Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Signs of Spring

I took a walk last Friday over the moors from Llangollen to the Trevor Arms and up onto the tops to Worlds End and back along Offas Dyke and the canal to Llangollen, it was a great day and it felt like a warm spring day; especially with signs of spring such as flowering Lesser Celladine, Snowdrop, and Lily of the Valley, Lords and Ladies starting to emerge.

Peregrines were on their regular nesting site, and many Buzzards could be seen spiraling on thermals, Ravens could be seen paired up and may well be breeding by now. No Black Grouse could be found up on the moors but I disturbed a pair of Red Grouse. In the wooded valley at Worlds End a loose flock of around 20 Crossbills could be seen feeding away in the Fir Trees.

Waxwings,Waxwings, Waxwings....and more Waxwings!

Waxwings - Aigburth Road

Thanks to Sundays tip-off from Robin I managed to get down Aigburth Road this morning to check for for the Waxwings which have been feeding on the Cotoneaster roadside berry trees opposite Saint Margaret's School playing fields, on the way down I heard that familiar 'trill' overhead on Woodlands Road as a flock of 20+ Waxwings headed SE (whether these are from the Aigburth flock I will never know), when reaching the berry trees on Aigburth I was disheartened to find no birds feeding, but as knowing what pesky blighters Waxwings can be (they will feed up and fly off to perch up in the canopy of tall trees for what seems like hours) I walked along Aigburth Road checking for them, I was rewarded with a flock of 65 Waxwings perched up in the canopy on the central reservation between Aigburth Methodist Church and the entrance to Saint Margaret's School (poor photo I know but at least I caught up with them). When returning home near Greenbank Park a flock of at least 35 Waxwings flew calling low overhead towards Smithdown Road/Brookhouse Pub area; a great 'house tick'! What a morning!
Coupled with these sightings I had a flock of 30+ Waxwings fly over Dovedale Road at 4:30 yesterday afternoon heading towards Allerton/Church Road area.....maybe they are back around the Penny Lane precinct too. It is hard to tell exactly how many birds are in the area but if you haven't caught up with any yet this winter now is your chance! (and let me know if you do find any!).
Little Grebes - Sefton Park

Apart from Waxwings in Sefton Park a Common Buzzard was briefly mobbed by crows over the West side of the lake, 5 Little Grebes and the resident pair of Mute Swans on the Lake. In the feeding stations behind the Palm House 2 Stock Dove, 2 Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, could be found amongst the commoner species

Blackbird - Sefton Park

Robin - Sefton Park
In Greenbank Park small numbers of Redwings could be seen along with a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, but best of all was two stunning breeding plumaged male Cormorants (possibly of the continental sub-species due to the amount of white head plumes - or possibly just old carbo for another date that!), its unusual to see them in this plumage at so close quarters, usually in this area the birds in the parks are either winter plumaged or immature plumaged....well worth a look.
Over the last couple of weeks a flock of three Greylag Geese have appeared on Greenbank lake on a couple of occasions, as did a party of five Mute Swans which were quickly given the heave ho by the resident male, as did another lone bird that appeared last week. Last week I heard a calling Chiff-Chaff on the bridge on Penny Lane.....obviously a wintering bird not an early migrant. Yesterday I was passing Toxteth Cemetery on Smithdown Road and could hear masses of Redwings in song.....a great sound as they warm up before their spring migration home.
Cormorants - Greenbank Park

Down on the Anglican Cathedral I have checked for the Peregrines on a number of occasions over the last month and generally I have always seen at least one bird......fingers crossed for successful breeding this year.

Waxwings - Aigburth Road