallard 22

Chaffinch 9

Moorhen 4

Collared Dove 1

Mute Swan 2

Coot 2

Redwing 2

Cormorant 4

Reed Bunting 13

Dunnock 15

Robin 17

Gadwall 4

Shelduck 2

Goldfinch 19

Song Thrush 7

Great Crested Grebe 1

Tufted Duck 7

Great Tit 4

Woodpigeon 32

Greenfinch 15

Wren 10

Grey Heron 1

 

Bird Report

A pleasant morning's birding, with  5 more species than February. As last month the cold snap meant that several "first sightings" have turned up with two of them on the survey day.

 

March's survey highlight was undoubtedly the Shelduck which were probably visitors from the Eyes. These large attractive ducks have been seen for several days on the Mersey from transects 11 and 12. There was also a solitary Herring Gull on the river in transect 12, surprising to note that this gull has never been seen to land within the patch although several are seen regularly seen flying overhead. The return of the Great Crested Grebe was also welcome as this species has not been seen since 2016.

 

Two raptor species seen this survey; 3 Buzzard enjoying the late morning thermals and a very active Kestrel which was hunting over most transects of the Meadows.

 

 

Outside of the survey date this month has proved very productive with several interesting species sighted plus two species not seen before on the Meadows, possibly for dozens of years, namely 6 Lapwing in transect 6 on the 3rd and a Skylark in display flight and song over transect 8. Nice to see both of these Red List birds back on the Meadows.

 

Several sightings in various locations throughout the Meadows of the Skylark's cousin the Meadow Pipit were noted between the 1st and the 18th March. A solitary Fieldfare was noted in transect 8 on the 2nd. This species was not seen at all in 2017 despite the numerous Redwing that continue to be seen.

 

A solitary Great Spotted Woodpecker was logged on the 25th in transect 11 and a Graylag Goose was present with a flock of Canada Geese on the 15th March. Two Jay were seen in the hedgerow of transect 6

 

There have again been reports of several Lesser Redpoll visiting bird feeders on Larkfield Avenue (20th).

 

Also, further sightings of the Barn Owl have been reported over the Meadows in the early evening.

 

The first sighting and sound of the Chiffchaff was logged on the morning of the 28th March, thirteen days later than last year.

Mammals

4 Grey Squirrel

Butterflies

1 small Tortoiseshell

Greylag Goose

Shelduck

Male Kestrel

Lapwing

February 2018 Bird Survey

Date

20th February 2018 0900 hrs to 1215 hrs
by Steve, Amanda, Clare, Geoff, Dave and Terry

Weather

Cool, Sunny and Breezy.  

 Temperature 6°C to 9°C

 

 

BIRDS

Blackbird 18
Black-headed Gull 24
Blue Tit 14
Bullfinch 4
Buzzard 2
Canada Goose 2
Carrion Crow 3
Chaffinch 7
Collared Dove 1
Coot 3
Cormorant 1
Dunnock 10
Goldfinch 25
Great Tit 17

28 Species in all

Greenfinch 34
House Sparrow 20
Long-tailed Tit 14
Magpie 36
Mallard 10
Moorhen 2
Mute Swan 2
Redwing 1
Reed Bunting 11
Robin 22
Song Thrush 4
Tufted Duck 1
Woodpigeon 29
Wren 9

Bird Report

An unremarkable morning's birding, with one less species than the equivalent survey last year. February can be a month of few species on the Meadows, but thankfully because of the cold snap at the end of the month some "first sightings" have turned up though regrettably not on the survey day.

February's survey highlights - no new species during the monthly survey but an extremely good day for Greenfinch (34) and House Sparrow (20) which is good news for these increasingly threatened birds.

Only one raptor species seen this survey; 2 Buzzard which were very active hunting over much of the Meadows.

Outside of the survey date this month has proved very productive with three new species sighted probably due to the frozen conditions elsewhere.

In transect 11 ( February 3rd and 13th) a pair of Willow Tit were noted plus a Pied Wagtail (13th). Also in transect 11 a solitary Goldeneye was observed for approximately a week from the 9th February; a first for this species on this stretch of the Mersey.

Other first timers have been up to 5 Shoveler ducks which have been seen regularly in various locations along the Mersey between transects 7 and 4 during the last week of the month and into March.

5 Raven with a Kestrel were seen displaying over the Meadows this month on the 22nd with two Raven regularly roosting on the Cormorant pylons on Number 4 bed of the Eyes. It is likely that these birds will be nesting by now and may be somewhere close by.

