Saturday, 18 January 2014

Cheshire and Wirral - 18th January 2014

 Probably Yellow-legged x Lesser Black-back
 1 of 3 Iceland Gulls (2nd winter)
 Buff-bellied Pipit (phone scoped)
 Buff-bellied Pipit (showing the breast streaking)
Buff-bellied Pipit 

I joined Alex Jones on the Wirral today to mop up on a few yearticks and generally just do some nice birding.

We started off at Richmond Bank nr Warrington/Runcorn. Here we spent most of the morning looking through the gulls trying to find that ever elusive Caspian Gull for the 3rd time this year (first two attempts were in the midlands). I think they must know how much I want to see one as I just can't see one whatever I do!
We managed to come across three Iceland Gulls during the morning (2x 1stw and a pale 2ndw). Apart from this, it proved rather difficult. We managed to find a very odd looking gull that we think is the same bird that Alex found last year - a Yellow-legged x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid. Very odd indeed!

We then moved onto Burton Mere to get better views of the American Buff-bellied Pipit as both of us saw it at the end of 2013, but in pretty windy conditions so obtained poor scope views. Today however, it was much better. After a while we were able to get fantastic views of it and were even able to pick it up with the naked eye at 10m! Excellent bird, despite not being the most exciting looking thing...still enjoyable to see.

With light starting to go, we decided to make a quick visit into Burton Mere and quickly were put onto a lovely Little Stint. A nice bird to get in January!

We ended the day at Parkgate and were able to get nice views of 2+ ringtail Hen Harrier. Beautiful birds.

I have had quite the January so far and after today, my yearlist is on 153! Not at all bad!

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