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Hoylake Bird Observatory

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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 09:25   #1
Jane Turner
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Hoylake Bird Observatory

Well that IS what I plan on changing the name of my house to. I've decided to keep a running diary of my garden's birds here.

Yesterday was a good place to start. I already mentioned this in the "your birding day" forum, but its too good to miss putting in here too.

I hadn't been outside at all until about 3.30. It was already getting cold and dusk-like and I saw sawing a big log in half to be the mainstay of a bonfire when I saw something land and fly-catch of the wall next to me. I guessed it was probably a Robin, but just in case I stood up. There, not 6 feet away on my neighbours lawn was an 1st winter Black Redstart. I called a few friends who are doing a "Wirral Year bird race". Unfortunately the bird became rather mobile and moved up bout 10 gardens long the seafront and out of sight. I was able to show them the video I had taken of the bird.

Just as it going dark I was going out to the car and noticed the BR was on my daughter's swing, then on the BBQ. I called Steve and he came back. I thought I'd lost it again, since I had to go back into the house to turn off the food I was cooking. Then I noticed it on the roof of the house. Though it was practically dark Steve got great views. I last saw it from my kitchen window, settling down to roost in the back courtyard of the house.


No sign of it his morning so far, but there has been a nice bit of visible migration. Nothing too exciting, about 350 Chaffinches, a few bramblings and a Yellowhammer, the first of the year. That's 148 species in the garden so far this yer.
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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 09:33   #2
Elizabeth Bigg
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I think THE Hoylake Bird Observatory would be more appropriate!
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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 09:40   #3
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Here is the report for 2000/01, kindly published on Richard Smith's Dee Estuary site. I have a slightly fuller E-version of this with more illustrations and graphs should anyone want one.
Red-throated Diver to Gannet http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob1.htm
Cormorant to Brent Goose http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob2.htm
Shelduck to Long-tailed Duck http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob3.htm
Common Scoter to Merlin http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob4.htm
Barbary Falcon to Knot http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob5.htm
Sanderling to Black-tailed Godwit http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob6.htm
Bar-tailed Godwit to Grey Phalarope http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob7.htm
Pomarine Skua to Kittiwake http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob8.htm
Sandwich Tern to Turtle Dove http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob9.htm
Cuckoo to Rock Pipit http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob10.htm
Yellow Wagtail to Blackbird http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob11.htm
Fieldfare to Willow Warbler http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob12.htm
Goldcrest to Carrion Crow http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob13.htm
Starling to Corn Bunting http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hob14.htm

Last edited by Jane Turner : Saturday 4th June 2005 at 23:57.
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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 11:19   #4
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The tide is looking good. About 7000 Knot and decent numbers of Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey plover, Sanderling and Ringed Plover.

The whole lot were spooked by a chunky female Merlin. A male Blackcap moved through the front garden at 11am and there is an Easternish Chiffchaff in the back garden.
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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 11:39   #5
Gill Osborne
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WOW...your garden sounds amazing!!! 148 SPECIES in the garden!!!!! Do you charge for admission.....only joking!
A few minutes later......just had a look at some of your earlier postings....wow!!!!!! Your house seems to be situated in an absolutely heavenly spot......you can't help BUT be a birder!!!
Not sure what my garden list total is...have to work it out....but don't get too excited....I MIGHT be into double figures...if I'm lucky!!!
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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 17:10   #6
Jane Turner
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No charge for visitors and tea/coffee on offer.
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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 17:30   #7
Elizabeth Bigg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
No charge for visitors and tea/coffee on offer.
If only I had known this in January!!! We visited my sister in Crosby then, for our joint birthday celebration. My family moved to that area in 1943, and she is (in birding terms) sedentary. I've been an ex-pat in Surrey since 1962
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Old Sunday 9th November 2003, 21:25   #8
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There is always next time! As for the location, I vowed that I was going to live somewhere where the birds would come to me!


Pics from today's tide. A still from a video of the Knot pack. It doesn't do it justice really. The other is mixed gulls and large waders. I still haven't seen Glaucous Gull from here, which is silly! There are 5000+ large Larus spp out there just now!
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Old Monday 10th November 2003, 16:18   #9
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A quiet day today. Two Grey Wagtails came onto the artifical stream in the back garden. There were fewer Knot today, but more Dunlin to compensate. I had a try for some sea duck, but only mustered a few Scoter. There were a couple of Red-throated Divers on the bay at hight tide too.

Later I heard a big flock of Long-tailed Tits and scrambled for the back garden. Only caught the back of them and couldn't see anything green and srtipy in them.
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Old Wednesday 12th November 2003, 16:36   #10
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Lovely day today, with plenty of waders about on the tide and a few Divers. I lost a Phylloscopus warbler in a flock of about 50 Long-tailed Tits. It looked small and clean but its in the got away box. I was a bit late reacting to the noise of th tit flock... Silly me.

This evening three Ravens joined the ubiquitous Carrion Crows on the beach. Its the second record for the garden, though the first was of two doing the same about this time last year. 149 species for the year! 150 looks more than possible! I missed a flock of 13 Snow Buntings which were only 100 yards from the bottom of the garden at the weekend.