There have been reports of several Redpoll visiting bird feeders on Larkfield Avenue (17th). Also a pair of Widgeon on the New Cut Canal near Larkfield Avenue and a solitary Treecreeper near Spittal Brook on the 19th.

2 Mistle Thrush were noted in transect 2 on the 5th and 2 Snipe were seen on the 11th in transect 10.

Also further sightings of the Barn Owl have been reported over the Meadows in the late evening.

Mammals

8 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey.

Butterflies

None

Male Shoveler

 

Male Shoveler

Field Trip to Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh

On the 4th February 6 members of the New Cut Heritage and Ecology Bird Group were invited to a field trip at Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh, Southport; organised by the Carbon Landscape. A good time was had by all as can be seen by the species listed below. Thanks to Anthony De Silva of the Carbon Landscape and all concerned.

Birds seen at Marshside

KESTREL 
LINNET   
GOLDEN PLOVER   
LAPWING   
SHOVELER           
WIDGEON           
MOORHEN
TEAL                                                                              
LITTLE EGRET
MUTE SWAN
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT
SKYLARK
MEADOW PIPIT
KNOT
 

29 Species in all

GREY PLOVER
CORMORANT
REDSHANK
SHELDUCK
OYSTERCATCHER
CARRION CROW
STARLING
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE
STONECHAT    
CANADA GOOSE
MALLARD
TUFTED DUCK
COOT
BLACK-HEADED GULL
PIED WAGTAIL

Birds seen at Hesketh Out Marsh

LINNET
WIDGEON
BARN OWL
COMMON BUZZARD
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL
MUTE SWAN
REDSHANK
SPOTTED REDSHANK
LITTLE EGRET

18 Species in all

TEAL
LAPWING 
SHELDUCK
CARRION CROW
MOORHEN
CURLEW
PHEASANT
COOT
KESTREL

Mammals at Hesketh Out Marsh

Brown Hare

Little Egret

Black-Tailed Godwit

Little Egret and Black-tailed Godwit Photos Courtesy of Mike Kenwright

January 2018 Bird Survey

Date

13th January 2018, 0900 hrs to 1215 hrs
by Steve, Amanda, Mike, Geoff and Terry

Weather

Cool, dull and breezy morning but with no rain

 Temperature 6°C to 9°C

Birds

Blackbird 16
Black-headed Gull 15
Blue Tit 15
Bullfinch 10
Buzzard 3
Carrion Crow 6
Chaffinch 8 
Collared Dove 1
Coot  6
Cormorant 2
Dunnock 3
Goldfinch 49
Great Tit 20
Greenfinch 4
House Sparrow 5

Species Total – 30

Kestrel 2
Kingfisher 1
Long-tailed Tit 4
Magpie 35
Mallard 6
Moorhen 9
Mute Swan 2
Redwing 1
Reed Bunting 8
Robin 11
Song Thrush 4
Teal 2
Willow Tit 1
Woodpigeon 29
Wren 5

A reasonable morning’s birding, with one more species than the equivalent survey last year.

January's Highlight - No new species but it's always special day if you see both the Kingfisher and the Willow Tit. Of particular note this month were the high numbers of Goldfinch (49)

 Two of our regular raptor species; Buzzard and Kestrel were again seen during this months survey. A pair of Kestrel were hunting over several transects of the Meadows and both were seen to be successful. There appear to be plenty of voles around this year.

A Kingfisher was seen again flying along Spittal Brook - twice (transects 1 & 12).

The Willow Tit was seen and heard in transect 2 again.

A pair of Mute Swans (unringed) appear to have taken up residence on the New Cut canal in transect 1. Not known if they're the same pair that nested there last year.

In transect 12, outside of the survey date, Gadwall and Little Grebe have been regular sightings; a Willow Tit and Kingfisher were also seen there on the 2nd.  2 Goldcrest were seen on a wet 29th one in transect 12 and one in transect 11.

 Two Redwing were noted in the old Hawthorns in transect 7 though there are no berries left to feed on. Although none was seen during the survey, Grey Heron can be regularly seen on the Meadows promenading in the water-logged fields.

 A Raven was flying very low over transect 4 seen from the New Cut on the 22nd January and had probably been on the ground.

Grey Heron

Cormorant – credit Mike Kenwright

Mute Swans – credit Mike Kenwright

Robin – credit Mike Kenwright

Grey Seal

Transect Map

December 2017 Bird Survey

Date

15th December 2017 9:00 to 12:35
by Steve, Amanda and Terry
Again a good morning's birding with one more species than last month and 8 more species than the equivalent survey last year.
There were no warblers encountered again on the survey. The Cetti's appears to have gone AWOL.

