Our almost annual trip to Moore local nature reserve in Warrington was well attended this year, apart from one of the lads choosing down rather than feathers! We met at 6am in Rochdale and with myself at the wheel arrived at Moore around 7am. It was cold but we had the reserve almost to ourselves. After we had all spread out and began to search for the sometimes hard to find Lesser Spotted Woodpecker a Greater Spotted Woodpecker & Green Woodpecker were soon heard. Then the much quieter and more rapid drumming of our target species was heard. The bird was only about 15 yards away and happily fed amongst the mossy/lichen covered branch of an old tree before landing 30 yards away and beginning to drum, great views! Its a smashing reserve for various species and worth a visit if you are ever in the area. A few more birders were arriving by now and we told them what we had seen. As the tide was around 11am at Liverpool we decided to visit Richmond Bank to search for the various type`s of gulls that are usually present. The tip area were the gulls visit closes around midday so the earlier the better we all thought. So by 8-45am we met another 6 “gullers” and began our search through the many birds present. Conditions for viewing were excellent and within 5 minutes of arrival a juvenile/first winter Iceland Gull was found. It remained in view for our 2 hour stay! Then a  Herring Gull that looked like a Yellow Legged Gull was seen, until a really well marked Yellow Legged Gull gave itself up, what a nice example. Next up an adult type Caspian Gull was seen. Long “spindly” legs, slim parallel bill. black beady eye on a tapering head shape were some of the noted identification features. Round about this time Steve B (who has a small attention span with gulls & wildfowl) just happened to point out to us all a Glaucous Gull flying down the river, well done Steve! By this time the River Mersey was beginning to push the birds off their roost areas and as we all watched the tidal “bore” the sound was quite spectacular, most of our team have never seen or heard this before. We believe it was to do with it being a 9.9 metre tide? An Iceland Gull was seen flying up & down the river as the river area was completely covered by now. We called in at an area along the East Lancashire Road (A580) to see if we could see any Yellowhammers and managed to find one. We managed to get home around 1pm and all had enjoyed the half day trip, all seeing around 7 new species for the year.

Dave O.

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