Still nothing in the Gulls. If it stays this still I have a chance of picking up a small grebe on the calm sea tomorrow. I had one earlier in the year....probably a Black-necked, but I just couldn't get enough on it. Frustratingly one was off Hilbre Island (in view) at the same time. BNG is sort of a negative feature bird. At that range I could prove its not a BN...by seeing some Slav features, but not v.v.
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Old Thursday 13th November 2003, 08:34   #11
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There is a Peregrine eating something small and Dunlin-like on the beach this morning. It looks like an immature bird. I love the fact that apart from April, when they tend to be close to their breeding grounds, I can see Peregrine every day here, sometimes up to 4 a day.
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Old Thursday 13th November 2003, 21:16   #12
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It turned out to be a bit of a raptor day. An adult female missed a Feral pigeon, then later an immature male hade a real hash of chasing Dunlin. The young birds spend too much time chasing. Later in the day a female Merlin went west.

Force 10 winds forecast for tomorrow. Its baton down the hatches time.
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Old Sunday 16th November 2003, 09:49   #13
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A quiet morning... a pity since Frank (Paj) cam to see if there were any little borwn jobs passing.

In half an hour we mustered 12 Chaffinches (one might have been a Brambling but was silent) about 12 Greenfinches and a few Meadow Pipits. Its getting late for visible passage though.

Shelducks have increased to 50. One of the local cats has killed its second Song Thrush this week and left the sorry little corpse on my back lawn.
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Old Tuesday 18th November 2003, 12:00   #14
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The Thrush corpse was cleaned up by the resident fox tonight. He seemed to enjoy this little tit bit.
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Old Friday 21st November 2003, 15:34   #15
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We have a new Song Thrush. How long before that cat gets it? The tides are buiding up again, so here's hoping for some good wader and gull numbers.

As ever, a Peregrine went through this morning, scattering absolutely everything from the beach


Here is a pic of the sea, taken from the front room during the gales last week... I do know how lucky I am to have a view like this!
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Old Thursday 27th November 2003, 11:52   #16
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Just made it to 150 for the year... A rather fine Black-necked grebe on the incoming tide today, as well as 50+ Great-crested grebes and 5 Red-throated Divers. Fluffed a small auk though... probably a Puffin, but I didn't rule out Little. Either would be new for the year.

Good numbers of larger Auks moving, certainlny a lot more action on the sea than there has been for ages.
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Old Thursday 27th November 2003, 13:53   #17
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Once again a female Pergrine had a crack at the Knot.

This appeared unexpectedly on the bird table, and hung around long enough for me to find the camera! A male Blackcap
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Old Saturday 29th November 2003, 16:42   #18
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Its been raining Bar-tailed Godwits. I had three goes at counting them accurately today and each time the flock took flight when I was about 2/3rds through. So I estimate that there were 1700.
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Old Thursday 4th December 2003, 15:16   #19
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I was woken this morning by the sound of a large Goose flock. There was a good deal of honking as well as winking. The light was bad and the cr*p scope I keep in the bedroom took ages to focus. Nearly all of the Goose flocks here are Pink-feet and to be honest the few birds that I managed to check looked like Pinks... can't help worrying that there were some White-fronts in there though.

There is a Chiffchaff in the front garden today. A very standard colybitta bird. Its a new arrival though and is feeding avidly in the buckthorn patch I planted round the small pond down by the seawall. Perhaps its not too late for a Dusky Warbler!
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Old Thursday 4th December 2003, 16:54   #20
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Conscience time....

04/12 10:54 LANCASHIRE : Greenland White-fronted Goose, Crossen's Marsh [A]
one with Pink-footed Geese on Crossen's Outer Marsh


Well that is where my flock was heading for!
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Old Sunday 14th December 2003, 12:53   #21
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Its blowing hard here...and the tide is coming in. Plenty of Kittiwakes and a few ducks moving. Pintail and Wigeon so far. Fingers crossed it doesn't rain (I can't see through the windows then!)
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Old Thursday 1st January 2004, 19:58   #22
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I've decided to keep the house yearlist updated here.

So at the end of Jan 1st it stood at 37. Here they are in order

Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Starling, Carrion crow, Blackbird, Great Tit, Curlew, Shelduck, Common Gull, Cormorant, Dunlin, Red-throated Diver, Robin, Dunnock, Brent Goose, Oystercatcher, Great Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Woodpigeon, Common Scoter, Grey Plover, Shelduck, Collared Dove, Great Crested Grebe, House Sparrow', Red-breasted Merganser, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Wren, Feral Pigeon, Magpie, Ringed Plover, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit.

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Old Thursday 1st January 2004, 23:16   #23
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Wow , Jane , you live in an excellent spot ! I've managed 26 species today , but I have had to work 17 hours , so the only birding I've done is in the car driving to and from work , walking the dog and through the window at work . Still , I got a few good birds , 1 Buzzard , c30 Goosander , 3 Bullfinch and best of all 2 Peregrines . I'm off work next week and I hope to get in a couple of really good days birding . Happy New Year !! ... and good birding .
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Old Friday 2nd January 2004, 15:41   #24
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Jada...yes I know I am lucky..though I did work towards ths!

Today's additions:

Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Guillemot, Pergerine, so the year total is on to 42. The visibility was about 30 miles more than yesterday! 75ish Scoter were the highlight of the day.
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Old Saturday 3rd January 2004, 17:55   #25
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Jan 3rd additions. Not done any birding today, but added Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Pied Wagtail, Grey wagtail and Chaffinch, taking th year total to 47. Blue Tits are outnumbered by both Coal and Great Tits at the moment, I don't think they had a very good year
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