Weather

Cold and clear with a slight wind.

Temperature 1°C to 3°C

Birds

Blackbird 32
Black-headed Gull 14
Blue Tit 20
Bullfinch 13
Buzzard 3
Carrion Crow 7
Chaffinch 13
Coal Tit 1
Coot 3
Cormorant 1
Dunnock 9
Gadwall 7
Goldcrest 1
Goldfinch 14
Great Tit 19
Greenfinch 3
Grey Heron 4

33 Species in all

House Sparrow 15
Kestrel 1
Kingfisher 1
Little Grebe 1
Long-tailed Tit 21
Magpie 32
Mallard 4
Moorhen 6
Mute Swan 3
Peregrine Falcon 1
Pied Wagtail 1
Reed Bunting 5
Robin 12
Song Thrush 4
Woodpigeon 19
Wren 6

December’s Highlight

- without a doubt the male Peregrine Falcon which was hunting over transect 7. As far as I know the first ever reported sighting over the Meadows of this magnificent raptor.

No Redwing were noted throughout the survey area this month as the hedgerows are now stripped bare of berries. Of particular note this month were the high numbers of Blue Tit (20); Great Tit (19) and Long-tailed Tit (21).

For the first time on a survey date a solitary Little Grebe was seen in transect 12 and although not a rarity a Pied Wagtail was noted in transect 2 on the old basketball court.

Two of our regular raptor species; Buzzard and Kestrel were again seen during this months survey. The Buzzards especially, are particularly evident this time of year in transect 9 the Kestrel a female was seen successfully hunting over several transects of the Meadows.

A Kingfisher was seen again flying close to Spittal Brook (transect 12).

Outside of the survey date the Willow Tit has been seen regularly in transect 2.

There have been sightings of Redpoll probably Lesser in transect 2; Grey Wagtail also in transects 2 and adjacent to the New Cut Canal near to Paddington Lock. For your info: the naming of the Redpoll species has been a minefield over the last few years, current best advice is I believe that there are now three Redpolls on the official British Bird List the Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea); Lesser Redpoll (Acanthis cabaret) and Arctic Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni)

In transect 12, Tufted Duck; Gadwall and Kingfisher have been regular sightings throughout the Month.

Again a report has been made of a Barn Owl being seen hunting over the Meadows at around 9.00 pm at night. NB I wrongly placed the Barn Owl on the Red List in last month's report; although locally rare, thankfully nationally, this is not the case.

Finally, on the 30th December 4 Raven were heard "procking" overhead and then seen to fly over transect 7 before perch on the pylon in transect 8 for a few minutes. They then proceeded to perform some breathtaking courtship display aerobatics; tumbling, stooping and flying upside down before flying off northwards.

Mammals and Butterflies

4 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey.

No Butterflies

Great Tit

Common Buzzard

Little Grebe

Robin

The 12 transects of the bird survey route.

November 2017 Bird Survey Report

Date

11th November 2017 0800 hrs to 1115 hrs
by Geoff, Steve, Alison, Amanda, Dave M, Mike and Terry

Weather

Cool but pleasant morning with no rain or breeze

Temperature 7C to 9C

Birds seen

Blackbird 80
Black-headed Gull 1
Blue Tit 20
Bullfinch 16
Buzzard 2
Carrion Crow 6
Chaffinch 25
Coal Tit 1
Cormorant 3
Dunnock 12
Goldcrest 4
Goldfinch 21
Great Tit 10
Greenfinch 8
Grey Heron 2
House Sparrow 24

32 Species in all

Kestrel 2

Kingfisher 1

Lesser Black-backed Gull 1

Long-tailed Tit 25

Magpie 55

Mallard 8

Mistle Thrush 1

Moorhen 1

Redwing 18

Reed Bunting 12

Robin 15

Song Thrush 4

Willow Tit 1

Woodpigeon 12

Wren 10

Yellowhammer 1

November’s Highlights

A good morning's birding with the same number of species as last month and 7 more species than the equivalent survey last year.

There were no warblers encountered again on the survey.

November's Highlights - without doubt the male Yellowhammer (which gave excellent views at close quarters in transect 4). The first ever sighting on the Meadows of this once common farmland bird, now on the BTO's red list of birds of Conservation Concern; noted for its familiar song "a little bit of bread and no cheeeeeese".

With the Hawthorn hedges almost stripped bare of berries only 18 Redwing were noted throughout the survey area, markedly down from last months 81 birds. Of particular note this month were the high numbers of Chaffinch (25); Blackbirds (80); Magpie (55) and Long-tailed Tit (25).

