New Year’s Day Dip! 2014.

Posted: January 14, 2014 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching, Uncategorized
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Happy New Year to all. The arrival of an American Buff Bellied Pipit on the Wirral in December was an unusual sighting. The bird had chosen to spend its time feeding on the tidal wrack caused by the recent gales,high tides etc.So, as all our team (except me) needed to see this species a trip was planned for our annual New Year’s Day bash. A trip to a local hostelry the night before had rendered me a little delicate,so no driving for me. A meeting in Whitworth at 8am was agreed with Steve & Chris B with Chris driving. We reached Burton Marsh just after 9am and about 30 other birders were present. It was cold,wet and proper miserable as an hour past with no sign of out target species, but with Wheatear, Siberian Cliff-Chaff, Goldcrest and Stonechat for company who could complain. A trip around the northern coast of the Wirral revealed all the regular gulls and waders and we even managed to see Jane Turner (of bird identification fame) in her Land Rover! At New Brighton a lonely Shag sheltered from the icy rain that blasted us around the marina as we searched in vain for Purple Sandpiper. Tunnel time and a trip through the docklands of Liverpool, what a thriving seaport it used to be with lots of very large buildings, from which a Peregrine Falcon departed whilst seen hunting for a meal. A Great Northern Diver was seen, on the being re-furbished Marine Lake. At Marshside, the wind continued to blast us all as we quickly found the Ross’s Goose, allegedly an escape? Lots of wildfowl, Golden Plover, Lapwing and gulls then the female Long Tailed Duck was seen and enjoyed by many as it fed in the shallow flood pools by putting it’s head underwater and swimming along, how strange!

Long-tailed Duck, Marshside, Southport. 1st January 2014.

Long-tailed Duck, Marshside, Southport. 1st January 2014.

Ross's Goose, Marshside, Southport. 1st January 2014.

Ross’s Goose, Marshside, Southport. 1st January 2014.

We then found out about a large flock of “winter” swans near Bank’s Marsh of we went. The flock were eventually found and as we watched them from the car both Whooper & Bewick’s Swans were seen then a Black Swan all the way from Australia to end a really unusual trip. I did feel much better as we got home by 4-30pm. We managed to see around 65 species in the day. Dave O.


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