Sunday, 2 January 2011

Speke/Garston Coastal Reserve - Its Not All Quad Bikes and Pit-Bulls

Took a visit to Speke/Garston Coastal Reserve this morning and found a few goodies in before the threat of dodging doting dads taking their loved ones on their first Quad Bike ride of the year and the threat of marauding Pit-Bulls became to great (as usual when birding in urban areas an early morning visit is preferable). On the shore near Garston Docks I found a flock of roosting Redshanks complete with 3 Spotted Redshanks, my first in the South Liverpool area, see the photo below - one on the far left, one on the far right, and one crammed in to the main flock.

Spotted Redshank and Common Redshank, Speke/Garston Coastal Reserve Other birds on the shore included a flock of 60 Linnets which contained at least 3 Twite, these could easily be found feeding on the salt-marsh. Male Pochard, male Shoveler, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 7 Canada Geese, and a Raven.
Speke/Garston Coastal ReserveOn the reserve proper there was very little in the way of passerines, 13 Reed Bunting only, this is very unusual as at this time of year the site can usually boast Stonechats, large numbers of Skylarks, Mipits and Skylarks; maybe the cold snap has moved them on or finished them off! 13 Grey Partridge and a Weasel where a nice surprise however.

Candlesnuff Fungi Xylaria hypoxylon<br /><br /> After the Coastal Reserve I headed into Speke Hall Estate, again only small numbers of passerines with hardly any Tits, Finches e.t.c. Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Goldcrest amongst the highlights. Some nice fungi in the woods though with loads of Birch Polypore present amongst others, and a Blackthorn on the moat bearing the first leaves of the Spring, surely a bit early!

Birch Polypore, Speke Hall Woods Cant believe it no Waxwings today!

Oh and dont let the Blog post title deter you, this really is a great site.


Anonymous said...

Hi Danny,hi everyone,

I was out on the disused airfield yesterday and disturbed a bird which took off from the long grass and flew directly away from me low over the fence into the grounds of Speke Hall. I didn't get the best view of it,but it looked greenish with some brighter yellow(?)and was about the size of a mistle thrush. My first impression was "green woodpecker" but I've not seen them locally before. Are any known to live nearby? Any suggestions as to i/d?


Danny Foy said...

Hi Keith

Indeed it does sound like you were lucky enough to find a Green Woodpecker, although I have never seen one at this sight or Speke Hall; it does appear to be good habitat for this species. A few years back they could be found at Hale, they were rumoured to have bred at Camp Hill Woolton about 7 years ago. I had a bird in Sefton Park last year and in previous years I have seen them at Calderstones and Otterspool Park. Fingers crossed they may settle at Speke.

Anonymous said...

I have been visiting this reserve for 30 years and am concerned about the proposed waste plant at Stalbridge Dock. I genuinely believe it will have a serious, and potentially fatal effect on local wildlife eco-systems.

Danny Foy said...

Hi, thanks for posting this comment about the proposed waste plant, I was unaware of it. I would greatly appreciate more information regarding this disturbing news. my email is