4 Goldcrest were seen in various locations along the New Cut and around the Meadows; a decent count of this our smallest bird species.

For the second time only on the Meadows a solitary Mistle Thrush was seen in transect 6.

Two of our regular raptor species; Buzzard and Kestrel were seen during this months survey. The Buzzards especially, are particularly evident this time of year in transect 9.

A Kingfisher was seen again flying close to Spittal Brook (transect 12).

Outside of the survey date the Willow Tit has been seen regularly in November in transects 2, 4 and 12.

A "mooch" around the survey area on a wet morning on Monday the 27th produced 2 x Willow Tits; 2 x Grey Wagtail in transect 4; 3 x Common Snipe in transect 4; a cock Pheasant in transect 7; and a pair of Gadwall and a Little Grebe in transect 12.

Reports have been provided of a Barn Owl being seen hunting over transect 5 around 7.00 pm at night. Similar reports were received last year. Hope to get to see one myself on the Meadows some day soon.

Mammals

9 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey..

Butterflies

Not unsurprisingly, no butterflies to report this month.

Willow Tit Habitat Improvement

On Sunday the 26th November under the supervision of Mik Lees - Warrington Council Ranger, seven intrepid members of the Bird Group braved the showers and took part in a Willow Tit habit improvement workshop along the "boardwalk" area of the Ecology Trail. A big thank you to all concerned.

Song Thrush

Dunnock

Common Snipe

The 12 transects of the survey route are shown here

October 2017 Bird Survey

Date

23rd October 2017 0800 hrs to 1110 hrs
by Geoff, Steve, Alison, Amanda, Dave M and Terry

Weather

Cool, cloudy, slight wind with a short heavy shower.

Temperature 10C to 13C

Birds

Blackbird 69
Black-headed Gull 30
Blue Tit 13
Bullfinch 17
Buzzard 1
Carrion Crow 8
Chaffinch 4
Collared Dove 1
Coot 1
Cormorant 2
Dunnock 8
Goldcrest 7
Goldfinch 19
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Great Tit 13
Greenfinch 3

32 Species

Grey Heron 2

House Sparrow 14

Kestrel 1

Kingfisher 1

Long-tailed Tit 5

Magpie 23

Mallard 10

Moorhen 4

Redwing 81

Reed Bunting 6

Robin 26

Song Thrush 8

Sparrowhawk 2

Willow Tit 1

Woodpigeon 17

Wren 5

A cool morning with a forecast of rain which only materialised for one short downpour at 10.00am.

All in all an exceptional mornings birding with 11 more species than the equivalent survey last year.

There were no warblers encountered on the survey.

The 12 transects of the survey route are shown here

October’s Highlights –

1 Willow Tit showing well at the end of the boardwalk nearest to Larkfield Avenue. Nice to see this threatened bird making an appearance on a survey morning especially for those members of the group who hadn't seen one before.

81 Redwing were noted throughout the survey area; a welcome return to these winter visitors from Northern Europe enjoying berries on the hawthorn hedges on the Meadows.

7 Goldcrest seen in various locations along the New Cut and around the Meadows a record for a single day as its normal to see only one or two of this species.

The Mute Swans in transect 1 have moved from the Cut onto the River Mersey and were not seen during the survey.

All three regular raptor species; Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were all seen during this months survey.

A Kingfisher was seen flying along Spittal Brook in transect 12.

Outside of the survey date a Stonechat was photographed by Philip Lewis on the 8th October in transect 4 a rare visitor to the Meadows. Well done Philip!

Kingfisher have been seen regularly along the river bank in transect 12 and Common Snipe were seen for the first time this Autumn in transect 7.

The Cetti's Warbler has been heard again on occasion during the early part of the month though not recently; last heard on the 7th October in transect 11.

A solitary Swallow was feeding over transect 8 on the 2nd October; this is last sighting of this year, so I was wrong in my prediction last month.

The first Redwing were seen on the 17th of the month, if anyone saw them any earlier on the Meadows please let me know.

Mammals

9 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey, plus one Common Shrew darted across the footpath in transect 8.

Butterflies

No butterflies save one Red Admiral were seen during the survey in transect 12.

Stonechat in Transect 4 courtesy of Philip Lewis

Kingfisher on river bank in transect 12

Mute Swan in “full sail” in transect 12

Juvenile Cormorant drying wings on river bank in transect 12

Redwing amongst the Haw berries in transect 4